Peace and love everyone! Samurai here once again [As I’ve been for the last couple days…yeah, the things I go through…] with yet another episodic breakdown of “Usagi Drop”! After this, we only have TWO more episodes left to go! Feels like it’s been forever and a day since I started this walk-through, and while the going has been rough, the end results have been better than I would’ve ever hoped for! If memory serves me right, in our last episode, we celebrated both the O-Ban festival and Rin’s 7th birthday with a trip to Grandpa’s grave site however, Masako got there first, and Daikichi allows her to get a quick peek at the daughter she left behind for her career from a distance. Later, our duo go to grandpa’s house, where, sadly the precious Bell Flowers that were planted there were all dug up and replaced with rocks. Rin is at first disappointed, but soon relieved that she had the chance to bring some of the bell flowers with her to Daikichi’s house. All that out-of-the-way, let’s dive into Episode 9: “A Typhoon Came!”
Our episode starts with Kouki watching TV in Daikichi’s living room evidently waiting on Rin so they can go to daycare. [Kinda used to seeing Rin in these openings, but whatever…]The TV mentions that Typhoon #13 is encroaching on Japan, causing many trains to be delayed. However, or little red-socked dingbat misreads one of the reporters with regards to the Shinkansen train, thinking the reporter said the train was “pooping”. [I’ve heard of trains running on natural gas, but…] However, Daikichi quickly corrects him, saying that the reporter said that the train was “Operating” and not “pooping”. [Lemme explain: there’s a bit of Japanese word play in action here–the phrase “unkou suru” means “in operation” and sounds, unfortunately, like “unko suru” which means “pooping”. Oh, Japan…] However, Kouki still hears what he wants to, but eventually finds himself having to go to the bathroom for “unko suru” himself. Rin expresses concern over the approaching storm, but Daikichi tells her it’s nothing to sweat over. He is interrupted by Kouki in the bathroom who, amazed at the amount of…ahem…waste he’s producing, asks Daikichi to bring a ruler. […a ruler…he wants to measure…oh boy…In the immortal words of 2011’s Best Male Voice Actor (English) Vic Mignogna “Je N’ai Pas De Mots” (I Don’t Have Any Words)…] Daikichi quickly finds himself empathizing with poor Yukari for having to deal with such a…unique son. Puffy, a little “Sweet Drops” if you don’t mind? We need it NOW.
After the credits, we see Kouki attempting to jump over Rin’s growing Loquat tree, which has grown quite a bit since the last time we saw it. Upon successfully making the leap and prompting for applause, Rin only grabs his arm and pulls him along to school as dark clouds start filling the sky. […”And all that I remember is the neighbors asking why…” Oh, I’m sorry. But I love that song: “All the Same” by Greg Ayres. Seriously, how awesome is that song? Oh, you haven’t heard it before? Well, FIND IT!]
We then follow our two chibi main characters off to school, where their sensei is instructing them on the important art of writing kanji, saying that if you draw the characters while leaving just enough space for two small circles, it’ll look really cool. [This guy looks familiar? He should: I used him in my “Elementary School Lagniappe” section back in September. Yay! One less screen shot I have to grab!] Naturally, just about every kid in the class wants to be cool, so, much to the teachers chagrin, everyone starts drawing little circles on their pages in addition to the Kanji strokes. Sensei quickly corrects them…just as the bell rings. Teach assigns the rest for homework and tells them that it’s time to go outside for a little art work.
Meanwhile at work, the loading crew including Daikichi are busy stacking up sandbags in front of the loading area in anticipation of the
hurricane tsunami. [Sorry…twenty-seven years of living in Louisiana will do that to you. Have to admit, though; they stacked those sandbags very nice…hopefully the water doesn’t go over the top!] The topic of discussion during the interim is insurance. Just about all of Daikichi’s coworkers, those with kids anyway, are complaining about the cost of insurance as well as the cost of raising a kid. When Daikichi asks about life insurance, one guy replies that his wife took care of that without his knowing, taking out a comprehension coverage on him, but only a basic rate for her. [Which basically means that if he dies, she gets a pretty tidy sum of money, whereas if she dies, then he would only get the basic rate which I assume isn’t that much. Yeah, buddy, you might wanna sleep with one eye open…] Daikichi is impressed over that they took such measures to ensure their families security, but the dads simply say that it’s not hing much to be impressed over. Internally, he ruminates about buying insurance for himself, and he also admits that Masako would NEVER had taken such measures, were Rin still in her care.
