Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop) Live Action Movie Review

Figured I’d kick off the summer posts with a title that’s pretty familiar to this blog.

Like the anime and manga of the same name, Usagi Drop tells the story of Daikichi, a 30-something that ends up taking care of his grandfather’s illegitimate child Rin—a six year-old that the entire family wasn’t aware of until the grandfather’s death. Oh, and it stars the guy that played L in the live-action Death Note movies as Daikichi.

Released right in the middle of the anime’s run, which in turn was right off the heels of the manga’s final chapter, the live-action movie essentially covers the same story arc that the manga does (thankfully), going over Daikichi and Rin’s experiences as the two begin to get used to their new living arrangements. However, unlike the anime and the first half of the manga, the movie seemed to lean more towards Daikichi’s perspective. Rather than an odd-couple type of storytelling, it’s clear that the movie’s focus throughout is Daikichi and the trials and tribulations he’s going through while raising Rin. Sure, some scenes are lifted right out of the source material, but rather than coming off as Daikichi and Rin working their way past a certain problem, it just comes off as the Daikichi show the entire way through. Perhaps it has something to do with popular actor Kenichi Matsuyama taking on the role of Daikichi that makes the movie want to bend to his every whim. Whatever the case, it just comes off as unbalanced when the story of a 30-something (totally doesn’t look like it in the movie, bytheway) and his adopted kid is cut to just the 30-something.

One aspect that I’ve heard a decent number of fans of the series want out of the movie was more interaction between Daikichi and Yukari—mother of Rin’s classmate Kouki. Well, we get what we’ve been asking for, but at the expense of the character’s… character. In the manga and anime, we don’t know much of Yukari’s life outside of the fact that she has a son, but the movie takes some liberties with her character, turning her into a model. Starting with the obvious, her change for the movie makes her come off as less of a single mother that tries to make it by on her own, and more of a needy model that struggles to balance her job and her son… which is a perfectly fine character-story, but just not right for this particular character (or movie, for that matter). Such a drastic addition to the character wouldn’t matter so much if it weren’t for the fact that it’s used as nothing more than a crutch to heighten the tension between her and Daikichi even more. The constant cutaways of Daikichi having fantasies of himself dancing with the Yukari, who ends up being the woman he sees in his magazines (yeah, I really have no clue why he’d even have fashion magazines since he’s supposed to be a bachelor) just seems out of place, unnecessary, and more importantly, results in Kouki’s character getting significantly less screen time and thus softening what’s supposed to be one of the more touching scenes in the movie.

That’s a feeling you get throughout the entire movie, really. As you watch it, you’re introduced to characters, such as Daikichi’s sister and parents, or his grandfather and Rin’s mother. But at the end of the day, no matter how important they seem to the plot, the focus still ends up going straight back to Daikichi, and in the case that she happens to be in the scene, Yukari. They’re like the magnetic North of the movie, except they end up steering things in the wrong direction entirely (ooh, zing!).

I will say I enjoyed how much Daikichi’s work life was fleshed out. Not only do we see him through his typical work day teaching trainees and juggling important phone calls, but we also get a much better picture of his life on the field as he works with other working class dads. You see a glimpse of these tough-looking, but kind-hearted fathers in the other iterations, but the movie is really where they shine as a whole.

Still, when you get down to it, Usagi Drop is a mediocre adaptation at best that tends to play to the strengths of its lead cast rather than the story itself, which is a shame since it’s really an enjoyable one when done right. Conclusion? I’d say the best version of the series to go with would be the anime. It’s short enough, and covers (the better part of) the manga, while cleaning up the writing here and there.

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.

Episodic Reviews: Bunny Drop 08 & 09

I can accept English speaking students clearly attending Japanese school, English speaking fighters blatantly displaying kanji on their gi, and… hell, even English speaking aliens. But I’m pretty sure Bunny Drop’s one of those series that just has way too many cultural things to make any kind of sense if it were dubbed in English.

I remember reading Pokemon reviews online back in the day and coming across an episode that took place on Children’s Day, thinking how weird it was that outside the US there are other holidays out there—different days marked on their own calendars, different potential days off, different everything. Then the whole Porygon scandal came about and my slight jealousy became that much more uh… slight.

Unlike Children’s Day, though, I can completely see something like an O-Bon Festival working in America. I mean, I’m sure all other countries can agree that American children rank pretty high up there on the list of self-entitled little assholes. But a day to honor the deceased that isn’t overshadowed by (again) asshole kids asking for candy from complete strangers? Sure, I can dig that. Still, reality shows that such just doesn’t cut it outside of Japan and Japan Town, which is a drag.

