Anime of Tomorrow
Invade!? Squid Girl 2 (review)
Final impression – good fun that’ll invade your heart (9/10)
Autumn 2011 (12 episodes) (Japanese title – Shinryaku!? Ika Musume)
After emerging from the ocean and failing to invade the surface world, Squid Girl has managed to make a wonderful assortment of friends. She’s currently employed at the beach-side restaurant “Lemon” and works under taskmaster Eiko and the frightening owner Chizuru. She constantly fends off clingy assaults from Sanae while teasing the easily frightened Nagisa. Her popularity with little kids sometimes puts her in a charismatic leadership position and her squidly abilities make her a star team player at any task she attempts. She must also contend with Cyndi, the American scientist who is convinced Squid Girl must be an alien lifeform, worthy of study. Between work, friends and other, sillier problems, Squid Girl manages to keep her tentacles busy with all manner of ridiculous and exciting adventures.
Squid Girl 2, like the first season, follows the format of three distinct plot arcs in each episode. If you liked season 1, then you’re going to like the second season as well. It’s a good pace that covers a nice amount of content that’s good at holding your attention and keeping things fresh. My personal favorite episode this season was the English-learning mini-story because native speaker Laura Post was brought in for the voice of Cyndi Campbell. However, with the rapid come-and-go stories, this means that some of the better ideas may end before they fully come to fruition. The trade off is that the less interesting plot devices also go before they overstay their welcome. In the end, Squid Girl is like watching an animated comic strip that jumps around to all kinds of interesting diversions and occasionally revisiting old ideas that are typically a welcome return. But the key point that sets this anime apart from the crowd is its innocence and straightforward no-nonsense approach as it goes about its delightful humor. So while Squid Girl 2 isn’t always a constant barrage of laughs, it’s a unique format and style that definitely made the best of its second season.