Usagi Drop Review
“The Art of Parenting.”
Ahh parenting. It is that point of life where you had struck upon the next point of evolution, the time where you will start to let the next generation of children succeed your legacy.
This is Usagi Drop where the life of a parent and child is showcased in all it’s glory. Usagi Drop follows the story of a 30 year old man, Kawachi Daikichi and 6 year old little girl, Kaga Rin. Daikichi’s grandfather was one of the main plot point of the anime and it’s Daikichi’s grandfather who moved the plot forward right at the very first episode. What was astonishing so is that Daikichi’s grandfather actually found his love life and married at the age of 79!
At the start of the story, his grandfather just passed away and while he and his other family members attended the funeral, they found out that he actually had illegitimate child and Daikichi’s grandfather is actually a “father” as well. It is very nice of Daikichi to go ahead and decide to take her in as a foster child since nobody even want to care about the silent girl. Daikichi wasn’t really thinking ahead when he made this decision but this is where his biggest change in life occurs.
From then on, the everyday-slice-of-life episodes proceed into action. Each episode, we get to see the life of the newly father-daughter, Daikichi and Rin, witnessing episodes and episodes of Daikichi rushing back home, Rin wetting her bed,
ohh wait no! It’s sweat! interaction with other family parents and kids and so on. These everyday life episodes are sweet and heartwarming to see.
Daikichi and Rin’s changes in their life as time passes on is one of the greatest thing about this anime. Daikichi, especially, had made great sacrifices throughout his life just to take care of Rin, sacrificing recognition, wealth and love. “Seeing Rin’s big smile in the end made it all the worthwhile” said by the man himself and it is indeed true! Rin, herself was silent since she was pretty much left alone. It is a fortunate thing that such a kind person like Daikichi so happens to be there at the time, turning Rin into such a polite, caring and most of all, such a cute child! Who wouldn’t want a kid who would wake you up, cook and even do the laundry for you?
However, the characters aren’t without flaws. Although Rin and Daikichi are perfectly developed characters, with them being the only main characters, it is a given that other characters are giving less attention and some characters from the supporting cast DOES deserve to be shown more. Kazumi, Daikichi’s sister, would have been great if they show how she slowly develops into a more a more “family-person”, finally marrying another man. Her sudden decision to marry feels a bit out of the blue and her mindset still feels the same, as she complained again how she prefers to go to club, bars and drink all night, once again, ultimately not changing much in the end.
Last but not least, Masako isn’t exposed in the limelight enough as her character would had been great if more scenes were shown to develop her. She is shown to somewhat care about Rin but why did she abandon her in the first place? If she cared for her, why did she just acted like a maid throughout? It’s as if she is forsaking Rin just as soon as she was born. These points of the story aren’t touch up more then enough.
The subtle visuals are one of the more appealing looks of the anime. It gives a comfortable feeling, using soft and mild colors, instead of relying on high-end production values with crisp animations and 3D sequences. Usagi Drop showed that super high quality animations aren’t everything to production and everything can be epic even without relying on them in the first place. What’s more, their style of art cleverly matches with the children-like visuals, which looks pretty much like painting at times.
The music is beautiful. The violin tracks are the greatest aspect of the soundtracks and overall, gives a very soothing atmosphere to the already warm exposure displayed by the art and the plot. Hints of Rin are shown in both the opening and ending theme, which audio-wise aren’t the best, but are actually quite fitting with the overall theme of the show.
Although there are a bit of unresolved elements in the plot, Usagi Drop is a great anime nonetheless. It is a straightforward show which deals with family hardships, just like the difficulties of parenting, the difficulties of a child in coping up with new situations, and the difficulties of managing and developing that trust between the “guardian” and the “children”. Usagi Drop’s emotional display of familial love is so simple, yet so strong.