[[quoteright:219:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/arakawa-ub_3403.jpg]]

Kou Ichinomiya, heir to the prestigious Ichinomiya Company has only one mission in life: to not owe a favor to ''anyone''. He's lived that way for 21 years. Until one day when, his pants hung up on top of a bridge, he ends up falling, with the bridge pillar, into the river down below. Nino, a girl who lives under the bridge, saves his life. Kou wants to pay her back, but Nino desires nothing except for a boyfriend; so Kou winds up living in strange community under the bridge with Nino, who also claims to be from Venus, now under the name of Recruit ("Ric" for short).

Originally a manga by Hikaru Nakamura, published by Creator/SquareEnix, had an anime adaptation aired in the spring of 2010, animated by Creator/StudioShaft. It was followed up by a second season, ''Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge'' (or ''Arakawa Under the Bridge x 2''), that aired in the fall of that year.

There was also a TV Drama adaptation followed up by a movie in 2011 and 2012, which starred Kento Hayashi as Kou, Mirei Kiritani as Nino and another bunch of familiar actors of the medium (Shun Oguri, Yuu Shirota, Takayuki Yamada, etc).

Not to be confused with Creator/HiromuArakawa, creator of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', who presumably doesn't live under a bridge, [[AuthorAvatar though she may live in a nearby field...]]
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!Tropes in ''Arakawa Under the Bridge'':

* [[ThreeDMovie 3D Movie]]: Sure, it's a [[TheMockbuster Mockbuster]] of ''Franchise/StarWars'', but the 3D is very realistic. Painfully realistic.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: And apparently a parrot head doesn't affect manliness.
** Because it's [[Manga/{{Bleach}} Kenpachi]] under that mask (Creator/FumihikoTachiki is his VA).
* ArtEvolution
* ArtShift: The fifth episode's opening. Even without the apparent rotoscoping, the art has a rather different look.
** And every once in a while, Ric shifts into a very shoujo manga look. For example, when he's imagining being Nino's bride (yes, not the other way around), or when he's under "Kameari syndrome" -- along with Hoshi and Last Samurai.
* ArtificialRiverbank: The series takes place on one of these.
* AuthorAvatar: From the manner that Nakamura draws herself, Kappa looks quite like her. To this manner, it was lampshaded that Kappa perceived her as a long-lost family member.
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Hilariously averted in the case of Mayor, who is highly respected among the riverbank's society with [[OnlySaneMan Riku only]] pointing out he hasn't got any qualifications for this. Also played straight with Sister and invoked by Stella.
* BananaPeel: Averted when Kou doesn't even notice that he's walked over them until P-ko points them out. He even goes to [[GenreSavvy point out]] that [[DiscreditedTrope nobody slips on them in comedies nowadays.]] However, it is played straight in the most exaggerated manner shortly after when P-ko [[TemptingFate steps on a peel]] and goes on a SlipperySkid ''forwards and backwards'' onto more peels before slamming into a wall.
* BeeAfraid: In episode 5 of season 2 Jacqueline accidentally hits a beehive while trying to grab a bird.
* BerserkButton: Calling Kou a leech is the only thing that has managed to make him ''really'' rage so far, causing him to slip into a KansaiRegionalAccent.
** Maria's inability to snark at the guys causes her to snap on poor P-Ko in Episode 7 of Season 2.
** Technically every single time that Sister's tongue slips into remembering his times as a militar more specifically when he remembers his affair with certain former spy... he gets attacked by ''scissors''. Just saying.
* BeYourself: The bridge dwellers seem to center their lives around this rule.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Maria, bonus points for keeping ''actual'' sheep in her farm. She doesn't bother too much with hiding it, though, as her looks and warm smile work at people who should know better...
--> '''Kou''': [[WhatAnIdiot "I'll believe her one more time.'']]
* BlandNameProduct: In the second season's episode 6, the brand of Shimazaki's phone is "NAKIA".
* BlankWhiteEyes
* BoobyTrap: P-ko tries them around her vegetable garden, but [[{{Dojikko}} apparently cannot make them work on anyone besides herself]]. At episode 11 Sister sets some on the riverbank with more success (and the credit going to Ichinomiya Company).
