Once again, in Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, the show works better when Ric cooperates with the other bridge folk, rather than just reacting to them. On the other hand, this episode wasn’t much anyway.
Shiro and the Mayor have an argument over who will live longest, and so Ric’s company brings in some diagnostic equipment. Everyone has a moment of predictable weirdness. It picks up a little when, in another battle to win Nino’s sympathy, Ric and Hoshi begin to fake illnesses. And this is turned upside down because, if they’re sick, they’ll be unable to go into space with her. So a typical medical exam turns into an astronaut preparedness session. The boys and girls will each spend seven days underground.
So I’m expecting the girls will get along great down there, and the guys will not, so predictably it will actually work the other way around. I was right. Jacqueline can’t handle being without Billy (so she sneaks into the guys’ group dressed as the Mayor), Maria snaps with no one to tease, Stella needs a body to test her new finishing move on, etc. The guys get through it either through mental discipline or going stark raving mad in a girly way. The show’s unpredictability has become predictable, with some small variations.
Really, the three-episode arc that concludes with The World God Only Knows 7 was more like 2.5 episodes.
And it was predictable to boot. We are told that Kanon has two problems. She doesn’t think she can entertain ten thousand fans at a concert, and if she doesn’t the world will turn its back on her and she will disappear again. The first problem seems to be simple stage fright. The second one is more of a danger to her happiness. To make it worse for Keima, she reacts to this double-whammy by disappearing anyway. We get a lot of scenes of people looking for her, Keima included, and then it turns out Elsie can track her down by sensing the lost soul inside her. Nice work, Elsie! I wish you could have thought of this before we had all those searching scenes (then it would have been a 2.25 episode story arc).
The subsequent scene between Keima and Kanon (surprise, she was just down the road!) is only partly satisfying. Keima tells her what her problem is, she moves in to kiss him, but he refuses it. He knows she’s still in danger of vanishing if she doesn’t see she doesn’t need other people to validate her. Another lecture. That part worked pretty well. What didn’t is that Kanon is instantly cured! Her lost soul flies out to get captured by Elsie and she happily returns just in time for her concert to begin. Well, maybe it was the lost soul causing the problem, but it seems to me to be more of a pathological need that you cant cure in one therapy session. But whatever.
The reason the story ended so soon is so they could bring us the concert, including two entire songs. There’s not much visually or musically to these scenes, but they’re enhanced by the fact that she’s happily holding her own in a solo concert for a huge audience. Not only that, but she’s overjoyed that her two former group-mates each sent her good luck flowers, a nice touch. The same when, after everyone’s gone, she goes onstage and sings a bit of a song her old group recorded. When you combine music and story together it usually has an effect on me, even in silly shows like this one.