A thoughtful response to current anime.

Usagi Drop – Episode 3

Last episode on Usagi Drop, the protagonist was wondering about Rin’s mother.  Maybe that was just a throwaway comment, and we’re just going to see more struggles to find Rin a preschool to attend and stuff of that nature.  It seems a little early to force that sort of confrontation, doesn’t it?  I mean, usually if you want your protagonist to steal a child away from its family, you have to have him build up emotional bonds with it first, so that you have some powerful force to drive him to those sorts of lengths.  Of course, maybe Rin’s mother doesn’t want her.  So, rather than stealing her away, Daikichi just has to be insufficiently forceful when he attempts to force her mother to take care of her.  Which is more believable at this point, he did promise that he wouldn’t abandon her, and giving her to a woman that actively doesn’t want to be burdened with her probably counts.  Ok, that’s my prediction for episode 3 of Usagi Drop.

…thirty minutes pass…

Wouldn't it be nice to believe that people have reasons for the things they do to hurt each other.

Yep, Rin’s a cute kid.

I dunno that I can agree with Daikichi’s choice in this episode.  This isn’t his child.  Not just in the genetic sense, although that’s relevant, but I mean, he just sort of picked her up when they were cleaning out his grandfather’s place and then possession became nine-tenths of the law.  That final tenth can come back and bite you, though, especially if Masako-san comes back into the picture.  I have really no idea what Japanese custody battles look like, but I imagine that there is some sort of legal process you are supposed to go through to adopt, which you really ought to do ASAP, and especially before you make long-term career decisions based on having adopted a child.  If Masako-san comes back and tries to assert her ownership rights in the child, I guess he always has the trump card of having Rin scream to the judge (or however it works in Japan) about how much she hates that maid who was mean to her all the time.  That might be enough to overcome presumption in favor of the mother.

That might not work, though, given how shy she gets around strangers.  That kind of tugged on my heartstrings, how drastically she changed when she went over to deal with all those other people.  I was not in general a shy child, but I think everyone had some times growing up when they were among a crowd of grownups who they didn’t know or trust and they just wanted to hide behind the only known quantity there.  Rin more so than usual, because of her hardcore abandonment issues.

I feel like “I won’t die and leave you behind for at least another thirty years” is kind of a weak standard.  If I were a six-year-old whose father had just died I would not find that very comforting.  I guess you’ve gotta come to grips with people’s mortality at some point.  Or maybe you don’t: usually when this sort of discussion comes up you would blow it off with talk of an afterlife, or whatever. (Cryonic preservation would be my choice, but that won’t bring her father back.)  Well, I hope wrestling with the cruel truths of the world doesn’t traumatize poor Rin too badly.


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