“Full Bloom in the Sky”
I hate to be a broken record, but Usagi Drop is the gift that keeps on giving. These short Blu-ray extras are as light as the sakura blowing across the screen, but they’re perfectly in line with the mood of the series. Having covered Autumn and Winter, the attention turns to Spring this time as Rin and Kouki take delight in the glory of the cherry blossoms at their local park. This leads to a suggestion from the enterprising Rin that they have a hanami party the next day. All seems fine until Daikichi spots rain in the forecast, and he and Rin decide to make teruterubozu in a last-ditch effort to salvage the day. It works, and the rain’s gone the next day – but all the sakura have been blown off the trees. Naturally, though, Rin and Kouki find the post-storm park just as sugoi.
I always enjoy a good cherry blossom story. It would be hard to overstate just how important sakura season is to the Japanese – it’s an obsession. Hanami parties descend into legendary alcohol-fueled bombast, vacations are planned, shifts at work skipped – it’s a big deal. I was in Tokyo about three weeks after the Tohoku quake, and the biggest aftershock to that time hit at about Midnight – a 7.3 or so. The very next morning, Inokashira Park was almost as full of people as it was of sakura – it actually choked me up a bit, thinking about the spiritual toughness of the Japanese people. So this little ep had a head start for me, and the fact that it featured Kouki and his Mom was the clincher. I love both those characters in their own right, and for what they bring to the series.