The crazy finale to a crazy series!
Hey guys! I’ve been having some problem with my wireless lately, so there have been a few days where I just couldn’t get online at all. This is absolutely terrible! How can I download anime if I can’t get online? How do I get my fix?? AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
While I was trying to resolve the problem, I decided to try out the PS3. Yes, yes, it’s been out for like, a LONG time, but I don’t have a TV or anything while I’m at college, so the only games I’ve played for the last 4 years were on the computer or PSP. I picked up Trinity Universe and checked it out, and despite being so stupid and so silly, it was actually incredibly fun for me. The best parts were Flonne and Etna… in 3D! Also very memorable was Lucius, the Dark Hero. Some people hated the English voice acting, but I thought it was hilarious.
Anyway, enough about video games – let’s talk about anime. Everything’s ending! I missed the last episodes of all these series while I was offline, so when I started watching again, I was like, “Nooo it’s over! But I just got back!” So yeah, Ika Musume…
We begin the episode with an advertisement about a volleyball tournament where the winning team gets one of those new 3d TVs. I’ve only just heard about these recently because I live under a rock, but I imagine they’re pretty expensive. Though I can’t really see what’s so great about them, all the characters want this TV pretty badly, which results in the unholy union of Ika Musume and Eiko into one team.
I love your ripped bod, Gorou-sama…
And naturally, all of the remaining characters that we’re familiar with – Cindy, Sanae, Takeru, Takeru’s friend, three fools, shop owner dude and his mascot daughter, Gorou, Gorou’s buddy… okay, maybe we’re not completely familiar with all of them – have formed their own teams with each other. Presumably their secondary objective is to win that TV, but their primary goal here right now is actually to show their faces again in the anime before it ends. You know, so we don’t forget that Ika Musume was not the only character.
Presenting… Ika Musume II!
Ika and Eiko show that they want the TV the most badly by wasting Takeru’s team right away. And everyone else, though most of the other teams are defeated because they retreat in one form or another.
They finally reach Gorou’s team, when Gorou politely spikes the ball into Eiko’s face. Ika courteously returns the favor, and they continue a heated match until the game point. It seems like Ika’s team is about to lose when suddenly, a miracle happens. Eiko puts on a mask and grows suspiciously a blue and suspiciously long hair extension, and her power shoots past nine kilos.
It’s over nine th- okay, yeah, I can’t do it.
This results in Gorou’s swift defeat by not-Chizuru, and Ika wins the TV.
This is the punchline.
Ah, yes, we finally reach the final story in the final episode of Shinryaku! Ika Musume. I know that I’m pretty late, so you’ve all probably watched it like a week ago, but let’s all pretend we’re seeing it for the first time and try to hold back our tears. Ika Musume is in a pinch!
The obligatory flash. Yes, that’s a chainsaw.
It seems that Ika has pretty much lost all of her squid powers. Her tentacles don’t move, her flappy fin things don’t move, she doesn’t glow, and she sucks at squirting ink. What’s a squid girl to do? Of course, everyone’s really eager to come to her aid, especially Cindy and the fools, but she finds no success in restoring her abilities.
Actually, this story is really sad for me, and not just because it’s the last one. Just think about it. Ika is supposed to be an invader from the sea, but she’s failed at invading the land and now has no squid powers. What does this mean? She’s supposedly a sea creature, so she doesn’t quite belong in the human world. However, without her squid powers, she’s more like an ordinary human, so she doesn’t really belong in the sea anymore, either. You can really sense her despair, not just at losing her powers, but at losing a sense of home.
She decides to return to the sea for now to try to recover. Nobody stops her.
And so, time passes…
After the seasons pass, Ika reappears with a radical new look: her tentacles are gone. Apparently, she never regained use of them and decided to just cut them off. How she survived in the sea for so long without tentacles is a mystery, but for now, she’s decided to come back to the human world and basically live as a human. Over time, she gets used to doing things the human way, like using useless human tools such as hands and flashlights. Also, she starts ending her sentences in “da wa” instead of “de geso,” which sounds super weird coming from Ika. Especially since she still exaggerates it… a lot.
Takeru is unhappy that Ika has resigned herself in such a way, but there really was nothing that could be done. Now, the story was already departing from the manga’s original version in that Ika never actually returned to the sea, but this is where I was really surprised. Takeru throws a killer whale float at Ika in an attempt to get her self-defenses to activate, and this causes her tentacles to grow back in the manga. However, in the anime, nothing happens, and Ika simply goes to the beach to reflect. There, she meets the unnamed Tanabe Kozue, who gives her advice on living among humans and also the cryptic message, “You’re not alone,” before wandering off again.
We jump to the three fools who are up to no good again, causing a gigantic whirlpool that swallows up Ika and Eiko. While this shouldn’t really pose a problem for Ika since she can still breathe underwater, Eiko is in serious trouble of drowning.
It’s a sunset kind of scene.
In a dramatic turn of events fitting for an anime finale, Ika’s tentacles return to save the day. After regaining her squid powers and rescuing Eiko, Ika decides to stick around.
The sausagefest reminds me of Oreimo.
I forgot to set my camera on action mode…
The volleyball story was kind of dumb to stick in the last episode, but the “Isn’t it a pinch?” story was a nice, serious end to a comical series. I’m glad they didn’t just end with some more silly episodes and opted to use one of the more meaningful stories in the series. Normally I’m pretty big on faithfulness to the source material, but I thought the anime version of “Isn’t it a pinch?” was good enough to be an exception. They actually combined a few stories from the manga (Tanabe Kozue’s appearance was in its own chapter), and I’m not sure if Ika ever makes a trip back to the sea in the manga. Regardless, Ika’s internal conflict about humans and her home was a welcome change in the pace of the series. Plus, we want to see why Ika would stick around with the Aizawas in case we don’t get another season.
Needless to say, I ended up loving this series a whole lot more than I expected that I would. I actually only checked this series out at first because I think it was the first anime to get subbed for this season. I needed a quick anime fix, so any anime would do. After watching the first episode, though, despite how stupid the premise was, it definitely got me laughing. And it continued to do so week after week, even though I expected them to reuse the same jokes over and over again. Somehow, everything just felt fresh each episode (and it wasn’t the sashimi), and despite the simple character designs, I ended up growing attached to the characters. Except those three fools, of course.
There were so many stories in the series that it’s hard to pick some favorite moments. One of the stories I definitely liked the most was the one with mini Ika Musume (I linked a video of it last time). The story was a sudden change in pace, going from silly comedy to a touching little voiceless scenario. Plus, I’m really into good soundtracks, maybe since it feels like part of my trade, and the mini Ika Musume episode had some great BGM that eventually made a reappearance in the last episode. Thumbs up for conserving the best tracks for the most emotional moments.
Out of all of the characters, besides Ika, I liked Sanae the best. Yes, this is me being heavily biased because it’s Itou Kanae, but hey, this is just my opinion. There are many factors that go into an opinion, and ultimately, it’s my choice to make! Aside from her voice, which I loved listening to during the moments where she was exasperated and talking endlessly, I thought it was just funny that Ika eventually just slapped her away by reflex, like a fly. I guess the same goes for Cindy, but I just can’t wrap my fingers around characters that use Engrish. Maybe it’s not so bad if you’re Japanese or something, but as an English speaker myself, Engrish just makes me want to cut myself. The three fools are even worse because they yell random Engrish comments out all the time, and the joke where they always say they’re awesome because they’re from MIT got really old after the 20th time. But hey, maybe that’s just me being bitter because I keep getting flashed by an old man… in anime.
I haven’t found anything regarding a second season yet, and they didn’t announce anything at the end of the last episode, so for the time being I’m not going to put my hopes into it. It sure would be nice to have more of Ika Musume, though, especially since they dangled a new character in front of us in the last episode and didn’t expand on her. I really wanted to see Tanabe Kozue in the anime, and I’m happy that I got my wish, but it backfired on me because now I want even more.
All in all, if you couldn’t already tell, I’d say this was a very worthwhile anime. If you’re reading this and you still haven’t had a chance to check it out, you really need to go watch it now. Yeah, yeah, a lot of it’s probably spoiled for you if you’ve been reading these posts, but there’s still like 8 episodes that I never talked about. So go get on it! It’s worth your time.
See you next series!