The Homeless in Arakawa Under the Bridge

Arakawa Under the Bridge Nino Recruit

Arakawa Under the Bridge is one of the lighter and fluffier anime of this season. However, underlying that gorgeous autumn palette, lovable Nino, and comedic randomness is a rather serious social issue. Call it occupational disease or simply “watching it wrong,” but I just cannot stop thinking about the heavier implications of mental illness and homelessness despite the comedic clumsy romance.

Arakawa Under the Bridge Nino bath

After the first few episodes, I was particularly interested to see that many of the motifs resonate with what I often see among the homeless population in the US. For example, Nino and the general gang’s delusions, the unknown yet exclusive community set up under the bridge, and the distaste for the general society, even to the point of using nicknames all have some parallels to the real world, especially to the world of the homeless youth.

Arakawa Under the Bridge gang

Though not as serious as that in the US, Homelessness in Japan is a growing issue as well. Since the economic bubble burst in the early 1990s, homelessness has been on the rise. Today, an estimated 15,800 Japanese are homeless. Of that, 30% are suspected to be mentally ill. Interestingly enough, many of the chronically homeless have also formed their own societies and homeless associations. Moreover, as of 2009, Japan has been in a serious economic recession, and unemployment rate is at a record high at 5.2%. Considering those facts, Arakawa really came at a right time.

Arakawa Under the Bridge Recruit debt

Arakawa portrays an oasis without material needs or heavy financial burdens. It depicts house-less people without jobs, yet still have homes. Nino and her friends expose Recruit to this fascinating world under the bridge, where they free him of his normal life. More importantly, they free him of his (perceived) debt to society.

Arakawa Under the Bridge Nino Recruit

Similarly, Arakawa Under the Bridge shows the increasingly burdened youth in a brutal competitive society that everything will be fine. It is thus ironically very calming despite the issues it reflects. Maybe that is why I am so in love with this series.

Arakawa Under the Bridge Nino eating fish

And how adorable is Nino!

Arakawa Under the Bridge Review
Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge Review

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76 Responses to The Homeless in Arakawa Under the Bridge

  1. vucubcaquix says:

    Nino has some serious competition in P-ko-chan.

  2. Shinra says:

    XD I Love Nino cuz she so very Kawaii!!! (in many ways) Maria is soooo Kakoi too!! especially when she talks to Sister… her “held back” laugh face ( ^3^) = something like this… is sooooo Kawaii too!!!! XDDD (probably cuz i love Sadist)

    The story is totally great, very funny n kawaii. But i really don’t like Stella tat much… Hoshi too. Kappa n the others r ok.

    I’ll give A+ for Humor n A for the anime… Sadly they not the top 3 in anime ranking..

    • Yi says:

      @Shinra: I just saw Maria, and I love her. I’m a huge M so yea… I wouldn’t mind getting abused by her words.
      I actually really like Stella too. Not so much Hoshi and Kappa though.
      Anyways, the humor is really doing it for me. I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard at any anime for a while. Usually I kind of just roll my eyes or chuckle a bit, but Arakawa really gets me laughing.
      What are your top 3 anime?

      • Shinra says:

        Top3 this Month: 1.K-On!! 2.Working!! 3.Arakawa the rest… just ok. (Am waiting for Black Rock Shooter n Sekirei 2 for next month)

        XDDD I fell in Love with the Arakawa ED song “Sakasama Bridge” (逆様ブリッジ) n i actually made the TAB for it in 2 days, Since there is no 1 doing the TAB.

        Arakawa Undert the Bridge ED “Sakasama Bridge” TAB:
        (THML, txt, Powertab Editor format & MIDI)

        1st time doing TABS… hope u like it >w<
        *Tei Shinra= Shinra= Me ^^

        • Yi says:

          @Shinra: I would have to check out Working!! then. I’m also really excited for BRS too!

          The ED song is absolutely lovely. And I really like the tab you made. ^ ^
          Beautiful job!!

