Shinryaku!? Ika Musume – 12 (END)
「訓練しなイカ!?」 (Kunren Shinai ka!?)
“Won’t You Practice!?”
Even if it was to simply humor Ika, I’m surprised everyone went along with her “invasion practice”. She even destroyed Lemon’s phone — right next to Chizuru no less. That usually warrants a little bit of her murderous aura if not her stare down that will have Ika groveling at her feet. They actually had me thinking this was all a dream at first, since Ika even got the customers involved. I’m glad it wasn’t though, because whenever she gets ahead of herself and thinks she’s on top of the world, someone will always bring her squid butt back down to earth. To that end, “Night of the Living Lemon” was pretty good, so I kind of wish they ran with it a bit longer by not letting Ika run away.
「祭りじゃなイカ!?」 (Matsuri Janai ka!?)
“Isn’t That a Festival!?”
Just like the first season, Ika Musume ends with a sentimental twist where the octopus hat girl Tanabe Kozue (Kanda Akemi) saves the day. I really wasn’t expecting it at first, because the preview last time listed a third skit title, “No Really, Isn’t That a Festival!?”, and Ika and Eiko’s falling-out was running overtime and not allowing for one. Whether intentional or not, waiting for a third skit that never came made the scene at the end a pleasant surprise. The build-up was really well done too. I especially like the part where Ika freed all the goldfish that she caught, as it echoed Eiko’s scornful words, telling her to return to the sea. That was a pretty mean way to lash out, so it was nice to see Eiko make up for it by jumping into the pond without a second thought. The best part of it was probably the swing of emotions, going from a jaded Ika to a tearful Ika all in one episode, which was finale-worthy in my eyes.
ED: 「君を知ること」 (Kimi wo Shiru Koto) by 金元寿子 (Kanemoto Hisako)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼
With Ika Musume and WORKING’s original seasons airing back in spring 2010 and now both their sequels airing this past season, it feels only natural to compare the two. At the start of the season, I was much more excited about Ika Musume, but as the weeks went on, something was lacking in the skits. Whether or not this is attributed to the original manga material or the change of director I don’t know, but all I can say is that it didn’t quite have the same “charm” as the original season. The jokes felt kind of flat and recycled, and I never found anything overly hilarious.
WORKING on the other hand took the same type of jokes from its first season to another level, providing me with the best laughs of the season. It was strange since I was expecting the reverse to be true, leading me to believe that the new characters WORKING introduced gave it a bit of an edge. That’s not the only thing of course, as WORKING’s delivery is much more diverse with its deadpan humor and comedic pauses — techniques that Ika Musume doesn’t really utilize. That’s not to say this sequel should’ve mimicked WORKING’s though. If anything, it probably should’ve played to its strengths better by switching up to the sentimental side more often and having a skit with Black Mini Ika Musume (from season one’s Blu-ray extras).
In the end, we got more of the same from our favorite squid girl, but as with any sequel, the hardest thing is probably living up to the original and then trying to exceed it. As such, it kind of pains me to say that the second season of Ika Musume didn’t do that for me. It did have its moments though, so if a third season is ever announced, I’ll be watching.