In the dry riverbed of Arakawa River, undefeated elite Ichinomiya Kou (aka Ric) met the lovely homeless girl Nino, a self-declared Venusian. Their awkward love stirs up trouble among the other strange inhabitants of the riverbed.
"Random", "Over-the-top", "Weird", and "Hilarious" might be some of the descriptions one might come across when reading about the Arakawa Under the Bridge franchise. With the plot's groundwork having been laid out in the first season, Bridge x Bridge showcases more of its eclectic cast's daily life and misadventures with a little character development every now and then, if one pays attention. As Bridge x Bridge is the second season of the original Arakawa Under the Bridge, viewing of the first season is required for full enjoyment. That said, Bridge x Bridge will satisfy most fans of the first season with its ever quirky characters and humorous hijinks.
Story (no spoilers):
Aforementioned, the story starts off where the first season left off in the banks of the river Arakawa. Bridge x Bridge seeks to develop character relationships whereas the previous season developed the background for the show. One strong point about Bridge x Bridge is that it is very consistent in its quality of humor and episodic storytelling. The bulk of the comedy revolves around the cast's interactions in their daily lives, their penchant for randomness, and Kou's reaction to everything around him from a normal man's point of view (in other words, it's the same as the previous season's type of humor). This approach might be hit-or-miss, depending on how much the viewers will take a liking to the characters, but it will still end up bringing some laugh out loud moments at least every now and then for most.
Oh, where to begin. The personalities of Arakawa are what makes the show truly enjoyable. Each character has a unique and silly personality to his/herself that tends to create hilarious moments when combined. Bridge x Bridge gives more screentime to characters neglected previous season, including Billy, an ex-gangster, Jacqueline, his love interest, and Amazoness, a bulky woman with a personality of a schoolgirl. The show's main focus is comedy, so unfortunately, character development is pushed to the side apart from a few moments of the characters' pasts being revealed (especially Nino's). This is rather disappointing since the show offers so many mysteries and questions about its characters, yet answering very few. In this respect, Bridge x Bridge unfortunately brings less satisfaction in the previous season which delved in detail about Kou's history. Nonetheless, the characters are still a joy to watch.
Art and Animation:
The animation in Bridge x Bridge is a typical SHAFT affair: usually passable with some moments of brilliance and occasionally being surreal. Notably absent from this season is the stock "Kou blink" animation used so often in last season, giving more time for actually animated scenes - always a nice thing. As for the art, Bridge x Bridge features a colorful style that will probably have no problem hooking your attention when you see it. Character designs are also quite nice on the eyes; every single character is visually distinctive from one another and their odd designs match their personality perfectly.
The OP "COSMOS vs. ALIENS" is a strange (but very charming) little song that might take some getting used to, while the ED "Akai Coat" is a nice indie rock tune. Both do a fine job of setting the mood for the show. Voice acting in this series is very well done: Kamiya Hiroshi's stern straight man voice for Kou Ichinomiya, Maaya Sakamoto's soft voice for Nino, Miyuki Sawashiro's sweet but haunting performance for Maria all gets top scores. As for the soundtrack, the music does well to match the mood of moment, which is usually quirky and sometimes over-the-top, but also with relaxing atmospheres that pop up every now and then (and the cold opening for every episode). Overall, SHAFT did a very nice job in the sound department.
Despite the main plot progressing very slowly, a unique story with unique characters and even stranger presentation (as per SHAFT) are several reasons why Bridge x Bridge kept me excited every week to see a new episode. If you've enjoyed the first season, the second season is highly recommended as well. I'd recommend the entire Arakawa Under the Bridge series to anyone looking for an original, funny anime that isn't afraid to stand apart from the conventions of typical anime characters.
(Helpful or Not Helpful, feedback on this review is very welcome)read more
Where to start? Slight character development spoilers ahead.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge focuses more of the interactions between Riku/Kou and Nino than the underlying social commentary that the first season reflected in a community of people whom in most cases would be shunned by others. But who despite their superficial eccentricities are still more or less normal human beings inside, with all the flaws and strengths that encompasses, who find a home together in the middle of, yet separated from the judgmental eyes of society.
In some ways Riku/Kou is the most bizzare among them. But despite his constant attempts to separate himself from the group and establish himself as the only normal human being among them he eventually reaches a sort of acceptance of the situation, not out of necessity, but from honestly looking past the superficial attributes to the persons underneath the facade and finds people who aren't controlled by his father's egocentric, conceited outlook on life, and through that learns to see the fundamental flaw in his own reasoning.