* {{Brainwashed}}: Kou throughout most of episode 8. Maybe those "tengu" aren't just weird guys in masks.
** [[spoiler: Shimazaki. Sometime after finding out Shiro was an already married man, and felt 'tricked', she was an easy target for an organization that plans to get into the deep of the whole deal about Nino and the secrets of the Arakawa River's villagers. Just because of her unhapiness and broken heart...]]
* BreakingTheFourthWall: There's a moment where Nino in the manga mentions about 'some people appear on the volume covers and other don't'... even glaring at the reader. Of course, Kou doesn't take it very well... (he is the only main character of the series that hasn't appeared in any of the (as of March 2013) covers of the manga... to his dismiss).
** Once when [[ObliviousToLove Nino]] says that Kou 'wants to be with her forever', in parenthesis it's read '(So I would not forget him)'... which he pretty notes so much.
** Maybe because Captain is just turning every plot of their lives as a manga, he is self aware that their lives and world (aka the manga itself) it's like '80% Comedy', and when 'time suddenly moves on, the plot thickens [[spoiler:(all the subplot around Nino going to Venus)]], the final chapter is close [[spoiler:(that is, if everything ends up right)]]... however... if ''you'' are already reading this right now, and are aware that the 13th volume has been recently released... [[LateArrivalSpoiler oops]].
* ButtMonkey: Most of the characters get their share, but Kou as the outsider of the riverbank society and (deliberately) OnlySaneMan gets the prize.
** P-ko becomes the unfortunate target of Maria's wrath.
** Let's not forget Hoshi who finds himself in arguably as many painful situations as Kou. That and [[HopelessSuitor the girl he likes is interested in the later]] just tells you how his luck is going.
* CastOfSnowflakes
* {{Confessional}}: Between Kou, Hoshi and Sister, though it's closer to an interrogation if anything.
* CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds: Amazoness eventually falls for Hoshi.
* {{Cloudcuckooland}}: The Arakawa riverbank.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: All of the characters.
* CoolBigSis: ''Maria'', bordering even at OneeSama territory, although exclusively for the girls and children. The male part of the riverbank society usually receives a solid portion of bitchiness hidden behind a beautiful smile.
* ComedicSociopathy
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: the Mayor... sort of. Also [[spoiler:Shiro]] of all of people in the marathon episode.
* CrazyHomelessPeople: Though they're ''friendly'' crazy homeless people... ''mostly''.
* CrazyJealousGuy: Hoshi over Nino. She [[TheStoic barely]] [[ObliviousToLove even notices]].
* CreditsBrandProducts: In the opening.
* CrossCounter: Between [[spoiler: ''the Mayor and P-ko'']] of all people in Episode 12 of Season 2.
* ADayInTheLimelight: Last Samurai, Billy and Jacqueline, the only members of the bridge who the audience had not seen at all, get some screentime in the final episode of the first season. Lampshaded, of course.
* DebtDetester: Kou has always lived by this principle, paying all debts as quickly as possible, but he finds himself in a quandry when a crazy woman [[spoiler:(or not)]] who lives under a bridge saves his life.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild: Stella. She's actually a CuteBruiser who can and will beat you up.
* DoWrongRight: When Stella is mercilessly beating up Kou, which she thinks of as a game, Sister steps in...to inform her she can only get a 3-move combo in. Anything else would be overkill.
* {{Dojikko}}: P-ko. She falls for her own BananaPeel too well.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Kou's morning narrative in episode 8 talks about two toothbrushes (one blue and one pink) "lining up cozily on the window".
* ExpressiveHair: Nino's hair sometimes has a life of its own.
** P-ko's also tends to react with her emotions.
* ExpressiveMask: The Iron Brothers' and Hoshi's masks.
* {{Fanservice}}: Episode 4 had the girls in pajamas. And in Maria's case, had them [[MaleGaze changing into pajamas]].
* FauxlosophicNarration: Kou starts most episodes with one of these.
