Arakawa under the Bridge 12: wishes
June 22, 2010
This episode wrapped up the series about as much as you might expect. Due to Nino’s wish, or the intervention of a wandering samurai, or Papa Ichinomiya’s final acknowledgment of the legitimacy of Ric’s efforts, the village has been saved.
I was wrong about last episode’s ending, Ric’s father hadn’t given him the wrong number, Ric had misdialed. Everyone except Nino calls him out for being afraid of his father. Hoshi tries to take advantage of the situation with a creepy pickup line about wishing on a falling star. Maria sees this as an opportunity to torment someone, so she insists the star must really be falling for the wish to work, and tries to get Hoshi to jump from one of the bridge pylons. Ric’s competitive nature prevents him from keeping his mouth shut, and so Maria drafts him as well. Of course, when they don’t move fast enough to please her, she doesn’t hesitate to kick the two of them off the bridge. Nino wishes that they can all stay together, but other people want to give it a try, so the pair are forced to repeatedly jump off the bridge.
Nino’s wish seems to have done the trick, because a wandering samurai (or at least someone dressed in a green yukata) that sounds exactly like the mayor (who, in turn, was suspiciously absent towards the end of the last episode) convinces Papa Ichinomya’s business partner to pull out of the development project. This prompts a visit to the bridge by Papa Ichinomiya himself, who promptly loses his pants and meets Nino. Nino retrieves the pants and offers them to Papa, but he won’t accept them. This prompts memories of how she met Ric, and she goes on to say that Ric is working hard for the community to save their homes.
On the one hand, it is kind of sweet that Ric is going so far to make his friends happy. Nino seems quite proud of him. On the other hand, to people who don’t live under the bridge, this probably looks like a stupid plan. Papa doesn’t look impressed and decides to leave the bridge (without his pants). Even when his phone starts ringing, even when he recognizes it as the ring tone that means his son is finally calling, he proudly turns his back and walks away. Yes, Papa Ichinomiya is proud, even when he is picked up by the police for walking around without pants.
And so life returns to normal for those who live under the bridge. When Nino answers the phone, she hears Ric declare that he will stay with her no matter what. Later the contractor calls on it, and the village learns that the project has been canceled.
This would have made a pretty respectable final episode. The big problem of the destruction of the village was resolved. Papa Ichinomiya gave his de facto blessing to Ric’s life with Nino. Ric faced his fears and called his father (even though his father refused to answer). Ric also made a romantic confession (although he didn’t know he was talking to Nino), and Nino, spoke out about her love (even though Ric wasn’t around to hear). It also ended on “Episode 100”. So where do we go next time?