Just as I decided to paste the opening message of each episode to start my Arakawa posts it throws up the least inspirational one thus far (although strangely it comes in the best episode of Arakawa yet). I still quite like the message of reaching farther than you can ever achieve but I don’t really see what it has to do with Arakwa in general. Plus when the episode starts with Master Fisherwomen Nino watching a whale…well, how long do you think Nino would have to spend meditating under waterfalls to catch a whale?
Episode 52: Teacher Under the Bridge
And so starts a long and grueling day as a teacher for poor old Recruit. I love his ‘trial and error’ method of teaching he uses later on, but here he starts his journey down the path of losing his originally enthusiastic audience. Because, as usual, Recruit is still making mistakes by trying to apply his previous lifes’ logic to the world under the bridge.
(Nino is the smart kid who always sits at the front of the class, which should theoretically be social suicide in the scary world of classroom politics, and yet is still an influential figure in the classroom because of her seemingly unending knowledge of useful facts. It’s like the nerdy kid in school who showed the messers (or Jocks, as they call them in America) how to use proxy sites to look at naughty stuff on the school computers. You know, important information of the likes they don’t teach you in class)
Episode 53: Interest
(or the lack thereof, judging by this picture)
That really looks like Hoshi is school uniform. Well, not the usual Japanese high school uniform, more the English school uniform (for the uninitiated out there, English/Irish school uniform looks like those in Harry Potter except without the robes and wands). What this picture sorely needs now is for Hoshi to be running to school with toast in his mouth, although that’s more of a schoolgirl thing.
(Hey yeah, genderswapping Arakawa! Imagine what that would be like. Well, now that I think about it I don’t think it would work that well. Sister becomes Brother, which totally loses the appeal. A female Mayor dressed as a kappa wouldn’t be quite the same either. P-ko wouldn’t work either. Yeah, I think this a case where genderswapping doesn’t throw up amusing situations)
Oh come on Mayor, we’ve all heard that one before. That’s right up there with ‘the kappa ate my homework’. Now if you said something believable like ‘Sister blew it up with a hand grenade’ then maybe your story would be more believable. However the prospect of seeing the Mayor taking on people under the bridge in a sumo is amusing. I wonder who out of the men under the bridge would win in a sumo bout (discounting Sister). Recruit probably studied it as part of his plans for world domination so my money’s on him.
(Random thought: One of the things that bothered me about anime in general was the total lack of sumo wrestling. When you consider that it’s what many people think of when they’re asked about Japanese culture, its absence in anime felt awfully strange to me. After some digging it turns out that sumo wrestling is so plagued by match fixing that the younger generations don’t care about it anymore and it’s now considered something only old people watch. Anime is generally for people between the ages of 12-25 so it makes sense for it not to be present. The mayor referencing sumo just after he stated he was centuries of years old only re-enforces that fact.)
Actually it’s just a cover of a certain Pink Floyd song. Although you can’t fault his taste in music. I found myself humming himo himo himo himo~~~~ the other day.
Teacher/Student forbidden romance? As unbelievably cute as this scene was, this probably isn’t the best reason for Nino to come to school. What Recruit really needs is people interested in learning. Then again, Nino has frequently shown that she takes a lot of what Recruit says to heart as life lessons. Recruit is a fountain of fascinating wisdom and knowledge to her, which is why she’s so interested in him. However there is still that glimmer of romantic interest between them. Remember episode 5 and Nino blushing? I wonder if they’ll get any further than first date before the series ends. Recruit needs Hoshi to goad him into making the next move again.
Episode 54: Starting Class
(This is the only picture I have something to say about in this ‘episode’ of Arakawa. I wrote over 500 words about the last episode. Congratulations Scamp, you win the bloggers award for consistency!)
Episode 55: Turf
Ah Nino, we love you no matter how strange you are. No wait, we love you because of how strange you are. As for Recruit, he’s gotten used to your quirks by now and is capable of responding to them in a controlled manner. There’s still a few things that throw him under the bridge but for the most part he’s learned to adapt. We see him overreact to random shit far less often now, with only the craziest stuff throwing him from now on. A big change from the start when people were saying ‘oh, it’s just an anime whose humour is based off random stuff happening and the main character yelling a reaction’. Hah, whose laughing now, bitches!
