Usagi Drop

Title:Usagi Drop
Bunny Drop
うさぎドロップ (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Production I.G.
R1 License - NIS America
When 30-year-old Daikichi returns home for his grandfather's funeral he meets an unfamiliar child in the garden. His mother explains that Rin is his grandfather's illegitimate daughter by an unknown mother. The girl is an embarrassment to all his relatives and nobody wants to take her in because of the scandal. Annoyed by their attitude, Daikichi decides to take care of Rin himself, even though he is single and has no experience raising a child.
(Summary Courtesy of

[TV series, 2011, 11 episode series, 23 min; Animated by Production I.G.. Four additional short episodes (to be inserted as episodes 2.5, 3.5, 6.5, and 8.5), each only 5 minutes long, are provided as add-ons of the DVD release.]
Based on the first 4 of 9 volumes of the josei manga series by Yumi Unita (2005-2011, 56 chapters, complete); the manga makes a 10 years time jump right after the end of the anime, and the remaining 5 volumes cover the time when Rin, Kouki and Reina go to high school together.

See also the ↗Live Action version of the same story, in theaters from August 20th, 2011.
1:41min promotion video - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 7 8 7 8 9 9 Dreamer [series:2458#2279]
Usagi Drop

This was one darn cute and charming series. Not cute in kawaii but cute as in simple and full of affectionate moments. Every episode was well worth the watch.

Art, Animation & Character Designs
The artwork is what I would consider minimalist. It was basic, simple and mostly plain. Even the characters were simplistic and lacking any real features. Though, you did get to see some attention to detail when it came to facial expressions and vocals. However, this was one of many points to this series that made it stand out. Even though our artwork was minimal, it still was a breath of fresh air.

The soundtrack for the most part had lots of soft piano, wind instruments and alot of which reminded me of something YoYo Ma would compose. Or more accurately, something S.E.N.S. would play. That being said, it was soothing and light hearted... and enjoyable to listen to. The OP was a cute alternative with female vocals. What made it even more cute was the kawaii animation in the opening sequence. Nice. The ED was even more enjoyable with male vocals.... alternative?

Series and Episode Story
This series is simple and nothing really happens but somehow, it's both charming and fun to watch. The plot is as simple as an adult male taking over custody of a small child and learning how to become a father figure in the process. But this simplicity in itself and basic plot is what makes this so entertaining and addicting. In fact, from episode 1, I fell in love with this series and almost did a marathon of all 11 episodes. Well, actually it took me 3 nights but still.

Both the main characters Daikichi and the cute little Rin are lovable characters that I can almost safely say that anyone would fall in love with. Especially cute and innocent Rin..... so Kawaii!! The support characters are almost equally as lovable and enjoyable to watch. I can honestly say, sitting through this, actually taught me a thing or two about being a father.... at least things I might have to be looking forward to.

Overall, this is a must watch! Sometimes it's good to get away from everything and other genres and just sit down with a simple down-to-earth and honest to goodness series such as this.

Last updated Sunday, March 17 2013. Created Sunday, March 17 2013.
Buy 8 7 6 8 9 9 Ggultra2764 [series:2458#1552]
A sometimes sad, sometimes heartwarming title, Usagi Drop looks into the everyday life of Rin and Daikichi when the latter chooses to adopt the former following the death of her father, that being Daikichi's grandfather thus making Rin an illegitimate child in the family. The series is mostly character-driven in the fact Daikichi learns to adjust to the challenges of raising Rin, as well as the young girl going through some growing-up challenges of her own such as getting over the loss of her father, bed-wetting and entering kindergarten. Several supporting characters also get their focus and interactions with the duo such as their family, Rin's friends and even Rin's biological mother.

For the most part, the show retains a gentle and mellow mood as it explores the everyday life experienced by Rin and Daikichi, as well as fleshing out more about Rin's unique family circumstances. This feel also went into the show's presentation where the visuals take on a water-color like animation style which looks pleasing on the eyes in terms of seeing scenery yet character designs have fairly simple details and look rough at points. The soundtrack mostly consists of low-key and mellow tracks. Both do their parts at enhancing the carefree and gentle mood that Usagi Drop gives off in exploring the everyday activity of Rin and Daikichi.

Perhaps the best title I seen for the Summer 2011 anime season, Usagi Drop was a heartwarming and touching little title for me to check out thanks to the adorable bond between Daikichi and Rin.

Last updated Thursday, September 15 2011. Created Thursday, September 15 2011.
Buy 9 9 9 9 9 9 AstroNerdBoy [series:2458#436]

Through 11 episodes...

Wow. Incredible stuff here. Sad, happy, heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. How can you not love Rin? ^_^ I'll write a final review in the near future.

Last updated Friday, September 16 2011. Created Sunday, July 31 2011.
Buy 9 8 9 8 9 9 Devil Doll [series:2458#752]
[Score: 87% = "Buy". Other recommended silent dramas about the problematic childhood of a young girl: Aishiteru Ze Baby, Binbou Shimai Monogatari]

One of those family dramas that have more substance than you might expect. I waited months for collecting the extra episodes as to be able to watch this in one pass, and had great hopes for it. And I wasn't disappointed: Down-to-earth narration style, no unnecessary ingredients such as slapstick or fan-service, and most of all: Lovable characters. Rin is actually too good to be true but a heroine you must like nonetheless.
Both songs aren't that memorable but suitable for the mood of the show, much like most of the background music; the visuals are okay as well, with SD elements being used sparingly. The closing scene in each episode after the ED song is a nice add-on, and much better than the usual spoilerish preview. Only the weak ending - right in the middle of nowhere - cost this anime a "Buy+" rating.

