Bunny Drop Manga Volume 01 Review

Usagi Drop/うさぎドロップ Manga Volume 01
Bunny Drop Manga Volume 01

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SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Bunny Drop Manga Volume 01Thirty-year old Daikichi arrives at his Grandfather’s home after the 79-year old man had passed away.  He discovers a young girl in the yard, whom he does not know, and when he inquires of his mother, she informs him that the girl, named Rin, is the illegitimate daughter of his grandfather.  The girl stays quiet, mostly playing Cat’s Cradle but does tend to stick close to Daikichi as the family prepares for the funeral. Daikichi attributes this to his resembling his grandfather.  After the funeral, the relatives return to “Gramp’s” home to discuss the Rin problem. After hearing how no one wants to deal with the “strange girl,” Daikichi decides to take care of her himself, much to the shock of the family.

Taking Rin to the store the following day to buy a futon and clothes for the girl, Daikichi realizes that with his bad luck with women and his not caring for children, Rin is a double whammy.  However, at the store, Rin is much more on top of things, clearly remembering everything she needs. When Daikichi asks why she isn’t picking any skirts, she tells him that she can’t wear them at daycare, something Daikichi hadn’t considered.  Returning home, he consults with his cousin Haruko before spending time trying to find a temporary daycare to take care of Rin until he can find a permanent one. He finally settles on one that has better hours, but will make his commute doubled.

The next day, Rin and Daikichi struggle on the packed train and barely get to the daycare in time. When Daikichi is about to leave, Rin’s look of sad desperation leads him to promise her that he’ll return. He does return, but it is late and this makes him wonder how he and Rin will make it. As Daikichi attempts to find a better daycare solution, he notices the little changes in his apartment thanks to Rin living there. In the end, he decides to request a transfer to a department with no overtime. His boss is disappointed, but understands and agrees to do what he can. When he breaks the news to one of his co-workers, he gets an earful about abandoning the team since Daikichi was responsible for so many sales.

Gatou-san, a young, petite single parent of a 2-year old boy, runs into Daikichi at work. He tells her his situation and they discuss parenting over lunch.

One morning, the alarm wakes Daikichi up and he’s surprised Rin isn’t already up and is in her own futon rather than his. He discovers his futon is very wet and an embarrassed Rin insists it is sweat. After cleaning the futon, Daikichi shows Rin how to get it back together. That night, he wakes up to find Rin changing pants and the futon wet again.  Again, she insists it is sweat and is embarrassed and offended that Daikichi puts the futon in the wash. They use her futon and Rin goes back to sleep as Daikichi wonders why Rin has suddenly started wetting the bed after three months.

He consults with Gatou-san and after assuring himself he’s not the one wetting the bed, he decides to have Rin go to the bathroom before going to bed. However, although Rin says she’s doing that, Daikichi discovers she’s not using the bathroom. So, he decides he’ll start escorting her to the bathroom, but after Rin has an outburst over a TV program about illness, Daikichi discovers that Rin is afraid of death, both her own and Daikichi’s. He assures her as best he can and gets her to reveal that she finds the bathroom scary. So, he promises to escort her there and to not laugh or get angry if she does have an accident.  With that, they get into the bath together where Daikichi decides he needs to get insurance for Rin.

At daycare, Rin finds herself facing questions about Daikichi and her parentage. Another boy, Kouki, saves her from this and the two become friends as Kouki’s father divorced his mother and he lives alone with his mother. This results in Daikichi and Kouki’s mother meeting and the four walking part-way home. Rin asks Daikichi about divorce which leads to a discussion of Rin’s mother, whom Rin doesn’t know if she wants to meet.

Daikichi gets pressured into coming home for the holidays with Rin. Rin is initially excited, but when she sees Daikichi’s parents and sister, she becomes quiet and withdrawn. Daikichi tells them that this is the result of the way she was treated at Gramp’s funeral. Daikichi’s mother decides to rectify this by producing special string she’s made for Cat’s Cradle. This causes Rin to start opening up and then to make beanbags with Daikichi’s mother. Daikichi takes advantage of this to take a trip to his grandfather’s place to look for more clues about Rin’s mother. While there, he discovers a modem behind a dresser, something out of place considering there was no computer in the home.

Review/Thoughts:

I decided to go ahead and read volume 1 since a quick flip-through revealed that the anime had gotten passed this volume.  This will be my first josei manga, so I’m doubly looking forward to reading it.  Because I’ve seen the anime, I will do some comparisons.

