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Arakawa Under the Bridge – 04

April 27, 2010

Continuing on from last week, we follow Ric and Nino on their first date.

It’s blindlingly obvious that Ric (suppose I should start calling Kou this since all the other characters do) is completely ignorant of normal human relationships.  His weird upbringing has completely screwed up his ability to just relate to people on a one-to-one basis – his date with Nino really highlights this.

Recognising that he knows next to nothing about dating, Ric attempts to learn about relationships from romance novels – however his interpretations of the importance of ‘distance’ in a relationship leave a lot to be desired!

Nino enthusiastically follow’s Kou’s lead never once giving any indication that she finds this at all strange – not even when Ric fails miserably at executing a simple ‘princess lift’!   It would appear that she doesn’t really have any experience of dating or relationships either!

When Nino and Ric take a break and have a chat, Ric tries to breach the subject of Nino’s past.  He notes that she must have had experience with pretty gowns since she put on that dress so easily, Ric says that he wants to know more about Nino’s past in his role as her lover.  Nino once again dodges the question by bringing up being Venusian – seems that Ric is right about her using that as a defense mechanism.

Nino then spots one of her little grass boats caught in some debris.  Ric expresses amazement that it made it this far, but Nino is disappointed that it didn’t make it to the ocean.  Seeing the sad look on Nino’s face spurs Ric into action – he wades into the river to try to free the boat, but trips and ends up having to be fished out by Nino.  However the splashing frees the boat and it continues on its journey to the river-mouth.  Nino seems really touched that Ric got himself half drowned just to make her happy, blushing in a very un-Nino like manner (not that Ric really seems to get whats going on!)

Nino is an odd one.  On one hand she seems much better at interacting with people than Ric, and on the other she’s just as oblivious as he is when it comes to dating.  Her reluctance to talk about her past and fascination with the tiny little boat making it to the open expanses of the ocean, makes me think that perhaps she led a privileged yet restricted life prior to moving under the Bridge; a caged bird.  Nino’s free-spirited, she doesn’t want to be tied down by material things – she even goes so far as to forsake the idea of even being from earth!  Nino’s clearly clueless about normal dating and the concept of love.  The fact that she out-and-out requested that Kou become her lover and goes along with his half-baked notions of proper dating etiquette couldn’t make her inexperience clearer.  It will be very interesting to see how these two very different individuals with all their various issues manage their odd relationship.

The second half of the episode deals with the introduction of Stella – a loli who was under the care of Sister in an English orphanage.  Ric gets landed babysitting her and thinks that it will be easy to entertain such a well-behaved, cute little girl…..until said cute little girl knocks seven bells out of him!  Being raised by Sister is nothing to sniff at.  Now this being Arakawa Under the Bridge, Stella is far from normal – in addition to being insanely strong, she’s also damned scary.  After kicking the shite out of Ric she basically claims him as her bitch, afterall someone who can’t beat her in a straight fight has no right to call himself Stella’s older brother! 😆

Stella soon asserts her authority over the bullet-headed twins, making Ric the lowest ranked member of her impromptu gang much to Ric’s utter bemusement.  I’m looking forward to seeing more of Stella – I normally despise loli’s, but having Saitou Chiwa voicing her was a stroke of genius – all I can hear is Senjougohara whenever BlackStella is on-screen!

The final segment introduces another character – Maria, the poisoned tongued farmer (yes there is a fully fledged farm under the Bridge!).  Maria seems to take sadistic enjoyment from seeing how people react to her insults – such as ‘stop talking you’re wasting precious oxygen’ and ‘stop casting a shadow, the sun has better things to do than heat you’.  Ric clearly doesn’t know what way to take this beauty with the cruel streak, but Sister seems to take all her abuse in his stride…..until the stitches on his face burst!

Sawashiro Miyuki is a great choice for Maria – she’s great at deadpan, snarky dialogue.  I’m interested to see Maria interact with other Bridge residents – her barbed tongue is sure to ruffle some feathers!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2010 3:18 am

    A disappointing episode, IMO. Not a total waste, it had some funny moments, and I’m glad Ric managed to get through to Nino, despite their mutual lack of understanding about how a date should be conducted. Still, I didn’t think it really brought us anywhere new, in contrast to some of the much more revealing moments in the first couple of episodes. Perhaps Nino’s impenetrable ice wall is to blame.

    • April 28, 2010 8:27 pm

      I enjoyed the episode – Arakawa is primarily a gag series so I’m not really expecting a whole lot of development between Ric & Nino, especially not so early. There are a lot more characters to be introduced, I’m sure that will take priority over Ric & Nino’s awkward courtship 😛

  2. April 28, 2010 4:53 pm

    Sister went down despite fighting so bravely, that was unexpected. I want a round two!

    • April 28, 2010 8:28 pm

      Sister losing to Maria was so unexpected I was struck speechless……and then burst a gut laughing 😀

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