Special A Review

Story:
Hikari has always been second best compared to Kei and she’s so concerned with this endless competition, that she doesn’t realize it when Kei falls in love with her. Thus begins a constant struggle for Kei to show he loves Hikari and for Hikari not to get the wrong idea. But she probably will. Where else would the comedy come in? PS – Don’t touch the sloth.

Violence:
Most of the violence in this show is slapstick, but there are a few tense parts later on. One character seems super dangerous at one point and there’s some dramatic fighting. Not much blood besides a few cuts, though.

Language:
Aside from some tense moments where the “illegitimate son” word is used, not much to say. A few d-mns and such, too. But it’s rare.

Nudity:
Again, not much, thankfully. There is one scene in which a character becomes intoxicated. She nearly removes her clothing from feeling too hot. She never ends up doing so. Also, one female character is obsessive over another. It’s strange at times, but clean overall.

Theology/Mythology:
I’m not sure what to say here as there’s really nothing to say at all. Aside from some thinking they are cursed or have bad luck, nothing that controversial is brought up.

Personal Impression:
This is supposed to be a romantic comedy, but often times the comedy takes the first seat. Which is just fine with me as I prefer comedy to romance. But don’t worry. Unlike other shows *cough*SchoolRumble*cough* this one does close with the main character’s love story “wrapping up.” So those that hate ambiguous endings, breathe easy.
Putting this aside, there were some interesting elements to this show versus others in the same vein. For one thing, the side characters seem a bit more full. They has a few stories of their own, and while not every single one gets their own story played out, they each add to the comedy element significantly and a few are even necessary to the plot.
Even so, the plot itself isn’t deep. And the art and music is mediocre. This anime, as funny as it can be in places, isn’t ground breaking. And it’s not the most memorable either. Still, if you want a dash of romance with plenty of comedy, this is a fun show to check out. Just don’t expect it to be any deeper than it first seems. Because it’s not.

Personal Rating: Young adult

Episodes: 24
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Comedy, romance
Website: n/a
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screen shots:
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Extra: Save the sea?

squid girlSo one would think, from reading the story synopsis, that Squid Girl would be rather heavy handed with the “protect the oceans” and “green earth” themes. Interestingly enough, it really isn’t. Now while the argument can certainly be made that this occurs because the show is mainly a comedy, there is another possible reason. And, yes, it’s a cultural one.

Japan is a nation that is pretty slow to change. At least when it comes down to deeply rooted traditions, many often leading to habits, it is. Plus Japan doesn’t like confrontation. At all. Ever. Put these things together and you get a recipe for one of the hardest sales for environmentalist pitches (unless it looks really snazzy tech-wise). Although, amazingly enough, Japan still has far more conservation efforts in effect than other nations, though this is primarily out of necessity as their land is too small to afford messing it up. Regardless, unlike American films that often push their agendas bluntly, Japan favors the more roundabout roads.

Squid Girl, for example, only has a handful of words to give viewers about the ocean. On the one hand this means the audience isn’t forced to endure endless lectures on nature. Instead they are trusted to be able to think for themselves on the matter. There are also a few more subtle tie in, such as the fact that so few people seem to understand Squid Girl and her abilities, drawing attention to the fact that those who live next to and depend on the ocean know precious little about it and the life that exists in it. And on the other hand, of course, it’s a comedy and conservation is serious. Or is it? The fact that Squid Girl goes to such extremes for the sake of her home can be a commentary itself. Yes, it’s ridiculous, but aren’t most conservation efforts in the end? Big talk and little action, most of which is fail-boat worthy?

In any case, Don’t expect anything heavy-handed from Japan in the green earth department. At least, no day soon. For Japan, it’s better to sneak such idea into the audience’s head than to attempt pounding them in. And, hey, it might actually work better.

Squid Girl -Season 1- Review

Story:
Squid Girl is from the sea and dead set on conquering all of mankind. In her mind, it’s the only way to protect the ocean, which humans have been polluting and abusing for centuries. However, the first spot she chooses to conquer is a beach house owned by two sisters with strong wills and a little brother who just wants to play. And they aren’t giving up their claim of the beach easily.

Violence:
There’s pretty much no violence in this show as it’s pretty much entirely slap stick at worst. That said, there is a pretty spooky episode concerning broken dolls. It’s clearly a joke episode on horror anime. All the same, small children would probably be scared by it. Oh and one girl has a nose bleeding issue and gets beat up. It’s slapstick humor, but there is a bit of blood.

Language:
It’s pretty much nonexistent, but one might make an argument that all of Squid Girl’s “squid talk” is a replacement for cursing. It’s hard to say for sure. She says “kraken” and such a lot. It’s clean on the surface, although, again, one could make an argument that it’s cursing in disguise.

Nudity:
This show is a comedy and one source of that comedy is a female character who is extremely obsessed with Squid Girl. She has nose bleeds thinking of her and even says some pretty crazy stuff clearly meant to be taken the wrong way (like “I wish she would squirt sticky substances all over me.” Item in question being squid ink). It’s all a joke, but it could end up uncomfortable pretty easily. Other than that, the show is clean. Of course, nearly every episode takes place on the beach so there are a lot of people in bikinis and tanks. Nothing too over the top, but one or two girls have a decent… figure.

Theology/Mythology:
Squid Girl is… well, a squid girl. She has many squid abilities and yet is also human. This is never really explained. Also, one or two people imply evolutionary theories as they talk about Squid Girl’s origin and humans, but it’s only in passing.

Personal Impression:
This is a fun, though short, show (there is a second season, but it is done by a different company). It’s clearly based on a four panel comic from the way the episodes are segmented. However, it’s not quite as funny as other four panel based shows I’ve seen, such as Azumanga Daioh and Nichijo. Even so, it’s entertaining. It even turns sweet a few times as Squid Girl begins to desire family, something she had not experienced before.
If you like plot and deep character development, this show probably isn’t for you. But if you’re just fine with surface character progress, a few laughs and a genuinely bright show, give this one a go! Just remember when watching the dub, a “lifesaver” is a beach lifeguard. Not a fruit flavored candy.

Personal Rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: Dub or sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genre(s): Comedy
Website: n/a
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll and Hulu
Screen shots:
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