Back at school, the entire class is drawing Morning Glory flowers…all except for Kouki and some other chibi-delinquents. When ordered by his teacher to cut it out and get back to his drawing, Kouki simply places his blank canvas on the ground, grabs his crayon, and starts drawing. [Well, she DID say start drawing…who are we to hate on his creative style…heck, Miya-chan from “Hidamari Sketch” was an eccentric artist…] The teacher then orders him to draw properly using his drawing board. Meanwhile, Rin is getting rave reviews on her drawings from classmates and teachers alike, using appropriate colors for the different flowers. Later, while Kouki is going about his drawing business, the delinquents from earlier grab his hat and run off with it. Of course, Kouki sets off after them, causing the teacher to once again start fussing. Rin, however, has had enough. She gets up, marches over to Kouki, and demands that he stops taking the bait, sit down and draw. [Funny, even when she’s yelling at Kouki, she’s still so freaking cute!] Much to the shock of everyone within earshot, Kouki complies calmly. When the girls Rin is sitting with compliment her resolve, but warn her that Kouki might start bullying her, Rin brushes it off, saying that he wouldn’t do that to her as she’s known him since nursery school. [Yeah, ladies, she has her man in CHECK!] As she starts drawing, she looks up and notices that the rain has started.
Meanwhile at work, Daikichi and the team quickly begin loading up the packages into the late arriving truck, noting that the team is really cutting it close as they all have to pick up their kids around the same time. After finishing with the task, Daikichi battles wind and rain to get to the daycare center. Inside, two young ladies are on duty; while one goes to fetch Rin, Daikichi asks the other if he was the last parent to arrive. She explains that Kouki is still here. Seeing how disappointed that he’s the last one left, Daikichi and Rin share the same thought and invite Kouki to come home with the two of them. [Oh come on, don’t tell me you didn’t see that coming!] Daikcihi goes to clear it with the teachers on duty, who at first are hesitant about sending Kouki home with someone else, but at the thought of getting home earlier, the ladies decide to go ahead and let Daikichi take our little red-socked boy wonder home. [Guess they were anxious to get home too; they must’ve had a gig somewhere. I’ll explain later…]
On the way home, while Daikichi struggles to remain upright as they go uphill, Kouki and Rin discover a storm drain spewing flood waters. Kids being kids, they opt to play in the water while Daikichi struggles against the wind. [Yeah, not necessarily a wise thing to do guys…seriously, ANYTHING could be in that water…especially around these parts!] Eventually the group forms a strange “Train of Kawaiiness” as they trek home. When they reach Daikichi’s place, they’re clearly drenched. [But that doesn’t stop Kouki from trying to walk in the house in his wet socks. OY! Not only are you gonna catch cold, but you’re gonna track water all over! Oh great, I’m sounding like my mom now!] Daikchi begins shutting the storm shutters which Kouki seems to take immense pleasure in. Later, Daikich and Kouki take a bath together. As they’re drying off, Kouki beams at Daikichi’s large back, which Daikichi simply eats up. A few minutes later, Yukari arrives and apologizes for the trouble; apparently she was indeed able to get off work early due to the storm, yet by the time she got there, Daikichi already picked Kouki up for her. Daikichi in turn apologizes feeling that he overstepped his bounds. [Humble much, Daikichi?] Rin then reveals that, in the absence of dry clothes, she has taken the initiative to get Kouki dressed in the only clothes available that could fit him…hers. This horrifies Kouki and he quickly begs Daikichi to let him wear one of his shirts. Yukari scolds Kouki for not calling Daikichi “Daikichi-San”, but both him and Rin state that simple “Daikichi” is fine. [I can relate to this on so many levels: when my nephew was in elementary school, I once visited his class with my mom. By the end of the day, the whole CLASS was calling me “Uncle Josh”. It was so cute…yet somewhat unsettling!]
Later, Yukari and Rin begin cooking dinner. Yukari is clearly surprised that Rin knows how to cook food and compliments her on it, causing Kouki to come in and offer his services. However, after cutting into an onion and experiencing the obvious side effects, Kouki runs off, opting to make weird shaped hamburger steak patties with Daikichi. [Uhhh, yeah…I’m still thinking about the opening teaser, Kouki…why don’t you just go watch TV or something, ‘kay?] Daikichi asks if Kouki loves his mom, to which he replies “If only she weren’t such an old nag.” Daikichi gives a small smile, ruminating to himself about the sense of security he feels with Rin and Yukari in the kitchen cooking while he and Kouki are in the living room talking.
