DVD Review: Usagi Drop – The Complete Series
06/11/2014 Leave a comment
It seems MVM Entertainment are quite fond of releasing subtitled only releases and today we are going to take a look at their latest one; it’s of course Usagi Drop – The Complete Series, but what did we think of this release? Find out in our review of the DVD.
Daikichi, a 30-year-old bachelor, is surprised to meet a 6-year-old, Rin, at his grandfather Souichi’s funeral. He and his family are even more surprised to learn that Rin is Souichi’s daughter. When the topic of who will care for her comes up, the family shirks all responsibility of raising this “shameful” child. In an emotional outburst, Daikichi declares his intention to take Rin into his home. This is the story of two very different individuals coming together under one roof and learning what it means to be a family, an experience that teaches Daikichi what it means to be a parent.
Usagi Drop, or Bunny Drop as it’s known in America, is one of those obscure slice-of-life stories that you could easily spend an afternoon watching without realising it; it’s cute, it’s emotional and it’s bound to put a smile on your face. Put simply everyone needs to experience Usagi Drop for themselves as it’s just that good of a story.
Usagi Drop follows the events of Daikichi, a 30 year old bachelor, who, while attending his grandfather’s funeral, encounters the mysteriously quiet girl known as Rin. It turns out that this mysterious girl is non-other than his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter and with no mother, or close family member, willing to take charge of the girl Daikichi steps-in to take action – much to the surprise of everyone within the household.
Daikichi isn’t considered your ideal father, as majority of his life has been spent away indulging in his own past times; but with Rin now under his roof he soon becomes a loving father to a child he has no real relation or understanding of. It’s an amusing tale that’s split into two half; the first half of the series sees Daikichi combat the massive changes needed to undertake when caring for a child, be it daycare, preparing meal, buying clothes and still attending work – but in the background, out of sight of Rin, he attempts to track down the astranged mother.
With the mothering issues sorted out, and he true reasoning for leaving Rin behind still a vague mystery, Daikichi opts to care for Rin full-time and adjusts his lifestyle accordingly; during which he soon mingles with other parents and befriends them, while at home teaches Rin the important aspects of daily life and school work.
It’s amusing; looking back Usagi Drop doesn’t seem to go anywhere or do anything special – it’s just a story that sees two strangers meet and become family members while over the period of a year (maybe more) we witness Rin growing up from a shy timid young girl into an outspoken and helpful young lad. It’s cute, it’s adorable and its sure to bring some fond memories of childhood back to those who watch it.
The series itself is relatively short, as it only clocks in at eleven episodes, but amusingly a wealth of bonus materials are included; such as mini-episodes, promotional materials and a variety of text less opening and closing songs.
The inclusion of bonus mini-episodes, each of which are around five minutes in length, are the easily the highlight of the bonus materials as it once again sees our favourite duo, in this case Daikichi and Rin, take part in various activitities that weren’t shown in the main episode count.
For instance there is an episode which sees Rin collect all sorts of types of leaves, such as ones that have fallen from trees and ones that are currently on trees, where as another mini-episode sees Daikichi and Rin prepare for their first Christmas together – something which is a magical moment in itself.
With the bonus episodes, and Japanese promotional materials, out of the way the next selection of bonus materials comes in the form of an ‘extensive’ collection of text less opening and closing songs. In total there are four opening and eleven ending variations, each of which use the same song (SweetDrop by Puffy AmiYumi for the opening and High High High by Kasarinchu for the ending) and while the song itself is the same small differences, or colour variations, are used in the opening animation. Amusingly while watching the series I never noticed the changes but upon watching the text less videos you can clearly see the differences.
Media: DVD 9 x2
Running Time: 2:11:27 (Disc 1), 1:49:33 (Disc 2)
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps
Usagi Drop is one of those rare anime series that I would have probably never considered watching, as I prefer those with a dramatic story and over-the-top-action, but after spending ten minutes with the series I soon realised that I would fully enjoy the show; even if I had no idea where the story itself would take me.
In hindsight the show its about raising a child through difficult circumstances while at the same time attempting to track down their real mother; but while neither the mother or daughter want to see each other Rin is happy with her new found life with Daikichi – which is all that really seems to matter as that story then comes to its conclusion.
When it comes to this DVD release by MVM Entertainment then not a lot can really be said; as it is pretty much perfect and I only encountered one mistake when two sets of subtitles overlapped each other. The visual quality, and unique animation style provided by Production I.G, really brings the best out of the series, and that same quality is transferred to this DVD release and as a result I sometimes forgot that I was watching a DVD as opposed to a Blu-ray. This being said if you compared the two I bet the difference could be noticed, but unlike other shows you aren’t missing out on much – quality wise.
Usagi Drop for me is the one the biggest surprises of this year, it’s a series I knew nothing about until I popped the disc into my player and after a few short minutes I found myself hooked on the story that didn’t seem to go anywhere. It’s an adorable tale and if you are after a different kind of anime experience then maybe you should give this a shot; however be warned this is a subtitle only release and does not include an English Dub, but for this kind of show the japanese audio enhances the overall experience.
Usagi Drop – The Complete Series will be available on DVD from the 10th November 2014 within the UK.