Usagi Drop is one of the shows I look forward to most each week, and this episode didn’t disappoint. For a “slice of life” show about parenting, Usagi Drop sure knows how to keep things exciting. The pacing is perfect, and there’s always something interesting going on. It’s making an excellent use of its short length, unlike some other shows this season *cough cough* No. 6 *cough cough*.
This episode centered around Haruko and Reina running away from home, but this timely event was actually used to explore Daikichi’s life just as much as Haruko’s. It served as an excuse to look at Daikichi’s love life, as well as his relationship with Yukari (Kouki’s mother) through the eyes of an outsider.
It’s pretty amazing how fleshed out the relationship between Daikichi and Yukari has become— and even more so when you consider the fact that Yukari has barely shown up on screen. Her only screen time this week was the brief meeting at the grocery store, and playing dress up with Rin. The creators bring their relationship to life just through a conversation between Daikichi and Haruko, and indirectly through Daikichi’s relationship with Kouki. Hanging out with your dad while your mother buys clothes must be a memory shared by all boys with two parents, so this scene cemented Daikichi’s fatherly role for Kouki to me.
I enjoyed the discussion about marriage too, especially the part where Rin and Reina interrupted, and contrasted marriage and divorce to come to the conclusion that everyone wanted what they didn’t have. Kouki’s rather oblivious questioning of Daikichi’s marriage prospects was a nice touch as well. And Haruko’s words may make Daikichi put some more thought into Yukari’s marital status.
What I like most about Usagi Drop is how understated it is, and how it communicates so much seemingly with so little effort. My favorite scene from this episode was quite simple and short: it’s dark outside, and Rin is rushing home to see Reina, tugging Daikichi along behind her. They turn in front of the house, see it’s lit inside, pause, smile at each other, and head inside. This scene lasted the entirety of fifteen seconds, yet it said more than many shows do in fifteen minutes.