Shinryaku Ika Musume – 3

No drop in quality – this is officially the best comedy of the fall season. Every sketch has been a winner so far and I’m impressed by the lack of repetitive jokes and the actual development happening with the characters and the way they relate to each other.

Squid Girl FAIL!

We learned a lot about Ika Musume this week. She’s a rationalist, first of all – refusing to be afraid of anything she can’t see. Eiko’s attempts to get her to be afraid of ghosts with a traditional Japanese “test of courage” fail miserably – Ika simply refuses to believe (sidebar – having just done an evening stroll through Okuno-in cemetery in Koya-san, Japan, I can fully vouch for the extreme creepiness of a big Japanese graveyard). However, when she gets lost and tries to locate the others using her firefly squid glow ability, they mistake her for a ghost and tear off at a rapid pace – especially Gorou, revealed to be a coward of epic proportions. Fortunately some helpful ghosts guide Ika back home, though she still won’t acknowledge their ghostliness. What she is afraid of, however, are sharks and killer whales – even inflatable ones (and bananas too). Her terror almost gets Takeru drowned, but Gorou saves him and this lands us in a swimming lesson for Takjeru, and to the realization that Ika is pretty much helpless when she has to rely on her arms and legs.

Finally, we meet anther new character – Nagisa, surfer chick and new part-timer at Lemon. She’s the only one who sees Ika Musume as a threat (Seriously? How kawaii could she be?) which in turn immediately makes Ika fall hard for her. She starts following Nagisa around like a puppy-squid, drunk with the lusty feeling of being feared, but all poor Nagisa wants to do is get the hell away from her. But she decides to stay “for the sake of humanity” – setting up one of the more hilarious delusional pairings of recent memory.

If you can watch this show without smiling, you’re made of stone – I can’t resist it at all. Ika Musume is absolutely adorable, and quite unlike any of the moe girls of recent vintage – but all of the other characters are also extremely lovable, and the situation comedy extremely clever. This is one of those shows you can enjoy without working too hard, yet it still plays as very smart. I find myself looking forward to new eps of this show as much as any currently airing.

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