ANIME & MANGA - Review
15:00 - 13th March 2015, by NEO Staff

Arakawa Under the Bridge, Complete Series One and Two

Ko is the child of a family that stands alone. Each achievement must be carved out by one’s own force of will, and Ko’s family motto is ‘Never be indebted to anyone’. Ko takes this so seriously that when he finds himself temporarily trouserless, he can’t cope with accepting help. But to be fair, it comes from a fairly strange young girl called Nino, who is part of a community of misfits who live under a bridge that spans the Arakawa river. Nino, a self-described Venusian, resides with other colourful characters like an orphan who transforms into a buff warrior, a masked rock star, a mythical Kappa, and a nun with guns.

Ko soon finds himself moving in with the group, falling head over heels with Nino and trying to fit in with the strange group. The action takes place over a series of short ‘episodes’ within the episodes, channelling wacky Japanese comedy anime like Cromartie High School or even Azumanga Daioh. However, depending on your tolerance for anti-jokes and bizarre vignettes, you might find this comedy misses more than it hits. As a parody show it works a treat, but sometimes the focus wanders a little too far for it to be obvious exactly what the joke is, or whether there’s an underlying message that’s just not hitting home.

With a colourful, exuberant visual style, bizarre humour and strange characters, Arakawa is a fantastic show if you take it in small doses, and keep reminding yourself that they’re the crazy ones…

Abstract humour of the bizarre kind – fans of wacky anime humour will be in their element with this double helping.
SCORE: 3/5
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