Usagi Drop: the greatest change in one’s life

…is having a child…

For months, it has been apparent to many noitaminA fans that the timeslot has drifted away from the types of shows it used to broadcast. Hence, it was something of a surprise that Usagi Drop was one of the two shows we got for the summer season. Based on a josei manga that has created great waves – for expected and unexpected reasons – the story of Daikichi and Rin-chan certainly captured many hearts over the summer, including mine.

What will become of this child?

When Sawachi Daikichi’s grandfather passes away, his family discovers a surprising and unexpected secret: that he’d secretly had another child in his old age, one that he’d kept hidden until now. With all his other relatives trying to decide how to deal with the child in a way that causes the least possible loss of face to the family, Daikichi decides to take Rin-chan in and raise her himself. But as a 30-year old single man who hasn’t had to look after anyone else before, many challenges lay ahead…

OMG!! I forgot about that too!

Usagi Drop was one of those series, something comforting that you could put on at the end of a hard day’s work and be comforted by. Rin-chan was super cute week after week, and Matsuura Ayu was fantastic in bringing her to life. One of my absolute favourite scenes has Daikichi and Rin discussing all the troublesome things that Kouki, being a typical boy, does, and Rin’s でしょう? (“I know, right?”) there was just too C.U.T.E.!!!!

New challenges and self-awareness

But it was also a series that makes you think about the realities of raising a child – they’re not things the non-parents often think about. For example, getting them registered for school early, staying calm and juggling leave when they unexpectedly fall sick, dealing with children’s intuition and their insights into the world around them… Even dealing with fears of abandonment – which isn’t necessarily a fear that only adopted children might have. I am not a parent myself, but one of my aunts has told me about how she’s been asked who she would save if both her children had fallen into the sea on a stormy day, and there was only one whom she could save. Children say the darndest things, alright, but it would be wrong and even damaging to dismiss them as irrational fears.

Greater flexibility is often needed

The only thing that ruined the watching experience was the inconsideration of a number of manga readers. This is something that I’d rather not elaborate on, for the sake of those who want to watch or read Usagi Drop in the future, but I’d recommend avoiding forums in particular if you want to enjoy the experience fully.

And we come full circle…

In the end, Usagi Drop was both a gentle series that you could just allow to wash over you, as well as a though-provoking glimpse into the life of parents – especially single or working parents. Something to revisit if and when I start my own family, perhaps. I’ve probably said enough, methinks – from here on, I’ll just let the anime speak for itself, both in screenshots, and when you watch it for yourself.

About karice
MAG fan, translator, and localization project manager. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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