Genre(s): Josei, Slice of Life, Drama
Age-Appropriateness: 13+ (heavy subject matter, occasional language)
TheAwersome Rating: 8.4 / 10 (For Feels Time)
Premise: Daikichi Kawachi is a 30-year-old bachelor working a respectable job but otherwise wandering aimlessly through life. When his grandfather suddenly passes away, he returns to the family home to pay his respects. Upon arriving at the house, he meets a mysterious young girl named Rin who, to Daikichi’s astonishment, is his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter! The shy and unapproachable girl is deemed an embarrassment to the family, and finds herself ostracized by her father’s relatives, all of them refusing to take care of her in the wake of his death. Daikichi, angered by their coldness towards Rin, announces that he will take her in—even though he is a young, single man with no prior childcare experience. Usagi Drop is the story of Daikichi’s journey through fatherhood as he raises Rin with his gentle and affectionate nature, as well as an exploration of the warmth and interdependence that are at the heart of a happy, close-knit family.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: I guess I need to pick up more Josei shows because I can definitely get behind this vibe. Usagi Drop was a very welcome change of pace from typical anime fare in its very mature tone without relying on any “mature content” (sexuality, gore, language, etc.). I feel that when the topic of family and raising kids is ever brought up or discussed that it’s always one sided: “Oh, it’s such a pain, say goodbye to your sleep and any social life!” or “It’s the greatest thing you’ll ever do, life’s never more fulfilling.” Usagi Drop addresses both and comes out stronger in the positive light, but without the dishonest act of covering up the struggles, headaches, sleepless nights, worrying, etc.
TLDR: A heavy and heartwarming human piece on fatherhood and family.
This is another show that got put on my radar due to its gorgeous, tender soundtrack that really immerses you in the emotion of the characters. I highly recommend checking out the OST. Visuals will often make use of watercolor backgrounds and occasionally animation (very hard to do well, so I was impressed). This didn’t make it into my top 10 of last year due to having kind of abrupt non-ending. While accurate to life in that there isn’t always a conclusion or finishing to specific possibilities, it did leave a weird aftertaste of “wait, so… what?” If you’re looking for a sincere show that’s a strong change of pace, definitely pick it up.
You’ll likely enjoy this if you enjoyed:
- Drama/Coming of Age stories like Violet Evergarden, A Place Further Than the Universe
- Shows with adult protagonists like Aggretsuko, Ristorante Paradiso
- Family positive / Found Family shows like Sweetness and Lightning, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, Maquia