The anime does a better job at showing Rin’s alienation while everyone is gathered for Daikichi’s grandfather’s funeral. That’s not a slam on Unita-sensei does a bad job, but the anime was able to expand on the moments to reveal more of the negative thoughts toward Rin by various family members, which are not shown in the manga. On the other hand, the manga shows why Rin gravitated toward Daikichi, which was missing in the anime.  Apparently, she felt more comfortable with Daikichi because he resembled his grandfather (Rin’s father) on top of the obvious way that Daikichi was the only one not disdainful of her.

I like how the manga better captures Daikichi’s thoughts on things that are happening. This varies from the little things he notices now that Rin lives with him to wondering if he was the one wetting the futon.  That’s not a slam on the anime, which appears to have done a really good job of faithfully following the manga, but rather something the manga can do better than the anime.  That’s a reason to buy he manga even if you’ve already watched the anime — those little extras such as Daikichi’s thoughts.

I do find it interesting that in the manga, Daikichi makes the decision on his own to transfer to a department and job with no overtime while in the anime, he doesn’t make this decision until after he talks to Gatou-san.  In the manga, his talk with Gatou-san comes after his transfer request.

The anime broke up Rin’s bed-wetting by having the introduction to it as a comedic end to one episode and the rest of it as a serious part of another episode. The manga makes this play out better because the flow is not broken and it doesn’t come off as a comedy bit when first introduced.

Kouki’s mother remains unnamed in the manga as she has been in the anime.  I’ve never understood why the Japanese seemingly tend to love to have unnamed characters running about. ^_^;

So when it comes to anime vs. manga, there are some things the anime has done better and some things the manga has done better. Either way, I like both and am very happy to own the manga. ^_^

Speaking of which, on the Yen Press side, honorifics mostly stay intact.  The “-san,” “-chan,” “-kun,” and “-senpai” honorifics remain, but for some reason, “Sensei” is extracted, both as a title and an honorific. That’s a bit disappointing to me.

There are some translator notes, which are always a welcome addition to any manga title released in English.  A note about the “ma’am/mister” joke might have been nice since translating “obasan/ojisan” doesn’t really capture the original Japanese joke with Daikichi telling Rin he’s not an “ojisan” (uncle/mister) and that Rin is more of an “obasan” (aunt/ma’am) because technically, she is his aunt as the daughter of his grandfather.

I was surprised that the manga’s book dimensions are larger than average (8.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches), but I’m not complaining at all about that. I liked that there’s a color page at the front of the manga as well. Wish there were more.

Bottom line: Even if you’ve seen the anime, the manga helps fill in those corners and make for a more complete picture. Well worth picking up if you collect manga and like a good story.

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4 Responses to “Bunny Drop Manga Volume 01 Review”

  1. Ultimaniac says:

    I’m loving both too. Manga can sometimes explore character’s thoughts better. But with good music and voices, anime can create a better setting and make you feel more.

    I was sort of disappointed in the first episode that they took out that shot at the family that Daikichi gave before he took in Rin. Something about “she’ll become a better adult that all of you.” I just couldn’t stop grinning afterward.

  2. 5yewy5r says:

    I just finished reading this series, and I have to say overall the series was great and flowed pretty well. The anime was pretty faithful to the manga, and I think if you watched the anime rather than read the manga you wouldn’t be missing out on too much, unlike other series I know.

    The ending is a (sort of) huge surprise, I won’t spoil it for you but it’s surprising but at the same time sort of expected because the manga clued you in enough. Whether or not the ending could be considered “good” is subjective, but personally I liked it.

  3. Ultimaniac says:

    @5yewy5r
    Those are the worst kind of spoiler. The ‘brace yourself’ and ‘look for clues’ spoilers….

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I was sort of disappointed in the first episode that they took out that shot at the family that Daikichi gave before he took in Rin. Something about “she’ll become a better adult that all of you.” I just couldn’t stop grinning afterward.M

    Ah, yes. Good point and yeah, she probably would be a better adult. Though Daikichi’s immediate family have much improved. ^_^

    The anime was pretty faithful to the manga, and I think if you watched the anime rather than read the manga you wouldn’t be missing out on too much, unlike other series I know.

    That’s what I’m noticing, with some modifications though. Some shifts in where things are told usually are OK. Its when important things get cut or stupidity gets inserted that I get bothered.

    The ending is a (sort of) huge surprise, I won’t spoil it for you but it’s surprising but at the same time sort of expected because the manga clued you in enough. Whether or not the ending could be considered “good” is subjective, but personally I liked it.

    I look forward to it. ^_^

    Those are the worst kind of spoiler. The ‘brace yourself’ and ‘look for clues’ spoilers….

    I understand what you are saying, but I usually try to look for clues anyway. That said, I have no idea of what foreshadowing I’m looking for, so it really isn’t a spoiler, IMO.

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