* [[spoiler:FeedTheMole: From the looks at it, if the Mayor claims to be who he really is outside the riverbed, he already knew that Shimazaki was going to keep her game of spying on them, so there goes the full 'trust' issues he had on her... then again, if the spying devices were so obvious as pointed below, he knew the villagers are [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} cloudcuckoolanders]] so, part of their claims were fishy enough to not look them up...]]
** [[spoiler:But then it leaves a lot of questions about the Captain's sci-fi manga, until the moment it was starting to be completely [[TruthInTelevision coinciding]] with what happened in real life about Nino, her close-to-be return to Venus, and Arakawa's riverbank to be ''something'' else...]]
* FestivalEpisode: Episode 11 of season 2. As well as a Beach Episode.
* FirstKiss: Kou and Nino in Episode 8, much to the dismay of [[SmallNameBigEgo Hoshi]] and [[StraightGay Takai]].
* FishOutOfWater: Kou.
* ForceFeeding: Nino's idea of hospitality.
* FunTShirt: Hoshi wears these.
** ORE NO T-SHIRT
* GenerationXerox: Ric's dad gets his trousers stolen on top of the bridge, and refuses Nino's help. This time, however, Nino has already retrieved the trousers with her fishing pole, forcing Ric's dad to walk off without them just to avoid a debt.
* GiverOfLameNames: The kappa.
* GratuitousEnglish: Stella. She is [[PhenotypeStereotype from England]].
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Both played straight and [[TinyGuyHugeGirl inverted]] with Sister and Stella. Sometimes even in ''the same scene''.
** With Sister's height, this trope works even with Maria, not to mention putting him next to Nino or P-ko...
* HulkingOut: Stella.
** And later the Tetsujin brothers in episode 10 of season 2.
* HumanAliens: Nino, if the Venusian thing is true.
* ImagineSpot: Kou is sometimes hitting [[Manga/MinamiKe Hosaka's]] level with his. Especially wild one occurs in episode 6 of the second season, granted with CombatTentacles.
* IncrediblyObviousBug: [[spoiler:Do EVEN the villagers of the riverbed REALIZED that Shimazaki was spying on them? Or, well, do they even know the consequences of it? Because there's no WAY that those camera on Nino's room were TOO obvious too them to notice... but then again... it was planned to do so if someone knew Shimazaki was [[TheMole the mole]] after all.]]
* InTheBlood: Kou picked up most of his habits from his father. Whenever his father did something for him, he would always make him pay it back.
* IOweYouMyLife: The basic premise.
* {{Jerkass}}: Hoshi acts like rather petty and visibly ineffectual JerkJock from high school and [[TheRival Rival]]-wannabe towards Riku.
** Maria, though she's more of a sadist.
* LimitedWardrobe: [[strike:Nino's jersey]], well, under the bridge Hoshi seems to be the only one changing his clothes regularly. Although Sister, Kappa and Riku's cases can be justified, and Ric apparently owns plenty of identical clothing.
** And then again, they wash their clothes, too.
* LineOfSightName -- How the kappa names people. For example, "Nino-san" comes from the 2-3 on the tag of her track outfit (2 is ''ni'', the dash is ''no'', 3 is ''san'').
* LiveActionAdaptation: It received a drama series and a follow-up movie that were released in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
* LivingLieDetector: Sister.
* LoveMartyr: Sister, towards Maria.
* MadBomber: Sister again.
* MaintainTheLie: Kou has told representatives from his company that he's set up a power generator under the bridge and started a new company around it. The problem begins when the representatives come to check on him.
* AManIsNotAVirgin: Well, Kou is. Probably has something to do with his 'I won't owe anything to anyone' obsession...
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Nino fills the role, though [[TheStoic her personality]] doesn't fit very well.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: When it comes to romance, Kou and Nino to some extent, as she is TheStoic and he has a bit of a {{shoujo}} heroine's heart. In chapter 162/episode 7, Kou has an ImagineSpot with Nino wearing a tuxedo and himself wearing a bridal dress, wondering how it got to that point.
* MediumBlending: Every OnTheNext (and the first preview of the series) has a live-action man in a kappa suit, and, as of Season 2, a man with a star for a head.
* ModestyTowel: Nino, much to Kou's surprise.
--> This is no time for common sense!
