It’s an absurd little story, but it makes perfect sense in its own way.
Business empire heir and college student Ichinomiya Ko lives by the family motto: “Never be indebted to anyone,” not even if it’s just someone picking up the eraser you dropped. So when a girl, Nino, saves his life after he falls off a bridge, he’s
Ko doesn’t know what else to do, so he agrees to move nearby and be her boyfriend, though he’s never had a relationship with a girl his entire life.
And did I mention she lives under a bridge across the Arakawa River in Tokyo? And that she thinks she’s from Venus? And that there’s a whole mini civilization down there, complete with a church (of sorts) and farms? And it’s led by the Chief, a guy in a kappa (mythological spirit) suit who may really think he’s a kappa?
Ko is given the name “Recruit” by the Chief, and whenever he thinks he may have finally met a “normal” person, it turns out not to be the case.
And that’s just the beginning of the weirdness that permeats “Arakawa.” And it’s awesome.
I only had time for the first four episodes (there are 13 in this set, which includes DVD and Blu-ray), but I love the show for its sheer wackiness, but it’s just enough to be believable.
There are way too many characters to mention them all, and I like how they’re rolled out. Some, we’re introduced to when Recruit is. Others we learn about as Recruit, aka Rec, deals with them. And we easily accept that they’re just there until we get a proper introduction. Standouts, though, include Sister, a burly blond gunman who wears a nun’s habit and is the groups spiritual adviser, and Whitey, who apparently has OCD and can only walk on white lines.
It’s all very silly and a lot of fun. But it also has moments of touching grace, such as when Rec asks Nino out on an official date, but they wind up just walking the length of the river.
At least in the beginning, it’s a perfectly balanced series, and I look forward to seeing more.
Plus, since it’s one of NIS America’s nice deluxe sets, it includes a hardcover book with lots of character information, episode descriptions and creator interviews.