- Trailer: English subtitled version
- What it’s about: Daikichi arrives at his grandfather’s funeral to find a surprise guest – his grandfather’s illegitimate six-year-old child, Rin. None of the family knew that she existed, and none of them have any idea what to do with her now. When the idea of looking for an orphanage is raised, Daikichi steps up and offers to take Rin in himself until something better can be found. But he already has a job with long hours and has no idea what raising a child entails.
- Why you should watch it: Usagi Drop is quite possibly the most heart-warming and adorable story I’ve ever seen put to animation. If you can watch the whole thing without even idly imagining yourself in Daikichi’s shoes, I’m not sure that parenthood is for you. This is a pure slice of life show – it never strays into outright comedy, romance, or any of the other genres that SoL shows tend to hybridise with, though there are elements of all of them scattered throughout. The script lends itself well to natural and affecting performances by the voice actors. But it’s the characters are truly what sell the show, from Daikichi and Rin themselves to the friends they make and the family who inevitably involve themselves in Daikichi’s life.
- Caveats: This is a pretty simple show at heart. In all honesty, it benefits very little from being animated rather than live-action. And the studio seems to have taken the opportunity of the lower demands that this entails to be a bit looser with the animation and musical score. Episodes switch between basic watercolour backgrounds and barebones character designs to merely average versions of both. That said, they largely get away with it; the show itself doesn’t lose much by not being the most visually stunning thing out there.
- Themes: Parenthood. The rewards, costs, and stresses of raising a child alone. The importance of family.
- Similar works: Wolf Children