「ダイキチの決めたこと 」 (Daikichi no Kimetakoto)
I burst out laughing in the first minute of this episode when Daikichi smashed Rin’s head into the ceiling, probably because it was so unexpected and reminded me of when I was little and my uncle hoisted me up into the air — I almost had my head chopped off by the ceiling fan. The little mishap subtly poked fun at Daikichi’s awkwardness over taking care of a kid, and I found it quite amusing even though it was a very minor scene. I truly found myself grinning ear to ear throughout the episode; Usagi Drop really is a feel-good show. There are very subtle little bits of random humor, for example the pissed woman on the train who seems to be a recurring gag.
As for the plot, this episode focused on exploring Daikichi’s career and workplace life. It looks like he’s the hardworking workaholic type, and is respected by his peers. Daikichi continues to ask around for advice, and talks with Gotou, who is also balancing work and child. Daikichi really is a cool guy, and he feels like a very realistic character too. He tries his best to make the best decisions for Rin and in the end also decides to make sacrifices in his career to take care of her. It must have been quite a significant decision for a person like him, and shows that Daikichi has a strong sense of responsibility towards family, even if Rin isn’t his own kid.
It’s a story of personal development for the both of them and stresses a lot of family values that I don’t see in anime very often. Daikichi continues to deal with other family issues, but their relatives seem to be warming up to Rin too as they begin to see her in a different light, especially his mom who has grown quite fond of Rin. Even though Daikichi is inexperienced as a father, he also seems to have an unexpected level of understanding of kids. Coupled with Rin’s innocence, I’m highly enjoying watching them develop their relationship into a heartwarming family. Daikichi doesn’t avoid Rin’s questions about whether she’s going to die and whether Daikichi will die before she does, and he is aware that Rin is still saddened by her father’s death. There’s also the matter of trying to find Rin’s mother, Masako, who turns out to be Daikichi’s grandfather’s maid. It looks like Rin didn’t know Masako was her mom (or refuses to admit it), and she treated Rin poorly, but there could be more to this issue than can be seen on the surface.
There will be a live action film adaptation coming out in August starring Matsuyama Kenichi as Daikichi and Mana Ashida as Rin.