Review: Usagi Drop

Release Date
10/11/2014
Format
DVD
Publisher
MVM
Classification
PG
Language / Subtitles
Japanese / English
Running Time
251mins
Discs
2

Usagi Drop from MVM Entertainment is not your everyday slice-of-life anime that follows cute girls but is a really heart-warming story that will pull at your heartstrings.

It’s clear from the outset that Usagi Drop is a powerful and heartstring-pulling tale, tackling the issues of an illegitimate child in Japan and the hardship of becoming a single parent. The first episode opens with Daikichi returning home to attend his grandfather’s funeral, a solemn process. To everyone’s surprise not just Daikichi his grandfather appears to have fathered a child in his old age, the funeral is soon turned into a heated discussion of how to deal with this illegitimate child – Rin. Eventually having enough of each adult’s refusal to take responsibility he steps up to the plate, asking Rin whether she would like to stay with him.

Daikichi is a salaryman and trying his best to suddenly learn the ways of parenthood, juggling these is not an easy task and he often forgets things only to be reminded by the very mature Rin. Having lost her father and with an estranged mother, Rin has to make her way through childhood and school life with only Daikichi to rely on. With both characters having faced huge change so suddenly, it’s heart-warming to see them both relying on and learning from each other.

The interactions between both Daikichi and Rin will have your face contorted into a permanent smile; from making breakfast to being picked up from school Usagi Drop is full of awe moments. Its apparent throughout the series that Daikichi doesn’t always know how to handle being a parent, with Rin taking over in most situations it makes you wonder who’s raising who, something Daikichi even notices “Am I raising Rin or is she raising me?”.

The artwork in Usagi Drop really compliments the story, with simple and colourful designs, to the watercolour-esque segments. Colour plays a huge part in the series, not just visually for the audience but it really shows how Rin and other young children see the world. Extra attention has been made to ensure that each character is unique both in their facial expressions and their physique, again something that children pick up on.

Music is immediately heart-warming and plays a prominent part of the shows magic. There’s no English dub, however, the Japanese is fantastic and interestingly Rin is actually voiced by an age-appropriate girl, Ayu Matsuura who does a brilliant job and it really helps lend to the realism of the character.

This release from MVM Entertainment is DVD only and while I do prefer Blu-ray whenever possible, you’d be hard-pressed to notice it is only standard definition. The release comes with the usual extras such as credit less opening and ending videos but we also get three promos that were used for the show and four mini-episodes that are fully subtitled which is a bonus.

Verdict
Usagi Drop is not your everyday slice-of-life anime that follows cute girls but is a really heart-warming story that will pull at your heartstrings. The interactions between Daikichi and Rin will continue to put a smile on your face throughout and joined by a cast of brilliant characters you're bound to be entertained. While the art style is very childlike this series is aimed at a more matured audience.
9
GREAT