  • Episode 01 (0+): (manga chapter 01) A decent opening, showing how much more mature Rin is compared to Reina, and how the chemistry between the leads works right from the start. And both will be necessary as Daikichi has no-one to back him up, unlike Kippei from Aishiteru Ze Baby. The ending even indicates that Rin might have housewife abilities that Daikichi is lacking, so they might become a good team.
  • Episode 02 (0+): (manga chapter 02) Daikichi learns that he got a load of additional work now but Rin performs very well so far and doesn't cause any unnecessary trouble; she can even read already at her age so whoever raised her up to this point did a decent job as well.
  • Short Episode 02.5 (+): The Leaves Aquarium. It's heart-warming to see how little Rin needs to be happy; she's really a model child and it's almost impossible not to like her.
  • Episode 03 (++): (manga chapters 03+04+06+07) The best episode so far, basically because of Daikichi's mother and his female co-worker. His decision to give up looking for Rin's mother leads to a significant consequence for his life; we'll see how it will work out.
  • Short Episode 03.5 (+): Dear Santa. It's the small things that are important, and Daikichi is aware of this and giving his best, much like Kyou in Binbou Shimai Monogatari.
  • Episode 04 (+): (manga chapters 05+09+10) New friends and even two potential mothers for Rin. And the modem that Daikichi found in his grandfather's house has got a meaning now.
  • Episode 05 (0+): (manga chapters 08+11+12) Rin's mother is strange, thus not much is happening this time. But a wonderful ending for this episode, with Daikichi asking himself an important question.
  • Episode 06 (+): (manga chapters 13+14) Rin and Kouki enter grade school, and Rin follows a family tradition. Slice of life, and marvelously told.
  • Short Episode 06.5 (+): Hana-Bi. One more step bringing the two families a bit closer together.
  • Episode 07 (++): (manga chapters 19+20) Haruko's story brings an unexpectedly sad tone into the story while not entering melodramatic territory. Well done.
  • Episode 08 (+): (manga chapters 17b+18) Another sad episode, but not much is going forward this time. It's still astounding how Rin can handle her situation - she's a brave little girl.
  • Short Episode 08.5 (+): The Way Home. A heart-warming interlude, giving an impression of what might be in the future.
  • Episode 09 (0+): (manga chapters 16+17a) It's the subtle scenes that indicate how these two families are getting ever closer. But will there be a significant change before the end of this series?
  • Episode 10 (++): (manga chapters 21+22) Outstanding performance by Kouki's mother. And the final scene after the ED section earned this episode the maximum score.
  • Episode 11 (0): (manga chapters 23+24) The series doesn't end, it just fades out with the weakest episode of the season. But as in the manga, this is a reasonable milestone in Rin's and Daikichi's development, and as such 11 episodes may have been a good choice.
Additional information from the manga:
  • Rin was named after "rindou", the Japanese name for "bellflower" which was grandpa's favorite flower.

Last updated Monday, April 09 2012. Created Tuesday, July 19 2011.
Rent Stretch [series:2458#628]

(All episodes watched):

Usagi Drop looks to me to be the best series of the Summer. Judging from the title, I had expected something inane and possibly meant for children, but what I got was very different. Seeing that it was a Noitamina production was my first hint. Yet I don't have much to say about it, because the first episode basically sets up the interesting premise (technically, Rin is 30-year-old Daikichi's aunt) without getting the main story underway just yet; just reading the synopsis above would bring you up to speed for episode two. In some cases that would annoy me, but the quality that this series has shown so far, with the careful character development (or intentional lack of development on Rin's part) reassures me and leaves me eager to see what lies ahead. This show definitely passes one important test: the first episode seemed to go quickly and I wasn't repeatedly checking the DVD timer in hopes that it would wrap up soon.

I think one of the lessons from Usagi Drop is that if the makers of a show just take the trouble to make the characters do a fair amount of talking about fairly interesting topics they will probably grow a likeable personality. It's all too easy to use simple and easy gimicks like action or comedy or fanservice at the expense of character development. Anyway, several potential romantic interests for Kaikichi--single mothers--have turned up. In most shows I wouldn't care or expect much here, but I find that somehow this show instills in me a genuine longing that things will work out well. I had almost forgotten that I was capable of feeling this way.

Somehow, when excellent shows come along, I sometimes find it hard to think of things to say about them. It's just good. The characters have depth, you care about them, and they do things besides go to a hot spring or whatever. It's slice-of-life with an unusual twist. Sometimes, going into a new episode I worry if the show can still come up with yet another dose of fresh material, but somehow it always does.

I was expecting something like a marriage proposal from Daichi at the end, but instead the story kind of petered out and indeed ended as just a slice-of-life show. Maybe the manga is still incomplete, so no real conclusion was attempted. A second season would be nice.

Last updated Thursday, October 27 2011. Created Tuesday, July 12 2011.

Other Sites
Official Japanese Usagi Drop Web Site
Official Website (japanese) of the Live Action version

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