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)
The 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
- Teacher/Student Romance: He teaches Nino.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy
Recruit'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.
- 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
The 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.
A 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.
A 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 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.
A 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.
The Iron Brothers, Tetsuo and 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.
Toru "Shiro" Shirai
A 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.
A 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.
Voiced by: Cho
Kou'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.
Takai'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'?
Kou'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.
Once 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.
Rumored 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.
A 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.
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.
A 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).