Characters: Arakawa Under the Bridge
A list of characters from the anime and manga series Arakawa Under the Bridge, a series about an eccentric group of homeless people that have formed a community under a bridge on the Arakawa River.
Recruit (Kou Ichinomiya)
Voiced by: Hiroshi KamiyaThe main character. He is a straight-laced young man who is good at everything he tries, but also follows his family's mantra, “Never put yourself in debt to anyone” to the letter. Unfortunately, this is what lands him in the strange community of Arakawa. He's a teacher in the river village.
- The Ace
- Berserk Button: When Hoshi's song came out, Kou had his name quickly switched to “Leech”. He didn't take it well. They changed it back.
- Bishie Sparkle: In Episodes 8 and 10 of Season 2.
- Bishōnen: Takes it Up to Eleven after completing Jacqueline's weight loss program.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: In Episode 8 of Season 2, he was charmed by Amazoness's tengu henchmen to fall for her.
- Butt Monkey
- The Comically Serious
- Curtains Match the Window
- Debt Detester
- Embarrassing Nickname
- Fauxlosophic Narration: At the beginning of each episode.
- Fish out of Water
- Heroic BSOD: Got quite a nice one that revoked him into his childhood when Shimazaki returned to the riverbed with another mission, that was also involucrating a trade of him for Nino's information, much to the others (but Takai)'s dismay.
- I Owe You My Life: What happens if he ever becomes indebted to someone, though he will try to rectify that as quickly as possible.
- Iconic Item: His tie with his family's mantra embroidered on it.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Pops up when he's really angry.
- Limited Wardrobe
- Loony Friends Improve Your Personality
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Nino's Masculine Girl, to some extent.
- Neat Freak
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: Literally, his reaction to Amazoness wanting to date him.
- Non-Idle Rich
- Not So Different: As the time goes, he starts teaming up with Hoshi sometimes and being just as petty.
- Official Couple: With Nino.
- One Head Taller: To Nino.
- Only Sane Man: Up to Eleven
- Teacher/Student Romance: He teaches Nino.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy
Voiced by: Maaya SakamotoRecruit's love interest and the reason he lives under the bridge. A Cloudcuckoolander who believes she's from Venus or as implied later, she indeed is from there. She has a strange obsession with fishing some of the creatures that live in the riverbed and provides them for the community.
- Ambiguously Human
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!
- Berserk Button: Listening to her tapes without permission makes her mad enough to climb a telephone pole.
- Trying to take Ric from her gets some interesting responses, too.
- Expressive Hair
- Force Feeding
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Heroic BSOD: After Hoshi covers that "cosmic" tape with his song. With responsibility going to Ric, obviously.
- Hidden Buxom
- Human Aliens: If you buy that Venusian story, that appears to be true as the plot continues to happen.
- Innocent Blue Eyes
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: She used to take baths normally outdoors, but after a visit from the cops she began to use a Modesty Towel.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Kou's Feminine Boy, to some extent.
- Megaton Punch: Is quite capable of taking out her anger on someone.
- Mysterious Past
- No Sense of Personal Space
- Official Couple: With Ric.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Her name comes from the tag "Class 2-3" (Ni-no-san) on the sweatsuit that she always wears.
- Parental Abandonment
- Selective Obliviousness: While she ignores everything Hoshi throws her way, but if Ric does something romantic, she's touched. If she notices.
- She Cleans Up Nicely
- Single-Target Sexuality: Towards Ric.
- Snot Bubble
- The Stoic
- Sugar and Ice Personality
- Teacher/Student Romance: Well, she is a student in Kou's class.
The Mayor/Village Chief
Voiced by: Keiji FujiwaraThe head of the Arakawa community. An odd man that constantly wears a kappa suit, he manages to corral and lead the members of the village with a good amount of (misguided) skill.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Chekhov's Gunman
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- The Faceless
- Full-Body Disguise
- Line-of-Sight Name: How The Mayor names people once they become citizens of the community.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: The Mayor has had moments of deep insight at times, belying the aloof nature he normally sports.
- At one point, you know he takes seriously his role as 'village chief' as the man behind the curtains, just to protect Nino and some other secrets of the riverbed.
