The Fall 2011 anime season seems to have an unusual number of sequels, and of course it is not at all unusual for a good show to have a disappointing sequel. Still I have rarely seen anything as disappointing as the second season of Squid Girl (Shinryaku!? Ika Musume)
The second season is still cute but that’s nothing special. Anime studios can grind out cute in their sleep. Unfortunately it just isn’t funny. It isn’t just that the series has run out of fresh ideas. It’s more like someone kidnapped the crazy inspired subversive writers of the original series and replaced them with a bunch of talentless hacks who phone in the blandest sort of recycled material.
With nothing to laugh at I am left to wince at Crunchyroll’s attempts to translate the puns. The puns flow naturally in the original Japanese dialog. (It’s pretty easy to come up with a Japanese sentence containing the sequence “i ka” (squid). The translators try to jam words like “squiddle” and “squiddy” in every other sentence, which gets old very fast.
The first season is still available on Crunchyroll and is still recommended.
It seems almost a requirement now to bemoan the current state of anime as compared to the golden age of past (which for most people seems to be 5 to 15 years ago.) But it is easy to fool oneself about this. We tend to remember only a few great animes and forget the much larger number of really bad ones, and the even greater number of mediocre ones.
With that in mind, here’s what I think are the highlights and lowlights of the year. It won’t surprise me if some of these are cited nostalgically by future critics bemoaning the miserable state of anime in 2015. Continue reading →
Here’s an anime series with no redeeming social value, except for the fact that it’s extremely funny. The full title is Shinryaku! Ika Musume (Invade! Squid Girl.)
Squid Girl (Ika Musume) is the name of a squid girl (Hisako Kanemoto) who decides to invade the land to punish humans for polluting the worlds oceans. She assumes that with her amazing squid powers she will have no trouble conquering humanity. She’s cute as a button and almost as smart; naive and evil in an innocent, childlike sort of way. Unfortunately Chizuru Aizawa (Rie Tanaka), the manager of a seaside restaurant, is also cute, not to mention smarter and more evil. Poor Squid Girl ends up being forced to work as a waitress.
Chizuru’s younger sister Eiko (Ayumi Fujimura) plays straight man to Squid Girl’s antics. Their younger brother Takeru (Miki Ootani) adores “Ika-nee-chan” and goes along with every idiotic idea she comes up with. Eiko’s friend Sanae Nagatsuki (Kanae Itou) wants to dress Squid Girl up in a variety of embarrassing costumes.
All this sounds a lot like Sergent Frog (Keroro Gunso) but to me it seems a lot funnier. Sergent Frog struck me as more annoying than funny.
Just don’t expect plot or character development or any kind of sensible ending. It’s just a bunch of gags strung together.