Usagi Drop 01: First Impression

Production I.G.’s slice-of-life take on a rather heartwarming story of a single man raising his grandfather’s illegitimate child leads to both a rather hilarious trace of lineage and enough “d’awww” moments to make your heart melt at least a lot faster than Kimi ni Todoke’s romantic relationships ever developed.

The appeal to me for this series is going to be the unique familial development that newbie-parent Daikichi Kawachi will play for the tame and withdrawn Rin. Suddenly deciding to care for his extremely young aunt certainly wasn’t made out to be too much of a radical idea after having showcased throughout the first episode the insistence of the entire family on giving her up for adoption instead of properly raising her. After seeing how she was treated (basically as if she didn’t exist), the only gripe I have is that we’re still not sure too much of Daikichi’s own personality enough to understand the reason for his decision. Too little is known about his character and therefore makes the situation slightly less believable to me. For not having read the manga, I’m curious to see how quickly this will be justified. I guess it’s safe to assume for now that he’s just that much of a nice guy for a thirty-year-old bachelor.

This show is going to fit just nicely into the Summer lineup, right alongside Ikoku Meiro no Croisée. Both shows have young female leads in down-to-earth situations where they’re thrust beyond choice into new lifestyles. Both shows give off a very innocent and light-hearted vibe that easily cater to almost any slice-of-life viewer. And perhaps it’s the appeal of two relatively newer and slightly less seasoned voice actors that give life to the main characters that helps to draw me into these series. Rin, played by Ayu Matsuura, almost sounds like the carefree Hagu of Honey & Clover at times. On that same token, Hiroshi Tsuchida, who voiced coworker Kazushi Yamazaki in the same series, does a decent and straightforward (if not relatively easy) job in portraying the dullness and lack of general motivation in Daikichi’s voice. Perhaps it’s why his volunteering to care for Rin seemed to come a bit out of left field for me.

Interestingly enough, the most verbal interaction we get to see in the entire episode is in the last two minutes, highlighting Rin’s ‘special’ personality (for a serious lack of a better term thanks to the rest of Daikichi’s family) and her willingness to use what she can in any given situation – in this case, making rice balls with salt when the main course runs out. How thoughtful!

Now that Rin is under Daikichi’s care, I’m interested in seeing just how much she’s now able to express herself and how much of a character she’ll develop outside of what seemed like the oppressive environment of Daikichi’s relatives. Maybe her ‘special’ personality is more of a gift than anything else, which would wind up being a nice breath of fresh air for Daikichi’s likely mundane life up to this point.


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