Shinryaku! Ika Musume 12 and Wrap-up

Ika Musume turns in a solid finale, starting with Ika and Eiko entering a beach volleyball tournament with a 3DTV as the prize ~ Ika wants it so she can watch shrimp jump out of the screen. This was the perfect vehicle to give each of the supporting cast a quick sendoff as Team Ika defeated them one by one. The only real threat were the lifeguards, but they were sorted when Chizuru was tagged in as a sub and used her (alas, never explained) superpowers to win the match…with a tengu mask and Eiko wig.

The remaining two-thirds of the finale were dedicated to a sudden crisis: Ika’s squid powers are disappearing rapidly. Before long she can’t move her tentacles or fins, glow, or even squirt ink. When she announces she’s returning to the sea to try to convalesce, everyone throws her a curveball and wishes her well rather than beg her to stay. They were joking around, but she leaves and appears gone for good. It’s at this point you realize there really isn’t any show here without Ika; and everyone is miserable until she suddenly returns.

This Ika Mark II talks normally and has chopped her lifeless tentacles away, and decides to give being a regular girl a try. With great success at first, everyone is accepting and supportive of her (except the punk kid). But when a whirlpool nearly swallows up Eiko, her tentacles suddenly regenerate and she saves her life. All she needed was an emergency! It’s really a testament for just how far Ika’s dry-land bonds have become. She progressed from pest to family. The closing act was definitely the most dramatic story of the series, but still balanced with enough comedy to keep it light and breezy; never sappy. Rating: 3.5

Series Mean Ranking: 3.375 (Ranked 9th out of 15 Fall 2010 Series)