Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

The second season of Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (荒川アンダー ザ ブリッジ*2 Arakawa Andā za Burijji x Burijji) begins airing October 3, 2010. The animation is an adaptation of a manga written and illustrated by Hikaru Nakamura. The story continues about the strange and bizarre denizens of the Arakawa River, and their interaction with Kou or Ric (short for recruit) and his relationship with well-loved and well-protected Nino.

The opening and ending themes are:
1. “Cosmos vs. Alien” by Yakushimaru
2. “Red Coat” (赤いコート Akai Kōto) by Suneohair.

Season 1

01 | October 3, 2010: 1 Bridge X 2
Nino has a strange habit of sleepwalking into Kou apartment. At one point, she almost breaks his back while still dreaming. His body really can’t take the torture anymore. She begins to bawl, but he reassures her that she’s still welcome in his place. In fact, she can move in. So she moves in, and he’s thrown out. Looks like she doesn’t understand the concept of cohabiting.

As Kou settles into his new digs, people start streaming by, not realizing that Nino no longer lives there. Hoshi drops by to serenade Nino/Kou. But Kou tells him to shut up, which sends him packing. Piko comes along too, to show Nino her tomatoes that has Kappa’s face drawn on it. Kou realizes that everyone’s guards are down when they are near Nino. Even Kappa’s suit is exposed when he comes bearing gifts. That night, Kou decides to make Nino’s place his own. As he opens one of the drawers, he discovers a little girl’s frock packed nicely. Alarm to have stumbled upon this secret, he tries to put it back, only to have Nino enter the room. Caught red handed, he tries to explain himself, only to realize that Nino is really sleepwalking. Looks like she is unconsciously finding safety near Kou. It really doesn’t matter where he lives.

The next day, the residents (Billy the parrot with his keeper, Kappa, Shiro, Sister, barber, Hoshi and Kou) participate in a marathon. Kou bumps into an Amazonian warrior that is scarier than Sister. Shiro, the yearly favorite, creates a huge lead for himself but has to back track when he runs out of white powder. Thinking that Shiro is out of running, Kou pits himself against Hoshi, betting a 100 fishes that he will win. Others slowly drop out; Kappa stops to watch the clouds. Sister begins piling on armory and challenge himself. He even ends up carrying Billy and his owner in the end. Nearing the finish line, Kou pushes on, but Shiro whizzes pass him and wins the race. Time to cough up some fish.

02 | October 10, 2010: 2 Bridge X 2

Kou realizes he went from having a silverspoon in his mouth to being just a nobody “recruit” who lives under the bridge. In the mean time, he bumps into the Amazonian again, who is more like a Saitama with three men underlings dressed as women. The lot claim to be protecting a treasure, which turns out to be a snack called Softee ice cream. In his anger, he “steals” their treasured ice cream, which in turn earns him a tranquilizer. When he awakens, he is back with the old Arakawa gang, who do not believe his encounter with the Amazonian.

That evening, a strange man, believing himself to be the Captain of the Earth Force sent to protect earth against Venusians, visits them and suddenly becomes “one of them” as Kappa and Sister warm to him. Kou really doesn’t need another loony bin at the river. He tries to dissuade the stranger from staying by using reverse psychology to scare him into thinking that as a Venusian, Kou will attack earth unless the stranger leaves. This makes the stranger strengthen his resolve to stay and protect earth even more. That is until Nino shows up, as the Queen of Venus, and welcomes him by feeding him raw fish, eel, lobster and the lot. He takes off after that. Disaster averted for Kou.

03 | October 17, 2010: 3 Bridge X 2

After the trading of the rooms, Kou ends up back at his place. Nino has left his place smelling like dried fish. As he cleans and airs out, he finds a cassette player with tapes stored under his sofa. He accidentally plays it, and a strange buzzing sound warns, “We are Venusians in Shinjuku.” Just as the speaker is about to announce an important message about the Queen of Venus, Nino enters the room.

Caught red-handed, he immediately apologizes for invading her privacy, explaining that he stumbled upon it by accident. Nino turns turtle and runs away with her tapes. She climbs up a telephone pole and takes up residence there with birds flocking to her, as if protecting her from the wrong-doer Kou.

Kou tries to explain himself, but only winds up making things worse when Maria gives him unsolicited advice, which turns him into a whiny cockroach, if not a love sick tom cat. Finally he just comes out and apologizes for his behavior. He confesses that he accepts her for whoever she maybe. With that, Nino miraculously emerges from her shell and lets him listen to her tapes. Unfortunately, Hoshi had dubbed over the tapes with his own tunes.

The women of the bridge, Maria, P-ko and Stella, then gather around Nino, protecting her from Kou for his trespass against her. During their pajama party, Kou strengthens his resolve to open himself up to Nino by making a tape detailing his embarrassing moments in life. In truth, the girls hear only Kou bragging of his achievements, but all that matters is how Nino and Kou see it. Turns out, Nino was not upset about losing the tape to Hoshi. She already remembers it by hard. She thought she would lose Kou if he heard the tapes. In turn, she keeps Kou’s tape, signaling that she has “forgiven” him. He embraces her in relief, knowing he will never leave her.

04 | October 24, 2010: 4 Bridge X 2

P-ko decides to write a script for a movie professing her love towards Kappa. She gets Kou to direct, but the poor man is discombobulated by everyone rewriting and ad-libbing the script that he almost gives up. In the end, as the rest prepare to watch the final cut, they are surprised by Takai’s interpretation of the story. He turns himself into the main character of P-ko’s affection instead of Kappa.

Down the road, the residents at the bank hold a fest. A haunted house is erected, whereby Kou is escorted through, hoping to frighten him. No such luck…

05 | October 31, 2010: 5 Bridge X 2

The Captain of the Earth Force returns to the riverbank and begins to take up residence, overthrowing Kou’s fragile existence there. In fact, he gets to their good graces by creating a manga starring the residents of Arakawa. Curious, Kou investigates the manga-ka’s identity and finds out he is a famous artist escaping his over-controlling editor who wouldn’t allow him to draw sci-fi manga. The editor finds him, with the help of Kou, and agrees to stop forcing him to draw moe manga.

Billy and Jacqueline almost miss their anniversary when the yakuza comes back to haunt their previous members/leaders.

06 | November 7, 2010: 6 Bridge X 2

Seki orders Shimazaki to investigate Nino. However, Shimazaki stumbles upon a strange man who threatens her not to go forward with the investigation.

In the mean time, Nino supposedly receives a recording from her parents. She tells Kou she has to leave the riverbank to return to Venue, but asks him to take off with her. Soon enough, the residents of the river begin to invite themselves too.

07 | November 14, 2010: 7 Bridge X 2

Before leaving for Venus, the Arakawa denizens go for a physical. Hoshi and Kou try to outdo each other in sickness to gain Nino’s attention.

The girls gather in Sister’s basement for a week, but drop out after only six. The guys try it too, with Kou leading the way, but things end up awry – as they always do.

08 | November 28, 2010: 8 Bridge X 2

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