Hi there! It’s been a while but finally, here’s another review of mine! I don’t want to make this intro any longer so let’s just jump right in!
While most of slice of life anime display the importance of being a young person with close friendships and having a blast as high school kids, a significant amount of shows in that genre deal with more mature topics like parenthood and taking care of a child. There are many good ones but I believe the show that I’ll be talking about today might be the best one out of the bunch.
We follow one Kawachi Daikichi, a 30-year-old guy who overall lives a normal life and doesn’t exactly have much going on for him. A good example of this would be that he hasn’t really had any dating experience before and is without a significant other at this point in his life.
After his grandfather passes away. Daikichi comes back to his family home to attend the funeral and pay his respects. There, he meets a child he hasn’t ever seen named Rin who is later revealed to be the illegitimate child of Daikichi’s grandfather. Not knowing what to do now since Rin’s father has passed, Daikichi’s family starts to consider her a “mistake” and an “embarrassment to the family” with everyone ultimately deciding not to take Rin under their care. Seeing the negative behavior from his family, Daikichi is disgusted and quickly makes the choice to take Rin under his care … even though he has zero experience and knowledge of parenting.
Now with a child as one of his responsibilities, Daikichi adapts to a completely new lifestyle as he starts to understand fatherhood, what it’s like being a parent, and also gains the experience of being a part of a close, happy family.
This show deals with parenthood, and while my 17-year-old teenager mind barely has an idea of what parenthood is like and is nowhere near the thought of having children, this show covers that topic super well that I could understand the process and what it’s really like being a parent. I thought there was a significant amount of detail that went into portraying the life of a parent such as how they deal with the natural behaviors of children and even how much of an impact the kids have their parents’ own lives. And pretty much the overall story of Daikichi, a dude who doesn’t have much excitement in his life, now deciding to take a child under his care … just seeing how he could adapt to this new lifestyle and deal with the sacrifices he had to take for Rin were really intriguing.
As I’ve mentioned before in my other reviews, I love ‘pure’ slice of life shows. What I mean by ‘pure’ is that the anime is about, and only about, the daily lives of our characters in the spotlight. Sure, a slice of life anime that has other things mixed in such as romance or supernatural elements can still be enjoyable, no doubt. However, I believe the genre is at it’s best when the show mainly focuses on the shenanigans, small problems, and overall lifestyle of these characters. I think it gives off an absolutely realistic nature and almost makes me feel like it’s possible that I can be doing what those 2D characters are doing in the anime.
Usagi Drop is an amazing example of a pure slice of life. This show does mostly consist of Daikichi’s daily life, living as a single parent and trying to figure out this whole ‘fatherhood’ thing. For one, seeing Daikichi at first dealing with new things like finding an affordable daycare for Rin to stay at while he goes to work or not knowing what to do when his child is sick, are definitely helped me see what being a new parent was like on a daily basis. But later on when Daikichi got the hang of this parenthood thing, watching Rin and Daikichi do things together as a father-daughter duo such as eating breakfast in the morning, getting ready for work/school, etc., it honestly gave me a warm feeling seeing the comfortable and fun lifestyle of these two and how they naturally have a great relationship.
The characters in this show probably have to be the shining star, especially our two main personas. Daikichi is such a great character in this show, mainly because of how he developed as a character and person. As mentioned in the synopsis, Daikichi lived a pretty dull and average life, having no knowledge and experience with being a parent before adopting Rin. But now that he has a child under his care, we get to see his learning process of being a father, let alone a single parent, and pretty much also see him drastically change as a person. Educating himself on things like how to make a child happy and observing other parents and how they handle kids, the way Daikichi handled being a new parent felt so real and natural and I would not be surprised if some parents in the real world have had the same experiences as him. And most importantly, the changes in Daikichi’s personality, mood, and viewpoint on life because of adopting Rin were depicted in this anime in a superb way.
When talking about Rin, she’s pretty similar to Daikichi. She greatly depicts your average six-year-old child: mischievous, silly but also has a surprisingly mature and responsible nature to her. As a character, she’s so genuine that you could imagine Rin actually being someone who you’d see in real life, whether it be a family member or just a random kid you’d see out on the street.
