27 CommentsArakawa Under the Bridge / By Scamp /

Arakawa Under the Bridge episode 9

No philosophical message, no plot advancing revelations, no introspective analysis into the psyche of the characters. All we got was a discussion as to whether Sister would be able to eat Hoshi. Which is a defunct argument anyway because we all know Sister could anything he bloody well wanted.

Episode 70: Present

And I’m bloody freaked out.

Hoshi without his Star head. His mask is made up of two parts. The Star and the potato. The potato layer must be for insular reasons, to let the air breath around his head. Otherwise his face would end up all horrible and wrinkly. He’s clearly put effort into this design of his. Wonder if he made it himself or bought it off a mask enthusiast. Why am I even asking this question? Why must I analyse the most random and insignificant of aspects of Arakawa in my posts?

No Arakawa! Please please please don’t turn down the path of the pedophiles. Surely Shaft got that out of their system with Vampire Bund. In fact, anime fandom got more than enough underage wank material out of that shitty anime.

P.S. Vampire Bund is a terrible anime. Arakawa is awesome. This shall be the last time I mention these two anime in the same sentence.

Aaaand the world is back to normal. Well, normal for Arakawa Under the Bridge. Which is pretty far from what you’d normally consider normal I suppose. At least there weren’t rockets firing out from those pads. For some reason I was expecting that to happen. Hey, it makes more sense then what happens later on in this episode.

Episode 71: Embers

That’s a strangely cute image. Sister makes his cookies for Maria like a high school girl does to offer to the boy she likes. However he can never summon up the courage to give her the cookies himself so instead he hands them out at mass. Or maybe handing cookies out at mass is a ruse so he can give cookies to Maria. I wonder if Maria attends mass? I don’t remember seeing her there in the earlier episodes. Then again, they blacked out all the characters that we didn’t already know.

And it was here that Arakawa stopped making any sense whatsoever. The mangaka must have picked up an old copy of Fist of the North Star while halfway through writing this chapter and modified his character designs to fit his newfound obsession. It could have been worse I suppose. He could have become obsessed with Strike Witches.

(For the uninitiated, Fist of the North Star is an old manga and anime series aimed at children. Therefore it has extremely manly men who have six packs on their six packs and biceps on their biceps. It involves exploding heads, amongst other things)

(For the uninitiated, Strike Witches is a relatively recent anime aimed at bachelors. Therefore it has underage girls flying around in a world with no pants. 12 months later the studio who created it, Gonzo, stopped making anime)

Episode 72: MDS (Mad Shot-down Brothers)

Look at that. This is a disgrace. Remember at how lovely her eyebrows used to be? They were all small and curved and cute. Now they’re these ugly, bushy looking caterpillars that look like they’re running away from each other. Where can we go now to get our doses of lovely eyebrows. You’ve ruined it now Arakawa.

It’s like Street Fighter, Tekken or whatever one-on-one fighter game you grew up with. You’ve just unlocked a difficulty level beyond legendary by entering a cheat code you found online. In this difficulty level your character is Mr.Potato Head. Your first match is against Fist of the North Stella. Who then proceeds to serve you a slice of your own face.

Episode 73: Tyrant

With my two-year anniversary coming up soon, I’ve been looking for a new avatar to celebrate the occasion. I could use Fist of the North Stella I suppose. However she has the unfortunate flaw of ever having driven a cart. As a blog called The Cart Driver, I feel my character should have a certain degree of cart driving capabilities. At least Recruit pushed a trolley with Sister on. That’s kinda like driving a cart.

(Have Stella’s eyebrows gotten ever worse? Now they look like caterpillars on fire)

Maria in ‘P-ko-gazing-upon-the-Mayor’ vision. Out of the women under the bridge she’s probably my least favourite. First would be Nino, followed by P-ko then Maria. Stella doesn’t count. At this point in the episode, Stella is no longer classified as a female. She is now a freak of nature caused upon by the author reading too many manly manga. Case point: this picture.

What is this I don’t even

This could just be an honest assessment of the strength of Stella’s character (who is no longer Fist of the North Stella). It could just be a well thought out method of making Stella feel better about herself. However, my shipping swaying ways likes to think that this is a call-out to Sister to actually admit that he likes her. Or even better, an admittance that she likes Sister but can’t bring herself to be honest about her feelings, while being jealous that Stella has the endless power of youth to drive her passion forward. Sister and Maria. I wonder if any of these couples will get together before the end of the show.

Episode 74: True Form

Oh no, a normal person is going under the bridge! I better warn him not to go any further or else he might meet some extremely strange people. I’m the most normal person here so I’ll lead him away. Yup, totally normal person with plenty of common sense. make sure he doesn’t go near Man-eating starfishes that only exist in my warped imagination. Or Fist of the North Stella. I’m not sure which one is scarier.

(Stop it Arakawa. Your irony is beginning to hurt my insides more than Halfadeckshort’s horrible puns in his poetry)

Episode 75: First Magnitude Star

One thing that I like about Arakawa is that it’s still grounded in reality.For the most part, these characters are real people who could really exist. Hoshi, the Mayor, Nino and Whitey all work like that. They’re just stuck under the bridge due to personality defects. Sister is probably on the run or something, or at least thinks he is. P-ko feels that under the bridge is the only society she fits into. People like the Iron Head brothers live under there because nobody is willing to question why they aren’t somewhere else. These are all normal people with certain personality defects. Which is why Fist of the North Stella bugged me. It was just a bit too much.

That’s no moon. It’s a space station.

