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Manga / Bunny Drop

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"Don't you think this world is better than you expected?"

"One bright autumn day, I learned of Grandpa's demise. Hence I took a leave of absence, packed my bag, and rushed home. Only to find a little girl I had never seen before."

When Daikichi Kawachi questions his mother, he learns that the six-year-old girl is Rin, his grandfather's illegitimate daughter. When it turns out that nobody else wants to take care of her, Daikichi impulsively decides takes her in himself.

Bunny Drop (Usagi Drop in Japanese) is a manga by Yumi Unita, which ran in the josei magazine Feel Young from 2005 to 2011. The story centers on the drama of bachelor Daikichi and the change he makes to his life so he can care for Rin. From buying her clothes, getting her into kindergarten, transferring to a job with better hours, and trying to work out what to do regarding Rin's absentee mother Masako, Daikichi does all in his power to do right by Rin, no matter the cost to himself.

The series is licensed by Yen Press, which has started releasing it in North America. An anime (viewable on Hulu) ran in the noitaminA block in the summer of 2011, and a live-action movie was released in July of that year.

This series features examples of:

  • Age-Stereotypical Food: Reina gets mad at being given "old lady candy" like fruit jelly.
  • Ambiguously Related: The anime and Live-Action Adaptation didn't adapt the latter half of the story that reveals Rin isn't Daikichi's aunt. This makes it ambiguous whether the adaptations keep the same twist or whether they're Related in the Adaptation.
  • Art Shift: All of the prologue scenes in the anime are colored pastel-style, in contrast to the more conventional coloring in the rest of the episode.
  • Bathroom Stall of Overheard Insults: Daikichi overhears some soon-to-be-ex-co-workers accusing him of abandoning them as he's about to enter the bathroom. He opts to just let the matter drop.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Rin has a parental figure in Daikichi, but calls him by his name. She doesn't see him as a father, and in the manga at least this foreshadows how she eventually falls for Daikichi as a teen. Rin refers to her biological father as "Grandpa" because he was a senior, even though he's her dad. This also foreshadows in the manga that Rin isn't biologically Daikichi's grandfather's child.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The anime only covers the events of manga volumes 1-4, explicitly ignoring the Time Skip in Volume 5 and implying that Daikichi will start a relationship with Kouki's mother.
  • Character Development: Every main character gets this, but Daikichi and Rin get special mention.
  • Children Raise You: Daikichi goes from being an immature manchild to being a responsible and proactive caretaker, with a few missteps along the way. He even lampshades this at the end of volume 2. Counts as major Character Development.
  • Child Care and Babysitting Stories: When Daikichi learns that his deceased grandfather left behind an illegitimate child named Rin with no one willing to take her in, he takes it upon himself to raise her by himself. The two start an unlikely relationship as a "father" and "daughter" as Rin becomes an important part of his life.
  • Clingy Child: Daikichi is invited to an after-work party, and he brings the young waif Rin along. As the two enter the room where the party is underway, Rin sees many grown people around the table, convivial and conversing. Rin hides behind Daikichi's leg, unsure about these strange, new people. It also reminds her of that sad day when Daikichi's relatives had gathered around a table to discuss Rin's fate, with "dump" and "orphanage" being bandied about.
  • Continuity Nod: After the Time Skip, Rin still has in her room the desk that they bought when she entered elementary school.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Several adults are afflicted by this around Rin. Rin herself seems to like kids younger than herself and babies.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: Rin's understanding of Gramps' death, and a fear of her own death that results.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Daikichi's mother wants nothing to do with Rin at first. However, when Daikichi brings her back for a family visit, she begins warming up to the girl to the point where she asks Daikichi and Rin to visit her again.
  • Delayed Reaction: When Daikichi takes Rin shopping for some clothes, he wonders why she doesn't get a skirt. Rin mentions that skirts aren't allowed at nursery school. He agrees with her for a moment, then it hits him that he needs to register her for school.
  • Elective Mute: Rin. When she's around people she doesn't feel comfortable with, she won't say a thing.
