Saturday, October 27, 2012

Usagi Drop: Cute and Creepy

Nadeshiko-chan here, reviewing Bunny Drop by Unita Yumi, a manga I’m not quite sure I’d recommend. I have very mixed feelings on this josei- oh yeah, by the way, this was my very first josei! And it sure was memorable. Alright let me explain this curious little manga. Daikihi is a 30-year-old bachelor acts like an overgrown teenager of a man, has just found out that his grandfather is dead. When he travels back to his hometown for his grandfather’s funeral, Daikihi and his family are shocked to discover that the old man had an illegitimate child. On top of that, it was with a much younger woman, she’s in her 20s I believe. Rin is the name of this child and catches Daikihi’s attention since she’s a rather quiet little girl and obviously helpless, not knowing anyone in the family, her mother having abandoned her after the grandfather’s death, and having to cope with the death of her father at such a young age. Daikihi seems to be the only one sensitive to this little girl’s feeling and is outraged when he sees how his family only sees her as an embarrassment, not wanting anything to do with her. In a fit of angry spontaneity, he declares he’s going to take care her himself. The first 6 volumes are adorable, Daikihi and Rin making an adorable father-daughter pairing, Daikihi being rather immature for a parent and Rin being pretty mature and independent for a 6 year old. It’s really funny and rather heartwarming watching Daikihi try to figure out parenthood and the proper way to raise Rin; Rin really becomes a big part of Daikihi’s life and he admits that all the sacrifices he’s made her were definitely worth it. Then Daikihi’s relationship with Yukari Nitani, a single mother, also keeps the manga interesting for those romantics; plus they also have the adorable friendship between Rin and Yukari’s son Kouki. In fact in volume 5, the manga fast-forwards to when the two are in high school, and you can see the Kouki definitely wants to be more than friends. You can’t help but root for Kouki as he tries to win Rin’s heart, realizing the mistakes he made in the past.
But then, volume 7 and 8 come, then this adorable little josei becomes chillingly disturbing. Try to guess what sick twist the Unita Yumi came up with? Have Rin fall in love, not with Kouki, or even the smart boy from her class, no, she has Rin fall in love Daikihi! What the heck?! And like an idiot, I kept reading, I hoping that maybe because Daikihi was the first stable thing in her life, she only thought she was in love with him because of the drama going on with Kouki and meeting her mother. But that’s not the case; at some point, even Kouki’s and her mother are supporting her! At least they made it slightly less disgusting by revealing that Rin isn’t actually the grandfather’s daughter, but rather his adoptive daughter; Rin’s mom had gotten pregnant and he had volunteered to help raise Rin. But this only makes it slightly less disturbing though since we still have the huge age difference and the fact that Daikihi is practically Rin’s father! What made me even madder was that Daikihi, noble, kind-hearted father-figure Daikihi, actually accepts her feelings! They get together after her graduation, I felt so sick and disappointed in both in them. This adorable manga became something so creepy. Still, I don’t really think Rin loves Daikihi romantically, nor do I believe that Daikihi really loves Rin romantically. I feel Rin, after the abandonment of her mother and death of her “father” grew too emotionally dependent on Daikihi, so as graduation and such came, she became scared of leaving him and all the new changes she’d have to face. Then I think she took the concerns she had about Daikihi getting older and romance as a way to stay with him, to have things stay exactly as they were. Then there’s Daikihi, who never really says he loves Rin and even tells her that she can leave him for a younger boy whenever she wants, not to worry about him. Never says “I love you”, just that he’ll be with her. He just doesn’t look like he really see her as a lover, I think he’s just worried about Rin and doing what she wants or something, I’m not really sure.
Anyway, because of the creepiness of volumes 7-10, I can’t really recommend this manga. And I know what you’re thinking, if I thought it was so disturbing, why I would read all 10 volumes. Well technically I only read to 9, but anyway I’m stubborn and was idiotically hopeful that something was going to change. But when I got to 9 and Rin tells Daikihi she wants them to have a baby and make them as happy as Daikihi made her, I realized it was futile and stopped. But the first 4 volumes of the parent-child relationship are adorable and I highly recommend reading those and stopping. Volume 5-6 is okay since you think Kouki will eventually win Rin’s heart and you could read those chapters, but it’s not as enjoyable when you know Rin’s going to choose her father-figure over her childhood friend. But the arts okay, having a rather unique style compared to other shoujo and josei mangas, so I think you’d have fun reading those first few volumes. But don’t be foolish like me and keep going, it’ll only bring disappointment, anger, and sickness.
You have been warned.

1 comment: