Thursday, March 21, 2013

Squid Girl lands on Netflix, prepare for the inkvasion

Most anime fans will agree that Netflix has been a bit lax in adding new titles to its available lineup.

Two years ago, it teased fans and promised that it would dramatically expand its anime selection. While that certainly happened in the short term, it seems like Netflix has all but forgotten that new anime is being produced.

That changed about a week ago when the first season of Squid Girl quietly slid onto Netflix's Instant Watch anime collection.

Previously only available on Crunchyroll and through fandubs, Squid Girl is an quirky little anime that's worth watching if you're in the mood for some quintessentially Japanese anime.  Take Ponyo, smash it together with Invader Zim, and you'll have a good idea of what to expect.

Squid Girl follows the misadventures of the titular and tentacled Squid Girl who rises up from the depths of the ocean to take revenge on mankind for the damage they've caused to the ocean's ecosystem.  Like a more mercurial Zim, however, it soon shakes out that Squid Girl isn't really up to the challenge of invading anything and soon winds up working as a waitress in a beachside restaurant.

Oddball comedy, frenetic flailing, and a boatload of squid-related puns quickly ensue and the anime becomes amazingly watchable.  Make no mistake, it's nowhere near the complexity of - say - Gilgamesh and never once touches the darker themes of some other animes like Elfen Leid, but it manages to be light and silly without verging into the realm of grating (Soul Eater, I'm looking at you here).

Amazingly, despite Squid Girl's prehensile tentacle hair, the anime stays entirely clean and is good for young anime fans and young-at-heart anime fans alike. The English dub also features the excellent talent of upcoming voice actor Christine Marie Cabanos, so it's worth checking out for that alone.

Additionally, Squid Girl inspires cosplay like this...

and knit projects like this...

So it's really difficult not to like the series.

If you've got Netflix and are in the mood to watch a light, low investment anime, give the first season a whirl.  If you like what you see, check out Season 2 on Crunchyroll afterwads!