10 CommentsArakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge / By Scamp /

Arakawa under the Bridge X Bridge episode 4

Moar Arakawa FTW!

(I have nothing witty to start this post off with. Since I’m already late on this, let’s get cracking shall we?)

Or maybe not.

I started writing. I started taking screencaps. I did my usual routine for Arakawa posts. But this episode had nothing. I mean, it was funny and everything. But nothing advanced, nothing changed and was, for all intensive purposes, ‘filler’. Which sounds hugely contradictory to call a comedy anime that. But it’s not the sitcom never-changing atmosphere of Arakawa that I love. The comedy is funny and everything, but largely boils down to Recruit playing straight man to the Arakawa residents, and through his straight man  routine reveal how obviously strange he is in his own way.

What I really loved about the first season of Arakawa, the reason it’s got a place in my top 3o, is the absolute perfect construction of the series. Characters change very subtlety over the course of the series and their attitudes towards Recruit and his attitude towards them shifts ever so slightly. The deconstruction of everything he thought to be ‘common sense’ and straight into his integration under the bridge. It’s a wonderful series, even though I’m the only one who gives it quite this much praise.

This episode realised the reasons I didn’t want this second season in the first place. There were 3 directions it could have taken. The first is build an entirely new central plot piece deconstructing Nino’s past and tackling the barriers she’s built up in her society under the bridge, which it looks like to be the direction it’s taking at times, more noticeably in episodes 1 and 3. The second option would be to introduce some totally random plot point that ultimately doesn’t effect the relationships the characters have under the bridge. A filler arc, as you would say. The final option would be to have a season of unrelated episodes simply exploring the characters under the bridge’s personalities in a humorous fashion.

The second and third options are largely the same. Nothing ultimately changes and the humour remains the same. But I can’t shake the feeling that these are unnecessary. I had the exact same problem with Rainbow earlier this year. Once the centre story of the kids in prison ended, the remaining episodes felt unneeded. Sure, it would still keep a cheesy dramatic punch that Rainbow loved throughout it’s main story. But I didn’t want to see anymore. I didn’t want them to show me what happened to the characters in later years. Leave that to my imagination. You’d done such a great job constructing these characters that we didn’t need to see beyond that well-constructed story you’d originally showed us.

I’m probably the minority on this, but I feel that once you’ve constructed the perfect story, it shouldn’t be touched thereafter. We don’t need to see anymore. Maybe a special extra episode or two. But an entirely new season? (Which is basically the exact same thing Rainbow did). I’m not a fan of that. And it’s only a recent discovery that I’m not a fan of that. As fun as it is to see Sister as a schoolgirl, the experience feels hollow and tacked on.

Oh why not, here’s a picture, with a worryingly short skirt.

I didn’t say much about this before because it was too early. Plus episode 3 was fantastic and hinted that we would have another deconstruction, reconstruction style story involving Nino. This was nothing though. I have nothing against plotness nonsense comedy. Just maybe not after that first season.

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  1. Posted October 30, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Did something happened, Scamp?
    You sound so down.
    *pats on shoulder*
    If there’s something, just tell us, and we will try to cheer you up.
    I actually liked this episode, it just seems a bit shallow because the last one was so awesome.
    Oh, and just a question, do you know someone who blogs Otome Yokai Zakuro? I want to see it blogged~

    So, don’t be sad Scamp, and have some cookies. Sister made them for you. (I can’t cook~ I suck~)

    • Scamp
      Posted October 30, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      No, I’m not sad or anything. It’s true I had a very busy week, but nothing actually stressful or anything. This post is more born out of the frustration of finding nothing interesting to say about the episode. If I’d stuck at it and written this post in my usual manner, it probably would have resulted in the same points being made, just with a lot of sillyness thrown in between.

      Anime Nano is the best place to go to find other bloggers. Click on the titles at the bottom of the page to search by series. The only blog I recognise blogging it is Abandoned Factory but other blogs have written interesting stuff on the series, like Gar Gar and Major Arcana so knock yourself out and read their stuff

  2. Roghek
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Well since I know the facts I will confirm what you just say.

    This episode was a filler, sadly because the story seem to have some deep issues, fun!!

    And yes it would have been better to wait a little bit more for a second season and have it very well developed like the first season, and is such a shame because we all (almost) love arakawa.

    Regarding Sister in miniskirt , I’m going to see that in my nightmares Please God let this be the last filler, I beg of you!!

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted October 30, 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Sister in a skirt is sexy~ DEM THIGHS!!!

    As for the episode… I laughed ;3; Mostly at the halloween part though~

    • Posted October 31, 2010 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      I agree.
      That was totally fanservice for the girls. Or at least the girl who like manly man in miniskirts! (Like me. *shot*)

  4. fathomlessblue
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I guess how much enjoyment you get from Arakawa depends on what you watch it for. As far as i’m concerned the show’s primarily a comedy with great characters. The social commentary and drama is the icing on the cake, that which sets it above the competition.

    As such, I don’t need to see character development every episode, in fact it would probably bug me if there was some sort of issue that needed to be confronted all the time. Mostly i’m after laughs and if the majority of the season is as top notch as this ep (especially the first half) then I’ll be happy enough.

    I kinda see what you mean about season one being the perfect story, at least for Ric anyway. Nino, on the other has far too many secrets and hopefully they will be highlighted, if not fully explained in due time. Until then, let the laughs continue.

    And hey, at least the Amazoness didn’t show up :P

  5. Posted October 31, 2010 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t worried by the fillerish nature of this episode, because (1) it was fun, (2) season 1 ambled a bit, too, so I’m used to seeing this slower pace, and (3) I am convinced that there is some revelation about Nino coming (there have been a lot of hints, if no real progress).

  6. Posted October 31, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Completely agree with fb and joojoo. Nuff said.

    Re: Sister in a mini-skirt. Surprisingly, considering he’s one of the least bishie men in Arakawa, IT WORKED (for me; perversely, it made him look even more manly/ smexy. Hmm…).

  7. Scamp
    Posted October 31, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I figured I’d be the minority on this point, but I’m surprised not a single person seems to agree with me. I guess this is part of the reason why I seem to love the series more than most people. I watch the show through a totally different lens

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