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11 of 11 episodes seen
I’m happy. Why? Well, because this show did so much right that it’s tough not to be. Usagi Drop stayed true to the essence of the manga (before the timeskip) and didn’t stray far, if at all, from the original story progression. It captured splendidly the little nuances of an abnormal parent-child reality.
Our lives are full of insignificancies. Waking up irritable and half alert, washing your teeth, brushing your face, fumbling to find your valuables, grocery shopping without a list. The shit we wade through daily but clean up and forget soon after. These are experiences almost all can relate to but never share with one another because it’s stuff not worth sharing. Then of course, spliced in between those bits of irrelevance are the undoubtedly meaningful moments to be remembered. And we want to save those precious moments by documenting them. It’s in our nature to try and preserve the best times of our lives in some form or another. So when something like Usagi Drop comes along that personifies ‘life’, in both the boring and the beautiful, we’re able to really connect with the characters and their story on a more personal level.
Rin is modest, caring, independent, and responsible. She’s very mature but then not without those traits which you find ever-present in kids around her age. Joyful, curious, and downright adorable! In terms of lovability, she’s on par with Ushio in my book. You just want to squeeze those little cheeks and embrace her till she dies of asphyxiation. She’s that HNNNGGable. Needless to say, her expressions are genuine signs of love and appreciation, even for something like a poor attempt at tying pigtails. How she feels shows on her face clear as a sunny day. And the window through which we get to see all these sides of her is Daikichi.
Daikichi’s a very straightforward guy, both in personality and appearance. On top of that, he’s nurturing, compassionate, and protective. A little awkward at times but it comes with the job. Not to say I don’t like my dad, I love him, but Daikichi is the kind of father I wished I’d had growing up. He juggles his new responsibilities well with work and still manages to maintain a good relationship with everyone around him. Standing in as a guardian for your past grandfather’s illegitimate kid probably isn’t easy so I think he deserves a break here and there for his goofups. Watching Daikichi is a true breath of fresh air what with all the high school/university kids hogging most of the attention in anime. What you get is a middle aged guy just trying to do his best to provide for himself and his new little house warmer.
TWO little house warmers considering the frequency of Kouki’s visits. He and his mother are two more people you’ll find to be endearing as they interact with Rin and Daikichi. Aside from his apparent cheekiness, Kouki’s a good kid and it shows in his submissive yet protective behavior towards Rin. Looking at their close friendship and the overt chemistry between Yukari and Kawachi, it’s quite easy to envision them becoming a family in the near future. In fact, beyond the show’s conclusion you could say they’re already family.
And because of the relatively fluid art and animation, we’re able to see how they become so close. Soft watercolour-esque scenes start out each episode before the opening song rolls. It’s really a nice way of preceding the bulk of the episode. Character designs are markedly simplistic but there’s no need to fuss over it. With some added touches of realism, it’s nice knowing they do change clothes each day and night and that Daikichi does grow a stubble if he doesn’t shave every day like any other grown man. The backgrounds are subtle yet detailed; from pavement cracks to packaged market meat, everything in view is easy on the oculars.
To supplement the animation is the writing which shines through in the dialogue. Ayu and Tsuchida’s performance as the voices of Rin and Daikichi leave little more to be asked for. Thanks to them and all the other seiyuus, the talking that goes on in the show becomes one of its strengths. For example, in one episode, Daikichi and Harumi, Reina’s mom, have a serious discussion about Harumi’s marital problems which is eavesdropped on by Rin. But noticing this, Reina takes her aside and shows her how she copes when mom and dad don’t get along. Not something seen every day, you get both the child and parent’s perspectives of when things aren’t going so smoothly at home. Really, kids are keen in times like that and it’s great to see that the anime picks up on this detail. And it’s not only those I’ve listed who have depth of character but everyone has their own charm about them and grows, if just a little, in their own way in the span of only a year.
Now soundwise, the piano melodies and environmental acoustics fit well with whatever present surroundings were onscreen. The opening/ending songs are two very cheery jingles. Catchy it was but not enough to my taste to warrant a replay every week. Though, I would’ve never known that the group who did the opening is the same group who did the Teen Titans theme song (one of my favorites) had I not looked it up. Nostalgia, woo! From their tower they can see that all together, the music worked in pacing the way scenes played out.
Usagi Drop was an engagingly heartfelt tale of an atypical family living and learning how to adjust to their odd circumstances and the intricacies it affords. It handled themes like the importance of family values and the trials of child raising with great consideration for its audiences.
Despite its title I advise against dropping this anime because sitting down to watch Rin and Daikichi go through child/parenthood is an experience to be cherished. And I, for one, certainly have.
11 of 11 episodes seen
It’s clear from my reinterpretation of the title that I flat out didn’t like it. I sat through the season hoping it would get better as it went along. It didn’t. So to sum up what this show did wrong: Almost everything… except the central concept and opening/ending scores.
Honestly, this anime didn’t give me anything to justify my watching it. Other than its interesting premise of another world called the Financial District which controls and inevitably destroys the economy of each respective country in the physical world, there’s nothing else to see here. Our protagonist, Yoga, Kimimaro, is a kid with no drive to do anything productive with his life. Right off the bat, we’re presented with the generic “guy with no redeeming qualities” to play with. Mr. Boring here hates his dad, has no girlfriend because he was too much of a wuss to ask out his childhood friend, is an econ major, and works part time at a convenience store to pay for living expenses. His existence is double its original worth once he’s paid a strange visit by a guy named Masakaki.
Masakaki is actually kind of an interesting dude because he represents the law of the Financial District and is a guide to those introduced into this new world. There’s not one of him as each District has their own Masakaki of sorts. Throughout the anime, he pops up several times to inform people of major events going on and announce duels between those involved in the District.
