Greetings once again! Samurai here, and now we’re going to take a look at Episode 5 of “Usagi Drop”! I have to admit, while this has been a challenging project, because this is such a good series, the challenge is well worth it! If you recall the last episode, Rin gets rescued from a barrage of questioning on the playground by the young Kouki, Daikichi gets all hot and bothered by Kouki’s mom, the recently divorced Yukari Nitani, and the puzzle finally starts to come together with regards to Rin’s mom, Masako as Daikichi uncovers a hidden will written by his grandfather with her contact information. Will Daikichi call? Will she want to take Rin back? Or will Daikichi make their relationship more finalized? Let’s jump right into Episode 5: “Daikichi Should Stay Daikichi”.
So the episode kicks off with Daikichi and Rin sleeping in their individual futons. Daikichi is awakened by Rin’s quiet crying. He gently shakes her and pats his futon, so she can scoot over and sleep with him. Without a word, Rin reaches up, grabs her LopEar plushy and turns back over, leaving Daikichi puzzled. [Yeah, Daikichi, sometimes a girl just wants her little black lopped ear star eyed stuffed animal…] Time for some “Sweet Drops” Lovin’!
That morning, after the pair cooks breakfast together, Rin asks Daikichi for a knife. Understandably, Daikichi is hesitant about his little six-year-old charge swinging around a sharp culinary object, but she explains that they actually make knives for kids. [While it is cool that they make cooking utensils for kids, I find it SLIGHTLY disconcerting that a knife is one of them…but that’s just me…] Daikichi gives the typical parental response “I’ll think about it”, and then hurries her along.
During the subway ride, while Rin is amusing a little baby sitting in his mother’s lap with hand puppets, [Bunnies, of course…] Daikichi thinks back to the conversation he had the night before with Masako..
Daikichi introduced himself as being a relative, and that Rin was living with him. Mother Dearest Masako seems rather indifferent at this news and somewhat distracted and absentminded. He arranges to meet up with her the next day.
The pair arrives at Daikichi’s folks place. While mom and Rin gush over embroidery, Daikichi sets off to the café where he has arranged to meet Masako. His dad gives him some advice: have a good long conversation with her because not only is it important to find out as much information as he can, but his mom wants to spend time with Rin.
Daikichi sets off and arrives at a family restaurant. He receives a call on his phone, which is echoing in his ear. He jumps up, turns around, and is suddenly face to face with a young woman with long dark hair: Masako Yoshii. Daikichi quickly flashes back to the moment he first met Rin, as the two share an uncanny resemblance. However, he is thrown out of his momentary stupor when she calls him “Souichi”, the name of Daikichi’s deceased grandpa. She apologizes for this, but then comments that Souichi had a much gentler look about him, much to Daikichi’s shock. [On this, I would agree with Masako…Daikichi does have a bit of a rough look about him…but we know better, don’t we folks?] He then shows her a picture of Rin taken at the nursery school. She regards the picture as though she’s looking at a stranger, not seeming at all interested in the fact that the girl in the picture is her daughter. [She doesn’t even bother to stop eating her parfait…] Daikichi notices that Masako has drawing tools along with a manuscript for a manga, much to her shock. He asks her point-blank if her manga career was the reason she rejected Rin. She confirms this, and states that even while she was pregnant with Rin, she did not allow herself to think of the baby inside her as her flesh and blood. She goes on to explain that she had unexpectedly gotten pregnant right before she landed a major publishing deal, which interfered with her work as a manga artist. [So, wait a minute, you mean to tell me that just because you’re pregnant, you can’t draw?! Must be some sort of side effect that I didn’t know anything about…] However, Souichi wanted her to go ahead and have the child. When Rin was born, she made an attempt to try to raise her, but it turned out to be impossible. She goes on to explain, at Daikichi’s pressing, that there were many times she had to leave Rin alone in the middle of the night to complete her manga work. Daikichi rails on her, stating that even now, Rin sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, probably because of all those times she did not have anyone next to her when she was little. He pointedly asks Masako if she has a problem with the two of them living together. She says no because she no longer has the right to make those kinds of decisions as she does not see herself as Rin’s mother, even though she was pregnant with and gave birth to her.
When the two leave the cafe, Masako does make one request regarding Rin; that when she starts school, she uses Daikichi’s family name “Kawachi”, stating that Rin might have a hard time if her last name, “Kaga”, is different from her guardian. [Oh, so NOW you want to worry about her! NOW you wanna make requests and worry about her welfare? Sorry, Charlie; it doesn’t work that way. And…wait…Rin’s last name is Kaga? Kaga as in…Takashi Kaga? As in “Iron Chefs” Chairman Kaga?! Heck, no wonder Rin loves to cook!] When Daikichi questions this, Masako says that she doesn’t really have any kind of attachment for her own family name, and that when she gets married, it’ll just change anyway. [Gee, does she have ANY kind of attachment to ANYTHING?!] Daikichi admits he doesn’t understand the whole thing regarding the name, but he promises her that he will ask Rin about it to get her feelings and let her make that decision, much to Masako shock.
