July 25, 2011

Usagi Drop Ep2-3: Pinky Swears

Posted in Usagi Drop tagged , at 5:03 pm by meotwister5

I’m sure a lot of us remember what a pinky swear meant when we were kids. As children we were afraid of many things, like
strangers, being separated from our parents, not getting back home on time, among other things. Sometimes all it took to quell our fears was a pinky swear with our loved ones, to reassure us that they’d be there for us, a promise to be by our side whenever
we need them. Surely enough this is such a confidence booster for some kids, especially kids like Rin who have already experienced such feelings of loss and abandonment at such a young age. It may not look like much to us today at our ages, but for
Rin it was the difference between assurance and perhaps despair.

Daikichi wakes up in the morning and finally realizes what the hell he has gotten himself into. This doesn’t mean of course he’s having second thoughts, and like a dedicated trooper he’s off to get her clothes and get her into school. Having lived much of his life a bachelor with perhaps an occassional girlfriend, having a second mouth to feed and house is something he hasn’t prepared for. Now the reality of daycare centers, bed peeing, late pickup schedules and kids clothes has entered his life, and to continue he’s going to have to adjust to this. It might be a daunting task to a single late twenty-something man, but as I said he’s going to have to try for the both of them.

At the very least his family has become relatively supportive. He visits home again as part of his investigations into Rin’s real mother, and there his own immediate family has developed some warmth for Rin and for Daikichi’s attempt to raise her alone.  During this time though as he learns of Rin’s own fears and of the truth behind her mother, he has to make a choice for the both of them if he’s going to go ahead and find her biological mother.

It’s almost surprising how the family has suddenly become so welcoming of Rin, but I think they’ve started to realize (or at least Daikichi’s side of the family) that while she may be considered a bastard, she’s still one of them and their flesh and blood.  Furthermore, she’s a child, perhaps one could say an innocent bystander in the grandfather’s philandering ways and her mother’s abandonment. She was the product of an illicit relationship, and she has to bear the brunt of the effects. In the end no one would suffer as much as Rin would, and Daikichi can only shoulder so much. For a young child to bear with the stigma is perhaps too much, and the least the family could do was treat her as one of their own. They’re coming around the bend despite social norms.

Rin’s fearful inquiry about death is unexpected for someone of her age, but she isn’t anymore a normal child of such an age. She
has seen and experienced things very few others of her age has, and her question to Daikichi is both expected and also more advanced than anyone her age. Daikichi’s answer isn’t clear in itself and perhaps only serves to placate Rin’s fears for the time being, but she accepts it anyway and finds some solace in it. Despite what she’s gone through, she’s still a kid, and there are still issues about death that she won’t fully comprehend as of now. Still it must have come as such a shocker for Daikichi who probably never expected such a question from a five year old kid, and maybe his own unclear answer mirrors the fact that he hasn’t thought about the issue much as well.

In any case, he’s trying his best for Rin and you can’t really fault someone who starts as a greenhorn. Every parent started blank, and had to learn as they go. It’s good that despite the struggles he has to face, Daikichi tries to face them with a distinct sense of responsibility and gusto. He has no time for second thoughts or regrets about his decision as he shuffles about trying to adjust his life to Rin’s needs. He’s making his sacrifices no matter how painful they may be. He comes home with a sorer back and exhausted legs, but he knows why he’s doing it an, most importantly, he wants to do it. Nobody forced him to take her in, he chose to do it himself. When we watch him playing with Rin and having fun at her side, we know beyond reasonable doubt that despite his own hardships, he’s enjoying his decision as well. He does his responsibilities gladly, without complaint or irritation, a quality one hardly sees in male leads these days.

 

Daikichi’s struggles will surely continue as his life adjusts for her, but for Rin’s part it’s great to see a girl who also understands her situation even at such a young age and tries to live within her means.  The dynamic between these two is perhaps one of the closer adoptive relationships portrayed in anime in a long time.

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