Usagi Drop – 04

うさぎドロップ Episode 04
Usagi Drop – 04

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

Usagi Drop - 04Rin faces uncomfortable questions at nursery school about her relationship with Daikichi and her lack of a mother, leading fellow schoolmate Kouki to defend her as he is in a single parent home after his father divorced his mother, whom he lives with. That evening, Daikichi and Kouki’s mother arrive at roughly the same time and end up walking home part-way until their paths depart. Rin talks with Daikichi about Kouki and his mother, telling him of the divorce and wondering if the reason her own mother isn’t around is because of that. Daikichi asks if Rin wants to meet her mother. She doesn’t know, but says that if she were like Kouki’s mother, she would, something Daikichi too heartily agrees with for Rin’s liking.

Usagi Drop - 04Daikichi calls his mother about Grandpa’s maid, whom he believes is Rin’s mother. At work, Daikichi’s former co-workers are going to throw a late party for his departure, but Daikichi isn’t sure he wants to attend because of Rin. However, Gatou-san wants to go and bring her little boy, thus Daikichi is “encouraged” to attend and bring Rin. At the party (at a restaurant), Rin is initially shy but quickly takes to helping Gatou’s little boy, Yuu-kun. Rin quickly becomes a hit among most of Daikichi’s co-workers, though some still are irritated about the perceived abandonment of their department.  Daikichi hears of this, but finds he doesn’t get mad about it and attributes it to changes in him due to caring for Rin.

Usagi Drop - 04That night, Daikichi gets a letter in the mail about regular school for Rin. After assuring Rin that there are no entrance exams, the following day, Daikichi is running very late to pick up Rin for the parent-student meeting so that Daikichi can be briefed on what the student’s need. Kouki’s mother arrives at the same time, so both arrive at the school together. After the briefing, Kouki’s mom and Daikichi walk the halls where Daikichi asks her about vaccinations for Rin, which surprises her and causes negative reactions from other mothers nearby. Kouki’s mother explains that this will be in Rin’s record book. She also comments on how much Rin and Daikichi are like family, something he’s not so sure about but she assures him that Rin trusts Daikichi.

Usagi Drop - 04Daikichi consults Rin’s book of records and finds a URL for a blog. It is his grandfather’s website, but there’s very little information there except a note that more information will be in Rin’s records book. Daikichi examines the book more closely and finds two pages stuck together, revealing another paper where his grandfather has written additional information, including Rin’s mother’s full name and phone number. Meanwhile, Rin has another girl tell her she isn’t cute and wants Daikichi to put her hair in the style that Reina’s mother did.  Daikichi does a poor job of it, though Rin is happy, and she goes to practice her part for a school talent show for the parents.

Usagi Drop - 04Daikichi continues pondering why Masako abandoned Rin, especially in light of his own family where his mother and sister are close and his cousin and her daughter are close. Daikichi contemplates calling Masako and how he’s hate her if her reasons for leaving Rin weren’t reasonable. Sometime later, Daikichi takes Rin to a store to look for a desk for Rin to use. She likes a small, pink one but when Daikichi suggests getting a desk for an older girl, Rin likes this idea even more and chooses an appropriate one along with a backpack. Back home, Rin is very happy with her new “big girl” desk, something Daikichi feels she could use through high school. That night after Rin falls asleep, Daikichi makes a call to Masako.

Thoughts/Review:

Usagi Drop - 04Kyaaaa! I am so glad I started watching this series. It is so heartwarming while at the same time, tugging at the heartstrings in a non-superficial way.  Daikichi’s acts of sacrifice for Rin are very admirable (and this is true sacrifice, not some crappy “shared sacrifice” I keep hearing about, which is a forced act, not one of love).  He really is becoming Rin’s father, even if he isn’t her biological father. I find that I can easily relate to him as a character because in a similar situation, I believe I’d do the same things when it came to caring for a child.  Being a parent in a two-parent family is tough enough, but being a single parent is really tough.  I don’t work with any single parents at present, but if I did, this series would make me more empathetic to them.

Usagi Drop - 04I like how Daikichi now appears to be making plans to raise Rin to adulthood. It only makes sense because if Masako abandoned Rin long ago (discounting seeing her as Masako worked as a maid in Grandpa’s house), then she’s not likely to want Rin back now.  After all, Masako has made no efforts to see Rin since Grandpa’s death.  It will be interesting to see how the conversation between Daikichi and Masako goes.

Rin’s being abandoned is what I’d cite as the basis for her caring for younger children than herself. Rin is very mature for her age while still being a child. Its a shame she had to grow up so quickly, but this will make her a good adult, IMO.

Usagi Drop - 04While I’m thinking of it, I got a laugh out of Rin’s embarrassment and chastisement of Daikichi at the party for saying “benjo” instead of “toilet.”  I recall an early Japanese lesson when I lived in Japan that taught me the word “benjo,” which was stated to be a cruder (and masculine) form of asking for the bathroom.  We were told to use the term “otearai” (“washroom”) or even “toire” (“toilet”).  Because there were a lot of Japanese ads at the time with male voice-overs having deep voices, there were guys who joked after class using deep voices and asking, “Benjo wa, doko desu ka?”  (“Where is the john?”)  Oh, those silly days of youth, eh? ^_~  Funny how a simple scene in an anime reminds me of something I haven’t thought about in years.

Usagi Drop - 04One final thing about Rin. Because she’s voiced by an actual child, it ads to the character’s credibility, in my opinion.  Its a shame that if this series gets dubbed for the U.S., Rin will almost certainly be voiced by an adult.  Granted, the Japanese often do this as well, but when they spring for an actual child, the performance tends to work so much better.

Its interesting that Kouki’s mother just happens to be single to pair up with Daikichi while Rin and Kouki are apparently the same age.  It would make sense for them to hook up and become a single family.  If that happens, that would be interesting to follow, especially in how it affects Daikichi and Rin’s relationship.

Can’t wait for the next episode to air. ^_^

Usagi Drop - 04
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3 Responses to “Usagi Drop – 04”

  1. Ultimaniac says:

    >Kyaaaa!

    I lol’d cause I felt the same way! I’m really glad too that they got an actual kid to play Rin. The character just wouldn’t have been the same if they had gotten an adult. I hesitate to use this word but, it would’ve had that ‘whiny’ sound and ruined rin.

  2. Lan says:

    Its a great series isnt it? ^_^

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    >Kyaaaa!

    I lol’d cause I felt the same way! I’m really glad too that they got an actual kid to play Rin. The character just wouldn’t have been the same if they had gotten an adult. I hesitate to use this word but, it would’ve had that ‘whiny’ sound and ruined rin.

    Yep. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with Sakura’s voice in Cardcaptor Sakura or Sasami-chan’s voice for most of the TM!R franchise. However, when they went with a child seiyuu for Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club, there was really something special about that. Since then, I’ve been a fan of letting children voice children rather than adult women trying to sound like children.

    Its a great series isnt it? ^_^

    Totally. ^_^

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