“Usagi Drop” Review
Apr 3, 2013
Written by Jambareeqi
“Usagi Drop” is an 11 episode long anime series from Production I.G. (The studio behind the Ghost in the Shell franchise) that’s a comedy drama focused on a relationship between an adult and child. It follows a 30 year old man called Daikichi, a sensible, reserved and honest man that lives a typical routine until he takes responsibility of his deceased grandfather’s 6 year old daughter Rin.
Daikichi is a considerate and mature man, however, he’s not a saint, there are certain things that he fails at and that’s because not every parent is perfect, it’s a learning curve for both genders. Once he starts taking care of Rin, Daikichi is welcomed into a whole new world that he embraces with confidence, fascination, obsession and curiosity. He falls in love with this child and begins to worry about or appreciate new things. It’s refreshing to see a man being depicted as doing well as a father, entranced in his duties while also making mistakes.
It’s not hard to see why he falls in love with her. Rin is sweet, smart, thoughtful and kind but not to a precocious extent, heck no, she acts like any other little girl and can be naïve at times. It annoys me when child characters are depicted as flawless prophetic angels that are smarter than the parent. Why? Because I’ve never met a kid who spoke like they have the experience or intelligence of Yoda. I’ve also never met a kid who never does anything wrong because just like adults, they have their follies too. She’s also interesting as a character. She’s grown up with an elderly man as her father so she has old fashioned values plus an appreciation for healthy or dried food. In addition, seeing as her biological mother didn’t give her much attention, it seems like she has become a mother to herself and developed mothering instincts around smaller children. These are a lovely little character traits that make her maturity come across as believable plus add depth to her.
The series as a whole isn’t exactly mind blowing, action packed or melodramatic but it doesn’t need to be. Sometimes a show can be engaging through it’s basic simplicity and relaxing charm. “Usagi Drop” is certainly not without it’s stakes though. Sure, the stakes don’t involve mutant aliens, killer ninjas or dangerous pirates but they are stakes that a parent sees as high conflict. Through Daikichi’s eyes, we enter the world of parenthood, where simple problems are an emergency from their perspective. It’s the charm and love between Daikichi and Rin that helps us find these little conflicts to be engaging. As the show goes on, the more Rin connects to her nephew as they bond, survive and live.
Visually, the series has a distinct water coloured tone to it’s art style that adds a relaxing vibe of comfort to the series. It makes the show seem welcoming and worth returning to. The animation itself is beautifully done and I was constantly fixated on the realistic movement of the children in comparison to the adult’s behaviour. So much care and attention has been put into the timing and gentle pace of character’s actions, making scenes come across as believable. Most slice-of-life shows have goofy or wacky background noise but “Usagi Drop” is laced with soft sound effects and peacefully gorgeous piano pieces. It’s a pleasant sound to the ear and fits the show nicely.
The only downside to the show has to be that there are not enough episodes; I really wanted to see how Daikichi coped with a teenage Rin or maybe more tense conflicts between the characters. However, the charm of the show is how sweet, basic and harmless it is so raising the tension higher would maybe damage the appeal of “Usagi Drop”. If you’ve never committed to an anime series before because you assume it’s all too aggressive or weird for your tastes then “Usagi Drop” maybe for you, it’s very accessible if you don’t mind reading subs.