First Impressions – Shinryaku Ika Musume

From a company relatively new to the role of lead production, Diomedea, comes manga adaptation Shinryaku Ika Musmume. And it’s a completely delightful and hilarious entry for best comedy of the fall season.

The premise is absurd – more on that shortly – but what I love is that the story just jump right into the absurdity with barely a hint of exposition. Basically we have a slice-of-life-series about a squid girl trying to invade the surface and conquer humanity in revenge for their despoiling the oceans. The setting is a little beach cafe run by three siblings, adult sisters Eiko and Chizuru and otouto Takeru Aizawa. As soon as squid girl Musume shows up, Eiko listens to her story and promptly puts her to work waiting tables (which Musume does with barely a hesitation). Boom, that’s it – premise in place. The episode is told in three short skits. First, when Eiko discovers the girl (a dead-ringer for Index, incidentally) is not delusional but actually a squid, she puts her tentacles to use as a sort of super-waitress. Those tentacles draw the attention of little brother Takeru, who thinks they’re a blast and promptly gets himself enlisted as her subordinate for the invasion. Hilarity ensues as Takeru impersonates a squid boy. In the third and final vignette, oldest sister Chizuru – who it turns out is surprisingly scary despite her kind and gentle exterior – discovers Musume can vomit squid ink and promptly puts her to work disgorging in the kitchen until the poor girl is dessicated and spent.

If anything, this reminded me a bit of Yoshinaga San’chi no Gargoyle in the premise of a strange creature landing with a wacky family, and in it’s gentle yet absurd and very smart humor. I also see a lot of heart in both shows. I enjoyed almost all of this – the interplay between the siblings and Musume, the fact that despite her moe-ness and seemingly blending in with the family she still harbors hopes of conquest. For what it was – a very silly, light comedy – that was pretty much flawlessly executed and I look forward to a good run.

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