Back at Daikichi’s folk’s house, with Rin fast asleep, Daikichi tells his parents about the meeting, getting dear old mom’s dander up as she hotly wonders out loud who would dare abandon a girl as cute as Rin and what on earth did Grandpa see in her. [You know, I hate to rub salt in a wound, ma’am, but if you recall a few episodes ago, YOU didn’t want anything to do with Rin…just saying.] He also tells them about Masako’s request that Rin uses the family last name. Shockingly, mom agrees to this, echoing Masako’s comments that Rin might have a hard time at school with a different last name, and that it’ll change anyway when she gets married. Daikichi then makes a startling decision: He’ll simply adopt Rin, so long as she doesn’t object. That way her name will officially change to Rin Kawachi. His parents are, for lack of a better word, shocked that Daikichi could make such an important decision so quickly and state it so simply. He doggedly states that he doesn’t want anyone else to take on the responsibly of raising Rin. [Heck, I don’t know why they’re surprised—when Daikichi decided to take Rin in, he was about as cool and collected as a proverbial cucumber.]
Later, with the pair back home, Daikichi presents Rin with her own kids’ knife, with the promise that she only uses it when he’s around her. She beams and accepts, wanting to make Curry for Daikichi that very night. He looks on with pride as she begins chopping up vegetables.
That night, while brushing their teeth, Daikichi asks Rin what she would think about him adopting her so that way she could have a father and have her name change to “Rin Kawachi”. Our little cutie ponders this for a second, then quickly turns down the offer, saying that she already has a father [Grandpa] who already gave her a name, both of which are important to her. She then says that “Daikichi should just stay Daikichi” This touches Daikichi and he starts cries. Rin notices this, but he quickly claims that it’s only sweat. [Funny how active the Kawachi household’s sweat glands are…] He then promises her that no matter what, she will always have a home here with him.
The next day is the Nursery School Graduation. Rin and Kouki, along with the others in the graduating class, perform a song for the festivities while Daikichi looks on in pride—his girl was growing up. [Throughout the performance, Kouki looks like he would rather be anywhere else but singing this song…and to be honest, if I were made to put a star on my head and sing a cute but admittedly saccharine song, I would probably look the same way.]
That night, Daikichi calls Masako and lets her know of their decision–Rin will keep her name. She replies non-chantilly, then walks away from her work-desk and begins eating pudding cups. A tall, lanky man joins her, commenting that if she eats too many of those, she’ll get fat. She states that it’s okay because she is good for nothing anyway. When he asks for one, she sharply turns him down. “High, High, High” time!
The end teaser shows Daikichi sitting on the porch reading a newspaper when Rin walks up to him with a book. He motions that she can sit in his lap, but she immediately declines, saying that one of her classmates told her that only babies get held like that. Daikichi explains to her that sometimes even adults like to be held, though he can’ t explain why, exactly. Rin obliges and sits in his lap, with Daikichi promising that he will always be there if she wants to be held. Rin then looks up shocked and quickly hugs Daikichi around the neck, saying that she should’ve hugged him when he was crying the other night. She then whispers in his ear “I’ll hold you the next time you cry, Daikichi”. This touches Daikichi, causing him to ruminate to himself, “Am I raising Rin, or is she raising me? I don’t know…”
Well, talk about mother of the year. Seriously, this dingbat is all kinds of crazy. Not only does she abandon the little girl she carried in her body for nine months, gave birth to, and fed from her own body just to further her career, but she acts as though it’s completely normal for her to do so! And not only that, she has the nerve, gall, and audacity to request that he makes Rin change her name. Really?! It’s no wonder Daikichi didn’t even give her the time of day. In fact, if you pay attention, you’ll note that instead of doing any kind of deep at the waist bow, he only just barely inclines his head. That shows he really has no kind of respect for this woman, and understandably so. However, if there is one positive aspect to us meeting Misako, it’s that we see just how far Daikichi is willing to go for Rin and just how much love and respect he has for her–the fact that he’s willing to let HER chose whether or not to change her name and to choose whether or not she wants to be adopted. Now, I have to admit, I’m not really surprised that Rin turned him down; after all, we’ve seen that Rin likes to hold onto as much as she can with regards to grandpa. She’s not quick to give up the name that he gave her, even though it is tied to the mother who abandoned her, nor is she quick to call another man her father; in her words, “Grandpa is dad”. However, she does acknowledge and love the special relationship she has with Daikichi. She doesn’t need him to be a “cousin”, “nephew”, or “brother”…she just wants Daikichi to be Daikichi.
Favorite scene this episode, hands down, has GOT to be the ending teaser, if for no other reason that Daikichi’s last line–“Am I raising Rin, or is Rin raising me?” For some reason, this one line really touched my heart and it shows the complexities of their relationship; they’re both taking care of each other, in their own little ways.
Coming up next, we break down Episode 6 – “My Tree”. If you enjoy gardening or working out in the yard, this is the episode for you! What is the significance of the Sweet Olive Tree in the Kawachi family, and…awww, man, do we HAVE to see Masako again? Ah well! Tune in next time!