Whether it’s 3D shrimp or 3D Ika Musume, everyone’s got their eye on the high-def television prize.

Spiking (attacking) serves is just plain illegal, but these girls don’t seem to care one bit.

(Tatakawanai ka? / Pinchi Janai ka? / Motto Pinchi Janai ka?)
“Won’t You Compete? / Isn’t This a Pinch? / Isn’t This a Major Pinch?”

They may have broken practically every rule in the book when it comes to beach volleyball, but this final episode went all out in a tournament that saw Ika and Eiko as an unstoppable duo. Everyone got involved at some point as well, giving the sense that they were going to go out on a high. That is, until the last two mini episodes headed in a completely different direction with Ika’s return to the sea. They even pulled out the music from the mini Ika Musume to really tug on those emotional chords, continuing to surprise me with the subtle yet effective way this series pulls those scenes off until the very end. It was definitely a sweet finale to remember, and one where Diomedea left a lasting impression on how they deserve the green light on a second season.


There wasn’t much competition on Ika and Eiko’s way to the finals, but Sanae did put up a good show getting packed repeatedly.

It’s the invasion of mini Ika Musume! “Ika boushi! Switch on!”

It’s all about the approach and putting your tentacles into it.

It must be fun trying to dig a meteor.

3D shrimp isn’t quite like Ika envisioned.

Any team with Chizuru on it probably would’ve completely steamrolled the competition, so it was probably best that she sat out until Eiko sprained her ankle going for a ball and immediately “subbed in” for her in the middle of a rally. Just prior to that, she did get involved in the play when she distracted Gorou and gave Ika an opportunity to return the favor for nearly packing Eiko in the face though. We’ll just have to overlook how she made an assisted play by jumping off Ika’s tentacles before sending a meteor of a hit down at Gorou and fellow lifeguard Isozaki Tatsuo (Miyasaka Shunzou). That was some pretty cut-throat volleyball out there in the finals, which sort of made up for the lack of any sort of rallies for all the other pairings. Well, there was Minami Kaze’s team with a newly theme Ika Musume head.


Eiko is pretty blunt about Ika just being annoying without her squid abilities.

No one takes Ika’s return to the sea seriously since they think she’ll be back in a matter of minutes.

Feeling unloved, Ika reluctantly leaves after a final look back. Awww…

The sudden loss of all of Ika’s abilities started off as just another lighthearted joke, but quickly changed into a little reflection on whether she should return to the sea in hopes of recovering the abilities that aren’t essential for living on the surface. While I question whether that was really the case when Eiko was making her use her tentacles day in and day out for free labor, the fact that no one stopped her because they thought it was a cry for attention — not even Sanae — was actually kind of sad to see. If only they know how a squid truly felt! Those heartless humans!


American scientist pig out in American fast food like only they can, while everyone else wonders when Ika will return.

Their expressions say it all on how much they’ve missed the noisy squid girl.

She may have cut her tentacles, but she’s aiming for the subjugation of the universe now! Apparently the Earth is too small of a goal.

“This is not the Ika Musume I know!”

As touching as Ika’s return was, the loss of her “de geso” manner of speech in favor of “da wa” sounded just as forced as it was made out to be. The short hair look was cute, but her settlement on living like a normal human with the loss of her squid abilities just wasn’t the same. Takeru’s teary-eyed outburst said it all, even though Ika was doing really well without the use of her tentacles.


A mysterious girl stops by and cheers Ika up.

She resembles the Minami Kaze manager’s daughter a lot, but this soft-spoken girl who looks like she’s wearing an octopus hat is actually Tanabe Kozue (Kanda Akemi). All she did is cheer up Ika here and tell her that she isn’t alone, but also gave this odd impression that she may also be from the sea. I guess the only thing that would’ve made that plainly obvious is if she called herself “Tako Musume”. Mysterious girls are mysterious.


It took a life and death situation created by the three idiotic scientists to bring back Ika’s squid abilities, but it’s good to have her back. Feel free to drown Eiko any day!

They aren’t allowed to end things off on such a sweet note are they?

Of course not! The invader is back and as rejuvenated as ever!

