Anime Worth Watching: Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop (うさぎドロップ or sometimes called Bunny Drop in English) is a 11 episode dramedy from 2011 by Production IG based on a manga.

Synopsis

Daikichi is a single, 30-year old businessman who goes home for his grandfathers funeral only to be shocked to find out the old man had a 6-year old daughter, Rin. Unfortunately Rin’s mother has run off and the rest of the family considers her a bit of a pariah due to her birth, and when they start talk of putting her in an orphanage Daikichi gets upset and declares he’ll take care of her instead. Now he has to figure out how to be a single father and deal with all the trials and tribulations of raising a child while also trying to juggle his job at the same time.

Not to mention the real crisis of styling a girls hair.

So whats up with it then?

Single dads in anime get kind of a bad rap, theyre dominated by the likes of Gendo Ikari whos no ones idea of a role model and even some of the more caring ones like Konatas dad in Lucky Star1 has quirks that are probably not the healthiest or played up for pure comedy. Having someone trying to just be a dad is a rarity, especially in a show that is really only concerned with the raising of kids. Rin is cute enough on her own to bring levity to a lot of sections, the real meat of everything though sits right on Daikichis shoulders and his efforts to do the right thing. Granted at times hes a bit too righteous and correct which simplifies some of the shows conflicts, though thats hardly a major fault on something which is just all about easy day to day life.

The show does hint at some dramatic issues, Rin has separation anxiety from her father dying when shes so young and her deadbeat mother, not to mention some other characters like a single mom trying to raise a rebellious son who becomes Rin’s friend or Daikichi’s cousin whos dealing with problems in her marriage, any of which would be issues a dramatic show could really sink its teeth in to. The implications they raise are probably more intriguing than the shows desire to spend more than an episode addressing them, especially in regards to members of Daikichis family who come off as really hostile to Rin in the first episode and quickly come around on her later. Its not the biggest failing a show can have, but I need something here; I guess if you really want to get nit-picky you could also point out very little actually happens. This is a pretty chill show with not much overarching plot, even dealing with Rin’s mom isn’t very important to things, so if youre expecting things to get exciting this is not for you.

Perhaps the real biggest problem the show has is you might watch it and decide to check out the manga for the rest of the story. In a first, and probably only, instance I cannot stress enough how much of a bad idea this is. The anime covers about the first half of the manga, and reading that there are little tidbits which got skimmed past that are nice to see, the problem is the back half of the manga which no- just no. Dont do it. I have spoken to a number of people on the Avocado, other internet sites, and even real life friends whove read the manga and without fail everyone agrees to disavow the existence of the second half of the manga.

Stick to the anime then and possibly contract some diabetes and the overall sweetness of everything in the show. Its all presented in a watercolor style that is both rough to look at, yet perfect for the kind of story its telling that you cant help but smile throughout it.

Conclusion

Weeb Level: There are some things with Daikichi’s work that having some knowldege of Japanese work schedules would help understand, otherwise most of it is just about raising a kid.

Content: Pretty much zilch on both violence or fanservice.

Worth Watching: Seek it out if you want something sweet and light-hearted or a touching story about becoming a family. Worth watching if you like slice-of-life shows but dont want high school kids all the time or just something a bit different to most shows. Skip it if you really like heavy plot driven stuff.

Where to watch it: Like last week this lands right in a sweet spot of release where the big 3 all have it (albeit needing to pay to stream on Amazon).