The Bottom Line
Daikichi is a 30-year old bachelor who goes to his grandfather's funeral and discovers that the family patriarch has fathered a 6-year old girl. With Rin's mother nowhere to be found, the family argues about the now orphaned child's fate. Disgusted by his family's reluctance to care for Rin, Daikichi volunteers to be her guardian, without realizing what it means to be a single parent.
Bunny Drop could have been saccharine or silly – but instead, Unita gives readers a heartfelt, thoughtful and endearing slice-of-life story that will ring true for anyone who has ever loved or cared for a child.
- An appealing mix of heartfelt drama and slice-of-life comedy
- Unita's simple, uncluttered artwork lets the sincerity of this story shine through
- Thoughtful, realistic storytelling that captures the challenges of single parenthood
- Daikichi and Rin have a sweet relationship that never feels saccharine or strange
- First volume ends on a compelling cliffhanger that hooks readers in for more
- A teen-rated story that's meant for older readers, who might better understand Daikichi's struggles
- While it's true to the story, Daikichi is a plain-looking dude who makes some goofy faces
- Art is a bit plain and simple compared to most mainstream manga
- Original Title: Usagi Drop (Japan)
- Author & Artist: Yumi Unita
- ISBN: 978-0759531222
- Cover Price: $12.99 US / $15.99 CANADA
- Age Rating:
T – Teens Age 13+
for mild cursing, brief references to death and divorce
More about content ratings.
- Manga Genres:
- Josei (Women's) Manga
- Family / Children
- Slice of Life / Reality-Based
- US Publication Date: March 2010
Japan Publication Date: May 2006
- Book Description: 208 pages, black and white illustrations
Guide Review - Bunny Drop Volume 1
30-year old bachelor Daikichi goes to his grandfather's funeral only to discover that the 70-something family patriarch fathered a 6-year old daughter by an unknown, presumably younger lover. When the rest of the family argues about the fate of little Rin, Daikichi volunteers to take her in before he really realizes what he has just taken on.
Rin is quiet and shy, so she's not easy to understand. And Daikichi has almost no experience with child-rearing. Nevertheless, the two bond almost immediately. As the days go by, Daikichi learns about the compromises he must make in his career and his day-to-day routine. He also finds that Rin's presence prods him to reconsider the choices he's made in his life so far.
As he spends more time with Rin, Daikichi starts asking questions about how this young girl came into the world. Yes, Rin is his grandfather's child (which makes Rin his aunt rather than his cousin) - but who is Rin's mother? Why did she not come to the funeral? Even Rin seems to have no memory of her mother. For Rin's sake (and for the sake of his own curiosity), Daikichi tries to solve this mystery.
At first glance, a casual reader might think "Oh, a slice of life story about a single father and an adorable little girl? Sounds like Yotsuba&!." But there are definite differences between the two series. Each has its share of light-hearted moments, but if I had to compare the two, Bunny Drop is set up to tell a longer narrative story, and has a more serious tone.
Upon taking Rin in, Daikichi finds himself dealing with the kind of mundane but very real problems that single parents struggle with every day, like finding day care, juggling the demands of career and family, and trying to date when you have a child. To Unita's credit, she illustrates these challenges with just the right mix of realism and slice-of-life comedy. The reader is never asked to pity Daikichi, and he never acts like a martyr either - he accepts Rin as she is, and accepts that her presence in his life is sometimes a burden, but is also often a blessing.
The moment in Bunny Drop that really won me over was how Daikichi deals with Rin's bedwetting. Instead of getting angry, Daikichi recognizes that her behavior comes from her anxiety after the loss of her father, so he treats this little girl with compassion and fatherly love that feels real, true and so, so right.
The art in Bunny Drop is very spare and a little coarse around the edges. Daikichi isn't drawn as a handsome man -- In fact, he's depicted as an ordinary guy who makes some pretty goofy faces when he's stressed out. Rin is adorable, but not super cutesy. Unita's linework, toning and page compositions are very straightforward - there's very little artistic gimmickry going on here. However, the simplicity of the artwork matches this sweet, but never saccharine story - it feels real, warm and very human. Like Daikichi and Rin, Bunny Drop isn't perfect, but it is very endearing and well worth picking up.