I was totally prepared to poke fun at ATTACK! SQUID GIRL!. It looked cute and all, but I wasn’t expecting much when I downloaded it. I had a whole scheme planned out in my head. I was gonna go on and on about how this was some Lil’ Cthulhu anime and that all of this talk of a squid girl was a thin veil hiding its true, sinister, eldrich intentions.
Then the series went and got all legitimately good on me.
I could talk about how the series’ sense of humor is pretty decent and harkens back to older comedy series, but all of that comes down to a bunch of super-subjective shit. You’re either gonna find something funny or you aren’t, and dissecting it and analyzing the humor usually sucks most of said amusement right out of the picture. So we won’t be doing that here.
But it is pretty damn funny if you ask me.
The thing that I dig that can be expounded upon is the other way in which the series is a throwback: the setting.
Squid Girl’s totally taking place in the early 1990’s. One of the first things you see in the episode is an old tapedeck/boombox. While it isn’t totally strange to see something like that nowadays, when you throw in that bit in the opening credits showing Squid girl slamming a cartridge into what looks like a Sega Genesis my suspicions were raised.
The kicker was the environmental message. Seriously, dudes, who else other than Miyazaki still makes anime that’s about saving the planet. That’s SO early 90’s Captain Planet territory. Having a squid chick rise from the depths to conquer humanity because of our uncaring treatment of the sea is SO 20 years ago, and having her scheme foiled because of some minor property damage is SO a modern, more-cynical-than-back-in-the-day way of undermining and poking fun of that era’s attitudes.
Not only is Squid Girl a throwback to an older style of humor, it’s a throwback to an older attitude that also finds a way to parody said mindset. For an anime comedy that’s pretty damn clever if you ask me. Nothing earth shattering or whatever, but clever.
Yeah, Squid Girl, you have my attention. More so than most of the other series from this new season. Hopefully Kuragehime, with its jellyfish otaku main chick, is just as awesome. Then we can dub this the Tentacle Season.