Rin caught a cold, and it’s the end of the world. Daikichi needs to stay by Rin’s bedside every second for two days straight, and doesn’t even have time to go and shave. Kouki and his mom come over to join the nursing squad. Daikichi monitors every minute change in her temperature. Rin’s face is flushed. (Is it just me, or is the art a bit off in this shot? Rin looks like an adult bishoujo, not a little girl.)
When I was a little kid, my favorite play spots were mud puddles and forests. I spent most of my time digging rocks out of the ground, collecting bugs, building traps and secret bases, and riding around on my bike. I ate food off the ground and bushes (I don’t do that anymore… of course…) and bathed and washed my hands as little as I could get away with. My idea of hygiene was covering my droppings with leaves and wiping with Indian toilet paper (if you’ve never had the opportunity to try it, it’s actually more comfortable than some of the most expensive brands). Raw eggs? Yum yum! I don’t think I’m that atypical, at least among boys. Even Daikichi seems to have had a similar experience.
So I will never understand this level of paranoia over a cold. When I was a kid a cold was just an excuse to skip school. It didn’t mean I would stay in bed all day! (Although my parents certainly tried.) Daikichi’s acting like Rin is going to die. I guess we could chalk up some of the blame to the fact that Daikichi is a new parent, and this is the first time Rin’s ever been sick. But still, hasn’t he ever had a cold before? Or, more to the point, haven’t the creators of Usagi Drop?
Daikichi goes so far as to take the martyr’s path: if only I had died in her place! Curse you, God!
I should mention that this portrayal of a cold isn’t specific to Usagi Drop at all. Every cold I can think of in anime goes the same way. The sick person can’t even get out of bed. But the next day they’re perfectly fine. The reaction to colds is partially a cultural thing: people from Asia do wear these surgical masks, even at school. But I find it hard to believe they take it this far.
Yukari provides some good advice to Daikichi: calm down. But her rationale is slightly odd: it isn’t that he shouldn’t worry, it’s that he shouldn’t let Rin worry by acting worried. Yukari is clearly worried as well, considering how often she comes over during the course of Rin’s illness. Of course, she could be more worried about Daikichi than Rin.
The most reasonable reaction to Rin’s cold comes from Kouki, after Daikichi forbids him from entering her room:
Kouki gets it.
Fathers of the World Unite!
It wasn’t really connected to the rest of the episode, but I did like the part where Daikichi befriended some of the other fathers. Parenting in Usagi Drop seems to be a world dominated by single mothers, so it’s nice to see he isn’t the only father out there.
Usagi Drop appears to have no conclusion in sight, but for once, I’m fine with that. Life goes on, kids grow up. A story like this shouldn’t end.