Arakawa Under The Bridge Season One Review

Anime


Arakawa Under The Bridge Season One

Studio: Shaft
Publisher: Hanabee
Formats: DVD
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $44.99 (Buy Here)

Overview

Do you like your Anime being strange and unusual? Do you like love stories where things are just bizarre and the love story is a minor addition? Then you will most definitely want to check out Arakawa Under The Bridge! This series is a hilariously unique experience that will have you in tears from laughter. Why is that? Read on to find out.

Story

Arakawa Under The Bridge follows the story of Ko, CEO of one of the largest companies in Japan and son of one of the greatest businessmen to have ever lived. His family has only one rule and that is to never be indebted to anyone. However, early on in the series, an accident happens where Ko is put into immediate danger and has someone rescue him and save his life. To ensure that his debt is repaid to this girl, Nino, he must become her lover and live under a bridge until his debt is repaid.

The series is a hilarious show filled with a bunch of bizarre and often nonsensical stories that involve even more strange and eccentric characters. This is especially true early on in the story where it is introducing all of the main cast and their particular quirks.

Actually that’s one of the things that I really liked about the story in this series, the way they handled introducing each of the main characters. Almost every character had an episode or a chunk of an episode dedicated to explaining who they are, their personality quirks and their love interests. What makes this show even more odd is that nobody seems to have a mutual interest in each other outside of Ko and Nino. This makes for some pretty hilarious comedy later on in the series. Especially when you have an incredibly young girl transforming into a hulking she-beast that puts Goku to shame in physique.

The story of Arakawa Under The Bridge is very character driven, as opposed to being story driven. In fact, their isn’t much to the story outside of character interactions until the last 4 episodes or so. And even then it is still pretty much the same old, same old, but with some big event happening in the background. In fact this event leads to a confrontation between Ko and his father, the main antagonist of this storyline.

One thing that is never explained in the series is why all these weird characters are living under the bridge in the first place. Why is there an English Nun/Super Soldier living there, what is the deal with the Kappa? Why does a Venusian and a Rock Star live there? Nobody knows. Is it important to the story that you know this? Not at all.

I really enjoyed the story of Arakawa Under The Bridge Season One, it was hilarious and filled with odd characters. I definitely can’t wait for Season Two.

Visuals

Arakawa Under The Bridge has a rather interesting visual style. It’s actually one of the first things you notice about the show. At first it seems a bit off, especially if you’re used to more traditional looking Anime, but after watching it for an episode, you realise how perfectly it fits and you just accept it.

What was interesting about this series most of all in the visuals, was how each segment of the show looks entirely different. For instance, the sequence before the opening credits is letterboxed and has a more hazy look to it. From there you move into the opening credits, which are pretty unique looking and then you have the episode itself, which is more usual looking but still stylistic. From there you have the ending credits which are weird and then the episode previews which are live-action shorts featuring a person in a kappa costume doing weird stuff.

I have to point out though, that series has a lot of bizarre moments in it and that the visuals carry these scenes perfectly. In fact, the bizarre becomes so common that you just start to accept it as part of the reality of the series. This doesn’t stop it from being funny, its just that you become accustomed to the humour and accept it almost immediately without questioning it after a short while. I think this allows the gags to become more and more unrealistic as the show progresses.

Overall Arakawa Under The Bridge brings it’s unusual visuals together in a unique and hilarious manner. This goes on to create a rather interesting, fresh and hilarious series that could have turned out rather dull and without personality.

Audio

Arakawa Under The Bridge doesn’t suffer from the same issues that plague western comedies. There are no unrealistic slapstick effects plugged into everything that happens, all there is really is a lot of yelling and some of speech patterns are switched up to be more comedic.

The opening theme is quite unique. It sounds really, really sweet but then you read the lyrics and you start to wonder what they’re really about. To me they read like they’re about a woman playing a guys emotions for her own sick amusement. That’s just my interpretation though.

I like how all of the characters voices really suit and carry the character that they represent. At no point do you question why a certain character has a certain voice, because they just fit the character so well. I mean, even the little girl character, I usually loathe the shrieky voices of children and cute girls in Anime. In Arakawa, this one voice was my absolute favourite. You just knew that something sinister was lurking beneath that cute sounding exterior.

The Hanabee release only has subtitles as far as I can tell, so there is no English dub. However this does not make this package any less worthwhile. It is hilarious in Japanese and I don’t think you’ll disagree.

Extras

Extras! This release has a buttload of extras found within. In general these are the Special Features found on the second disc. However, there is also a reversible cover and a small pamphlet on the inside showcasing some of Hanabee’s other releases.

Man, what was in those Special Features? Well there are the televised previews for each episode, you’ve got trailers, ending cards and more. These are an amazing addition to such an awesome series. Definite value add to this package.

Overall

Overall Arakawa Under The Bridge is easily one of the most insanely hilarious Anime series that I have ever seen. It’s just so strange and bizarre that you can’t help but be drawn into the wacky hijinks. The show also something for everyone, there’s a little bit of action, a little bit of romance and a lot of comedy and drama. Definitely recommend giving this one a purchase.

9-0-capsules-out-of-10

Gaming for as long as my memory serves me, probably longer.

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