Japanese: 荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 5, 2010 to Jun 28, 2010
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.801 (scored by 42808 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Aug 3, 2013
Jan 4, 2011
Many tend to group all SHAFT comedies at the same shelf, and I am no exception. Having the same production company, the same main voice actor, the same protagonist archetype, the same artsy animation, and the same wacky type of comedy tends to do that, especially if you are a comparison freak like I am. So yeah, I call this the Sayonara Zetsubo of 2010. The similarities are simply too many.
If you take into account what I wrote in my previous SHAFT comedy reviews (that’s right you suckers, go read those too) you will pretty much see there is little to talk about visuals, other than being artistic, full of fast panel switches, weird use of colors and shapes, throwing in real photographs and bizarre imagery from a myriad symbolisms and allusions to social and mental status of each situation. It is a fine way to help the viewer visualize how awkward and troubled the minds of the characters are, and to spice up the jokes. They even try to change the formula as the episodes move on, from slightly changing the gimmicks to even adding more info about one’s inner self. Still, each SHAFT comedy has its specific trademark gimmick; where Sayonara Zetsubo had the “I’m in despair” clip, Arakawa has the “blinking eye” clip. Lots of zooming to eyes that blink and sweat drops thrown around. Nice stuff to attract the eye (sic) but it got tiresome early on.
Still, I must say that the flying fish or the other bizarre stuff that are shown in this comedy are not as extreme or as memorable as the ones in Sayonara Zetsubo’s walls of texts or Bakemonogatari’s dark cardboard sceneries. It feels more mainstream and for a 2010 production even average and low-budgeted. I can’t help giving the Animation only a 7.
Something similar can be said about the music. The music score is not nearly as interesting as in the previous two comedies and the dialogues are to the most part not as complicating or smart. From a point on they even feel tedious and tiresome. They have enough text to laugh or get to know the characters but still of NOT those heights. Plus, most of the talking ends up being lukewarm jokes so it loses points even from that. So again, I give Music it a 7.
The story … yeah, typical SHAFT. They bait us with a spicy premise, this case being the romantic relationship between an orthological rich pragmatist and an absent-minded poor girl who claims to be an alien. And some episodes later, throws all of that away for random gags and stand alone weirdness around a bunch of nut-jobs who live under a bridge. I must say it sure packs more plot that the previous comedies as from time to time has some plot development, like the father of the protagonist trying to ruin his new life or the alien origin being looked upon a bit. All that are still greatly overlooked for comedy. And of course, there is no ending to it. So I can’t give the Story more than a 4.
The characters are the usual “unusual” bunch of misfits SHAFT is so famous of making all the time. Most of the humor is based on their total lack of common sense that helps the jokes to work better and the characters to be memorable. As usual, their appeal is mostly based on quirks and bizarre personality and not character development but again, for a SHAFT comedy the cast is colorized and developed more and beyond just the few episodes they appear in. So yeah, I must say that they are funny, memorable and given more attention than usual, making them better as overall. As usual, SHAFT baits you with lots of cute girls and then throws in some creepy males to even it out. It worked for me and it’s too bad nothing substantial occurred to them that changed them in overall. I still give the Characters an 8 for being more looked upon though.
Now as far as Enjoyment and Replay Value goes, I’m afraid the news are bad. The type of humor it implements starts to wear off rather fast and the succession of gags slows down more and more to the point you lose interest until the next joke comes up or you are even given the time to figure out the joke before it even occurs. My laughing meter was dropping with each episode, to the point it was bellow average in the last episodes of the second season. To be more precise, the scores I give to Enjoyment if this is considered a 26 episode comedy are 10 in episodes 1-3, 8 in 4-6, 6 in 7-20, and 4 in 61-26. It is a rather subjective thing how much others will like or dislike the humor but for me the jokes were getting old too fast and their quality dropped significantly, plus the storyless plot was getting to my nerves after awhile. So I can’t give this part more than a 5.
In all, this year’s Sayonara Zetsubo packed a bit more story and character development but at the same time had less interesting animation, music, and successful humor.
Damn you SHAFT; you refuse to outdo yourself! read more
Dec 9, 2012
There’s a long review coming………….
