xxxHolic, have been butchered by the fact that they've been given subpar English renditions... and decent titles are few and far between.
Oh a whim, though, I decided to try a series that didn't really appeal to me in its original language... Squid Girl (or "Ika Musume" in nihongo).
Based on the ludicrous premise that an anthropomorphic squid that looks like a little blue-haired girl has come to the surface world to punish humanity for all the pollution and overfishing, only to wind up as a live-in mascot/waitress for a beach cafe, Squid Girl is a gag anime that reminds me of those old sitcoms that do just as ludicrous.
Mr.Ed, I Dream of Genie, Small Wonder, Alf... they all share quite a lot with Squid Girl.
For one thing, every gag show needs a straight man, and SG definitely has that... but there's also the overly enthusiastic little brother type who think's everything Squiddy-related is a game... the quiet, but creepy older sister who takes full advantage of the situation... the stalker... the buff jock... etc, etc..
I mean, the entire thing is just about an ambitious preteen with designs on world domination who happens to have prehensile tentacles for hair. She's as threatening as a puppy even with the extreme strength and dexterity that her tentacles afford her.
Then there are the squid puns.
Pretty much every sentence Squid Girl utters has at least one squid or sea-related play on words replacing or transposing what she's actually trying to say... be it "ten-tacular" instead of "spectacular" or something similar. From what I've heard in its original language track, the squid puns are more distracting in Japanese than in English. There's just something about Christine Marie Cabanos' delivery that feels oddly more endearing in English than Hisako Kanemoto's Japanese version.
Granted you can only GET the English version on Netflix so you'd have to go searching to compare the two, but still.
As far as Anime goes, it's pretty harmless. It's definitely not a great show, but it's a fairly entertaining and innocent throwaway... something that is oddly endearing even as it has no other real value. There's no story, no progression other than character memory, just silly fish-out-of-water jokes.
Or, perhaps that should be mollusc-out-of-water?
Until tomorrow, Potatoes~