27 CommentsArakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge / By Scamp /

Arakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge episode 2

Hello there episode 1. You appear to be a bit lost. We’re already on the second season here. You might want to try find a job at SoreMachi, Shaft’s other show this season. Maybe you could bring a bit of your excitement and construction to that anime, because it looks like it might need some.

Episode 116: The Amazoness

(and her Tengu)

of the Colourful Land

One of the problems with watching anime is it’s from Japan. That island on the direct opposite side of the world to where I live. Jokes being lost in translation is a common occurrence, but as is cultural and even very simple things like geography-related jokes. Saitama is like the town a short drive away from where you live. It would be like me saying “Amazon? This looks Sheffield to me” or something along those lines. The idea is that it’s mundane, and comparing the mundane to the fantastical is a pretty standard joke in any stand up comedians repertoire. It’s just they adapt their jokes to suit their location. Can’t really do that here, but you get my drift.

Surely you’re used to people this mad by now Recruit? I’m not quite sure why you’re acting so surprised. An Amazoness with men who are convinced they’re tengu is far from the strangest thing you’ve seen. It’s barely on the same level as Sister. At least Amazonian warriors are meant to be women.

(I tried to think of other examples of weirdos living next to the river in anime. The only one I could come up with was the two main characters in Inukami, who I’m pretty sure lived by the riverside when their house was destroyed (I might be wrong on that one, it’s been a long time since I watched it). You could hardly call those two normal either.)

(The classic example, of course, is the homeless blokes from Anke Morpork, who spend most of their time chilling by the river. I can’t remember them all at the moment, but I do remember one of them had a duck on his head. I think he was called Duck Man, such is the mastery of the English Language Mr.Pratchett has)

Episode 117: The increasingly mysterious Arakawa riverbank

She’s an Amazonian Warrior. With a bunch of lackys who think they’re tengu. She has a secret stash of ice pops that she’s convinced is the most valuable treasure this side of Saitamina. If anyone tries to take these ice pops, she either throws them off course pretending she’s a Japanese school girl or by shooting them with some sort of sherbet sweet thing. You know, on paper, that sounds like it should be funny. But I was never once amused by the whole thing. Well ok, I did crack a grin when her ringtone was jungle drums, but that was it. Plus she’s going to turn up again. I hope she has some other lackys who are more amusing than these lot. I guess the problem is that I don’t see her purpose. She hasn’t inadvertently revealed aspects of modern society that are hypocritical or any of the usual things that Arakawa characters often succeed in highlighting. We’ll wait and see if she improves.

Episode 118: Making one’s will known

I have gradually been trying to build a profile of how this society under the bridge was formed. This just so happens to be the thrd time these kids have shown up, picking on someone passing over the bridge. Perhaps these kids are the main production source for inhabitants under the bridge. Through their misdemeanor, they find unusual individuals who are perfect for life under the bridge and force them into situations where they get dragged in some form or another to life under there. They targeted Recruit’s dad for largely the same reason they targeted Recruit, but that ended in failure because there was already someone who fulfilled that role under the bridge in Recruit himself. Imagine, their fathers performed these nefarious acts before them and have passed down their wisdom through the generations. Although that does go against my theory that this village was only set up 5-6 years ago with Nino and the Mayor.

I’m trying to work out if his outfit is a homage to any previous Space Captains of past anime. Captain Harlock maybe? Nah, I just google imaged Harlock and he dresses totally different. He also looks considerably different to Captain Tylor as well. Hmmm, I’m afraid my knowledge of famous Space Captains is rather lacking due to my similarly lacking knowledge in anime over 12 years old. There must be a Space Captain who dressed in a white trenchcoat with a red scarf. I know I’ve seen that fashion combo before but for the life of me I can’t place it.

Episode 119: Feeling

Yay~! The leech song has returned! If I ever go karaoke (which I won’t because I’m a boring old fart who hates karaoke and that whole passtime can go play in traffic for all I care, so long as I’m not involved) I am so going to sing this song.

himo himo himo himoo~~~

himo himo himo himoo~~~

himo himo himo himoo~~~

himo himo himo himoo~~~

OK, I’m done.

