After two big disappointments with Soul Eater and Occult Academy I decided on watching 2 respected animes yesterday. One which has been very good so far, Durara!! (I only watched 12 episodes so far) and the other which is very good, but that could've been a masterpiece - Arakawa Under The Bridge. Before anyone says anything I didn't watch the 2nd season. I'm just analyzing the first season for what it was.
An overly proud man who accepts no favors from anybody is saved by a self-proclaimed Venusian woman. He can't feel at ease unless he pays her back. What she asks in return is nothing else than to be loved. Ko (the man) agrees with her and is then forced on start living under the bridge with Nino (the girl). He then, finds out that there are many other people living under the bridge. The first one he meets, the mayor (a guy wearing a kappa costume) names him Recruit and thus, his life with Nino under the bridge starts.
I must say, the first two episodes were perfect. Full of comedy, interesting twists and the promise of one of the best plots you could find in an anime. But it stopped there.
I'm pretty sure I wasn't the only one who felt like that while watching it. I truly believe that lots of other viewers were expecting a lot of character development, such as the reasons why those people decided to live there, what happened in their past and why most of them try hiding their real identity (Star is the only one with some consistent background in the whole first season). I must admit that I was also expecting some romance development, which is really rare for me in a series. I thought Ko and Nino made a really interesting couple, and think they could have provided some unique moments during the first season.
And this was my major let down with Arakawa. After watching the first two episodes I thought I was about to watch a masterpiece for sure, but their resolution on focusing on the comedy only and on some cliche situations (like the conflict between Ko and his father) was a definite waste, in my opinion.
I won't deny that I enjoyed watching it a lot. Despite the average story, the art is really beautiful with expressive characters and beautiful landscapes. The seiyuus did an amazing work as well, even when the other sound aspects weren't that special: an okay soundtrack, op & ed.
It could have been a masterpiece. I hope the second season makes amends for the first one.