7 September 2011

Review: Bunny Drop Series (Spoilers)

Bunny Drop, Volume 1Bunny Drop (Series) by Yumi Unita

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From Goodreads
Going home for his grandfather's funeral, Thirty-year-old bachelor Daikichi is floored to discover that the old man had an illegitimate child with a younger lover! The rest of his family is equally shocked and also embarrassed by this surprise development, and not one of them wants anything to do with the silent little girl, Rin. In a fit of angry spontaneity, Daikichi decides to take her in himself! But will living with this overgrown teenager of a man help Rin come out of her shell? And hang on, won't this turn of events spell doom for Daikichi's love life!

This review will cover the entire series of Bunny Drop - not just one volume. The English version is currently being published by Yen Press. I have read the scanned (and translated) version online. Please be aware this review will spoil the entire series for you. That being said, if you have not finished the series and don't want it ruined, this is not a review you will want to read at this time. Fair warning, and all that.

Bunny Drop starts out simply and innocently, following the lives of Rin Kaga, 6, and Daikichi Kawachi, 40. Now living together, Daikichi's life is thrown into disarray as he learns what it means to care for a young child. He has to change his work schedule, help Rin overcome her own insecurities, and discovers more about Rin's mother. Rin herself makes some friends (the main being a young boy named Kouki) and becomes more outgoing, showing more of who she is as the story progresses. It's a very sweet "slice-of-life" story, following the two characters, especially Rin, as they grow and change and become a family. There's even a scene where Daikichi plants Rin a loquat tree commemorating her entrance into school. The "troubles" dealt with in the series, in the first 4 volumes, aren't true troubles but are more daily obstacles to get through, growing up. A child in life changes everything, and the series thus far really expresses what sacrifice is needed. Daikichi realizes, after a year, his time with her was worth it. The series strays away from hinting to any.. unfavourable.. thought/behavior that can (and often does) creep into stories like this. And that's a welcoming sign.

I would rate the series '4 Stars' if it stopped here. If you're looking for a short and sweet story, stop reading after Volume 4. I am serious about this.

You're sure you want to continue?
Alright, then.

Volume 5-9 is where things change drastically. It's jarring and awkward as Rin, now 15, and Daikichi, now 40, are reintroduced to us again after 10 years have passed. Kouki and Rin seem to have some sort of awkward history with each other that's fleshed out slowly, and a lot of time is spent on Kouki confronting his ex-girlfriend, Akari, about how she has treated Rin. There is a lot more going on now, and reading on I could not help but feel that I missed an entire volume in there somewhere. The rest of the volumes deal with various obstacles, similar to the first 4 volumes, but ultimately missing that simple innocence the first ones had. The lives of the main characters get much more complicated, and by volume 8/9 I really just wanted the series to end. It's interesting, sure, but just did not feel like I was reading the same series anymore.

In the last two volumes.. well, I'll sum this up as simply as I can.
Kouki's mother, Nitani, is getting remarried. From this, Rin realizes she has romantic feelings for Daikichi. Rin goes on a date with a classmate and turns the guy down, telling him that she has "someone else she likes." Kouki deduces the person Rin likes is Daikichi. Kouki tells Daikichi about Rin's feelings, and upsets Rin who runs from the room. Later, Daikichi and Rin discuss their feelings and Daikichi is hurt because he has seen her only as a daughter. The plot gets a bit more confusing, but essentially we are told that Daikichi and Rin are not actually related which, I guess, makes it all okay for them to be together. If you ignore the weirdness. And the whole "he's almost like your father" Creep Factor. The two wait two years until Rin graduates and finally get married.

That's it.

Series Complete.
We go from sweet, innocent and endearing slice-of-life story to what-the-hell-am-I-still-
reading-this-for creepy "not really" marrying-your-dad thing. I don't want to know who this type of story appeals to. Don't tell me, I am okay not knowing. Really. Honest.

And that's why we stop reading at Volume 4.

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