… not that you could tell from the episode. Major negative points to the source material for not having Daikichi and Rin hit up a festival. Slight redemption to the anime for at least showing them taking off to one, though. And, of course, no redemption for Masako. Ever. She can do all the nice crap she wants, but at the end of the episode, she still comes off as an immature teen mom that just wants her chance at manga-ka stardom when she should be tending to her kid. For shame. Maybe even five shame.

Kudos to noitaminA for going the extra mile in each of the kids’ drawings, the following episode. You never really got a sense of just how well Rin drew in the manga, so it was good to be able to see bits and pieces of other kids’ drawings and then finally moving on to Rin’s. There’d without a doubt be some kind of drawing-on-refrigerator scene if the series took place in America.

“Aren’t you afraid of what the Great Urameshi will do to you?”

Kouki and Rin have a sort of Yusuke and Keiko type of dynamic… except I don’t want it to go any further than “Oh, isn’t that sweet of her.” Daikichi/Yukari 4ever, guys.

Totally random to have Puffy AmiYumi appear outside of the opening theme, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I can’t help but imagine their Cartoon Network selves ditching rtouring and growing up to become daycare workers.

When reading the manga, my stance on Kouki would have been pretty neutral if it weren’t for the crappy latter half of the series. Thankfully, there’s finally some kind of more solid proof that the anime doesn’t seem to mind meandering away from their source material for the sake of better character interactions.

I don’t remember every detail of the manga, but I do remember that there weren’t any (obvious) signs of a typhoon leading to Kouki chilling at Daikichi’s place until his hot young mom comes to pick him up.

It didn’t happen often, but I could relate to being the last kid picked up due to my parents’ jobs making for difficult scheduling times all around. It further sucked since I didn’t have a GameBoy until well into the Pokemon craze, so any lone wolf action wasn’t possible, either. Kouki not only has someone to play Keiko to his Yusuke, but he’s also got someone to geek out with Nintendo DS stuff with in Daikichi—not too shabby.

Still, it’s become obvious this episode that romance is more apparent in Daikichi’s future than Rin’s. Does it come off as predictable? Maybe, but the relationship between the two has been set up so perfectly that I don’t mind. Hurry up and make it happen, Dai-san!

Episodic Reviews: Bunny Drop 05, 06 & 07

I’m sure LOST wouldn’t have had nearly as many viewers if they all knew how the series was going to end. Having read the entirety of the manga, I wasn’t exactly excited in keeping up with the rest of Bunny Drop even if the episodes are still covering the better half of the series. That said, it was moreso because I didn’t have much to say about the last couple episodes than the fact that I had a midterm to study for that I haven’t been keeping up with my posts. Still, the episodes haven’t exactly dropped in quality yet, so I’ll continue cranking out reviews even if it means combining episodes so there’s more to read at once. I’m weird like that.

I will give credit to the author for making me hate Masako right off the bat. Even though technically, I can see myself getting more pissed at Daikichi’s grandpa for causing such a scandal, at least he comes off as likable. Masako, not so much. I mean, she’s a manga artist, so you know no good will come from her. Add to that her hipster bf and I practically want to chuck loquat pits at her face.

The series in general, while not having the most normal of beginnings, does come off as a slice-of-life type of anime more than anything else. Episode 6 in particular is a good example. I still can’t believe I actually sat through approximately 21 minutes of talk about growing trees and enjoyed it.

This week’s episode, on the other hand, was the one of enough substance to start up my posts again. I guess if the scandal concerning your gramps and his maid start dying down, it must only mean that a new scandal’s about to come your way.

I wonder what Haruko’s parents chose as her tree? I’m gonna make the obvious One Piece Nami reference and say orange. Though I’m kinda surprised I didn’t notice their similar character designs before.

While I’d hate the idea of keeping in-laws under the same roof as me, I’d feel too guilty if I sent them off to some kind of nursing home, so I guess I can see Haruko’s problem. Still, you’d think she had some girlfriends or something before having to resort to coming to her cousin’s place unannounced with her kid. If Bunny Drop were to take place in America, I feel like she’d be kicking it with Jennifer Aniston in her oddly big and somehow affordable loft by now.

But as interesting as the episode was, I honestly completely forgot that it even happened in the manga. Thinking about it now, though, I’m sure this was one of the last interesting things to happen before things start turning to crap. Maybe with an exception to jump-ropes, but even then, that got old pretty fast. Gonna reiterate my hoping that the anime takes enough liberties and adapts its own ending for the series because I really don’t like how things went down in the manga. I cannot repeat that enough.

