Arakawa Under the Bridge

Title:Arakawa Under the Bridge
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Shaft
R1 License - NIS America
A young upperclass elite man, Ichinomiya "Riku" Kou, who has a policy of not being in debt to anyone, ends up owing his life to a strange girl who rescues him. Nino is a beautiful homeless girl who believes that she is a martian and lives under the bridge by the Arakawa river. So the young man ends up living there too.

Based on a seinen manga by Nakamura Hikaru serialised in Young GanGan. Read the translated manga online at MangaFox.

An anime series that aired starting in April 2010. A second season of the series aired in October 2010.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 9 8 8 8 7 8 Dreamer [series:2281#2279]
After picking this one up and sitting through the first episode, I realized that it wasn't at all what I had expected. Totally off.... as in crazy..... like the premise of this series and its characters.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
The characters in this series were probably the most eccentric and "unique" of any anime to date. In fact, I ended up laughing at some of them in their introduction, not because they were humorous but rather really absurd looking... hehehe! The artwork consisted of combinations of artistic points, pastel shaded backdrops, vibrant colors set to a minimalistic design. Somehow it all worked and was presentable. Overall the artwork was good with well illustrated characters.... and strange to say the least.

The OP was an interesting modern piece..... almost alternative with female vocals. It wasn't bad. For some strange reason, it reminded me of something Alanis Morissette would do. I've no idea how I made that connection. As for the rest of the soundtrack, it was a blend of various "happy" pieces with pianos, violins and the occasional hard guitar. Actually, there was a slew of wind, string and cord instruments in various compositions..... which made the overall soundtrack very presentable. It really fit well with the visual depictions.

Series and Episode Story
I'm not sure what to think of this series. Even while writing this review, i'm still not sure what to think of it. One thing is for sure, it's different. There's no real plot, and no real character development... aside from the very minor development between our protagonist (Riku) and our (in)sane "Nino".

One thing to note with this series, don't take it serious.... even remotely. Don't take it being anything remotely close to being realistic.... but rather unrealistic at face value. Why? not only are the characters an inspiration for madness, but also the setting. As for the episode to episode stories, they were good for a few laughs, some witty dialogue (lack thereof) and some interesting character interactions. That pretty much sums up this series.

Ovearall, it was mildly amusing in a strange way. Not sure if I'd watch the second installment though.

Last updated Wednesday, July 14 2010. Created Wednesday, July 14 2010.
Buy 8 8 8 8 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:2281#1552]
Anyone who approaches this title expecting anything serious or great focus on the awkward interactions between Kou and Nino as a couple will be disappointed. Arakawa is more or less a manic comedy where Kou deals with the weird activities and residents of the riverbank who perceive their living to be normal. Much of the show's comedy runs like this: Kou gets involved with an Arakawa resident or activity from how he believes he/she/they/it would turn out and instead, they/it turns out to be something crazy and bizarre. From seeing the kappa costume wearing village chief to a gun tooting illegal immigrant dressed and acting as a nun to a vegetable grower who takes klutziness to the extreme, the residents of Arakawa are diversely over-the-top with their own crazy habits, thoughts and attires adding to the show's hilarity. The show runs in episodic short segments much like Azumanga Daioh (TV) and Minami-ke with the only major plot arc happening towards the end of the show which even then, the show retains its over-the-top comedy. If you can't stand comedies that are a bit on the bizarre and weird side, then Arakawa may not be for you. But if you enjoy them, then Arakawa is guaranteed to give you as much laughs as I got out of the show's entire run. I hear a second season of Arakawa is now in the works which I definitely plan on checking out.

Last updated Wednesday, June 30 2010. Created Wednesday, June 30 2010.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2281#628]
(One episode watched):

I've never taken any sort of class in film criticism, so when it quickly became apparent that there was something wrong with Arakawa Under The Bridge, I found myself racking my brains to figure out what it was. And then it struck me: this show just isn't funny at all. It's trying to be a wacky comedy, but the jokes fall flat and it cannot summon anything more than a modest smile from me. It has a pretty absurd premise, and that wouldn't be a problem if I was actually laughing, but I'm not. Instead, it just doesn't make sense. This guy is so uptight about owing anybody anything--even a favor--that he'll agree to fall in love to avoid it? That sort of bizarre premise will only work with first rate jokes to back it up. Ah, I had high hopes for this one; I thought it would be primarily a romance, but it's sad to see such an unusual premise all shot to hell. I can only conclude that it is just a mess.

Last updated Wednesday, April 07 2010. Created Wednesday, April 07 2010.
Unevaluated Silence [series:2281#2939]
After much prodding by a friend, I decided to continue this series after I initially dropped at somewhere in episode 1. Actually, it is not that bad once i got past the aforementioned episode. Some humor is appearing and some developments are happening, so I shall hold on to this a little longer.

Last updated Monday, May 03 2010. Created Tuesday, April 06 2010.

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