    • Shinra says:

      XD Thanks ^^ Glad u like it. I make it especially for Listless Ink. So think it as a gift for u ^^ No other sites have it except my Facebook Profile.

      Yup!! Working!! is totally LoL!!! More better than Arakawa i can say!!! XD
      Seiyuus: Fukuyama Jun (Lelouch), Fujita Saki (Hatsune Miku), Kitamura Eri (Ami), Watanabe Kumiko (Keroro), Ono Daisuke ( Koizumi), Kamiya Hiroshi (Izaya), Shiraishi Ryoko (Hayate), Itou Shizuka (Hinagiku) n the most known Hikasa Yoko (Mio)…. n lots more…. all Famoussss!! XD

      BRS!!! I have to buy the bluray!!! n the fig too!! >w<
      Seiyuu.. BRS/Kuroi Mato: Hanazawa Kana (?! Weird!! Y Kana??) ; Green Skull Girl/Takanashi Yomi: Sawashiro Miyuki

      • Yi says:

        @Shinra: Thanks for the tabs!
        I’ll remember to post it again when I write a review on Arakawa in the future.
        The seiyuu list is pretty stacked for Working, so yea I’ll definitely add that to my watch list. Anyways, I already have a BRS figure and I’m hoping to get Dead Master (skull scythe girl) too.

  3. Guy says:

    I haven’t watched the series, but from what you describe, it seems like a utopian series aimed at the younger crowd, well, middle-to-late teenagers. It’s like Lord of the Flies but without the dystopia… it tells those who live in the pressure-cooker of Japan that they can “let go” and things will be well, that the route to go is to let go of societal norms…

    And yes, many people with mental illnesses end up homeless, though not only. I remember some articles on families that lost their houses so went camping in the national park, well, “camping”.

    • lvlln says:

      One could hardly call the society in Arakawa Under the Bridge a utopia or anything close to it.

      At best, it’s conveying the message that you can find happiness in community, even if you have nothing and the community is filled with people who are of varying mental illness.

    • blindability says:

      I wouldn’t say that to “let go” guarantees that everything will be well. I think the real challenge is why people do the things they do; for what do they set goals and accomplish tasks? To let go of mainstream societal norms but to dive into any given subculture’s norms is still just following a set of societal norms. Arakawa doesn’t just force Recruit to follow their ways but they make him question the habits and values in which he was raised.

    • Yi says:

      @Guy: I think lvlln pretty much nailed my feelings for the anime so far. It’s not exactly utopian, but it’s not terrible either. It just shows another way of living that’s free of all the normal societal worries… I guess in some sense, that could be utopia.
      As for the relationship between mental illness and homelessness, that’s a huge topic. True, most homeless are not mentally ill; in fact, most homeless are usually only transitionally homeless. However, for those who are mentally ill and homeless, they are perhaps the most neglected population in a society. In the US, there is no system set up to house them nor force treatment. Once they go off medication, they often drift from city to city, and go in and out of hospitals.
      Arakawa actually treats it much lighter. The community under the bridge is more cohesive and functional. Though most experts agree that the best way to keep this population on medication and off the streets requires some social support.
      … I wrote way too much. But this is a topic that is very close to me, and the homeless population is one I have spent several years researching/ working with.

      @lvlln: My sentiments exactly. And the anime is really appropriate at a time when many people may be stressed out and feeling hopeless because of the recession.
      Thank you so much for the comments. It helped me to find a better way to clarify my thoughts.

      @blindability: Agreed. When I watched Arakawa, I get the sense that it does not try to push any particular norm. Rather, it simply presents an alternative. There’s pressure in both cultures on Recruit to fit in, but not necessarily to conform.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting. ^ ^

    • Guy says:

      Well, I did say I have not watched the show, I only go off of what is said here 😉

      And to be honest, almost always when you’re told you’ll get to “throw away everything” and it’s presented as something utopian, which frees you from the stresses of the current society, it preludes getting inducted into another society, where there may be less stress, but as with any human grouping, there are expectations.

