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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Arakawa Under the Bridge Premium Edition Review

Arakawa Under the Bridge Premium Edition 
  • 2 DVD, 2 Blu-ray disc set
  • Total of 13 episodes
  • English subtitles
  • Bonus Content: Audio commentary by voice actors, 10 TV-Spots
  • Premium box with bonus item: 30+ page, full color, hardcover art book (approx. 11" x 7")
  • Art book features character art, descriptions, and commentary, interviews with the staff, and special episode information.

 Currently $55.99

I am a man. A man of high prestige. I hold high my nobility and my standing in society. Frankly, I'm the best of humankind. My pants have been stolen.

But before I go on I must say there will be spoilers ahead. Take my word now to just pick up the series for is sheer comedic and well directed animated nature. Check out the trailer. If so read on.

One of the funniest new animes to check out Arawaka Under the Bridge starts off with a young Japanese business man missing his pants. Ko Ichinomiya is his name, but it will soon be forgotten and a new title of Rec will be given to him. Rec's pants have been stolen by some punk kids and have been placed high above him on the Arawaka Bridge. He finds himself in his underwear. A lovely young woman who Rec's doesn't know has offered to give them back to him. Rec is a man who mustn't have any debts. It's a Ichinomiya family vow. It is written on his tie. It is causing him to go up the bridge scaffolding in his underwear.

As he is about to get back his precious pants to protect his precious. He falls into the river. A large piece of the bridge on top, it doesn't look like he's going to make it! Then like an angel he is rescued by the un-named blonde.

A fate worse than death might now be behold of him "Debt". Rec owes the un-named woman his life. However, she lives under the bridge and seems to be homeless. Rec offers a home or anything else she could want.  However, the cute blond only wants thing, for him to be her lover.

What could then become a tacky love show goes into another world for you see the blonde haired girl named Nino is a Venusian. Or rather she think she's a Venusian.

Rec soon learns that Nino and the other people under the bridge are all idiots.

The first episode drew me into a ever expanding world of characters and comical stories and utter nusiance Rec has to deal with in paying his debt to Nino. It mostly starts with being around or interacting with the other members of the bridge.

First in the clan is the Chief, a kappa, or really a man in Kappa suit that Rec points out as much as he can. Sister a cross-dressing army man who is the local nun. Hoshi a former top chart rock star who wears a star mask because he believes he should always be a star. He loves Nino and constantly hates on Rec. The Tetsujin Twins self proclaimed little kid brothers who claim to be ESPers who wear metal helmets. P-ko a cute clumsy girl with rabbit ears shaped in her hair who loves gardening. Maria a beautiful farmer with a sharp tongue that makes you fill like crap anytime you talk with her. Stella a cute little girl who learned from Sister, she has the power of "The Fist of the North Star". Whitey a man who must draw a white line anywhere he goes out of a absurd fear of his wife turning into a hen if he doesn't. More who have a better presence next series.

All have a connection to Rec. Rec's Father also has a major role as more of a fear and insight why Rec himself actually fits with these weirdos. Rec's a weirdo, too. With Rec's subordinate Takai coming in the mix showing a strange utter devotion you can see Rec setting himself up to take the many falls he will take in the series. Rec's pride is he worse fault, not only that everyone around him is insane. Being without debt to anyone leaves you hollow.

Unlike that feeling the series is full. It has great animation and direction. Inner thoughts of Rec or other have a comical style as well as great representation in simple gesture or reaction. One shot is a close-up on Rec's eye blinking, showing him to be thinking, self-dialogue or wondering something. The show can suddenly per episode to fit that character. When Stella shows of her fighting moves you think you're watching a martial art anime. Starts of each episode also have a monologue by Rec or Nino pondering life and what certain thing mean to them. It goes to be a well thought out artistic style of thoughts subtly about their emotions, fears, and wants. The opening theme "Jesus & Venus" has a beautiful comical style showing off the utterly awkward love o f Rec and Nino in a dream like state.

Episodes reel you in with nonsense of Rec interacting with the strange residence under the bridge. Some in love triangles for Nino. Others over just simple tasks. Rec at one point is seen as a freeloader and nearly dies from feeling so worthless. Rec has a first date with Nino and it is hilarity in the form of distance. For only when you can understand the distance of love you can conquer it. That's what Rec tried to convince Nino as they ran along the riverbank trying to find the perfect distance. All that because Rec was never on date.

Some of my favorite moments, jeez I can't say because every time you think this"ll be normal it gets more weird. Stella is so funny for becoming a brute, but then I like how dumb the Chief can be wearing the suit or how insane the Tetsujin brothers can be about the non-existent men from the lab trying to get them. Sister's use of weapons or Nino being so brain dead. Hoshi singing songs of Rec being a loser.

The premium box which holds the series is of high quality and will stand out among you Blu-rays and dvd's. Both are in the the premium box. I find it a nice touch that the actual background for the Blu-ray discs is blue. The special art book with character info is a nice bonus that show off the bios of each character. Mini-episode break-downs and short Q and A are also inside on high quality paper.

I hope more copies can be made so everyone can enjoy Arawaka. I'm sure NIS America would still release excellent cover art for just DVD and Blu-ray editions. I can't wait for the next series to be released from them. Let's hope they get the recently announced live action series, too.

This will be one of your favorite comedies that doesn't go over the line with violence and poop jokes from Japan. It's a simple love story about a man who loses his pants and gets rescued by a Venusian who takes the man as her lover under the bridge surrounded by crazy lunatics.

Get it now!