SeitoCast

The student council anime podcast

First Impressions – Bunny (Usagi) Drop

Yeah I prefer to use the English titles, what of it.

Bunny Drop is one of the summer season’s two noitaminA shows.  It’s an adaptation of a manga of the same name by Production IG and Fuji TV.  It tells the story of Daikichi, an unmarried 30 year old, who adopts his grandfather’s illegitimate child, Rin.

Rin-chan~

I came into this show knowing absolutely nothing about the manga, or the show beyond a quick summary of the plot.  I was expecting a reasonably good show as this is the illustrious noitaminA block after all.  I was heavily surprised.  This show touched my emotions and caused me to fall in love with not just Rin, but Daikichi as well, in only 22 minutes.

Bunny Drop did a lot with little.  Daikichi and Rin speak maybe a few dozen words to each other in the entire episode, but the similarities between the two characters start adding up fast.  The two characters meet at Daikichi’s grandfather (Rin’s father’s) funeral.  Being the illegitimate daughter of the 79 year old, most of the family ignores her.  Some even go as far as outright shunning her.  An already quiet child, Rin spends most of the episode floating around the background of the scenes, and the only one who seems to notice her is Daikichi.  While the rest of the family is placing flowers on grandpa’s body and saying their final goodbyes, he’s the only one to approach Rin and invite her to join the group.  His compassion is demonstrated quickly, in a very simple manner.  A great example of how to establish a character’s personality quickly and powerfully without resorting to weakly written internal monologues.

Daikichi, the only compassionate person in the family.

There’s also an interesting contrast between Rin and Reina, the daughter of Daikichi’s cousin.  While Rin is generally quiet and shy, behaving herself and staying out of the way, Reina is loud and obnoxious.  She has no respect for the gravity of the situation going on around her and even ends up throwing the funeral flowers everywhere.  This is used during the scene where the family is trying to decide who should take care of Rin.  Reina’s mother comments that Rin isn’t a well-behaved child, and Daikichi snaps.  He ignores the group and approaches Rin herself, asking her if she would like to go home with him.  Another great example of a way to bring out a character’s personality with very little artificially inserted dialogue.

What a little brat

The final thing I noticed that was very subtle, was Daikichi’s house.  In the opening scene the house is very abstractly drawn.  It’s almost a sketch that he walks through.  In the final scene after Rin has joined him the house is very well defined and drawn in.  It’s no longer just a house or a place where Daikichi happens to live, it’s a home for the two of them.  Well played, well played.

Daikichi's house before Rin

Daikichi's house after Rin

Definitely a recommended first episode.  I’m reminded of shows such as Mushishi and Haibane Renmei, that do more with their atmosphere and situations than they do directly with dialogue and action.  I’m eagerly awaiting the next episode with high hopes.

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