Usagi Drop Episode 4
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: At daycare, Daikichi meets with another single parent, whose son has made friends with Rin. Together, they navigate the process of enrolling their children into school for the first time. After a farewell party with his office workers, Daikichi tries to find out more about Rin’s past, uncovers his grandfather’s will, and tracks down contact information for Rin’s mother.
My Impressions: Usagi Drop seems to effortlessly balance the two concurrent themes running throughout the story: one grimly serious and the other lightly whimsical. And this is what makes it a full step above something like Ikoku Meiro Croisee, which is so heavily unbalanced in the direction of “cute story” over “serious drama”.
First, there’s Daikichi taking care of Rin as she obliviously goes about her everyday life, totally unaware of any sort of bigger events going on around her. And why should she take notice of stuff like that? After all, she’s just a six year old girl, more concerned with stuff like getting her hair tied up like her friend, practicing her little song and dance “in secret”, obsessing over cute animal mascot characters…you know, kid’s stuff. She is totally a little kid, and totally acts like it, and that’s perfectly fine.
But at the same time, Daikichi is having to deal with the real world that his life has become. Sacrificing his future and career to take care of a girl he never knew existed a couple months ago is such a major, stressful life change, eating up every moment of his time, his attention and his money. Trying to keep on top of every little thing involved in taking care of a young child without the benefit of even an ounce of experience is confusing and difficult, even if he gets a little help from one of his female co-workers, Rin’s friend’s mother, and Daikichi’s parents. It may be a great sacrifice on Daikichi’s part, but it is a sacrifice of *choice*, and despite some initial trepidation he is learning that it’s not a one-way street: there are rewards that come with the sacrifice, something he could have never imagined a few months ago.
And then there is the unseemly matter of Rin’s mother, as Daikichi continues his quest to find out more about her, why she ran away and abandoned Rin. Is it really such a good idea to go poking about the past, especially when Rin seems to be doing just fine on her own? I sense nothing good can come of this, better let sleeping dogs lie, Daikichi, confronting Rin’s absentee mother will probably end up in nothing but heartache for everyone involved.
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Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “In the end, Daikichi’s sacrifice is no sacrifice at all. The more he loses, the more he’ll gain. We should all be so lucky to gain what he’s gaining, and we should all be so blessed to be a person who really gets it.” – Beneath the Tangles
- “It feels slow, but isn’t. Maybe it’s the lack of katanas clashing or half-nude girls with magical powers, but the real life qualities definitely have a slower feel, as the story is told to the audience. But when you look at what’s happened and what’s been revealed, the show is actually moving quite steadily and the series has had a real nice flow so far.” – Moe Monster
- “With this episode, we get to see more of how life changes and grows with the inclusion of children, but also the possibilities as well. ” – The Fandom Post
- “Honestly, it’s tough to put into words just how well executed this series has been so far. It’s managed to blend in a mix of the silliness of slice of life, with the seriousness that comes with single parenthood. It’s a daunting task, yet Usagi drop so far has managed to pace and portray everything with flying colors. This episode highlights some of the strengths to this show, where the innocent and cute antics of Rin blend in surprisingly well with the more serious overtones that haunt Daikichi in his new role as a parent.” – Emory Anime Club