Arakawa Bridge^2 7 – test of love

November 18, 2010

Nino warns everyone that space travel is dangerous, so before you pierce the atmosphere, make sure to get a check-up, okay?

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.

An impromptu clinic under the bridge.

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.

Shimazaki is intelligent and generally capable, but secretly ...

inside beats the heart of a blushing maiden.

"You're showing signs ... of love."

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.

"I would like to give you a more thorough exam."

Somehow the message doesn’t quite make it to Whitey, which, I will say, is the damnedest shame.

How she sees it.

Whitey's actual reaction.

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…

This is so not gonna happen.

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.

Can the villagers stand to be trapped for a week in a survival bunker?

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.

Surprisingly, Maria is the first to snap.

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 Mayor demonstrates another yokai secret technique.

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.

Seven days are up, but the boys still haven't come out.

They'll never be able to forget what they saw.

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 …

Yokai secret technique: Kappa fan service.

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6 Responses to “Arakawa Bridge^2 7 – test of love”

  1. Overcooled Says:

    I definitely skipped over any sort of deeper analysis of the characters based on being stuck underground for a week. Maria’s “I’m always nice to girls!” becomes rather flimsy when she has no males to tease XD Funny how Nino was the most stable out of all them.

    Jacqueline makes that kappa outfit look so damn good 8D

  2. Joojoobees Says:

    Well, they are all nuts to begin with, so I suppose a test to see who goes crazy isn’t super useful. I do wonder, however, if Nino can just choose to ignore their pitiable results.

  3. blindability Says:

    It was so cute to see Sister being active in his relationship with Maria – misguided though it may be (because we all know Maria would never fawn over Sister even if he was terribly ill). Plus it’s been a while since we last saw him in “male garb”.

  4. Joojoobees Says:

    Poor Sister. He is willing to do just about anything short of throwing his body on a nuke just to get a little affection from the one person who is least likely to give it to him.

  5. wonton jr. Says:

    It was so funny to see Shimazuki uhh fantasy.. though I doubt it would happen but still.. GO SHIMAZUKI!!


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