I’ve been wanting to see this happen. By my calculations, I new member should join the cast under the bridge every 6 months or so, assuming that some leave occasionally when they are ready to face the real world again (for a given value of ‘real’ that is). I have no idea how long Recruit has been living under the bridge. Your sense of time probably gets warped living under there. I wish I had something of worth to measure it against but I can’t think of anything. Enough time for P-ko to grow tomatoes last season to having not-quite ripe ones this season. Since she leaves during the winter to get new seeds, I guess we haven’t passed a full year yet. 6 months sounds about right.

(That is, assuming Arakawa is the type of anime to keep track of these sorts of things. But I shall assume it does. Because clearly Arakawa is an intelligent enough anime to keep track of when the perfect time of year for unripened tomatoes to sprout)

It says something about how Recruit has acclimatised to his surroundings that he considers his girlfriend’s transformation into robot fighter Nino using fish as a catalyst for her abilities to emerge to be nothing more than her ‘fishing’. Honestly, the most normal reaction is the one our new favourite space captain had. Who, upon viewing such a magical occurance, would consider it anything other than outside interference. No wonder he’s dressed up in that captains outfit. Only he knows of the impending doom that is facing earth. Therefore he shall be the man to defend it.

Yes, Captain Tylock (I shall continue to use this name until someone else comes up with a better one). You can do it! Inherit the spirit of the typical Gundam pilot and fight the invaders. Think of your loved ones. The people on your planet. That teacher you had a crush on in high school. That obligatory childhood friend who knocks on your door everyday in an attempt to get you away from your *insert hobby that will help you defend the earth at a later date here* and go to school, who actually harbours a secret crush on you. They will all die in the face of oppressive evil. Unless you fight! But you can’t do it alone, can you?

But never fear, Captain Tylock! The people of the earth are here to aid you in your quest! The warriors, the creatures and even the stars themselves will aid you in your noble mission. You can do it Captain Tylock! The whole world is behind you, cheering you on. You have the hopes and dreams of children worldwide. At dinners across the globe, families will look up at the stars at their hero, going into battle to defend them all. The people believe in you. I believe in you, Captain Tylock!

I’m not entirely sure what’s the best way to follow my inspirational Captain Tylock speech without being a massive downer in tone afterwards. I would like to make a little note of Nino’s Host Control Antenna, otherwise known as her Epic Ahoge. The exact same one in my avatar. Nino is, in fact, controlling my mind using that control antenna. The person you know as Scamp died has long since stopped writing this blog. You are merely reading the ramblings of a forgotten Venusian who just so happens to really like the end of Geass R2.

Episode 120: The Queen of Venus

I like Captain Tylock. A lot. He certainly far eclipses the Amazoness. At least here it feels like they started with a basic character outline and let the rest of the script write itself. For the Amazoness, it felt like they were forcing in random character quirks to make her funny. But if you start to go against Nino, Captain Tylock, then I’m afraid I’m going to have to side with the Queen of Venus. The Control Antenna commands that I do so.

(Extra proof that this guy is a better character than the Amazoness: I’ve written twice the amount for the second half of the episode than the first half. And it’s not even over yet)

There was a moment just before Nino unleashed her biological weaponry upon Captain Tylock where she reached inside her tracksuit top to unsheathe her arsenal. At first, I didn’t recognise the hand that was reaching inside her top and for a brief second I thought it was the hand of Captain Tylock. He’s literally just seen the Queen of Venus for the first time and already hes gone straight for the breast grope? I would get angry but at the same time, there’s a sense of respect. Hoshi hadn’t even been inside Nino’s room for the 4 years he’s known her and it took Recruit a fair amount of time to even go for a kiss. Yet here comes a newbie and within seconds has already groped the girl everyone has a crush on. I would have applauded his aggressive tactics.

But no, it was just Nino showing her love. And by ‘showing her love’ I mean ‘shoving various aquatic lifeforms down his throut’. Which included a prawn. Apparently Nino keeps prawns in her bra. However I am informed that this is a perfectly natural thing to do for a Venusian girl. The Control Antenna tells me that this is so.

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  1. luffyluffy
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    How many damn Saint Seiya jokes were there? Oh Arakawa.


    Also, IRL Hoshi is scary.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Permalink


      “They’re more powerful than nukes!”

      • luffyluffy
        Posted October 15, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

        … I just realized, the Amazonness’s skirt is patterned Gankutsuou style

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Apparently I missed all the Saint Seiya references. I did say my knowledge of anime over 12 years old is severly lacking

  2. Ragnarok
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    Great episode,
    I think I know why the Amazonian is not as interesting as the Capitan:
    I am more or less up with the manga and I know things about Capitan (no spoilers unless you want them hohoho) but the Amazonian hasn’t come up yet, so she is not a character of the manga, and not as good as the others.

