Squid Girl Episode #03 (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Sunday, October 24, 2010
Release Date: Saturday, October 23, 2010

While Squid Girl wants to conquer the world and enslave mankind, we get a look at her true enemy that makes her quake in her squid booties.

What They Say:
Squid Girl watches a TV special on ghosts but isn't frightened at all. The gang decides to show her some real ghosts to finally get her scared, but things don't go quite as planned...

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Squid Girl's charms are put to the test with the third episode which is essentially a make or break point for many people with any new show. This series has had a different sense about it compared to most comedies from the start which can be either off-putting to some or very positive to others. With it reminding me of comedies from about thirty years ago with its episode layout of three separate stories, a quieter approach in general and avoiding earth shattering events, Squid Girl has most definitely been charming. But can it maintain that for its entire run?

The fun with this one involves a couple of different stories that puts Squid Girl to the test. Her introduction to human culture has been simple at best and she gets exposed to ghost stories in this episode. She's not exactly a believer in them since she points out easily on the TV program why it's such a ruse and that just gets Eiko wanting to scare her. Of course, events go the other direction when they go out to do a minor test of courage and Squid Girl's appearance ends up being far more ghost-like than anything else, not that she's aware of it. Her nature and personality are in full effect here, both when she's unaware of events transpiring and when they are. Her encounter with the spirits is probably the best part since it takes her otherworldly nature by being from the sea and combines it with the comedic nature of the ghosts.

One area where things go positively amusing is when Squid Girl is out playing in the water at the beach with one of the kids in the second episode and she gets into such a panic when she sees an orca. Of course, it's just an inflatable, but she doesn't realize it and the kids are playing with it, riding it and more which only adds to the way she sees humans are being a real threat since they can master her mortal enemy like that. Her panic over it and the internal dialogue over it and her perception of events is priceless.

The fear she has of the orca inflatable's is well used here but fear is something she wants to inspire as well. The final story in this episode introduces a new girl, Nagisa, who loves to surf so she's come to work at the shop where the pay is crap and there's no air conditioning. When she meets Squid Girl, who uses her few abilities to good effect, Squid Girl realizes that she's forgotten the feeling of inspiring fear in others and how it's her true calling. But as much as she wants to cause fear, she's more abused and taken advantage of than she'd like by kids and others that Nagisa has a very confused look about the way things work here. She's very conflicted about it but she makes the very amusing decision to stay there to portray normalcy for others, which excites Squid Girl since normal simple people are easier to conquer. When her world conquering feelings come out, she's positively fun to watch. But the writers thankfully keep it to a minimum so as to not make it a one trick gag that would get devalued quickly.

In Summary:
Squid Girl continues to it all the right notes for a comedy series of this nature. It wants to be over the top as we see things through Squid Girls mind, but it doesn't achieve that within the reality of the show. And that is a large part of the fun right there. It plays it largely straight with those few nods to craziness that comes in. Squid Girls abilities and her desire to conquer the world doesn't dominate the show but rather the more simple comedy of the situation and the interactions of personalities. Much like the first two episodes, Squid Girl continues to be delightfully charming and enjoyable with this one leaving me with a big smile on my face and looking forward to more. It's the kind of show that I'm curious to see dubbed to see if they can keep her personality and toned down approach intact.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 24
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Squid Girl