aka Usagi drop
Mangaka: Unita Yumi
Publisher: Yen Press
Volumes available: up to volume 3 (volume 4 to be released in September 2011).
30 year-old Daikichi returns home for his grandfather’s funeral to discover a young girl, Rin, who seems alone, out of place, and glued to Daikichi. It turns out that 6 year-old Rin is a product of the recently deceased grandfather’s affair, and her mother is not in the picture. After listening to his relatives put down the little girl for being a nuisance, Daikichi takes matters into his own hands and takes responsibility for the girl. But how is he supposed to look after a child when he is barely more than one himself?
As one finishes a manga series, or at least catches up to present chapters, one must search for additional stories, outlets, and worlds to discover. For me, I always wonder what genre I am in the mood for, and what will catch my fancy. I’ve had some hits and misses, but along the way have found some gems.
One such gem is Bunny Drop. I first caught a glimpse of it among my recommendations from amazon.ca (I have a lot of them), and it had very soft, simple cover art. Although I won’t judge a book by its cover, I can often be swayed into giving it a try. I then started noticing the news bytes on ANN and my interest was piqued. Today, as I was ripping CDs onto my new hard drive, I finally caved and decided to give it a try. As the synopsis implies, it is not really what one could consider “light-hearted”, though for such a serious subject it is approached with a certain delicacy that lends to realism. It also gives a glimpse into growing up, and not necessarily for the 6-year old.
While deciphering the mysteries that are children, and girls at that, he is also attempting to solve the mystery of Rin’s earlier up-bringing; a task proving to be more difficult than one would expect. Hints pointing as to who Rin’s mother is prove elusive and increase the difficulty Daikichi has trying to figure out Rin’s upbringing. Like Hansel and Gretel, we find that most of the crumbs left have disappeared, making it harrowing to trace the way back.
Although the premise comes across as somewhat complicated the execution seems relatively simple. The artwork compliments that approach with simple lines and backgrounds, making it clear that the focus is clearly on the characters and their interactions. It also contributes to the cute character of Rin, and effectively helps depict Daikichi’s logical approach to everything. I find myself tying to figure Rin out whenever Diakichi comes across a new situation with the young girl: from wetting the bed to making friends, we follow him through the thought processes that take someone with absolutely no knowledge of child rearing, or even children in general, to becoming more than a competent parental figure. It is surprising how someone who would normally be expected to be incompetent at child-rearing turns out to be such a wonderfully caring guardian. It makes this manga addictively heart-warming.
Bunny Drop is definitely a must for anyone who wants a simple story on a rainy day, or who wants to learn more about raising kids in modern day