After dinner, with Rin and Kouki in the living room completing their homework and having a good time [With Kouki cracking up at just about any given opportunity…] Yukari compliments to Daikichi as they wash the dishes how she was never able to give Kouki the opportunity to enjoy time with others before now and how it makes her so happy to see him so content and happy and how it was worth getting off work early.
Soon though, the hour grows late and with Kouki nodding off, Yukari decides that it’s time to hit the road. Rin makes the innocent suggestion that they just stay over, much to Daikichi’s horror, but Yukari opts to head on home. As they say their goodbyes, the rain still coming down, Daikichi walks Yukari and Kouki out to their car with an umbrella. Hey, Kasarinchu-san! Time to get “High, High, High” again!
The next day, Daikichi finally opens the storm shutters, revealing the bright blue sky above to Daikichi and Rin. As the two admire the new day, a familiar voice echoes from the entryway. It’s Kouki, of course, bright and early. When Daikichi invites him in, Kouki wisely asks “Are you sure?” Quickly Daikichi and Rin make their way to the front door to see Kouki standing in the entryway, his shoes, socks and just about everything else, wet and dirty. He explains that he wanted to open the storm shutters. [Little dude, what IS it with you and the storm shutters?!] Soon though, our chibi-main characters go off to school with Daikichi waving.
This episode, to me, is THE defining episode of the entire series. To me, it gives the viewer everything they could possibly want out this series jammed into one twenty-five minute episode. Seriously, if the series were to end at this episode, I could honestly say that I would be about 90% content. There’s just so much here to love about this one episode: the interaction and admiration between Kouki and Daikichi, the whole “family” atmosphere when they were preparing and eating dinner, Rin being the only one to get Kouki to get serious about his schoolwork, the subtle smiles that Daikichi and Yukari shared when he helped them into the car, heck, even Kouki’s socks were awesome this episode! [Seriously, how often do we see a character wear red socks in anime?] Speaking of Kouki, I found it interesting how differently he responds to male figures as compared to female figures, save for Rin. If you recall, he was relatively quick to mouth off to the teacher when she got on his case about drawing on the ground, but when the male teacher came along, he was quick to go ahead and get down to work…except for when his hat was snatched, then it was all Rin’s show. The warm feeling that the viewer gets from watching the little dinner scene between all our characters is contagious and well done. You can’t help but feel and hope that this group will someday make a great family. [And yes, I know about the manga…but there is a standing order that both myself and OtakuAndrain have agreed to abide by–when it comes to “Usagi Drop”, THE MANGA DOES NOT EXIST.] I can’t think of one single solitary thing wrong with this episode, aside from the fact that it had to end.
Oh yeah, did you notice the female workers that was looking after Rin and Kouki in the daycare center? Look familiar? SOUND familiar? Those ladies [and their respective voice actresses] were actually Ami Onuki and Yumi Yoshimura, AKA “PUFFY”, performers of our opening theme song “Sweet Drops”. I don’t know why this amuses me so much, but it does, so hush.
Favorite scene this time around? Seriously? You want me to pick? Well, I have to admit, the whole freaking episode rocked my socks, but if I just HAD to pick one, I have to say it’s when Kouki decides to help out the girls in the kitchen by chopping an onion. He takes one hack at it then runs off saying that it was stinging his eyes. As someone who only just today had to dice an onion up for dinner, I can attest to what he went through. [My hands still stink, by the way…]
Welp, that’s it for Episode 9! Only TWO episodes remaining guys! Count ’em! TWO! Looks like we’re going to school again! Coming up next, we’re looking at Episode 10 – “Stomach Flu”. Wait, why is Rin looking so flushed? And just why is her forehead so warm? Oh, crap! Crap, not this! NOT THIS!!! Awww, man! Rin’s caught it! There’s no denying it! Rin’s caught…THE DREADED ANIME FEVER!!! What’s the matter with our little kawaii kid? Will she fall victim to the dreaded anime fever that has caught hold of many an anime character?! What will Daikichi do? How will he react? And just what can Yukari do for Daikichi in this hour of crisis? Only one way to find out! Stick around!