Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Arakawa Under the Bridge x2 - Episode 6

If you thought we'd seen then end of any interference from Kou's father come the end of Arakawa Under the Bridge's first season, then think again, as it seems that he's up to his old tricks - this time however, his concerns seem centred around Nino, as he requests that Kou's secretary do some digging into her past - something which is proving to be rather difficult, not only because any information is so hard to come by but also thanks to some pretty heavy threats from a "mysterious" source...

So, we're all set up for what is practically an entire, Nino-centric episode, as she reveals to Ric that she has something very important to say - that being that she has to leave her bridge-side home to see her parents and return to "Venus".  A pretty simple plot twist in most hands, but this is Arakawa Under the Bridge that we're talking about here, making it an even more bizarre consideration when Nino asks Ric if she'd like to go with him, sending him off on all sorts of flights of fancy surrounding alien Venusian parents, marriage and more.

Somehow this episode feels like it should have a huge, sprawling post dedicated to it, yet it boils down to such a simple set of events that there isn't much to say about proceedings themselves.  However, that doesn't mean that this isn't a wonderful and actually very impressive episode, that manages to run at an emotional high at times but without ever neglecting its sense of humour, flitting effortlessly between the relative drama of the situation as presented and having a bit of fun with the characters and the insanity of it all.  Meanwhile, the mystery of Nino seems to grow and grow with every little titbit thrown our way (not to mention the Mayor), adding a dimension beyond just playing for laughs that actually serves the series in good stead even though I'm happy for it to carry on just being madly funny.  It really can't be noted enough that episodes such as this really do prove that there's more to Arakawa Under the Bridge that initially meets the eye, and when you blend that in with SHAFT doing what they do to the best of their ability and a snappy soundtrack, you have a series that really punches above its weight.

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