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Arakawa Under the Bridge – 06

May 14, 2010

This week we get our music battle and Ric continues his search for his place in the Under Bridge community.

As suspected, Ric has the skills to be a concert violinist – one can only imagine the effort he put in to get that good.  His performance marks him as the clear winner of the musical dual since Nino, the judge, expressed the greatest change in facial expression.  Ric’s suggestion that Hoshi’s forfeit be that he gives up his pursuit of Nino manages to crack the star-headed musician up completely and create a new song on the spot……..nimo, nimo, nimo~, nimo, nimo,nimo~…….its ridiculously catchy!  Needless to say the song is a massive hit with the Bridge Residents despite its lack of a 2nd verse – common sense loses once more in Arakawa.

Ric is seriously competitive.  Its been hardwired into him that something is only worth doing if you do it perfectly.  I can only imagine the stress that puts him under, but Ric can’t seem to function without feeling pressurised.  Ric can’t cope with being out of control of a situation, he’s on guard 24/7 to avoid becoming indebted to anyone and relaxing just seems to be something he can’t do very well.  We see this in the next segment where Ric is freaking out searching for a job to perform Under the Bridge.  I so feel his pain – seriously, job hunting has to be one of the most soul-destroyingly stressful things in the world, and for someone with Ric’s work ethic and perfectionist streak it must be doubly stressful.

Nino and the Iron-head twins offer him a decent distraction – not that he wants to be distracted.  Rather Ric feels compelled to solve their swimming issue in the quickest, most sensible manner possible just so he can go back to being stressed out searching for a job!

The scene with the twins both ending up sinking due to their insistence on wearing those iron masks actually made me laugh out loud.  Their nonsensical reasoning about superpowers and labs seems to be similar to Nino’s Venusian story and the Mayor’s Kappa stuff – everyone Under the Bridge seems to be running from something and using a mask of some sort to hide behind.  Yet at the same time they are much more honest with themselves than Ric ever is, both sides stand to learn from each other.

Nino and the twins both really seem to appreciate Ric’s logical teaching style, and really Ric is a good teacher.  His personality may not be the most tolerant in the world, but his endless quest to be the best at everything means that he doesn’t accept failure at anything he tries to accomplish – be that music or teaching a couple of children to swim.  Ric does not take failure well and if he decides he’s going to teach you something he will not stop until he has done just that – he’d probably spend hours researching the best way to convey information since it’s not in his nature to do things half-assed.

Ric’s breadth of knowledge and common sense again becomes apparent when dealing with the Mayor who has gotten a cold.  Clearly the last thing Ric would ever want is to become sick and have to become indebted to someone looking after him, so he goes to great lengths to make sure his body is in the best condition possible.  The residents once again express gratitude for Ric’s knowledge and suggest that he may consider becoming the resident teacher – which is a notion that Ric immediately rejects since it has nothing to do with his usual area of business expertise.

You can literally see Ric start to warm to the idea of instilling some common-sense in the Bridge Residents through his teachings.  Of course the irony is that Ric himself inherently lacks some basic common-sense – has he completely forgotten how he ended up living under a bridge with all these weird individuals in the first place!?  Ric appears to have been completely assimilated into the Under Bridge Community.  For the most part the residents have always accepted him, but Ric himself has now started to embrace his new life – carving out a job role for himself will solidify his place among these people and I am really looking forward to seeing how he tries to inflict common-sense values on them!

The only other thing I have to say about this episode, is that once again the pre-OP scene really appealed to me.

First, we are born in the same galaxy. Born of the same spe­cies. Our life­times over­lap. The meet­ings between humans are so unlikely as to be mira­cu­lous. To laugh, to cy, and to fall in love. Every­one is made up of a col­lec­tion of 1% chances. Thus, I am dazzled by the fact that there are so many mir­acles in this world.

The fact that Arakawa can come out with lines like this is what really makes it something more than the gag series its billed as.  Really under all the silliness its a very human series and does have substance, and little things like this scene really do give pause for thought.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. kennykayinchan permalink
    May 14, 2010 4:18 am

    Those pre-ops really are beautiful; my personal favourite would have to be the one along the lines of “If there really is a God, I’m sure he made the world too big… Even though there are 6 billion people on this planet, every one of us feels alone..”

    Epic quotes from an epic show

    Btw, welcome back, hope you had a great holiday ^^

    • May 14, 2010 2:35 pm

      I particularly liked that one myself.

      Thanks – holiday was great……feet are still killing me though! 😆

  2. May 14, 2010 11:08 am

    That shot looking down into the barrel with the mayor in it had me laughing out loud. In part because the mayor has such a happy expression on his face, regardless of the fact that he looks like a total fool. In part because Ric barely reacts, like, “Oh, that makes sense, the mayor is acting like a fool in the bathtub.” I guess he is slowly coming to expect the insanity around him, and is learning to take it in stride.

    • May 14, 2010 2:37 pm

      Suppose when you’re constantly surrounded by weirdness you get desensitised to it. The Mayor just seems to get a kick out of challenging Ric to be surprised or freaked out by the residents outlandish appearances or actions; thankfully Ric doesnt raise to the bait just as much anymore!

  3. May 14, 2010 11:39 am

    This ep needed more of that cruel pink haired woman 🙂

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