「仲間じゃなイカ？／祝わなイカ？／遊ばなイカ？」 (Nakama Janai ka? / Iwanai ka? / Asobanai ka?)
“Aren’t You an Ally? / Won’t You Celebrate? / Won’t You Play?”
So apparently squid girls are so dumb, they forget that they can breathe underwater and start panicking like they’re going to drown. It’s probably not fair to draw conclusions on the whole squid people race based on Ika Musume, but it’s really all I have to go on so that’s what I’m going to do! Don’t get me wrong though. I love watching every minute of her silly antics on the surface, much like this week when she crossed paths with life guard and childhood friend of Eiko, Arashiyama Gorou (Nakamura Yuuichi). It seems to begin the same way with everyone who meets Ika. They’re surprised by her tentacle hair for a brief moment, then quickly realize that she’s just some harmless squid girl who can’t invade anything. The misunderstanding that developed between those two as “protectors of the sea” led to a short-lived alliance, but some good laughs as well when Ika went to get back at Gorou for stopping her declaration to subjugate humans. More than anything, that incident only ended up reiterating that Ika easily gets caught up in the flow of things, even when it’s just a bit of praise for saving a young kid. To her credit, she did give Gorou a mouthful before storming off, which would’ve never taken off the ground if it was Chizuru she was up against.
In regards to the next skit where Ika decided on a whim that her birthday was today so that everyone would throw her a party, I don’t think I’ll ever get annoyed by her adorable whining and clueless faces in light of how the human world works. Her fear that everyone was secretly scheming to make food out of her was a nice touch, whereas Eiko’s decision to give her two candles based on how stupid she is had me laughing helplessly. In response to that, Ika filling her cake with a ton of candles and thinking she’s hot stuff, only to wind up being unable to blow them out, paved way to another great squid ink moment. It’s completely slapstick, but I just love how it comes out in chunks as part of a sneezing-like reflex. Squid ink cake anyone? Following up on Ika’s stupidity, the sparkling fireworks took the cake in this birthday mini episode. As if almost on cue, Eiko always has the right tsukkomi to butt in, namely on how she won’t be able to invade anything if she keeps owning herself.
As for the pinnacle of getting swept up in other people’s pace, the introduction of Eiko and Chizuru’s friend, Nagatsuki Sanae (Itou Kanae), would have to be it. I recall reading these parts of the manga on my skim through it a month ago, but boy is it ridiculously more hilarious animated. Starting with Sanae’s dog Alex gnawing on Ika’s tentacle and scaring the crap out of her, the follow-up remark by Eiko showing more concern for Alex than Ika led to a completely priceless reaction in the latter. That also set the stage for Ika asking for some equal treatment, and Chizuru taking full advantage of the opportunity for her own enjoyment. During all that, the thoughts going through Ika’s mind reiterated just how slow she is in figuring that out. As for Sanae herself, I mentioned in the season preview that she has a “thing” for Ika, which the rest of this episode showed exactly how obsessed she is with our blue-haired heroine. Good times all around.