    My only concern is that sister wasn’t able to detect Recruit’s lies, he’s getting rusty xD.
    It amuses me how Sister’s lever of danger is “More dangerous than nukes” if is inferior than nukes than Sister can handle it lol.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      How close do Shaft follow the manga? I read the first chapter back before the first season came out and it seemed to follow it pretty faithfully. Actually Shaft really added to the manga with this adaptation

  3. Posted October 14, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised you didn’t also include that final screencap of Nino drinking from the water tap.

    Bit disappointed that the section with the Amazoness ended up being so anti-climactic (completely agree that it was weired (and not in a good way) rather than funny), though I enjoyed the other nutters’ reactions to Ric’s ‘dream’. Not sure what to make about the Elvis lookalike yet either, but I was glad to see the return of the Arakawa Gag Contest at the end, and the ED with the live action versions of Hoshi and Last Samurai joining the Kappa was fun.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Oh yah, that picture. I’m keeping that for my own ‘personal’ use.

      And by personal I mean I’m printing it out, sticking on my wall and using it as inspiration to enjoy my life as much as Nino appears to do so.

      (why, what did you think I was going to use it for?)

      • Posted October 16, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Of course you are.

        (Why, what were you thinking I was thinking you were thinking of using it for?)

  4. Posted October 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Look up the voice actor for the captain. He played some captain in some old scifi show, and I’m assuming he’s a reference to that character.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Which anime is particular? I did a search amongst the schi-fi shows he’s been in. He’s voiced characters in Escaflowne, G Gundam and Martian Successor Nadesico (and Sagara Souske which was kinda cool) but none of them seem to fit the character he’s playing here

  5. Posted October 15, 2010 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    The new ED sounds so melancholy. I love it. I just wish it didn’t end so abruptly. Kind of makes me anticipate the whole song even more.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      It does annoyingly cut off. I just start to get into it then it cuts off. Oh well

  6. Posted October 15, 2010 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    Saitama is an otaku.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


  7. Gunslinger
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Loved the part where sister jumps out the window when nino enters. i was laughing so much my stomach hurt.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Sister always steals random highlights

  8. Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Maybe the Amazonesses were a cheap trip to hook us into the second season. They may not be more interesting or nearly as funny as your Captain Tylock, but they do draw the eye.

    • Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      And by “cheap trip” I meant “cheap trick”. Oops.

      • Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:11 am | Permalink

        Or maybe I’m retaliating because you spammed your old Bokutachi posts with blank comments.

        Just kidding.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      heh, sorry for that. I was getting highly frustrated with html and wanted to try it out on another blog

  9. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to have to go against the grain and change my earlier opinion by admitting that I actually liked the Amazoness. Well, not so much her formal personality, but rather the schoolgirl alter-ego. Of all the things I was expecting of her character that was certainly not one of them. It was just so stupidly ridiculous (that voice!) I couldn’t help but laugh, from shock if nothing else.

    Liked the ED, but I wish it contained more characters than just Hoshi or Major. I paricularly would love to see what Sister appears like in real life.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted October 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Also what the hell is going on with that “Little Britain” reference (yeah, but, no, but) in the background of that ‘cuz you’re lame’ screenshot. Is that show popular in Japan or something???

      • Posted October 16, 2010 at 12:19 am | Permalink

        I am so glad I wasn’t the only one that immediately thought ‘WTF Vicky Pollard??’ at that scene! :lol:

    • Ragnarok
      Posted October 16, 2010 at 1:24 am | Permalink

      So that’s were the “yea, but, no, but” background comes from,
      I imagine it was a reference of something but I didn’t know where xP

    • Scamp
      Posted October 16, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Yup, I thought Vicky Pollard too. Was going to mention that, but these posts are bloody long enough without having me delve into why I think Little Britain is a comedy series that didn’t know what to do once it had established its admittedly hilarious first sketches

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  • By bridge x bridge episode two « Bokutachi no BLOG on October 15, 2010 at 5:33 am

    […] despite the fact that I didn’t get the Saitama reference at all. (If you’re interested, Scamp sort of explains it without being Japanese.) I also liked how, after Recruit was knocked out by the […]

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