Ika Musume ("Squid Girl") comes from the depth of the ocean to teach those pesky humans not to pollute the oceans so much. She plans to invade ("shinyraku") the surface world and subjugate all of humanity to prevent them from further polluting her home. However, her 'human' form is that of young girl -- which impresses no-one. Her first target is the beach-side café of the Aizawa sisters: she tries to impress them with her powerful tentacle-hair, but when she breaks a hole in the wall, she is forced to pay off the damage by a threat from the quiet but strong Chizuru.
And so Squid Girl starts her career as a serving-girl at the café, using her tentacle-hair to great effect. Of course, once every few days her original intentions surface, but they are easily quelled by a 'friendly request' from Chizuru. The beach-side is populated by a colorful cast of characters: there's the Aizawa family (Chizuru, Eiko and their little brother Takeru), the other serving girl in the café, the life guard, and a few others. There isn't really much variation in the locations for the series, most of it plays out in the café or at home with the Aizawa's.
So, it's a comedy. A comedy that's actually fun, that doesn't need fanservice or occasional violence against a hapless male main character to be funny. Almost every episode had us laughing out loud, and the ink-barfing scenes at the end of the first episode made me cry tears of laughter. Given the limited scope of the series, it's really quite a feat for the writers to keep up the comedy throughout the series.
There's a bit of a plot at the end of the last episode, but frankly, I could have done without it -- just keep the jokes coming!
Visually, the series isn't very inspiring -- but that's not the point of the series anyway. It's certainly servicable, and the animation is used to great effect. The character designs are nothing special, but the voice acting is nice. Some of the punny 'squid-talk' from Squid Girl was groan-worthy, but it didn't play a major role, luckily. You can see it didn't have a big budget -- but then again, the superb comedy writing made up for it.
- One of the funniest series we've ever seen;
- Servicable animation and voice acting.
I'll give it an 8.5 -- definately worth to check out if you're in the mood for some genuine funny comedy!