Having spent most of this week laid up in bed with a nightmarish cold, I've been crying out for some good comedy - thank goodness this week's Arakawa Under the Bridge x2 is here to satiate those needs at last.
After introducing us very briefly to another decidedly strange character from the riverbank last episode, this time around we finally get to meet the so-called Amazoness properly, along with her rather efficient Tengu henchmen and the group's legendary treasure... of local ice cream. In fact, is the Amazoness even an Amazon queen at all, or simply a bolshy schoolgirl? Wait, does she even exist at all, or was it all a bizarre dream from the mind of Recruit? Who even cares when it's so ludicrous and surreally funny?
Anyhow, it seems that the Amazoness isn't the only new arrival in the area, as we soon find ourselves introduced to a young man who appears to have got himself into trouble after spending a night atop the bridge overlooking our friends who live beneath it. As if this (plus his appearance) isn't odd enough, he also appears to believe that he's in charge of the "Earth Defence Force", requiring him to protect the planet against invading Venusians. Well, maybe he's on to something there, and he certainly seems to know a bit about Nino - regardless, the last thing Recruit wants is a new... err, recruit... hanging around, and thus he spins a tall tale about him also being an evil Venusian and warning this Earth Defence Force captain to leave now before the planet is destroyed. Needless to say, it seems that everyone, even the Mayor and Star, end up believing this, and it's only an intervention from Nino and her usual over-zealous fish-wielding welcome that finally turns away the new arrival - for now, anyway.
It's hard to know what to say about Arakawa Under the Bridge that hasn't been said countless times already, but it seems as though the series is revelling more and more in the insane world that it's spun for itself as it plunders the depths of the surreal further by the week. Luckily, this kind of bizarre humour is right up my street, so I'm all for ice cream legendary treasures, talking ahoge and ever-more oddball characters and their machinations. Although this episode didn't have me crying with laughter quite like last week's opening episode, it still got plenty of big laughs from me (a number of which came from cleverly crafted animation alone, so props to SHAFT for that), and at the end of the day that's what this show is all about. At least I hope it is, otherwise maybe I'm the crazy one? This show does get me wondering about my sense of sanity sometimes, it has to be said...