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Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge – 06

November 10, 2010

Good god this was a fantastic episode – Arakawa at its finest right here folks.  We’re picking up where episode 3 left off, so its time to get a wee bit more on Nino and just what’s on those tapes.  Of course there’s also a whole load of squee-some Nino X Ric goodness too – I love this show.

First off lets talk about Nino and Ric (yay shipping!), this episode was full of lovely little moments between these two.  I loved the way Nino tries to get Ric’s attention when he’s busy conducting a business meeting with his secretaries.  Nino is almost childlike in her actions since, rather than straightforwardly telling Ric she wants to speak to him, she distracts him until he has to pay attention to her.  As Ric says, none of Nino’s actions are meaningless however that doesn’t mean that he always hits on the correct interpretation!  It’s sweet that Ric will go to such lengths to try to understand Nino – she doesn’t make it easy for him, but then again he doesn’t really make it easy for himself either!  These two can be so unbelievably awkward around each other and seem to find it difficult to be honest with their emotions, but it is crystal clear that they have genuine feelings for one another.

Like Ric I thought that Nino was finally going to come clean about her not actually being a Venusian, however she’s firmly sticking to that story and instead drops the bombshell that she has to leave the riverbank to got back to her parents (on Venus).  This scene has so much emotion in it – Nino is visibly upset by the thought of leaving everyone and Ric behind and Ric himself can feel his heart breaking at the prospect of Nino leaving his life.  It’s very touching to see these two being completely honest to themselves – Nino tends to keep everyone at arm’s length with her odd behaviour and Venusian story, and Ric finds it massively difficult to let anyone into his heart due to his bizarre upbringing.  However in their time together Under the Bridge, Nino and Ric have grown close and almost dependant on each other for emotional support – the prospect of being separated is obviously extremely painful for them both, and Nino appears almost desperate to have Ric agree to come with her when she leaves the riverbank.

The role reversal here is amusing.  Nino has always been the one to take the initiative in the relationship, and this is no exception – Ric is the very picture of a blushing otome in love, and Nino consistently sweeps him off his feet with her actions and words….its almost like a scene from P-Ko’s shoujo filtered imagination!  For Ric this is all very new ground, he’s never really cared for anyone the way he cares for Nino; his striken expression at the thought of losing her, and then the overwhelming joy he shows (positively radiating flowers and sparkles) when Nino asks him to come with her, speaks volumes about how deeply Ric has fallen for Nino.

Ric being Ric proceeds to then calculate how exactly he will win over Nino’s parents and try to adapt to a new life on Venus, and even in his own imagination he goes from dashing young man to stereotypical new bride in a matter of minutes!  You do have to laugh, Ric has become completely caught up in Nino’s world, such is his faith in her that he even considers the possibility that she may actually be telling the truth about being from Venus!  Of course Ric also jumps the gun a bit and starts to assume that Nino is essentially proposing marriage, I doubt very much that that had even entered Nino’s head – she just wants to continue to stay near Ric, but it is adorable to see Ric work himself up into a shoujo-rific tizzy!  Of course the Hoshi crashes the lovey dovey scene in typical Hoshi style – Hoshi has the best/worst timing!

Of course once Hoshi wrecks the mood the other residents aren’t long in coming out of the woodwork and inviting themselves along for the ride.  Poor Ric – all his romantic notions are quickly forgotten when faced with the enthusiasm of the Bridge community!

Captain also slinks onto the scene – that fella has an unhealthy obsession with Nino, his stalking would put even Hoshi to shame!  However I was interested in the way Captain was muttering about his air tank not being big enough to follow Nino under water, and the sketch he has of her surrounded by fish – is it just Captain being a weirdo with a fantastic imagination, or is there really something a bit different about Nino?

