Hello once again everybody. With everybody coming off of Thanksgiving and being preoccupied with holiday shopping, I’ve decided to look at a light, easy read this week. My focus for this week’s review is the slice-of-life comedy series Squid Girl by Masahiro Anbe.
Squid Girl is about the titular Squid Girl, who is, well, a girl that is also a squid. She lives in the ocean, and after seeing her home getting constantly polluted by humans she comes up with the brilliant idea of invading the surface world and punishing humans for what they have done.
When Squid Girl arrives on the surface, she goes up to a young woman named Eiko Aizawa, one of the owners of a beach house called Lemon. She asks Eiko to use the beach house as the base of her invasion operations.
Eiko asks Squid Girl how she plans to fight groups like the United States’ armed forces and Japan’s Self Defense Force. Squid Girl doesn’t know who the Self Defense Force or United States military are, nor does she know what things like guns and missiles are, obviously showing she is completely oblivious to how to take over the world.
To make matters worse, Squid Girl has trouble even killing a single mosquito that attacks her, finally vanquishing her flying foe when she shows off some of her powers, squishing the bug with her tentacles. However, she also puts a large hole into the wall of the beach house in the process.
Eiko finally caves in and allows Squid Girl to use the beach house as her base of operations. Of course, what Eiko really does is trick Squid Girl into becoming an employee at the beach house to pay for the cost of repairs needed to fix the hole she put into the wall.
The next day while prepping for opening the beach house for the day, Eiko’s older sister, Chizuru shows up. Chizuru is also one of the owners of the beach house, but she hasn’t met Squid Girl yet. She asks Eiko to introduce her to Squid Girl, but during her introduction, Squid Girl accidentally sneezed a jet of black ink onto Chizuru.
While Chizuru is off cleaning up, Eiko tells Squid Girl how seeing her sneeze up squid ink has turned her off of squid ink pasta for a while. Squid Girl is initially confused by what Eiko means and Eiko informs Squid Girl that humans use squid ink as an ingredient in some food dishes. This horrifies Squid Girl until Chizuru comes back with a plate full of freshly cooked pasta, asking Squid Girl to squirt some ink onto it. Squid Girl does so with much gusto.
Chizuru tries to get Eiko to try some, but Eiko refuses to eat the pasta until Chizuru shoves it into her mouth. Much to Eiko’s surprise, the pasta was delicious, and so Eiko and Chizuru decide to put squid ink pasta onto their menu. Their squid ink pasta is such a smash hit with the customers that it leaves Squid Girl a withered husk of her former self.
One day while taking a crate out around back, Squid Girl thinks she catches something out of the corner of her eye. What she doesn’t know is she is being stalked by a male human, who is watching her from behind a wooden wall.
It turns out the human is just a little boy who, along with his two friends, just want to play with Squid Girl, and they grab onto her tentacles, but she flings them away. Much to her surprise, the kids enjoyed being tossed by her.
The first boy continues to follow Squid Girl around, so she decides to recruit him to her cause, telling him to first help her by taking over the beach house, but when they get there, we learn that the boy’s name is Takeru and that he is Eiko’s and Chizuru’s younger brother.
On another day whilst taking a break, Squid Girl sees a human carelessly tossing a can over his shoulder. This causes her to smack him in the back of the head with her tentacle. Eiko grabs her tentacle and tells her to calm down, in the process informing Squid Girl about how the litter all over the beach poses a danger to many of the beach goers. This infuriates Squid Girl even more to the point that she runs off to see if anyone else has been littering.
After finding more trash, Squid Girl begins picking it up with her tentacles. Other beach goers and Eiko decide to help her clean up some of the trash as well, though once they are finished Eiko and Squid Girl agree that it is inevitable that the trash will return regardless. Squid Girl then asks Eiko where she should put some certain pieces of trash. It turns out she tied up some guys that Eiko called trash in front of Squid Girl.
The series continues on with a variety of whacky short stories each self-contained to a chapter. To date there are over 187 chapters and 10 tankobon volumes. The series has spawned two 12 episode anime series and is still ongoing.
I like Squid Girl, it isn’t too hard of a read. Don’t let that number of chapters fool you, most of them are around just 10 pages in length, so it is a quick read. It has some good comedy and it even manages to have a message without being too overbearing or heavy handed with it. I highly suggest giving it a read. Geso.