But an important point I need to make in this section is definitely the chemistry between these two. Despite Daikichi and Rin barely knowing each other before they started living together, it didn’t take long for the two to develop a strong bond and really create a close and enjoyable father-daughter duo. Whether that be helping each other out in daily chores or just cheering each other up when either one of them are feeling down, the way they showed Daikichi and Rin’s relationship was simply heart-warming and entertaining.
As for side characters, there were a few notable ones that were nice additions, even if they didn’t have much effect on the story. A lot of the supporting characters were people who had children, just like Daikichi, and because of their presence, it allowed him to really absorb the essence of parenthood in order to know how to handle being with a child of his own. Even people who didn’t have children helped Daikichi see the different perspectives of parenthood and take them into account when dealing with a child of his own. Whether that becoming friends with single mother Nitani Yukari and her son who live life comfortably despite the difficulties of not having another parent to help her or Daikichi’s sister Kazumi who can’t even bear the thought of sacrificing her lifestyle for children, most of the characters in this show had a pretty important presence for Daikichi and provided interesting viewpoints about parenting.
visuals and arts.
I love Usagi Drop’s art style. I really do. The character designs look very youthful, the color palette is very pastel-like, and it overall feels like something out of a children’s storybook, which is perfect for something like Usagi Drop. There are particular scenes throughout the show that make it seem like it was painted in all watercolor, which I thought were a nice touch to the child-like vibe to the show. Pretty much the art and animation in this show, while very simple, it reflects what this anime is all about.
As for the sound side, let’s start with the voice acting. I’m actually not too familiar with many of the seiyuu featured in this show, either because they’re not in a ton of anime or I just haven’t seen the shows they’re featured in. However, I still do believe they did a superb job portraying their respective characters, especially the main two of Daikichi and Rin. Both Tsuchida Hiroshi and Matsuura Aya, I believe, were excellent selections for the roles of the main characters and I could tell they were comfortable acting as a father-daughter duo in this show. Plus, Matsuura Aya was around ten-years-old when Usagi Drop aired, so having a voice actress that is around the age range of the character is perfect.
I think going back to the overall youthful nature of this show, the music is another great example of that. The background music is very, very relaxing to listen to, which is perfect for a calming and heart-warming anime like this one. There’s, of course, a great variety in the OST like a very slow and mellow song with the beautiful piano and violin; while another song is a little faster and cheerful and just makes you want to smile. The opening and ending themes, on the other hand, they were also great; both of them definitely feel like you’d hear them in a kid-friendly show. While “Sweet Drops” by PUFFY gives off a more bright and sunny vibe, my favorite was the chillax and soothing ending theme by Kasarinchu, “High High High”.
closing – al’s final verdict.
Usagi Drop is, in my opinion, one of the best slice of life anime I’ve ever seen … as a matter of fact, it’s one of the best anime I’ve ever seen. Everything about this show from the importance of family values being shown, how Daikichi changes overall as a person in society, the daily life shenanigans of a father-daughter duo, to the beautiful artistic elements of this show, this honestly was an excellent narrative to experience.
Do I think it’s for everyone? Of course not. However, if you’re more into heart-warming stories that can make you smile or just want something different to watch, I highly-highly suggest trying out this show.
additional pieces of information.
- Usagi Drop
- al’s review of a tv series, 11 episodes
- first aired in the summer, 08.07.2011 till 16.09.2011
- from the studio of Production I.G
- tagged under the genre of #josei and #slice_of_life
tagged under the subgenre of #comedy, #adoption, #family, #iyashikei, #parenting, #single_parents, #taking_care_of_a_child, #coming_of_age, #daily_life, #manga, and #noitaminA
- the age-rated as PG-13
Thanks for reading today’s review! I heard there was a live-action adaptation of this series which I really want to watch soon to see the differences from the anime (you might see a write-up about that on my personal blog haha). And as always, be sure to check out the other posts on #moe404 for more content!
Keep watching anime, and I’ll see you guys in the next one~
© written by sliceofalfredo revised by nesha5971