Usagi Drop (group review)

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Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby Sir Screddy » Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:42 am

It's a shame that I have not seen this Anime until now. I generally enjoy slice of life anime, but this one is a step above your average slice of life. I actually read the manga to finish the story, which I don't really do. The characters are all very interesting and well developed. My favorite part of this anime is that it does not try to throw in a bunch of other elements in order to draw in a larger audience. It is first and foremost a slice of life with a little bit of romance and I would not change anything.

Score: 5/5
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby bakamatt » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:41 pm

The review which follows will contain minor spoilers; I'm not going to bother to comment out things revealed in the first episode.

Usagi Drop walks a knife-edge of being in danger of failing so many ways, but it never does seriously. I liked it; I could see watching it again some day; and, like Sir Screddy suggests in his initial post, I'm tempted to get the manga to find out what happens ten years later.

In the opening episode we meet a 30-year-old dedicated salaryman called Daikichi who seems to have no life except work. When he returns home for his grandfather's funeral, there's a 6-year-old girl called Rin there who, it's explained to him, is the illegitimate daughter of his grandfather, which is to say, his aunt. Everyone else is ignoring her and seems to have no intention of taking care of her. Daikichi is moved to accept responsibility for her, and takes her back home with him, despite having no experience with children and a job that demands practically his every waking hour.

Now, in the real world, this would be nothing but a train wreck. Usagi Drop works only because many of the main characters are improbably good-natured and dedicated, and because Daikichi gets all the help he needs, which is a lot. The series is Spielbergian-level emotional manipulation, and I almost couldn't cope. What kept me going was honesty; there's always a tension between society's need for replacement citizens and its need for productive workers, a tension which is particularly conspicuous in Japan and which shows up here again and again. Rin's gain is clearly society's loss. Furthermore, happy endings and easy answers are scarce. And, as slice-of-life shows go, this one was, I thought, a particularly useful portrayal of life in Japan.

Rin's mother, an aspiring manga author, was for me the most interesting character in the series. She's entirely frank about her failings
Spoiler: show
and has no intention of doing anything about them.


I especially liked episode 7, in which Daikichi's cousin and her son "run away from home", from a marriage that seriously wants for warmth.
Spoiler: show
As suggested above, no simple answers and no happy ending.
It made what I thought was very effective use of the cousin's suitcase as a metaphor for her emotional burdens.

Another aspect I had to forgive was that, at least for me, it wasn't at all clear why Daikichi abruptly decided to take care of Rin. Several reasons are hinted at:
Spoiler: show
he's a good person, he wants to shame his relatives, fate, some sort of correspondence between him and his grandfather.
I don't regard any of them as the obvious explanation.

Although the backgrounds are pretty, the character design is minimal. I can't make up my mind whether this serves or detracts from the story. As you might expect, Rin is cute as a button, and single mom Nitani is kind of hot; the rest of the designs were so-so. I got a little tired of Daikichi's frequent semi-hysterical reactions to things.

Neither the opening nor closing really worked for me. The songs are cute but undistinguished; the animation is kind of cute as well but, oddly enough, the closing animation kept reminding me of the depictions of the witches' lairs from Madoka Magica, which just put me off.

So: a sweet slice-of-life series with some appealing characters and a few chuckles per episode, of which there were twelve. Honest in depicting the challenges presented by society, but implausible in the small amount of emotional baggage Rin carries and in how successful her bond with Daikichi becomes.

I watched it on Crunchyroll.
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby ZeroRyoko1974 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 7:38 am

I seen this show a couple of years back, and I enjoyed it. It, as has been mentioned, a cute slice of life show. I personally didn't like Rin's mom, regardless of her honesty. I kind of wish that Daikichi had hooked up with the single mom friend, instead of who he did in the end of the manga.
Spoiler: show
I had read that they get married, but it looks like they pull the usual bait and switch popular with incest hentai, and make it ok because they are "not really" related
I actually did like the opening and ending music and thought they fit the simpleness of the show.
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby Sir Screddy » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:02 am

Please post scores out of 5, so I can update the score. Thanks :D
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby bakamatt » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:22 pm

Considering that it just barely made my "rewatch some day" list, I'll say a rating of 3.
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby ZeroRyoko1974 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:54 am

It was a cute fun show, I enjoyed it when I first saw it, and maybe was a bit liberal in giving it a 4.5
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby bakamatt » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:40 pm

Well, hold on. If we get to give fractions, I'll go 3.5.
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby Sir Screddy » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:43 pm

I guess ill post group review guidelines. You can do half points but not quarter points. :D
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby ZeroRyoko1974 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:38 pm

I always used MAL to score, and they went on a 10 pt system, and I gave it a 9, so 4.5/5. Oh, and if you liked Usagi Drop, you might give the currently running Barakamon a try.
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Re: Usagi Drop (group review)

Postby Sir Screddy » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:37 am

You are right about Barakamon it is very simple slice of life like Usagi drop. Sadly it is not on Crunchyroll so I had to sub to hulu plus.
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