Some anime fans may remember the comedy-packed series “Arakawa Under the Bridge” studio Shaft brought in 2010 and now Vertical Comics brings the translated manga series by Hikaru Nakamura to the masses.

Though raised in a wealthy family, Kou Ichinomiya stayed true to his mindset of never having a debt to anyone. His life was on the right track to become a proper heir to the family company until a group of kids stole his pants and hung them high on one of the bridges across the Arakawa River. When he tried to get them back, Kou fell into the large river. The young man’s life was spared thanks to Nino, a self-proclaimed woman from Venus who dove after him. He realized that he owed her something and needed to repay her heroic deed. Kou asked Nino what she desired as proper payment for saving him and she wanted him to help her fall in love. Though none of his physical wealth would instantly fulfill this abstract request, he accepted the task. However, Kou never expected the things the river brought to him once he formed this relationship with the strange woman.

Creator Nakamura mentioned in a small afterword that she enjoyed going to the river bank when she was young and dreamed of living under its bridge. In a way she succeeded through the creation of “Arakawa.” While the landscape of the river was based off of the Senju Bridge, Nakamura built a wild fictional community filled with eccentric characters. The unique cast brought along a lot of funny moments, throwing them at readers like waves in a turbulent rapid. Within the comedic chaos, there were calm points for everyone to recollect and resolve. There were also special “X” chapters that dove into deep thought of philosophy. It all played strong to the motif of the river.

Each of the English books from Vertical Comics are omnibuses, containing at least two volumes and include several full color pages. Volume Three of “Arakawa Under the Bridge” hit shelves in May 2018. Interested readers can check out the anime adaptation on Crunchyroll. For more information on the manga, visit Vertical Comics’ site.

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