What’s it about?
Squid Girl is an invader from the depths of the ocean. Angry at the human race’s treatment of the sea she decides to rise up, invade, and give us all a damn good shoeing to safeguard the briny deep. She’s got long and strong tentacles and isn’t afraid to use them to destroy us. Unfortunately she has no army. And is just a young girl. And gets quickly talked out of our annihilation and into working in a small beach-side cafe.
Said cafe is the Lemon Beach House, run by two sisters, the feisty Eiko and the quiet but lethal Chizura. During a tussle with Eiko, Squid Girl accidentally bashes a hole in the cafe with her tentacles and is forced to work to pay off the damage. Later, when Squiddie gets out of line, Chizura is revealed to be a pint-sized ass-kicking machine and the walloping she receives convinces Squid Girl that she?s not ready to inkvade just yet. For the time being she’ll be a waitress at the Lemon Beach House and study humans to discover their weaknesses. Of course, all this actually means is that everyone becomes friends and gets in wacky, wacky adventures.
At first Squid Girl seems throwaway, episodes revolve around Squid Girl learning about something like dogs, air-con, birthdays, friends, make-up and zombie ghosts; though I think we can all recognise the importance of being up to speed on zombie ghosts. Though the show could easily be dismissed as disposable nonsense with a fan-service-beach-volleyball-competition-all-the-girls-in-bikinis topping, Squid Girl isn’t junk – it’s just carefree and easygoing. If you’re tempted to look a little deeper you’ll also see that as well as promoting environmental responsibility, the show also spends a lot of time detailing the mechanics of friendship and in one particularly bittersweet episode, exploring the damage that unrequited obsession can inflict on not just the victim, but the perpetrator and their friends and family. And zombie ghosts.
The first series of Squid Girl is twelve episodes and is presented across two discs. Disc two also has some extras that I’ve detailed below. The extra content on disc two coupled with the fact that there are some big, visually dynamic set pieces in the finale mean that the bit rate is pushed to breaking point on this second disc, resulting in some examples of macro blocking throughout. The audio is available in both the original Japanese with English subtitles and a perfectly acceptable English dub.
Squid Girl has a constant stream of fishy puns coming out of her blowhole, they’re possibly maddening, but I loved them. Wanna drive everyone cray-zy and learn to talk Squid too? ‘course you do. Here’s a handy, pocket-sized, print out and cut out guide:
“Gilly” – Really.
“Kraken” – Fuckin’
“Squid” – Shit. Or did. Context is key. Remember that.
“Squidn’t” – Didn’t
“Kelp” – Hell. Or help. Context, remember?
“Inkvasion”/”Inkvade” – Invasion/invade.
Fun, yeah? Everyone’ll kraken love that squid, trust me.
Disc 1: Nothing.
Disc 2: Textless Opening, Textless Closing, Interview with Hisako Kanemoto, Hat Folding and OVA Mini Episodes.
The textless opening and closing make it easier to make out the cute and catchy title sequences, but is pretty de rigueur. The interview is even cuter though. Hisako Manemoto is the voice of Squid Girl herself and spends a few minutes answering the most basic of questions, such as “are you like Squid Girl?” and “Do you like shrimp too?”, but responds gamely. “A little” and “yes” she does, if it’s killing you not knowing.
The Hat Folding bit is disappointing. Squiddie has a rather distinctive titfer and I was psyched at the chance to make myself one. Shut up. Unfortunately this extra is just watching Hisako Manemoto having a go at making one and a bit quick and upside down, so pretty impossible to follow. Luckily, I don’t give up on being able to make paper hats similar to those worn by young octupus-ish anime characters so here’s a link. Hmmm, that diagram is a bit balls, isn’t it? Here’s a vid instead.
The OVA Mini Episodes are nice, but inconsequential, but nice. There’s nine minutes worth and each one’s about a minute long.
Although the marine life based puns may, in some cases, induce bleeding from the eyes and ears, Squid Girl doesn’t have a bad bone in its invertebrate body. Cute, charming, easy to watch and easier to love you’d better kraken believe that you’ll probably not be able to resist Squiddie’s inkvasion.
When’s it out?
Squid Girl hits our shores on the 13th of August. Stock up on shrimp.