Arakawa Under the Bridge – 07
This week Ric finally opens his school and has an epiphany about the nature of ‘common sense’.
So driven by his desire to discard his ‘leech’ image, Ric ploughs on with his idea to set up a school Under the Bridge. His classroom takes the form of a blackboard and a desk set up in the open air, and despite Ric telling all the residents about classes only Nino and the Ironhead twins show up. Ric really seems determined to make his school a success and tries a number of different methods to try to capture the kids attention. Ric’s primary goal is still to hammer some common sense into the Bridge residents, with varying degrees of success – Nino parroting his teachings about the importance of distance in a relationship and about why you shouldnt go out naked was hilarious!
Hoshi and the Mayor show up solely to heckle, but the Mayor is soon chased off when Ric attempts to drag him into the classroom and Hoshi flees when Nino once again picks Ric over him. Nino’s straightforward assertion that of course she’ll attend all of Ric’s classes because she’s interested in Ric, was really cute. Ric’s genuinely pleased reaction once again highlighted how he’s completely unused to people doing things for him without expecting something in return. To Nino doing something so simple as supporting her lovers attempts to teach is common sense, which once again highlights how different Ric and the Bridge residents ideas on whats ‘common sense’ are.
Another obstacle to Ric’s renewed attempt to captivate his students with science, is the arrival of Stella on the scene. Acting like a mafioso and attempting to enforce a protection racquet, Stella stole the show. Ric’s realisation that she was just lonely since he had usurped the Ironhead Twins attention from her was surprisingly astute, and his attempts to subtly involve Stella in the class activity was quite endearing. Although the comedy didnt falter, once Ric attempted to treat Stella like a child she soon put him in his place and her wishes for things like ‘one-hit kills’ and ‘world domination’ made me giggle. Sister even pops into the class, although that’s mainly because he heard the word ‘rocket’ and felt compelled to disarm the threat 😆 Since Stella obeys a strict code of respect for strength, its amusing to see her act like the cute loli she is when Sister praises her. Such a difference from when Ric attempted to do the same thing!
The whole school thing really demonstrates how Ric’s attempts to force his way of thinking onto the residents is really not going to work – their thought processes are just too different. However Ric himself quickly realises that and its interesting to see how quickly he tries to adapt – Ric uses a number of different methods to get his point across, recognising that just ploughing on regardless of his students isn’t going to work. Ric’s work ethic may be a byproduct of his upbringing, but he really does seem to be enjoying playing teacher.
The rest of the episode moves to P-ko’s attempts to get Ric to help her with the gardening while avoiding accidentally killing him. Had to laugh when P-ko was relating her experiences of Sister helping out in the veggie patch – who knew gardening was such a hazardous affair!? The main thing of interest in this segment is Ric realising that P-ko is in love with the Mayor, and upon questioning P-ko about why, realising that his ideas about what is ‘common sense’ are not the only way to live out your life. Once again a Bridge resident shows remarkable insight and forces Ric to reconsider his outlook.
Ric is shocked when he realises P-ko is in love with a nutcase like the Mayor, which prompts Ric to question whether she just likes him because he’s green or if she likes whats inside. P-ko is rightfully angry at Ric’s questions; no one really has any right to question what attracts someone to a person. P-ko emphatically states that she admires how the Mayor is completely true to himself – he may completely lack anything resembling common sense, but the Mayor lives in a manner of his choosing free of societal norms. This straightforward declaration from P-ko has a profound affect on Ric – it forces him to step back and really look at his outlook; he questions ‘just what is common sense anyway?’ For someone like Ric who has defined himself by being the only sane man under the bridge, this is a turning point. Ric has definitely changed over the course of the series – he no longer freaks out at the slightest thing, he can deal with the quirks of the residents for the most part and even panders to them when he has too. However now Ric is consciously aware that his kind of common sense is not the only kind – I’m looking forward to seeing what conclusions he comes to about what he wants out of his life……..although he may not get to do much soul-searching since it seems a couple of his employees have found him! 😆
As for this weeks pre-OP reflection, it wasnt particularly inspiring but I did like the imagery with the ocean, whale, rocket and stars. Was a bit different to have Nino be the one to voice the reflection too.
Ending eye-catch of P-ko was quite fanservicey this week – pretty though.