Too cute. Why is Daikichi worried about how she’ll look when her teeth fall out?
One thing which Usagi Drop has done consistently well at is portraying intergenerational relationships so believably. In this episode, look at the reactions of the family to Rin’s loose tooth. Daikichi, quite practically, tells her not to wiggle it too much, and looks into getting a container for her lost baby teeth. Daikichi’s parents enter into panic mode, and change the menu for dinner to include only soft foods. Rin keeps wiggling it, but seems more curious than concerned. And when it does fall out, she’s ecstatic.
Another point of interest is Daikichi’s sister. Daikichi’s been taking care of Rin for a year now, and she’s actually asking him for parenting advice. How time flies.
Daikichi, Kouki, and Yukari
I find Daikichi’s relationship with Kouki even more intriguing than his relationship with Rin. Kouki isn’t living with him, but Daikichi has still taken the role of a father figure, and Kouki is completely enamored of him. Daikichi even has Kouki shopping for breakfast food to eat at his house, and Kouki invites Daikichi over to play video games (ah… male bonding).
On the other hand, Kouki’s mother doesn’t seem to have the same kind of relationship with Rin. This may simply be that the anime mainly takes place from Daikichi’s perspective, and there are things going on that we don’t know about. The reason I mention this is because Kouki’s mother seemed genuinely thrilled when Rin brought her the pudding. Her seeming surprise makes me think they aren’t quite as close as Kouki and Daikichi— I guess she must not spend as much time alone with the kids as Daikichi.
Which may not be good for Daikichi and Yukari’s coupling prospects. It’s odd how at this stage they’re still so awkward. Take the scene where Daikichi comes to Kouki’s house. He initially tries to run away, but when he and Yukari see each other face to face, time freezes, the background changes color, the music changes, and she and Daikichi enter their own little dream world. I honestly cracked up here. When time resumes, the two of them begin to profusely apologize for nothing. It seems like apologizing in Japan is like talking about the weather where I live.
I was impressed by how much they managed to get out of the jump roping segment. Kouki takes his Daikichi imitation to a new level, Rin’s tooth begins to wobble, and Daikichi gives an adult rationale for skipping rope (an expanding waistline). Again, look at how the portrayal differs between kids and adults.
Then there’s Rin’s failure / victory at the jump roping contest. It’s details like these that manage to keep the world believable, exciting and humorous at the same time.
Wrapping Things Up
I expected Usagi Drop to just peter out and fade into the distance. But they actually did manage to wrap things up nicely. The beginning of Daikichi’s conversation with the other parents was a bit heavy-handed, but otherwise it flowed naturally. There was a focus on how Rin has grown, through the flashbacks, and how Daikichi has also grown as a father. Overall, it was a satisfying conclusion for a story that can’t truly end.