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「てがみ」 (Tegami)
“Letter”

It’s uncommon to see a serious anime featuring young children, but Usagi Drop portrays their interactions very naturally — for example, how kids make friends easily, how adults fawn over them excessively at times, and how they want to look mature and not be overly affectionate with their parents. It’s consistent with my experiences and what I’ve seen, but at the same time the show also brings out the characters’ unique personalities and makes them both funny and endearing at the same time.

With Rin starting life at a new nursery school, I guess it was be inevitable that she would be facing questions about her mother and father from the other kids. She seems to be dealing with it alright so far, but Nitani Kouki, classmate and new friend, bails her out in an act of veiled kindness. I guess he’ll be a more prominent character in the episodes to come, and perhaps his mom will be as well, since they are also facing the single parent situation. His mom is gorgeous too and Daikichi develops a major crush immediately, but he isn’t a bachelor for no reason as their interactions clearly show that he’s terrible with women. I found it amusing that both the guys (Daikichi and Kouki) are the socially awkward types, and it was hilarious watching Daikichi’s clumsiness and how Rin found his reactions extremely suspicious. Rin and Kouki are also on the road to becoming good friends, though I wonder what will happen once they reach the gender-segregated social environment after a few years of primary school.

As for Daikichi, he is continuing to experience the sacrifices required to raise a child, including not being able to go out in the evening, even if one really, really wants to. In addition, single fathers are proportionately much lower than single mothers (though the reverse seems to be true in movies), and dads, especially Asian ones, usually are less involved with their child’s upbringings. Now, Rin’s presence has changed Daikichi’s priorities drastically, he’s really learning first-hand about having a family. I mean, helping Rin tie her pigtails? That is brave indeed.

Daikichi and Gotou both decide to bring their kids along so they can go party, though I question the wisdom of getting so drunk in front of children. Rin and Yuu seem to get along though, so I’m not sure how central they’ll be to the story later on. Finally there’s still the mystery about Rin’s mother, and whether and/or why she left Rin, but it looks like we’ll find out more about that soon. Grandpa actually had more foresight for Rin than I had thought, writing a long letter explaining things, but it does seem like he was betting on someone taking her in — a risky decision given how much he had drifted apart from his extended family.

July 31, 2011 at 5:30 am
49 comments »
  • July 31, 2011 at 5:42 amcrazystudyguy

    Those pigtails he tied are pro

    • July 31, 2011 at 5:46 amoutcast

      How hard can that really be. Maybe he is an asymetrical-con

    • July 31, 2011 at 8:08 amznail

      It’s a wonder that she doesn’t hate him for that when she grows up :P

  • July 31, 2011 at 5:48 amTheta

    The genre of this show is quite different from what I normally watch, but I can say, the change in scenery has really made this show the top of my list. From the moment I read it in the Summer preview, I knew I had to watch this for the warm-heartedness it would bring, and I have enjoyed every bit of it – especially the Daikichi-Rin family moments. I will try and recommend this to my friends, who aren’t avid anime fans, but I hope the story warms their heart as much as it has mine :)

  • July 31, 2011 at 5:49 ammomogoldfish

    http://randomc.net/image/Usagi%20Drop/Usagi%20Drop%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    So for josei manga backgrounds turn into lotus rather than roses?

    Also Rin is absolutely adorable when she was singing in her pigtails.

  • July 31, 2011 at 6:25 amDave

    What a fantastic change of pace. No rushing, no super powers, no mecha. Rin is adorable.

    • July 31, 2011 at 6:41 amcybersteel

      Lol. But I agree with you. It’s nice to enjoy watching something without too much tension.

  • July 31, 2011 at 6:30 amBass.EXE

    I’m still in love with the art style. Is the manga drawn like with pastels, too?

  • July 31, 2011 at 6:50 amOMFG

    http://randomc.net/image/Usagi%20Drop/Usagi%20Drop%20-%2004%20-%2017.jpg

    OH MY GOD NOT AGA- HHHHHNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGG

  • July 31, 2011 at 7:09 amThundershock81

    This series is brilliant, simple as that. In the top 3 of this season by far.

    • July 31, 2011 at 1:18 pmascii78

      Actually, the art style of the manga is very ‘simple’. A lot of manga really overload with shading and effects and they can be very busy, but Usagi Drop is very streamlined and simple. I like it because it lets you focus more on the story. I think the use of pastels in the anime is a way to emphasize the simple nature of the story.

  • July 31, 2011 at 7:10 amClick

    Kouki’s mom is really quite gorgeous. And tbh, Kouki has a lot of similarities to Daikichi, with physical traits and a personality to match.

    • July 31, 2011 at 9:26 aminfo600

      similar to a father/son combo, no?

  • July 31, 2011 at 7:24 amKGFJ

    If there is a show that can change my perception about kids, this is the one. And that says a hell lot :D

    • July 31, 2011 at 8:05 amznail

      Rin is abnormal sadly enough! I don’t think I have ever seen a kid that well behaved.

      • July 31, 2011 at 10:07 amU Doh

        Kids like Rin are quite few, but after all she is just a very, very, very good and bright kid and you can find ones like her, say, one among hundreds. If you look for a kid who is really abnormal, you would come up with some kid who easily understands college-level mathematics at the age of 6, maybe one among hundreds of thousand, now that’s abnormal, isn’t it? ;)

    • August 1, 2011 at 3:54 pmHrmmm

      The sad reality is you’re much more likely to get a kid that’ s like Reima-chan here =D

      • August 1, 2011 at 4:36 pmbabawaba

        Isnt it Reina? Atleast thats how they were translating it in the manga and I trust them over fansubbers since they are actually reading the original material and not just listening. Reina is an actual name too.