About the STORY
This series is anything but cliché. There is so much uniqueness in this series that it’s almost like a sin. Nowadays, there are thousands and thousands of animes and manga so it’s really hard to create such original story. After watching this series you can’t help but be amaze how magnificently it is done. Indeed, the plot might be common with the story about a guy from the rich world and a girl from the poor world but the storyline in this series has made that kind of common plot to the next level. This is far beyond your typical couple from different worlds because they are literally from different worlds. The guy is from the rich world and the girl is from a very weird as in WEIRD world. Plus, the setting is under a bridge! And finding love in the weirdest and unusual place. How original can that be! Another amazing thing is how the seriousness and the gags are balance. Just when you thought that it is a serious scene you will end up laughing your hearts out. And if you think that this is all about laughter then you are horribly wrong because it actually have a very solid storyline that you will definitely anticipate to unfold. It even have a very cute love story and not just for comic relief but a serious growing sweet love. Surprisingly enough, I am the type who always wants to see the main plot unfolds immediately but in this one I couldn’t care less. I just love and enjoy their everyday lives and that shows how amazing it is. Even though every episode may not be that important to the main plot, it is still interesting to watch and makes you want more of it. I also love the lines whether it’s for comedy or serious dialogues which is very important for me because it always leave a strong impression.
About the CHARACTERS
The one that shows how original this series the most are the characters. The characters are so original and unique. In fact, in my more than 10 years of anime life I’ve never seen such characters. You might see them on hardcore fictional type of stories but the characters in this series can actually be real. They might be crazy but they are actually real people who just created a community under the bridge. Each of them is unique and has their own weird personalities. They’re weirdness is just so hilarious. And their past and real identity is also very interesting because of its mysteriousness. Speaking of mysteriousness, the most enigmatic of them all is Nino who claims she is from Venus. Her weirdness is just like a character of a child who still has a lot to learn. Of course, Ric who stumbles in the world of the weirdoes. He believes that everyone is not normal and he is the only one with a straight mind but if everyone around you is the same and you’re the only whose not then you might as well think that you are actually the weird one. I like all of them from supporting characters to main characters.
About the ANIMATION
The animation was magnificently done whether the scene is for laughter or for serious conversation. The colors and the landscape are breathtaking. Scenes where important lines are delivered are amazingly done. The seiyus are well picked and it’s like a gathering of all the most famous and talented seiyus. Seeing the lineup of seiyus gives an assurance that the characters will be great and their lines will be memorable.
With so much originality, it is no wonder why this series is considered one of the most famous animes of today. It will be a sin not to watch this and not love it.
Jan 17, 2011
*Note: I've finished watching the 2nd season and it's exactly the same as the 1st. A little bit more boring, actually, but it's still enjoyable.*
An overly proud man who accepts no favors from anybody is saved by a self-proclaimed Venusian woman. He can't feel at ease unless he pays her back. What she asks in return is nothing else than to be loved. Ko (the man) agrees with her and is then forced on start living under the bridge with Nino (the girl). He then, finds out that there are many other people living under the bridge. The first one he meets, the mayor (a guy wearing a kappa costume) names him Recruit and thus, his life with Nino under the bridge starts.
I must say, the first two episodes were perfect. Full of comedy, interesting twists and the promise of one of the best plots you could find in an anime. But it stopped there.
I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who felt like that while watching it. I truly believe that lots of other viewers were expecting a lot of character development, such as the reasons why those people decided to live there, what happened in their past and why most of them try hiding their real identity (Star is the only one with some consistent background in the whole first season). I must admit that I was also expecting some romance development, which is really rare for me in a series. I thought Ko and Nino made a really interesting couple, and think they could have provided some unique moments during the first season.
And this was my major let down with Arakawa. After watching the first two episodes I thought I was about to watch a masterpiece for sure, but their resolution on focusing on the comedy only and on some cliche situations (like the conflict between Ko and his father) was a definite waste, in my opinion.
I won't deny that I enjoyed watching it a lot. Despite the average story, the art is really beautiful with expressive characters and beautiful landscapes. The seiyuus did an amazing work as well, even when the other sound aspects weren't that special: an okay soundtrack, op & ed.
It could have been a masterpiece. I hope the second season makes amends for the first one. read more
Jun 22, 2012
Oct 19, 2010
Jun 30, 2010
A show with soo much promise ruined by amataur animatiors, apart from the great characters nothing else is that good, the story which i like didnt progress from the first episode and made this feel cheap and tacky, it seemed like they knew that season 2 would follow and didnt really bother with this show apart from getting the viewer to understand the characters for next season.
