“Asahi Bridge Irregulars”

「アサヒ・ブリッジ・イレギュラーズ」 (Asahi Burijji Iregyurazu)

The Suicide that Never Happened:

This episode was a waste of time, in the best way possible. It’s a hard one to break down, because at the end of the day it revolved around a mystery that was never there in the first place. This was the story of a suicide that never happened. Sakurako’s words were true: “Sorry you wasted your time on that” because that’s exactly what Kougami did. Still, this was one of the show’s better episodes, if I’m honest.

For one thing, it was a refreshing to have an episode where Sakurako and Shoutarou were almost entirely absent (up until the last few minutes), and instead focus on another wannabe detective duo: Kougami and her science teacher, Isozaki. If he wasn’t her teacher, there’s a chance there could be something romantic between them, but as with Shoutarou and Sakurako, the age difference is too vast to be anything other than creepy and inappropriate. Thankfully, their interactions were entertaining enough without needing hints of romance, instead relying on their contrasting point of views on the festival-goer who may or may not have wanted to throw herself from a bridge. It was nicely set-up, and allowed for both characters to bounce off one another. Sometimes their scenes were amusing, other times carrying more weight and questioning why they were running around looking for a woman they were unlikely to ever find.

The most important part of the episode has to be the discussion of whether another person has the right to decide if someone gets to kill themselves. It’s a tricky question; there’s two potential answers, yet there’s a lot to consider. If someone truly wants to end their life, is it not their right to do so? But on the other hand, what if that person’s struggles or depression that’s causing them to think that way can be mended? It got me thinking, and I’m probably more on Kougami’s side with this one, even if she shouldn’t have to feel guilty if she failed to find her in time.

A Simple Explanation:

Of course, by the end it’s revealed that the woman never intended to kill herself at all. What Kougami presumed was a suicide note was a note to her deceased husband, as she apologised for moving on and finding a new man. Sakurako showed up at just the right time (the missing child call for her was genius, and completely in character for her and Shoutarou) and quickly figured this all out. Honestly, I would have been fine if we didn’t see either of them appear in this episode. But she did her magic (with no recycled animation!) and revealed that the ring was in fact made from her previous lover’s bones, and her throwing it into the river along with the note was her way of sending it to the afterlife. A rather poignant end to a mystery that never even occurred in the first place.

Overview – What’s Next?:

I can see why some might not take to this episode, because in truth, it was pretty pointless. There wasn’t any game-changing revelations or massive character development, and I suppose you could think of this week’s mystery as a let down… yet still, I appreciate what we got. I liked seeing the side characters getting some time to shine, before it all tied together nicely in the end. Plus, this episode was easily the most gorgeous one so far, from the progression of colours throughout the festival, to the plentiful well-composed shots and smooth animation. All in all, I’d consider this the best episodic mystery to date, even if it was, as Sakurako pointed out, a waste of our time.


    1. That’s definitely possible. Some people think Shoutarou feels the same about Sakurako, and I wouldn’t say they are wrong. However, I hope the series doesn’t actually consider it because what would be massively inappropriate.

      1. I don’t want that to happen because it would take the focus out of the story. But, teens having crushes on older people and on each other is pretty common (even if inapropriate. Actually, since it is inapropriate they crush even more. Damn teens.)

        You could make a story out of it, but let’s leave it to another work so that we don’t have romance swallowing the plot.

        Starcraft 2 disapointed me enough.

    1. While I haven’t heard of people making jewellery from bones per se, I have seen magazine adverts about services offering to make diamonds from the ashes of loved ones. Which is pretty similar.

    2. Memento mori jewelry, or mourning jewelry, was popularized during the 1837-1901 reign of Queen Victoria of England, so that’s probably what Sakurako meant (more common in the West in the past). Some jewelry designers today specialize in this (see Etsy), using cremated remains, hair, and teeth.

      1. Yeah. Being responsible means losing your life (by taking it yourself) is taking responsibility for doing it. Its taking responsibility for taking your life. Its taking responsibility for taking responsibility. Its ta…

        Death is like infinity. No wonder it involves paradoxes. Division by zero.

        paradox ad infinitum
    1. Treat indeed. Although too much KyoAni-like for my liking (I just cant stand KyoAni style), particularly some scenes in Hibike. I didnt like the bokeh effects and the like here though, because they are not overdoing it. But still, they even had that hyperfluid animation feel at some moments. I really felt like watching the wrong show.

