One moment my Squid Girl is sporting the same side tentacle she’s been rocking since Splatoon 2 launched, the next her gorgeous glistening appendage is sliced, chopped and tied off into a pair of wriggling pigtails. Sounds painful, doesn’t it?
At first I was excited about the four new hairstyles added to Splatoon 2 in last week’s big fall update. Now, after pondering the nature of Squid Kid “hair,” I’m not so sure. As a human being who once possessed a full head of actual hair, getting a haircut is a pleasant experience. You get your hair washed. The scissors make a nice metallic snipping sound. You engage in a little light conversation, and you come out the other end generally looking better than you did before.
When I imagine a Squid Kid getting their “hair” cut, I picture this (graphic squid content warning):
Now I know that Squid Kids are fictional constructs that are capable of transforming from humanoid to animal form at will. Given that, changing their “hairstyle” is probably a simple matter of willing the change. But what if it wasn’t?
Take the other new Squid Girl style, the bang cut. See the ends of the long bits off to the side? It’s easy to imagine a pair of scissors (or a cook’s cleaver) severing the tips off of those tentacles. I’m wincing. Are you wincing?
Making matters worse, I did some research on whether or not squids feel pain, and discovered this disturbing passage based on research done by evolutionary neurobiologist Robyn Cook at the University of Texas in Houston (via the Washington Post).
Squids, though, may feel pain very differently. Shortly after a squid’s fin is crushed, nociceptors become active not only in the region of the wound but across a large part of its body, extending as far as the opposite fin. This suggests that if it feels pain, rather than being able to pinpoint the location of a wound, an injured squid may hurt all over.
Oh god. Those poor Squid Kids.
“The pain passes but the beauty remains,” said Pierre-Auguste Renoir. While the artist was referring to painting while suffering from severe arthritis in his later years, the sentiment fits this situation, or at least the situation as I imagine it. The colorful video game characters probably don’t spend hours drinking to dull the pain of an upcoming “haircut.” I doubt they are strapped to a table. I’m almost certain there’s no horrific screaming as bits of their being is carved away.
But just in case any of that does happen, it’s totally worth it. Probably.