      I’m sorry, but it still sounds utopian, relatively, like children and being stranded on a deserted island, compared to the truth of the matter.

      • Yi says:

        @Guy: I do agree that in some sense, it is utopian, but true utopia is hard to define anyways. Not having stress would certainly be utopia for me.

  4. lvlln says:

    Recently, This American Life ran an entire episode about bridges. One was about a society that had developed under a bridge in Florida. It was made up of sex cons who, due to Florida’s draconian Scarlet Letter laws regarding where they can live even after being released, could only legally live there. I recommend you check it out.

    It made me think of Arakawa Under the Bridge. Of course, the characters in the show are (presumably) not convicts, but they are still those that society has left behind and are making due by finding friendship with each other, helping each other out. And a good portion of them seems to have a past that they are running away from. At least in Nino’s case, it seems obvious that she’s using her Venusian heritage as an excuse not to bring up her past.

    Also, 5.2% unemployment? Is that right? That’s only a % or 2 off from what’s considered “full employment” in the US!

    • Yi says:

      @lvlln: Interesting. I’ll definitely try to find it and check it out. It does seem that Nino and many of the people in Arakawa have some sort of reason to avoid mainstream society.
      Anyways, now I’m really interested in checking out what a society of sex convicts entails, although I do agree Florida has a pretty backwards law.
      “Also, 5.2% unemployment? Is that right? That’s only a % or 2 off from what’s considered “full employment” in the US!”
      This made me chuckle. Let’s hope it gets better in the US.

  5. 2DT says:

    Oh-ho. Now this is an interesting subject. I’d heard about underbridge communities in Tokyo, but they tend to be unpleasant-looking blue tarp affairs.

    The most interesting part to me, which I think was only alluded to in episode 6, is that nobody from beyond the bridge wants to acknowledge that the sub-Arakawa community exists. They can maintain livestock and enough crops for everybody, because nobody who might cause them trouble even bothers to look.

    • Yi says:

      @2DT: Actually, I saw parts of a BBC documentary that covers Japanese homelessness, and the blue tarps tend to be very prevalent among this population.
      I’m not at that episode yet, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for that. That is indeed very interesting, and again parallels what the general society’s attitude is for the underserved.

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  7. kluxorious says:

    I have no problem dating Nino. I’ll gladly play the piano to challenge Ric if I needed to 😛

    but yeah, this series is losing it’s charm imo. I dunno…

    • Yi says:

      @kluxorious: “but yeah, this series is losing it’s charm imo. I dunno…”
      I’m really sad to hear that. It’s been so strong so far. 😦
      But hopefully, Nino will be plenty charming enough.

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  9. Shin says:

    I like P-ko because she reminds me of the Wendy’s mascot.

  10. blindability says:

    I’m so glad you’re focusing on the heavy social implications underlying the show – because despite the lovely fluffiness of the characters and the animation, these issues are the foundation that gives the show meaning. It’s been one of the driving factors that keep me watching and loving Arakawa.

    • Yi says:

      @blindability: At first, I wanted to suspend any thoughts of reality and just immerse in the ridiculousness of everyone under the bridge. As I watched though, it really became a factor in making so layered despite the comedic nature.

  11. metzger says:

    If Arakawa starts more conversations about this topic, it may redeem itself. So far it’s been an unrealistic and shallow look at the issues being discussed here. Who can honesty identify with any of these characters? I’ve been “under a bridge”, and know people who are still there, but this show does nothing to humanize any of them. It’s unfortunately just a superficial look at the reality, and so I can only hope that it’s building up to a “Ric has been delusional during the whole show” ending, which reveals the reality he’s actually been living. Otherwise it’ll have been a waste of time.

    • blindability says:

      I think the person you’re mainly supposed to identify with is Recruit – which is to say that the issue isn’t so much as “what kind of people live Under the Bridge” but what kind of person is Recruit in comparison to those he finds Under the Bridge.

