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.