Publisher: Akita Shoten
Genre: Comedy, Shounen, Slice of Life
Release: S1 (2010), S2 (2011), OVA (2012-2014)
Make way for this ultra-kawaii and funny anime from 2010- Shinryaku! Ika Musume! Also known as Squid Girl in the US, I didn’t realize how adorable Ika Musume is until I watched the first few episodes. I’m a bit regretful that I didn’t watch it when friends suggested it way back. It was mainly because of Ika Musume- her tentacle hair and the fact that she’s a humanoid squid that defies all sense kind of drove me off back then.
Everything starts at a restaurant by the beach called Lemon Beach House which Ika Musume decides to invade first after coming from the sea. This would be her proposed base of operations.
Stopped midway by manager Eiko Aizawa, Ika-chan is brought to the back for a quick talk.
Eiko puts up with Ika’s uncanny claims of wanting to invade humanity, and asks her why. To sum it up, she wants to punish the entirety of mankind as revenge for having polluted the sea. Why she looks like a cute, loli clumsy squid girl, we don’t know. But that really doesn’t matter in this kind of series, right?
Eiko tells her to go home, but Ika insisted and followed her back to the restaurant. All of a sudden, Chizuru Aizawa, Eiko’s elder sister and cook of Lemon Beach House, asks her to wait tables and serve the food. Ika, being the gullible and naive squid girl she is, intuitively followed Chizuru’s orders without a second thought.
It’s only after awhile that she gets a grasp of the situation.
Not being taken seriously, Ika shows her true powers- multiple tentacles of speed, power and precision!
Alas, she accidentally blows a hole in the store’s wall while trying to kill a fly. Instead of being terrified of Ika, annoyance won over Eiko over fear and demands Ika to do something about it.
Cute little Ika still thinks she’s ‘forced’ to work there against her will, even though she can go all out with her squid powers. Thankfully, she really isn’t evil, after all. She follows the Aizawa sisters’ suggestion to work there for awhile until the repair bills have been covered.
Getting back on track, Ika-chan decides to be serious and launches an all-out attack to the staff of the store, and demands that she be the absolute ruler of the place.
Little does she know that Chizuru possesses superhuman abilities, and only shows it whenever the store, her family and friends are in danger. She cuts all of Ika’s tentacles in a split of a second, rescues the staff, and politely threatens her that she should never do stuff like those again.
Known for always having her eyes closed, shit is sure to get serious when she opens them, yandere style.
Poor little Ika couldn’t do a thing but cry just like the helpless little girl she is.
All throughout the series, Ika-chan will encounter many colorful characters who will help her shape her personality for the better, as well as adapt more to life on land. One of the first is Eiko and Chizuru’s little brother, Takeru Aizawa, who treats Ika as a playmate and big sister.
Next is Goro Arashiyama– a lifeguard of the beach who sympathizes with Ika since they both live to love and protect the sea. He has a secret yet pretty obvious crush on Chizuru.
Next we have Sanae Nagatsuki– a seemingly ordinary girl at first, yet develops an obsession for Ika Musume. She often takes advantage of every opportunity given to her to get close to Ika, yet only ends up getting smacked and pummeled. Due to this, she adapts a masochistic personality who loves being hurt by Ika.
Here’s Nagisa Saito– surfing enthusiast and part timer at Lemon Beach House, and is the only one who has the common sense to recognize how dangerous the squid girl is. Because of this, Ika develops a certain fondness for her, and would scare the hell out of Nagisa whenever she can.
Then there’s the Southern Winds Store owner (name unknown). First aiming to emulate Ika and her abilities with the use of kigurumi masks, this store owner wishes to capitalize on her popularity. He develops a healthy competitive relationship with the staff of Lemon Beach House, and would often make his daughter Ayumi Tokita work there to help her eliminate her shyness when around people.
Up next is Cindy Campbell and her San Baka, top graduates from MIT Harris, Clark and Martin. Being extra-terrestrial researchers from America, they want to put their microscope under Ika Musume and have various kinds of experiments with her. Although they are like that, they are still able to maintain a good friendship with Ika and the Lemon Beach House staff. They just usually joke around with their gadgets.
Finally, there’s Kiyomi Sakura– accidental friend at first, but then she becomes the first true friend Ika has. Well, Ika is always fighting with Eiko, usually threatened by Chizuru, babysits Takeru and is constantly violated by Sanae. So Kiyomi is someone whom she can be completely social and pleasant with.
Shortly after working at the Lemon Beach House, Ika Musume gets invited to live at Aizawa residence, and officially becomes family with Eiko, Chizuru and Takeru. In time, she would put invading humanity aside, as she won’t be so sure anymore that all humans are rotten to the core.
Instead of violently invading mankind, Ika Musume would have ironically invaded the land emotionally– forming warm and deep relationships with the people working and living there, as well as discovering how wonderful and caring humans can be. With all this love going around, the part of explaining Ika Musume on a sound and logical level wouldn’t have mattered anymore. We just sit back and enjoy her slice of life, all cute, funny and tear-jerking moments alike. 🙂