Tag Archives: review

Arakawa Under the Bridge – Review

It took me a while to get through this series. Not only because I lack the time to just sit down and watch a series from one end to the other right now, but also because it’s not a series I could have watched like that anyway. It’s really funny and weird, but also hits hard sometimes. Besides, although it’s an on-going story, every episode is neatly wrapped up, and the need to watch the next one right away simply isn’t there. Is that a bad thing? No, it’s not!

It all starts off on top of a bridge, where Kou is standing without his pants, as some naughty kids stole them from him, and placed them further up on the bridge. As he is the son of a wealthy businessman, who has been taught to never owe anyone anything, he decides to decline the help of a girl who is fishing nearby, and climbs up a pillar to grab the pants himself. As he even refuses to listen to what the girl has to say, he finds out the hard way that the pillar is broken, and in the next second, he is falling into the river with both pillar and pants.

As he is being dragged towards the bottom of the river by the heavy metal pillar, a hand stretches out towards him, and pulls him out of his misery. It’s the girl who was fishing just seconds ago; who now saved his life, and thus Kou feels that he owes her something now. That feeling is making him literally sick, and he wants to pay his debt right away, for him to move on and not owe her anything. The girl doesn’t really understand why he owes her anything, as she helped a person who was in danger, and finds that to be quite the normal thing to do. Kou keeps insisting though, and the girl decides, that if he really owes her anything, then it’s to be her lover.

Baffled by that kind of wish, but unable to refuse it because of not wanting to owe her anything, Kou agrees, and stays with his new lover under the bridge. It turns out that the girls name is Nino, and that she actually lives under the bridge, together with a lot of other people, who must now welcome Kou into their ranks, whether they want it or not. As he meets more and more of them, he realizes that not a single person seems to be normal in any way. Nino is a girl from Venus, the mayor is a man in a Kappa costume, and the nun is a huge man with a gun they all call Sister, just to name a few of them.

To top it all off, one of them is a musician named Hoshi, who is already in love with Nino, and is bound to cause trouble for the new citizen under the bridge. After a while of living in this new society, Kou realizes that every single one of them has their own purpose, and contributes to the system in their own way. Desperate to find his own place among their ranks, he becomes a tutor, and tries teaching the kids how the real world works. To them though, living under the bridge is the real world, and Kou will soon have to settle with that thought, especially since he wants to stay with Nino, who would never leave the bridge for any reason.

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As he finally finds himself at home with the people under the bridge, he is found by his assistant, and an employee of his father, who is not amused by the way his son is living his life. Determined to get his son back on track, he decides to buy the rights to build along the riverbank, and thereby forcing the people who live there to move, hoping for his son to move back home again, and be the businessman he’s supposed to. That’s not what Kou has in mind though, and he starts a fight with his father where he has to show his businessman skills, not only to save himself and his new friends, but also to show him that he has indeed learnt a lot about his father’s trade.

While Arakawa Under the Bridge is a comedy, it also touches some of the more serious matters in life. Like Kou’s issues with his father, who never gave him the attention and love he needed, or Nino hinting towards coming from a broken home. All characters seem to have a background that leads them to living under the bridge in the end, but we never really get to know them. Sure, they tell a little about themselves now and then, but we never really know if it’s a lie or not. From the events we see though, they all seem happy with their lives, and wouldn’t want to trade their way of living with the one we call reality.

One can watch the series as it is, and see a bunch of colorful people running around, having almost no care in life, while teasing poor Kou until he becomes one of them. I’ve always seen Kou as the narrow-minded everyday guy though, who was raised to become what his father decided, not asking any questions, because he doesn’t know any better. He is the outsider among outsiders, and has to learn acceptance more than anything else at that point in his life. He is not used to people being different, or not even living in the city, like he always has.

The people around him are disturbing, and he tries his best to fight their system, because in his mind, it’s not right. His only gateway into their world is Nino, who is also just a lunatic in his mind. Right until he becomes a teacher, he does his best not to fit in, which only makes it harder for him to live under the bridge. As soon as he realizes that the people are actually very friendly, he decides to open his heart towards them, and even becomes one of them, which in the end improves his life.

If you are tired of the mainstream characters that seem to populate animes nowadays, take a step back in time to this little “old” gem, and dive into a world that makes no sense, but has so much more to offer than you might think.

Have you watched it already? What do you think about it? I’m looking forward to watching season 2 already, and will start doing that this week for sure 🙂

iZombie – First impressions / Review

You know those lazy evenings, where you’re just sitting around, and nothing is on TV? Yeah, we had one of those yesterday. The heat was boiling our heads, and we zapped through all channels twice, with no luck. Then my boyfriend asked, if there was anything on Netflix. The first thing that met my eyes when I opened their app, was a newly added series called iZombie, and I read the description out loud. It sounded funny enough, so we gave it a shot. Now, 4 episodes later, I’m kind of hooked, and want to leave my thoughts about the series here. It’s a review, so no spoilers.

We meet Olivia, a young woman who is attending a boat party, a bit unwillingly. She will soon enough regret having been there, as a zombie outbreak turns the party into a massacre, yet leaves her alive… or should I say, half-dead? A fellow party guest befallen by the disease scratches her arm before she falls into the water, and she wakes up in a body bag on the beach.

6 months later, we see her being all pale, having no hair color, and her pulse is down to 10 beats per minute. On top of that, she broke up with her fiancée, because she is afraid of turning him into a zombie, just like herself. Now working in a morgue, she often finds a spare brain to eat, which helps her stay sane, and not turn into a mindless monster, like the zombies we know from movies and series nowadays. Her boss though, Dr. Ravi, finds out about her appetite for brains, but doesn’t seem concerned about it at all. As a matter of fact, he wants to study her, and eventually find a cure.

It’s not all that easy though, as many of the bodies they get in the morgue are victims of murder, and Olivia can see the things they experienced when they were still alive, after eating parts of their brain. Although she can’t control when she sees something, and what exactly she sees, it’s enough to give clues as to who the person was, and who killed them. Clive, a detective working at the Seattle Police Department, makes good use of her abilities, and solves one murder case after the other with her help.

Things become nasty when the party guest who scratched her arm shows up though, as he is not as nice as he wants others to believe. Olivia doesn’t trust him, as she sees him dealing with shady humans in a back alley, and it turns out he is a brain dealer, and willing to turn others into zombies for his own benefits. Of course, they become enemies, as Olivia is working for the police, and he is a criminal who is not easy to catch. Both being zombies means nothing to her, as all she wants is to help people, not kill or turn them.

This is a thing she sometimes forgets though, as eating someone’s brain partly turns her into that person, as she is taking over their personality traits. It only lasts as long as the brain is in her system, or until she eats another person’s brain, but it’s enough to mess her up, and her family starts wondering what is wrong with her, making her everyday life as a secret zombie harder than it already is.

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While the pilot episode was a very good start to this comic-like series, I would have wished for Clive to question Olivia a bit more, instead of believing her psychic abilities from the very start. I expected him to be the ally whose trust would be hard to earn, and maybe even the one who’d cause trouble for her. Kind of like the relationship between James Doakes and Dexter Morgan, in the Dexter series. But then again, the series might not be strong enough yet, to harbor more than one villain, as it just started off.

Without knowing much about the characters yet, it’s maybe too early to complain about Clive, as there might be a reason for him to be so quick on the trigger around a psychic woman. I have yet to watch the rest of the season, but I hope this will get some attention at a later point.

As for the other characters, it’s very hard not to like them. I especially find the crazy weird Dr. Ravi to be very funny, and maybe even the comic relief of the series. Blaine, the other party guest and zombie, is a very sleek and cunning villain, the exact opposite of Olivia, and thus the perfect character to hate for everything he does. And boy, do I hate him! I even like to hate him, which just makes him the perfect villain in my eyes, and a very nice addition to the story.

Even though I’ve only watched the first 4 episodes, I really want to recommend this series to anyone who likes a bit of dark and weird humor, comic-like fantasy, and of course; zombies. If anyone has watched the first season of Tokyo Ghoul, they might recognize some aspects of it in iZombie, as Olivia’s struggle to accept her zombie life, while still wanting to be a human, is very much the same as the part where Kaneki Ken needs to accept himself being a ghoul.

Have you started watching this show yet, or do you want to? 🙂

Images: Wallpaper Abyss & Screenrant

Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi – Review

As my first entry, I’d like to review an anime I watched recently. It was so good, that I watched all 12 episodes in a row, which was my first time to do such a thing. My head was spinning afterwards, but I felt good!

Boku dake ga Inai Machi starts out being about a young man named Satoru Fujinuma, who really wants to become a good manga artist, but he fails every time he hands in an idea to his boss, who tells him to dig deeper into himself when creating a story. Because he cannot live on being a struggling manga artist, his main job is delivering pizzas, which he seems quite content with. One day, as he is out delivering a pizza, he notices a sparkling blue butterfly and time jumps a few minutes back, which allows him to avoid an accident, and rescue a little boy from being run over by a truck, driven by a dead driver.

He is the only one who gets injured, and ends up in the hospital, where we get to know, that these time jumps are nothing new to him, and he has named them ‘Revival’. They occur every time something is about to happen, and he gets the chance to change the outcome of the situation he is reliving, as long as he can spot what is wrong with the picture.

He continues living his everyday life, until he finds his murdered mom in his apartment, and since he has blood on his hands from trying to wake her up, a neighbor who happened to stop by calls the police, and the hunt for him begins. Of course he wants to change this situation, and for the first time, he forces a ‘Revival’ upon himself, wanting to change the future, and bring his mom back to life by avoiding her murder.

He succeeds in doing so, but ends up as his elementary school self in the past, where the murder on his mom seems to have its roots. It’s around the same time, as his classmate Kayo disappears, only to be found murdered later the same year. Kayo was the first of 3 victims, and Satoru sets out to rescue all of them, as he believes this will change the future, and also spare his mom from death, if he can find the culprit behind this string of murders.

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That about wraps up the first episode of the series, as well as what the rest is all about. Every episode has a highlight, where we get to know a little bit more of what happened in the past, and no second of the entire series seems like a waste of time or filler. I was hooked to my chair the entire time, and even skipped the openings and endings.

The characters are all wonderful and divergent, and all have their own place in the story. You want to like them all, but you also know that one of them is the murderer, and get an uneasy feeling when someone says or does anything suspicious, even if it’s just a kid. The reveal of the culprit doesn’t really come as a big surprise, but it doesn’t matter, as the big twist in the story is being shown afterwards, using the last 2 episodes to turn the story once again, and leaving the viewer think about what actually happened in the past, and why.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi is quite similar to The Butterfly Effect and The Girl Who Leaped Through Time, as it is a story of jumping back in time to rewrite the future. It also doesn’t hide that it’s about the butterfly effect, as Satoru sees a blue butterfly every time ‘Revival’ happens to him, and it shows both his success and failure in doing so.

Overall, it’s a very dark series, but it has some fun moments, and surely leaves you thinking about your past actions in your life. If you like drama, thriller and mystery genres, this might be a series you’re going to enjoy just as much as I did!

Have you already watched it? What’s your opinion on it? If not, do you want to watch it now? 🙂