Usagi Drop 07 — Sleepover

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.

3 thoughts on “Usagi Drop 07 — Sleepover

  1. I completely agree about the level of communication in Usagi Drop. It’s pretty impressive. Not only that, but props to this series for tackling real-life issues: abandonment, divorce, adoption, single-parent families, etc. It’s rare to find an anime that does all this so well.

    The creators are doing an excellent job with these characters. Did you notice how when the three children had their choice of sweets, Rin chose vegetable sponge cake when the other two chose sugar sweets? Again, very subtle but it puts Rin’s ‘old soul’ in context with children her age. Well done.

    Some of the dialogue between Daikichi and Haruko about women was outstanding. How about how Haruko effortlessly carried that bag with her when she showed up at Daikichi’s house? As soon as he tried to pick it up, we found it to be unbearably heavy. That scene matched well with the conversation the two shared later that night about Haruko’s strength (figuratively) as a parent and how miserable she’d been living with her in-laws. That bag filled with Rin’s textbooks and such seemed symbolic in a way.

    I really liked the scene you mentioned with the lit house. Usagi Drop communicates so much visually. The level of production is outstanding – do you know who did this or what else they did? I’d be interested.

    To me, Usagi Drop is clearly the highlight of the season. I haven’t seen an anime this good in a while.

    1. That scene where Rin picked the vegetable sponge cake as a sweet was hilarious. Daikichi doesn’t need to worry about giving her a healthy diet. And yeah, the whole thing with the heavy bag was a nice bit of symbolism.

      Usagi Drop is animated by Production IG- they have, all around, some of the best animated shows. They did Ghost Hound, Eden of the East, Break Blade, and Seirei no Moribito, to name a few. I don’t pay much attention to individuals involved in the production, so unfortunately I can’t tell you much there.

      1. Yeah, Production I.G. have done too many great shows to mention. Those you listed were all great (well, I never saw Break Blade). You could keep going on and on, though, because they are unusually consistent in delivering interesting, and well developed shows. I’ll just add Beast Player Erin, which is a very unusual show.

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