This was my favorite episode of Usagi Drop so far. The ending of this episode was one of the most emotional moments in the show so far.
We spent the majority of the episode focused on procuring a tree for Rin. She plants some seeds for when she enters elementary school, but wishes she had a tree from when she was born. Daikichi does some detective work, interrogates Rin’s mother with ice cream, and discovers that his grandfather did indeed plant a tree for Rin. He goes to the house to pick it up. While he’s gone, Rin speaks with Daikichi’s mother about her birth tree, and how Daikichi’s sister has the same tree. When Daikichi returns home, he tells everyone that Rin has the same species of birth tree as him, and everything comes together in the scene where everyone in the family walks through the cherry blossoms. This scene captured themes of family continuity extraordinarily well.
Another thing which stood out to me was how childish Rin acted in this episode. She’s mature for her age, but really: she’s only six years old. The entire thing with the cereal, her jumping over the tree to become a ninja and her choice of tree— these all added humor and showed how she really is still a child. The danger of having a highly capable little girl who cooks breakfast and wakes up her father for work is that she doesn’t seem quite like a child, but it’s moments like this which keep Rin as a child in the viewers’ minds.
I’d also like to point out the animation in this episode. Once again: it was gorgeous. Not only did we continue with the plethora of bright, pastel colors, we also had some very detailed scenes. Just look at the scenes from the grocery store below. The scenes inside homes may not be the most exciting, but when Rin and Daikichi leave home, the animators just go wild.
One last thing which stood out in this episode: I just love the way they’ve developed the familial relationships between Rin and Daikichi, and Kouki and Yukari (the boy who went to Rin’s daycare and his mother). Kouki and Yukari have barely gotten any screen time, but you can still tell how closely intertwined the two families have become. Rin and Kouki walk to school together, take entrance pictures together, and play ninja together. And Daikichi is acting as a father figure of sorts to Kouki. He removes the burs from his jacket, combs Kouki’s hair, scolds Kouki quite often, and thanks him for protecting Rin. There is some male bonding going on here that Rin is amusingly oblivious to.
3 thoughts on “Usagi Drop 06 — Rin Becomes a Ninja”
You made some good points here.
Daikichi and Kouki’s mother look good together. We saw how she scolded Daikichi into taking a photo with Rin – something he probably should have done and likely would have regretted later. I can tell she’d be a great compliment to Daikichi and like you wrote, Daikichi is a great influence on Kouki. I’m still pulling for the Brady Bunch ending! LOL
Good point with Rin’s childlike side contrasting her responsible nature. One of my favorite parts about Rin’s character is her likeness to her actual father. I like how she pays respect to everything like she’s 80 years old (the traditional two-clap to honor the tree, her attention to formalities at dinner, etc.). We can see that she grew up around older people and it shows.
Usagi Drop hasn’t addressed one of the difficulties about single-parent households and that is lack of access to opposite-sex role models. As great as Daikichi is, he is only one *man* and there are things he is simply unable to communicate to Rin about growing up as a girl. I hope that happens soon…
That’s a good point about her likeness to Daikichi’s grandfather- it’s quite amusing to see a six year old acting like an old man.
Daikichi seems to be fulfilling the job of a role model for Kouki- I wonder if Kouki’s mother will start to become a female role model for Rin. Rin also has Daikichi’s mother to look after her, so things should turn out all right.