(Actually it’s a banana. Looking like a banana is never cool. I’ve discussed this before)

Nino with short hair is surprisingly better than long-haired Nino, and this is coming from someone who generally prefers long hair. Also, this is Nino when she was 5 years younger. To my surprise, she’s already living under the bridge, which blows my theory that she only started living there roughly two years ago. But it confirm my idea that she’s roughly 20 years old, around the same age as Recruit. She’s definitely a high-schooler in that picture. Old enough to interest Star but still relatively young. I wonder if she went to school. In fact, I’m still wondering about pretty much everything in her past. I really, really want to know.

And so Hoshi’s story was all a lie. Well no, but certainly a fabrecated version of the truth. It’s like those strawberry tasting sweets. They probably had a trace of strawberry in them once, but it’s been beaten down by all the artificial crap.

I’ll be blunt: This wasn’t the greatest installment of Arakawa. Every episode until now felt like it had advanced the plot. Recruit’s attitude to people under the bridge would evolve, as would his relationship with Nino. This felt like a filler episode more than anything, to flesh out a few side characters before the ending. It still made me grin a lot but it lacked the punch of a real episode of Arakawa. Ah well, maybe the next episode will return to form once again.

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26 Comments

  1. dirty weeabro
    Posted June 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    hoshi’s story was probably the most interesting part of the episode for me. while we’re unaware of just how much of the truth he gives us, we still get to see his true identity, the reason for his star-shaped mask for liking nino.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Well I’d say the main part about Nino being the only person who likes his songs is true. Although I’m sure himo himo himo himo~~~ would be a hit if Recruits dad sung it

  2. Posted June 5, 2010 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    I think the word you were looking for there is “terrible,” but then I guess not everyone has the same subtle grasp of the language that some of us enjoy. :p

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      My linguistic skills
      outstrip your paltry efforts
      You second-rate bard

      • Posted June 6, 2010 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        Oh shit, it’s ON.

      • Posted June 7, 2010 at 4:21 am | Permalink

        Better a poor bard
        Than a third-rate fan wanker
        Who has limp diction.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        At least my penis
        Is visable without a
        Magnifying glass

      • Posted June 8, 2010 at 2:05 am | Permalink

        An old joke, but it’s
        Not half as crusty as your
        Hug pillow girlfriend.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 8, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Jesus one five nine
        and Halfadeckshort angered
        Two down four to go

      • Posted June 8, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Trouble with your math
        Is that none are really mad
        …In the “angry” sense.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        “It’s not like I’m mad
        Or anything, b-baka!”
        Oh you tsundere~

  3. Posted June 5, 2010 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    *swoops in and claims Maria* I’m in for many a hot — and miserable — day!

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      I’ll stick to having space-case waifus

  4. Posted June 5, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    “At least there weren’t rock­ets fir­ing out from those pads. For some reason I was expect­ing that to hap­pen.”

    LOL. So was I.

    FOTN-Stella was weird, but she did manage to snap Hoshi out of his funk.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      See what has anime done to our persepeption of battle bras!

  5. vucubcaquix
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    You guys are aware that Stella means Star, right?

    • vucubcaquix
      Posted June 5, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Actually, so does Maria… it means star of the sea. And hoshi means star… Did they reveal what Nino’s name was, yet?

      • Scamp
        Posted June 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        She’s from Venus. The first star at night

      • vucubcaquix
        Posted June 6, 2010 at 1:52 am | Permalink

        MIND=BLOWN

      • luffyluffy
        Posted June 6, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        but Venus is a planet :3

      • vucubcaquix
        Posted June 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        But Venus is also known as the Evening Star.

  6. fathomlessblue
    Posted June 5, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    You pretty much shared my exact feeling on this ep, very good but still a disappointment. I guess ommiting the introductory speech was telling, this was going to be side-story only with nothing advancing the plot.

    I liked the focus on some of the side characters and their stories, however brief (Maria) or semi-ficticious (Hoshi) they may have been. Stella was too much though. One of the best qualities of this show as a comedy is that it operates under the boundaries of surreal reality (bar giant fish of course!). The whole FotNS was too random, especially as it was treated as real and not in Ric’s overactive imagination (like that v. creepy parasite Hoshi scene). There were enough funny moments but it was dragged on too far. So yes Shaft Giant-Stella was funny… now please don’t show her again.

    Saying that, maybe people (i.e. me) are praising this show so much that any small blip in form seems like a big deal.

    Oh and pototo-Hoshi reminded me of Moon Face (from Enid Blyton’s The Magical Faraway Tree)… suffering from advanced depression. I still find the original creepier though.

    http://saucepanman.blogspot.com/2007/12/moonface.html

    • Scamp
      Posted June 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

      I do think it deserves more praise then it’s getting outside this blog. I have seen quite a lot of rather unenthusiastic responses towards the series in many places. It’s loved in the blogsphere but not in many other places. Still a good episode, just didn’t carry the momentum the previous episodes were building up.

      I’m pretty certain I’ve seen moonface before…that’s going to but me now. But want a far creepier moonface? How about The Sandman!

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted June 6, 2010 at 3:21 am | Permalink

        He’s from a series old kids books from the 50’s, which where allegedly v. popular. The whole collection is at my grandparents in N. Ireland although I was never a fan, especially with that loli-bait photo from the link. There was a parody character in Futurama called Crater Face so you may have seen him there.

        Loving The Sandman vid, ages since i’ve seen it. I love how that youtube page links to an ever worse comparison, the infamous Kinder egg advert

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOFRIWx5F9c&feature=related

        If you find something worse than that then I don’t want to see it xD

      • Scamp
        Posted June 6, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        what is this i don’t even

  7. blissfullynaive
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I think i’m the only one here who laughed so much at FotNS Stella. I dunno, man. Her monologue was hilarious, for some reason. Man, idek why i laughed so much.

    This might be my favorite episode.

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  • […] department. And we still haven’t really been shown much of Nino’s past (though as Scamp says it looks like she might have actually been high school age and living under the bridge […]

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