Taking an interesting look at the ups and downs of parenthood, Bunny Drop (Usagi Drop) was originally a manga series created by Yumi Unita. While the series does not contain magical girls or giant robots, its popularity spawned a live action film and anime adaptation in 2011. Categorized as a josei series, one that targets an older female audience, Bunny Drop is a series that can be enjoyed by all.
Bunny Drop is told through the perspective of thirty-year old Daikichi Kawachi, who becomes the guardian of his grandfather’s six year old illegitimate daughter, Rin Kaga. The two met during his grandfather’s funeral where Rin grows attached to Daikichi due to his similar appearance to his grandfather. While the rest of the family quickly shunned her after the discovery, Daikichi decided to take her in after seeing her lonely face. In spite of this new, overwhelming responsibility, Daikichi gains support and learns a lot about raising a child from the people around him. One of those people is Yukari Nitani, the divorced single mother of Kouki Nitani, who is Rin’s friend.
As the series progresses, Daikichi makes several sacrifices for Rin which includes furthering his career to spend more time with her. Part of the charm of Bunny Drop is watching Daikichi panicking over Rin, from trying to understand her feelings to simple tasks such as buying clothes. It’s an experience of growing which is shared between the two as well as the audience.
Surprisingly, Rin’s demeanor is relatively grown up in comparison to most kids her age. She displays the occasional aptitude of an adult at times while she is with Daikichi which leads to occasional role reversals about which of them is the guardian. For example, Rin scolds Daikichi for having his elbows on the table and later, Rin asks to hold hands with him for safety and he questions if she asked because she was scared or for his own safety.
Bunny Drop was produced by Production I.G who’s well known for working on various popular shows including xxxHolic, the Ghost in the Shell series, Eden of the East, and the Blood franchise. The animation and art is minimalistic in keeping with the original manga's style. The background environments are chalked full of details, from all the items inside the department stores to the general cityscape. Apart from the backgrounds, Rin's facial expressions throughout the series are priceless; the ending preview for episode four includes a small showcase dedicated to them.
Another laurel for the series is the voice acting. Rin’s adorable voice is made possible by Ayu Matsuura, who was only ten years old during the recording. Her portrayal of all of Rin’s emotions and moods is amazing. Daichiki is voiced by Hiroshi Tsuchida, who has not voiced any significantly major roles so far in his career apart from voicing Packy from the animated film Cat Shit One. He does a great job with capturing Daichiki’s aloofness and is a perfect match. The rest of the cast interestingly is voiced by a wide ranged people including Sayaka Ohara, who is well known for her role as Erza Scarlet from Fairy Tail, and surprisingly, veteran Maaya Sakamoto makes a small appearance as Rin’s biological mother.
All in all, Bunny Drop is a heartwarming series that looks at some of the real life struggles and sacrifices of parenthood. Just like raising a child, the series might seem like a sacrifice to some in the beginning, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who’s ever considered having children. After watching the series, I would be delighted to one day have a child like Rin of my own.
For those interested in continuing the series with the manga, part two starts with the fifth volume and skips into Rin’s high school years. Both the Bunny Drop anime and manga are currently available in the United States and are released by NIS America and Yen Press respectively.
What I Loved:
-Rin is adorable!
-Voice acting is superb.
-An absolute gem about parenthood that everyone should watch
-Did I already say Rin was adorable?
What I Hated:
-May not be for everyone (especially if you're looking for something action orientated)
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the distributor.