arakawa under the bridge episode four

Nino and Recruit’s first date!

Sure we all thought the Lambo, fancy dinner, champagne, and karaoke with the Prime Minister’s wife would’ve made a great date, but walking for 12 kilometres (or 7.45645431 miles) to the mouth of a river is so much more fitting for Nino and Recruit’s growing relationship. There was no opening monologue this time around, but Halfadeckshort made some really insightful ties in his review between the story and the monologues – particularly the grass boat which Nino set sail down the river. We pick up with the grass boat again which also gives us an opportunity to see a more candid and raw Nino, and just the tiniest glimpse to her past.

I’m not sure why Nino chose Kou in the first place to be her lover but she’s starting to see a side of him that she can really fall in love with. Considering how calm and collected she’s been since the start of the season, it’s refreshing to see her show some normal girlish tendencies when on a date with a guy you think you just might be falling for. Recruit’s considerate actions surprised her, but she still managed to keep her composure without disclosing to Recruit what she was feeling (aside from the blushing – which could mean a number of things. And blushing has to be one the hardest things to suppress).

The other bit of Nino we see – and probably the more important instance – is her reaction to the grass boat she’d set adrift last episode. When she finds it caught in some signage and garbage, Recruit notes how far it’s come along but Nino only sees that it didn’t make it to the sea. This reaction and her reaction to when Recruit asks about her past gives us the slightest hint of disappointment or pain that Nino might have experienced before. As her lover, Recruit wants to uncover this mystery and learn more about Nino. In the meantime, however, he does what he can for her, forging the river to free the grass boat. He achieves this not by his initial attempt to reach out and force it loose, but by getting caught up in the river’s currents, falling, and freeing the boat through the waves of his fall. (I wonder if that’s a foreshadowing metaphor…)

We’re also introduced to two new characters this episode: Stella and Maria; two females who are associated with Sister in one way or another. First Stella: The deadly cute girl from the orphanage Sister ran in England. It’s unsurprising that Stella is proficient at combat; and it’s hand-to-hand combat so it’s not like Sister was irresponsible and let children play with guns. And despite the predictability of how her one-on-one spar with Recruit would turn out, it was too much fun to watch. Stella’s attitude when it comes to being the Big Brother (she’s been there one day and she’s already established her own triad Under the Bridge) on the other hand is a little scary; I guess Recruit will have to keep in line when Stella’s around lest he risk his neck with insubordination. (I wonder if Stella will get a new name as well now that she’s living Under the Bridge…)

Two: Maria. What is it with the women Under the Bridge? First Nino with her bluntness and calling out Recruit when he’s wrong, then Stella with her three-hit-combination KO, and now Maria and her derisive comments as an expression of her affection? If that’s what she says when she likes you, I can’t imagine how she treats someone she sincerely dislikes. We didn’t learn too much about Maria though it seems Sister is not impervious to her remarks – which might imply that he’s got feelings for her. I have to admit that Maria’s cruel behaviour paired with her kind smile and pretty face distracted me from the fact that she runs A FARM Under the Bridge. (What an idiot I’ve been, getting my milk from the convenience store…) Though I suppose it’s not so unusual to see a farm in an urban area. In the small city I live in, they’re trying to legalize backyard chickens so people can have fresh eggs.

I didn’t get the gag contest this week. …Not that I got it last week either.

7 Responses to “arakawa under the bridge episode four”

  1. 28 April 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I was walking to the coffee shop yesterday, and happened to look up an alley. There was a large chicken walking around. I did a double-take, so I definitely understand Ric’s surprise.

    Of the two new characters, I thought Stella was funnier, but I’m most glad that Recruit & Nino got to spend some quality time together. If the show were all about meeting wacky people under the bridge, I think it would get old. To me the real promise of the show lies in the developments of and between Nino and Ric.

    • 2 blindability
      28 April 2010 at 11:06 pm

      The first time I saw a rooster in public (and I mean like, roaming the streets) I followed it for about a block out of fascination. There’s just something odd about seeing “farm animals” in an urban environment.

      Other than the guy with the bird head and his honeybee significant other, I don’t think we’ll meet anyone else… But then again who knows. Arakawa has handled its large and unusual cast well thus far. I mean we don’t really see Kappa, the Twins, or Whitey unless they’re needed; maybe it’ll be the same with everyone new we meet.

  2. 29 April 2010 at 5:54 am

    A surprising amount of people in suburbia raise chickens in order to get cheap eggs. Big families, usually.

    • 4 blindability
      29 April 2010 at 8:45 am

      If I could raise a chicken for fresh eggs, I would. I wonder how much cheaper it is, though (if at all).

  3. 5 blacknightz
    29 April 2010 at 10:35 am

    Just watched the new episode. Nice and touching at the beginning (finally get to se Rec’s good side) But the end OMG those two new characters (especially that little girl) Oh lord I will never see children in the same light ever again. And I have a new respect for conservative tree huggers.
    The child just did a tree hit primary lotus on Rec, then she suddenly comes out with the attitude of a yakuza boss. Just repeating it makes me want to laugh again. I can’t stop smiling XD XD I feel so mental right now. I love this show so much. No, TOO much. Just love it.

    • 6 blindability
      29 April 2010 at 11:43 am

      There is no loving Arakwa too much, blacknightz. A show like this deserves love and praise and I’m glad to see it get just that.

      And I knew Stella being so cute was suspicious. Cute things are never just cute. They’re always cute and annoying; cute and unattainable; or in this case: cute and extremely dangerous.

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