STORY ELEMENT PRESENTATION 7/10 GOOD FOR A ROM COM Arakawa Under the Bridge from the title itself is the main setting of the story almost all major chain of events and interactions take place here. A strange setting to circle around a romance comedy. The joke has somewhat a modern take in the presentation for it uses a combination of interchanging camera angle views a wholesome amount of different color pallets to intensify emotional symbolism and continued with a constant stream of jokes that built upon a major punch line. Put all this recipe together you would have a very charming and engaging style of comedy from start to finish. Change of Cut Transition Angle Shot for Comical Impact For the most part the comedy itself is more of a satire commentary on criticizing societal norms it ranges from simple discrimination public indecency and many more things that the public think is too eccentric to maintain a civilization but in a shallow sense to make the humor lighthearted than offensive. Traditionally the show presents drama via internal monologues and dialogues to relay the main point towards the audience to think through. There was never a right or wrong on both sides of the argument. It was always left for the audience to decide whether to agree or disagree. I like how they put a decent amount of pacing between the comedy and drama they dont overlap on each other and thus it enforces the main point of the narrative in clearer to understand manner. It is nice to have something to learn after a good laugh and this is Arakawas selling point on its humor to be memorable. SOUND MUSIC INTERPRETATION 8/10 MEMORABLE For the technical stuff I say the OP song Venus to Jesus is a wonderful opening sang by Etsuko Yakushimaru. Its wacky demonstration of absurdity that transcendence beyond belief. An interesting way in introducing the audience what kind of anime they are about to watch its unique and I love it. When the OP Already Gave a Foreshadowing What to Expect While ED song Sakasama Bridge by Suneohair has a natural and relaxing atmospheric vibe to it. Both songs are completely opposite of each other but to be brief the OP represents the bizarre premise while the ED constitutes the indepth look of the characters. ED Presents a Serious Steady Progressing Development The voice acting of Sugita Tomokazu playing Hoshi is a plus. Hoshis reaction and personality are a fun addition to the show. He reminds me of Gintokis ironic shenanigans in Gintama. OST is enjoyable and good to listen to. There times the atmosphere is an easygoing comedy and there are times when the narrative is serious in a meaningful way it catches that mood accurately making the show well pace between humor and short character moments. AESTHETICS 8/10 CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE The settings design and attention to small details are impressive. I can make desktop wallpaper in every cutout scene the show has. It has a lot of good camera shots on natural scenery around the bridge. Arakawa has some interesting symbolism and Easter eggs especially when it comes to character design. A FIne Attention to Details this is Only the Setting of the Show The character here is not defined by the color eyes or the size of the hair. Their overall design defines their personality and interest. For example Hoshi wears a star shape mask not because hes a weirdo but indicates that he is a rock star that he always plays music to enforce his character trait. Similar things can be said to other residents of the bridge. The cut transition scenes of Arakawa under the bridged doesnt appear to be meaningless cutouts to save some animation budget but a sense of insight in understanding what is the current tone of the situation is. This creates a mundane scene like a simple conversation more engaging and entertaining. It doesnt stray away from the audience in comprehending a particular scene. CHARACTERS 8/10 ENJOYABLE AND LIKABLE Arakawa has a specialty in introducing and fleshing out its weird set of characters. Characters in this show are at first glance seems like forgettable gag fillers but as the story progresses there are a certain amount of depth and meaning about their motives and behavior though if they got a moment of serious monologues and dialogues the outcomes resulted in looking a bit pretentious because of the irony of the narrative being a comedy but still it was able to always deliver its messages in the right moment coming out as payoff. The encounters of each character are dynamic. Characters in the show have a sense of purpose and place to belong in the setting. They each share a good amount of life lessons to influence in our main protagonist character growth. Every encounter comes out different there is always something new and completely unexpected development happens. Thus making it very enjoyable to watch. SOME CHARACTER HIGHLIGHTS Kou Ichinomiya nickname as Recruit because of his corporate attire. Looking at the surface Never be indebted to anyone is Kou Ichinomiyas motto in life a motto that his family embedded with him since childhood. This motto made him become independent and selfsufficient. Hes the model elite of the current society. He has an impressive track record and achievements. He has complete pride in his capabilities that the entire world is within the palm of his hands. Introducing Kou Ichinomiya But even all the prestige intelligence and power He still a flawed character. He lacks some common sense and basic communication skills to other people outside his corporate profession which ultimately became his biggest weakness. This is further supported by the fact of how easily his pants was stolen by a bunch of hooligans and how awkward his interactions with the residents living near the bridge. Because of his stubborn ego Kou experience negative predicaments towards the bridge residents. Ninosan a surreal character at the surface. She is the sole reason for Kous character growth but pretty much a hair head at times but has a heart of gold that is adored by the residents living under the bridge. Her intentions are pure and selfless where she almost symbolizes as a goddess of sorts though she not perfect and has little knowledge when it comes to the outside world. She is Venusian apparently so I may buy that as an excuse of her being an alien because of her awkward behavior. She doesnt know what is a date or other fancy stuff common for girls giving Kou a very hard time to deal with her but she has a right sense when it comes to critical moments her decision and action is on the right place for the people she loves and cared for that even Kou agrees with her without a doubt. Introducing Ninosan Kou and Ninos Relationship they both have good chemistry together which most of the time is funny and adorable. There is a harmonious atmosphere between them. Their simple conversations made way to learn each others likes and dislikes strengths and weaknesses similar to normal relationships. Overtime their connections grow stronger which is a lovely sight for a romance. Kou developed his character over the course of the series. After meeting Nino and the residents of the Arakawa bridge. His character changes from being a tryhard elitist jerk to being a humble and respectful person. He discovered what he wanted. He eventually breaks the curse of his family motto by being able to ask favors that totally surprise the people around him. Even the supporting cast has a decent amount of growth over Kou adventures they dont remain as jerks in the remainder of the series but became one of the friendliest neighbors that you can share your life with. For honorable character mention FINAL THOUGHTS ENJOYMENT 9/10 Arakawa Under the Bridge Its an unconventional setting for a romance with a nice set of bizarre characters. The cinematography is wellcrafted on maximizing the aesthetics and it blends well with music and sound. It matches the theme of its absurd premise. I love the moral values it showcases in valuing mutual relationship it informs us to stop being a judgmental person. We should not be seeing a person outside appearance but through their actions and inner quality. We must see a person who he is and not what he achieves. Respect peoples choices in life and never discriminate them just because it against your own principles in life. Be tactful on people living a simple life and dont brag achievements that have no meaning to them. It will only destroy your character. Arakawa Under the bridge is enjoyable to experience for me it is a special type of romantic comedy. It has plenty of feelgood moments that is both relaxing and soothing at times. Its more of a slice of life than drama. But sometimes I wish there is more character development in the show. But the characters are the reason why comedy work in the first place. Ill give it a pass with flying colors. It rare for me to like all the side characters in a romantic comedy given how eccentric the supporting cast in the first place. The anime humor is not for everybody its alienating nature could be an uncanny valley for some. But if you are tired of the same troupe on romantic comedies It wouldnt hurt to try Arakawa Under the Bridge. You might love it. I know I do. OVERALL 7.7/10 A UNIQUE TITLE
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