Who is small, female and hellbent on invasion? If you said the leader of the third reich, you'd be part right, but it's a certain tentacled invader that we'll be talking about today! Squid Girl returns for a second season of antics, and twelve episodes later, it is already over. Was the second invasion more successful than her first strike?
Ha, caught you off guard there! I'll be giving my thoughts after the jump as per usual, so come see me there after you're done staring at Retia.
Some may say that the plot for Squid Girl has something to do with her leaving the ocean to invade the surface, as revenge for humans polluting her home. As far as the anime goes, that is exactly what it tells you in the very first episode. Let's be honest though, that really isn't true any more. The show is about Squid Girl becoming accustomed to human life, making friends and dealing with the oddities of the surface world. Sure, she certainly tries out the whole invasion thing every now and again, but as much as she wouldn't admit it, it isn't what is keeping her from returning to the sea.
Each episode is split into three individual stories, which are usually completely unrelated to each other. This is very much a double-edged sword, as while you can argue that it helps keep episodes fresh by not allowing stories to get bogged down for twenty minutes, it also makes it difficult to accommodate for any plot progression, something that Squid Girl seems to forgo altogether. Does the plot even need to progress? The answer to that is always going to be an opinion, but while in the long-term I believe it's unnecessary, there's no harm in shaking things up a little. The season finale was a shining example of this, merging the latter two parts of the episode to tell a longer and significant story.
I was certainly struggling to find reasons to get excited for each episode, as while the series certainly had its moments, it always felt a little sporadic as to when it would really shine. When the episodes are comprised of three short stories and don't have something like heavy humour to weave it all together (see Nichijou and Wagnaria'!!), it really felt grating. Why though? I mean, I enjoyed the first season plenty, and this is pretty much the same thing, right? I think it's because with the first season, you never really knew what to expect. Was Squid Girl building up to something? Were we going to see a plot of some importance show up? We now know that these things didn't happen, but at the time, the series was short enough to keep us guessing.
So I know some of you were baffled about me saying that the opening for this show wasn't all that great. It was a little tongue-in-cheek, but even so, I stick by what I said. Now, the opening for the first season of Squid Girl isn't exactly a masterpiece, and a lot of people don't really like to vocals. I am one of those people. Confused yet? The point is, when you have a show like this, you need an instantly recognisable opening. If you've ever seen the first season, you'll recognise the opening immediately if it started playing. This show, I'm not so sure about. Give it some time, and I think that the opening music will be long forgotten. A shame really, because I kinda prefer it, but it just isn't as in your face as its predecessor. As much as I hate myself for pointing it out, look at the second season openings for K-On!! to see what I mean.
As I mentioned briefly earlier, the final episode deserves some credit, even if it's just for realising that the show needed to end on a high. I was a bit sceptical that they would even bother, seeing as the episode started just like any other. However, I left pleasantly surprised that they'd used it to further the relationship between Squid Girl and Eiko. They even went as far as to say Squid Girl may actually be a great invader, using some uber corny lines about her invading the hearts of those around her. Accurate, at the very least, but a fitting way to ring out the show.
If you didn't like the first season, then the second installment certainly won't be making you reconsider, but whether the crazy adventures of Squid Girl are going to be appealing for a second time really boils down to your tastes. If what you want is indeed 'more of the same', then this is definitely going to be a treat, but if you were looking for a little something to change things up, you may end up a little disappointed.
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