arakawa under the bridge 1

Men are from Pekopon; women are from Keron.


I knew nothing about Arakawa Under the Bridge, and I only decided to watch it since it was the only file I could stream to my PS3. (Yes, my Revo is still in the shop. I swear, Acer is making Dell look like goddamn geniuses.) Within two minutes, three things were clear: Hiroshi Kamiya is the male lead. Maaya Sakamoto is the female lead. And Akiyuki Shinbo is the director. This brings up a couple questions, namely, are Kamiya and Shinbo the hardest working pair in anime? My gosh, no wonder Bakemonogatari is still incomplete– Shinbo already gone on to Hidamari Sketch, Dance in the Vampire Bund, and now this… Shaft is mad tripping with anime these days.

(And mad tripping. That’s what this show is about. I’ll get to that later.)

Meanwhile, Kamiya is also the lead male for Angel Beats and playing Izaya on Durarara!!. Does the dude ever get any sleep? Unfortunately, Kamiya has exactly 1.5 voices… so he’s almost completely in Itoshiki-sensei mode for the entirety of Arakawa Under the Bridge. More interestingly, this is Maaya Sakamoto’s first lead role since Canaan. And her new aloof, straight faced voice is perfect for Nino.


It’s about a boy, Pink Supervisor (I’m not giving away his name as it’s, well, even more odd than Pink Supervisor) and a girl… the boy is fairly normal… the girl, Nino, is anything but normal, yet she fully acts like what she does is normal. With a straight face. It’s a weird odd couple dynamic, but it works well. They just twist and turn it like a Sonozaki would twist and turn a knife in someone’s stomach. Normal becomes abnormal; abnormal becomes normal. I laughed more through an episode of this than an episode of Angel Beats and Saishuo Heiki Kanojo combined. She is, basically, nuts. He knows it. She doesn’t. Yet… in their weird world, she is the normal one. He is nuts. Yet, they’re not in their own world. They’re under a ******* bridge! It makes no sense, yet it makes perfect sense.

(Andohbytheway, she’s from Venus. And I believe her!)

Through various deus ex machina plot layers, the two are forced to live together. Homeless. Under a bridge. Comedy and a wacky (wacky doesn’t seem to do it justice) cast ensues. You have to see it. Not everyone will like this brand of mindfuck comedy, but, really, when was the last time you enjoyed a good mindfuck comedy? But I assure you… it’s still much better than Ikkitousen. I think.

(Weird thing… they’re supposed to be lovers, yet I feel more love between Jesse James and Sandra Bullock right now than between those two.)


I have a lot of complaints though… the character designs and animation are horrible. Vampire Bund at least had detailed characters and some smooth animation… Arakawa just looks sloppy. Hidamari Sketch ×☆☆☆ and Bakemonogatari just blow Arakawa out of the water animation-wise. Next, yep, Shinbo made Pink Supervisor go through a despair moment. They tried to disguise it better, but, yep, it’s Kamiya doing his despair bit. Please. Stop. I don’t need to see this 15,532 times. 15,000 times is plenty. Also, please find a male lead vocal other than Kamiya. I feel like I can hear his voice in my head at this point. Is Kamiya like the John Holmes of anime? Like how pr0n directors couldn’t find well-girthed men who could answer the call of duty reliably, so they just trotting John Holmes out? They couldn’t find enough men with decent voices willing to be seiyuu that Kamiya just keeps getting trotted out?

(Lastly, Maaya Sakamoto… doesn’t sing the OP or the ED!)


But this show kept my attention. I was half-asleep during most of Mayoi Neko Overrrun and the rest of the crappy shows this season, so this is a good change of pace. The whole zaniness of this show and how weird it could get before anyone other than Pink Supervisor realizes that it has gone too weird keeps me interested. Good news is we’ve finally found Matsurika’s parents… they must be Pink Supervisor and Nino.


The last scene was the best… Nino’s There’s Something Like Mary-inspired hairdo was awesome (sadly, she didn’t get it the same way Mary did), the Greek prince thing, and how Nino sleeps. It’s a freakshow. Now, only if we can get some lost snails and some loli vampires onto this show somehow. And find Kamiya an understudy.

12 Responses to “arakawa under the bridge 1”

  1. I guess we know where the budget went – to hire Shiki– er, Maaya. Still, they’ve got some chemisty, so this should be entertaining.

  2. Another Shaft show, it seems like the crazy random stuff is lowered in this one though. I guess I might check it out, but it won’t turn out into anything great like Bakemonogatari.

  3. @FlameStrike I think the reason that there are so few Shaft’s random moments is because the show itself is crazy and random enough as it is.

    Thanks for blogging about this show, Jason. I just check it out and couldn’t stop laughing for almost the entire episode. So crazy and random. It’s like Zetsubou on crack.

  4. PS. Really love the Kappa outtake at the end of the episode. Simply hilarious.

  5. I can’t get enough of Ararararagi’s voice, I feel kind of sorry that you don’t appreciate it as much as I do.

  6. Oh, how I love Shaft being Shaft. I’m holding out for another clever use of an Internet meme.

  7. I loved when he realised the Kappa was a guy in a suit. That silent treatment was just gold.
    Also yeah, Kamiya is everywhere like how Akira Ishida was? I’m not sure, I heard this from friends.
    “(Lastly, Maaya Sakamoto… doesn’t sing the OP or the ED!)”
    Like in Ouran. And she plays the similar deadpan. What’s up with that? D: Completely wasted. Oh right and in Bamboo Blade, another kinda deadpan. And she was supposed to sing in that, versing Tamaki and her Blade Braver. Again, no singing.
    I loved this episode nonetheless, the way Nino sleeps caught me the most. It was so random it was great.

  8. As much as I love Shaft, this really needed the Cromartie High School team.

  9. I’m more excited for that star-faced guy’s arrival (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita).

  10. Hearing Maaya use her Shiki voice and sounding all smiley happy for those few short moments just made my day a whole lot brighter :D

    Seriously though, I really can’t get the association to Shiki out of my head…

  11. Good news is we’ve finally found Matsurika’s parents… they must be Pink Supervisor and Nino.


    I’m more excited for that star-faced guy’s arrival (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita).

    Kyon can go take Pink Supervisor’s advice and go get taller. I’m on board for Takehito Koyasu (who’s more hardworking than Kamiya and Sugita, combined) as the awesome Sister.

  12. Why do i get the feeling that Kamiya gets these leads for the WTF moments in anime today or is it that Shaft just love him screaming? And I will say this,” AH SHAFT YOU DONE IT AGAIN.” LOL

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