Saturday, June 5, 2010

Arakawa Under the Bridge 4-8

So it took me this long to post about this series. It's been what? Four episodes? Considering its slice-of-life format, this series is hard to blog about. It's just a series of random stuff going on and so much of them that it's difficult where to start.

Let's just begin with Episode 4, where Kou and Nino go on their first date ever ("I don't like to be held like a princess, Recruit.") and meet two new characters -- a psychopathic British girl with a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde personality ("Do you want me to teach you the right way to talk to your big brothers?") and Maria, the pink-haired dairy farm manager who delivers unnerving insults with a perfectly straight face . Sister is in love with Maria so much so that the old wound on his right cheek bleeds open whenever she insults him or shows the least bit of preference for another man (which she does quite often).
The result is a fairly hilarious episode with the usual mix of slapstick and witty humor. The best joke, however, is the schtick about the "princess hold," hands down. You'll have to see the whole skit through to properly appreciate it. There were some serious moments, too. Not too heavy but it was enough to give a slightly human glimpse of these otherwise wacky characters.
For episode 5, we get some background on how Sister met Maria. Apparently, they met in Sister's last battle. Maria was a spy for the enemy. For all his military training and the guns in his arsenal, he can't do anything about that mouth of hers. Even Kou is shocked, to put it mildly, by how Maria easily, with a smiling face, more or less suggested that he die. This was followed by a meeting with the vegetable garden girl, a redhead called "P-ko," with a very understandable thing for Nino and a somewhat unhealthy crush on the Village Chief. All of these encounters had the potential to leave me in stitches and one scene managed to accomplish exactly that. It was that one with P-ko slipping on banana peel. *shame* Yeah, slapstick gets me. But the funniest was actually the fish that Nino brought for Kou. That was comedy gold. :)
Episode 6, we have Kou head butting with Hoshi in a manner of speaking. Hoshi is in love with Nino and is jealous of Kou for suddenly becoming Nino's lover. He seeks every opportunity to insult and challenge him. This time, he's come up with the perfect challenge: a musical match. Unfortunately for him, Kou is classically trained with the violin. Kou wins the challenge but Hoshi losing means that he's regressed to repeating the same one-note song over and over, consisting entirely of the word "gigolo," referring to Kou. The song became a hit under the bridge, much to Kou's exasperation. This scene is then followed with the Metal Brothers trying to learn how to swim, to hilarious results, considering that they're wearing metal helmets. Kou solves this by giving them styrofoam floaters, winning Nino's admiration as a result.
In episode 7, Kou tries his new job as a classroom teacher, with the Metal Brothers as his only pupils. Although Nino is also there, saying some bullshit about being his lover and is therefore interested in him. But Kou is PWNED and Hoshi hears the whole thing and calls him a "student fucker." Stella soon shows up to wreak some havoc, Sister too and then P-ko. But the most important development here is the discovery of Kou by two of his subordinates.
Episode 8 started out really interesting and ended up also really interesting. At first, I thought the anime was going for the deep end and show that Kou has snapped under the pressures of his young life and is hallucinating all that's been happening to him all this time. Kou made up some excuse to his subordinates -- his secretary and his secretary's assistant -- that he's making a new power-generating company using the Arakawa river. But it's hard work convincing his by-the-book subordinates that the people under the bridge are but ordinary company personnel, especially when Maria insists on Kou kowtowing to her and Sister draws out his gun at the slightest infraction. The one who saves the day is the obsessive-compulsive but former salaryman Whitey. Also, the secretary finds out about Kou's relationship with Nino -- he tries to pass her off as his secretary to disastrous results -- and in a fit of jealousy attempts to spoil it by forcing them to kiss right in front of him. Now, Kou has never kissed anyone before and Nino simply doesn't know what a kiss is. Hoshi is also there to make things even worse. But Nino takes a handle on things and kisses Kou herself, sending him into paroxysms of ecstasy to the point where he wonders if she's going to get pregnant. lol. Hoshi, who witnesses the entire thing, degenerates into muttering that he's a starfish. The last clip shows Kou's secretary's assistant reporting to Kou's father about Kou's recent activities. It's all supposed to be ominous.