Usagi Drop EP 01 – The Bellflower Girl

Summary

Daikichi, the 30-year-old zombie pictured above, is your favorite conventionally boring relative — complete with a perma-frown to reflect his retrospective personality. However, with the death of his maternal Grandfather, Daikichi is suddenly forced to leave behind his former reclusive state, when he realizes the little girl seen running around his grandfather’s house is actually the product of the old man’s illegitimate love life. The young girl, Rin, despite her shy nature, immediately takes a liking to Daikichi, who, when prompted by his mother, soon realizes Rin is actually his aunt.

It becomes apparent that none of the relatives present want anything to do with Rin, because her lack of interaction, due to her being reserved, coupled with not knowing anyone there, suggesting that she is simply a slow child. And for the most part, she keeps to herself, except when having her cat’s cradle stolen by Daikichi’s boistrous niece (luckily, there was enough candy on hand to repress her impish nature).

Later at the funeral, where everyone is presenting the traditional white Chrysanthemum flowers at the viewing, Daikichi offers Rin the opportunity. However, she refuses to use the flower and instead picks her own bellflowers [Kikyou], which happen to be the old man’s favorite. At its conclusion, the family gathers to determine Rin’s future. After a prolonged silence and a few “I couldn’t possibly have time” shared, Daikichi steps forward, irritated by their negligence, and asks Rin if she would like to stay with him. And a dramatic sequence later, the unusual couple finds themselves just waking up at the house of Daikichi.

Impressions

A very tender series indeed, Usagi Drop. There is definite praise needed to be given to the clever structure in which the first episode was presented. Despite the relatively quick plot development (very similar to Yuru Yuri), Usagi Drop manages to provide substantial background for the characters, most likely due to the prompted emotional connections present. So far so good.

From an artistic standpoint, Usagi Drop has to be a favorite of mine—encompassing a simple, watercolor style of art that is very unique. Of course, the bright colors and simplistic approach definitely set the tone for the storyline, again allowing for that ‘instant immersion’ into the plot.

As far as my personal preference is concerned, I certainly find it refreshing to sit down and watch a uniquely relaxing series for a change, especially with today’s prevalence of action/moe/humor-saturated plots that eventually feel as though they leave you numb-brained after every episode. I have to commend Daikichi on his decision to take in Rin (even though it was essential to the rest of the series ^^), knowing what a hand full it would be to have a little munchkin running about your home—and an adventurous one at that. In other words, Daikichi is looking to be one great Oyaji.