- Oblivious to Love: Seemingly everyone knows that P-ko loves him but him.
- Papa Wolf: To Nino. Her parents gave him the responsibility of taking care of how this 'special child' is.
- People in Rubber Suits
- Team Dad
Voiced by: Tomokazu SugitaA former musician who hit rock bottom and now lives under the bridge. He's always seen wearing his trademark star mask. He's also in love with Nino and always tries to make Kou look stupid in front of her. Under the bridge, he provides all the music for events.
- Butt Monkey: He's on-par with Kou.
- The Chew Toy: He ends up being put in a lot of painful situations.
- Crazy Jealous Guy
- Dogged Nice Guy: Only to Nino. A Type 2, but has hints of Type 1 in his actions at times.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In Episode 8 of Season 2, he helps Ric break out of his hypnosis because he wants to win Nino with his own power.
- Expressive Mask: He uses TWO of them. How can he even...?
- Fun T Shirt: ORE NO T-SHIRT.
- Hopeless Suitor
- Karma Houdini: He messed up Nino's tape and Ric gets blamed for it.
- Moment Killer: Voluntarily (in front of Ric and Nino) and sometimes involuntarily.
- Not So Different: Has more in common with Kou than you'd expect.
- The Resenter: Towards Ric, oh so much.
- Secret Identity: Hoshi used to be a singer that even made it to the Oricon charts, but he lost his inspiration (his management never let him use his own songs) and became Hoshi to get away from everything.
Voiced by: Takehito KoyasuA former soldier that became a man of the (wrong) cloth once he came to Arakawa. He constantly carries all manner of guns with him and clearly still holds a military mindset. He provides church services under the bridge.
- A Father to His Men
- High-Pressure Blood: Out of his scar
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: To every woman in the village. Amazoness is a notable exception.
- Living Lie Detector
- Love at First Punch: He met Maria in the middle of a battlefield when she used one of her attacks to leave him bald. He fell for her immediately.
- Love Martyr: To Maria.
- Mad Bomber
- Nun Too Holy
- One-Man Army
- Only Known by Their Nickname
- Perpetual Frowner
- Person of Mass Destruction
- Phenotype Stereotype
- Real Men Wear Pink: ...Or nun habits. And he run orphanages and feed the community with cookies.
- Scars Are Forever
- The Stoic
- Trigger Happy
- Wholesome Crossdresser
Voiced by: Chiwa SaitoA young girl from England who was raised by Sister in an orphanage. She has a noticeable crush on him and appears sweet in general, but she is actually highly skilled in martial arts and is rather accomplished in several underworld trades. She can also transform herself into a musclebound man three times her size thanks to Sister's training. She serves as a yakuza boss for the community.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: She doesn't take it well when she finds out about Sister's feelings for Maria.
- Deliberately Cute Child
- Dragon Girl: Humorously subverted.
- Enfante Terrible
- Girlish Pigtails
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Subverted. She's young, cheerful and cute, but she's quite the Enfante Terrible.
- Hulking Out
- Japanese Pronouns: In Japanese, her way of speech is quite antiquated. She refers to herself with "washi", the pronoun old men use.
- Little Miss Badass
- Limited Wardrobe
- Precocious Crush: On Sister.
- Yandere: Towards Sister.
Voiced by: Miyuki SawashiroA former spy who came to live under the bridge. A sadist at heart, she delights in emasculating every man in the community, especially Sister, with whom she has a history. She runs a sheep farm for the community.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- The Bully
- Dark Action Girl
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male
- Cool Big Sis: But to the girls exclusively.
- Faux Affably Evil
- I Shall Taunt You: Her addiction.
- Not a Morning Person
- Pet the Dog: Her treatment of Stella after their "duel".
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: The Bitch in Sheep's Clothing variant; she's only sweet at first glance. She's actually a sadist who loves to bully others. She can be nice to the girls, though.
- Shear Menace
- The Sociopath: Comedic Sociopathy at most, but in the episode 7 of season 2 she actually goes insane while locked for several days with the people she feels she shouldn't be bullying (ie. girls).
