Recently I’ve gotten into quite of a manga buying kick, and in order to feel like there was a reason that I was spending all of this money, I decided to start a new series. “Manga on a Monday” is well… Manga reviews on Monday, starting weekly although it may become bi-weekly. This week we’ll be looking at the first omnibus volume of the gag-manga Arakawa Under the Bride, from Verticle Comics.
I decided to pick up Arakawa Under the Bridge after taking a trip to my local Indigo Books and seeing it in the manga section. I have wanted to watch the anime for a while now so I thought, okay, I guess I’m buying this. The volume itself is a rather nice edition (of course it is, it’s published by Vertical). It has a really nice cover, and two separate colour short manga one for each volume in the omnibus, it also has a bunch of really interesting extras such as character concept designs.
The art in the volume is good in general, although I feel the artist’s style looks much more interesting and unique in the color pages (especially the colour outlines). The characters in the manga all have very distinct designs, except its horribly bland looking MC, of course, that makes sense seeing as it’s supposed to be a normal guy in an extreme situation. Not only do the characters look distinct though, they are also very distinct character trait wise.
We have such extreme personalities as, a businessman who gets asthma attacks if he doesn’t repay back his debts. A girl who thinks she’s from Venus (although maybe she is?), a musician who wears a full face- star mask on his head, a gun-obsessed crossdressing nun. A guy in a Kappa suit, a little loli girl who tries to turn the community under the bridge into something of a mafia organization, and more. As you can see all of the characters are very distinct, and probably not something you’ve ever seen in any manga or anime before.
As for the humor itself, as it is a gag manga, I thought it was hit and miss. There were some absolutely hilarious jokes and puns that had me rolling on the floor (figuratively), but it also had jokes that just weren’t very funny. Of course, there weren’t any jokes so bad that they outright offended me, but there were certainly some “meh” moments. This being a gag manga, the storyline isn’t really important, but it did get me to care about the main two’s relationship and had me wanting to see it prosper.
With all that said, I must say that overall I had a good time with this manga and will certainly be buying the next omnibus volume whenever Vertical releases it. So, if you’re a gag manga fan, or just looking for something wholly unique to add to you’re manga collection I definitely recommend checking this one out.