2010 gave us quite a few memorable shows From the exciting Durarara!! to the irreverent Panty & Stocking to the artsy flair of The Tatami Galaxy, there was plenty to love. Still, even beyond those titles, nothing stood out to me more than the mix of supreme absurdity and quiet insight that was Arakawa Under the Bridge.
Arakawa really is the master of absurdity. Its very denizens simply cannot be understood at face value, and even if you look deeper into some of them its only like sinking farther into the void. At the same time, the story between the beautiful but bizarre Nano and the uptight but honest Rec unveils itself at the level of a good romance story, keeping you engaged in their relationship and cheering for every development.
You can see a lot of this in the absolutely beautiful OP made for the first season, Venus & Jesus. All sorts of crazy things happen that really throw you for a loop and even elicit a few chuckles. At one point, Rec opens a door only to find himself embraced by Nino in an ocean before being devoured and digested by a giant fish, and finally finding themselves in the afterlife. Despite all the craziness, the core theme of the OP is the relationship between Kon and Nino. The lyrics even back up the theme as much as the visuals, painting the picture of a girl unsure about her feelings for someone she’s interested in, and finally realizing she does want to be noticed by him.
Arakawa Under the Bridge and its sequel, Bridge x Bridge, can be found at Amazon and Rightstuf, and they are really worth the buy, although it would appear unfortunately you can no longer buy the premium edition for season 1 at Rightstuf, the far cheaper option.