      But, Sakurako has always looked great (like the bacgrounds). I also like her personality. Wait what?

      paradox ad infinitum
      1. Funnily enough I got some KyoAni/Hibike vibes from this episode as well, which is great for me because I love their aesthetics. This episode was a treat to the eyes, for sure, but at the same time it didn’t compare to Hibike! Euphonium episode 8. I felt the similarities between the two episodes (mainly because of the festival) but in comparison it’s not even a competition. Still, lovely-looking episode.

    2. The issue of death; I like the way Kaworu from Eva says it:
      “Because it’s my destiny to continue to live even if it may result in the destruction of humanity. But I can also die here. Life and death are of equal value to me. Dying of your own will. That is the one and only absolute freedom there is.”

  1. Seems like a lot of people didn’t like this episode(judging from other places on the internet), but yeah, I thought it was a good episode. Nice to get a better look at the side characters, for once.

  2. 1. Well, at least they didn’t find a dead body this time.
    2. (Ab)using the “lost child” PA for Sakurako was hilarious.
    3. Kougami’s interaction with Isozaki-sensei is a classic clash between idealism and jaded cynicism IMO.

    Magnus Tancred
  3. Well, I’m still hoping on Isozaki’s backstory, which I wrote in previous episode’s post.


    Nevertheless, I love the visuals as always that even a blurry background looks stunning in some way or another.
    And did anyone mentioned that this episode is a gender-switched couple reflection of Shoutarou & Sakurako together? Because it looks like it to me with Izosaki’s reluctant personality in solving a situation being a reflection of Sakurako’s behaviour, and Kougami having human empathy like Shoutarou? Correct me if I’m wrong about what I’ve written here. 😉

    Richie Kim
  4. Even if we didn’t get any plot progression, I sort of feel like a good part of this episode served as a character study, in a way. So even if later episodes’ events don’t end up directly linking, we might still be able to use this to understand those, because after all, all (or at least, most) the same characters will most likely be involved in whatever comes next. And I do think there are still some ‘hooks’ the episode left us with, like Yuriko’s friends and the reasons for Isozaki’s motivations (because I got the impression there was more to them than what we saw/ got told) Does that make any kind of sense to anyone??
    But even if it was just meant to be a filler and nothing else, it was a very nice filler, and I found it rather satisfying to watch, in both visual and emotional senses. So I’d definitely rate this as one of the better episodes in this series.
    And the lost-child announcement for Sakurako just killed me. That was funny 🙂

    1. Pretty much in agreement with all this. It would be the cherry on top if there are later ties back to this episode to make it relevant in the grande scheme of things. But even if that doesn’t happen it was still be the one-off episode so far.

  5. wow what a great episode, still focussed on Death & Bones, but in a common festival theme.

    When she threw the ring in the river, I was like… cool…. fun stuff!

    I missed the recycled animation “let me solve this” though…… lol…

  6. I liked the story even if in the end it has proven to be a wasted time – because sometimes journey is worth more thna destination!
    We got some nise inights into Yuri’s character, and to an extent into her teacher. I wonder if there is more to his seemingly cynical and libertarian attitude?

    1. Well I wouldn’t be surprised IF THERE IS a SPIN-OFF featuring Kougami and Isozaki as the main characters of the spin-off sooner or later.

      I also believed that the spin-off story’s background should still take place in Asahikawa, Hokkaido…

      Man how I wish to go there at this moment based on what I’ve seen in this anime.
      I also won’t be surprised when the real-life Asahikawa’s Tourism Department will be very grateful on the author and the makers of this story.

      Richie Kim
  7. If I ever decide to die for my beloved one day (or for any other reason I deem adequate), I hope there won’t be people like Kougami giving me a dissertation on why life is important, and let me die a beautiful death, which is, for me, only the beginning after the end.

    Why anyone would respect life but not death befuddles me.

  8. Although I’m a fan of mysteries, I like getting an occasional “not murder/crime” case from time to time. Serves as both a breather and a reminder that such mysteries don’t actually happen that often. The whole series has been pretty low-key in terms of typical murder mysteries, so its own low-key crime being just a misunderstanding is quite fitting.
    That’s why I really liked this episode. That plus looking pretty and reintroducing the teacher as more than bringer of a case.

    My only criticism is that Sakurako’s explanation was accepted a bit too easily. Before she had reasoning and/or proof to show, but this time she just gave out the solution. It came out so straight I expected her to be proven wrong at the end…
    A minor complaint I had is that I’ve never heard of these mourning jewellery, but then I realized it’s not like we Westerners have a grand unified culture anyways. Yet.


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