Usagi Drop – Anime Review

English Title: Bunny Drop

 

Similar: Wolf Children

Barakamon

One Week Friends

 

Watched in: Japanese

Genre: Slice of Life

Length: 11 episodes

 

Positives:

  • Sweetness abound.
  • Believable dynamic.
  • Right length.

Negatives:

  • Conflict wanes.

As Usagi Drop’s opening song says, this anime “Just wanna make you happy!” And it certainly succeeds in its goal. This is a cute series full of sincerity from start to finish.

A single man has a dream of him walking with a child through the park. The next day, he goes to his grandfather’s house for the funeral, only to learn his grandfather had an illegitimate daughter and no one wants to be responsible for her. Yes, she is technically his aunt despite being six years old – gramps was a weirdo! Rather than abandon Rin to the adoption system, Daikichi takes her in. They learn from each other while he searches for her mother.

She is a shy girl, yet mature for her age and loves to cook for him. He isn’t a driven man and has to take responsibility quickly if he wants to have a kid. Their dynamic is fun, and importantly to me, believable. Within two episodes, I bought into their relationship. A few steps to the left and the believability could have fallen apart, ruining the series, as this dynamic is the majority of Usagi Drop.

The conflict is quite typical for parental slice of life anime – taking her to school, shopping for clothes, feeding her, etc. I know slice of life is by nature considered a conflict-free genre, but even this is too conflict free. It wouldn’t have taken much to increase engagement. When shopping, for example, Rin could have been fussy or pedantic about her ingredients for cooking, taking hours in the supermarket, comedy and cuteness throughout – the usual dilemmas of raising a kid. Wolf Children is a prime example of this done right, even if you ignore its heavy drama.

Slice of life is more often than not a snooze fest for me; however, Usagi Drop kept my interest where other slice of life could not – the short length was key. Its charm gave me much enjoyment.

Art – High

The children’s storybook colouring looks great, suited to the story and atmosphere. I like the soft animation, but the mouths could do with more work.

Sound – High

Music sounds right out of those books that play a jingle when held open. Cute piano and violin. The acting is good and kids sound like kids.

Story – Medium

A single man adopts his grandfather’s six-year-old daughter. Heart-warming story, but the conflict, even if intended in simplicity, is resolved too easily.

Overall Quality – High

Recommendation: Despite the medium story rating, I recommend Usagi Drop for the warm, fuzzy feeling it gives. If you need meaningful conflict, this will disappoint. DO NOT read the manga if you enjoyed this, for it ruins the anime.

(Request reviews here. Find out more about the rating system here.)

 

Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)

Positive:

Charm

Negative: None

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