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First Impression: Usagi Drop

August 9, 2011 Leave a comment

The moment I watched Usagi Drop I was shocked, in a good way. I first thought that this was going to be some Moe show with artistic merit but it was more than that. While other shows take a few episodes to bring the viewer into the story, Usagi Drop only took one and this what surprised me.

Daikichi Kawachi receives news of the death of his grandfather, but that’s not all he found out. It is revealed that his grandfather also had a Love-child, the six-year-old Rin and no one is exactly sure who the mother is. After the funeral, the family have a discussion about who will take in Rin. While they all make excuses as to why they can’t take in Rin, someone mentions that Rin should be put in an orphanage. This enrages Daikichi as deep down he knew what his grandfather wanted, a loving parent and not an institution. Despite his hectic schedule at work, he decides that he should take responsibility and take her in.

After watching the first few episodes, I was absorbed in the drama and the blooming relationship that was being formed between Daikichi and Rin. I got the impression that these two characters make a great team, while Daikichi was confused about the direction he should take his life, he took on a huge responsibility of raising a child despite the sacrifices he had to make, and Rin gave his life meaning.

While it is still to early make a thorough judgement about this series, I remain optimistic for Usagi Drop. If you like a good drama with a degree of slice-of-life elements, than look no further than Usagi Drop. I wish this series a bright future and I will look forward to every episode.

Rated: 8/10

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Categories: First Impressions

First Impression: Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I’ll be honest. At first I thought this was just going to be another generic slice-of-life comedy with the typical set-up and punchline that you would find off a show such as Lucky Star and A-channel, hence the title “My Ordinary Life”.

But I was clearly mistaken, this show is the polar opposite of being ordinary, I found myself laughing out loud constantly while thinking “What the hell is going on?!” at the crazy humour this show possesses.

Nichijou follows mainly the three female High School students and their seemingly normal school, however they get involved in some crazy antics (the principle wrestling with a deer? Chaos ensues!) and we also see the daily life of a wind-up robotic girl named Nano, created by the eight year old scientist known as Hakase, there are also some wild side characters and segments to keep the show fresh and original while still keeping true to the “4 koma” style sketches that are evident in slice-of-life comedies (I use slice-of-life very loosely for this show) 

After the credits rolled at the end of the first episode, I was left wanting more. As soon as the episode was available I pushed aside my backlog and immediately watched this anime before I watched anything else, I was hooked to it mainly because of its fresh humour and how it broke away from the typical tropes and characters in current slice-of-life comedies.

Moar Nichijou desu!!

Although I have to say that this is one of my favourite shows in a long time, it has some minor shortfalls and flaws.
One problem is that some of the jokes require pre-existing knowledge of Japanese culture and because of this, some of the jokes fell flat due to the cultural differences which left me clueless, also the Japanese word play and puns left me lost in translation trying to figure out what was funny. Also some of the jokes dragged on a little too long, although it did work at times it was best to just move on as some of the jokes started to get a bit stale, and made me want to fast forward to the next segment.  

Despite these shortfalls I would still strongly recommend this show, although it requires a bit of knowledge about Japanese culture the anime makes up for it through crazy jokes and fresh character tropes, as well as the overall art-style which reflects the simplistic insanity of this show. In the end it was a hilarious anime that fails to disappoint and I look forward to the rest of the season!

Overall Summary

Positives:
-Not your typical slice-of-life
-Fresh humour
-Likeable characters – you’ll have a hard time picking your favourite!

Negatives:
-Requires pre-existing knowledge of Japanese culture at times
-Caution: Japanese word-play!
-Some jokes drag on too long

Rated: 8/10

Categories: First Impressions