At first glance, Usagi Drop doesn’t appear to be an anime that would appeal to me on any level. I am not one of those people who drools over babies or young children. In fact, I find them rather annoying. I like children best when they belong to other people. I can borrow them, stuff them with sugar and caffienated pop and send them home acting like a wild animal. I find that amusing. *evil grin*
But I really detest people who are judgmental and injustice of any kind. So in that first episode where the family is sitting around trying to figure out who is going to take Rin and everyone is making excuses that pretty much show how little they care, I really know how Daikichi feels. Like OMG these people are awful. And they’re my family. And my grandfather just died, HELLO? This child just lost her FATHER and everyone is just ignoring her and wishing she would disappear.
And she’s not a bad kid.
With all this going on around her, surrounded by strangers, having lost her only caretaker, she is quietly mourning. Not screaming, grabbing people, begging for attention. Quietly mourning. Since Daikichi’s neice, about the same age, is there acting like a total brat, it’s a telling contrast.
Daikichi shocks everyone, maybe most of all himself, by saying he will take Rin. And from there this beautiful, sweet relationship grows between them. When the last episode of this season ended I didn’t want it to go. I want to watch Rin all her life. I want to see her (and Daikichi) grow up, get married, have kids of their own.
Maybe one of the things I liked most about this anime was it’s absolute realism. No exaggerated tropes. Rin is sweet, but she’s a kid and she acts like one. Sometimes she is more mature and capable than Daikichi, and takes care of him as much as he takes care of her. Daikichi is as lost as any new parent – but it’s a while before he realizes that parents are always lost. With the help of another single parent who is a bit more in tune with the necessities of child raising (more practice perhaps) Daikichi finds his way and finds he rather enjoys both Rin and her irrepressible nursery school pal, Kouki. His decision to take care of Rin is impulsive and life changing, and it changes his life for the better.
Another thing I liked was seeing the simple acceptance that Rin’s mother isn’t a horrible human being – she just didn’t want to be a mother. Rin was happy and comfortable with her father (if he is her father – I have my doubts) so everyone is happy, no drama required. It is what it is, move along.
So it looks like this is a long running manga that does take Rin at least through High School. I can only hope they decide to adapt it to anime. I want more!
Oh, and I love this little OP so much it’s on my Spotify “Happy” list:
I know I’m not the only one leaning on feel good anime these days for escapism. This is a good one.