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Somber Reviews - Usagi Drop Anime
Anime: Usagi Drop
Also known as Bunny Drop, this series was a manga before it was an anime. Written by Yumi Unita, the series went from October 2005 to April 2011, with a total of nine volumes. An interesting side note is that a live-action film adaptation of this manga premiered in Japan on August 20, 2011. Now, I'm not here to talk about the manga, but I will say that the manga did happen to spark a controversy towards the end of the series.
Licensed through Production I.G, the anime adaptation was directed by Kanta Kamei. The series aired in Japan between July 7, 2011 and September 15, 2011. Spanning 11 episodes, it's a short series that takes place during the first half of the manga.
This series is a slice-of-life comedy deep down at its core. It's cute, fun loving, and full of those ironically overwhelming themes of first time parenthood. There's some hints of romance sprinkled about here and there, but not so much to detract from the main point of the story.
A 30-year-old named Daikichi, a single man, returns home for his grandfather's funeral. Through a series of events, he learns about a little girl named Rin, who's been shunned by the family as being illegitimate. Angry at his family, he makes a snap decision, and chooses to care for Rin all on his own. Having no experience with raising a child, his world gets turned upside down, as he tries to navigate fatherhood.
Along the way, he meets other parents and broadens his horizons.
You may like this series if:
- You enjoy Josei anime and manga.
- You enjoy sitcoms, or light hearted stories about single fathers.
- You've read the Usagi Drop manga.
- You enjoy short anime series.
- You favor anime with soft art styles.
If I had to describe this anime series in one word, it would be "cute".
Usagi Drop is one of those lighthearted series that doesn't involve a lot of commitment. At 11 episodes, a person can sit down and watch the entire thing in a single day. For some people, that makes the anime ideal, but for others, it's not nearly long enough. That being said, the manga encounters a time skip, and the anime ends right before that time skip takes place.
On a personal note, I found that I actually wanted more from the series. The manga ending, which is notorious for sparking large debates on forums, was one I would have liked to see animated. Perhaps that's my largest complaint of this series, it's just too short for my taste. Then again, I like anime that are about 20-80 episodes in length, so 11 episodes really isn't enough for me to sink my teeth into.
The animation is beautifully done in watercolors and pastels. It makes for a soft animation style that draws viewers in. The soundtrack is also quite good. It's mostly upbeat, and the opening and endings befit the series perfectly, making you want to hear, and see, more of the rather simplistic life that the characters live.
Make no mistake on that. This anime thrives on its normalcy and the idea of trying to maintain a stable household for Rin.
This anime is utterly human, real in the ways it deals with parenthood. You won't see a lot of slapstick jokes, but instead, you'll find yourself smiling at the little things. Every day seems to be an adventure, from finding a daycare center, cooking dinner, or losing a tooth.
The cast isn't very large, but, it doesn't have to be. The characters are very well developed, and befit the storyline. Rin as a very forthright little girl, and I found myself in giggles whenever she spoke to Daikichi in that pointed way. On the flip side of things, Daikichi is a strong character that I really wanted to root for, and watching his struggle really puts parenthood it into perspective.
Time for caveats, of which there are many!
Fatal flaws of this series seem to come more from the manga, but the anime suffers for it. Many people who didn't like the manga, often -wrongfully- put down the anime. Due to the shortness of the anime adaptation, I personally feel as if some characters just don't get enough screen time. Another thing to consider, begrudgingly, is that the anime is only in Japanese. Those who don't speak the language fluently will have to rely on subtitles, and even though I personally don't mind that, I know some people certainly do.
For what Usagi Drop intends to do, the story and characters are solid, well thought out, and genuinely likeable. There's a good chance it appeals to many because it isn't complicated in the least. That's one reason I enjoy the series.
Cast Your Vote
Should the anime adaptation continue after the time skip?
Usagi Drop is a series I watch from time to time, and it's just fine for what it is; a cute, lovable Josei series. However, I wouldn't say that I'd place it up on a top ten list or anything. I'd say, if you like simple plots, and a relatively relaxed anime about fatherhood, give Usagi Drop a try. You'll probably like it.
As with all of my reviews, based on a score of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest possible score, and ten being the highest, I will give this series a 6. It's not the best anime out there, but I promise you it isn't the worst.