Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Usagi Drop

We've finished watching Usagi Drop. My first episode review is here.

Daikichi, a 30-year old bachelor with a high-level sales job, ends up taking Rin, a six-year old girl home with him when his grandfather died: she lived with him (presumably she was his daughter!) and none of his relatives wants to take care of her. Irritated by their refusal to take responsibility, he asks her to come with him on a whim -- and so she does, and now he has to take care of her!

And so starts a weird new life for Daikichi. Luckily Rin is pretty self-reliant, but her insecurities come out when she is under stress: knowing that you weren't really wanted when you're six is pretty hefty stuff. Daikichi has to make some big compromises in order to accomodate his life with Rin, and in the end even asks for a demotion to a position where he doesn't have to put in so much overtime, in order to pick up Rin in a timely fashion from the kindergarten. When Rin goes to school, he even meets other fathers who chose to take things down a notch or two in order to be a part of their children's life (which is a pretty modern concept for Japan, I suspect). And then there's the mother of Rin's friend, who is gentle and beautiful, which confuses Daikichi a bit... He even goes so far as to seek out Rin's mother, to get some paperwork done. He meets up with her a few times, and there's no doubt Rin is better off with Daikichi than with her mother!
It's a heartwarming series, to be sure. But the troubles Daikichi and Rin face are portrayed honestly -- it's not all painted over with a pink brush in some sort of parenthood propaganda. The fact that it's hard work being a parent is certainly not glossed over.

Visually, the series is done in a watercolor-style that really works for the subject matter: if there are no gleaming mecha, then there is no need for gleaming 3D CGI! In fact, the whole series has been kept 'small' so that your attention to what's happening to the characters. The voice acting is pretty nice too: the voices go really well with the characters.

Good points:
- Heartwarming story;
- Honest portrayal of what it's like to raise a kid.
Bad points:
- Perhaps a bit too sentimental at times.

This is one of the most interesting series of the year, on par with Wandering Son. I'll give it an 8.5.
Tags: anime, full review

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