- Tranquil Fury
- The Vamp
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is pink, which stands out since everyone else in the cast has realistic hair colors.
The Iron Brothers, Tetsuo and Tetsuro
Voiced by: Yuko Sanpei (Tetsuo), Ryōko Shintani (Tetsuro)A pair of brothers always seen wearing iron helmets. They claim to have been experimented on and have psychic powers, which are only kept in check by the helmets. They are very lively and run an oil drum bathhouse under the bridge.
- Cain and Abel: Subverted in Episode 10 of Season 2.
- Deliberately Cute Children
- Expressive Masks
- Hulking Out: In Episode 10 of Season 2. Given the circumstances of training with Sister... just like Stella.
- Power Limiter: Their masks. Or so they claim.
- Psychic Powers: Or so they claim.
- Theme Twin Naming
- Wonder Twin Powers
Toru "Shiro" Shirai
Voiced by: Hochu OtsukaA former salaryman who now lives under the bridge. He can't go anywhere unless he's able to walk on a white line, so he always walks with a field striper.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
- Disappeared Dad: Hasn't seen his wife or daughter for six years, though they don't seem to mind and fully encourage his dreams of becoming a champion liner.
- Nice Guy
- Oblivious to Love: From Shimazaki.
- Super OCD
- Smarter Than You Look
Voiced by: Chiaki OmigawaA young woman who lives under the bridge during the growing season. While cute, she's horribly clumsy. She has an unrequited love in the Mayor. She runs a vegetable farm for the community.
- Banana Peel: Taken Up to Eleven with Slippery Skid in her first appearance.
- Butt Monkey: The first one among the girls.
- Curtains Match the Window
- Cute Clumsy Girl
- Drives Like Crazy
- Expressive Hair: Or hair ribbon.
- Fiery Redhead
- Hair Decorations: Or Idiot Hair, as it's unclear what that thing on her head really is.
- The Heart
- Hopeless Suitor: For the Mayor.
- Naïve Everygirl
- Older than She Looks: 22 years old according to the official info but looks somewhat Loli-like.
Voiced by: ChoKou's assistant from his company. He came searching for Kou when he never came back to the office. He is steadfastly loyal to his boss, but also has a very unhealthy obsession with him. He oversees the running of Kou's company in his absence and helps Kou with his projects under the bridge.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone knows he's in love with Kou...whether they want to or not.
- Incompatible Orientation: With Kou
- Man Hug: He goes after them often with Kou.
- Papa Wolf: Very protective of Kou.
- Straight Gay
- Subordinate Excuse: At least he sometimes is useful.
Voiced by: Rie TanakaTakai's assistant, a beautiful, but somewhat shady lady, who seems to play her own game under both Kou's and his father's heads.
- Beauty Mark
- Brainwashed: After finding out that Shiro was married, she run away from the riverbed and joins a group that seeks into revealing one for all all the secrets of Nino and the riverbed. How? She was disillusioned, brokenhearted... and she accepts returning to her 'former' spy job... thanks to a suit that is worth 300 million yen.
- Enigmatic Minion: Somehow. At least below the villagers and Kou himself. She is undoubtedly loyal to Kou's dad, but after receiving a menace from the Mayor himself, she gets into her own agenda being more careful in getting details. In fact, she gets into the riverbed to know better the secrets surrounding Nino... but gets convinced, by her, that she can still be the weird person she was in the past and wants to be happy with Shiro, throwing her 'present' behind... buut... things get complicated...
- The Mole: Or so she was, until she comes in terms thanks to the love and acceptance of the other villagers (who completely ignore that she was an spy) until things came out wrong.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: After going to the bridge for the first time, she falls at first sight for Shiro after he helps her to get out of Sister and Maria's trap. Admittedly there was a bit of Comically Missing the Point involved, too.
- She gets brokenhearted and gets a Heroic BSOD after opening a package for Shiro... that revealed to her that he was married. Did I mention this happens after the throw-away party where she gets officially accepted into the village, dismissing every single suspicion that she was a 'spy'?
