What the hell is with the bedroom eyes.

The start of the episode devotes a little time to the characters who were never properly introduced in the series. First of all, there’s ‘Last Samurai’, the somewhat unsettling hairdresser who is at odds with Sister. Otherwise it’s Billy and Jacqueline , a ridiculously lovestruck couple who seem to think they really are a parrot and a bee respectively.
Overhearing some normal children on the bridge overhead, the children under the bridge decide they desperately want to go to a theme park, yet at the same time are desperate to not leave their home. Kou decides to solve this problem by building them a theme park under the bridge, however he soon realizes that he doesn’t think he’s ever actually been to a theme park himself before and so has no idea what they should be like. The other citizens are eager to pitch in, however.

Nino’s bedhair amuses me too much. And how exactly does Hoshi plan on having his hair cut?

These two are no less confusing to me than they were at the start of the series.

…well I know what’ll be in my nightmares tonight.

Necessary cap.

And so this odd little series reaches the end of its entertaining – if somewhat inconsistent run. It feels more like an epilogue kind of ending; showing how life under the bridge goes on after the climax. While I was expecting a low-key kind of ending, it managed to still bring in the laughs right up until the very end, with some of the best material of the series so far. (Not to mention that, with the announcement of the second season it really doesn’t feel like an ending anyway.)
About those ‘other characters’, though…they really don’t do all that much, and it felt like their scenes were just tacked on as an afterthought for the sake of them being included in the first series at all. I don’t really know what to make of them myself (although Billy seems like he could be pretty amusing). I’m not going to remember this episode for any of those three characters though, but the theme park segments (the whole run of which was brilliant, by the way). Firstly, Kou’s imagination of how Takai would build a theme park (with all the rides being related to fetishizing Kou in some way or other) had me in stitches. In predictable fashion the residents take on various theme park staples are also all hilariously horrifying in some way or another, but what really made these parts enjoyable was having Kou being able to make the kids happy in a way his own father never really was able to (or, as we see in one flashback, was able to just once.) It makes the perfect closing scene for the series as it perfectly demonstrates how much Kou has grown and learned from these oddballs when compared to the first episode. It’s rare that a series can be so simultaneously ridiculous and poignant.
In other thoughts, can anyone tell me WTF was with episode 107?

It’s official, she’s my latest girlcrush.

I wish this cap wasnt so quality, but aaaw, they look so pretty.

Aww, they think so too.

Oh joy, more nightmare fuel.

This episode gets full marks.

Series Overview
I still remember the first time I saw the teaser image for Arakawa Under the Bridge and the ‘wtf’ I gave. I honestly expected it to be an incredibly random gag comedy in the vein of Gag Manga Biyori, so I was at first quite surprised to find the character dynamics that I did. The show has a great setup capable of pulling off comedy gold…the problem is that it doesn’t always achieve this. Unfortunately, Arakawa didn’t often be as good as it could have been, with jokes that dragged on too long and some parts even being mediocre. Fortunately, every now and then it managed to be better than it could have been, with gems of comic and even emotional brilliance. I personally think Shaft’s handling of this (with the exception of the aforementioned dragging bits) was admirable and made it all the more fun to watch (if only they’d cut all the pretentious ‘oooh artsy’ eye closeups, those get old fast).
Hands down my favourite thing about the show, more than the humour and silly situations, was the pairing dynamic of Kou and Nino. It’s something I never expected to be anything more than comedy fodder in the beginning, but it became surprisingly deep and even touching…without even fully exploring it. This is one of the reasons I look forward to season 2 so much.
In all, I’d really recommend this show to people in the mood for something different, something silly, or something Zetsubou sensei-esque with less black humour. As a whole I’d give this series out of 5: