Arakawa Bridge^2 – final thoughts
January 3, 2011
Arakawa under the Bridge season 2 has ended. Here I offer my thoughts on the series as a whole. Normally I would reassure or warn based on whether I was including spoilers or not. In truth, I’m not even sure what “spoilers” are in relation to this show. In summary, I enjoyed watching this show, although some weeks more than others. I tackle the question of whether the ending was satisfying or not below.
I think the first question one could ask when an anime ends is, “Will you miss any of the characters?” I definitely liked several of the characters very much, and it is disappointing to think that I won’t get a chance to virtually drop by and hang out with my friends under the bridge. Not only were the characters fun, but the seiyuu selection was excellent. In fact the voice acting cast was so excellent that it is pointless to pick any one example out.
So the ending… A lot of times a show’s success depends upon its ending. Some shows are methodically plotted, with all the loose strings unexpectedly pulling tight in one swift motion. More commonly a big boss battle appears out of nowhere in the final two episodes. Arakawa falls squarely in the latter category. Fortunately for me, this resulted in a Sister X Maria focused episode. I happen to love those two characters, so the final battle was pretty entertaining.
Of course that does mean that all the forward momentum related to Nino and the voyage to Venus was lost. If I gave points to the shows I review, I would be taking points off for that, but since I don’t, I’ll just say that I think Arakawa would have been even better if the story was formally wrapped up. Instead, the ending finally decided the question of whether Arakawa was a gag comedy series, or something more (it’s a gag comedy). By the way, here’s a link for those who don’t get the reference in the caption above.
One of the reasons I’ll remember this series fondly is that SHAFT has a tendency towards flashes of artistic brilliance. Occasional shots of intense beauty, and imaginative, perhaps even breathtaking, originality in visual presentation can be found throughout the series. The OP is just one example. In the end, even if I wouldn’t put Arakawa under the Bridge on a must-see list, or rank it amongst my favorite anime of all time, I can easily imagine showing a sample of it to someone who thinks all anime is Pokemon.