Arakawa Under the Bridge is a new anime that began airing in April and focuses on the daily lives of a group of people living along a river under a bridge. To say that these people have interesting personalities would be a huge understatement. Out of all the anime that I’ve seen, Arakawa Under the Bridge has the most number of characters with some kind of serious mental problem, but that’s what makes it so enjoyable. Here are some of the characters that you’ll find in Arakawa Under the Bridge:
Kou is the main character in the anime and is supposedly the only “sane” person around. After watching a few episodes though, you’ll realize that he can be just as crazy as the other characters in the anime. Kou is extremely obsessed with not owing anyone anything and will do whatever it takes to pay back a debt, even going so far as to live under a bridge. He’s also very mindful of his image and hates to lose. This leads to some entertaining competitions with the other characters in the show.
Nino is the girl that saved Kou from drowning in the river, and is the first resident under the bridge that the viewer is introduced to. On the outside she seems perfectly normal, but anyone that actually thinks that they are from Venus must have a few screws loose. She also takes baths in an oil drum and sleeps in a drawer underneath her bed.
The village chief is the head of the area along the river in the anime. He gets the final word on who can stay in the area and who can leave, and generally takes care of the residents. The most noticeable feature about him is that he’s a kappa, a mythical Japanese creature. In reality though, he’s just a guy that thinks he’s a kappa because he’s wearing a kappa costume that he never takes off. You have to wonder how bad he smells considering kappas live in shallow water.
Tooru seems like a pretty laid-back guy at first, but he’s actually paranoid. He always has one of those line-markers that are used to make white lines in a field. The reason for that is because he can only walk on white lines. I can imagine how someone may come to think that they’re from Venus or that they’re a kappa, but I just don’t see what would entice a man to follow white lines on the ground.
This character is called “sister” because of his position as a nun at the local church. That’s right, “his” position. Not only is this guy a cross-dresser, he’s a huge macho-man which makes it even more disturbing. He also carries guns around wherever he goes because he’s also a former mercenary. I guess he didn’t make much money if he’s living along a river bank under a bridge.
The word “hoshi” means “star” in Japanese, but is also the name of the local musician. He would seem like a normal washed-up artist if it weren’t for the fact that his head is a giant yellow star. Hoshi sees Kou as a rival for Nino’s affection and for some reason can only seem to express his anger at Kou through singing horrible songs.
With this unique cast of characters and more, Arakawa Under the Bridge makes for an entertaining anime. It’s hard to believe that this show is actually about homelessness, mental illness, and social outcasts when every episode brings a smile to your face. Arakawa is certainly worth a watch for anyone who likes light comedy or anyone who likes to take a look at the deeper meaning behind things.