* MomentKiller: Various, but Hoshi is considered one of the main ones, even involuntarily, [[spoiler:just as when he recorded in those dear tapes of Nino (and a bit of revelation about her past) with his errr, 'new song']].
* NotAMorningPerson: Maria changes from a happy JerkAss to a ''monster'' when woken up too early.
* NunTooHoly: Sister, a man in a nun's habit with [[ScarsAreForever a large scar]] who holds Mass at gunpoint. Actually acts pretty close to a nun too, save for the idiosyncrasies.
* OnlySaneMan: Kou plays this role in the series. However, he can't really be considered "sane" if you consider how far he'll go to avoid debts.
* OutOfFocus: Although the concept of the series is based around Kou and Nino (they even get actor credits in the opening, which is extremely rare in anime), after the first couple of episodes in the anime, Nino shows up no more often than any of the minor characters. This seems to be just to remind the audience that she exists.
* PairTheSpares: Played straight (albeit a bit bizarrely) with [[spoiler: Hoshi and Amazoness]].
* PeopleInRubberSuits: The mayor, who's very obviously a man in a {{kappa}} suit, but denies it.
** Jacequline borrows one in episode 7
* PerpetualFrowner: Sister, though Nino barely avoids this status.
* PhenotypeStereotype: Sister and Stella are blond and blue-eyed (Sister is also very tall).
** And so is Nino. May be a Venusian phenotype...
* PhlebotinumRebel: It's hinted that the Iron Brothers are this.
* PostKissCatatonia: Kou was completely frozen and beet red at first from his FirstKiss. The next few scenes he's running and jumping and screaming like crazy.
* PowerLimiter: The brothers' masks. Or so they say, because we never see them ''not'' wearing them... There's also the scene where they make Kou wear one.
* PrecociousCrush: Stella on Sister.
* PrettyFreeloaders: Nino regularly stays the night at Kou's place, which Hoshi immediately mistakes for being something else.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits
* RealPlaceBackground: The bridge and its surroundings are based on a real bridge in--naturally--the Arakawa ward in Tokyo.
* RefugeInAudacity
* RescueArc: [[spoiler: At the moment where Ric and the other Arakawa villagers find out that Shimazaki was {{brainwashed}}, Billy decides to help to get her back. That is, he and his comrades become severely ''torturated'' until Captain helps them out.]]
* RuleOfFunny: Pretty much how the entire series runs, because at the end, it's also a gag manga series.
* {{Samurai}}: Last Samurai, obviously. He's also a hair stylist.
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Kou's father. So scary, that Kou [[spoiler:[[CrowningMomentOfFunny ends up scaring ''himself'' by accidentally looking at the mirror when bespectacled]]]].
* SkepticismFailure: Inverted, at their first meeting, Kou believes, at least for a few minutes, that the man in the green suit is indeed a Kappa.
** He comes up with the idea of Hoshi being a star-shaped monster feeding itself with heads of young men to posses their corpses and control it, rather than him being a young man himself and wearing a mask. Arakawa Riverbank's logic sank into him indeed.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Nino is stunning in that dress.
** Also Amazoness, though this is a case of literally cleaning off her makeup.
* ShipTease: Think about [[strike:dream man]] bare minimum Maria's looking for in episode 3 of second season.
* ShoutOut: Several, such as to ''Anime/{{Doraemon}}'' (Kou's imagine spot during Nino's bath).
** One particularly noticeable one was in the first episode in regards to [[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney Ace Attorney]].
** In the first episode of the second season, Hoshi's head becomes an [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros invincibility star]].
** Sister apparently owes some thanks for his knife skills to an [[Franchise/MetalGear old snake]].
** From his commentary during [[spoiler: P-ko and the Mayor's fight]], apparently both Ric and the Mayor are fans of Manga/AshitaNoJoe.
** When Amazoness displays the box containing "treasure" in the second episode of season two, Kou wonders if there's any [[Manga/SixSixSixSatan O-Parts]] inside.