Also i have to add the art in this show is dreadful one of the worst i've EVER seen.
This show looked so unique from the Preview so i decided to watch this, and i felt this could be the "Dark Horse" of the current season, a series that could be amazing that many would of not watched or planned too.
I want to keep this short, i have so many negitive views about this show, for one the Art (apart from last episode) has been TERRIBLE, one of the worst ive ever seen, too much repetitive animation (eye scene closeup seen over 100 times) it makes this show look to me the first animation this company has ever done (which isnt a compliment)
Also nothing happened and with the Bridge the only place they go its hard to keep it fresh and you can see even the company behind this show dont know what to do they delve into randomness (build a home on a pillar/amusment park etc...), the characters are AMAZING thought they are become so well known to me quick, i knew all there names and attributes off the bat (which is good for any show to make these impressions on me) if the characters werent soo watchable i would of stopped viewing this show.
Also shouldnt characters progress? none of them have apart from Kou (Recruit) all the rest have stayed the same from the whole 13 episodes which makes the show seem more amaturish, to me the unqiue story was wasted they didnt develop it and nothing happened of any note, understand the characters and thats all you will get from this show as season 2 was annouched maybe things MAY happen in that, to sum it up this shows lacks substance, a preview that offered such a unique storyline and characters was just ignored for some RANDOM events (MUCH like K-On) so its a hit and miss, for me this average i have seen 100's of better and enjoyable shows (so maybe n00bs to anime may love this show anyone who has watched more than Bleach/Naruto may find this a bit dull. read more
Apr 26, 2010
Story: 8- Oddball comedy with a romance lining. FUNNY.
Art: 7-8- I'm on the fence here. Some shots of Nino are stunning, and some scenes are beautiful. But it's not consistent. And Rec looks odd most of the time, though he has his fair share of 'good' shots.
Sound: -- Again, not paying much attention. The OP is cute though.
Character: 7-8- They've already introduced a good bit of weird characters, and Rec gets some back-story right off the bat, but really I'm curious to learn about all the other characters! Especially Nino, who is she really? Where did she come from? Why is she there? Why won't she leave the bridge?? And...what's wrong with everyone else??! But maybe (if this is that kind of anime) we'll never get an answer to those questions.
Enjoyment: 8-9- Super funny. 'Nuff said! But really, it'll make you laugh out-loud like a little kid most of the time (though other times it's just weird). I'm waiting for the romance to kick-off though, read more
May 16, 2010
The story mostly revolves around 2 people Nino and Recruit(Ric).
The story starts of as Ric trying to get his pants that a few kids stole from him and hung on part of a bridge he climbs to get it at that moment he meets Nino who offers help but because of Vics pride he refuses so he gets his pants and falls into the water by accident. He was about to die then Nino saved him because of that Ric stay with Nino as her lover because he feels everytime some one does something for him he most repay that person.
And that were the story begins read more
Jan 19, 2012
Quite the proposition, huh? But this is what you get in the first chapter, and from that moment on, you´re doomed...´cuz you wont help but keep watching so you can know what happens afterwards.
Arakawa under the bridge is the story that having the possibillity to have a cliched development, leaves that completely aside, leaving you with a series were each minute that passes gets more and more weird, and, if you can get used to it, more and more funny.
If you´ve read the summary, you will see more or less what it is about, but what doesn´t get explained in it is that the main character is the only normal (?) person under the bridge, and that everyone else is a matter-of-fact worring case, from the nun to the farm-girl, going throught the kappa and the star (yeah, a star, go figure it).But, even when everyone in the bridge is reaaaaaly weird (I mean it), you get to see from time to time some sensibility, and a slightly development on the relationship of the main guy with everyone.
As the strange development of short and interconected stories moves forward, you get to some questions that pops out of nowhere and make you wonder, like...Is it the way everyone (and I´m talking about the society in general) do things the right way? When everyone around you have different upbringings, what exactly is the common sense? You´ll have to wonder that for yourself, and if you faind your answer, I congratulate you righ now!
This is a series that can´t be taken serious.
This is a series that can´t be taken lightly
So what it is?
Is the life of Arakawa under the Bridge...^^!