Voiced by: Rikiya KoyamaKou's father and CEO of one of the most powerful companies in the city, if not Japan. He firmly believes in never being indebted to anyone and has instilled that in Kou. A cutthroat businessman, he gets what he wants when he wants it and proudly stands tall over his accomplishments.
- Disappeared Dad
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Subverted. He's very harsh and curt with Kou, but he does have some love for his son.
- Humiliation Conga / Break the Haughty: Subverted in second to last episode of the first season. He leaves the same situation his son'd encountered in the beginning of the story all classy and looking so cool he annoys the policeman.
- Papa Wolf
- Scary Shiny Glasses
Voiced by: Yuuichi NakamuraOnce a master hairstylist and attractive man, he got sick and tired of his lifestyle and ran away with little more than a katana from his family's house. After an accidental meeting with the Mayor under the bridge, his "samurai spirit" was awakened, and now he speaks in an older Japanese dialect and wears a topknot as he lives with the community by the Arakawa river. He still uses that same katana to cut the hair of the Arakawa people.
Voiced by: Fumihiko TachikiRumored to have once been the boss of a Yakuza-like gang of bird-headed people, and supposedly betrayed their trust when he fell in love and eloped with the bee princess Jacqueline. It's debatable how much of that story is true, but what is known is that he is deeply in love with her.
- Always Save the Girl: As long as the girl is Jacqueline.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Or at least cannot help swooning over his manliness in Ric and Hoshi's case.
- A Father to His Men: How the birds' yakuza-like-gang sees him (he is their 'aniki'), since he is always in the peak of sacrificing himself for their sake... or the sake of the riverbed's villagers.
- Interspecies Romance: Both him and his lover seem to be insane enough to consider their relationship as this.
- Rated M for Manly
- Satellite Character: To Jacqueline.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Jacqueline.
- Single-Target Sexuality: With Jacqueline.
- Yakuza: Apparently.
Voiced by: Yuko GotoA girl in a bee costume who fell madly in love with Billy and is practically inseparable from him. She runs a day spa called Queen Bee under the bridge.
- Damsel in Distress: She's quite helpless, which allows Billy to always come to the rescue and show some manliness.
- The Ditz
- Dragon Lady: Prior to coming to Arakawa, if her story is to be believed.
- Interspecies Romance
- Satellite Character: To Billy.
- Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Billy.
- Single-Target Sexuality: With Billy.
Voiced by: Tomokazu SekiA mangaka who publishes his works under the pen name "Potato-chip Kuwabara." A total sci-fi geek who likes to think of himself as a space captain defending the Earth from aliens. He becomes interested in the people living under the bridge when he sees Nino, who he thinks is a Venusian plotting to destroy the planet.
- Brainwashed: He falls into the same organization with Shimazaki... his main reason would be the trope below...
- Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: He THINKS and BELIEVES that Nino is an alien-princess that would harm the Earth. It also inspires him to draw a sci-fi manga... that could be quite true because by no coincidence, the similarities are not so beyond the truth of the riverbed...
- Creator Breakdown: In-Universe; he ran away from his career as a mangaka when his editor kept forcing him to draw Moe manga instead of sci-fi.
- The Mole: Besides being brainwashed because of his own desire to be 'defender of the Earth', he still keeps an affection to the Arakawa Riverbed's community, especially since he knows that the organization he falls with are not good people at ALL. Especially their boss and leader, when he finds out a terrible secret concerning the Mayor, Nino and the Venusians, as well. He just wants to keep playing as a hero, no matter what side he takes.
Voiced by: Yuu KobayashiA mysterious Amazon woman who lives down the river from the community. Her personality constantly shifts from that of an intimidating warrior to a high school girl. She's rarely seen without her cell phone and has a love of all things made in Saitama. She works for an unknown person and is often surrounded by a trio of "tengu" (guys with tengu masks and bikini tops worn over their t-shirts).
- Amazonian Beauty
- No Guy Wants an Amazon
- Stripperiffic: Her outfit goes along with the Amazon warrior theme, but it leaves very little to the imagination.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: To Kou. And Hoshi.
- Tsundere: Lampshaded by Kou and as creepy as it sounds.
- Uncanny Valley Makeup
- Valley Girl: What her Saitama dialect is translated as.