Thursday, 3 June 2010

Arakawa Under the Bridge - Episode 9

If you've been worried all week about what happened to poor old Star after the last instalment of Arakawa Under the Bridge then fear no more, as he re-appears alive and (relatively) well come the beginning of this latest episode. Well, provided he doesn't get cooked by Stella, that is.

Indeed, it's through Stella's culinary efforts that we learn that Star's head can also double as a potato (a useful piece of trivia if ever I saw it) - The trouble is, Stella's cooking is all aimed at impressing Sister, and when Star finally pipes up to explain how Sister is infatuated with Maria on the farm things all going a little bit... shounen, for want of a better word.

With Stella on an angry rampage and out for revenge against Maria, Ric somehow manages to end up in the way time and again before finally finding room to step to one side and let Maria and her love rival duke it out. While this looks set to be a one-sided affair, it turns out to be anything but, as Maria demonstrates some impressive abilities when it comes to speed, sharp objects and, err.... shearing sheep. Only in this series could shounen anime be lampooned in quite such an oddball way.

Anyhow, with that particular problem resolved, we get an opportunity to catch Star without his mask, which in turn brings about the story of how he came to live under the bridge and wear that mask in the first place. Indeed, Star's story proves to be an impressive and utterly believable one... at least, it does until John Lennon and Elvis get name-checked, leaving us unsure of the boundaries between Star's truth and his lies and/or insanity. Who knows what the real deal is with this particular bridge-dwelling resident?

All in all, these two sub-stories combine to make for another hilarious episode - It holds plenty of great, sharp one-liners and although Stella's ferocious awakening of anger threatened to run a little thin after a while there was still enough outright laughs to make it worthwhile. From there, Star's story was a juxtaposition of the slightly touching and the absurdly funny which tantalised us with hard facts and then pulled the rug of honesty out from under us to leave us unsure of whether what we'd just seen was the truth or not. This episode might not have piled on the social commentary as we've seen with some instalments of Arakawa Under the Bridge with one or two brief exceptions, but when it continues to bring forth laughter from me on such a regular basis who am I to complain?


JW said...

I lol'd.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it was a genuinely funny episode. It also managed to go all sorts of places that I would not have previously imagined.

Hanners said...

Like an under-aged girl falling in love with a cross-dressing male nun? :p