A seemingly hyper-rational man knowingly threw himself into the craziness of residents of the riverbank. It’s all because he couldn’t live with the fact he has owed a stranger a favor. It’s not as if he lost his rationality, nor did he forgot about his pride. Ichinomiya Kou, or affectionately called Ric by the residents of riverbank, simply is one of them from the very beginning.
At least, that’s how I see it.
Each resident of Arakawa “underground” village has issues. I can’t say they are mentally challenged; they chose to live a very different lifestyle than the norm. Stripped of bizarre costumes and behaviors, their lifestyle is actually to die for – relaxing and stress free. All they care about is having fun and socializing with likeminded friends.
I mentioned about different lifestyle, bizarre costumers and weird behaviors, didn’t I? I wasn’t kidding. The moment Ric met the stranger, Nino, everything that follow suit didn’t quite make any sense. Given the characters introduced and the nature of the series, I shouldn’t expect any different.
Personally, I’d say Arakawa started out strong. With all the crazy outfits and characters, it’s fun. The events that happened right after Ric and Nino met were hilarious in a good way. Maybe because it was a period of character introductions and really, the characters are interesting. My problem with Arakawa really only started after all the residents made their first appearances.
Once the series is done with character introduction, it focused on the slice-of-life in Arakawa. This is when all things started to get dry. The daily activities aren’t very different from the usual four high school girls. There were festivals, more festivals, and even more festivals. Of course, their festivals are not without a twist. But that doesn’t save the sour taste left once I completed the series.
Despite the dots that never quite connect for me in Arakawa Under the Bridge, I appreciate the effort made in developing the main character, however little it is. Ric started as a rather obnoxious man. He hasn’t changed all that much except that he’s more considerate as the time goes by. He learns to be more sensitive of the needs and wants of his neighbors, particularly Nino’s.
In the end, Arakawa Under the Bridge is either a hit or a miss with audience. One would either immensely enjoy all things done in Arakawa style or not.
P.S Completing two seasons of Arakawa Under the Bridge also means I’ve completed my three goals. Yay to me!