August 9, 2011

Usagi Drop Ep4-5: Just Stay the Same

Posted in Uncategorized, Usagi Drop at 9:13 am by meotwister5

People have to make sacrifices in order to do what they think is right.  I think it’s inevitable for everyone, and it becomes a matter of how willing one is to give up certain things in order to do what they think needs to be done.  Daikichi certainly believes and is willing to do just that, but there are also those in Rin’s life who couldn’t do the same.  Daikichi wishes to speak with Rin’s biological mother to know just why she chose to give her up, to perhaps achieve a bit of peace of mind about his new life and Rin’s own worries.  There is still the question of whether Rin yearns for her own mother…

Daikichi has done much in order to adjust Rin into his life, but the stress of shuffling between work and Rin is getting to him, forcing him now to do what he must for her sake.  His department isn’t too keen on his choice to transfer departments.  While his new position requires more manual labor, it allows him to get off earlier and thus have more time to fetch Rin and take care of her.  In his going away party there are still those of his coworkers who don’t agree with his position despite knowing full well that he has to care of a little kid on his own.  Thankfully his closest coworkers and friends have warmed up to his decision after realizing the difficulties in raising a kid alone.  Plus, who could feel resentment when Rin is so gosh darn adorable?

With the issue of his work somewhat settled, Daikichi still has to meet Rin’s mother and figure out the truth of why she chose to leave her child behind.  She is, to some extent, not really the mother he thought she would be despite being the splitting image of her daughter.  Everyone has their own reasons, and she does too.  It is made clear to Daikichi that this woman is not ready to become a mother, physically and mentally speaking.  She says she cannot juggle the job of a writer and artist and be a mother at the same time.  Likewise, Daikichi’s scenes with her suggest a young woman who was not mentally and emotionally ready for motherhood, even though she still thinks of her as her daughter.  Daikichi reserves his opinions to himself as he leaves.  He wants some peace of mind before he returns for Rin’s preschool graduation and his decision to become her official and legal guardian.  In the end, all she wants is for “Daikichi to stay as Daikichi”.

When Daikichi asked Rin if she wanted to meet her real mother, she couldn’t give a straight answer.  Does she want to meet her mother or not?  I’d like to believe that, in a way, she does want to meet her mother, but she may also be afraid of doing so.  She doesn’t know the truth like the adults do, and I cannot say for sure how she’ll react when she too learns of it.  She;s a very strong willed and surprisingly independent girl for her age, considering how she even wakes Daikichi up in the morning and helps take care of the younger kids at her daycare center.  Like I said before, she was sort of forced to grow up faster than kids her age due to her circumstances, but that doesn’t remove a child’s need for their parents.  Not that she doesn’t see Daikichi as a father figure, but as she says, she prefers Daikichi to stay as he is because that’s what she wants him to be.  She doesn’t need Daikichi to go through all sorts of things just to be her official father.  She might not have a mother in her life, but Daikichi is essentially her father already.

Perhaps it takes one to know one, since two of Daikichi’s more inconsiderate coworkers comment more on the difficulties they have to face at work and not taking into account the hardships and sacrifices that Daikichi has to face now that he has a child to raise and a new job to adjust to.  Daikichi says that the older him would have stormed in and reacted, but now he’s a different man, and part of it is obviously due to Rin.  She’s been with him for only a few months but the changes in his life and personality has become evident to his peers and even to himself.  It’s both funny and endearing to watch him try his best for Rin even as he fumbles along at times like Kouki’s mom does, but we know that he is still learning about life as a single parent.  His efforts shouldn’t go unrewarded though as Rin clearly appreciates everything he’s doing for her.  At the same time it takes a great amount of character for him to be as nonjudgmental as he is when meeting Rin’s mother for the first time and learning why she decided to give her up.

 

The focus of episode 5 is really on Rin’s mother and her meeting with Daikichi.  What really struck me the most the first time I saw her mother was that she really doesn’t fit the bill of a mother who just abandons her child.  Perhaps abandon is too strong a word for their circumstance.  However you want to describe it, it doesn’t change the fact that she left Rin in the care of grandfather and eventually Daikichi for her own reasons.  She’s an upstart mangaka who worked as a maid while trying to get jobs in her chosen profession, and for that reason she tries to justify her choice.  More than that of course it comes out that this shy, quiet and slightly childish young woman was not prepared for the difficulties of motherhood.  She tries to justify her actions by saying that she cannot juggle her professional life with raising a child, compounded by the fact that she does not know how to raise a kid despite grandpa’s insistence that she finish her pregnancy.  I for one cannot agree that this is a good enough reason for leaving her behind, but at the same time she did have the foresight to leave her with grandpa and prepare her for a life without her.

Furthermore, to say that she does not understand motherhood is a bit questionable when her concern for Rin comes up.  She comments that it may be for the best that Rin’s last name switch to Daikichi’s since it would be better for her school and because she’d lose the name anyway when she marries.  I doubt that this is advice to be given by someone who doesn’t care at all.  Perhaps much like Yuzuyu’s mother in Aishiteruze Baby, there is clear conflict in her between her desire to succeed and life and her nature as a mother.

 

Rin graduates from preschool and it’s clear that Daikichi still bumbles around from time to time, but again he’s trying his best.  Things are looking up for him and Rin has pretty much acknowledged him as her father figure.

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