Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge – 13 [End]
And so we reach the finale of our second excursion Under the Bridge – its been a fun little trip, even if we perhaps didn’t get quite as much out of it as we did during the first season. It would have been nice to have had a little more closure on the plot teasers we received early in the season, but instead Arakawa opted for a finale that was rather subdued – it was just like any other typical episode……not that that’s a bad thing!
So Sister Vs Maria – the dignity of the men of the riverside is what’s at stake (Ric even donates blood to keep Sister in the fight!), and these two certainly didn’t hold back! Maria displayed stunning skill with her shears & knives and also had the psychological advantage in the fight. I had to laugh when Sister had a religious epiphany mid-fight telling him to forsake firearms and go back to basics – a good old knife-fight! Also the revelation that Sister’s nun habit was weighted was pure Dragonball & had me in stitches.
Ultimately Maria gets pissed off at Sister giving her an unwanted and unneeded handicap, and pulls out her most reliable weapon – her poison tongue. Sister doesn’t have a hope of surviving Maria’s barrage of psychological abuse, and the majority of Ric’s hastily donated blood ends up painting the ring.
The whole fight was amusing, especially when the spectators are so emotional invested in the out come – the boys fearing that Maria winning the crown would spell their doom. In the end though, Sister was never going to win against Maria – she knows his weaknesses much too well, but I am surprised that she waited so long before breaking out the big guns; she could have ended the fight much quicker.
Maria’s decree was unexpected though – simply making clothes for her sheep since she sheared them a bit too early. The boys pussyfooting around her expecting to be told to turn the world upside down was amusing, because I expected Maria to issue a decree like that too. However Maria just seems to be content with playing with the boys – like making them wear collars and help out her sheep dogs, rather than doing anything particularly evil. We don’t really know much about Maria outside of her poison tongue, scary skill with sharp pointy things and sadistic tendencies towards men; but Sister does say that she seems happier than he can remember her being before she moved Under the Bridge. Just another little reminder that this circus of weirdos all have their own stories, I hope we get a third season to explore some of them.
At the very end we come back to Nino x Ric and it’s really nice to see how far Ric has come since his introduction. As he reminds us, the last time he tried to free something representing Nino’s wishes he nearly drowned, but this time he makes it into the centre of the river with ease. It’s nice to see Ric reaching out more and more, and Nino also seems more expressive than ever by the end of the series. Even though the focus was often off these two characters in this second season, they’ve still grown substantially – it would be nice if we got a third season so we could continue to follow their relationship.
So that’s the end of Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge. Its been a fairly mixed season, a lot of fun but its a pity they had to tempt us with serious plot early on, and then abandon it midway! I love Arakawa when its being utterly silly, but the series has a completely different kind of magic when its being serious – episode three is without doubt among the best episodes Arakawa has produced. I’ve enjoyed this season, it’s not as good as S1, but it was still fun – I really hope there’s more coming, but for now its time to bid these loveable lunatics goodbye!