Episodic Reviews: Bunny Drop 10 & 11 (end)

When the Bunny Drop anime was announced to span for four Blu-Ray releases, I already figured without checking the full article that the series would go for around twelve episodes tops. And with the manga spanning a total of nine volumes, each with heavier amounts of text than your typical weekly anime, there’s bound to be some condensing going on.

For comparison’s sake, let’s look at The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya—a light novel series that spawned not only a manga, but a better known anime series as well. Its first “season” consisted of 14 episodes, hitting up the more major arcs of the original (still running) light novels, only to follow up with a less than astounding additional 14 episodes five years after season one. Cases of selective arcs are also apparent for shonen series as well—the Boo arc of Dragon Ball Z was always an “either or” thing when it came to videogame story modes. So I guess I’m not entirely surprised when I found that Bunny Drop finished its anime run after episode 11, corresponding to the final chapters of the manga before the “love it or hate it” post time-skip arc.

So what do we get in the final two episodes of the series? Do they do justice and serve as a sufficient enough series finale material? Well, I guess I shouldn’t be all too surprised at the level of mere whelming. Still, when I take into consideration things like Lucky Star or the first season of Haruhi Suzmiya, the humdrum yet satisfyingly heartwarming lives of Daikichi and Rin don’t exactly bring things home the I way I wanted it to do.

“I made fellow father friends.”

I get that being a parent means getting some kind of “in” with parents in the same year as your kid, but the inclusion of the random model and butcher just seemed well… random. In general, the whole concept of making “father friends” at your kid’s school seems somewhat artificial and bland. I mean, at least with someone like a goofy neighbor, you see them in a more informal environment, making for interesting stories, but I’ve never seen my parents get all that close with that many of my classmates’ parents back in the day. Maybe if they had more time to flesh out their character like they did with Kouki’s mom, but the way things stand… meh.

If anything, I would have liked to see more interaction with Daikichi and his co-workers. The brief glimpse of each co-worker’s family in their phones earlier in the series was heartwarming in a “working class hero” type of way that you don’t really get with the model and butcher. Not to mention Dai’s co-workers seem a million times cooler than these guys. Sure, Daikichi talks about how much his world’s expanded since Rin’s entered school, but from the perspective of the viewer, I’d rather see his view from work instead.

“It feels really weird telling kids not to do everything I did.”

We’ve gotten a handful of childhood backstories, including Daikichi, his sister and his mom. Child-raising seems to be a combination of winging it and raising the kid based on how you yourself were brought up as a kid. That said, the series could have worked better if they went the 20th Century Boys route and used flashbacks as a springboard of sorts to explain the mindset that most of us have long forgotten. If they did, maybe I wouldn’t hate Masako’s character so much. Though I guess that could also be blamed for a general lack of secondary character building.

Round off the rest of the episode with Daikichi tending for a sick Rin. Now, I get that having to tend to a sick child could come off as scary, especially for your first time, but with the number of newspaper comics I’ve read where being sick would be the theme for the week, I couldn’t help but think the rest of episode 10 was overdramatized. Though, I guess passing on the sickness to Kouki’s mom at the after-credits scene is a nice point to lead into the final episode.

“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?”

I’m usually against shipping in most forms since such involves the pairing of two incredibly unlikely people in a series, but seeing Daikichi and Yukari’s interactions together, I just can’t help but anticipate the daisy scene from You’ve Got Mail. Daikichi just screams the Tom Hanks of the anime world. Don’t wanna say the same for Yukari and Meg Ryan, though, since I kinda feel bad for typecast actresses.

I respect the fact that the series’ author didn’t go the more expected route between the two characters, but honestly… when everyone else is anticipating it but the author, then there’s something wrong. To not even delve any deeper between the Dai/Yukari relationship seemed more stubborn on the author’s part than asking too much from the viewers’ part.

… and then to have the story (get ready for it…) jump to a jump-rope little arc is just ridiculous… though I do like any and all settings taking place in parks during autumn, so there was that.

Similar to their parents, however, I’m just not all that big on the kids of the model and butcher. If anything, maybe the butcher’s kid had some promise for being a potential character, what with his spacey-ness at almost missing the school ceremony and his lack of a Maury-blood-test to prove that he’s related to his dad. Don’t really like the girl, though, which is odd since you’d expect the female author to be good at writing for her own gender, no matter the age.

“Any way you slice it, she’s gonna look like she got clocked.”

I’d love to see what the Japanese equivalent of the term “clocked” is. While seeing slang in subtitles is usually my alert that some liberties were taken in the translation, it feels completely in-character for Dai to use it. It also makes me want to assume that Dai spent a majority of his teenage years as a street-brawler when he wasn’t hanging out at the arcades playing Goblin City.

And uh… yeah, loose teeth. I feel like authors everywhere have used this as a sign of younger children growing up that this time around it just feels a bit stale. I woulda wanted more loquat tree talk, myself.

I don’t care who you are—sibling interaction is interesting to watch regardless of their age. The thought that someone other than your parents exists to have witnessed a majority of your life just fascinates me to no end, which I guess explains why I enjoy the Claire/Mitch interactions most on Modern Family. The series definitely could have benefit from more tsundere sister.

Finish off the episode with a final visit to the gramps’ grave and a semi-clip show and there you have it. Even for long-running shows, I’ve never really liked clip shows and figured a better way to end a series would be for the writers to portray what the series at its core stood for (which is why I can respect the last episodes of Pete & Pete and Teen Titans). Bunny Drop is the story of a guy in his thirties that essentially falls into the realm of parenthood after making a snap-decision of adopting his grandpa’s illegitimate daughter. The series without a doubt does an excellent job of amping the heartwarming factor up to an 11, but when it comes to bringing everything together, things felt a bit sloppy. It’s kinda like in high school when your closing paragraph is a sentence long—sure, it technically wraps everything up and there’s nothing more after it, so it’s clearly supposed to bring an end to things, but you don’t get a full sense of everything getting brought back for one last time and reminded just what each character has in common with each other.

In the case with Bunny Drop, it’s not exactly that clear-cut as to what its main themes were. Sure, Daikichi was the main character and his life changes once Rin’s introduced, but you were never given that clear of a picture of what his life was before she showed up. He wasn’t a blatant NEET, nor was he some kind of deadbeat son; he was just kinda a dude. The same can be said for most other adult characters in the series, really, which somewhat gives some cred to Yukari’s monologue about parenting, but still… it didn’t bring everything home like I wanted to. At most, maybe to a bus stop near home, but not home.

About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

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