Dec 19, 2011
There have been countless shows that lack a storyline, but they are mostly gag comedies. I wouldn't say Arakawa Under the Bridge is necessarily one of those. Most of the time you get straight faced people creating the comedy effect, but the characters in Arakawa are weirdos who are actually pretty normal inside. It's kind of the opposite of what you usually get in shows with serious people who do or say weird things. Because of this slight difference, Arakawa's comedic effects are more natural, meaning it's not necessarily the situations that make the story entertaining but the characters themselves, even when you don't have a storyline. The show doesn't even need those serious speeches that you often see to make it meaningful. Arakawa can leave you warm-hearted in the most subtle way, and I think that's its greatest accomplishment.
Dec 24, 2011
What disappointed me or to be more precise what was unsettling to me was that the only setting or background used in this series is the river bed and very limited set of sounds. There is no background about the characters given and the story starts abruptly and continues with its comic tone. This kind of setting suits a theatre performance at best. But still i'm inclined to rate this anime as being very good because somehow if you can get through that unsettling feelings it turns out to be an anime which is fresh with new concepts and avoids cliches. So i'd still recommend you guys to check this title just to appreciate what the creators of this anime have done in new. But be sure you can't expect great things from the plot, which you might find in any average anime. It has a kind of melancholic atmosphere all the time. read more
Jul 3, 2012
As for the storyline, its very much a slice-of-life without being boring, a romance without being sappy, and a comedy without being obnoxious or mindless.
The art is out of the ordinary as far a style, but by no means is it poor. The music is catchy and true to the story. I like that the voice actors dont have annoying voices and are clear and easy to understand but are not boring.
The characters are just outstanding, not at all typical. In fact, the characters are really what make up the plot. They all have real personalities and stories behind them, which is what makes each and every one so interesting. However, much of the characters' pasts are not revealed. Just enough. :P
I enjoyed this anime immensely and am so excited for the next season for whatever, "Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge". Ive already started and all I can say is that its definitley not horrible like a lot of the sequels out there that follow the anime that could have ended after season one. read more
Apr 14, 2010
SHAFT is the producer of Bakemonogatari, and uses similar presentation methods in this series. The problem is: Bakemonogatari is more of occult, suspense and mystery while Arakawa Under the Bridge is something like gag humour.
Note: After ep 2, the anime seems to fare better in its own style.
To be honest ep 1 and 2 gave me a headache. A wide variety of characters introduced, the main characters were presented, and tons of poorly used impact-scenes. From ep 3-5 the story seems more smooth and less gag-likke. Which is good, since some fundamentals had finally been touched on.
Unfortunately, too many characters had been introduced right from the start, some airtime for each side character sometimes are only a few secs or none at all. Control of characters were pretty good, although overall, the story just seems to be too unstable. Scenes sometimes skipped here and there, little coninuation at times and most importantly, travelling too much between gag, slice of life and romance.
Normal for SHAFT I believe. Good graphics and animation. But why do bubbles seem to come out anywhere and everywhere? Eye scene is overused, reminds of Bakemonogatari. Certain impact (animation aspect) destroyed the mood for laughter (aka light mood).
OP: Ep1-4's OP's animation was unique, and light, but made relatively no sense in contrast to the series' storyline. Song was good. Ep 5
s OP seems to be made in a jokingly manner, but was really interesting, some ppl might download the scene and worship it (lols).
ED: Both animation and song were good. It introduces several characters from "under the bridge".
Voice acting was mostly good, but sometimes were over-done, especially the cries of shock from "Recruit".
Sound usage is gradually getting better.
Interesting. But interesting doesn't cut it. Most characters aren't unique in their own right (As in they are not defined by their personalities, more of their physical differences). But some character development has already being done on "Recruit", and his past slightly explored into. This is a huge bonus, since we will be seeing him often in the series.
Up to episode 5, we can see some unique personalities, but as usual, side characters get very little scene coverage, as the storyline jumps here and there still. Bad thing here is that too many characters seem to be introduced, and some were rarely utilised. Character development seems to be slowing down.
Yes, knowing their personalities is good, but I would prefer to see a deeper character formed than many shallow ones.
Up to ep 2, I really didn't like it much. Cause of the very choppy manner the show was presented. A lot of things were unexplained, impact was used a bit too much, and most importantly, it seemed like serious gag humour.
Ep3-5 gradually included more serious scenes, and the story has become much stable (compared to till ep2). More work still needs to be done though, since this show is moving in a few ways, can't decide what genre is it focusing on.
