Sunday, July 31, 2011

FIRST LOOK: Usagi Drop, Natsume Yuujinchou-san

Usagi Drop (1-4)

So the story goes like this: 30-year-old Daikichi goes back home for his maternal grandfather's funeral and finds out that his grandfather has an illegitimate daughter, Rin. His family is embarrassed by this so they treat Rin like an outcast. Daikichi feels sorry for the kid, who hasn't really done anything, and in a sudden, unexpected move (unexpected even to himself), he volunteers to take care of the child himself. Even though he is single and knows nothing about raising kids. Thus begins his hard life as a single parent of a child, who is technically his half-aunt. :)

It's cute. That's the first thing I can say about this anime. Rin is probably the cutest anime kid ever. And she isn't annoying. Mature for her age although still retains her cute, child-like traits. She's fascinated by Daikichi right from the get-go, maybe because Daikichi resembles his grandfather, but also kind of afraid of him. But when Daikichi offers to take her home, she attaches herself to him almost immediately. It's started into such a beautiful relationship. My only gripe is that...I was so curious about the story and I know that the manga is finished already so I thought I'd like to read how it ended (yes, I do that sometimes) and was horrified to find out what happened in the end. What? WHAT? I MEAN WHAT THE FUCK? Noooooooo. I was right after all? That is so wrong. So wrong.

Anyhoo, that all happens ten years after. So for now, I'll enjoy what I can get from this anime and forget that the "ten-years-after" story line ever happened.

Natsume Yuujinchou-San (1-4)

This series surprised me. The story is about this boy, Natsume Takashi, who can see spirits. He apparently inherits this book from his grandmother, Reiko and the book contains the names of spirits that Reiko defeated in her lifetime. There's also a cat-pig, named Nyanko-sensei, that can turn into a beautiful, wolf-like spirit that serves as Takashi's bodyguard (although that title is suspect). Anyway, so Natsume goes around returning the names to their spirit-owners but while that sounds boring, that's not the heart of the story. Natsume is really about Natsume's friendships, the spirits' loneliness and their connection and disconnection with humans, and a few glimpses into Reiko's life. It's nice. The fourth episode kind of departs from the usual format of the series -- that is, instead of focusing on a spirit that Reiko met, it focuses instead on a spirit that Natsume had met as a child. It's really, really nice.