*** Also from the same episode, Amazoness says "And doesn't this makeup make me look like [[Music/AvrilLavigne Avril]]?"
** There's also a {{Literature/TheMoomins}} reference involving P-ko.
** The title itself it's a reference to 'Under the Bridge', of Music/RedHotChiliPeppers, from whom Nakamura is a fan of (even the clothes of Hoshi are sometimes influenced by the fashion sense of the band during that time the song was released). Maybe the title is much more of a MeaningfulName too.
** 'Venus to Jesus'... could it be a shout out to Manga/SaintYoungMen (also by Hikaru Nakamura), too?
* SouvenirLand: Never trust the Arakawa bridge community to build a theme park.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: Taken literally in the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CyzB2VKkms&fmt=18 second season OP]].
* SqueakyEyes: Frequently, especially when the focus is Kou's eyes. P-ko used the "plonk! plink!" sound usually found in Western animation.
* TheStoic: Sister.
** NotSoStoic: Which results in HighPressureBlood spraying from the scar on his cheek.
** Nino is also one. Kou has a tough time reading her emotions, since her face never changes.
* StraightGay: Underneath that manly suit, Takai's actually very [[HoYay crazy]] for Kou.
** No wonder that it could have been something that it was preserved from the beginning, since the original Takai was... a woman.
* SuperOCD: Shiro/Whitey is obsessed with standing on white lines to the point where he actually lugs around a portable line-maker wherever he goes. It is unknown what happens when he is taken off a white line, but during the Arakawa sumo tournament mini-arc both Sister and Maria withdrew from the finals [[BeatItByCompulsion because they did not want to find out]].
* SurrealThemeTune: The OP, par for the course for Shaft.
-->''A princess in clown's lipstick wakes you up from your nap...''
* TalkingToYourself: The three karasu tengu are all voiced by Creator/YuuichiNakamura, who also voiced Last Samurai and Billy's sparrow-headed lackey.
* TeamDad: Surprisingly, the Mayor can show his wise side from time to time.
* ThatCameOutWrong: Lampshaded in the marathon episode. Shiro races out way ahead only to turn back because he's run out of ''white powder''. Kou warns him that he shouldn't say that out loud in case a policeman hears him.
* TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse
* TournamentArc: Episodes 12 and 13 of Season 2.
* TriangRelations: Kou, Nino and [[HopelessSuitor Hoshi]] have a Type 4 going.
** And again in episode 8 of Season Two we have Nino, Kou and [[HopelessSuitor Amazoness]].
* TriggerHappy: What doesn't ''begin'' to describe Sister.
* {{Tsundere}}: Billy is a male variant.
** Amazoness is this towards Hoshi.
* TheVamp: Maria, a 'treat men like shit and they'll be fawning over you' variety. Works perfectly at [[spoiler:Sister]] after all.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: Nino keeps a lot of fish in jacket.
* WeHaveWaysOfMakingYouTalk: Used in the RescueArc, [[spoiler:when Billy and his comrades tried to get Shimazaki back from the Humus organization]].
** [[spoiler:Think of Billy and the others as ''BIRDS'', what is more torturing than, making them repeat phrases as if they were parakeets? Or, well, [[ForcedToWatch seeing a video of your fellow birds comrades go to migrate]]? Or even listening the story of ''The Happy Prince''? For us they are mere [[CoolAndUnusualPunishment such unusual punishments]], anyway.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Kou's motivation since his childhood. There's also Kou's secretary, who yearns for Kou to call him father. Kou's ''real'' father does not approve ("Papa is still a father, after all"), especially after seeing [[{{Squick}} that body pillow]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Nino's dress in episode 3. Wasn't she meant to be wearing it on the date?
** ChekhovsGun: She wears it in episode 13
* WholesomeCrossdresser: Sister with his nun's habit (though his military suit is below it), but especially so with a schoolgirl outfit in Episode 4 of Season 2. Complete with [[HairDecorations barrette]].
* WidgetSeries: The anime mostly.
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Maria is considered a valuable member of the bridge community, providing everyone with dairy. She'll also insult anyone at the drop of a hat.
* {{Yandere}}: Stella is this towards Sister.
** Doubles as WifeHusbandry pursued by the younger side.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Kou and Nino, respectively, in the OP. In the show proper, Maria also has pink hair.
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