It wasn’t enough to invoke any sort of an emotional response, but it was very cute to see Ika back the way that everyone knows and loves her for. I actually felt sadder knowing that this is the last episode and seeing the new ending sequence with Ika waving goodbye at the end. For a comedy, I’m never quite sure what a good way of concluding an adaptation is, aside from leaving things open ended for a possible continuation. Naturally, they did just that considering there’s a lot of manga material that hasn’t been covered, but the writers also managed to work in a little bit of drama with the loss of Ika’s abilities. The short period of time when she was gone served as a really good setup to the eventual heartwarming reunion, giving a sense of completion without actually concluding anything. Not exactly the easiest thing to do.


ED2 Sequence

[flv:Shinryaku_Ika_Musume_ED2.mp4 512 288]

ED2: 「メタメリズム」 (Metamerism) by 伊藤かな恵 (Itou Kanae)

See you again Ika Musume. Hopefully soon.

Final Impressions:

I’ve already said my fair share about this series week in and week out about how it provides a clean comedy that just about anyone can enjoy, so there probably isn’t much that needs to be said now on why I enjoyed it so much. The short version is that the squid girl premise is unique, and opens the door to a lot of humorous possibilities with the quirky cast of characters who tend to prey on her naivety. It also focused on fairly simple things that we take completely for granted and made it into a bit of an adventure at times since Ika simply didn’t know any better. On paper, that may not sound like much, but it worked much better than even I originally thought with Kanemoto Hisako bringing all the cuteness in Ika Musume every episode.

As mentioned in the Fall 2010 Preview, I was already sold on this series after skimming through a few chapters of the manga. After the first episode had me thoroughly amused even when I knew what was coming, that sentiment quickly snowballed over the season and I found myself enjoying every moment of lighthearted squid goodness. As a comedy, this series wasn’t something I looked forward to every week, but by the time the next episode strolled around, it always felt like I had to watch it right away. It’s easy to get into and just gives twenty minutes of laid back goofy fun. In fact, I just showed this series to some friends a couple of weeks ago, and we got through eight episodes in one sitting pretty quickly. It’s easy to follow and enjoy, and the comedy speaks for itself.

At twelve episodes, this adaptation’s been short and sweet. Almost too short in fact, though I’m not opposed to comedies coming in one-cour doses to keep the premise fresh. Production-wise, Diomedea maintained a fairly consistent animation quality, similar to their work in Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, which sort of leaves me wondering why they don’t get more projects. Hopefully there will be at least one in the near future though — a second season of Ika Musume.


  1. Ika Musume was, without a doubt, my favorite show this season- perhaps my favorite show of the year.
    It’s simplicity, characters, and clean humor make it more than accessible to everyone while providing something that stands out among the rest. Sure, some may argue that Ika Musume hasn’t necessarily broken new ground or changed the genre, however something about how this show just hits that mark, it simply “works”. I find it difficult to find an exact phrase or term for this feeling; I would liken it to how I felt when I first read Yotsuba&! or Azumanga Daioh in high school. Ultimately, everything just flowed together nicely to make one hell of an enjoyable show.
    Bottom line: This show is wonderful and Ika-chan is too damn cute

    Much thanks for blogging this show Divine, I would have probably overlooked this otherwise 🙂

  2. I loved this show, absolutely loved it. And I’d like to see a second season.

    But Diomeda isn’t much good to be honest. The majority of their shows are pretty average. In fact, i found the Nogizaka Haruka series to be particularly bad.

    But hey, just my opinion.

    1. I didn’t find anything wrong with Diomedea’s effort. Felt pretty consistent. Would definitely like a second season especially if it’s done by them (for consistency – I would like to point out Hayate no Gotoku as an example of why I say this. While I’m grateful for JC Staff’s more faithful adaption to the manga, it’s still pretty jarring when the style is switched up. For example, I liked S1’s version of Maria better). Also, from what I have read, they have done a fairly faithful adaptation.

  3. Wow the intial few teams were really push overs. Loved how each lost through their own characteristics.

    Gorou’s match was really all out.

    They did a good job mixing some manga chapters together with the loss of her tentacles more easily solved in the manga than in the anime. The way they did it in the anime was more touching. I guess whoever was the director noticed that the first few episodes cast the Lemon family as being a bit heartless (which was different from the manga’s portrayal) as it was rectified later.

