suntzuanime

A thoughtful response to current anime.

Category Archives: Usagi Drop

Sun Tzu’s Picks: Top 10 Anime of 2011

2011 has ended, as years often do.  Soon the new year’s anime will be starting; I haven’t taken a close look at them, but I’ve heard there isn’t much to be excited about.  So rather than worry about the upcoming year right now, let’s take a moment to stop and reflect on the year that has passed, and rank the ten best anime of the year.

Some rules regarding what I consider eligible to receive a ranking: I’m counting anime (so no J-Dramas or My Little Pony) that aired on TV (so no movies or OVA) starting in 2011 (so no Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu for #1 anime five years running).  I’m also excluding any anime that were just continuations of a series that began prior to 2011.  There were a few good second seasons that aired this year, like Ika Musume 2 and TWGOK 2, but those shows have already received consideration during their original airing years, and it’s time for them to step aside and make room for new blood.  Shows that aren’t done airing or shows that I haven’t finished watching are fine, though, so long as I’ve seen enough of them to have an opinion.  All the descriptions below are going to contain spoilers, so maybe you should just read the titles and then go off and watch all of them?

The Top 10 Anime of 2011, in Ascending Order (the last shall be first and the first shall be last)

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Usagi Drop – Episode 11

Last time on Usagi Drop, the hot divorcee whose son Rin was friends with had fallen ill, possibly having been infected by Rin while helping take care of her.  I’m not sure where they can go with this – surely we’re not going to get another episode about how people sometimes get sick and then have to lie in bed and eat porridge.  They could up the ante, I guess.  The divorcee has a weakened immune system due to the stress of being a single mother, so the illness strikes her harder than it did Rin, and she dies of it, and then Rin has to live with the guilt of being involved in the causal chain that led to her death, and also has to deal with the fact that every parental figure she has dies or abandons her.  That actually sounds pretty horrible, I feel bad for even thinking of it, so let’s hope they have something else planned for episode 11 of Usagi Drop.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Usagi Drop – Episode 10

I hear Usagi Drop is ending soon.  More to the point, I hear it’s already ended, but I’ve been busy with school and haven’t been keeping up on watching it, so I still have two episodes to go to catch up.  Two episodes probably isn’t long enough to do a compelling arc where Daikichi fights Rin’s mother for custody, so I guess we’re safe on that score.  There’s still probably time for him to put the moves on that divorcee mom in earnest – that’s be a continuation of last episode, so it would be a three-episode arc, which is plenty long for a conclusion.  Most likely, though, we’ll just get a pair of slice of life episodes and it will stop.  Well, that’s fine, that’s what I signed up for, that’s what I like in slice of life shows.  I’m hoping nothing of import happens in episode 10 of Usagi Drop, and we can just coast to a relaxing finish.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Usagi Drop – Episode 9

Last episode on Usagi Drop, Rin’s mom got a chance to sneak a peek at Rin, and it seemed to have triggered some maternal instinct in her.  Combine that with the fact that Daikichi did not end up officially adopting Rin, and there could be trouble brewing.  I mean, maybe I’m paranoid, but it just doesn’t seem like the play to wave your daughter-aunt around in the face of people who might try to take her from you.  You could argue that if Rin’s mother wants her back, she should get her back and that’s right and proper, but I can’t really trust Rin’s mother to make good choices for herself or her child.  She’s going to kill herself drawing silly little comics, let’s at least not have her take Rin down with her.  Anyway, that catastrophe is bubbling away in the background, but odds are decent that episode 9 of Usagi Drop is just gonna be more slice of life.

…thirty minutes pass…

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Usagi Drop – Episode 8

Last time on Usagi Drop we successfully dealt with Daikichi’s sister’s midlife crisis.  She probably won’t be bothering us again.  So we have some new crisis to look forward to, possibly a 1/13th life crisis from Rin.  When you’re six years old crises are just a way of life, the world is large and you are small so if you do not get out of the world’s way it will knock you over.  Good luck in episode 8 of Usagi Drop, Rin!

…thirty minutes pass…

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Usagi Drop – Episode 7

Last time on Usagi Drop Rin had started 1st grade and made friends who taught her ninja tricks.  Not much continuity to build off there, we probably still have an episode or two of slice-of-life coming to us before the next major event.  Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get an episode more focalized from Rin’s point of view?  Every episode so far has basically been Daikichi’s perspective on the whole business, which is great, but even a 1st grader has a certain amount of agency.  It would be interesting to see what she thinks about the whole situation.  Then again, part of the point of the show is that children are a terrifying mystery to their parents/caretakers, so I guess that would sort of defeat the purpose.  We can be satisfied with Daikichi’s point of view on episode 7 of Usagi Drop.

…thirty minutes pass…

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What I Watched On My Summer Vacation

I’m heading back home tomorrow morning, so I hope to be back to my regular somewhat-irregular anime blogging schedule then.  I have watched some episodes of currently airing anime while I’ve been here, so here are some brief thoughts on them, almost twitter-style.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Episodes 5 +6:  Funny enough.  The jokes about how the girls dominate and beat up the boys for perceived infractions are starting to grow a little repetitive, though.  It was fine when it was just Shouko, that was sort of her gimmick, but it’s getting old.  And I dunno that I’m really looking forward to the rest of this arc, the whole “track down the secret blackmailer” hook never really took with me to begin with.

Hanasaku Iroha Episode 19: Cute!  We got lots of Minchi, and even some Yuina.  I’m always in favor of seeing Ohana’s school life, too.  And it looks like we’re headed toward some sort of resolution on the Tohru/Minchi/Ohana love triangle maybe?  I know I’ve said that before.

Mawaru Penguindrum Episode 5: I still don’t understand what this show is trying to do.  Maybe it’s trying to deconstruct a genre I’ve never watched and so has never been constructed for me in the first place.  I thought Ringo was a murderer from last episode, but she seems unwilling to murder in this one, so I dunno what’s going on.  It’s starting to look like they may eventually tell me?

SKET Dance Episode 19: Quick fun double feature.  I never have anything to say about SKET Dance so I’ll use this as an excuse not to say anything.

Steins;Gate Episodes 19 + 20: Things have gotten serious again, it was almost in the “horror” genre the way everybody was treating poor Moeka.  I’m surprised that recovering the computer wasn’t enough: why can’t they just give it to John Titor and let her do the stuff she was gonna do with it?  You’re so obsessed with returning to the Alpha timeline, why not create a new Gamma timeline where nobody has to die?  Maybe it’s because Makise Kurisu is a CERN spy after all, and we can never be free so long as she lives? BTW I totally called the identity of FB right the first moment his name was mentioned.

Usagi Drop Episode 6: Yep, Rin’s a cute kid.  It’s nice that we have issues of ownership squared away so now Daikichi and Rin can just hang out doing cute slice of life stuff, at least until the next crisis arises.

Usagi Drop – Episode 5

Last episode on Usagi Drop,  Daikichi decided to call up Rin’s mother and, I dunno, chat with her?  I am not seeing how this will possibly end well.  I mean, best case scenario, she is like “yeah I took off because I wanted to enjoy my youth, have fun raising my child! toodles”.  And then he ends up in the same situation he was already in, only now he’s mad at her.  Worst case scenario she gets upset at the idea of some stranger raising her daughter and kicks up a fuss, which can only hurt all three of them.  Better to just leave sleeping dogs lie and not worry about her until it turns out that Rin needs a kidney transplant or something.  Well, let’s see how bad he’s screwing things up in episode 5 of Usagi Drop.

…thirty minutes pass…

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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…

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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…

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