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Old 2011-08-19, 09:01   Link #501
Triple_R
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiroth View Post
I still find the dislike for episode 6 pretty crazy.
Episode 6 was above average, but "by the book", slice of life.

Reckoner and I weren't saying we "disliked it" (I specifically implied I'd rate it 8/10) so much as that Usagi Drop's caliber up until Episode 6 was actually well beyond "by the book" slice of life.

This anime genuinely has a great overarching narrative to it. That narrative is very down-to-Earth, yet its also eventful and lively. Usagi Drop certainly isn't an "edge of your seat" thriller, but its not as low-key as some make it out to be either.

To put it simply, stuff happens, important stuff of lasting relevance, in almost every episode. The pacing is by no means "slow", imo. That helps give Usagi Drop a multifaceted appeal to me - it's not just Rin's moe, or Daikichi's GAR, that keeps me entertained and interested, but it's also the narrative itself (and subtle social commentary that tends to accompany it). I'm honesty interested in, and curious of, where the story will go.

Daikichi and Rin's story keeps progressing forward, at a consistent pace, with new conflicts and challenges presenting themselves in almost every episode. Conflicts like Daikichi balancing work with child-rearing and how that all plays out, and challenges like the ones posed by Rin's biological mother. These come across to me as key elements in shrewdly and steadily constructing a great overarching narrative.

Episode 6 struck me as taking a break from all of that to give us something lighthearted and heartwarming. That's fine - for an episode here or there - but I'm glad that Episode 7 put the overarching narrative back in central focus, with new conflicts and challenges now posed by Haruka and her situation. (As an aside, I was very impressed with the seiyu work for Haruka in this episode.)


All of this leads into my current stance on Usagi Drop: With Episode 7, Usagi Drop is now one of my Top 5 shows of 2011, and has the potential to be my favorite of the year. So far, it is the most well-executed anime I've seen this year, in the sense of simply having no noteworthy flaws, living up to its potential, and being impressively consistent.

On a series premise level, its not that ambitious, but once you get into it far enough, it becomes clear that the anime doesn't play it safe (and certainly not conventional), and is aiming for greatness.

Usagi Drop is truly subtle, and it is one of the most realistic anime shows I have ever seen. Nothing is exaggerated for melodrama, but nothing is sugarcoated either. This comes through in flying colors in Episode 7, as a lesser anime would have turned Haruka's husband into an outright wifebeater and displayed that on screen, and/or would have copped out at the end with an entirely happy resolution.

It all feels very authentic and real. Granted, Rin is more mature for her age than the vast majority of kids her age are, but this issue is resolved by Kouki and Reina acting as a good compliment and contrast to Rin.
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Old 2011-08-19, 09:42   Link #502
KyriaL
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A fine episode, possibly explaining some of the hardships after marriage, and the worries of not being able to find a life partner.

Hopefully Haruka's husband will lighten up towards her now that this event has passed.
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Old 2011-08-19, 09:43   Link #503
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
To put it simply, stuff happens, important stuff of lasting relevance, in almost every episode....

Episode 6 struck me as taking a break from all of that to give us something lighthearted and heartwarming. That's fine - for an episode here or there - but I'm glad that Episode 7 put the overarching narrative back in central focus, with new conflicts and challenges now posed by Haruka and her situation. (As an aside, I was very impressed with the seiyu work for Haruka in this episode.)
Based on your line of reasoning, it's possible to argue that Haruko's situation isn't really "central" to the overarching narrative either, in that her problems are at best tangential to Daikichi and Rin's developing relationship as father and daughter.

But, to return to your earlier observation that "stuff happens" of "lasting relevance", Ep6 did serve that purpose, though not in an immediately obvious way. The underlying point of Ep6, I felt, was to show how Rin has managed to bring Daikichi's family closer together.

Recall, for example, Kazumi griping in Ep1 that Daikichi didn't even bother to visit his parents on New Year's Eve. There was a sense, early in the series, that Daikichi was fairly detached from family affairs, enjoying as he was a kind of extended adolescence as a carefree bachelor living in his own home.

However, once he started taking care of Rin, Daikichi began to better appreciate the trials and tribulations his mother endured while bringing up her family. He began visiting his parents more often, ostensibly to let them babysit Rin while he took care of other pressing affairs, but in the process mellowing his earlier estranged relationship with his parents. This plot thread was brought to a heartwarming conclusion in Ep6, with Daikichi's discovery his mother's birth tree and his subsequent realisation of the bonds that bound the members of his family.

So, from that perspective, Ep6 didn't feel like "filler" material at all. Just as in Ep7, the story in Ep6 contributed its own commentary on real-life issues, exploring the nature of family, a social construct that sometimes goes beyond blood ties.

======

As an aside, I might as well add that Ep7 struck a bit close to home for me, making it a bit harder for me to review. Haruko's predicament is not just that about the problem of living with an uninvolved husband and unfamiliar in-laws, but also that of crossing the threshold into adulthood. To be single at 36, with most of my childhood friends now married with children, there is always that increasing awareness of how my perspectives on life are rapidly diverging from theirs. It has struck me often in recent years that an individual doesn't really become a "mature adult" until he or she starts a family.

So, when Haruko wept about how she wished she could just remain a girl, a huge part of me sympathised greatly. It's great, the freedom of being on one's own, free from the overwhelming social burden and expectations of maintaining a home and family. But, at the same time, there's always that niggling suspicion that perhaps I'm missing out on something important — the very thing that gives Haruko the strength to endure: a kid.

Last edited by TinyRedLeaf; 2011-08-19 at 09:56.
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Old 2011-08-19, 09:56   Link #504
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Based on your line of reasoning, it's possible to argue that Haruko's situation isn't really "central" to the overarching narrative either, in that her problems are at best tangential to Daikichi and Rin's developing relationship as father and daughter.
I disagree. I think that through getting a greater understanding of Haruka's situation, Daikichi might be realizing that married parenthood isn't necessarily without its own distinctive challenges either. This, in turn, might have some influence on how Daikichi approaches potential romances in the future.


Quote:

But, to return to your earlier observation that "stuff happens" of "lasting relevance", Ep6 did serve that purpose, though not in an immediately obvious way. The underlying point of Ep6, I felt, was to show how Rin has managed to bring Daikichi's family closer together.

I see what you're saying about Episode 6, but the thing is, if Episode 6's story had never happened (if it had been skipped over entirely), it would not have had much impact on the broader narrative, imo. I wouldn't say that about any other episode in Usagi Drop thus far. Now, I don't think that Episode 6 is outright "filler", as it does take some time to further develop certain characters and character relationships, but it does represent a bit of a break from overarching plot movement, imo. Now, it's good to have a break in the action here and there, so Episode 6 serves the anime well in a broader sense. I certainly won't weigh it against Usagi Drop when it comes time for series review.


On an episode to episode comparison basis, though, a key for me is that there's no real conflict or challenge in Episode 6. It's just a nice heartwarming story, for the most part.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that, but as I explained before, what puts Usagi Drop a cut or two above for me, is an overarching narrative that has real conflict and challenges within it. In fairness to you, perhaps I didn't emphasize the "conflict and challenges" aspect of that enough in my previous post on this thread.

To me, that's a key element of why I view Usagi Drop in a very positive light, in comparison to a safer slice of life show that's only aiming to be nice and heartwarming.
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Old 2011-08-19, 12:32   Link #505
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To defend Triple_R here a little bit...

Episode 6's pacing felt quite slow compared to most of the others. There felt like more hustle and bustle in the other episodes, a sense of really moving through life. Episode 6 felt really slow, and dealt with a bit of a cheesy metaphor about trees and family, which honestly mattered little in Daikichi and Rin's relationship. No one is going to care about those trees very much, and it didn't seem Daikichi cared very much either. Even as soon as this episode the tree feels like it's become irrelevant in the picture. Everything else in this show has had lasting impact, including the lessons Daikichi and Rin will take away from Haruka's situation this episode.
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Old 2011-08-19, 12:36   Link #506
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Boy, can't disagree more with the haters on episode 6. I think it was one of the 2-3 best of the series. The tree thing was so symbolically important and so innately Japanese in its thinking that it completely worked for me. But I loved the rest of the episode as well. Seems odd to me to criticize this series for slow pacing, when it's at its best when it focuses on the daily minutiae that makes life worthwhile.

But that's anime - individual tastes are a funny thing.
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Old 2011-08-19, 14:46   Link #507
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So Daikichi and Rin got some roommates ^^
Oooo, so Daikichi has a closet crush on Rin's Kouki's mom LOL
Haruko's issues at home... I guess it was just a little marriage crisis.
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Old 2011-08-19, 20:15   Link #508
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Meh... just because someone doesn't find an episode as good as the rest doesn't mean they hate it.

Anyhow, last episode was great. I just gotta feel bad for Dakachi, as his house gets more and more crowded.
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Old 2011-08-19, 20:26   Link #509
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Just finished ep 7.

Stupendous material once again. Man - I love this show. Although for me Ikoku Meiro is still giving it a run for it's money as my fave series this season.

8/10 vote for this ep from me. Continued quality material!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DemiSoda View Post
/yawn

I'm getting tired of praising Usagi Drop at this point, so I'm just going to say I'll give the latest episode (ep 7) 10/10 .


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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Meh... just because someone doesn't find an episode as good as the rest doesn't mean they hate it....
Agreed ... For me I really felt ep 6 was important, showing through the tree metaphor that Rin was really part of a family lineage if you will. Such things are important for me on an individual level and so it really hit home.

But tastes are different after all.
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Old 2011-08-20, 01:18   Link #510
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Originally Posted by Guardian Enzo View Post
Boy, can't disagree more with the haters on episode 6. I think it was one of the 2-3 best of the series. The tree thing was so symbolically important and so innately Japanese in its thinking that it completely worked for me. But I loved the rest of the episode as well. Seems odd to me to criticize this series for slow pacing, when it's at its best when it focuses on the daily minutiae that makes life worthwhile.

But that's anime - individual tastes are a funny thing.
I don't hate the episode though .

But like I said, I wasn't too impressed with the symbolism of it, I thought it was pretty cheesy. Furthermore, it may be Japanese but that doesn't necessarily mean anything in of it by itself.

But we also seem to disagree fundamentally on one thing. I think this series is at its best when it blends Daikichi and Rin's relationship with the ongoing social/societal issues throughout the show. My favorite moment of the latest episode for example was when they came back at night to a house with all the light. The happiness of Rin to come back to a lively home, and Daikichi's reaction to it considering the issue of marriage being brought up earlier was just really nice.

That's where this series truly shines for me.
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Old 2011-08-20, 01:32   Link #511
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Episode 6 is in the manga, so they adapted it.
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Old 2011-08-20, 09:28   Link #512
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A good breath of fresh air, that's what this show is. The style and music reminds me of H&C, simple, down-to-earth, but elegant, without the pompous orgy of bright colours and sounds staple to recent animes. It really gives off that feel-good vibe; something you would look forward to watching after a long day's work.

I enjoyed the little symbolisms in the show; they were meaningful and easy to digest (like the tree episode) and I didn't find myself having to decode abstract hidden meanings (all too pervasive in shojo anime) to enjoy myself. I wouldn't know much about raising a kid, but with a full time job of my own, I can relate pretty easily to Daikichi's juggling of work and other responsibilities.

In more ways than one, the show kinda made me look back on my childhood and recall how much of a bundle of trouble I was...
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Old 2011-08-20, 13:19   Link #513
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Incidentally, the road shows for the live-action film version of Usagi Drop opened today (Aug 20). Anyone monitoring the Japanese forums to see what people are saying about the movie?



Incredibly, Yukari, Kouki's mother, is even more of a milf in the movie.

Also, for those who keep saying that anime-Rin is implausibly mature for her age, take a look at this clip of child-actress Ashida Mana, who plays the live-action Rin. Mana-chan was just six years old at the time of the interview, but watch how she behaves and, more importantly, how she learns to act. Quite precocious, is she not?

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Old 2011-08-20, 16:17   Link #514
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Incredibly, Yukari, Kouki's mother, is even more of a milf in the movie.
I'll have to disagree on that one. She doesn't even give any MILF vibes, and she isn't even that beautiful in my opinion.