  • Emotionless Girl: Deconstructed. Rin acts like this around people she's afraid of or doesn't trust (most everyone to begin with), and some of Daikichi's relatives cite it as a reason why they won't take her in. We soon find out that Rin is anything but.
  • Evolving Credits: in the anime, the ending sequence changes slightly to match the content of the episode during the first section and also in the colored pencil/chalk pastel drawing of Rin towards the end.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: As Daikichi buys things for Rin after taking her in, he asks why she hasn't picked out any skirts. she replies that it's a dress code for day care. A Beat goes by before Daikichi realizes he forgot to enter Rin into a day care, and the next day is a Monday.
  • Foreshadowing: In the first chapter, one of the family members at Souichi's funeral comments whether or not Rin was even his kid. And after the timeskip, it is revealed that Soushi and Rin are not biologically related.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: In episode 7, Reina and Rin talk about Haruko and Daikichi's marital status. They say that Haruko would be better off being single, while Daikichi would be better off married, without fully comprehending the situations the adults are in.
  • Funny Background Event: A few in the anime, one of them involves Rin playing on her new futon while Daikichi is on the phone.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime cuts off before the Time Skip. This is generally considered to be a good change.
  • Happily Adopted: Rin.
  • Identical Grandson: Daikichi looks so much like a young version of his grandfather that some relatives at the grandfather's wake thought Daikichi was a ghost. This is also why Rin initially becomes attached to him.
  • Idiots Cannot Catch Colds: When Rin gets ill, Daikichi mutters he's lucky he's an idiot.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Rin abruptly starts singing. When asked why, her response is "It's a secret, so I can't tell anyone at home about Parents' Day!"
  • Imagine Spot: When talking with his parents, Daikichi has frequent Flashbacks to his childhood (often accompanied by the informative caption "Showa-era child rearing!")
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Gotou says she wants to take Rin with her in episode 4.
  • Ironic Echo: "This is sweat!"
  • Is That Cute Kid Yours?: Daikichi gets this a couple times. He has no idea initially how to handle it, since "No, she's my aunt" is not something you want to go around saying.
  • Jump Rope Blunders: Rin participates in a jump rope contest at her school, not long after learning how from Daikichi. Later, Daikichi asks her how the contest went. A sad Rin admits that she only got to fifteen forward skips. However, she took first place in the backward-skip category at 203, with a certificate for proof.
  • Last Disrespects: Many of the family members attending Souichi's funeral are shocked to learn that he recently had an illegitimate child, Rin, shortly before his death. Her presence at the funeral isn't particularly welcomed and they mostly ignore her. When the time comes for the family to talk about what to do with her, shortly after the actual funeral proceedings, the discussion quickly devolves into an outlet for expressing their anger toward the situation and talking about how odd they find Rin and her dubious origins.
  • Loose Tooth Episode: Chapter 11 is titled "The First Step," in which Rin learns how to jump rope. She becomes quite adept at it. She also discovers that one of her upper incisors is loose, but Daikichi advises her not to play with it and make it worse. The tooth eventually detaches while Daikichi and Rin are visiting Daikichi's parents. It's mentioned in the anime that the tooth will be tossed onto their roof at home for good luck.
  • Ma'am Shock: Male version — her first morning with Daikichi, Rin calls him "oji-san", which shocks him as much because he's just 30 as because she's his Oba-san in the relationship sense. The official translation obscures the joke by rendering these as "mister" and "ma'am".
  • Manchild:
    • Daikichi. He has the best of intentions, but is very much out of his depth. While some of it is overboard, there's good reason for his mom to regularly take him to task about child-rearing. In short, while there's no doubt that Daikichi cares and tries to do the right thing, actually getting his act together to do so is a process. Even as he gets better at being a father, other people still remark upon the oddness of the fact that, say, Rin does a significantly larger portion of the cooking than you would normally anticipate a seven-year-old to be doing
    • Masako is a much straighter example. She's described by Daikichi's grandfather as simply not being mature enough to be a mother yet. Given from what we've seen of her on-screen this is unfortunately very, very true.
  • Mascot: In-series, Rin is a fan of Lop-Ear, a bunny that's popular with kids.