    Still i think they missed out on Ika’s first computer game and learning about tickling. If they decide to do a 2nd season, there’s till a lot of stuff they could use like Ika’s first secret base, Ika’s first picked up 100 yen, etc.

    The show didn’t disappoint unlike a lot of others this season

    Zaku Fan
    1. Oh got to say this. The initial episode’s geso was not natural enough but after a few eps the VA’s got it natural sounding. The way she did the difference between dawa and geso thie ep was good

      Zaku Fan
  4. This lighthearted comedy is perfect as introduction to anime world for a total stranger, and yet tasty enough for a seasoned anime-watcher… I am gonna miss Lemon beach bar and its quirky crew and guests…

  5. Well I’ve just bought volume 8 and judging by receptions from viewers, there is a chance that there might be 2nd season depening on sales for DVD/BD’s of Ika Musume 😛

    Anyway, Angel Beats! episode 13 is coming out this week!!!! wooooo can’t wait for it >_<;;

  6. Shinryaku! Ika Musume is just one of those anime that plainly says “Who needs a damn plot when you got characters?” as compensation. A second season would’ve been nice since the comic relief provided in those 36 minisodes were enough to fuel the demand for more.

    I’ll agree with P0NCH that the animation was simple yet effective and the humor was all but clean. But knowing the success of the anime would surely get the mangaka fueled up. It’s what I would do if my fan fiction attracted so much positive feedback.

    That said, I’m off to some grilled ika. Geso~

  7. Nice finale for an awesome show, Ika never fails to cheer up my day everytime I watched it, and last time I’m feeling the same way was Seto no Hanayome. Sea rules!lol

    And I thought that mysterious girl was real Tako Musume. The way how she said ningendomo(humans), the hat and the you are not alone, kinda gives a sea people’s vibe. Hopes to see more sea peoples to befriend Ika, but this show ended.orz

  8. This show was an absolute gem this season. I looked forward to every show every week. The characters were all wacky and over the top. They made me laugh out loud. Once, I almost spit up soda on the monitor when it was so funny. I think the short three segment format worked really well for this show. I’m going to miss it terribly. Ika-chan! Kaettekite!

  9. Waiting for this finale is bittersweet at best. You want to watch it as soon as it is up but you know this is THE END for the moment. However, it is a good way to end the year.

    Well there goes my stress relief anime. Now to wait for a mini-ika nendoroid. XD

  10. Like Divine, I caught and was interested in this show just by looking at the pic in the preview. The premise seemed cute and I personally love comedy in anime format. Unlike D, I haven’t gone to the manga and just waited for the first episode and fell in love right on the spot. Ika Musume has been one of those relaxing and fun moment I’ve been looking for on a weekly basis. Right now, there’s this gap again and I was a bit teary eyed when she waved ME (yeah, MEEEEE! Damn you all! :P) goodbye. I will miss those cute and funny half hours. I won’t mind another season but I also see the point in leaving the memories as they are. I was truly happy to turn in to watch my little Ika…But got it on HD de geso!

  11. I enjoyed this show tremendously. as sad as it was to see it end, ending after only 12 episodes leaves us dying for more, which is always good. and come on, there simply HAS to be a second season. Shrimps taste best after a long wait 😀

  12. This is definitely the best comedy anime of the Fall, 2010 season, and probably one of the best of all times. I think it is about time for Squid Girl to get a companion. And I hope Season II will come soon.

  13. Well this was the perfect ending to a great serie’s. It’s a little sad that Ika Musume has finale ended after 12 weeks. I enyoied a lot of serie’s this fall, and Ika Musume was one of my favorits, same with Oreimo. I really hope they would consider making a second season, then I have something to laugh about every week as I have thee’s 12 weeks 🙂

  14. I feel a next season. i think there is one character i havent seen yet. the jellyfish girl that was in a picture next to ika but i couldnt find it anymore.

    Well seeing ika musume having her hair cut was cool and refreshing kind of reminds me of Togame(Katanagatari).

  15. This sucks! I love this show! The animation was clean, the characters were great and story line made me want to watch another episode just to see what was going to happen. I really like this show. I hope they continue it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *