Title: Arakawa Under the Bridge
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Summary: The story is about the strange courtship of a successful executive in life called Kou and a mysterious woman called Nino who lives under a bridge. It all begins when Kou almost drowns in a river but is saved by Nino. For saving his life, Kou fulfills Nino’s desire to have a boyfriend. Thus, Kou becomes her boyfriend, but has to live with her under the bridge… (MyAnimeList)
Review: Coming back to my opinions when I gave Arakawa Under the Bridge a first look, I was slightly disappointed. The series went from my most look forward to this past season, to roughly 4th or 5th most desired watch. Although standing may have changed due to the awesomeness of Durarara!! and Angel Beats!, some responsibility still has to be placed in the hands of Arakawa Under the Bridge. Starting with the pros, the anime did have a unique storyline and good sense of humor. The unique character builds provided a very different sense of comedy. Everyone who lived under the bridge had a strange personality, and it got me wondering what it would be like to actually live with people like that. In one hand they were kind and fun, but on the other hand they were scarily violent and unpredictable. Nevertheless, the comedy the support characters provided made the series worth watching. Some may consider most of the episodes fillers, but they were still very amusing. I enjoyed watching episodes about “romance” (if you could call it that) and make-shift amusement parks. The storyline was a little faulty in the sense I couldn’t really pin-point one. Each episode had its own little plot line, which was nice because missing an episode wasn’t exactly series shattering. However, being considered a romance anime may be stretching it. I do admit there were romantic moments that were heart warming in their own rights, but it spent such little time on it that you tend to forget about it. The art style was probably the best part. Some people don’t really like the flashy scene changes, or the sudden animated to semi-realistic drawings, but it went hand-in-hand with the series comedic attribute. I have to say, I can’t imagine the series being as funny if drawn in any other art style. The emotionless, yet lovely facial expressions of Nino couldn’t have been achieved any other way. The opening was probably the best part. Not only did I enjoy listening to the odd lyrics (subtitled of course), but the imagines flashing on the screen were strangely satisfying, complimenting the series’ s weird atmosphere. One minute there are people flying in space, and the next they are diving deep into the ocean. On top of that, it actually showed the romance between the male and female protagonists. As I said earlier, I enjoyed the opening theme song, and also the ending. If I had to analyse them, I would say the ending had better lyrics and leaned toward romance whereas the opening leaned toward comedy. Either way both are worth checking out whether you watch the series or not.
Final statements: The series did disappoint since the time I wrote its first look, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I still wanted to see how everything worked out in the end. The comedy makes the series worth watching, and for that I give it a preferred watch. If you are looking for a solid romance series this probably isn’t for you. I personally enjoyed the little romance it had, and the rarity made it all the sweeter. There also seems to be some deeper meaning to the series which I’m sure will become clear in season two, which I already consider on watch.