Episodic Review: Bunny Drop 04

So I started reading the Bunny Drop manga after loving the anime so far. Long story short, I’m a good 20 or so chapters ahead of what’s being aired right now. I won’t spoil anything for you anime-only peeps, but  I will say I’ve reached something of an awkward point in the manga so far; my hopes remain high that the anime will adapt things in a more erm… “palatable” manner. Anyway, episode four:

“Daikichi isn’t my dad.”

Ooh, awkward. Kids can be pretty blunt. And it doesn’t help that they can’t exactly express what they want in a way that others will get, either.

It always annoyed me how in some comics and animations, you’d see something like handwriting or drawings that are supposed to be done by kids and yet they look crazy well done. Kudos to noitaminA and Production I.G. for actually getting it.

Ah, enter Kouki-kun and his conveniently divorced mom. The strange thing is that both the manga and anime hint at the possibility of either a Rin/Kouki thing going on as well as a Daikichi/Nitani thing going on, which could result in something really trashy if taken in the wrong direction. I vaguely remember classmate of mine in 8th grade reading a book that ended in the two teen characters getting together only to come home and find that their parents got married to each other. Yeah, girls in my 8th grade were weird.

Still, as weird as the whole clashing of “who’s allowed the relationship thing” is, it does work well in this context. Daikichi’s 30 year old mindset of how a relationship is supposed to work against Rin’s more natural 6 year old mindset of letting things happen without even knowing it suits their characters well.

Camaraderie in the work-place must be fun. The thought of multiple people working for the similar but slightly different reason of supporting their family regardless of how different they are from each other just intrigues me. Good to know at the least Daikichi isn’t stressing too much after his demotion.

Dunno how I feel about camaraderie after-hours, though. Have you seen people bring their kids to the bar section of restaurants. Yeah, it looks just as weird as it sounds. Eh, at least they had the decency of renting out a room.

And so the plot as to who Rin’s mother is continues. I love how Daikichi’s gramps couldn’t handle typing up his will, so he not only hand-writes one, but hides it in a secret compartment inside Rin’s health record book. He may have shacked up with someone young enough to be his granddaughter, but he still comes off as so lovable that I can overlook that. Slightly odd, though, is how his note defends Rin’s mother but ultimately just makes me hate her more (#teamDaikichi). Also, love the slightly smaller Rin in the flashback. It’s the details like this that keep me watching!

… as well as the heartwarmingly hilarious antics. In grade school, my girl classmates would always complain whenever their dad had to do their hair for them, but at least Rin seems to appreciate Daikichi’s efforts. I don’t remember anything about “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” being in the manga. Still, I’ve liked most rewrites the anime’s done so far, so I’m hoping for the best with whatever this leads to.

I would have personally saved Rin’s mom under a less formal name in my contacts list, but I guess Daikichi’s not the type for such things.

“Is a high school student an adult?”
“I guess that’s half an adult…”

We’re entering indentured servant territory with that line, but Daikichi’s delivery of it keeps it awesome. Really digging how competent his child-raising skills are even without any prior experience.

Looks like we’ll finally see Rin’s mom come next episode. I’ll try to keep the expletives to a minimum.


Episodic Review: Bunny Drop 03

“Will I die, too?”

My word, Rin-chan. I get that your past is more checkered than most six year old, but to be bent out of shape from a bacteria cartoon? Then again, in the world of animation, any media within that realm could be their equivalent of “live action” for all I know… even taking into consideration the fact that the bacteria have eyes.

I’m really digging the water coloring in the episodes’ opening scenes. Kinda makes me wish they did it throughout the rest of the episode. Though thinking about it, it could end up being distracting. The more I think of it, the more the style reminds me of something out of Reading Rainbow… minus Kunta Kintae. You know what, never mind.

Seeing animated people interact with stairs always weirded me out. Even with the best animation teams, it would still look like they were either walking too cautiously to make sure they hit each step or too unrealistically, sometimes not even hitting the steps altogether. Still, a single dad skipping two to three steps at a time (not to mention his complete disregard of the handrail) to make work on time? Sure, I can accept that.

… I’m also open to bromance in the work-place.

So we get a bit more of a peek into the Daikichi’s work life. While he’s not exactly head honcho, he did rank higher up than expected. And he’s got quite the buddy-buddy relation with his subordinates, t’boot. Just the idea of drinking with one’s boss is so foreign to me.

