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Cover of the first volume released by Shodensh...

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Usagi Drop[1]is a sweet series that tackles some fairly serious issues along the way.  There’s a lot to like in this show.

The basic set up is 30 year old single man Daikichi[2] attending his grandfather’s funeral to discover both the existence, and shameful treatment, of his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter Rin.  

When presented with the idea that Rin would be shuffled off for adoption or fostering, Daikichi steps up to the line and takes Rin in.  The setup alone provides for dealing with a number of issues around children and parenthood.

For a start it deals with single parents, both male and female, without demonising them.  Indeed the single mother Yukari Nitani is presented sympathetically, and is often the heroine of the piece when Daikichi is out of his depth.  This was one of the reasons I adored the Gilmore Girls, so it is no surprise that this resonated with me here.

Another episode deals with a loveless marriage from the perspective of the woman[3] trapped in a hostile household, a woman whose daughter is truly the brightest thing[4] in her life.

Other episodes deal with Rin’s mother Masako, again in a reasonably sympathetic way, who deliberately wrote herself out of Rin’s life[5].   I don’t want to spoil these episodes but will note that the dealings between Masako and Daikichi are more than a little awkward, but involve less blame being assigned to Masako than you might expect.

Underpinning all of this is the slowly evolving relationship between Rin, aka the Cute Event Horizon, and Daikichi, as well as Daikichi’s own substantial character development.  This includes giving up the smoking (so he won’t stink up Rin’s clothes) etc.

I laughed,  I cried, sometimes in the same episode, and I thoroughly recommend this series if you can lay hands on it.

 


[1] Bunny Drop in English

[2] Who is presented as being a typical Japanese single male: smokes, drinks, overworks.

[3] Daikichi’s cousin as it happens.

[4] And possibly the only bright thing in her life.

[5] Rin thinks she was her grandfather’s maid and nothing more.