Arakawa Under the Bridge #13 — A New Hope

June 27th, 2010

Phantom Menace is probably more appropriate though.

How the blazes is this getting a second season? Ugh. Shaft. What the hell are you doing?


At least it went ‘out’ (second season notwithstanding) on a relatively decent episode. The first half wasn’t great and was back to this show’s usual tricks of "We made some crazy ass character design, here’s 5 minutes of it" for Last Samurai, the samurai barber, and the loving couple of Billy the Bird and Jacqueline. You can understand most of the jokes from the screen caps alone. Samurai does samurai things and speaks archaically. Billy eats plants. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The second half with Kou struggling for his students and then the trip to the ‘fair’ was a bit better, particularly the ‘3D’ Star Wars reenactment, but I enjoyed the mentally unhinged mascot too. This show could use more actually mentally unhinged things instead of people who just dress strangely and suffer from a shared hallucination that they’re in a vaudeville troupe. I blame the opium fields. The tagline at the end was also painfully tacked on, and given that they announced a second season, almost unnecessary.

Final thoughts at the bottom.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve said it all before. The show relies entirely too heavily on two things, surreal character designs and Kamiya yelling. If you remove those two things, then the show has very little substance. Every now and then when Shaft actually gets a real parody or joke going, like the Hokuto no Ken stuff or Maria’s teasing, it can become amusing and I see glimmers of why I loved PPD or the second season of SZS, but for the most part, this feels like everybody working on it left the office at 1pm and just told Kamiya to shout into the microphone for half an hour and they’d figure out something to do with it later. If I have to see one more closeup of Kou’s eye, I might shoot someone. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if all the eye closeups strung together stretched out to nearly a quarter of an episode.

Production was middling at best and Shaft has definitely done a lot better with music than this show. Plot and character development was never the focus for the show either, which made some of these later episodes a bit unwieldy, particularly given the abrupt resolution (or lack thereof in the case of Kou’s daddy issues) and 95% of the jokes are delivered in the exact same way with a punchline of Kamiya screaming like a ninny. After three seasons of that in SZS, it’s getting old Shaft. Really old.

But it’s apparently getting a second season already. What they’re going to do with that, I have absolutely no idea. I’m not even sure how they stretched this out for 13 episodes honestly. This definitely isn’t anywhere even close to the best of Shaft and their presentation is an acquired taste as it is. I said more or less the same thing at the start, but my opinion hasn’t changed. If you can’t get enough of Kamiya yelling then you’ll have a blast here. Otherwise… meh. I doubt I’ll be following the second season and am kind of surprised that I made it this far with this one. Stella and Maria just came at a good enough time to string me along to the bitter bitter end.

Posted in Arakawa | 4 Comments »

4 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Haesslich says:

    Maria in a princess outfit. I can’t believe you missed something that important.

    • Aroduc says:

      I noticed it. I just didn’t really care since that was the only shot of it. Not even a pan or anything.

      • Haesslich says:

        Maria’s always worth at least one comment on. Especially since the only reason she’s there is to torture Sister and everyone else, from what I can see.

  • Joojoobees says:

    Kamiya yelling: sign me up!