A lot of people have discounted this last episode as the Last Episode because the previous episode wrapped up the storyline while this week’s episode was a bit more random. In my opinion, it’s that quirky randomness mixed with a few heart-warming moments that captures what Arakawa Under the Bridge is (though in other senses, it’s so much more than just that), and therefore, this episode was a great way to end the show.
…At least for a season.
We didn’t even learn the names of the three characters we never really got introduced to until the end of the first season. Last Samurai the hairdresser, Billy the bird-headed fellow, and Jacqueline the aesthetician dressed up as a Honey Bee – or perhaps Queen Bee might be a better term. …Apparently there are a lot of good-looking people Under the Bridge dressed up in costume, lurking behind masks and Kappa suits, or pretending to be Venusian.
Since seeing them in the early episodes, I thought they would play a more important part, but alas they rarely showed up in the episodes, and if they did make a “cameo” appearance, it was in the background. I don’t have much to comment on regarding Jacqueline but Billy seems to be the kind of man that some women are unfortunately attracted to. No: not the parrot head part; The part where he’s dismissive of Jacqueline and her feelings for him, ignoring her pleas for him to express his love, but right when you think he’s nothing but a feathered jerk, he says something so ridiculously sweet (and corny) that it feels worth it to stay in that relationship. It’s like wanting a piece of cake so badly that when you finally have a taste, you can’t imagine something yummier – despite the fact that the cake is rotten. Billy and Jacqueline aside though, I was much more impressed by the hairdresser. After all, it takes quite a skilled samurai – and hair stylist – to cut Sister’s hair.
What was truly impressive though was that Arakawa didn’t spend the entire episode on these three minor characters. And that’s because they’re minor. I’m sure they knew, after having displayed them in an episode here and there, people would wonder who they were, and so they satiated the general curiosity by telling us. Now that we know, they move on to something else. And rightly so because any more Billy, Jacqueline, and Last Samurai and I might have stopped liking them.
And there isn’t anyone in Arakawa that I don’t like. (Except Shimazaki.)
The remainder of the episode focused on Recruit taking the kids to the amusement park built by the other residents Under the Bridge. In the last episode of the season, the entire community bands together to help out one of their own – Recruit. And he learns that he can rely on his new community and friends. …Sort of.
I kind of like Kappa-chan Land, haha. I have to admit that the Mayor suffering from heat exhaustion in two suits was a bit scary, though nothing could be scarier than the Iron Maiden. I knew the 3D Theatre would just be people acting things out on a stage, but I didn’t think Sister would use live ammo; which makes me wonder where he gets his ammo from. Or does he have a stash? He probably keeps a stash inside those nun robes of his – just in case. I wasn’t also surprised that the Merry-go-Round comprised of real life animals; I am a little upset that Recruit’s horse looked rabid; I really love horses (which is something Scamp seems to share a differing perspective on) but I probably would have wanted to sit on a sheep. One of my life long dreams has been to sit on top of a cow and have it walk around a field. It’s a weird aspiration, I know. It kind of makes me feel like Mugi (from K-On).
The last scenes with Recruit and Nino on the bench with the balloon were perfection. Actually, this entire episode was good. Recruit has been fully integrated into the community – which is one of the main themes of the show. Not only is he a full-fledged member of the Arakawa group, but he’s even involved, teaching the future generation that will… grow up and live Under the Bridge. (I’m not sure about Stella, but I doubt the Iron Brothers are going anywhere for their fear of people in lab coats. Besides, they’re safe within the Mayor’s Kappa magic barrier, haha.) And in the end, it all comes back to Recruit’s relationship with Nino. It isn’t just about Recruit being a part of the community; it’s about Recruit being a part of Nino’s life.
I was going to post earlier but July 1st was Canada Day, and since I’m Canadian, I took that day off for myself. And rather than post earlier today… I went for a motorcycle ride. As a token of my apologies, I include a photo of my bike: