Bunny Drop, Vol. 5

By Yumi Unita. Released in Japan as “Usagi Drop” by Shodensha, serialized in the magazine Feel Young. Released in North America by Yen Press.

Quick note: Please do not write spoilers about this series in your comments. They will be deleted.

When we last left our heroes, Rin was a cute 6-year-old, enjoying school, and starting to come into her own. Daikichi was still bumbling along, but generally had gotten the hang of being a good parent and was making inroads on getting closer to single mother Nitani. And so we come to Volume 5… where ten years have passed.

Yes, it’s a giant time skip, and Rin and Kouki are now in high school. Well, I had said that the series needed to shake itself up a little, and this certainly does that. More to the point, however, it manages to shift things to an entirely different place. The basic premise is still the same… we’re seeing Rin grow and Daikichi parenting. But Daikichi has raised Rin to be a self-sufficient, strong young lady. She can take care of the cooking and cleaning when necessary. No, being the parent of a teenager brings fresh new issues. Like romance.

It is fairly obvious throughout this volume that Kouki is completely in love with Rin, and that it seems to be mostly one-sided. Not that she doesn’t like Kouki, but they get compared to brother and sister, and Rin doesn’t think that’s far off. Plus, in some of the gap filling we get in this volume, Kouki apparently has an ex-girlfriend who was not very fond of Rin, and this seems to have soured her opinion of Kouki and romance a bit. Rin is at a point where she’s not sure what she’s feeling. Honestly, the person she’s closest to is still Daikichi, whom she asks for advice. His advice is not particularly helpful, but it’s from the heart. Which sometimes is all that matters.

Then there’s Daikichi and Nitani-san. I had noted in early volumes that I wanted them to hook up, and now ten years later it hasn’t happened. This is quite frustrating to the reader. And to Kouki. And indeed to Daikichi and Nitani-san, both of whom clearly have feelings for each other. We get a flashback in the last chapter to a moment a few years back, where Nitani-san is trying to deal with Kouki acting up and being a delinquent (he’s gotten better by the present day). This scene is one of the most awkward, heartfelt yet also heartbreaking things I’ve ever seen in manga, an encapsulation of everything that doesn’t go right in romance. Sometimes even when everyone wants to… you simply can’t quite make that final leap. There’s several volumes to go, but after this, I honestly no longer expect these two to get together. Which is a shame.

When this series began, we had four volumes of cute, which fit very well with cute little six-year-old Rin. But now Rin is a teenager, which means we’re at that awkward period. And true to form, this entire volume is filled with awkward. People not quite saying the right thing, not getting their point across, unsure of how to handle something. And this is the entire cast, not just the actual teenagers. Bunny Drop has grown with its heroine, and now asks that you stick around while she deals with all these pesky feelings. I suspect I may cringe on the fallout from all of this, but I’ll be riveted nonetheless.

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  1. “Bunny Drop has grown with its heroine, and now asks that you stick around while she deals with all these pesky feelings. I suspect I may cringe on the fallout from all of this, but I’ll be riveted nonetheless.”

    This. I’ll be buying all the books that are released.

  2. I find Bunny Drop riveting and I won’t stop reading until the very end, despite what I’ve heard about the series. I hope that Yen Press will also license Usagi Drop: Bangaihen, but from what I understand the series only ran for 6 months, so there may not be a large amount of content to publish. Still, one can hope!

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