Friday, August 26, 2011

Usagi Drop - 08

[HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_00.04_[2011.08.25_12.45.01] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_02.56_[2011.08.25_12.47.52] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_03.50_[2011.08.25_12.48.47]
[HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.08_[2011.08.25_12.51.05] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_06.33_[2011.08.25_12.51.30] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.14_[2011.08.25_12.53.11]

This was a subtle and low-key episode even by Usagi Drop standards, but gently nudged the story along in some important ways.

What stands out for me about this episode is what it says about the two main characters.  First, just how strong Rin is – certainly more so than your normal 7 year-old, but whether unrealistically so is a matter of personal opinion – and just how thoroughly decent and clever Daikichi is.  The intro actually trolled me into thinking the story might be about Dai-chan having one of those legendary anime colds (and mysteriously in some kind of psychic link with Masako, also ill) but it turned out it was just the heat in his case, and overwork in hers.  Summer heat is a big topic in Japan this year for obvious reasons, so I won’t make light of it.

The situation at the graveyard was one that was fraught with potential ugliness.  It does cast Masako more in the tragic than villainous mode, no doubt, and it’s reassuring to know that she still holds real feelings for Souichi.  But when Daikichi realized she’d just visited the grave when he and Rin arrived, no one would have thought any less of him had he ignored the signs and let things be.  After all, what would happen if Masako and Rin were to meet face to face now?  But Daikichi being Daikichi, he simply couldn’t do that no matter how he might feel about Masako – so he ran after her and on the spot, devised the perfect solution – give Masako the chance to see Rin secretly.  Her “blood ties are amazing” line was perhaps the key dialogue of the episode – not only did it reflect on her and Rin, but also on Daikichi and his Grandfather.

Masako is a fascinating case.  She’s given up everything for her mangaka career, and appears to be driving herself to exhaustion to succeed.  Yet she seems unhappy on every level, her only consolation being sweets (ominously, she’s still rail-thin) and her only friend her assistant – the red-haired young man who may or may not be her lover.  She seems a tragic figure, this one, and bound for an unhappy end – perhaps the very qualities that led the kind-hearted Souichi to her.  Daikichi has enough responsibilities in his life without being Masako’s protector, but I sense that he’s aware of her fragility and deeply troubled by it.

I was again struck, as mentioned, by just how strong Rin is.  When they arrived at Grandpa’s house to find his bellflowers gone (Dai-chan’s Uncle is beginning to look like a douchebag in absentia) I fully expected her to shed at least a few tears.  But no – she grasped onto the fact that some of the flowers had been saved at Daikichi’s house, and even managed a smile at the thought.  This is an area where I could see some struggling with this series – is it really realistic for a girl Rin’s age to be as thoughtful, resourceful, smart and emotionally mature as Rin?  I think the answer is yes, but it sure as Hell isn’t very common – and it makes me wonder if the series wouldn’t be better served to play up Rin’s vulnerability a little more often than it does. 

As always, the postscripts for this series are a real pleasure.  I loved the interplay between Daikichi and Kouki – “Daikichi, watch out for cars!  I know!  Carry me!  Never mind!”  Those two are quite the pair, and seeing the two of them together with Rin (and Yukari, for that matter) might be my favorite moments in the series.  Speaking of Yukari, the image of her in a yukata was certainly enough to send Daikichi’s head spinning.  Is that something we’re going to see developed, with only three eps remaining?  Probably not much.  But with the ratings and pre-orders looking good and all that manga material out there, this just may be the rare NoitaminA series that could get a second season.

[HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.36_[2011.08.25_13.03.02] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.40_[2011.08.25_13.04.06] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_19.11_[2011.08.25_13.04.38]
[HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.00_[2011.08.25_13.05.26] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.46_[2011.08.25_13.07.33] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.00_[2011.08.25_13.07.47]
[HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.10_[2011.08.25_13.08.12] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.26_[2011.08.25_13.08.27] [HorribleSubs] Usagi Drop - 08 [720p].mkv_snapshot_22.27_[2011.08.25_13.08.29]


13 comments:

  1. Rin is definitely an exceptionally mature and smart girl. But she does show her vulnerabilities fairly often and even this time so was it pretty clear to me that she would most likely have wept if Daikichi had not been there for her. Daikichi was even struck by how lonely she looked when he had left her alone for a while, but she cheered up right away when he showed up. So a lot of her strength and cheerfulness comes from being around Daikichi.

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  2. Have you guys ever encounter a decision where you will choose whether to advance your career or studies but at the expense of relationship (parent,lover,spouse)?

    I believe this episode tackle just that, where one side(Daikichi) gave up a bright career to care for Rin and the other sid, giving up Rin during it's prime time to advance her career.

    It would be nice to see the pro and cons of both side of a decision on the screen. This will bring out the awareness inside us. Whatever it is, I sure hope Daikichi get a love interest soon and not just a crush.

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  3. Good point, Ikaze - this is definitely a major point of the episode, these two contrasting decisions made by Dai-chan and Masako.

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  4. 2nd season ha? another couple of months, maybe years before i see the ending....

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  5. The manga has ended, so there is no reason for a long delay before the second season and it will most likely finish of the story as well. So no reason to expect an ending to be years away.

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  6. @Znail
    Disagree, look at Haruhi and FMP. Where is their anime. Hmm, maybe bad examples as they are LNs.

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  7. I struggled with Rin's maturity at one point.But then I asked myself,did she have a choice?
    She's lost one parent and been abandoned by another,that's a really tough situation to deal with so I feel that for her,maturing wasn't really a choice but a matter of survival.

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  8. Necessity can only take you so far, and Rin'a maturity level is as much a product of her own highly unusual nature as her circumstances. I like that about her - she's probably my favorite single-digit aged girl since Murasaki from Kurenai - but I'd just like to see the vulnerability a bit more often.

    One of the reasons I like Kouki is that he's very authentic and typical for a boy his age, and he makes a nice contrast with Rin.

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  9. Rin's mature response to things certainly feels unusual given how children are usually portrayed in stories, but when I think back to my interactions with kids I know, I find that the way they think and deal with bad situations can be surprisingly healthy.

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  10. Well there no question, kids are tougher and more resourceful then we give them credit for. But then, Rin is exceptional by any standard. Some kids are that unusual, so maybe it isn't all that unusual.

    In the manga (I'm not reading ahead of where the anime is) there's some more stuff about how Kouki had to be tough to get through his own difficult family situation.

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  11. @Enzo (26/8/11)

    So I guess you were right on, when you saw the micro difference in Kouki face when people are discussing the divorce.



    I do realise that Rin seem to act way more mature

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  12. But that only because nobody is there to pamper her. See what happen now that Daikichi is there, she is getting more and more childish.

    P.S. Haha, I accidently press post comment without finishing the sentence

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  13. Do you really feel she's getting more childish? Seems like she scolds and corrects Dai-chan as much as he does her.

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