Usagi Drop – 4

How different would Usagi Drop be if Rin weren’t Rin?  Rather, instead of having this well-behaved, thoughtful, and intelligent girl be the one taken in by Daikichi following those extreme circumstances, what if the anime revolved around caring for a young child who’s personality and comprehension were completely different?

We’re pretty familiar with Rin now, after seeing her for four episodes.  She’s very mature for her age, being able to control herself in public, remain polite and respectful among others, and handling the situation of her father’s death and moving in with someone completely unknown better than I’d expect any six year old to do.  She’s also very considerate around others, helping out younger children when they want a book read or calming a toddler who tripped and fell on the floor, showing that she is unselfish and supportive.  On top of that, she’s also exceptionally intelligent and resourceful, shown off by her dazzling reading ability, her open-mindedness, and her ability to keep herself entertained even amongst a gaggle of adults.  Furthermore, she has all the typical childhood attributes of being readily curious, easily embarrassed, maybe the most important, being exceptionally adorable.

So how would Usagi Drop change if Rin were different?  For one, let’s just assume Rin is a little more juvenile than what we see before us.  She’s prone to temper-tantrums and becomes more of a handful, both in public places and at home.  Or what if she were more self-centered, like most other children around that age.  Could you imagine Rin being careless to others or, even worse, being demanding to Daikichi and others to have everything her way?   What would those changes do the series?

Well, it’s rather simple, actually.  Any variation from the Rin we see would give us, as well as Daikichi, a new perspective on Rin.  We may feel less attached to Rin, seeing her with these personality flaws and problems that make Daikichi’s life even more demanding and uncomfortable.  Then again, we may be more understanding of Rin and not blame her for her faults, especially considering the fact she had no control over her situation and is forced to live with someone unfamiliar to her.  We’d probably feel more remorseful toward Daikichi for having to deal with these extra problems like supervising Rin in addition to being a rookie parent.  He’s probably shine brighter as the star of the show given his magnanimous and sympathetic personality.  The series, however, probably wouldn’t shift very much.  There might be more of a focus on discipline and order, if Rin had problems, but the overall focus of the series would be virtually the same.

Of course, these are just my opinions on the matter.  I’m sure others would see no change in their viewership of the anime if Rin were slightly different than the one we see.  And others probably are wondering how different we are talking about, since there is a wide range of possible personalities we could be talking about here.  And I’m sure others are wondering the same thing about Daikichi and maybe even the other characters, like Haruko, Reina, or Gotou.  This question could be applied to anyone and results would be exceptionally diverse.  So let’s be thankful for what we have with the current personalities of Rin and Daikichi.  They’re both generous and caring people who are making the best of their situation.  It’s not surprise it’s so easy to support and cheer for both of them given the way they are.

We’ve seen plenty of angles of Daikichi’s home but I am curious to see how large it is.  The house seems large enough for Daikichi and Rin to live comfortably but seeing them sleep in the same room every night, along with the two shopping for furniture for Rin, leads me to question when Rin will get her own bedroom.  Is there a room available in Daikichi’s former bachelor pad that can accommodate this growing child?  I’d love to see where Daikichi has put Rin’s clothes and toys in the home and where he plans to add her desk once she begins school.  The home seems big enough for both of them at this current state but I wonder if this small home might become uncomfortable for a growing Rin.  Should be interesting to see if there are any changes in the next few episodes regarding the living arrangements within Daikichi’s home, although I assume they’ll continue to sleep side by side in their futons until Rin grows much older.

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  1. #1 by Tamas Feher on July 31, 2011 - 12:07 AM

    > seeing them sleep in the same room every night

    In Japan parents are really anxious for some reason. Many sleep with their children in the same bed until they reach 11-12 years or so. Furthermore Rin wets the bed regularly, so she is probably afraid to be alone in the dark.

    There is no logical explanation for the borderline paranoid attitude about child safety in Japan, they have like one paedophil murderer in three years and no one steals or robs anything in the streets. Yet, maybe because there are so few kids in Japan nowadays, they are more precious and their guardians worry more about them.

    > the two shopping for furniture for Rin

    Dai-chan probabaly can’t afford an 57k yen pony-pink desk after accepting a demotion to the blue collar department in the tailor shop. He doesn’t even seem to have a car, even a kei-car?

    • #2 by avvesione on July 31, 2011 - 2:46 PM

      I’ve seen parents sleeping in the same room/bed with their young children many times in anime but I’ve also seen them sleep apart. Guess it’s all up to personal preference but you do bring up a few good points in your comment about the reasoning behind why parents do what they do.

      And as for the furniture, I’m just thinking there’ll be a time soon when Rin needs her own space and her own things. It doesn’t look like Daikichi can afford anything right now which is why she sat in that desk at home (the one Daikichi convinced her she could use up until high school) but she’s going to need some more freedom soon as she continues to grow. At least that’s what I got out of that scene.

  2. #3 by Snippett on July 31, 2011 - 9:45 AM

    In this episode, I particularly find Daikichi funny when Rin asked if she can buy a lipstick. That sort of reaction from Daikichi somewhat tells us that he’s already developing some fatherly character, like a more attached one. He just suddenly reacted so defensively and told Rin that she’s still young when Rin asked to buy the lipstick, which is contrasted to when he suggested Rin beforehand to buy a study desk that’s for a young lady so that he can save money.

    • #4 by avvesione on July 31, 2011 - 2:50 PM

      Yeah, I laughed at that scene, too, but never noticed the two differences between the two ‘grown-up’ things until you mentioned it here. Thought it was just a simple joke and didn’t see a deeper meaning. Nice catch.

  3. #5 by tomphile on July 31, 2011 - 10:53 AM

    I don’t know about that Tamas, you say “many” but I’d be willing to differ on that point. Without a doubt, there’ll be some parents like that, but you can bet that a majority of the parents out there don’t sleep with their kids all the time.

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