Squid Girl's charms are put to the test with the third episode which is
essentially a make or break point for many people with any new show.
This series has had a different sense about it compared to most comedies
from the start which can be either off-putting to some or very positive
to others. With it reminding me of comedies from about thirty years ago
with its episode layout of three separate stories, a quieter approach
in general and avoiding earth shattering events, Squid Girl has most
definitely been charming. But can it maintain that for its entire run?
The fun with this one involves a couple of different stories that puts Squid Girl to the test. Her introduction to human culture has been simple at best and she gets exposed to ghost stories in this episode. She's not exactly a believer in them since she points out easily on the TV program why it's such a ruse and that just gets Eiko wanting to scare her. Of course, events go the other direction when they go out to do a minor test of courage and Squid Girl's appearance ends up being far more ghost-like than anything else, not that she's aware of it. Her nature and personality are in full effect here, both when she's unaware of events transpiring and when they are. Her encounter with the spirits is probably the best part since it takes her otherworldly nature by being from the sea and combines it with the comedic nature of the ghosts.
One area where things go positively amusing is when Squid Girl is out playing in the water at the beach with one of the kids in the second episode and she gets into such a panic when she sees an orca. Of course, it's just an inflatable, but she doesn't realize it and the kids are playing with it, riding it and more which only adds to the way she sees humans are being a real threat since they can master her mortal enemy like that. Her panic over it and the internal dialogue over it and her perception of events is priceless.
The fear she has of the orca inflatable's is well used here but fear is something she wants to inspire as well. The final story in this episode introduces a new girl, Nagisa, who loves to surf so she's come to work at the shop where the pay is crap and there's no air conditioning. When she meets Squid Girl, who uses her few abilities to good effect, Squid Girl realizes that she's forgotten the feeling of inspiring fear in others and how it's her true calling. But as much as she wants to cause fear, she's more abused and taken advantage of than she'd like by kids and others that Nagisa has a very confused look about the way things work here. She's very conflicted about it but she makes the very amusing decision to stay there to portray normalcy for others, which excites Squid Girl since normal simple people are easier to conquer. When her world conquering feelings come out, she's positively fun to watch. But the writers thankfully keep it to a minimum so as to not make it a one trick gag that would get devalued quickly.