Arakawa Under the Bridge review

Arakawa Under the Bridge Cover
When laughter is all that you seek in Life’

I’ll be honest, when I started watching it, I wondered if I should keep watching it. If it’s one of those really weird anime, that will be a complete waste of my time. But like a really long line in the food section of a wedding, it is worth it. This is like my last review on words bubble up like soda pop but a bit different as I wasn’t even sure of watching this one. But it was totally worth it… kinda like Aggretsuko’s anime (which I also reviewed) because one can never know till they watch it. So yeah, this is my Arakawa Under the Bridge review and let’s go!

So at least for me, the weirdness of this anime has hooked me in since the start. It is funny but not the kind where it will make me laugh out loud till my stomach hurts. But more like a continuous fun train of chuckles throughout which I’m really fond of. And the comic juices of this anime made me happy throughout the entire series.

Arakawa Under the Bridge Poster
Source: (c) Hikaru Nakamura/ Arakawa Under the Bridge production Committee

Arakawa under the Bridge is definitely not for everyone. Mainly because there is a sort of intelligence that exceeds normal human ability that this anime requires. And I’m not talking about Rick and Morty sort of intelligence either. The anime is weird, funny, and romantic, which are all mixed together so well. The more ridiculous the scene and the character expressions, the more I laugh and feel content with the choice of watching it.

There are many things about this anime that I love, but some of them I’ll be discussing below.

The story’s background revolves on a community of people that lives under a bridge. I’ve always like such themes of storylines where the premise feels limited. But there are so many things that can happen that it becomes a very entertaining affair watching the show. While watching this, I’ve found the same kind of love for this series as much as I did for ‘Saint young men’ of which I had earlier reviewed. The level of consistency in the storytelling and the quality of humour is what makes it so great. Mainly because one has to be both intellectually smart and dumb-as-shit to enjoy the diversity of the humour.

The one thing I’ve noticed about this eccentric community under the Arakawa Bridge is the unconditional Acceptance of a person. A place where the past is not important to other members of this small community. Because who he/she was doesn’t really matter at all. Who he/she is in the fullest extend of experiencing the world around him/her is what matters. 

It’s nice to think of a place where society has no control of and it doesn’t decide who we are and what we can become. Of course, this is me over analysing the anime sub-plots but really, it is just another weird thing about this anime–the rejection and refusal to accept the world as is but to create one’s own.

Arakawa Under the Bridge Main Characters
Source: (c) Hikaru Nakamura/ Arakawa Under the Bridge production Committee

The characters in this anime are spot on. From their behaviour, their personality, and their dialogues accompanied with the wonderfully drawn/animated expressions. Of course, as a homeless but not homeless community living under the Arakawa bridge and having little to no interaction with the “normal” society, they filled the Anime with colourful characters, each holding their own. And since the past doesn’t matter, the characters are as wacky as they can be. I’ll not be mentioning any of them. The fun is in the discovery of this weird cast.

The Anime comes with decent art and animation, but it is those ridiculous facial expressions and the scene that accompanies it that does it for me. To execute a hilariously funny scene, the actions, the shading, the colour, the background all have to come together perfectly, otherwise the execution will be flat and fall short. I think comedy anime creators are brilliant, as executing such action will be even more difficult than an action-adventure scene. Mainly because audiences are already captivated by multiple things happening, like actions and dramas. For example, In One Piece, If Donquixote Doflamingo‘s eyewear may be bigger in one scene with one shade of colour and a different size and colour in another scene, it would not have mattered as much. But in a comedy, every sketch the artist makes is that much more in value to the scene itself.

However, the character development and the Art would not have been successful on its own without the voice actors being able to execute them to near perfection. In this regard, the voice actors are spot on. The Creators brought in good voice actors to add magic to the characters.

Overall, what I really like about this anime is that the comedy doesn’t seem dry. Looking at season one and then season two, the transition seems well written and the addition of new characters into the anime seemed natural. And the best things are the well written/animated ridiculous scenes that just get better as the episodes progresses.

All Characters
Source: (c) Hikaru Nakamura/ Arakawa Under the Bridge production Committee

At the beginning, it seems as they wrote with the intention of it being a Rom-Com. And I guess the love story between the two main characters is kinda sweet with multiple scene that are pretty sweet and heart-warming. And it is a kind of an innocent and pure love interest, but if you are expecting some heavy romance scenes and storyline, then this anime is not for you. The Romance became just another story in the life of the people under the bridge. Maybe because, like I’ve said, all the characters have their own story and uniqueness that it doesn’t allow for a single main plot to exist.

In conclusion, if you’re a person just like me who likes weird, funny anime and is also a person in real life who drops inappropriate jokes at inappropriate times, then this anime is for you. There is no heavy storyline and you can watch it leisurely without the pressure of having to finish an Arc just so that you get to the next one. But I can guarantee giggles and a sense of community and belongingness that we so need in this modern concrete jungles and narrow mindsets.

Thank You.

This has been a Counsellor_In_Shillong Review.

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