Well, it is time for another Mahou Tofu Theme Week. We want to do them every month, easier said than done, but this one was a little easier to figure out than the others. We did Mother’s Day Week for May, so Father’s Day Week was pretty much a given. I honestly couldn’t think of anything that embodied Father’s Day more than Usagi Drop. It is a very real story and that is where my warning comes in. I enjoyed this series, but there isn’t any magic, demon powers, shounen action, or hot fan service to speak of. If you only enjoy shows that boast stuff like that, then you should go watch something else. If you are fine with a very realistic story that has solid writing, then you have found the right series. Let’s get into it.
We all experience loss in our lives. Although it comes in many forms, most of us can say that we have lost someone dear to us to the grim reaper. A death is what triggers the events of our story. Daikichi is a 30-year-old bachelor that lives a simple life. He makes an honest living and his life is fairly uneventful. Unfortunately, things get shaken up when he meets up with his family at his grandfather’s funeral. Everyone is there from his younger sister to the uncles that he barely knows. The odd thing is that there is a mysterious little girls that is running around and drawing judgmental stares from everyone. The little girl is 6-year-old Rin Kaga. She is the illegitimate daughter of the now passed Souichi Kaga. Everyone is shocked by the news and a discussion over who should take care of her is taking place. Everyone is treating Rin like the plague. “How could he shame his wife like this?” She is dead already by the way. “I don’t think that I have the time to take care of a child.” A bunch of things that are inconsiderate to the feelings of an innocent child. This angers Daikichi, so he takes action. He invites the girl to live with him and she accepts. Everyone is shocked and they question whether a bachelor with no experience can handle the job. That is our story. The struggles of a single father as he tries to balance work and taking care of a child. I would have added a social life, but that doesn’t exist anymore.
We don’t get to meet a lot of characters in this series, but they all play an important role in the story. Daikichi Kawachi is a 30-year-old salary man. He used to live alone before he decided to take in his aunt. Technically, the little girl is his aunt if you look at the family tree. The guy is pretty laid back with people skills that are average at best. Although, he is a very caring person that people can rely on. Rin Kaga is a 6-year-old orphan that gets taken in by Daikichi. I say orphan because her father died and her mother was nowhere to be seen. Even though she has lived through some odd circumstances, she is a very warm child. Rin is a bit of a tomboy, but she boasts an uncommon level of maturity for her age. Souichi Rin was Daikichi’s grandfather and Rin’s father. He was a loving person that unfortunately left this world. Yukari Nitani is a single mother that becomes fairly close to Daikichi. Their children go to the same school and they help each other out from time to time. This starts to develop of romantic relationship between the two parents. Kouki Nitani is Yukari’s son. He is the same age as Rin and he acts like most young boys. He starts to become fairly close to Daikichi because Kouki doesn’t have a father. Also, he has a crush on Rin. Haruko Maeda is Daikichi’s cousin. She is about the same age as Daikichi and she relies on him from time to time. She is contemplating a possible divorce from her husband, so she stops by Daikichi’s place when she needs to cool her head. Reina Maeda is Haruko’s daughter. She is more girly than Rin, but they get along pretty well. Masako Yoshii is Rin’s biological mother. She is a young mangaka that was spending time as Souichi’s caretaker. Although she seems very cold, you can tell that giving up Rin was not an easy decision. Gotou is a coworker of Daikichi’s she recently demoted herself in order to spend more time with her family. Everyone in this story plays an important role in showing us the trials of parenthood. Whether you are trying to go it alone, trying to get away from your other half, or trying to get away from it all, parenthood is a complex thing that is gone about in very different ways.
I really enjoyed this series. It was a fantastic change of pace from what I normally watch. I got to put down the One Piece and Fullmetal Alchemist long enough to enjoy a more realistic story. What is the most important thing that I can say about this series? It gave me that warm feeling while I was watching it. There were a lot of struggles, but it is a happy story. Having said that, it made me appreciate my parents a lot more when I saw some of the things that these people went through. Especially when I remembered how I got sick every other week when I was younger. Forget younger, that happened to me all the way through high school. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Daikichi and Rin. It wasn’t your normal father and daughter relationship, but it wasn’t supposed to be. They helped each other out in a lot of ways. Daikichi took care of Rin and put her in an environment where she is not being judged for the actions of her father. It may not have been ideal, but they made it work. On the flip side, Rin helped Daikichi grow as a person. He learned that there is a lot more to life than what he once had and that certain things are worth hard work and sacrifice. Although, it wasn’t all serious drama.
That video shows off one of the more fun aspects of the series. There are laughs to be had and the relationship between Daikichi and Yukari is an interesting one. It reinforces the fact that parents often only hang out with other parents. Children have way too much control over the lives of their parents. Overall, Usagi Drop is a heart warming experience that should appeal to a lot of people.
The anime is great. However, a lot of people were wondering why the series did not get a second season. The story was obviously left incomplete and it has been almost two years since the first season started. Well, I hope that it never gets a second season. Why would I say that when I loved the first season so much? The manga is sick. Do not read the manga if you are a good human being. I warn you that this next section is full of spoilers, so read it at your own risk.
There is a time skip that occurs and we jump to Rin being in high school. I will not bore you with all of the details, but we find out that Souichi Kaga was not Rin’s father and she decides that she is in love with Daikichi. Then, it is decided that when Rin is 17 and Daikichi is 41, they will get married. That is sick on many levels. He raised her as his daughter and there is a 24 year age gap between them. I consider that incest and pedophilia on a level that deserves death by fire.
For those of you that wish to avoid spoilers, the series takes a turn that makes it unrealistic and disgusting. I can’t see them animating that story, but I have been wrong before. I would not mind an original continuation that followed the style of the first series. Oh well, you can buy Usagi Drop from NIS America if you really want to support the series. I love it and I have yet to watch a series that shows off the value of a father more than Usagi Drop.