Usagi Drop – 02

Simplicity is certainly the watchword of the day with this series after two episodes. But sometimes simplicity is a very underrated quality, in anime as elsewhere.

I think it would take a fairly hard heart not to feel some sort of emotional connection to what takes place in Usagi Drop – it’s really about as elemental situation as you can get. But as a single male with no children, the difficulty of Daikichi’s circumstances and the courage of his decision really hit home with me. Frankly, I really don’t think I could have done it. There are really two battle fronts he has to deal with – the practical and the personal.

What I found encouraging about the second episode is that the events played out in a very simple, straightforward way. You don’t need much embellishment because the challenges are pretty obvious, and in fact too much would lead to a series that’s emotionally manipulative. What does a typical Japanese salaryman who works 50-hour weeks do when a 6-year old girl is suddenly set off in the middle of his life like a depth charge? What about school, what about clothes, what about work? Even with a show restricted to 11 episodes I think it was vital that these details not be glossed over, and in fact be a major focus early on.

I’m not quite sure why Rin is going to nursery school since she’s six – wouldn’t she be ready for a normal school? In any case it’s a logistical nightmare for Daikichi, who has obviously prioritized work above all else and earned a reputation as a dependable overachiever in the process. Rin is actually pretty low-maintenance as six year-olds go, but she’s still six – and for all her toughness she needs emotional support. Daikichi is surprisingly natural at this, perhaps for the same reasons he felt he had to take her home in the first place. There’s a core of quiet decency to him that not everyone in his life has seen, clearly, but it serves him well in coping with the emotional side of his new relationship.

Again, I loved the fact that the ep focused on the simple details. Like how Daikichi switched to trainers for the commute after he realized how strenuous it would be. Or the way Rin first smiled involuntarily when he arrived late to pick her up the first night, before catching herself and scowling. Daikichi is no fool – he’s smart enough to ask himself just how in hell he’s going to be able to keep up this pace. He did call his sister cousin Haruko for advice on registering for nursery school, but it seems to me that he’s going to have to lean hard on her for support if he’s going to make it. She’s got a bratty child of her own and seems overwhelmed, but also seems to be the only other family member who really feels for Rin. And I just don’t see how he can make it on his own.

The big question is – as so often is the case with NoitaminA – what will the production team do with the 11-episode format? As always with adaptations, sacrifices will have to be made. The manga reportedly features a time jump, and a big one at that. How ambitious is Production I.G. going to try to be here, I wonder? I think the best bet is to keep the scope of things small, and present this series as a little snapshot of the lives of Daikichi and Rin. That’s the level at which it seems to work best.



  1. K

    He is really lucky he has a low maintenence kid. She is 6 going on 16. Can you imagine if Rin had the same personality as that other tiny terror Reiko?

  2. Don't even want to think about it. But even with a good girl like Rin, you can say (and I can clearly imagine) how incredibly difficult this is for Daikichi.

  3. K

    "Simplicity is certainly the watchword of the day with this series after two episodes."

    .. this is what i'm loving about this show. even though the story itself is pretty simple. what goes on in it is very… umm.. "warm and fuzzy". haha. not to mention rin is just adorable! .. *rewatches her bouncing on futon*

    "Or the way Rin first smiled involuntarily when he arrived late to pick her up the first night, before catching herself and scowling."

    i agree totally! .. i loved especially how right after like u mention on how daikichi picks up on these emotional things where he eats those "needles" because he knew he broke his promise about being there on time.

    even with the short amount of eps this series will get.. i know i'll be enjoying this one a lot! not gonna lie tho.. slice of life stuff has always been my guilty pleasure. ^__^

    *oh that was his cousin by the way.. not his sister. =)

  4. P

    Haruko is Daikichi's cousin.

  5. l

    This show is nice, just bringing a mixture of drama and cute in the right amount. Now i just want to see how other(his friend, specifically girl) will react once they found out that he adopted a 6 year old kid.

    Come to think of it, there plenty of cute loli this season( Rin, Yune, Utao, 5 from Ro-kyu-bu). Gone are the day where loli tsundere triumph. Bye bye Rie Kugimiya.

  6. @Proto


    Yes, this is the season of cute. Normally a little goes a long way for me, but I really like Utao, Rin and Yune. We'll see about Alice.

  7. S

    This is an excellent show and I totally agree with what you said in the write-up, Enzo. I don't think I can ever muster the courage to do what Daikichi did. I'm just so glad that Rin is such a low maintenance 6 years old. I guess nursery is somewhat similar to kindergarden in this context?

  8. I suppose. Do they not have kiddygarten in Japan? According to Wikipedia (I know, I know) Japanese kids enter first grade at age 6.

  9. N

    For once I am really happy with noitaminA anime having only 11 episodes. I like the first part of the manga more than the second part and from the pacing it looks like they will only animate the first part. 11 episodes should be plenty of time to tell the story.

    The second episode was really nice and had some of my favorite scenes of the manga and I hope this adaptation will continue to be wonderful and don’t add any unnecessary drama.

    As for the school issue, entering the school with 6 years doesn’t mean entering it the same day as your 6th birthday.

  10. l

    @Enzo and Niana

    Hmm, let see. Middle school start at 13. 6 year of elementary will start on 7year old? So i think there will be one more year to school.

  11. So she missed the cutoff for 1st grade due to birthday, most likely. Meaning poor Daikichi is on his own to arrange kindergarten or nursery school (I've seen it translated as both).

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