Watching Usagi Drop makes me want to become a parent, especially if the child is as well-adjusted and well-behaved as Rin. Maybe this was a ploy by the Japanese government to raise birth rates? Uh oh, this is dangerous… Right, Bea?
Ah, Kouki’s mom… she needs more screen time. One of the things I’ve been a little surprised to see is how little pressure Daikichi seems to receive from his parents to get married. Typical asian parents would be all over their 30-year old son’s back to find a girlfriend and get married. But I don’t think his parents have commented on that once, and actually it was Daikichi himself who wondered about Rin’s impact on his non-existent love life.
There’s a few different themes that Usagi Drop hits upon consistently, but it manages to keep it fresh by hitting it from different angles. One of the themes, is the parents’ struggle to balance their priorities and their self-identities, while also doing their best to be a good parent. It sort of goes back to a thought I had about a previous post, where once you become a parent, your primary goal needs to be child-centric, otherwise you end up with maladjusted children. We’ve seen a few different parents, including Daikichi, Gotou, Kouki’s mom and now Daikichi’s cousin Haruko try to juggle those balls in different ways. In some ways, Daikichi has it easier, because he has independence, whereas Haruko not only has to balance hers and Reina’s lives, but also the meddling (or maybe lack of meddling) from her in-laws and husband. But what’s really heartening is that even though Haruko is battling with other family members, she sees her and Reina as one solid unit. Similar to Daikichi and Rin, similar to Kouki’s mom and Kouki.
The other theme that strikes me about Usagi Drop is how mature the kids are. And not mature in the “smart-alecky, wit sharp as a Hollywood-screenwriter’s rapier” style that we’re used to seeing, but mature in that they have a remarkable level of emotional awareness and intuition.
If you remember growing up, you remember knowing when your parents were fighting, you knew when things were off-kilter. Maybe you didn’t understand why, but I think kids have a preternatural sense of knowing when danger and discomfort is just around the corner. Seeing Reina respond by inviting Rin into her cocoon of blankets spurred memories of how I used to create little pillow and blanket forts to get away.