A thoughtful response to current anime.

Usagi Drop – Episode 4

Last episode on Usagi Drop, the protagonist had moved to a different, presumably worse, job in order to make time for raising Rin.  Which makes this episode a perfect time for Rin’s mother to swoop in and try to reclaim her.  Or maybe she’ll wait until Rin finds a new preschool and makes lots of friends there?  What is Rin doing in preschool anyway, isn’t she like 6 years old?  Shouldn’t she be in kindergarten/1st grade by this point?  Check my math here, people are 18 when they finish high school (12th grade), so subtract 12 from both sides and you should be finishing 0th grade (kindergarten) at age 6.  Perhaps episode 4 of Usagi Drop will shed some light on this mystery.

…thirty minutes pass…

I can confirm that Mii-chan is mistaken. Rin's a cute kid.

It turns out Rin is enrolling in 1st grade now, so mystery solved I guess.

I didn’t expect Daikichi to be quite so stupid as to actively seek out Rin’s mother.  I don’t think he’s really thought this through. Which I guess is in character for him?  He’s very gung-ho about raising a child, but also very naive about even basic things.  “What are these vack-sin-ay-shuns of which you speak”.  He successfully manipulated Rin into accepting a cheap desk instead of an expensive one by telling her it was more adult, but it’s not too impressive to outwit a six-year-old.  Especially since it’s not like he was lying – I’m an adult, and my desk is cheap as hell.

This is a very subtle, understated show.  There are a lot of cute touches that it just puts out there without drawing attention to, and trusts in your ability to pick up on them.  Things like the hypocrisy of Daikichi’s mother talking bad about Masako for abandoning Rin when she herself was about to abandon her, too.  You can say Masako’s her mother, and that’s an important bond, but Daikichi’s mother is, strictly speaking, her sister!  Sisters gotta stick together, I have been told.

The best parts of the show, for me, are the bits focalized more through Rin, where she struggles to grasp complicated concepts like “divorce” and “high school”.  It’s interesting watching a simplistic model of the world grow as it incorporates new information; it reminds me of training machine learning models to do linguistic analyses.  Cool thing about machine learning models though is that you don’t have to clean up after them when they wet the bed.

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