「わたしの木」 (Watashi no Ki)
Planting a tree that grows along with you is a very cool idea and I wish my family had a tradition like that when I was young. I mean, who wouldn’t want their very own tree? I can only imagine the nostalgia value it would provide once you’re older. Daikichi plants one for Rin to commemorate her primary school commencement, though it inadvertently reminds Rin of her father and she wonders if a tree was planted for her when she was born. Rin coped with her father’s death pretty well, especially for someone her age, but naturally she still misses him, and so to solve her question about the tree Daikichi meets with Masako again. Masako is clueless as ever, but in the end he does manage to find the tree his grandfather planted for Rin at her birth, which turns out to be the same type as his own — fragrant olive. It could be just coincidence, but it’s interesting to think if perhaps his grandfather had actually planned it all out.
Again, Usagi Drop manages to bring out warm emotions in something as simple as planting a tree, and it’s good example of beauty in simplicity and subtlety. The subject material is very ordinary and straightforward and it can be a little hard to write about, yet it provides a sense of enjoyment that is difficult to describe. It reminds me Hourou Musuko in several ways, and both are quiet, low-key shows. Everyday, mundane events become amusing, from buying cereal to exploring the small alleys of suburbia.
Rin and Kouki both start elementary school, and Kouki gets some more focus this episode too. He’s a cheeky little runt, but also seems awfully quiet, much like Rin was previously. I know little boys tend to have a mischievous side which can be a pain in real life, and Kouki definitely has his naughty side too, but luckily he’s not an annoying character. He brings an interesting dynamic to the story, though at the moment I’m perhaps more interested in the relationship prospects between his mom and Daikichi. No matter how I look at it, they seem to be a pretty good fit for each other, and already Daikichi looks like he would make a suitable father figure for Kouki. Now of course, Daikichi just needs to stop being so awkward when around the opposite sex.