Arakawa Under the Bridge – 10
Well last week was amusing, but pretty fillery in the grand scheme. This week we get back to the plot. But first a Fire Drill – Sister style 😀
I’ve had to suffer through numerous fire drills in my time (and according to Murphy’s Law; most of them seem to coincide with the wettest, windiest day of the year!), but Sister’s idea of a fire drill is something else altogether! If he does this every year one has to wonder how the fire brigade were never called, as that inferno Sister has created is huge – surely nearby ordinary residents would panic at the sight of a wall of flame and plumes of black smoke coming from the bridge! 😆
Anyway, this half of the episode was really all about the Mayor, a character I don’t particularly like since he hasn’t really had much development past his weird obsession with being seen as a real Kappa. I was sort of hopeful that this would mean some insight into the Mayor and his personality, but it wasnt to be. Rather we get a picture of the Mayor through the filter of the wacky residents who have been utterly pulled in by the man’s odd charisma. There’s no denying that the Mayor can make people listen to him (no matter what nonsense he comes out with), even Ric finds himself weirdly drawn to the man despite his disdain for him. I would love to know just why Sister feels indebted to the Mayor to the point of catering to the fella’s every childish whim!
The rest of the episode sees movement on the main plot, as Daddy Ichinomiya puts his fiendish plans to crush his sons small shred of happiness into itty bitty pieces, by buying the riverside land and developing it. Daddy Ichinomiya is a prick of giant proportions and a complete failure as a parent. Initially I thought it was kind of amusing how extreme he was, but over the course of the series as we’ve seen the detrimental affect his parenting had on Ric’s development as a person, I’ve started to really despise the man. Most parents would be pleased to see pictures of their child looking so alive and happy (even if they are surrounded by a bunch of oddballs), but Daddy Ichinomiya has the opposite reaction and puts his plans to destroy Ric’s newfound home on the fast-track. What an absolute prick. Ric’s reaction to learning that its his own father that’s threatening the Under Bridge Community with eviction, is quite telling. Ric completely panics. He’s seen his father in action and knows just how utterly ruthless the man can be. Daddy Ichinomiya never pulled his punches when raising Ric, he’s certainly not going to start now!
In contrast the laid back attitude of Sister and the Mayor in the face of Ric’s blind panic was amusing. Sister for his part seems to think that anything short of nukes is nothing to be concerned about. I giggled at the idea that Sister believed he would be able to avoid prison/deportation by speaking the magic words given to him by the Mayor ‘I no speakee Japanese’ 😆 How do you respond to that!?
It was nice to Ric get all flustered when the Mayor pointed out that Ric’s blind panic over the issue of the residents being evicted, was due to Ric really feeling a part of their community now. Ric’s gradual assimilation into the Under Bridge Community has been fun to watch – at the beginning he was very much an outsider, very stressed out and completely resistant to the insanity that reigns supreme; now he’s much more open-minded, relaxed and is enjoying peoples company and life in general much more. I find myself feeling quite happy for Ric and disliking his father all the more!
As the developers arrive with eviction notices, the dire situation the residents find themselves in becomes real. I enjoyed the fact that the stern government official was reduced a quivering wreck with such ease by Maria, and Sister’s frustration that he didn’t get to put down traps before the developers moved in on the Community. However overall the residents didn’t really seem overly concerned with the Mayor casually suggesting that moving along the river may not be a bad thing. The only exceptions are Ric and Nino. Nino emphatically states that she will not be ‘chased or pulled away any more’, which is an interesting way to put things – perhaps we’re getting closer to the truth about Nino’s past now? Ric for his part seems reluctant to lose the only place he’s truly felt at home, but I don’t think he’s consciously aware that that’s what he’s really feeling.
Looking forward to next week quite a lot. The whole community coming together against a big cooperation thing is hardly a new one, however with an Arakawa spin on it its turning out to be pretty interesting.