There’s a plethora of supporting characters but I’m getting too long-winded as it is with just the main ones to detail the rest so I’ll tell you now that the show isn’t worth watching for them. Msyu is Kimimaro’s Asset and eventual love interest. Blehh. Jennifer is an exec of IMF, an organization attempting to bring down the Financial District. She, for some reason, is always eating burgers when she’s out investigating. Hanabi is the childhood friend mentioned earlier. Takedazaki is an informant in the District and general creeper with a crazy laugh.
Now, everyone part of this other world uses something called midas money to duel others and spend in the real world which is why it gets screwed over. Apparently, almost all of them are money grubbers who only fight for their own benefit. Of course, bringing “fake” money into circulation in mass quantities throws off the balance of the economy. I won’t delve too deep into the logistics because they don’t matter and I don’t fully understand the system myself. Each person has an Asset which is like… an astral being?... I don’t know, anyway, they represent their respective owner’s future and they fight in battles (duels) against other Assets like their goddamn Pokémon or something. And the whole micro-, mezo-, macro- flation based attacks are just silly. There’s a bunch of other stuff that happens in between the fighting but it’s irrelevant to the overall scheme of things. For example, you don’t find out what C is until the end. The hell?
The show doesn’t do an adequate job of explaining anything in enough detail to really understand what’s going on at any given time. As the story progresses, it gets more convoluted once you see cities digitizing into nothing along with the people inhabiting them. Countries disappear by ways of economic collapse. Organizations inside and outside the Districts have a hand in abusing midas currency, trying to prevent the future loss of nations, or attempting to preserve the present condition of those same nations. The antagonist, Souichirou, is an advocate for the present. He’s a suave businessman who holds a lot of influence in Japan as he’s at the top of the chain in the Far East District. He blames his father for the death of his sister because he prioritized his company over family. Ironically, Souichirou’s ideals become more like his dad’s after the event in that he starts believing money is power. To me though, he’s just a kid with a lot of toys but wants to play with everyone else’s. A stubborn man who pushes his values onto others because that’s the only way he knows to gain control over everything and mold Japan to his liking because he doesn’t believe in a future anymore.
In the art and sound department, [C] tries to blend 3D and 2D animation together, like in the case of duels. However, sometimes they don’t blend too well and it just starts to feel disjointed. The character and Asset designs are pretty ordinary. Although, some of the Assets are definitely more out there than others in both looks and abilities. Now as far as songs go, I enjoyed them both. The rock opening paired with the fluid animation of currency falling from the sky and flythrough into the streets of the Financial District got me pumped up for what was to come but obviously the anime itself fell short of what the songs did to hype it up for. And the endings electronic beats, percussion, and great vocals served as a great way to close each episode as the show was in a way an RPG considering how Yoga and Msyu fought tougher opponents each time to eventually end up going against Mikuni, the BOSS if you will. I think partly why I fancied the ending score was because it reminded me of East of Eden’s ending for some strange reason. The voice acting was sufficient when it was in Japanese and god awful when they started speaking English. Seriously, everything was terrible when it came to the English talk. I’ll leave it at that and you can see for yourself if you still feel the urge to hear it firsthand. Fair warning, you could be audibly raped.
My final grumbles about [C] is that I couldn’t relate to anyone or anything in the show and that made it so every emotional event that was supposed to evoke something out of me just failed miserably. Msyu losing limbs and crying out in agony didn’t even make me blink because I knew that she’d regenerate right once the duel was over. Kimimaro’s attempts to be heroic were not only boring but obvious and as a result I started liking him even less as a character. His existence value started at zero and doubling a zero is still only zero. My indifference towards it all was mostly due to the weak character development as you can tell. Msyu was probably the only one whose character evolved (not a Pokémon joke) within the story and that’s only because she didn’t know anything about being human until Kimimaro came around and ate ramen noodles in front of her. I know, right? Eating?! That’s insane!
Ultimately, what this anime boils down to is its lack of any real flow to the plot and missed attempt at drawing emotion out of the viewers whilst giving us a crash course in finances which to say it didn’t do a good job of that either. Maybe, and I’m being generous here, if they didn’t do such a horrendous job of mimicking English speakers, I’d give it one score higher. Maybe. But if time was currency, I’d definitely spend it on something else worth my attention.
12 of 12 episodes seen
MM! is a story about the curing of a closet masochist by a sadist and the resulting shenanigans involving an androphobic, cross dresser, cult leader, prodigious inventor, lolicon etc. etc. It's basically a freak show, a twisted school drama, an exhibition of corrupted youths. But is that good?
Well, overall, the fetish humor had its moments. I especially found it golden when they spoofed another classic of an anime during a pervert battle sequence. I know it's been parodied a hundred times before but I still liked it. And I chuckled when the mom and sister had their scenes. Other than that, most of the time it jumped back and forth between the boundary of funny/distasteful.
What really brought the enjoyment down a level for me was that from beginning to end Taro made as much progress in his rehabilitation as a homosexual trying to turn straight. It's funny because that situation is the primary conflict in one of the episodes and yet I found it irritating instead of entertaining.
I really believed from the first few episodes that there would be some honest character development for Sado and the others even with the mass amounts of bodily abuse and constant vulgarity. After sitting through half of the season, I realized it wasn't going anywhere in terms of plot advancement. How frustrating. As for romance, that portion sort of rubbed me in a familiar fashion. Not in a good way, however, because it's a formula that's been done and done better by other animes.
All in all, it's not a memorable show. If you're strictly seeking potent perverted comedy and nothing else then I recommend you watch this. If you're not of the "scum of the Earth" or "pig boy" demographic than I beseech you to pass up MM! in light of something aimed at "upstanding citizens of society"...
Just a joke. You're not scum. Don't hurt me. read more