Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge Review
Arakawa Under the Bridge is
upon a Japanese manga created by Hikaru Nakamura.
It is a long-running publication that began
with the release of volume one in 2005 and it isn't even completed yet.
twelfth volume is the most recent release and it was only released a
ago in 2011. The anime adaptation resulted in two seasons that
portions of the manga series. It aired between April and December of
Season two (as made available on this Blu-ray Premium Edition set) was
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (to
reflect it as a second season in a creative way).
series essentially focuses on a group of
outcasts who are all extremely silly, serious, and everything
realms. The central characters on the show are Recruit (Hiroshi Kamiya)
Nino (Maaya Sakamoto). Recruit's "real-name" is Ichinomiya Ko. I wasn't
what I thought of Rec's character in the beginning but he turned out to
great character. His family has a motto that says "Never be indebted to
anyone", but as Arakawa Under the Bridge
progresses it seems pretty clear that some of his views begin shifting.
almost died in the beginning of the series (during season one) and Nino
nearby person who happens to save his life. Oh... about Nino. She's a
Not just your ordinary earthling.
series focuses more on the day to day activities
of these characters and their unique viewpoints and characterizations.
in the name of getting to know the characters... though there is a huge
on the randomness of it all as well. I was reminded by watching this
it felt like to experience FLCL for the first time. I think that the
of the first season of Arakawa captures this feeling, as do many
come from Arakawa Under the Bridge x
Bridge. This is the kind of special anime that is capable of
certain audience members astoundingly well and it's the sort of story
to share with friends.
brings out a lot of the heart behind the
series. She's a sweet, charming, and caring character who winds up
as her "lover", and the pair becomes closer to one another over the
the series run. One of the best elements of the series comes from
developing romance and friendship between Nino and Rec. She's the
while Rec seems a bit too preoccupied with being "perfect" at the start
completely realize what he was lacking before meeting Nino. He was too
on a possibility he thought he could reach... a perfection that is
For everyone ultimately needs the love and support of others to carry
ambitions are quite relatable but it does take him some time to
of the other elements of humanity the way he should.
a massive supporting cast on the show. When
Rec is saved by Nino he decides (somewhat reluctantly) that he must do
she wants in order to stay out of her debt. So... he winds up living
bridge with her and under that bridge he ends up meeting many strange
that make up an oddball family of free spirits. This doesn't sit well
at first, but over the course of the series everyone becomes incredibly
and viewers are going to grow more familiar with the characters and
more invested in their individual stories.
Chief is the leader of the group (or so some
say). He pretends to be a kappa, which is a mythological Japanese
he wears a green suit to get the full effect. Hoshi is the wannabe rock
with a star-shaped happy-looking mask on his face (I loved a line where
characters watched him fall asleep running and said something "He's
dreaming of playing at Budokan", a likely a reference to Maaya
anniversary show). Sister is... actually
a dude dressed in a nun's outfit who is the source of the group's main
setting (and he gives out cookies all the time). He's extremely
body building and the power of muscle. There are so many other
supporting characters that in adding up the total tally there are
ten other characters I could continue talking about (if I wanted to
drone-about endlessly). There's so much
on Arakawa in regards to these zany and
first season of the show (available in a
Blu-ray/DVD combo release separate from this Arakawa Under
the Bridge x Bridge release) was in no overestimation
a truly magnificent series and it easily earned a great spot as one of
anime series in recent years. There is no doubt that it will be the
series to find new fans year after year if a fanbase forms that is
enough to making sure that newcomers are aware of it. Arakawa
Under the Bridge is the rare anime that deserves that kind
of solid attention.
second season just didn't manage to live up to
the potential that was in place following the conclusion of the first
episodes were still hilarious in parts (a massive and notable positive)
storytelling and characterizations suffered. The biggest issue was that
second season doesn't resolve all of the plot or story-related ideas it
presents. A plot-line is introduced that suggests the characters might
visit Venus (which isn't something that happens) and a few other
entirely resolve by the ending.
wasn't a major issue during the introductory
season and I expected the same high level of craftsmanship this time
Then there's the fact that some main characters were slightly
during certain moments (and this was particularly noticeable for Rec as
become almost a caricature of his philosophical and deep self during a
multi-episode run that became increasingly weak in providing accurate
while working towards the concluding moments).
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge was
weak season in comparison to the first. There were many moments of
(one episode has romantic genius written all over it as more is
Nino and Rec to one another through bizarre tape-recordings). It simply
compare to the brilliance radiating throughout the entire first season.
does manage to offer some genuinely classic moments which are
"sprinkled-throughout" with some of the most memorable anime characters
It does stumble a bit during this second
season but a large part of that was because the manga still hasn't
Sadly, there might never be a third season, though I'd be
a surprise announcement arrived.
conclusion is an open-ending (a sort of "meeting you halfway"
conclusion) and the series doesn't give off vibes of being completely finished. I wish there
was a third season. Even without knowing if more will ever be produced Arakawa Under the Bridge and Arakawa
Under the Bridge x Bridge are
entertaining, massively creative, and quirky good fun.
America continues to release anime in North America with excellent
stunning) transfers. This release of Arakawa
Under the Bridge x Bridge features an
presentation that captures the breathtaking animation with all of its
details, found within the uniquely memorable character designs and the
animation backdrops. Viewers won't walk away feeling disappointed by
High Definition visuals. The series alternates between 1.78:1 and
2.:35:1 aspect ratios (select scenes are presented in the wider
scope for what I assume is intended as a more poetic or thrilling
in this review are from the DVD editions in this Blu-ray/DVD combo
audio presentation is almost an equal match to
the video. The Uncompressed PCM lossless 2.0 audio for the Japanese
is fantastic with sharp clarity, strong depth, and decent vitality.
music and dialogue sound incredible! Arakawa Under the
Bridge x Bridge has
numerous sound effects that were utilized quite effectively with this
be aware that the English subtitles are
non-removable on these Blu-ray discs. These subtitles are larger in
to the first season's release (but it isn't hugely distracting and it
something easy to adjust to). There is also no English dub option; the
audio presentation available is for the Japanese audio. Don't worry
dub quality though. The Japanese VA's were perfect for these characters.
notable bonus feature is arguably the fancy
packaging available to this Premium Edition product. The oversized box
something that won't fit on the shelf with the typically standard
Blu-ray's or DVD's but it will appeal to anime collectors. It doesn't
disappoint! The art-box is beautiful with full-art on either side.
also an art-book inside featuring character
notes, interview materials with cast members, a commentary featuring
original manga author, and more. This art-book contains over 30 pages
excellent information, artwork, and interview material. Fans should
enjoy this aspect of NIS releases. The included art-book used for this
of Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge was
particularly well put together and satisfying to behold.
are also included: these
featured select members of the Japanese Voice Cast on episodes 1-4 of Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge.
out the extras are TV Promos, an
End Card Gallery, and trailers for other NIS America
Under the Bridge was one
favorite delights in recent anime viewing. The second season (herein
was entitled Arakawa Under the Bridge x
Bridge and it didn't quite manage to equally match the first
still a beautiful anime with an immensely lush world of remarkable
solid characters, and comedic moments.
pricing for the Premium Edition Blu-ray/DVD
Combo release is expensive but worth it, and even more so considering
excellent video/audio presentation in combination with collector-worthy
packaging and an art-book with plenty of material.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.