Usagi Drop Episode 2
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Usagi Drop, or “Bunny Drop”, is a weekly anime series between July 2011 and September 2011, based on a long-running manga series by Yumi Unita. Salaryman Daikichi discovers that his recently-deceased grandfather left behind Rin, an illegitimate 6-year-old girl. When no one else is willing to take her in, Daikichi steps up and accepts her, changing his life forever.
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Spoiler-free Episode Summary: While they are shopping for new clothes, Daikichi realizes that he has to put Rin into day care while he is at work. While he is able to find a temporary day care center for her, it’s very far away, leading to a long commute. Plus having to drop off and pick up Rin each day is a strain on his job, where he frequently has to work overtime. After a week, Daikichi realizes that keeping up such a grueling schedule may not be possible.
My Impressions: Watching this episode just left me exhausted. Putting myself in the place of Daikichi, I could feel the deep, chronic aching creeping into his bones as the murderous schedule he suddenly has to adapt wreaks its effects on his body and resolve.
In one weekend, his life is changed forever, and there is no turning back. He has made the decision to take in Rin, and it’s not like he can take a timeout from either his work or his new familial obligations. He has no other option than to make it work, even if doing so comes at the expense of himself.
I couldn’t do it. Even though I so totally relate to Daikichi’s situation, I could not imagine how I would be able to handle a similar situation. I get bone-weary just thinking about it. Although, countless people out there are finding ways to squeak by every day, I wonder if I had no other choice, how I would respond myself. I guess when there is no other possibilities, you find a way.
But as it is, one week into his new life, Daikichi is realizing just how much over his head he is. Something has gotta give, he can’t work 60/70/80 hours a week, multi-hour commutes and take care of a six year old girl at the same time. It’s not a question of whether something is going to break down, it’s a matter of when.
As for little Rin, she seems to be doing her best to take it all in stride. It’s all a big change for her as well, but she is doing her best to adjust as well. It helps that Rin is definitely quite mature for her age, even though she displays an interesting mix of maturity combined with childlike actions and innocence (like bouncing on the futon, not wanting the other kids to see her being carried around). The words ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ will definitely be overused to describe Usagi Drop, even when appropriate. But what keeps it grounded and believable (as opposed to the fantasy-like ‘cute’ and ‘adorable’ in Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, or Gosick, for example) is the firm reality of the situation, with both Rin and Daikichi portrayed in a manner that is realistic and easy to relate. That’s a large part of what made Hourou Musuko such a joy to watch, and now that I am finally finishing up that show (only nine months late, whee!), Usagi Drop looks to make a fine replacement in my schedule.
The verdict: – Lovin’ It.
- Previous reviews:
- Episode 1 (November 3)
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Maybe Honey and Clover or Kowarekake no Orgel
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Touching moments aside, Daikichi and Rin’s interactions are so darn cute and hilarious, but they also feel very realistic at the same time. There are plenty of subtle quirks, from Rin lecturing him on manners, fussing with each others’ hair, to directly calling him Daikichi (though considering she is technically his aunt, it’s not entirely inappropriate)…Rin’s antics and the faces she makes are utterly lovable, and I had a constant smile on my face throughout the episode.” – Random Curiosity
- “While it’s difficult for the child to experience such hardships, watching Daikichi adapt Rin into his own grueling work schedule has a very grounding feel to it. He tries his best to make Rin happy and as I grow older, I start to notice and appreciate the sacrifices that parents make for their children. It definitely makes you wonder about how they do it in real life and seeing as Daikichi is acting as a single parent, it gives me perspective on my own life and how I try to view my own future.” – Sekijitsu
- “Excuse me while I go cry tears of pure sugar. These two are just so cute together! I’ll admit I’ve gotten teary-eyed a few times in this episode. It’s just so…agh, what other words are there other than cute, sweet, and adorable?! I” – Metanorn
- “I think it would take a fairly hard heart not to feel some sort of emotional connection to what takes place in Usagi Drop – it’s really about as elemental situation as you can get. But as a single male with no children, the difficulty of Daikichi’s circumstances and the courage of his decision really hit home with me.” – Lost in America
- “After the rather somber first episode, this second episode was decidedly more light-hearted in tone, and was filled with enjoyable slice of life moments. Mixed in with the light humor, though, is the developing relationship between the lonely yet playful Rin, as well as the rather confused father figure Daikichi. It’s an interesting dynamic, and the two characters both play well off of each other to highlight all the little troubles that come with this new relationship.” – Emory Anime Club
- “In the U.S., Daikichi could talk to his boss and mention that he’s now caring for a young girl and needs to be able to leave on time in order to take care of things. In Japan, Daikichi can’t even speak of Rin in any fashion to any of his co-workers and is expected to work as many hours as possible. He wants to get off from work at a reasonable time for Rin’s sake, but cannot. As much as I love Japan, this is one aspect of Japanese culture that I do not like.” – AstroNerdBoy
ROUND TWO RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Two: Mawaru Penguin Drum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Dantalian no Shoka, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Kamisama no Memo-chou, Nurarihyon no Mago Season 2, Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3, Usagi Drop
Thumbs-down for Round Two: Blood-C, Uta no Prince-sama: Maji Love 1000%. Everything else was dropped in Round One already.
Coming up next: None – time to move on to Round Three!