Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Preview: Usagi Drop

Although it's been quite some time since I last wrote anything about anime, it's not because I've given up watching anime. Not yet, anyway. It's because I haven't found anything worth writing about. There's a couple of reasons for that, and the main one is I'm no longer a teenager. Most anime cater for the younger crowd, and I want more than the usual giant robots and high school love triangles.

Which is why I find Usagi Drop a breath of fresh air.

I was initially reluctant to watch it because of the rumours about its ending. It's a controversial one to say the least, feel free to Google it if you wish. The manga it's based on ended earlier this year, and myriad of reactions ensued. I snooped around a few anime discussion boards before deciding to the first episode a try.

And I'm glad I did. I found a lot of things that resonates with current stage in life. The lead character, Daikichi, is also about the same age as me. I think this is the first time I found myself actually relating to an anime character.

Much of Usagi Drop is grounded in reality. Daikichi is a regular middle class, working guy whose grandfather passed away recently. He gets ready to attend the funeral, and is greeted with a surprise at the doorstep in the form of a six-year-old girl.

The girl is introduced as Rin, the illegitimate daughter of Daikichi's late grandfather. As preparations for the funeral goes underway, Daikichi notices that everyone seems to avoid talking to or about Rin. The whole thing is understandable since the idea of an octogenarian fathering a small child is a tad squeamish for some people to accept. And compounding the confusion further is the fact that Rin's biological mother is nowhere to be seen.

Daikichi makes several efforts to reach out to Rin, and in doing so gains her trust. He begins to sympathise with Rin who's too young to understand the situation she's in.

When the family finally sits down to discuss about Rin, things get a little heated. Nobody seems ready to welcome Rin into their home, and somehow perhaps due to confusion and embarrassment, the big picture is lost on everyone, except for Daikichi. He stands up, calls out to Rin and asks if she wants to go home with him, leaving everyone with their jaws on the floor.

Daikichi is single and living alone, and as the story has reveals even he realises that taking in Rin would severely affect his chances of finding a girlfriend.

I must say that I really admire Daikichi's guts. A character like him is rare in anime (heck, even in real life!), and this is reason enough for me to sit and watch till the end, no matter how it's going to end.

The next few episodes finds Daikichi making several important, life-changing decisions, including taking a demotion, as he hopes to spend more time with Rin at home. Having a child changes our life in huge ways. I suspect when one day I have one of my own, I'd be pondering over similar issues. I wonder too about whether there are young men like Daikichi out there, who'd selflessly give up the pleasures of the single life in order to care for somebody else's child. (And in Daikichi' case, the child is his own aunt!) I really hope do they exist.

Yeah, I know I'm starting to get all sentimental. Because, hey, I'm a 30-something-year-old anime fan. I'm supposed to.


Afida Anuar said...

Boleh saya tau, adakah rol mendownloadnya ataupun menontonnya di animax?

Jalan ceritanya menarik, saya rasa mungkin ada lelaki persis daikichi atas dunia ni, tapi nak cari tu payah kan?

PS: Dah lama tak layan anime, masa zaman u dulu selalu la..Naruto,midori no hibi,yakitate,prince of tennis...(zaman muda2 dulu..hehe)

r.o.l. said...

Usagi Drop masih ditayangkan dan belum lagi di Animax, tapi kalau Internet laju boleh menonton streamingnya di Crunchyroll.

Saya lebih suka cerita yang tamat selepas 10+ atau 20+ episod. Kalau Naruto, PoT, Yakitate, episodnya berpuluh-puluh dan beratus-ratus.

PS: Muda lagilah tu kiranya :-)

nahmy said...

anime not really my bread & butter la bro, I'm more into action-packed-mumbo-jumbo real live kind of movie (tengok pun senang, good against evil - tak payah pikir byk2). but still I find this anime interesting...lg pun rambut sama hitam kan bro...minat lain-lain

ieka said...

mcm best aje dgr cerita ni.. hehe
gambar yg last tu.. bukan budak 6 thn je buat..budak 2 thn pun dah pandai paksa org makan dia suapkan..kalau tak makan merajuk je kejenya.. selalu jadi mangsa mak dia laa sbb bapa dah lari awal2 uwaaaa

r.o.l. said...

nahmy, sorry fro the late reply. I was offline for a few days recently.

Anime isn't everybody's cup of tea. Which is probably why they also made a live action movie of Usagi Drop. Saya sengaja blog tentangnya kerana walaupun ceritanya ringkas tetapi persoalan yang ditimbulkannya adalah penting dan relevan di kalangan mana-mana masyarakat.

ieka, that last pic is too cute to be left out :-) If she's starting to feed you that's sign she wants to return your love and kindness, kan? Haha. Sabar ye, ibu?

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