Season’s Greetings everybody! Your Cajun Samurai Josh here bringing the Christmas cheer once again with another contribution to the 12 Days of Christmas festivities. This time around, I’ll be looking at a Christmas episode from the anime, Usagi Drop.
But before I get started, I would like to offer you, dear reader, a bit of advice. Just something that I’ve learned over the course of my time with this series: DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, READ THE MANGA PAST VOLUME FOUR. Trust the young black man from Louisiana. You do NOT want to go down that rabbit hole. YOU REALLY DON’T. Just…stick with the world of the anime. Stick with this beautiful world and you’ll be alright.
Okay, with that out the way, I think I should bring you guys up to speed just in case you know nothing about this particular series so you know exactly where we are, and because I like hearing myself talk…even though technically I’m not “talking” I’m writing…but I digress.
Usagi Drop or Bunny Drop is an 11-episode series based on a manga created by Yumi Unita. While at the funeral for his grandfather, 30-year-old bachelor salary man Daikichi discovers that dear old gramps had a secret child with the maid that took care of the house for him. Because the family would rather not have anything to do with this most unusual love child, and because the mom is currently MIA, Daikichi decides to take the little girl named Rin in to live with him. Throughout the series, Daikichi traverses the ever changing tides of parenthood—from dealing with daycare and nightmares to sudden illnesses and boisterous besties. Usagi Drop lets the viewer experience the highs and lows of being a single parent.
The Christmas episode from Usagi Drop we’ll be discussing today is actually a five-minute mini-episode that takes place between Episodes 3 and 4—still pretty early in the series, but you start to see all the different moves that Daikichi is willing to do to make sure that he is available for Rin and give her the stability she needs. If you need an idea of what went on in these episodes, or if you wanna see if this show is right for you, then check out my own episodic review of Usagi Drop I did over on my blog eight years ago. Yes, it’s eight years old, but if you will permit me a moment to humble brag, I consider that series of reviews to be some of my best work. Also, our dear boss Twwk did a write-up of this same episode of Usagi Drop back in 2012 which adds his own special parental POV. And if THAT wasn’t enough Usagi Drop love, stardf29 did a review of Usagi Drop for Fathers Day AND a theological piece about the series that you just HAVE to check out. Suffice it to say, we’re all fans of the little bellflower and her guardian…and we all still believe that the manga is best left unspoken of after a certain point. But I digress.
The episode starts with Daikichi asking Rin what she wants Santa to bring her for Christmas. When pressed, our little bellflower says that she wants a Lop-Ear bunny to keep her other Lop-Ear bunny company, because of course. The next night, Daikichi picks Rin up from day care and announces with pride that he has the family Christmas tree. When Rin asks about another bag that Daikichi has, he quickly says that it’s “work-related.” Daikichi is learning quick that sometimes you just gotta lie to the kids.
So the two set up the small Christmas tree in the living room when Rin realizes that they don’t have a chimney. Daikichi reassures her that Santa, like life, finds a way. When Rin suggests that they just leave the door unlocked, he rightly stops her, reassuring her that it’ll be okay. Yeah, Rin, you don’t wanna just leave your door unlocked. Otherwise someone could come by for a visit and it won’t be Santa. Anyway, Rin draws up a thank you note for Santa, leaving cookies, milk and a carrot. No, she doesn’t care about the big guy’s cholesterol; it’s for the reindeer. Bless her heart. Anyway, after giving Rin the line that Santa can’t come unless everyone is asleep, Daikichi waits until our little bellflower is knocked out before tip-toeing out to get things setup and of course, eat the carrot and cookies left behind. Gotta keep up the illusion after all. The next day, Rin and Daikichi eat breakfast, a new white Lop-Ear bunny now part of the family.
Yeah, admittedly there’s not much to this “episode.” It really is designed to be filler, and not a character developing piece. This is, just like all the other episodes of this series, unashamedly cute and heartwarming. Don’t try to find any kind of deep meaning in this one, and don’t expect it to bring about any kind of revelations about the relationship between Daikichi and Rin. That being said, I really think you should give Usagi Drop (THE ANIME) a shot if you haven’t already. If you’re a fan of slice-of-life stories with loads of heart, sweetness and lightning, then you owe it to yourself to check out this one.
Just… don’t read the manga past volume four. I beg of you. For your OWN sanity. DO NOT READ THE MANGA PAST VOLUME FOUR. Trust me, 2020 sucks enough already, you don’t need to read the manga and make it worse!
Usagi Drop is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.