Usagi Drop, episode 6: Building a family one generation at a time

Another great episode of Usagi Drop. How would you rate it so far? Is it a great show? Is it a better show than even we think? Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it a disservice.

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A generation of leaves

I love Usagi Drop. Daikichi’s simple but profound reflection of how Rin has already, for longer than he’s known, been a part of his generational family, was really one of the most unassumingly warm and heartwarming scenes I’ve seen in anime. But at the same time, this is Usagi Drop. A simple story about a parent and a child. It doesn’t have crazy twists, it doesn’t have over the top action or animation, there’s no psychological, mindbending aspect to it, it’s not a tearjerker, nor a romantic classic. Claiming Usagi Drop is a top 10 anime isn’t going to endear you to the elitist crowd, the mecha crowd, the horror crowd, the moe crowd, the shipper crowd… but the more I see of this show, the more I feel its understated greatness.

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Oh, I love CEREAL brand cereal too!

When do kids become sentient? When do they become their own people? And how do they become how they become? I’ve always wondered about this. I mean, when kids are born, they know nothing. I’m sure every parents has thought “hey, we’ll just brainwash him to always listen to what we say and never behave badly!” And then reality hits, and all those brainwashing sessions go for naught the first time you turn the TV on and the kid sees some zany commercial for the latest, greatest toy or cereal. At what point does cereal become enticing for basically every kid out there? It’s not like they try it and want it, eventually they hit a point and they just want it. Like Rin, they wander off on their own and find themselves in front of the sugar aisle. Blows my mind really.

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Practice whistle blowing!? We're talking about practice!

It’s remarkable how young Daikichi looked so similar to current Kouki. Having read the manga, I never was a big fan of Kouki. He has a good heart, and ultimately makes the right decisions, but he’s such a stark contrast to Rin’s model behavior. But he’s more tolerable as a side character, and I hope the anime continues to keep him on the periphery and continues to focus on Daikichi and Rin. They’ve done a good job of it so far.

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So much for manga Carmen San Diego

There’s one part about the scene in which Masako guides Daikichi to Rin’s tree that I wished the anime hadn’t left out.

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Daikichi’s observation is a small, subtle thing, but something that helped me understand more about Masako and really how much of an outsider she really was. When Rin was at Souichiro’s, she wasn’t a part of Masko’s life. There’s such a distinct break there. And you would think that having been Souichiro’s maid, she would’ve had no problem visualizing the street from the inside, but the way Masako orients her map, it makes it seem as if she was always intruding on Rin.

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*speechless*

Is it coincidence that Rin and Daikichi’s trees were the same kind, or just a marvelous twist of fate? I don’t have anything insightful to say about this scene, but just hearing Daikichi’s internal monologue and memories left me speechless. I mentioned it before, but there’s so much warmth between the characters that it’s quite stunning to see. It leaves me with the same fuzzy feeling like watching Aria did.

10 Replies to “Usagi Drop, episode 6: Building a family one generation at a time”

  1. That is interesting. I wonder if she drew the map thinking from Daikichi’s perspective, assuming he is kind of an outsider to the house, having not been there regularly.

    1. Hmm, I considered this, but there as nothing in the story that suggested that she was thinking of Daikichi. Daikichi’s comment about “for those who are unfamiliar with maps…” reinforces the Masako’s outsider perspective as well.

  2. That’s quite an interesting scene from the manga, it does say a lot about Rin’s mother. I suppose they didn’t include it for lack of time. And thought bubbles probably don’t carry over as well to spoken dialogue.

    1. I think it would’ve been easy to include, but I can understand why they left it out. It didn’t necessarily tell us anything groundbreaking about Masako per se. But for some reason, it really stuck out in my mind.

  3. I love Usagi Drop! Every episode is heartwarming. I don’t know. It’s so amazingly made that even if it doesn’t have all that complicated stuff that hardcore anime fans usually look for, it’s not boring. It’s sweet, touching and simple. The interaction between Daikichi and Rin is just lovely and sweet.

    Rin’s still a kid but sometimes, she acts a bit more mature than other kids her age. She always reprimands Daikichi whenever he does something she deems unfit. It’s cute and sweet at the same time. But at the end of the day, she’s still a kid who longs for companionship and affection. 🙂

    1. Sorry about that. Looks like your comment got caught up in the spam filter. Should be all good now.

      Yeah, I feel the exact same. There’s nothing technically amazing about UD, but I just love the heart behind it. It’s cute and endearing without being overly saccharaine.

  4. > It leaves me with the same fuzzy feeling like watching Aria did.

    Bingo! Most everybody says ARIA -> Croisee, but that doesn’t work for me. Croisee, or at last the first half of that series, feels like an empty shell that has no soul or meaning under the amazing hi-res graphics surface. (*)

    On the other hand Usagi Doroppu is marvellous, even the first, super depressing episode was irresistible. I can’t find the slightest bit to criticize in the first 4 episodes of UD. I declare it the true heir of ARIA for 2011, or maybe all the time since Alicia-san put down the oar.

    (Although I might pick up that oar just to beat those people over the head who put such poor quality animation into the very end of UD ep5. That is unforgivable!)

    By the way, did you know Kozue Amano, ARIA’s mangaka now has a baby? I don’t know if she’s a single mother or married, if the baby is boy or girl, only that Alicia F. seyuu blogged Kozu-Kozu and baby was safe after the giant earthquake.

    Nowadays I often wonder what Ms. Amano may think about UD, both as an artist and a mother? I think she would scold the manga for its somewhat untalented drawings, but she would approve of the anime and the first arc story it adapts for 100%.

    (*) It looks like Croisee still has no meaning, but may get a heart starting with ep.7. A bit late, but better than never!

    Finally, here is a bit of special gift from France, just for ARIETTA the OVA fans. Download and watch or maybe dl, then print and watch:
    http://www.mediafire.com/?b2g2g8tq5qiachw

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