Responsibility and Innocence (Usagi Drop anime review)
To build context for this post and for the next few by me that will follow this, recently, I’ve been running out of ideas on what to post. It’s not that I have nothing original, it’s that I know that such ideas won’t have substantial content to publish a post with. And some ideas are just really random but things I would like to do, but preferably not on WordPress due to lack of some tools. Hence, I thought “why not review anime?” There are a few series that I haven’t reviewd that I greatly enjoyed, particularly those that ended recently. Hence forth, this is the first of a short binge of anime review posting.
Undoubtedly one of my favourite anime of all time, Usagi Drop really left a deep impression on me long after I finished watching it. I picked up the show only after 4 episodes had aired as I actually wasn’t really forward to it. As usual, I picked it up on a whim one day when I was bored and began watching.
From the first episode, I was absolutely captivated by it. The plot, the art and the feelings the show gave enraptured me and I watched the next 3 episodes immediately, forgetting about my work (I got scolded for that the next day of course). From then on, I would eagerly await the next episode. I couldn’t get enough.
Now that it’s over, I feel that Usagi Drop definitely had it’s light and fluffy side where it showed Rin’s cuteness and Daikichi being a bit awkward. However, it is easy to see that Usagi Drop also touches on many deeper, more emotional issues at hand (which I will talk about later in the post).
Usagi Drop tells the story of Daikichi who only finds out that his Grandfather had a illegitimate child at his funeral. When everyone else in his family refuses to take in his grandfather’s child, Rin, Daikichi decides to take her in despite the difficulties he would have to face, hence starting a new chapter of his life.
In terms of art, Usagi Drop sure hit the spot with its graphics and character designs. The look of simplicity and vividness of the lines gave it a feel of innocence and gentleness while it’s bright colours also gave it a sense of being carefree. These gave the overall watching experience a sense of warmth especially when paired with it’s story.
The story managed to do near perfect synchronization between it’s cute and joyous parts with it’s slightly more emotional and heart-warming themes. There were parts where we’ll see Rin acting like an normal 6 year old with her adorable antics and personality. However, at times, we also see the troubled past and problems Rin faces and how Daikichi attempts to help her.
The themes that really got me in Usagi Drop were those of responsibility. Not only those of being a family member but those of being a normal human being. When Daikichi chose to take in Rin, he had to settle with all the problems of having a kid move in with him. He had to provide for two now and that put a large strain on him and his job. Also, he had to adapt to Rin which her enrollment in school and such. But he never once gave up. In fact, he managed to do the responsible thing most of the time. Usually, most parents do tend to make decisions for their kids as they think they know what their child wants and what is best for them. However, they hardly think to consider the opinions of their kid.
When faced with the idea of adopting Rin as his daughter, Daikichi does ask Rin for her opinion on the matter as well as that of his biological mother, to which she chooses to stay with her dad’s surname (Daikichi’s grandpa). Overall, I thought Daikichi showed a rather good example of what being a good person can be. To be responsible and to do the morally right, not because it can benefit you but to not heed the cost and do what is right according to your heart. It’s rare for a male character to really leave an impression on me (Yes, I’m all for Bishoujos) but he’s one of the rare exceptions due to his actions.
Personally, I also saw Rin as rather mature despite her young age. She dealt with her random immense problems really well and yet managed to keep her air of naivety and general cuteness. Innocence would be a word that could be used. And that’s what the show is mostly about. The innocence of wanting to enjoy life no matter the odds and problems one faces.
To conclude, I would really recommend this show to all. A heartwarming and touching tale of chilhood innocence, responsibilities and the varied small problems life saddles you with, I thought this was an excellent anime despite its short airing length of 11 episodes.