      • August 1, 2011 at 4:46 pmHrmmm

        Apologies. Typo. And yeh, I checked the anime just to make sure and they do indeed say Re-i-na.

  • July 31, 2011 at 7:28 amMegas

    I would love for the anime world to turn to situational shows this like rather than the infinite nonsense that’s prevalent now. To that end, some would actually call this show boring, but that’s only because the type of shows ppl are use to viewing now. If we get 2 show in a season like this, it’s like a godsend. This is definitely a cut from Aishiteru ze Baby. I can’t help but think of it when I watch this. I watched that series so many times I lost count.

    • August 4, 2011 at 11:52 amzeroyuki92

      Then this summer is already a godsend. Ikoku meiro also did a decent job at making situational-cultureclash slice of life. Also very heartwarming :p

  • July 31, 2011 at 7:33 amKinny Riddle

    Wow, Kouki’s mom sure is hawt. If Daikichi was more like Hugh Grant’s playboy like single womanizer from the movie About A Boy, he’ll surely use Rin as a pretext to hook up with her. lol

    Masako is voiced by none other than Sakamoto Maaya, and you know you must really be getting old when favourite voice actresses like her and Ueda Kana are starting to do mother roles. orz

  • July 31, 2011 at 7:34 ambabawaba

    manga! controversy! herpderp! Someone had to do it

  • July 31, 2011 at 9:37 aminfo600

    for those that have read the manga:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    btw, Rin is continuing to be one of the better characters for the year, with all those facial expressions…*hhhhnnnnnnnnnnggggg*

    screencap:*puni puni*

    • July 31, 2011 at 8:16 pmlkaze

      arrghh, stop tempting me. I made a pact not to watch the manga until after I finished the anime. I know you put the spoiler tag, but having it so easily accessible is too tempting (but i prevail ……for now)

      • July 31, 2011 at 8:34 pminfo600

        I’m not even asking you…

      • August 1, 2011 at 7:56 amlkaze

        @info600

        ouch

  • July 31, 2011 at 9:45 amkensei

    The bgm used in this series fits so well with the art and story~
    So relaxing~

  • July 31, 2011 at 10:24 amtomphile

    Daikichi’s going to hunt that cougar!

    • July 31, 2011 at 5:17 pmruh roh

      no, i think daikichi likes them
      younger

      • August 1, 2011 at 9:35 pmAliceNightray

        I see what you did there :P

  • July 31, 2011 at 10:38 ammac65

    This show is a great watch.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    No monsters, super powers, meca – what is this wonderful appeal!
    Those little Rin expressions and interactions are IT!

  • July 31, 2011 at 10:42 amshirayuki75

    Reality slap. LOL

  • July 31, 2011 at 11:21 amargus88

    Embarrassed Rin is way too adorable…

  • July 31, 2011 at 12:44 pmLeticia

    This show is wonderful, thus I wonder why it’s only 11 episodes u_u

  • July 31, 2011 at 2:21 pmhelen

    Did Rin bleach her hair? I normally wouldn’t ask this for an anime character, but since everyone else has regular hair colors…

    • July 31, 2011 at 7:11 pmbabawaba

      Its either a case of anime hair or
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 31, 2011 at 10:02 pmhelen

        I thought Rin’s mother was Masako and her father was the grandfather (both of whom are 100% Japanese)

      • August 1, 2011 at 4:33 pmbabawaba

        If you are going to read the spoiler, when replying to it use an spoiler too.
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 31, 2011 at 10:50 pmStranger

      Although not very common, there are Asiatic people who have lighter hair/various shades of brown. But Rin does have slight anime hair, since it’s never quite that light.

  • July 31, 2011 at 5:24 pmsadakups

    Oh Rin. You don’t need pigtails to be cute. You are cute already as you are.

  • July 31, 2011 at 8:18 pmlkaze

    After I read the people comment, I come to the conclusion: They like the show but unable to accurately pinpoint the exact reason for it to be so beautiful. I think the same too(I could be wrong about other but I think that myself)

    • August 1, 2011 at 6:34 pmcommon_wheat

      For me, the reason why I like it because Usagi Drop is an antidote for nausea after watching bloody scene anime(s) :D

  • August 1, 2011 at 8:08 pmRelic

    I like how Daikichi and kouki’s mom are both so similar parental wise. Both being out of breath as they rush to get their child or aunt ,in Daikichi’s case, on time. They seem like they’re getting along and their kids are very friendly with eachother…I haven’t read the manga but I got hope those two hook up or something as they’ve seen very cute together THUS far.

  • August 1, 2011 at 10:57 pminfo600

    I’m still cracking up on the “relation” between Rin and Daikichi as of this time, …”Daikichi picking up his aunt…” xD
    (no, I have not seen something similar irl. So don’t break my train of thoughts)

    No wonder Daikichi actively avoids that topic…will say more next ep.

  • August 2, 2011 at 2:08 amHostile

    I pray they don’t follow the manga’s ending because it’s very disappointing. The ride is great until the part where it flips upside-down and you fall out.

    • August 2, 2011 at 9:24 ambabawaba

      No its not and I’m pretty sure we’ve talked enough about it for 4 weeks already

      • August 10, 2011 at 11:01 amKethy-chan

        I’m reading the manga too but… can someone tell me how it ends (in spoilers pls) ?
        (and no, I can’t go through all the comments on the past episodes). Thanks !

  • August 2, 2011 at 6:44 amkizamikun

    Well,I read the manga, and thank god I did =)