    • Yi says:

      @metzger: First of all, thank you so much for your comment. It’s nice to hear your perspective as someone who has had such different experiences from my own.
      I do agree that the comedy makes it a lot more unrealistic, and it does only touch upon this serious issue lightly. I would guess that it is aimed mostly at anxious youth worried about the future in this current economic state.
      Arakawa certainly could humanize the homeless even more, but I’m not if this is the anime to do so. I feel that this is just an anime to lightly expose the issue and present a romantic picture of what can happen.
      For example, it doesn’t address some of the concerns the some have to deal with on a daily basis: street violence, police, criminalized status, unfair policies, lack of mobility, and substance abuse. It paints a rosy picture of living among a friendly sustainable community. At the same time though, the optimismistic view is nice.
      Again, thanks for the comment.

      @blindability: Recruit is certainly the person I identify with the most too.

      • metzger says:

        Agreed, and that’s why I don’t find it particularly engaging myself. I can understand it being a fun romp for an introspective youth, to some degree. In the end I’m not even terribly concerned about it “humanizing the homeless”.. I just wish it tried harder.

        In short, it’s been a missed opportunity so far. They could be showing us to be thankful for what we have, or to not fear the tough times in life that come to some of us. But I’m only getting basic comedy and romance vibes from the show, and some of that good old fashion “show the arrogant rich guy up” Schadenfreude that makes it feel utterly superficial to me.

        But that’s just me, and I know I’m reading into it too much. To be honest I’m also happy it didn’t go all Rainbow-melodrama on us either, so I’ll just watch it for what it is: a basic continuation of Shinbo’s obsession with eyeballs, stoic and sexually-repressed female leads, and slapstick comedy.

        • Yi says:

          @metzger: “They could be showing us to be thankful for what we have, or to not fear the tough times in life that come to some of us.”
          Perhaps because of the stage of life I’m in, I really get this vibe from Arakawa, although the romance and the comedy are definitely much more dominant.

          It’s a missed opportunity indeed, but in some sense, maybe not. I feel that if it tried to explore the issue any deeper, it would lose all effectiveness in reaching out to the audience. After all, homelessness in real life is not funny. And Arakawa is partially able to reach the watchers (me) because of it’s lightheartedness. I guess I like the balance between engaging the audience (with comedy and fluff) and a serious portrayal/ humanizing of the homeless. I could understand that this is not going to be what others are looking for though.

          “I know I’m reading into it too much.”
          Not at all. I love your insightful comments. ^ ^

          “To be honest I’m also happy it didn’t go all Rainbow-melodrama on us ”
          Agreed 110%!

    • Guy says:

      I don’t know Yi, I think it’s easy and wrong, even though it’s the popular opinion, to go, “Well, so long they talk of the issue, can’t go deeper or we’ll lose them.”

      Two big things:
      1. If people are aware of the “issue”, but all they know of it is mystified and not-true, then it’s worse than not knowing, because then those involved need to spend decades debunking those myths.

      2. Give the watchers more credit, and say that those you didn’t “lose” are probably those you wanted to catch anyway. Besides, people can still watch those serious as death things, albeit more usually in the form of films. Here is my post about Grave of the Fireflies to show what I mean. I can’t watch the film again, but it lives within me.*

      Well, I said two things, but…
      3. I think it’s a fantasy to think it was their goal to make people care for the issue. Their goal was to make money and try to tell an interesting story, and all relation to the real world were probably unimportant. It’s not like there’s no J-Drama too.

      * Shigofumi is a series, and though they don’t dwell on any one issue, it has sexual exploitation, gender issues, bullying and such all raised in it, and it makes you care.

      • Yi says:

        @Guy: My choice of words was poor. I guess my thing with it is that necessarily about “losing” the audience, but targeting a different audience. Sure, they could delve into the issue more, but then Arakawa would be completely different from what it is now. It’s not a bad thing and you might not lose the watchers, but you are presenting a completely different experience.
        And besides, Arakawa does a fairly good job of raising the issue imo. It doesn’t necessarily dwell on it, but it does expose it. More importantly, it gets its message across: Things will be fine.

        • Guy says:

          Yes, to the first half.

          The second half, hm, it’s a good message, it’s a nice message, it might not be true 😉

  12. glothelegend says:

    Arakawa makes me want to be homeless and maybe a bit mentally ill.

  13. mefloraine says:

    For a group of homeless people, they certainly do have an easy life.
    No mention of police coming to break up their community or anything either.

    • Yi says:

      @mefloraine: And no street violence or substance abuse. No rape, no disease, and no real danger. A pretty romantic picture indeed, but it does make me feel a little better and less stressed about the future.

  14. The absurd situations that pop up make this such a wonderful show that never fails to conjure up a goofy grin on my face.

    Anyways, the thing that I find interesting about Arakawa’s society is that they’re pretty much economically self-sufficient. They have their own customs and traditions, but they, for the most part, are able to isolate themselves from the macro-culture and still thrive. The people there are happy with what they’ve got and there’s no pressure upon them to join in and accumulate material goods. Which is why Recruit experiences such a culture shock. His world is all about achieving to the highest rungs of the corporate ladder. Here, it’s all relaxing, my-pace lifestyle, which is utterly alien to him.

    In short, they’re a bunch of hippies (I knew my time at Cal was valuable for something!) =p

    • Yi says:

      @zzeroparticle: The comedy in Arakawa totally gets me. I love it too. I don’t just grin or chuckle; I actually laugh. ^ ^
      “the thing that I find interesting about Arakawa’s society is that they’re pretty much economically self-sufficient. They have their own customs and traditions, but they, for the most part, are able to isolate themselves from the macro-culture and still thrive”
      Yep yep. I thought that was fascinating as well. They’ve really created a sustainable world complete with their own subculture. I didn’t even think of the hippie connection, but the more I think about it, the more it fits. Thanks for that angle!

      Anyways, gotta love the hippie culture at Cal, right?

  15. lovelyduckie says:

    It’s easier to pick out which anime series I want to watch now that the seasonal lists are so much shorter. This was a series I’ve picked out, but once I “pick” a series I usually wait a long time before I go and collect it. Then I watch it marathon style 🙂 So basically I’ll watch it in the near future.

    • Guy says:

      Way to look at the upside of everything 😉

    • Yi says:

      @lovelyduckie: I used to do that too… I still kind of do. I find though that eventually, I just keep putting marathons off because of lack of long stretches of free time, so now I just try to watch as much as I can whenever I can.
      When you do watch it, I hope you enjoy it. ^ ^

  16. Ryan A says:

    Ah I’ve seen societies of this nature in various parts of the US, but they are usually very crude. Arakawa is almost like a fairytale version of the situation, but derangement of each character is either interesting, amusing, or both. Many homeless have some outstanding tales about life or things that have happened along the way, especially the ones who have chosen such paths for whatever reason. For the most part, I think most of the characters in Arakawa are there by choice 🙂

    • Yi says:

      @Ryan A: Among the homeless youth, the percentage of voluntarily homeless are much higher. I definitely agree that most of the Arakawa characters seem to be there by choice, particularly Nino. But again, such a “fairtytale version” would entice me to go there too.

  17. Nopy says:

    Recruit is just like this guy I saw on the news about a year ago. He was some big-shot CEO that decided to see what it would be like to live homeless for a few months. I’m sure being in those conditions and around those people was a real eye-opener.

    • Guy says:

      It’s different though, when you know you can’t just give up on it, how can it not?

    • Yi says:

      @Nopy: That CEO’s story does remind a bit of Recruit’s. Recruit is sort of there by choice (at least partially) as well, so there’s definitely some parallels.

