Shinryaku Ika Musume is the story of a squid girl who invades the surface because humans are ruthlessly polluting the sea. She subsequently gets side-tracked and ends up working at a beachside restaurant stall. The story, while creative, is essentially just a framing device for the zany comedy and a not so subtle parody of all those ridiculous environmentalist films. So the real important question is: does the comedy work? The answer is an ardent yes. The situations Ika Musume ends up in are generally pretty mundane but her involvement adds a surrealistic element that works very well. The result is pure hilarity. One of the best aspects of the humour is that it never falls into the realm of using random pop culture references as jokes, which so many inferior comedies do. The humour is also very natural. It always arises from the situation and feels very intuitive for the characters.
The characters are what makes the comedy work. They have just the right blend of major and minor characters to make any potential situation humorous. The major characters are also well developed. Which is surprising, since comedies have a tendency to use stock characters.
The art is decent. the backgrounds tend to be really vibrant and detailed. When they draw normal sea creatures they do it very well. The only real art issue is that the characters all have similar faces.
The voice work is decent. It doesn’t really stand out, but it’s suitable for the characters and emotions are expressed well. The music is really hyperactive and upbeat. It suits the series perfectly.
The yuri factor is an 7/10. Sanae loves Ika. Ika has a thing for Nagisa and Ika and Eiko share some really homoerotic moments. The only issue I have with the yuri in this is that some of it, specifically the parts involving Sanae, seems pretty exploitative. To put it simply, it seems like it’s put in, not because it works for the characters, but because the writer finds it funny.
My final rating for Shinryaku Ika Musume is an 8/10. It has a few issues, but it’s hilarious and a lot of fun to watch. The humour isn’t forced or based on random pop culture references. If you enjoy zany comedy like Galaxy Angel, Kanamemo or All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku, you’ll probably enjoy this as well.