Arakawa under the Bridge 13 (S1 final)
June 29, 2010
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.
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.
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.
But the second story isn’t just mindless fun. Seeing the little kids having such a great time brings back memories.
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.