Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shinryaku Ika Musume - 8

Gesoninmurobungo disease.  Spelling test later.

One of the many things I love about this series is that is has no hesitation in going completely bizarre, and when it does feels no compulsion to try and explain everything away. Just shut your left brain off and enjoy the ride and Ika Musume will make you very happy.

We had (as usual) three very different types of skits this week, starting with a riff on Ika getting sick. I wasn't sure where they were going with this - I thought maybe Ika was faking it as an excuse to get more shrimp. But a disease where you crave shrimp so much it kills you? Really, how bizarre an idea is that? But it totally works - and the premise allows for some nice opportunities for Eiko to show how Ika really is part of the family now. It also gives Sanae a chance to don the giant shrimp costume again and show us just how demented she really is.

I know Ika's castle is a turd - but that's better than a...

Second, we have a very silly story of sand castles. Ika stumbles upon Takeru and his ostentatious little friend building a castle and decides to do it one better, which leads to a rather bizarre construction Takeru-friend aptly labels a turd. This young fellow appears to be another future arch-enemy for Ika-chan, as she humiliates even his father - a professional sculptor - by secretly using her tentacles to help her turd destroy his spectacular construction. All this played out over a backdrop of Ika's new talent - those little flaps on the side of her hat. You can buy that hat at Cospa now, but I suspect it can't do what Ika's does - slap mosquitoes, slap people, cool off her friends... Everything but fly, apparently, much to her disappointment. Alas even Ika doesn't know what they're actually supposed to do - are they fins, or what?

Finally, we have the best sketch of the episode for sheer laughs as Ika-chan is introduced to the concept of the umbrella. A cheap vinyl umbrella they virtually give away in Japan it may be, but "Ika Mark One" is a thing of wonder to her. A weapon, a device for entertainment, a shield... Such power! She even dreams of defeating the fearsome Robo-Eiko with an upgraded version, "Ika Mark One - Excelsior". Sadly, Ika Mark One meets a terrible fate under the wheels of a truck - only to make a triumphant reappearance in the ED. Eiko and Ika walk off sharing Eiko's fancier umbrella, which Ika complains is too small to cover her completely. "Isn't a little bit all right? You're a squid, after all."

Be my right arm - my eleventh tentacle!

While I enjoyed all three parts this week, the last was my favorite because I just love seeing Ika obsess over some mundane aspect of human life and let her imagination run wild. I feel like that when I'm in Japan as a visitor, sometimes - the oddest things are utterly fascinating. But really, all three were excellent and felt original. And it it me, or did Nagisa seem less afraid of Ika this week?

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