Captain isn’t the only one that’s taken an interest in Nino, Ric’s father is also trying to unravel her mystery and has set Shimazaki on the task.  It’s fascinating to note that Shimazaki and the mighty Ichinomiya cooperation have been unable to find anything on Nino’s past, once again someone more powerful than the Ichinomiya’s steps in to protect Nino & the Under Bridge community.  That man in the kimono who sounds exactly like the Mayor appears again – this time outright threatening Shimazaki to keep her nose out of Nino’s business…….just who is the Mayor and what is his connection to Nino since he’s also shown passing along a new tape from her parents??  This just seems to further convince me that the Under Bridge community was formed around Nino for her benefit, and makes me insanely curious about her background and reason for being there!  Wonder if we’ll ever get any answers…..

This week’s ED animation was replaced with a Nino centric theme piece in a really pretty art style – the song is also massively growing on me.  I doubt we’ll be sticking with this Nino plotline next week, Arakawa seems to like to ration out its plot episodes so I’m expecting a random comedy episode next week.  However this week has provided a lot of food for thought, and has further cemented Arakawa’s place amongst my favourites – this was a fantastic episode.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 10, 2010 10:49 pm

    The ED sequence was the highlight for me. Don’t much like the song and never sat through the live action sequence, but the evocative romantic art style in this one had me captured.

    I wonder how long this story thread will continue. It feels like it should be the central one, but with how quickly Arakawa Under the Bridge resolves things, it should be over well before the show. Which means the last few episodes will likely be gag episodes like 4 and 5, which weren’t so great.

    • November 11, 2010 12:50 pm

      ED animation was really pretty, but the song is really growing on me too. I can’t watch the live action sequence – it freaks me out a bit 😆

      Arakawa does tend to blast through its share of plot quite quickly, so I definitely think it will be rationed out throughout the series – it seems to be 1ep of plot for every 2eps of gag comedy at the moment.

  2. November 11, 2010 3:13 am

    “Who is the Mayor?”

    That is the thing that has me most fascinated. As you noted, he was the one to pass the tape over to Nino. Also, we can only assume that it was the Mayor who threatened Shimazaki. How can he have access to Nino’s parents (to get the tape)? I’m looking forward to getting some kind of answers.

    • November 11, 2010 12:53 pm

      The Mayor has always been an interesting character – he commands the utmost respect from all the Bridge residents, but there seems to be no real reason for it. If he’s someone really powerful IRL who is in a position to outbid the Ichinomiya’s and protect the community that would be a very interesting development. I’m so curious about his relation to Nino and her family!

  3. blindability permalink
    November 11, 2010 8:10 am

    I loved the new ending – only because of all the Ninohei images.

    Part of me also believes the Bridge Community began with the Mayor and a very young Nino, but that just begs the question WHY? Where are Nino’s parents and why did they leave her under the care of the Mayor to live under a bridge of all places?

    This really was a fantastic episode and I can’t wait for the next episode where they carry forward with the actual storyline.

    • November 11, 2010 12:57 pm

      Nino and the Mayor seem to be the lynch-pin for the Under Bridge community – most of the other residents ended up there because of these two in some way or another, so I definitely do think they were probably the genesis of the community. But the big question is definitely why – The Mayor seems to be someone very powerful, which makes you really curious about why he’s living under a bridge with all these space cadets pretending to be a kappa!

      Can not wait to get the bottom of Nino’s story – this is fascinating stuff.

  4. November 11, 2010 11:29 am

    To be fair, there was one instance where Recruit was the one sweeping Nino off her feet. The scene with the leaf boat where he went out to rescue it. I think that was also the first time in the series we saw Nino drop her bizarre Venusian image. Looking back, that was a pretty important scene. It was the first time Nino opened up to Recruit

    • November 11, 2010 1:00 pm

      I loved that scene – it and the embrace in ep3 of this season are the standout moments where Ric takes the lead in the relationship.

      The occasional instances where Ric mans up and reaches out to Nino are made all the more memorable and sweet because of the fact that its usually Nino playing that role.

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