Dinner with someone that used to be in your division but insisted on a demotion to spend more time with her kid, however, seems completely fine. For a while, I was wondering if Haruko would forever be Daikichi’s sole source to parenting, so it’s good to see that he’s got options—the less screen time for Haruko and her brat kid, the better. Gotou seems a lot more likeable, anyways, though that could just be because she’s so much more removed from Daikichi’s situation than Haruko, so she comes off as less of a bitch. Yeah, let’s go with that.

“I read a picture book and had a staring contest.”

Oh, to be six again. Though in today’s world, you’d think that even temp schools would have some kind of curriculum, hyping up that whole competitive edge thing… not that Rin needs any more stress on her. Stop wetting the bed, settle things with your unknown mom, and maybe we can start talking about your schoolwork.

“Idiot. If adults are gloomy, kids tend to think they’re mad at them.”

So far Daikichi seems to be the only adult that’s still “gets” what it’s like to be a kid. And I have a feeling he had this type of mindset even before Rin showed up.

So at the least, Daikichi’s got a younger sister who’s a total ass even with her luscious hairstyle. The mom comes off as somewhat better, though you know that she’s helping Daikichi because he’s her son more than for Rin’s sake. And of course there’s the dad who’s just kinda there. Yep, pretty much covered the family demographic flawlessly.

What exactly is the kind of work that a maid would do to warrant even having a modem? Torrenting terabytes worth of ‘80s American sitcoms, maybe? Whatever it is, it seems like Daikichi wants to keep the snooping to himself, which I guess makes sense. It’s the one source of drama for the series, so it’d be a waste to have it in the forefront. Bite-sized plot points are best for something like Bunny Drop.

I really hope the original author is a woman… or a gay male, since Rin’s actions are just so spot-on for someone her age that it’d be creepy if just some guy were able to nail it. Ugh… bad word choice. Still, adorable Rin-chan is adorable.

Good to know that the “Bunny” part of Bunny Drop has finally been explained, too. I wonder if other parents out there speak to their kids the same way Daikichi does to Rin. I mean, it makes sense that the two of them speak in such an informal yet non-family-like manner, but it works. It kinda reminds me of Yotsuba&! in that sense… except Rin’s a million times smarter.

Looks like I’m finally caught up! I’m really digging the series so far. Though I was given something of a spoiler the other day, which makes me wonder just how later episodes will turn out. Ugh, I swear if it takes a Kimi ni Todoke turn, there will be throat-punching to be had.

Episodic Review: Bunny Drop 02

Whee, episode 2!

Like most American anime fans, I first got into the general fandom through a crapton of shonen anime. But lately, I’ve felt like all the titles have been burning me out; while I love Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and even Bleach, watching one fight to another’s made me completely not interested in other shows which I’m sure I’d enjoy otherwise (fun fact: I’ve never seen the original FMA, and the most I’ve seen of FMA:B was the little I caught with my roommate freshman year). Usagi Drop is a perfect title to escape from all the shonen titles, but it isn’t cutesy or slice-of-life-ey in, say, a Lucky Star sense. It’s something completely new for me, and for that reason alone, I’m grateful for it.

I’m actually really surprised they didn’t do the whole “pants around the neck” thing to measure your waist-line. Looks like you’ve got a long ways to go, Daikichi. Still, kudos for apparently shopping at Uniqlo. Rin will be the most fashionable child at that temp school.

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure if we’re supposed to know the exact relation between Daikichi and Haruko, but I looked it up anyway. I’m assuming he doesn’t have any siblings (at least ones with kids) and that a cousin was the next probable step? Either way, she comes off as a backdoor douche this time around. What the hell did she mean “You really took Rin-chan home.”? I get that the family’s whole connection to Rin is far from normal, but she’s like what… 6? 7? If anything, get pissed at the mysterious mother of the kid, but leave Rin aloooone! Oh, Asian drama; you’re not as in-your-face as American drama, but you’re a million times more harsh.

Really digging how the author still knows what it’s like to be a kid. Jumping on a futon, getting the brunt of passing subway, near-death experiences in crowded rooms… major brownie points.

I still find it strange how much older Rin acts in comparison to surrounding kids. Even the ones at the temp school seemed normal (not to mention significantly younger, but I’m guessing that’s how temp schools are?). Though the character works well off of Daikichi, so my complaint’s more of an observation.

Additional brownie points to Daikichi for even going the extra mile for Rin here. Making sure she gets into at least some kind of school, keeping his end of all promises, as well as unlimited piggyback rides? I swear, if Rin ends up with an obnoxious rebellious stage, I will punch her in the face.

