Anime Review: Usagi Drop Episode 6

Anime Review:
Usagi Drop Episode 6

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.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:

Very Quick Episode Summary: Daikichi and Rin plant trees.
Not-as-quick but still quick Episode Summary: Rin begins her first day of school, and Daikichi reminisces about the commemorative tree that was planted when he was born. He offers to plant a tree for Rin, too, to celebrate entering school, but realizes he may have opened a can of worms, not knowing if a tree was planted at the time of her birth. He once again contacts Rin’s absentee mother, confirms Daikichi’s grandfather had, in fact, planted a tree, and re-locates it to his house for Rin.

My Impressions: Usagi Drop works best when it appears to be more spontaneous, unscripted — covering the little, every-day foibles of life. It doesn’t work so well when it is trying its hardest to push a message, or purposely and ham-fistedly play upon your emotions. Luckily Usagi Drop has been mostly in the territory of the former rather than the latter. But this particular episode really dipped deep into the “tugs hard at heartstrings” territory.

It’s not as if Usagi Drop hasn’t done this before, but this time around it reached sickly-sweet proportions in the little scene towards the end of Rin, Daikichi and Grandfather walking along some imaginary path in a line, hammering the message hard into anyone still daft towards the message at that point about how lives are tied together through memories and traditions. I would have preferred a more subtle approach myself.

But moving onwards, this episode continues to point out the rather amusing dual nature of Rin herself. At one moment seeming mature way beyond her years, but the next moment revealing her childlike glee at something as simple as a box of sugary cereal. And that, in fact, is the way most kids truly are — they’re not 100% immature little brats (well, most of them aren’t, I would hope), but it’s always this strange mixture of wanting to be all grown-up at times, but being betrayed by the spontaneity of youth time and again.

It leave me chagrined to watch Daikichi continually reacting to whatever Rin is doing, seemingly perpetually off-balance, never able to truly predict (or adapt) to Rin’s actions. He seems much more at ease as de facto semi-surrogate father with the much simpler, predictable Kouki — perhaps pointing out just how different little girls are from little boys.

Anyway, I hope that future episodes of Usagi Drop will tone down the heavy-handed play on viewers emotions and just play around with the smaller, everyday life stories instead.

The verdict:

For more information:

Sampling of Online Reviews:

  • “One of the strengths of Usagi Drop (and if you haven’t noticed, I really like this series, since I apparently feel obligated to talk about one of its strengths every week) is the way it can focus very succinctly on one or two things in an episode — and make that interesting. At one point I thought “is this episode seriously going to be all about the tree?” but then suddenly, it was over, and I realized I’d eaten it right up.” – Sea Slugs
  • “The thing that I really loved about that quiet but powerful story is how, like so much in this series, it tied the whole family into the meaning and didn’t just focus on Daikichi and Rin…Usagi Drop takes the long view of the family – a very Japanese view, I think. The family isn’t just the parent and child, it’s the grandparents and siblings and cousins that are involved in the dynamics of raising a family. ” – Lost in America
  • “This was my favorite episode of Usagi Drop so far. The ending of this episode was one of the most emotional moments in the show so far.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
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