  • May–December Romance: Daikichi's grandpa and Masako. At the end of the manga, Rin and Daikichi.
  • Meaningful Echo: In the first volume, Daikichi notes that he would be lying if he didn't call raising Rin a sacrifice, but hopes that he can say it in the future. At the end of the fourth (a little over a year after taking Rin in), he says that it's not one.
  • Meaningful Name: In Japanese, the Gentian is called the rindou. On seeing Rin pick Gentians for her father's grave, Daikichi realizes his grandfather named her after his favorite flower.
  • Missing Mom: A plot point is Daikichi learning the identity of Rin's mother and confronting her.
  • Nighttime Bathroom Phobia: The first few days that Rin is living in Daikichi's home, she's hesitant to stumble around an unfamiliar house in darkness to empty her bladder, electing instead to try to hold it until morning. This leaves moist patches in the bedding that Daikichi notices. "It's sweat!" Rin insists while hurriedly gathering the bedding to be laundered. As the unfamiliarity wears off, Rin learns to navigate to the bathroom by herself.
  • Not Allowed to Grow Up: Averted; the later chapters deal with Rin as a teenager. See Time Skip.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Chapter 54 reveals that Rin isn't Souichi's biological daughter.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Daikichi takes his cousin Haruko shopping in episode 7, they run into Yuriko. When he sees them, he panics, then immediately tells the latter that the woman with him is merely his cousin on his mother's side. Haruko teases him a bit about it afterwards.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: Rin's baby book. Gives us the first clue about Rin's mother and is the hiding place of Daikichi's grandfather's will.
  • Parental Abandonment: Rin; father dead, mother's whereabouts unknown. Once mother's whereabouts discovered, mother still wants nothing to do with her because she's irresponsible.
  • Pinky Swear: Daikichi makes one with Rin in the second episode, promising her to return to the nursery school as quick as possible. What completes this is a funny version of the "pinky swear" song.
    "I pinky promise/If I lie, I'll swallow a thousand needles/Damn those needles/Pinky promise break."
  • Potty Failure: Rin's bedwetting in chapter 4 and episode 3 of the anime; partly stress from a fear of death, partly scared to enter the bathroom alone at night.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The anime version does not adapt the later volumes of the manga and implies a completely different ending.
  • The Runaway: In the movie Kouki and Rin run away in the climax which, as expected, cause Daikichi and Yukari to freak out trying to find them.
  • Sand In My Eyes: When Daikichi gets teary-eyed about Rin's feelings for him, he claims it's sweat.
  • Shapes of Disappearance: As Daikichi is walking along a street with preschool Rin, he suddenly discovers she's no longer beside him. Only Rin's outline is shown, indicating where Daikichi thought she was. Rin had been sidetracked by some fallen leaves, which she selects for a preschool project. A later chapter has Daikichi and Rin shopping in a grocery store. As Daikichi heads for the produce section, he discovers that Rin is missing, indicated once more with a dotted outline where Daikichi thought Rin would be. "What!?" Daikichi gasps, "Again?!" Rin has once again been sidetracked, this time by the colorful and cartoonish boxes of dry cereal. He has to chasten Rin not to wander away from him. His concern is justified, as Daikichi has adopted Rin, acting in loco parentis.
  • Ship Tease: A lot for Daichiki/Yukari and Kouki/Rin.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sick Episode: Rin gets sick in episode 10. Fortunately for a worried Daikichi, Yuriko stops by to visit them and help him take care of Rin.
  • Sink or Swim Fatherhood: An irresponsible man-child decides on a whim to take care of an actual child. This turns out to be very, very hard.
  • Stinger: One ends every episode of the anime.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Some third-year students corner Rin and get on her case for walking down the wrong corridor.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Rin is the "Once You Get to Know Her" type, very shy and quiet to anyone she doesn't know.
  • Time Skip: At the start of volume 5, we skip ten years and Rin is suddenly a teenager. The final chapter is set 2 years after that.
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Kouki, to Rin.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension:
    • Rin and Kouki are at this stage when the post-Time Skip arc begins, but it doesn't last.
    • The later chapters have this between Daikichi and Ms. Nitani as well. They also do not end up together.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: In episode 10, a scene cuts away right before Rin throws up from her stomach flu.