Usagi Drop Manga Review
I’m a big sucker for wholesome slice-of-life series which will leave people in tears or with butterflies. There is something to feeling good. Considering how chaotic some action or drama series are, I find it refreshing to sit down and read or watch a nice series. I stumbled on Usagi Drop in my forage for that wholesome feeling. After seeing rave reviews of the anime adaptation, the purist I am sought out the original manga series, adamant in my belief it would be better. As it would go, it was, until it wasn’t… This is a review of a manga series appropriately labeled. A series that towards the end, I had to drop.
As stated before, the series starts off on a blitzing step as a wholesome slice-of-life. After attending the funeral of his grandfather, Kawachi Dakichi learns of Kaga Rin, his grandfather’s six year old illegitimate daughter from an unknown affair. Due to the controversy, she is ostracized by the family. Perturbed by their attitude, decides to take care of Rin himself. The series goes into Dakichi’s perspective and the struggles of having being a single parent with no prior experience at raising a child. Despite the insecurities, Dakichi pushes through and forges a strong relationship with Rin.
I found myself delighted reading the series at first. It was captivating to see the development of the family of Dakichi and Rin. As I read volume after volume I was ready to see what else the series had for me. My expectations were so high, banking on the series to masterfully rivet me as many other slice-of-life series had done so before.
Was I ever so wrong.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD AHEAD.
This is where it all falls apart. The series goes into a ten-year time skip starting in volume five. The perspective shifts from Dakichi to a now all grown up Rin who is going about her days in high school. Unfortunately due to the shift, the series devolves into a typical high school drama of hormonal teenagers. While it is nice that it explores the complexities of that point in life, particularly with Rin trying to find her way. It was a severe drop off from the heartwarming story that the first half of Usagi Drop gives.
But I read on, thinking it would get better. Unfortunately, it got worse. Worse to the point of it being outright controversial and appalling.
Rin eventually develops feelings for…her guardian Dakichi. Yes…incest. As she makes her advances towards her guardian by letting her feelings be known, he initially rejects them due their perceived blood relation and the fact that he raised her like a daughter. That is…until it is revealed all along that they aren’t blood related. At which point Dakichi accepts Rin’s advances. Keep in mind, with the time skip Dakichi is forty years old in the series and Rin isn’t even half his age. Not only does the series devolve into incestuous relations, it also falls to pedophilia.
The attempt to justify the relationship was pathetic and disgusting. It was at this point where I decided I had more than enough. I could only ask myself, what was the creator thinking? Why did it go this way? Where did it go wrong?
Every time I think back on Usagi Drop I am devastated at how off the rails it became towards the end. With such an incredibly touching first half, it had so much potential that was wasted away by the second. As such, Usagi Drop will carry a dark mark in my mind for likely ever. Such a dark mark that I find myself repelled to watching the far better anime adaptation due to it only covering the first part knowing what lies ahead afterward in the original manga.
Disappointment and disgust…