  18. Guy says:

    I’ve just thought of another fictional under the bridge group – the homeless people of Ankh Morpork, led by the talking dog of Gaspode. All this occurs in Discworld, obviously. There, they truly are sane, but yeah, it’s nothing like the real world, and I don’t think anyone would accuse that group of being real.

    • Yi says:

      @Guy: I had no idea what Ankh Morpork, Gaspode, or Discworld is. After a quick wiki search though, it seems to be pretty interesting.

      • Guy says:

        For those reading at home:
        Gaspode is a talking dog, living in the street. In the Discworld, there’s the notion that if people know something is not possible, then they will be unable to perceive it when it happens, and their minds will cover up over it. Wizards, Witches, and some others can get over it. First introduced in regards to Death, in Mort (a book).

        Ankh-Morpork is the biggest city on the disc.

        Discworld is a series with about 30 books, by author Terry Pratchett, a world carried on the Great A’Tuin’s back, well, on the four elephants on it. Most books refer to some other media piece or some concept from real-world. Irony, social commentary, fantasy. The first two books are pure satire of sci-fi and fantasy books (The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic).

        And Yi, just last week I had a blog post that covered Discworld, and Deus ex Machinas 😛

        • Swordwind says:

          Huh. So it’s like some sort of high-powered cognitive dissonance.

          I really have nothing productive to say about this post, by the way. Sorry, Yi.

        • Yi says:

          @Guy: Thanks for that information. I’ll get to your post later. ^ ^

          @Swordwind: No problem. Thanks for the comment anyways. It makes me feel appreciated. ^ ^

  19. Fabrice says:

    You do have a point in this being related in real life, i guess thats what the author was trying to point out.

    anyway Nino… shes just a adorable Venusian XD

  20. Ningyo says:

    No such thing as watching it wrong, audience negotiates meaning 🙂
    An intuitive case – but I feel that, homeless theme notwithstanding, many series and works present that “it’ll all be alright” motif that diminishes the reality of societal competition to viewers. Right off the top of my head, the routes of Yume Miru Kusuri have a few lines at the end which go something like ‘he gets a part-time while studying to enter college, and they live happily ever after’. Which is all just as well; it is meant to be entertainment that puts one’s mind off the hardships of life.
    The unique theme here isn’t the feel-good story, but how Arakawa delivers it, is what I think. And in that it’s been doing a commendable job.

    More like, this is Naturism in anime at its best, no?

    • Yi says:

      @Ningyo: “many series and works present that “it’ll all be alright” motif that diminishes the reality of societal competition to viewers.”
      Very true indeed. I like Arakawa though because it presents it in such a light-hearted yet rather direct way. Moreover, Recruit shrugs off his job, his academic background from Tokyo U., and even his family contacts. That makes it go even further then the example you gave.
      “The unique theme here isn’t the feel-good story, but how Arakawa delivers it, is what I think. And in that it’s been doing a commendable job.”

      Hehe, Naturism at its best indeed. A self sustainable organic lifestyle could be nice.

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  22. Reltair says:

    Ahhh, I’m so behind on this series for no particular reason. I blame the kappa. Time to catch up on it this weekend!

    • Yi says:

      @Reltair: I’m actually kind of behind too due to all the stuff recently. At the time I wrote this post, I was only three episodes in.
      Catching up with it this weekend as well!

  23. Persocom says:

    Well, I won’t go into it too much, but I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to live in that sort of world. I think Arakawa portrays it ok to an extent, but since the comedy is so heavy (and real homelessness can be comedic, but also very dramatic) it kind of makes me forget what they’re really doing. It’s overblown and possibly even making fun of the homeless at times, but at the same time it’s amusing seeing how a rich guy who has everything can just become one of them over something so trivial. Meh, I’m not even sure what I’m getting at, nice post though ^^ Reminds me I need to catch up on this show.

    • Yi says:

      @Persocom: Thank you so much for your comment. I can’t really write that in depth on homelessness given that it’s something I’ve never experienced, so it’s nice to hear your opinion.

