arakawa under the bridge episode seven

The starting changes up a bit (and no, Maria’s special opening sequence isn’t back) with Nino opening the episode with a monologue of her own. Which makes me wonder if Recruit isn’t the only one being challenged with deep ponderings Under the Bridge.

Certainly Nino is a bigger mystery than Recruit, but let’s take a closer look at her words (according to Nutbladder’s translations; if I’m wrong, you could blame me, but I would just blame them):

“The whale leaps. As high as he can imagine. Piercing the water from peak to peak, is a yearning for the sky reflected in his eyes? What if this high point was not merely the sky, but something far higher? If he knew of the infinite glitter of the stars, would his dreams soar even higher? Even if one doesn’t know why, to live is to constantly reach out. Not a nervous restlessness, but a constant motion of the heart.”

It makes you wonder if Nino is reflecting about herself or about someone else. Is she discussing an issue of ambition and how you can never stop looking for more in life, or maybe it’s about where one yearns to be despite where they “belong”. Out of everything, it’s the last sentence that really caught my attention though: To live is to reach out – not as busy work, but because our hearts move us to. Anyway, I haven’t quite figured out if each monologue is tied to a particular character, or the episode itself. I suppose, it doesn’t really matter either.

I just knew that once Stella heard about Recruit’s school, she would come and throw her authority around. I’m glad Recruit didn’t just sit down and take it though (I’m sure he would’ve had the ten trillion after liquidating a few of his outside companies) because bullying is just wrong.

I don’t know: There’s something about Stella that I just don’t like. Maybe it’s because she’s so deceptive, being all cute and sweet around Sister but mean underground gang leader around the others (and did you see how she defaced Nino’s message of peace!?). Or maybe it’s because she puts up a front of unreasonable toughness to hide her feelings of loneliness. To be fair, she can be cute when she’s being good – and I don’t mean when Sister’s around; more specifically when she was writing wishes to send up in the rocket.

Nino’s intentions for attending class are sweet though. As a girl, I can understand that line of thinking. It’s like going to the car show with your significant other, or learning to change the oil in a motorcycle so you can spend time together with someone you care about. Nino may not be there out of interest for herself or what Recruit is teaching, but she’s there because he’s there. And it’s not like she isn’t learning anything; she’s learning about Recruit!

It’d be nice to see the class size grow, though since Recruit seems a little desperate for everyone to attend. Maria might enrol just to get some kicks out of insulting Recruit – though that might mean that Sister would be reluctant to show up. Kappa doesn’t seem interested which means P-Ko wouldn’t be either (and P-Ko showing up might be dangerous in and of itself). Even Star isn’t interested in being there despite Nino’s attendance. …Maybe if Recruit drew some white lines that led to his classroom, Whitey might follow them right into a lesson.

We end with P-Ko challenging Recruit’s notions of common sense. And really, what is common sense? Nobody seems to have any sense according to Recruit because his form of sense isn’t in line with their form of sense. But wait: Doesn’t taking some lessons and getting a drivers licence to drive further and find more seeds quite… sensible? Or at the very least, normal? That’s what I first thought when P-Ko said it, but I was quickly distracted with the thought of P-Ko leaving a trail of twisted metal and slaughter in her wake of driving lessons. And then Kappa made his second appearance and really distracted me. What a fantastic Village Chief.

Sure it’s a little odd that P-Ko is infatuated with him, but we do know that under the Kappa suit is a “pretty-boy”, so he’s at least got looks going for him. The question is whether or not P-Ko’s seen his “real” face. But she’s quite clear about not only being interested by his “outside” but rather his “insides” too (not specifically what’s inside the suit, though). Interestingly enough, as they’re having this conversation, a bunch of peppers are shown falling to the ground which is interesting because they’ve already discussed how peppers are deceptively hollow. She goes on to say that common sense doesn’t make a person, and that despite Kappa’s lack of common sense, he’s lived his life unwaveringly and has come to understand his true self.

Exiting the episode, Recruit wonders about the real self that resides deep within you and comes back to common sense. A few different images flash by and with all these things sorting through his mind, Recruit wonders again, what is common sense anyway?

(Did anyone notice Maria’s “chair” for the gag contest? I can’t say I’m surprised though I do find it amusing.)

4 Responses to “arakawa under the bridge episode seven”

  1. 21 May 2010 at 9:21 am

    Yeah, Maria’s chair was a nice touch in that last gag. Hopefully the next episode has that continue where it left off.

    The moment when Nino told Recruit matter-of-factly why she’d be attending all his classes was very cute. Hopefully as the romance develops, he won’t get all hot and bothered anymore. I did like how he wanted Star to stay, because he saw him as so little a threat for Nino’s heart.

    And P-Ko was just too adorable in this episode. And insightful. I wonder if, as the episodes progress, each of the side characters will end up teaching Recruit a little about what it really means to live.

    • 2 blindability
      21 May 2010 at 10:02 am

      It’s refreshing to see that Recruit isn’t just learning from Nino because you really get the most in life learning a little bit from everyone – plus everyone has something different to offer.

      P-Ko is really adorable! I was noticing that she’s the one character who’s been adorable since the day she was introduced.

  2. 21 May 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Funny. I hadn’t noticed Maria’s chair. I can just imagine her telling Hoshi that, since he was a miserable excuse for a human being, he might as well try to make it as a piece of furniture.

    Nino’s words at the beginning were a bit ambiguous, in that they could conceivably refer to a number of things. They could be talking about reaching for accomplishments, or they could be about reaching out towards those around us. In Ric’s case he has always done the former, and is now only learning how to do the latter with the help of the community under the bridge.

    To keep thinking of Ric as the whale, we might say that by striving for accomplishments, he was merely reaching for the sky, whereas, unbeknownst to his earlier self, love and community lie just beyond.

    “If he knew of the infinite glitter of the stars, would his dreams soar even higher?”

    • 4 blindability
      22 May 2010 at 3:26 am

      It just bothers me that Nino seemed so sad in the opening monologue, like the issue weighed heavily on her. But maybe that was just for dramatic effect.

      I can so see Maria telling Star he’d better make it as a chair than a person, haha. And then Star completely giving in and acting as furniture for Maria’s comfort, haha. At least Sister seemed alive and well during the gag contest…

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