Overall, I do wonder how does Recruit live his outside world. Lol, in realistic terms that is completely impossible, since he's a CEO or something.
On a side note, I may have wrote my previous review (up to ep 2) a bit too harshly. I do hope this updated review would give you readers a better insight into this series.
Thank you for reading;) read more
Apr 6, 2010
The art in this anime was generally quite impressive; the animations flow nicely and drawings are polished and detailed. The same can be said about the sound as well, with the music and effects suiting the light-hearted feel of the story well.
Kou instantly reminded me of 'Zetsubou-Sensei' (regardless of the fact that they have the same voice actor) which was nice from a SZS fan's perspective, but the two other characters that were shown in this episode (Nino and 'The Chief') both felt like characters you might've seen before somewhere else, but with something new and fresh that keeps things interesting.
Generally speaking, the first episode of this anime was pretty enjoyable and I hope I can say that again at the end of this series because this is definitely a show with potential. read more
Apr 5, 2010
There is a character that has a "normal" outlook on life, but has one major restriction on how he lives it, and another who is anything but normal, and is unintentionally abusing his restriction on life. As such the entire show thus far is Set-up, Gag, WTF, Gag, Set-up, Gag, WTF, Gag.............
If they could actually keep that up for 13 episodes I would be genuinely surprised, I expect this show to tank after around 3 or 4 eps, but the this first one was certainly interesting, and worth watching, and worth checking out episode 2 when it comes out. read more
Dec 30, 2010
In addition, the comedy in this series is very innocent and will surely make even the most serious open up. The series however lacks much character background information and it really makes you feel unsatisfied.
In conclusion, this anime is one that will make you return to your nostalgic childhood innocence. I highly recommend this!! ^_^ read more
Sep 13, 2013
Despite the at times unclear story, the characters can simply not be hated, overall Arakawa under the Bridge was a great laugh and I recommend it highly. read more
Aug 3, 2013
The storyline followed a blurry line that seemed to stray from the 'main progression' though looking back after watching the whole series those straying episodes did not run too far off the path and helped to progress the story, if only a little.
The characters are all extremely unique in their design but hold a sense of familiarity. As with most stories of any kind, they are the embodiment of targeted emotions or characteristics that we all have (nothing new there) however, what makes them unique is their actions and trains of thought are frighteningly easy to make sense of. The best way to describe the character dynamic is the the main character unknowingly falls into one of the mad hatter's tea parties.
All said, this anime is a light one but one to watch, have a laugh, and forget about how hard life is for a few episodes with all of the characters' mind-numbing antics (in a good way). read more
Feb 26, 2012
Not necessarily from somewhere, it's more about where you're headed. Most people look past the true depth in this show due to all the slapstick jokes, and gimmicky humor, but there is some subtle beauty in this show that sits right under the surface. The premise of accepting who you truly are as an individual, and not letting social norms effect that idealistic image you strive for is the strongest driving theme throughout the show.
Ok, so the story is fairly vague, not much actual "plot" apart from the initial incident of finding this bridge community, and the various escapades within this curious place. But the show does make good work of making the best out of the small advances we see throughout the show.
Art is very well done, the gradient art style is very appealing, and refreshing. Although you can say the actual character art feels a few years behind, I think it adds to the show as a whole, giving a different feel then more modern art gives off. Overall, I really did think the art was fairly strong throughout.
The sound is ok, not really that memorable apart form the ending song, which I happen to love. It really captures the fragile feel of the anime, and speaks more in emotions and feels than literal meaning. Take that how you want, it's more of a hit or miss sort of thing.
I've seen a lot of criticizing of the characters, especially considering new developments throughout the story. Don't get me wrong, I do thing character development is very importnat in almost all animes, but I give a small exception to this show. The point is less on seeing these characters change, more so to understanding their past, and learn who they are. We get to peel back their obscure exteriors, and understand them in a strangely intimate way, getting a little slice of what makes them need this bizarre community so much.
I really enjoyed this anime a lot. It's one of the most refreshing shows in ages, especially considering how I've been putting off watching it for a good 6 months, I am glad I finally got around to it. I think that one of it's major problems this show has are that people can't get past all the slapstick to really soak up the real genius, and introspective beauty this show has to offer. It's all right there, you just have to be willing to look for it just a little.
Excuse any small mistakes throughout this review, I'm not too good at writing these sorts of things, and thank you if you bothered to read through the whole thing. read more