Still, I must say that crappy childhood or not, it still sucks being the last kid to be picked up. You think schools at night are creepy? Imagine the transition between a filled school in the day and an empty one at night? All the little mysteries of the place are killed instantly, when you see other teachers leaving for home in their cars, your own teacher kinda giving you a look like “What do your parents do, exactly?” while she puts away all the blocks that your buddy said he’d put away before he left but never did… just saying that stuff like that sticks with a kid. And not all of them are able to blog out their feelings 13 years later. Anyways.

From what was shown, it looks like Daikichi’s got more than a simple desk job, but certainly isn’t at the top of the corporate totem pole. What does his company even sell? Until proven otherwise, I’m gonna assume he’s part of the Japanese equivalent of a Sports Chalet. Dunno why, but stores like that always seem to make their way into American TV plotlines in one way or another (with a surprisingly small amount of jock strap jokes, no less).

Whatever he does, at the least it looks like he’s doing the best he can as a dad without really coming off like a dad.

Really enjoyed the episode, but I hope the plot picks up at least a little speed. I can’t imagine how such a story would transition from plot point to plot point, but so far the pacing’s fine. Wouldn’t want something like a Death Note-esque plot dump to pop up and kill the mood.

Episodic Review: Bunny Drop 01

The first time I even heard of Bunny Drop was a couple months ago in my suggestions section of amazon. Curious, I clicked the link to volume 1 and read over the synopsis about a thirty-year-old deciding to adopt the young illegitimate daughter of his late grandfather. I remember thinking it strange that such a premise for a series could exist (and in manga form, no less) and left it at that. It wasn’t until it was rated second in blogsuki’s latest thin-slicing post that I decided to take a closer look into things. Blogsuki actually taking a non-pervy series in such high regard (granted, it’s a “thin-slicing” post, but still)? Heaven forbid. The fact that he mentioned the series’ opening to be performed by Puffy AmiYumi only further piqued my interest (in a sick sense, but piqued nonetheless).

Knowing absolutely nothing about the series aside the brief glimpse on amazon, I decided to get myself a bit more acquainted with the series in the only way I knew how: Wikipedia. Now, I don’t consider myself to do that much digging when it comes to things like this, but I do like to at least hit up one major point: whether or not the source material (if there is one) the anime is based on has ended or not. To date, it looks like the series actually just ended (October ’05 to April ’11) with a total of nine volumes. Not too shabby. And furthermore, this hopefully means the pacing will be perfect, since there isn’t any need to freak out about the anime getting ahead of the source material and having to resort to… filler (:shivers:).

Another thing I noticed was the genre Wikipedia designated the series: Josei. Having never heard of the term before, I clicked the link to the according page, which defined the term as “a term that refers to the target demographic of manga created mostly by women for late teenage and adult female audiences. Readers range from 15-44. In Japanese, the word josei means simply “female” and has no manga-related connotations at all.” Oh yeah, now I remember why I never looked further into this series before. Seriously, you’re telling me I’m reading not just girl stuff, but middle aged girl stuff? Still, having just watched the first episode, I’m willing to ignore any and all labels and continue onward with the series.

Speaking of labels, the first episode does a good job of avoiding straightup labels for any of the characters. Main character Daikichi is first seen living in a somewhat unkempt house, apparently alone. However, not once in the episode did I ever give him the title of NEET; he just seems like an ordinary person you’d see anywhere that has his own shortcoming just like the rest of us, and not like a “typical” anime character at all. Has late grandfather’s illegitimate child Rin comes off in a similar fashion. While it’s obvious that the series will be focusing on these two, she doesn’t come off as a Leverne to his Shirley and instead works as her own character. And with a backstory like hers, such shouldn’t be a surprise.

The only character that comes off as a “character” would be the kid daughter of Daikichi’s cousin. Throughout the episode, she’s seen causing havoc during a wake in typical mischievous kid fashion. And while I guess I can see her character existing in the real world (I’m sure every family has at least the one brat) it comes off as so obvious that she’s made as a contrasting character to Rin that I can’t see past that. Though that’s not to say that the contrast didn’t work for me; the entire episode, Rin barely says a word, while the bratty Reina goes around making a fuss wherever she goes. It gives the impression that Rin is smarter beyond her years and as such can work well alongside Daikichi as a companion rather than that one offbeat kid that ultimately makes him a better person.

Definitely worth a looksie. And at two episodes in with virtually no other anime of any interest this season, what do you have to lose?

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