That in his constant attempts to imitate his father he has completely accepted his father's twisted world view and morality as his own, without ever questioning whether or not it is right. Neither objectively nor subjectively.
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, and prequiel, take the viewer on a journey, where we get to follow a deeply incomplete and arrogant man through a world that constantly challenges all of his convictions, most fundamental principles and ideology, in a battle against his own prejudice and maladaption.
A journey in which he learns the meaning of true happiness; trust; family; and love.read more
Wow, Im the first to review! Well, it's my first real review as well, still hope this will be to some help. NB this is MY review thus I'm expressing my OPINION. I just want people to understand why I really like this series.
This really is a continuation of the first series - Thus:
It takes a certain kind of humor to appreciate the storyline and humor really is the key to this series. It's wonderfully hilarious with free spirits that are not necessarily stupid, like most cartoon characters, but only different in their way of thinking. Even if it's slice of life, you really feel like you're moving forward as you get to know the many different characters better and since it's made up of chapters which keeps it from getting stuck at some unimportant detail. The best things is that it doesn't feel like "I've seen this 2000 times before", their actions still surprise you and.. I got to tell you - it is SO refreshing to get out of school with characters beyond 16! Oh, and no ecchi ecchi harem in sight.
The characters are drawn rather simplistic. Instead, the artist has really spend a lot of time on the surrounding area. There are a lot of detailed shots of the river, the grass, the sky... It's evidently a part of the story - after all, there's a reason why so many people are spending their days at this specific riverbank and it feels more idyllic. Therefore this art style is good for this anime.
The soundtrack for goes really well with the series. The op and ending are, in my opinion, better than the last one and it sets you in the right mood! The sound in the anime would however would not be anything I'd listen as it is.
The character that develop the most is Recruit. This is best seen during the first series. Yet here there has already been a sign of him growing as a man in love as well which is a huge step forward and thus it already deserves an 8. As the other characters actions still surprise me they never get boring and doesn't need as much development as Recruit. Slice of life doesn't really require as much of this either.
As this series always get my spirits up I have to call it great. It's outrageous in a good way. I really enjoy myself while watching this and can't wait for the next episode. In all honesty, it took me some episodes to get used enough to the humor to just lay back and enjoy the ride.
This is very good if you're inexplicably down, bored or high spirited. Its silly but not idiotic and it shows those small problems that can be huge to one person. No world(s) crisis, no school, no work just entertainment.read more
Well, I must say I'm a fan of the first season of Arakawa Under The Bridge. It had everything a good (not great) show must have: good characters, nice jokes, things you don't get to see in all anime... well I loved it, although, after all, I only gave it a 7. And why was that? Because Arakawa loses itself in the way. And for my own sadness, it's happening again with Arakawa in "Bridge X Bridge".
I have nothing to say about the story, nor the art. The concept is still the same, brilliant idea, rich guy literally lives under a bridge. The art is basicly equal to the one in season 1: simplistic yet enjoyable character design and backgrounds/cenarios.
In matter of sound, I only have good things to say about it. I'm obviously refering to the crazy what-the-hell-is-this-? opening song, "Cosmos Vs. Alien", that really made me laugh. It's just so wacky... But I love it.
'Till now we should have all conditions for a seven or an eight, right? ... Right?
Well, the characters seem to have lost their charm (except for Billy, that guy really rocks). Ric acts more stupid than in season 1, but now his stupidity is, instead of funny, just really really sad. Hiroshi Kamiya's work in here is absolutely dispicable. I loved his performance in Durarara!!, as Izaya, but Ric's expressions are just silly, and he screems like an idiot. Maybe I could have enjoy it if I wasn't a big fan of Bakemonogatari , but I just can't. Sorry.
Hoshi has been singin' "Himo" so much that is no longer cool, but annoying. That's a perfect example of formula repetition, which often can destroy a good show.
Another thing that's been stabbing Arakawa 2 like a madman is the pacing. My god, it just seems the episodes never end. When I think the episode's at 20 minutes already, it only goes at 9! And why? Because the rhythm is slow as hell!
Episode 2 made no sense. That Amazone gag was just laughble, in every single way.
So, I'm terribly disappointed with Arakawa Under The Bridge X Bridge. I score it as a 3, because it's not only bad stuff, as you may have noticed if you read the entire review. Yet, it's an insult to the manga and the first season of the show. And, as in Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, i'm pretty sure the last episodes won't improve that much. read more