A young man is drawn by his eccentric new girlfriend into her home, a village of eccentrics who live under a bridge on the Arakawa River.
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2010  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Kou Ichinomiya (13 episodes, 2010)
Maaya Sakamoto ...
 Nino (13 episodes, 2010)
Keiji Fujiwara ...
 Village Chief (13 episodes, 2010)
Tomokazu Sugita ...
 Hoshi (13 episodes, 2010)
Takehito Koyasu ...
 Sister (13 episodes, 2010)
Hôchû Ôtsuka ...
 Shiro (13 episodes, 2010)
Chiwa Saitô ...
 Stella (13 episodes, 2010)
Miyuki Sawashiro ...
 Maria (13 episodes, 2010)

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Storyline

Kou Ichinomiya is a perfect man with a perfect life: he is handsome, smart, self-sufficient, and the young heir to a grand corporation. One day, he falls into the Arakawa River and nearly drowns, but is saved by a young girl named Nino, who lives in a community under a nearby bridge on the Arakawa. It's the Ichinomiya tradition to never be indebted to anyone and settle all accounts, and now Kou owes Nino a life debt. Her request is that he becomes her lover and lives with her. And so Kou begins a new life as a member of the village under the bridge - a village, he discovers, full of self-deluded and eccentric people. There's the musician who wears a star mask, a male war veteran dressed as a nun and his femme-fatale rival who runs a farm, a hairdresser samurai and many others, all led by a man in a green costume. Still, as time passes Kou begins to truly feel at home at the Arakawa under the bridge. Written by Q. Leo Rahman

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4 April 2010 (Japan)  »

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Arakawa Under the Bridge  »

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Trivia

Shiro has an obsession with white lines. "Shiro" means "white". See more »

Connections

Remade as Arakawa Under the Bridge (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Arakawa Under the Bridge (Season One)
1 May 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Protagonist Ko Ichinomiyo has been raised to believe that he should never be in debt to anybody so when he falls into the Arakawa River and is saved by the enigmatic Nino he has a problem. He feels he owes her something but she wants none of the material rewards he offers. When pressured to say what she wants she eventually says she wants him to live with her as her lover! Unwilling to be in her debt he agrees and finds himself living with Nino and a group of misfits under the bridge. They are a strange bunch; Nino claims to be from Venus and she is the most normal of the bunch! The others include a 'rock star' who always wears a star shaped mask, a cross-dressing nun, a man in a kappa costume and two children who wear metal masks and claim to have escaped from a lab. Over the course of the first series Ko grows to understand his new community and must ultimately help defend it when his father tries to develop the land.

The set up for the series might make it sound silly; the characters certainly are a strange bunch, but as we get to know them we see that they are fully rounded characters who just happen to be a bit strange. They must deal with their various issues and with each other. Most importantly of all though they provide many laughs. The character designs are a bit less detailed than most anime series but that suits them; it also makes them fairly distinctive. The series also nicely depicts the fact that just mainstream society sees a group as a bunch of misfits and weirdos doesn't mean they don't have their own little society with similar problems as anybody else… they have their jealousies and must work within that society. One might expect a series where a man is forced to become a woman's 'lover' to contain plenty of fan service but I don't recall any such scenes which was a refreshing change; in fact there is little to offend here. Overall I thought this was a fun series and look forward to watching the second season which is titled 'Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge'.

These comments are based on watching the series in Japanese with English subtitles… it is worth noting that rather unusually there isn't an English dub available, at least not on the UK DVDs.


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