Twelves: Arakawa, Neko Overrun, two finales that really aren’t

There’s one more episode, but Arakawa under the Bridge 12 was, I assume, the official climax. Even the prologue seemed more poetic and poignant this time around. The construction under the bridge crisis is halted, to the ignorance of the bridge denizens, who go about doing their typical weird things.

Make a wish!

Turns out Recruit didn’t have the wrong number saved on his phone, he just dialed it wrong. Not ready to face his father, it seems. And he gets a lot of grief from the other bridge people. Naturally (or unnaturally) it leads to him and Hoshi daring each other to jump off the bridge so Nino can make a wish on a falling star. Apparently this happens dozens of times. Well, there’s not much more they can do, if Recruit isn’t willing to call his father. Why not wish on a star?

And the project IS canceled. Maybe the star power worked after all, or maybe it’s the shadowy figure we briefly see. I assume we’ll learn next week. Seki Ichinomia, Recruit’s father, assumes that Recruit did something, and he storms to the bridge to find out what, only to find himself in a situation unfamiliar to him but familiar to us. It’s a good scene. He witnesses first hand Recruit screwing something up; at the same time Nino talks about what a good man he is, how he cares for the people down there. Embittered, talking about how Recruit can do things he cannot, he leaves, only to get arrested for indecent exposure, leaving Nino with his pants—and cell phone.

Which leads to another nice scene, one with an unintentional confession. But it doesn’t stay romantic for long. It doesn’t need to. The prologue and Nino/Seki scene had already established their love. This one devolves into “Where did you get that?!” and “How do I work this thing?”

And Recruit actually made the phone call! Or maybe he was just tired of the abuse he was getting.

I don’t know what they’re going to do next week. In terms of the story, all they need to do is explain how the project got cancelled. That won’t take an entire episode. Maybe more random silliness. Maybe they’ll veer off into something completely different.

Mayoi Neko Overrun 12 was another climatic episode that happens before the series actually ends. I hadn’t expected this; I thought the whole athletic festival plot and Nozomi’s mysterious past plot would take up too much time for 25 minutes, but they manage to cram it together, to the detriment of both.

Nozomi’s been down for a few days, now, afraid that the Murasame Institute would force her to return. “There are laws regarding relatives, but not family,” as she says. They’ve been working this in with the insane Bloomers vs. Spats (or tights, as this fansub group calls them, so I will, too. Sounds better than spats) war. The first half is dedicated to the fighting, and not only is it inconsquential, but a major letdown after last episode’s craziness. Nozomi wears both (bloomers over tights, called “blights”), enters as a third team with one member, and wins all the races. It’s over, just like that. Surely more should have been done with it.

Fun while it lasted.

Then it’s time for the past catching up scenes. This was also a letdown. The Murasame Institute is a prestigious school for orphans, and the best student is allowed to take the name Murasame, i.e., become a member of a family. This in itself is a letdown—I was expecting some secret organization for strange cat-like people, like Nozome. Her, um, cattiness is therefore never explained in this series. No, the institute is a caring, legitimate place, and the 4th Murasame, who has come to take her back, is a kind person. They tried to set her up as nastier by threatening to take Otome to court over custody, but spying on Nozomi having fun at the festival changes her mind, and instead they have a heart to heart.

It turns out Nozomi didn’t leave because she hated it there, but now she’s happier here. And that’s about all she has to say. Murasame says to keep in touch, and leaves. Very disappointing. Neko Overrun had both great episodes and weak ones. The climax of the story should have been one of the former.

It sounds like next time it’ll be all flashbacks. Hoping for a reprise of the bloomers song.

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