Usagi Drop – 01
OP: 「SWEET DROPS」 by PUFFY
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「りんどうの女の子」 (Rindou no Onna no Ko)
I am in awe at how the very first episode of Bunny Drop managed to bring tears to my eyes. No series has been emotional enough to do that to me, as usually it takes a few episodes at least to build up the drama. I came in knowing this show would probably be pulling at the viewer’s heartstrings, but it’s surprisingly touching right off the bat. Josei manga isn’t adapted into anime too often, but now my expectations are high. The art style featuring simple watercolors and peaceful BGM with piano and strings are highly reminiscent of Hourou Musuko, and although the setting is different, this series seems to have that same heartwarming feel to it. I have not read the manga, so bear with me as I have no idea where this is going.
The premiere opens by introducing the premise, with the death of Daikichi’s grandfather and the illegitimate child he leaves behind. Kawachi Daikichi is a pretty normal salaryman living a fairly dull single life, and seems like the type who doesn’t have much going on besides his job. He seems like a good person (though terrible with kids), but the funeral was a good example of why I find dealing with family affairs so distasteful, especially when the relatives aren’t close or are on poor terms. There are the in-laws, bratty kids, insults, formalities, estranged relationships, and in this case everything is made worse with Grandfather’s love child to deal with. Blood is tighter than friendship, but in many cases friends are much more pleasant. No one wants to deal with the kid, and they see her as an embarrassment and a shame.
I’m not quite sure how the 79-year-old grandpa managed to land a mistress, but given how lonely he must have been with his family gone, all the better for him. I found Rin to be a cute, quiet, thoughtful, and quirky little kid. She seems like a smart one to me, in contrast with what the rest of the family thinks, and her antics are absolutely lovable. Contrast that with Daikichi’s loudmouthed niece Reima-chan who’s just completely hilarious and totally inappropriate (if anyone’s the “improper” one, it would be her). Even though I somewhat understand his family’s sentiments, I feel really bad for Rin as nobody wants to have anything to do with her. She’s still family, even if the circumstances are unusual. It felt like Rin was utterly alone with no one to turn to, and the scene where she said goodbye to her father and laid the flowers in his coffin was incredibly sad, which is amazing considering that he wasn’t introduced at all.
Daikichi acts on impulse to take Rin home when he has no idea about how to raise a kid, but I’m glad he decided to do so. He’s rightfully a bit peeved at his relatives. Rin is kind of like a bunny who dropped from the sky (in reference to the title), and I don’t think she’ll give Daikichi too much trouble, but he’s also probably in over his head taking on the role of a single parent. Interestingly, Rin is actually voiced by a nine year old — Matsuura Ayu, a TV actress in her first voice-acting role. I believe it was a good decision choosing children to voice children, as it brings out the characters well and feels more natural. There are a lot of subtle aspects that make the interactions feel realistic and the characters believable. If the quality of this adaptation continues to hold up, Daikichi and Rin’s story will be quite an interesting ride, and I look forward to a cheerful and heartwarming series.
P.S. I have got to try making a salt onigiri sometime.
ED: 「High High High」 by カサリンチュ (Kasarinchu)
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