Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge – 09
This was a pretty dull episode this week – not getting the sudden obsession with all things tea-party. Still at least the segment with Shiro & Shimazaki was amusing.
The residents enjoying dressing up as princesses/princes and having tea really didn’t need this much time dedicated to it – the OP animation basically covers all that I was really interested in. Best bit of this was Sister doing his best Sebastian from Kuroshitsuji impression and then changing into that fetching white & blue number that really shows off his legs.
P-Ko romantic notions kick up another notch this week when she forces everyone to participate in an extremely girly tea-party – complete with english butler (Sister) & maid (Stella). I loved that Nino gets so caught up in the atmosphere that she starts speaking another language, but Last Samurai’s vehement rejection of all the foreignness and desecration of P-Ko’s beloved teacups was what really made me giggle.
Last Samurai’s screen time has really skyrocketed this season, he’s always there in the background these days and we still don’t really know much about him beyond his weird obsession with traditional japanese culture. It would be nice if he got a bit more development along with his increased screentime…….but then again the same could be said for most of the Bridge residents – we don’t know much about any of them really.
The only thing I really liked about the boy’s traditional tea ceremony party, was the way it highlighted how Ric & Hoshi are looking for acceptance from and a role model in the older males Under the Bridge. Ric & Hoshi are both living by the river for the same reason – they’re in love with Nino, but they can’t realistically spend all their time with her (especially when she’s indulging P-Ko in her shoujo fantasies). Naturally the two younger men gravitate towards the older males and they’re reactions to each of them is quite telling. Ric & Hoshi idolize Billy as a mans man – they admire his straightforwardness in love and his strong ideals. With Sister they see a confidante, as Sister is weirdly sensible at times, neither seem to have much to do with Shiro for some reason, and The Mayor and Last Samurai are the two that they interact with most. This week we see the young, modernised Ric & Hoshi admiring the traditional figures of The Mayor & Last Samurai, because the two seem to be oozing confidence in their traditional attire; which is attractive to the two younger males who are still struggling to find their place in the world.
However this being Arakawa, things take a turn for the absurd extremely quickly as The Mayor & Last Samurai adopt a superior attitude that infuriates the two younger men, and then swiftly start to put their own strange spin on the traditional tea ceremony (using a lock of hair to whisk the tea, pouring the tea into a shell). All hell breaks loose when the boys natural competitive streak comes out as they try to gain the approval of the older men in idiotic ways and Last Samurai in particular goes on a power-trip!
I enjoyed the Shiro/Shimazaki segment much more than the tea-parties section. It’s really nice to get some more on Shiro – but in all seriousness, where did he find his wife!? The woman is either a few sandwiches short of a picnic or a saint, because she’s much too understanding of Shiro’s liner lifestyle! I felt really sorry for Shimazaki because she’s really barking up the wrong tree here – Shiro just sees her as his ticket into the international doubles competitions for lining and not a potential lover! All the ‘Aim for the Ace!’ parodies during her training sequence had me giggling.
The other thing of interest to come out of this segment is confirmation of how long Ric has been living Under the Bridge – a year. That really surprised me as I thought that it had only been about 6-8months tops, but I suppose given the dramatic change in Ric’s personality the longer timescale makes more sense.
Since The Mayor had the gag platform destroyed last episode, this weeks omake section consisted of Nino teaching some of the residents about breathing on Venus. Naturally Maria takes the opportunity to tease Sister and instruct him not to breathe at all – poor Sister. Stella attempts to follow Nino’s example and nearly gives herself an aneurysm – it seems that our cast will take quite a while before they’re ready for the poisonous fumes of Venus!
So not the best episode of Arakawa ever – felt like we were scraping the barrel for laughs really. Hopefully we’ll be back on form for episode 10 (which is out already, so I’ll try to get that written up tomorrow night).