I had never heard about Ashida Mana until now, and I must say I'm impressed with her. Definitely precocious. I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up being the best actress in this movie not that it'll be hard considering how atrocious most japanese actors are.
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Old 2011-08-20, 16:24   Link #515
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What an infuriating episode! The stupidity of the characters in this was astounding.

Haruka, you cannot go back to being a kid again. Now why are you trying to suffer for the rest of your life? Why don't you at least talk to your husband about your problems? Why don't you tell him to move away from his family? Why are you content on living through this shit forever?

Daikichi was equally bad or worse. Great that he helped out, but as an outside observer he should have more objectivity, and should have told Haruka to woman up, and go talk to her man. He had plenty of time and opportunity to talk some sense into Haruka.

And what do we get? Look at the guy! He arrives as if picking up family at a restaurant after a succesful business meating. Wife and kid just left him for days without warning! Sorry for the trouble Haruka caused." Fuck you, asshole! You're ruining her life and don't even care. From the looks of it probably nothing will change.

What is really important? Exactly! Obvious Haruka is not part of the all-important family. If something is bad, just shut up and swallow it. What happened to my series!?

/rant

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Old 2011-08-20, 16:59   Link #516
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Old 2011-08-20, 18:15   Link #517
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Incidentally, the road shows for the live-action film version of Usagi Drop opened today (Aug 20). Anyone monitoring the Japanese forums to see what people are saying about the movie?



[/youtube]
This makes me cry
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Old 2011-08-20, 19:11   Link #518
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
Also, for those who keep saying that anime-Rin is implausibly mature for her age, take a look at this clip of child-actress Ashida Mana, who plays the live-action Rin. Mana-chan was just six years old at the time of the interview, but watch how she behaves and, more importantly, how she learns to act. Quite precocious, is she not?

Argh! Too cute! Especially love it how the snacks she likes has the others wondering if there's another, much much older person inside of her (Cucumber with pickled veges? Kabuki snacks? Japanese rice crackers? Totally not something you'd expect from a 6yo!)

These clips totally made my day. I hadn't really been interested in seeing the live action, but I'll definitely be looking forward to the DVD from now on!
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Old 2011-08-20, 22:45   Link #519
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He made my day.

I guess everyones gpt too be a critic around her...
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Old 2011-08-20, 22:49   Link #520
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What an infuriating episode! The stupidity of the characters in this was astounding.

Haruka, you cannot go back to being a kid again. Now why are you trying to suffer for the rest of your life? Why don't you at least talk to your husband about your problems? Why don't you tell him to move away from his family? Why are you content on living through this shit forever?

Daikichi was equally bad or worse. Great that he helped out, but as an outside observer he should have more objectivity, and should have told Haruka to woman up, and go talk to her man. He had plenty of time and opportunity to talk some sense into Haruka.

And what do we get? Look at the guy! He arrives as if picking up family at a restaurant after a succesful business meating. Wife and kid just left him for days without warning! Sorry for the trouble Haruka caused." Fuck you, asshole! You're ruining her life and don't even care. From the looks of it probably nothing will change.

What is really important? Exactly! Obvious Haruka is not part of the all-important family. If something is bad, just shut up and swallow it. What happened to my series!?

/rant

Good day!
Is it infuriating? Maybe. Is it stupid? Could be. But it also hits very true to home, especially in a heavily stigmatized society such as Japan, where people tends to internalize their struggles.

On one hand, we have a girl who believe marriage is her dream and purpose of her life. When conflict arises, she put up her good girl facade, swallows her bitterness, and expects her husband to change. She chooses to submit to marriage and believes the world will work out if she is well behaving.

On the other hand, we have a professional who treasures job responsibility, and is throwing away his own life to earn money to support the family. He clothes himself in the glory of job, and expects her wife to understand his hard-work is for the better of the family.

When Haruka found his husband spending more time earning money, she tried to impress him by looks and punish him with bitterness. All is in vain, because they are both serving each other, thinking they are doing the right thing while continuing to hurt each other. They are actually quite a good match.
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