Otaku USA Magazine
[Review] Squid Girl—Complete Collection

A squidtastic slice of squid life

When you think about anthropomorphic squids (if you think about them at all), Nintendo’s Splatoon video game series likely comes to mind. But there’s another important squid in the anime realm as well: Squid Girl! Short in stature, tentacle-esque hair, clad in white, her name is Ika, and she wants to take over the world as revenge on everyone who’s wronged her. Well, her and the ocean she lives in. In the anime series Squid Girl, Ika’s got a one-track mind and just wants to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it.

She’s pretty reckless, though, in her quest for world domination, and ends up pretty much demolishing a beach house operated by sisters Eiko and Chizuru. To make up for the damages she’s responsible for, she begins to work at the house as a waitress, which kicks off a series of weird vignettes that show off how charming Ika is and how weird the world is to her.

Ika is the star of the show for sure, using her squid abilities in everyday human situations when she really shouldn’t. She can shoot out ink, her hair is actually a mess of tentacles, and she even glows in the dark. Seeing all this applied to the real world is one of the show’s high points, even when Ika is prancing around talking about her plans to take over the world from the humans who messed it up.

She’s able to level out the other lead characters Chizuru and Eiko with her weirdness and manic attitude. Chizuru is a lot calmer (until you make her mad) and Eiko is able to simply calm down Ika during her less savory moments. Little brother Takeru sees Ika as a sister figure of sorts, and he offers a dose of cuteness to balance out the rest of this odd family, but sometimes his interactions with Ika feel a bit saccharine.

Lemon Beach House welcomes additional characters later on in the show that shake up the slice-of-life formula a bit, like Cyndi, the blonde American scientist and her gaggle of researchers looking to learn more about squid life and what’s going on with Ika and her bizarre daily routine. There’s also weird Sanae, who has a strange and pretty intrusive crush on Ika that might make you increasingly uncomfortable.

The animation itself is rife with vivid colors and intriguing environments, and the beachside episodes are definitely interesting enough to keep up with, but this isn’t a show you need to sit and watch every episode of in one sitting. It’s comedic and light-hearted enough that you should take it in slowly and sip at it like a fine wine to really let its silliness simmer. It’s certainly an anime series that, short as it is, needs some time to settle in so you don’t grow immediately tired of the squid jokes, water references, and other nods to what Ika is.

If you take it one day at a time, it’s a squidtastic slice of squid life that’s a lot less manic than shows like Sgt. Frog and its ilk, but still immediately charming and memorable.

Studio/company: Sentai Filmworks
available: November
rating: Not rated