Daikichi’s grandfather passes away, and at the funeral, he discovers that his grandfather had an illegitimate child, Rin. Instead of sending her to the orphanage, Daikichi takes her in, and begins the life of a single parent.
First of all, in a medium where most shows are about teenagers whose parents are conspicuously absent, I have to give Usagi Drop credit. It takes on parenting directly, and its main characters are a thirty year old man and a six year old girl.
With that said, the relationship between Daikichi and Rin is one of the weakest parts of the show. Rin’s main role is to act cute and need Daikichi. In many ways, she’s too “perfect” as a child to be believable— she cooks all the family meals, never throws fits, and she and Daikichi get along perfectly from the get-go. There are occasional conflicts, like Rin wetting the bed, but again, this falls in the cuteness category. In the sense of getting along with Rin, Daikichi’s job is too easy.
Fortunately, the relationships between the other characters are much more interesting. In particular, we have Yukari and Kouki, a single mother and a child of Rin’s age who befriend Daikichi and Rin. Daikichi takes on a fatherly role for Kouki, and there is some chemistry between him and Yukari. We also have Daikichi’s extended family interacting with Rin to good effect, and Daikichi’s meetings with Rin’s biological mother provide some food for thought.
All in all, this was another good noitaminA show, following in the footsteps of Hourou Musuko and Ano Hana.
- Plot / Script – A – Never feels rushed or boring, with thoughtful dialogue.
- Characters – B – Daikichi is a bit simplistic, and Rin is more or less a placeholder, but otherwise strong.
- Production – A – Gorgeous, bright animation, that resembles the drawings of a child.
- Overall – B+
Recommendations – Hourou Musuko, Kurenai, NieA_7
Note: I’m going to be experimenting with giving letter grades instead of the odd 0.25 increments I used before, let’s see how it works. Thanks to Marrow for suggestions.