Arakawa Bridge^2 7 – test of love
November 18, 2010
Episode 7 of Arakawa under the bridge^2 is set clearly within the main plot. Unlike some episodes, in which the lovable hijinx could have taken place at almost any time in the series, here there is clear follow through on the idea that the village is planning to travel to Venus with Nino. Given the prudent thinking that typifies the under-the-bridge villager, it is only obvious that they would do a thorough examination of all of the villagers to assess their readiness for space travel. Actually it looks like Whitey and the Mayor had a disagreement, while draining a bottle of sake, over which of them was healthiest. Well, regardless, the result is that the villagers undergo a rigorous examination that assesses their readiness for astronaut duty.
Unfortunately the villagers don’t use competent medical staff; they rent medical equipment, and use Ric’s office assistants. This turns out to be a bit of a mistake, especially for Whitey.
Unfortunately Shimazaki has not quite caught on to Whitey’s wavelength, or vice-versus perhaps. She finally summons her courage to talk to her crush, and is even so bold as to suggest they meet up privately later.
Somehow the message doesn’t quite make it to Whitey, which, I will say, is the damnedest shame.
I’m afraid this love is just not meant to be. But, by all means, go for it Shimazaki! Speaking of pure and noble love…
Somewhere along the way the villagers realize that all aspiring astronauts must take a social compatibility test. The village is split into two teams by gender. Each team must spend a week in the shelter underneath the church.
This section was actually pretty interesting, because it provided some psychological observations. First, the girls were seemingly quite fine for several days. In fact, P-ko seemed to enjoy the experience immensely, until she became the object of everyone’s frustrations. I suppose I could understand that, given that she apparently didn’t shut up for six days. At first I wondered why P-ko kept a journal about what they had discussed; could this be some manifestation of an obsessive disorder? Then I thought the other girls probably forced her to keep it, because she was telling them the same stories about her relationship with the Mayor over and over again.
Maria’s downfall is rooted in her construction of gender. Men are pigs, who are meant to be used for relieving her stress through derision and debasement. Yet stripped of that opportunity for relief, she finds it difficult to maintain the persona she projects in relations with other females.
The boys team gets off to a rocky start. The Mayor hasn’t actually shown up. Instead he used his illusion powers to disguise Jacqueline, so she could stay with Billy. Without the Mayor, an awkward silence creates even more tension.
My God! What a horrifying ending. Nobody appears to have passed the test. I suppose they could all pretend it never happened, and carry on, but I have to assume Nino is questioning whether these guys are ready for space voyage. Ugh. Now, just to banish that evil Hoshi, the power of …