      After the initial episodes, I agree with you. The issue is now largely hidden under all the comedy, and I’m seeing less and less of humanizing the homeless. That aspect of the series has been rendered trivial for sure.

      Thanks for the comment. ^ ^

  24. Kairu90 says:

    I watched the first episode but it was so strange. I just could not wrap my mind around it to be honest. I realize it has deeper meanings than what is shown visually, but this is something that I need to be prepared for before I watch. I will try and revisit this series later on more than likely.

    • Yi says:

      @Kairu90: Arakawa is definitely not your usual anime. I hope you find the time to give it another chance. I like it a lot.

  25. Arakawa is one of my fave this season, but I fell behind on everything, including this one. I only watched 2 episodes so far >_.>

    Anyway, good insight about the show going past the comedy of it. I’m so used to watching only for the comedy… In case you’re looking for more about homelessness in Japan, go watch Tokyo Godfathers if you get a chance. It’s one of my favourite movies and it really gives good light that the homeless are people too. Decent people… Though it’s hard to compare Japan to US/Canada ^^;;;

    • Yi says:

      @lightningsabre: I’m behind on all the anime too, including this one. It’s just been a crazy few days, but I’m slowly carching up.
      I should check out Tokyo Godfathers for sure. Thanks for the suggestion.

  26. IMSirius says:

    I get more of a hippy vibe from the show than a homeless vibe. The people all seem to me to be oddballs who have made a conscious choice to reject an overly rigid society.

    I am unsure of just how disconnected from reality Nino is. On the surface she seems like she’s nuts. But I think in reality she’s a very insightful person who sees how emotionally damaged Recruit is, and she’s trying to help him. Of course she can be trying to help and be nuts herself all at the same time. Only time will tell. 🙂

    Love this show. I think the opening theme is cute, too. An anime with great theme music is always a nice bonus.

    • Guy says:

      I agree about the hippy vibe. I was sort of referring to that, with the “happy go lucky” and “no consequences” above.

      Anime also seems to be very fond of “I speak cryptically for speaking cryptically’s sake!”, but then again, the west is riddled with Fools who speak in riddles..

    • Yi says:

      @IMSirius: The more I watch, the more I get the hippy vibe from the show. Although that does not necessarily exclude homelessness as an underlying theme, it’s certainly a bit different.
      About Nino, I am also not sure if she is really delusional or just masking something. Or she might even really be Venusian. ^ ^

      Love the OP too! I’ve grown really fond of Etsuko Yakushimaru.

      @Guy: I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s cryptic speak, but that’s a good point. Anime seems to have a fondness for fortune cookie type dialogues.

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  29. endlesskies says:

    I like your outlook on the series 😀 At first I just took it as a comedy but as the storyline continued to show the past lives of some of the characters I found it really interesting that Arakawa almost has a social critique towards the current society & how people are just trying to get more money whether as under the bridge, no matter how insane the people are (lol I always think about the major), they are more honest and genuine. Which is probably why Ric liked it so much.
    I didn’t know the stats about homelessness in Japan, but it’s a growing problem for most countries today. I feel like the anime was trying to say that the people aren’t necessarily insane though; rather that they are escaping society by being like that. Kind of like Star, who could have continued and had a good successful career but instead chose to live under the bridge and find his true self. Idk really, that was my take 😀
    And Nino is awesome xD I really can’t wait until the second season to see what happens. Despite it’s total randomness I really like this series.

    • Yi says:

      @endlesskies: Yea, it certainly packs more than just comedy. The social commentary on social interactions, economy, and career goals are something I like thinking about while watching this.

      Anyways, I’m still not done with the series, but I’m already looking forward to another season.

      Thanks for the insightful comment!

  30. Pingback: Arakawa Under the Bridge Review | Listless Ink

  31. Pingback: Typography Under the Bridge – Wordplay in Arakawa | Listless Ink

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