Posted by psgels on 26 December 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews, Shinryaku! Ika Musume

The big disadvantage of having a successful comedy is that people want to make sequels of it. It sold well, so hey: why not try milking it out some more? What/ You mean to say that the first season already exhausted all of the possible jokes that could have been made? Who cares! People will buy it!

So yeah,Squid Girl 2 is much of the same. And in this case, this is a bad thing, because “much of the same” in a comedy pretty much means that the entire second season is derivative. There is no reason for it to really exist. This season doesn’t really advance the show or characters aside from perhaps a few minor details here and there that you could have made an OVA out of. And for the rest of the time this show spends repeating some of the jokes and scenarios of the first season.

It becomes clear very early on that the creators are struggling to find new material to fill 12 episodes. The creators at least try to squeeze some new jokes out of things, but this series never really introduces new characters, so its only option is to try some variations of some of the jokes we’ve seen so far. The result is that there are a few characters who just keep returning. In particular the crazy scientists are guilty of this: their crazy inventions are really often used to create random wacky situations for Squid girl to be in. Also milked to death are Chizuru, and worst of all: the crazy stalker. The stalker was completely horrible in the way that just REFUSED. TO BLOODY. GIVE UP. She tries to glomp Squid Girl more than five times every single episode, for god’s sake!

Thankfully the creators realized that there was no way for them to remain funny for 12 more episodes, so at least they tried to shift their focus a bit: they at leas try to make sure that the ending of each story comes with an original twist. For this, I can at least say that they’re hit and miss: sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But at least they’re not as derivative as the rest of the series.

But seriously though: there is no real reason to watch this; over these entire 12 episodes, there was only one sketch that I considered to be genuinely funny. That’s way too little. Ideally if you’re interested in this series: watch till episode 11 of the first season. That’s all you really need, because this series has the really weird tradition of suddenly turning to a serious story for the final episode. And yes, this second season has this too. And yes, it’s baaaaaaad….

Storytelling: 7/10 – Repeated jokes and scenarios from the first season that while mildly funny, are not enough to sustain interest.
Characters: 6/10 – Only a few details are really added to the characters. That’s not good here, and it’s a good thing that the characters still have a bit of their natural charms left.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Still solid, but the animation too has gone downhill.
Setting: 7/10 – This show is completely derivative. Again nothing is added here.

Suggestions:
Mitsodomoe
Tentai Senshi Sunred
Demashitaa! Power Puff Z

6 Responses

  1. Firechick says:

    Yeah, I agree with you: Sanae and those American scientists are what I believe are the true flaws of the show. But I still love Ika Musume and her adorable antics! I hope the second season gets dubbed by Media Blasters like the first season was.

  2. Hogart says:

    I don’t think that it’s as simple as them “running out of material”. In the first season they seemed to understand that Ika was naturally adorable, but that she wasn’t naturally funny. This season felt like they fired their comedy writers and hired on more cuteness engineers.

    If all you need is the rough sketches and the cuteness then it should still work, but it really did get a funnyectomy. I even rewatched some of the first season to see if I was just remembering what wasn’t.. but I ended up enjoying it more than the second season regardless.

  3. Noob says:

    Actually, they didn’t really run out of material but the way they adapted it was bad. The problem is that the manga is divided by eight pages chapters and they needed to stick two chapters together to make 8 minutes. With the first season, they could do it easily because the original material was basically untouched. The problem bwas after that, finding two chapters that fit together for each sketch became too hard.

    Moreover, in the first season, they missed a number of chapters or details that developed other characters than ika musume making it pretty hard to care for the characters in the anime (Chizuru was paticuliarly undeveloped compared to the manga). Finally, the original material they added to make it funny just wasn’t funny. I thought the material they added to the “teaching English” episode was particuliarly painful to watch, the added material was where everyone was mistaking Eiko’s words for English words, something particuliarly absurd for people that are fluent in Japanese.

    • Puran says:

      A-ha, thanks, that explains it. I remember feeling in that episode that the …misheard english jokes were REALLY overplayed. It would be amusing for one scene, but they ended up doing like 4-5 gags in a row like those, which soon became kinda painful to watch.

  4. Stan says:

    I thought they should have lengthened the Chibi Ika sketch into a few episodes, and make an adventure out of her trying to find her way home. The scenario would present opportunities for her to meet new characters, human and otherwise, and display her cuteness. It would have made an interesting arc. We could have done away with some of the less stellar episodes with this as replacement.

  5. Shippoyasha says:

    :shrug: I liked it. Yeah, it was derivative and it was just more Ikamusume but that’s kind of what I wanted. It could have been better of course, but I don’t think it was a bad show. I had a few laughs each episode and that’s all I can ask for.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.

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