So awesome~! I wasn’t that fond of Stella before this episode (badass loli’s have been done before) but dressed up like that makes the whole thing so much better. The sunglasses, the trench coat, the teeth clench, the popped collar. Stella doesn’t just go to the school of the badass loli’s, she got expelled for bullying the other badass lolis!
Episode 56: Not quite forthright
You know, when I was talking about Stella going to the school for badass lolis, I’d totally forgotten that she actually did. And yes, she did get kicked out of the school for badass lolis. Sister must have decided she was too dangerous for the poor little kids back in Western Europe so deported her to Japan, keeping a close eye on her at all times. Putting her in the care of the Iron Head Brothers is probably a good thing because all they have to do is take off their helmets to keep her under control.
(Villainous orphanage in Western Europe? I could make a Kinderheim 511 from Monster reference right about now but for some reason I feel that making jokes about that place just isn’t kosher)
If you could just divert your attention away from Nino’s epic windmill hair for just a second, this is what I was talking about earlier. Recruit’s method of teaching is a trial and error method. Change if the kids are getting bored but if they seem interested in something then just let them do it. If it aint broke, don’t fix it.
Episode 57: A completely different person to everyone else
Hoooh, I have a devious plan involving photshop with this picture. I’m competing against Sea Slugs in the next round of the aniblog tourney where I’ll likely get my ass handed to me. However apparently you’re meant to draw fanart of their mascot when you lose. My artist skillz are around the same level as Stella’s so I think I should be able to rustle something up of similar levels of artistic brilliance.
There are many reasons why Sister is my favourite character under the bridge. One of the big drawing factors is how he was the first person, apart from Nino, for Recruit to warm up to. Now he’s the only person he can have a reasonable argument with without being frightened for his life, which is strange considering Sister’s habit of withdrawing weapons of minor destruction out from under his robes at regular intervals.
Ah love things like this! No, not the sparkly bubbles that floated in from the nearest shojo series. The idea that this picture makes perfect sense in context but looks so totally bizarre to anyone who has never seen the anime before. It’s a similar appeal to those Hetalia discussions talking about how France would react if England tried to cut his hair. It makes perfect sense in the context of Hetalia but baffles those outside.
Episode 58: When winter comes
Hey guiz, I think we need more reasons why Sister is the best character in Arakawa Under the Bridge. How about the efficiency at which he dispatched vegetable and the occasional rouge trowel? Yup, I think we can all agree on the awesomeness of Sister right about now.
Episode 59: Transformation
At first I was all like ‘P-ko on a motorbike? Yargh, disaster in the making!’. But then it dawned on me. P-ko is a moe of the dojiko variety, right? There’s another character in a current airing anime who has also been described in series as a dojiko who also rides a motorbike (which has also been compared to an animal. In that case a horse, in Arakawa’s case, an iron boar. Thank you Mayor for that image). Haven’t you all realised it by now? Motorbikes were considered the ultimate in rebelling from society after Akira. Now, thanks to Durarara, they are considered moe!
It’s hard to pick a stranger couple between P-ko X Kappa and Sister X Maria. Compared to those two pairings, Nino and Recruit look like a positively normal couple with a house, a dog and 2.4 kids (the iron brothers super powers count for 0.2 each). I’m trying to imagine what it would be like if P-ko confessed to the Mayor. How physical would their relationship be able to be. Although I can predict the Mayor’s first reaction. “But I’m a yokai. I’ll stay alive long after you die”. So heartbreaking~! Oh that reminds me. When’s that third season of Spice and Wolf coming Brains Base?
Episode 60: What’s common sense?
When I was a bit younger I was a huge fan of Top Trumps cards. These were cards each with 5-6 different stats. Each person draws a card and takes it in turn to pick a stat and whoever has the highest gets both cards. I was such a nerd in my younger days that I made top trumps out of anime characters. They’re still lying around on the computer at home somewhere. One of the stats evaluated the attractiveness of the characters. Of course as we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While I might have rated the Mayor’s looks at around a 2, P-ko would argue that they should be over 9000!
(yep, that entire paragraph was just leading up to an over 9000 joke. Hurrah Scamp, you get the bloggers award for originality)
But even if he has no common sense, he lives an unwavering life. After all, that’s his real way of living. Finally coming to understand your true self. Pretty cool isn’t it?
You know what else is a lack of common sense? Spending over 4 hours on an episodic blog post. Or is it..what’s common sense anyway?