Written by Kevin Leathers on 13 Oct 2010
Distributor Yen Press • Author/Artist Yumi Unita • Price £8.99
It’s not easy raising kids. It is easy to forget the care and attention it takes to raise a child properly, especially if you don’t have your own. If there is one thing about anime and manga as a whole is that it has the power to show you worlds that you have only ever seen on the outside and this is where Bunny Drop comes in. A manga that shows that even the most unprepared parent can rise to the occasion.
Daikichi is a thirty-year-old bachelor who ends up going home for his grandfather’s funeral. What he discovers is that his grandfather has an illegitimate child, a six-year-old named Rin who is technically Daikichi’s aunt. Daikichi ends up taking the girl in a fit of rage at his family’s arguing of who should look after the girl, but he may be in over his head.
One way to look at Bunny Drop is as it being the anti-Yotsuba&!. Unlike the titled Yotsuba, a potentially crack-fuelled five-year-old who bounces off the walls with her unbelievably high levels of curiosity and energy, Rin is a quiet, shy little girl who is going through a period that she doesn’t fully understand and is only looking to be loved. It is quite a touching story seeing as Daikichi does not really take an instant shine to the little one, but overcomes his own shortcomings when dealing with children to help the poor girl. It shows how two people of wildly different ages learn to adapt, change and eventually open up to each other.
While the initial story of how Rin came to be is slightly far-fetched, though not at all impossible to imagine, the rest of what happens is grounded in so much reality you would swear that this has all happened before somewhere. Daikichi has to learn quickly the basic needs of Rin and also help her deal with the fact that so much has already happened in her short life already. The author shows that while a six-year-old is wide-eyed and curious about the world, they do not think in such simple terms constantly and that even a small child can have amazing insight into the complex happenings of the world.
The manga also doesn’t just focus on the relationship of Daikichi and Rin, but also spends time looking at how much a child can change the life of an adult - simple things such as clothing and feeding them, to taking them to a daycare centre and making sure that your work fits around them. It really does give you an appreciation of what parents have to do to make sure that they do the right thing when raising a child.
It is fair to say that the story, even from this first volume, is well thought out and endearing, while giving the reader a fantastic message without forgetting that it is still a form of entertainment, mixing in its comedy at the right places to help ease the tension of the book. It has a balance of fun and seriousness in the right proportions that gives its reader both plenty to think about and plenty to laugh at.
Some however may find that the art for the manga is quite simplistic. Those that have been spoiled by manga with highly detailed panels and backgrounds may find that Bunny Drop focuses more on foreground characters and leaves a fair amount of white space with some simplistic designs for the characters themselves. I personally enjoyed this simplistic approach to the art, as it allowed the story and the strength of the words to shine through much better, without being lost in a tidal wave of shadow and shading.
For those looking for something that is more about heart and how it gets it across to you over being blown away by visuals, Bunny Drop is very much the manga for you. It is grounded enough in reality to make things plausible, but still gives us laughs and is highly entertaining. It is also something that everyone can enjoy regardless of what they usually read. For an alternative to the mad cap adventures that manga usually puts the reader through, Bunny Drop is very much a read that you can take your time with, soak up and enjoy.
Author: Kevin Leathers
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