Usagi Drop Episode 3
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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Episode Summary: Daikichi and Rin visit his parents’ home for the weekend, and he looks for some clues about Rin’s mother. Daikichi realizes that trying to handle his high-pressure job and take care of Rin will be impossible, and reaches out to a female co-worker for guidance. Even though it will mean a personal sacrifice, he decides it would be best to take a lower position so he does not have to work overtime, freeing up time to be with Rin.
My Impressions: I need to get crackin’ – here it is early February and I’m still reviewing episodes of shows from back in May, June and July. Oh well, I made a decision quite a while ago to say “to hell” with keeping on schedule and work at my own pace, since the person who I am trying to please the most is myself. Anyway, onwards.
Earlier, I had stated that Mawaru Penguin Drum was perhaps the show that I am enjoying the most out of the summer season, but I think it would also be safe to say that Usagi Drop is perhaps the best show of the season. It truly is enjoyable to watch Rin just being Rin, and to watch Daikichi both enjoying the little moments at the same time agonizing over the seemingly obdurate roadblocks. And more than just the smaller story of Rin and Daikichi, Usagi Drop is also somewhat of an indictment of the way Japanese employers treat personal and family obligations.
Others have broached the topic in much greater detail and more eloquently, but we in America probably do not understand just how great most of us have it when it comes to our employers and our rights and employees. For example, where I work the concept of mandatory overtime would be impossible (as opposed to the two/three hours each day positively required of many Japanese salarymen). If I need time off without any notice, I have a bank of time I can use at a moment’s notice. If I had a child, twelve weeks off minimum without difficulty. Medical problems? I can take all sorts of time off by law. Flex time, flex schedules, work-at-home…yeah, not everyone in America has that, but compared to expectations and reality in Japan, it’s practically a worker’s paradise of rights. (Which republicans are trying to destroy piece-by-piece in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Arizona…but that’s another story.)
I do not pretend to really understand Japanese culture, but I understand enough to know just how much of a really big deal it was for Daikichi to make the decision to focus on Rin instead of his job (while many Americans would just assume that was the obvious choice from the start). Mind you, taking a lower position is hardly going to solve the problem, and it’s clearly laying the groundwork for potential problems ahead. But it was clear that the status quo was hardly sustainable, and something had to give: it was either Rin or the job.
Anyway, great show from start to finish, and I lament that there will be so few episodes when there is so much potential story to tell. Oh, and I also checked out the first three chapters of the manga to see how it compared to the anime series, and while they each focus on certain different story elements, they very much the same basic story. Oh, and Usagi Drop anime > manga.
- Previous reviews:
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Maybe Honey and Clover or Kowarekake no Orgel
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “Rin is her usual cutesy self this episode, and the chemistry between Rin and Daikichi continues to develop in a well done manner. This episode does, surprisingly, delve a bit deeper into the emotional scars that Rin has with her past, and it’s this central focus point that is crucial to this entire episode.” – Emory Anime Club
- “So far, this show has not CEASED to make me tear up, mainly because I personally get so much nostalgia from watching this, as I said last week. It really hits my heart with a pang! at times, and combined with the story of Daikichi, Rin, and her missing mother, has me overboard the emotional boat in minutes.” – Metanorn
- “Watching a series like this, I keep thinking, “How could you not love Rin?” She’s so cute and adorable, not to mention precious, intelligent, and just a really good girl. ” – AstroNerdBoy
- “I’d hate to let an anime influence me in any way, but Usagi Drop has a very “real” feeling to it along with the stylized cuteness (and no doubt impending melodrama). Sure, Daikichi’s a little bit of a superhero at this point, and Rin is a more or less angelic child, but there’s an air of authenticity surrounding the story regardless.” – Sea Slugs!
ROUND THREE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Three: Mawaru Penguin Drum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Kamisama no Memo-chou, Nurarihyon no Mago Season 2, Natsume Yuujinchou Season 3, Usagi Drop
Thumbs-down for Round Three: Dantalian no Shoka, Nekogami Yaoyorozu. (All other shows have already been given the thumbs down)
Coming up next: None – time to move on to Episode Four/Round Four!