Reviewby Luke Carroll,
Squid Girl Season 1 Collection
A Squidvasion is coming!
Foolish land-born air breathers! Behold the terror from the depths, the tentacled conqueror of humanity: Squid Girl! With your pollution and stuff you really deserve it, so prepare for menacing, inky doom!
Squid Girl has come from the depths of the sea to conquer humanity for its pollution of the ocean. Within moments of arriving on the surface world, our easily distracted little invertebrate is promptly bullied into working for the Aizawa sisters as a waitress, supplying their restaurant with squid ink. If poor Squid Girl can't handle two pushy Japanese girls how will she ever subjugate the human race?
Nestling itself somewhere between the comedic take over the world plot of Sgt. Frog and the mini episodic nature of Lucky Star, Squid Girl is the heart filled story of one humanoid molluscs' attempt to rule our beautiful planet. By heart filled I of course mean quite funny, as Squid Girl quickly learns the hard truth that not everybody is afraid of a blue haired cutie who spits ink. On top of that, her tentacles make her one very handy waitress. Of course Squid Girl is not happy by this, and instead of admitting defeat, she stays and works at a beach house, biding her time for when she has a big enough army of followers to enslave the planet.
By the end of the first few episodes though, the plot all but dissipates as Squid Girl learns to become accustomed to her new role as a waitress and life in the beach side town. With every episode being broken down to enclosed seven minute parts, the series plays on many reoccurring jokes to keep itself going at times. Much of these relate to the secondary cast, who despite not really getting fleshed out, play a integral part to the series and many of the episodic themes. Sanae Nagatsuki for instance has an eccentric and yet scary crush on Squid Girl, whilst Squid Girl herself has a complete fear of the innocent looking Chizuru Aizawa who at the sight of any damage of her shop becomes a one women destroyer. It's a wonderful variation of cast members that allows the series to carefully avoid repeating and over-killing many of its jokes.
Puns on the other hand might draw a few critics. With a main character who is part squid, the English script writers didn't blink an eye at putting in as many 'squid-tastic' lines as it can into Squid Girl's conversations. Whilst some like "let's get kraken!" can be quite ingenious, you can only hear so many before the novelty starts to wear. On the dub side of things, Christine Marie Cabanos does a rather wonderful job at tackling Squid Girls water vocabulary whilst also keeping her child like charms. The rest of the cast is a bit up and down but they don't detract from the overall message and enjoyment of things.
Visually, Squid Girl is about as charming as it can be without over doing it. Whilst Squid Girl herself is given an iconic eye catching look, blue dangling tentacles and all, the supporting cast is given some rather unoriginal bland designs. Colours are clean and vibrant whilst the animation is pleasingly smooth. The background art is also surprisingly well detailed for this type of show and suits the animation wonderfully. Squid Girl wont win any awards, but it is certainly one of the better looking series around.
On the extras side of things, Squid Girl contains a rather small yet decent package. On top of the usual clean opening and closing animations we are given a bunch of trailers, two mini ova episodes, a hat folding video, and an interview with Hisako Kanemoto, the Japanese voice of Squid Girl.
Squid Girl is a series enjoyed most when you switch your brain off and relax. It's self contained mini episodic nature allows you to tune in and tune out whenever you please. Fans of School Rumble and Lucky Star shall be well at home with this series, as should anyone else who loves a lighthearted comedy. With a far from unfinished story and a second season hopefully on its way to be licensed on our shores, Squid Girl's array of 'squid-ventures' may still continue on.
(c) Masahiro Anbe(Akitashoten) / Shinryaku! Ika Musume Partners
Overall (dub) : B-
Overall (sub) : B
Story : C+
Animation : B+
Art : B
Music : B
+ Good for a lighthearted and relaxing watch where thinking doesn't matter.
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