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Anime: Bunny Drop

At Anime Boston this year, it was impossible to get into panels I wanted for most of Saturday afternoon, which I instead spent watching five episodes of Bunny Drop. I've now watched the rest, and I like it. For conflict and tension it's down there with Maria-sama, Aria, YKK, and Chii's Sweet Home; pure slice of life of a 30 year old bachelor who effectively adopts his 6 year old aunt (Granpa got lucky before he died) and raises her. It is basically pure parenting DAWWWW but as with Maria-sama and Aria and YKK that seems to work on me, and this time there isn't even the usual parade of nubile women. (I can't stand Chii.) Daikichi and Rin may remind me of my and my niblings or friends' kids.

There's a bit of bite: a look at how hard it is to be a single parent in Japan, people taking demotions so they can pick their kid on time, a cousin who runs away from her husband and in-laws, then later other good fathers. I'm influenced here by the Totally Subversive Toons panel, which said that Japan's long recession changed what was acceptable to show in terms of family dynamics and tensions. Before, only happy families; after, a Black Lagoon exec who comes home and ignores his wife and troubled kids. So I'm wondering if "parenting is hard, work isn't everything, and in-laws can suck" is part of that.

I don't know if actual parents would think this is sweet and awesome or just banal because they live it. But for what it is, it seems perfect.

Then I went to look it up online, and learned it's based on manga. Specifically, the first half of the manga, which seems just as perfect in its familial realism, but with more details than the anime. The second half starts with a timeskip of ten years, and, well... volumes 5 and 6 are said to be fine, but after that it takes a very weird turn and you might simply want to skip that.


So it comes out that 16 year old Rin has the hots for her foster father. This isn't a Genji Plan of Wife Husbandry; he's totally surprised and dismayed by it, and not because they're supposedly closely related. When it comes out that they're not, he holds out for another two years, encouraging her to go get an age-appropriate boyfriend, but eventually caves and they plan to get married, with her looking forward to having his babies that they can raise together.

I think I have a more open mind about possible relationships than most people -- "meh, whatever makes them happy" -- and even I'm going "Really? Really?" Partly at the artist and editor thinking this was anything like a good artistic decisions. It's totally tone deaf. Catering to an audience? Wikipedia says it's a josei manga, meaning non-girl women, whom I'd think wouldn't be going for this in a big way. It's the sort of decision that makes you instantly wonder about the artist's issues. (Artist name seems female, and 1975 is given as a birth year. There's otherwise very little information on them.) It's even more "WTF" than the ending of the Karin manga.


http://japaneseliterature.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/bunny-drop/ is an interesting and positive review of the manga... again apart from the ending.

So, I still recommend the show, and the first 4-6 volumes of the manga (on hearsay.) Caveat lector on the rest.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/362536.html#comments

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
thomasyan
May. 29th, 2013 03:33 am (UTC)
Oh, anime/manga, no! Except that I've seen that turn before in another series. So it makes me wonder if there is something about Japanese culture.

[Spoiler (click to open)] [rot13] xnerxnab [/rot13]
mindstalk
May. 29th, 2013 03:51 am (UTC)
Like I said, the anime is perfectly fine. It's just the later manga that goes "what?"

As for your spoiler...
a) another female mangaka
b) I didn't realize the manga had actually finished
c) really? Oh, uvqrnxv?

Well, there's Jacob in Twilight...
thomasyan
May. 31st, 2013 12:11 am (UTC)
Oh yes, Kai-Yin and I enjoyed watching Bunny Drop on crunchyroll last year. We finished in October.

b) Yeah, long ago.

c) Heh, but according to wikipedia, the mangaka was helping out with the anime, and then left because she was unhappy with its direction. Huh, that could explain why I felt that partway through, the anime was rather different, and also had a surprising number and amount of recaps.

I wonder how Gungslinger Girl fits into all of this. The cyborg girls are brainwashed to treat their handlers as a combination of father, big brother, and would-be boyfriend.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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