Subliminal Messaging

If there is one thing the noitaminA block does well is explore a space in anime beyond that that JC STAFF has exploited over the years. A-1’s Fractale was an excellent premise, but just didn’t end as well as it started, where Aniplex/AIC’s offering in the same season, Hourou Musuko, was an excellent down-to-earth series from start to finish. Here at TLDR we (read: me) try to sample some of anime’s less talked about shows, looking for a couple series each season that aren’t talked about everywhere and offer just as much flavor as the cream of the crop series voiced by Kugimiya Rie. This season, it was Usagi Drop

It is damn cute.
Someone want to vector this? I'll load it on my Galaxy S2 when I buy it.

I don’t know if the recent influx of more family-friendly or “shows involving kids” is a message to the Japanese to have more babies, but regardless, even for a man like myself, you can’t help but feel rather touched in a way by this show’s story. A child born out of a rather “illegitimate” relationship between a manga-ka/maid and an old man becomes a story about how his grandson steps up and sacrifices his job and single life to care for the girl, following all of the little things that real people with real kids worry about each day. Things like school, teeth coming out, colds, and the like. You even get short bits of strife like the situation with Rin’s mother, and gleams of hope that Kouki’s mother might be interested in our hero Daikchi. Combined together it seriously makes me hope that when I do have kids someday, I can be that mix of cool and kind that they look up to, and hopefully they won’t end up like sods.

So if you’re looking for a cute show that offers a closer-to-home story compared to the usual, with a girl actually voiced by a ten-year old kid, give this one a shot. You shall not be disappointed.

Title: Usagi Drop
Sub Group I Watched: Commie, Horrible
Episodes: 11
Rating (1-10): 8

Favorite Character: Rin
Least Favorite Character: Masako
SHIPPING BOX: Dai and Kouki’s mother. Come on, completely obvious.
Y U NO LIEK MASAKO? Seriously, I know there are a lot of circumstances in this world, lord only knows I try to keep an open mind, but for a woman to simply leave her child like that, to draw comics? I am a lot of things, lazy, apathetic, and whatever have you, but I would never abandon children of mine no matter what the circumstance. It’s just that simple.
Second Season? Honestly while I might not mind more, I kinda hope they don’t. Light novels and manga are one thing, but a TV show should never overstay its welcome, and this was such a good show I’m not sure if I want them to make more of it. But if it retains the same style, sure.

I do want to go slightly off my usual rocker here and mention the biggest reason I like this show is it paints a picture of what many childless single guys like me, especially in their late twenties and early thirties, tend to struggle with, how life goes. I don’t have kids yet, and it’s largely because I have been a bit selfish in my twenties and was looking out for myself and whom I was with. We were happy, why ruin that? Well truth me told most women don’t want that, they want to be married and with kids pretty quickly, and it’s a bombshell for us guys who still want to play out our younger years, not that mine were any special. But one of the points the last episode struck home about was how you would feel after having kids, acknowledging your “me-time” is really gone, but the response made sense, your “me-time” is still there, only you spend it in a different way. I intend to do that someday when I have kids, I intend to spend time with them doing what I do and doing what they do together. In a sense, you aren’t wasting your time at all, and really, you’re gaining much more than you would have ever thought by yourself. Made me think about that a bit. Now if I can only make enough money to afford the girl I am dating. =D

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