Shinryaku! Ika Musume: Literal or Squidly translation

I always seem to want to start a blog at the wrong time. It’s quite unfortunate.

Anyhow, Ika Musume (Squid Girl) has been airing now for several weeks. I’m sure there are already plenty of posts about it that summarizes it quite well and puts forth nice thoughts more insightful than mine, or at least they have better visual summary of all the quality moé points.

So rather than do either, why don’t I just openly muse and question an audience that doesn’t exist?

I've always liked the stoic face + silly situations.



Frankly speaking, when I first heard of the show, I mused whether it would be funny or not. Another thing was that I was slow on the pick up this season, since I was more concerned with dealing with all the errands I needed to perform at the beginning of the school year and acclimating to the academic pace again. All this helped me to become familiar with some of the details of the show before even viewing, something I try to prevent whenever I might watch a show (and why I try to watch almost everything).

I eventually watched the show via the Crunchyroll subs, which were actually excellent for once. And I say they’re excellent not for any perceived quality or accuracy in the translation, but because it has an abundance of juvenile, squid-themed puns.

It's a really silly thing to laugh at.

Holy ****!

Finishing my first viewing, I had to seriously consider to myself: what on earth is so funny about this show? I watched the show in the room my Board-RP-Card-game club occupies, and honestly right away it incited loud, audible laughter from me. Safe to say, this isn’t something that actually happens too often. It’s tough for me to explain its appeal. Is my sense of humour just so inured to that kind of 4koma-pacing humour that the Japanese love so much? I dunno.


There’s also a side effect to watching this show subbed. I can understand spoken Japanese to a decent amount (from a combination of watching a lot of anime, for so long, in addition to taking Japanese academically). This means I’m simultaneously assaulted by the Japanese “puns” (really, just the appending of ~de geso or the emphasis of IKA–squid–whenever it might come up in speech) in addition to CrunchyRoll’s squid-focused puns (Where the squid are you bringing me?! Comrades-in-tentacles! Squid-vasion!). Perhaps it is this interplay that makes it so great for me?

To contrast, I also looked at some of the fansubs for this show, FFFpeeps in particular, and a skimming of Commie’s. They’re essentially the same translation quality more or less, sans the forced squid puns. It may have been the fact I’d already seen the episode for all the jokes, but I didn’t find those viewings nearly as entertaining. As such, I’ve really emphasized with others that the Crunchyroll sub (or any sub that uses their subs, such as Underwater) is a worthwhile investment.

It'd be pretty scary to see so many orca at once

Classic visual pun

Well, regardless of my concerns, I think it’s worth watching. It’s simply a fun time, and very clean, most importantly. The complete lack of any real fanservice is a real nice breath of fresh air, since it helps the show retain its light tone. Sure, someone could maybe complain about Ika Musume being too moé, but really, the girl’s adorable-ness is kind of essential to her being funny.


More or less, if you enjoy visual puns or transformation gags, this show has a decent amount of those. Check it out!


About ToastCrust

Generic procrastinator and Japanese Media hobbyist.
This entry was posted in 2010 Fall, Anime, Watched serial and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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