More than the bundle of cute that is Rin, Usagi Drop is really about Daikichi and the changes he makes to his life after unexpectedly picking up a child.
One of the things you’ll hear over and over about Usagi is how genuine it is, how authentically normal or realistic it feels. There’s not a lot of emotional manipulation, no orchestral swells to pull the heartstrings. And there’s also not the typical “oh, noob daddy is a completely retard” shtick you typically see with the American versions of this story. Rather, it’s just Daikichi learning bit by bit about how to take care of a little child and Rin learning what it is to live within a family.
After taking Rin home, Daikichi realizes that he needs to find Rin a place to stay during the day while he works (note: Commie translate this as temporary kindergarten, but Doki and the manga both translate this as a temporary nursery – pretty sure the second is more accurate). Unsure where to start, Daikichi asks his cousin, Haruko (Reina’s mom) for advice, and after some searching finds a temporary nursery – which will double his morning commute unfortunately.
As Daikichi leaves to go to work, he tries to calm Rin’s fear by pinky swearing that he’d be back to pick her up. The way Daikichi gradually realizes how Rin might be feeling was one of the nicer moments in the show. When he’s late to pick Rin up, Daikichi apologizes by swallowing the “1,000 needles” which draws a smile from Rin.
One of my favorite scenes from the manga, a sweet scene in which Daikichi wonders why Rin isn’t snuggling up to him like she had been the previous nights, only to find a big wet stain on the futon.
Ok, so I have to admit that Usagi Drop is a little hard to write about, because everything is so matter of fact. Things happen and they’re not meant to draw big reactions. It’s all little, mundane events about a child and an adult growing up. It’s nice to just kick back and enjoy it. It’s not super exciting, but it’s not boring either. The episode zipped right by. But at the same time, there’s something about the show, and particularly Daikichi that resonates with me. What would you do in his situation? What do you do if you get a girlfriend, how would she respond to Rin? How would Rin respond to her? How do you go from only having to worry about yourself to having to care about the needs of someone who completely depends on you?
One thing I’ll mention is that I really like that they casted a little girl to voice Rin, instead of an older seiyuu trying to sound like a little girl. It’s a big difference in tone. Rin’s voice is sweet and round, she sounds like a little girl. Casting an older seiyuu would’ve made Rin sound like every other anime girl.