Arakawa under the Bridge 13 (S1 final)

June 29, 2010

Nino X Ric.

Arakawa under the Bridge‘s final episode … scratch that. The final episode of season one has aired. Yes! A second season has officially been announced. As some had previously guessed, this episode was dedicated to comedy, and barely touched on the deeper plot. As a result, Arakawa under the Bridge left me laughing, and looking forward to more.

Side characters on parade.

Having resolved the final arc of the more substantive story of the season, the show kicks back for two side stories. In the first we get a proper introduction to the village’s barber. In the second, Ric promises to take Stella and the twins to an amusement park as a field trip. Since the twins are afraid of leaving the riverbank, he tries to design a park himself, which doesn’t go too well, since he never went to an amusement park as a child. Fortunately the other residents step up to the challenge, creating an experience that will scar the kids forever … errr, that they will never forget.

NOT the look you want to see on their little faces.

Mascots like this should be kept away from the children.

Because this episode was mostly played for the laughs, there isn’t much to say, except that the humor succeeded. In some senses this was the funniest episode in a while. As can be expected, the amusement park built by the villagers is well-intentioned (with the possible exception of Maria’s contribution), but wrong. It manages to entertain the kids, though.

Kappa-chan Land even has a 3D theater.

An experience so realistic, you'll swear you could feel the bullets flying past you!

But the second story isn’t just mindless fun. Seeing the little kids having such a great time brings back memories.

The mayor recalls days when his father brought him to play on the riverbank.

Even Ric manages to remember something good about his youth.

The series ends with a mysterious scene that obviously points towards the second season, and a poetic sequence describing the important connection Ric and Nino share.

This truly was an impressive series. It was mostly insane comedy, but it generally did that quite well. It also had a deeper plot, that featured Ric’s growth as a person. Although he starts the series as an outwardly successful man, Nino, and the under-the-bridge community heal him, and humanize him. In some respects Ric grows from an adult to a child. He doesn’t grow in the conventional sense that he takes on more responsibility, but rather he discovers his capacity to love. Although Nino shows growth herself, becoming more expressive as a result of her interactions with Ric, she clearly has a long way to go, and remains an enigma. I expect the second season to tackle her development more forthrightly.

Although the second season has been “green-lit”, a broadcast date has not yet been announced.

Sister orders you to check out this page of cosplay pics.

More cosplay pics on official Arakawa website

5 Responses to “Arakawa under the Bridge 13 (S1 final)”

  1. Kyokai Says:

    This was a very sweet episode indeed. I loved how they switched to fun part and introduced the 3 remaining characters. I loved Last Samurai more due to his seiyuu Yuichi Nakamura(Kadota, Ryuu, Greed). The ending actually hinted to some extra terrestrial connection of Nino, maybe? But, I’m a very happy camper in not saying goodbye to Arakawa, unlike FMA and Bakemonogatari!

    • Joojoobees Says:

      I wonder if the new characters will have more time in the second season. That parrot character was a weird idea.

      Sometimes it’s good for a show to end, because it forces resolution of the story, instead of endless rambling. Arakawa feels like it still has some substance left.

  2. blindability Says:

    I really hope Nino’s past will be focused on in the second season rather than the introduction of too many new characters. I also hope that woman isn’t her mother… though it might explain a lot.

    • Joojoobees Says:

      “her mother”

      Ha ha! I hadn’t thought of that. I do hope that we get to learn what made Nino into what she is, and see some real growth in her personality. That and some more development in her relationship with Ric, and I’m set. I assume there will be some funny moments along the way.

      • blindability Says:

        It’s really something when, in a comedy show, the comedy is but a pleasant side to the main storyline and character development.

        I’d love to see another KISS for the two, haha.

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