Friday, August 17, 2012

Manga Review: Bunny Drop volume 1

As a quick note, the anime version of Bunny Drop just got released here in the US and it sounds like it's been selling fantastically so far, although this might be a case where the limited edition runs out a bit quickly, sounds like they've already gone through the first printing, so if you want the set with the book better go get it soon (and leave a copy for me please?).

In any case, as I inidcated above there has been an anime adapation of the series (summer noitaminA 2011) which is how I know about it and I was always curious how it compared to the original manga. I know that the anime only covered the first half of the manga, which is all I'm interested in, and when I saw it listed in Barnes and Noble's big comic-con sale I decided to take a chance and blind buy it (although, does it count as a blind buy if I already know the story....)

Bunny Drop (Usagi Dropu) by Yumi Unita

Summary: Daikichi is a 30 year old bachelor who is taking time off of his incredibly busy job to come home for his grandfather's funeral and has quite a shock, his grandfather fathered a little girl so, even though she's 25 years younger than him, little Rin is technically his aunt. The family is ashamed by her and makes excuses, half legitimate and half clearly from their own selfishness, that they can't take her in and in frustration Daikichi says he'll take her and Rin agrees. And thus Daikichi begins the difficult path of parenthood and tries to find out more about Rin's past in the process. 

The Good: It's a rather sweet story about learning how to raise a kid and the effect it has on your own life, the story even made me remember a number of little details about my childhood that I had forgotten. The story hasn't had a chance to really dig into the characters yet but it still has fleshed out Daikichi's parents a bit and they seem much less heartless than their first appearance. And, even having said all of that, the story does start to flesh out nearly every character that has more than a few panels of page time, which is rather impressive, and already they character manage to not feel like stereotypes. So for people who enjoy slice of life which spends most of it's time focusing on it's characters and their development is what guides the story, this is definitely the series for you. 

The Bad: I feel like the anime evened out the pacing and actually, it's such a faithful adaptation that there's not much new here if, like me, you check out the manga to get more out of the story. That's not a bad thing on the story's part but while some manga just have more to them than their adaptations, the anime really captured this one well, but I'd probably recommend this manga more to people who are completely unfamiliar with the series than those who've already seen the anime. I feel like the manga hasn't quite hit it's stride yet which might put some people off but it's really not a bad little installment.   

The Art: The art style is fairly simple and seems even more so since it doesn't use much in the way of screentones or shading, at some points the characters look half-finished since they're simply black outlines around white space. The backgrounds are moderately detailed, enough so that I can't accurately call the art "simple" but it's certainly not complex, the coloring in the anime helped flesh it out a bit I think.

I do plan to get the manga through volume four (beyond that is the dreaded timeskip), it's just not going to be terribly high on my to-buy list since right now I have more things than I can juggle (plus, I haven't actually read the scanlations on this one so that makes it a bit lower, erm, I feel like the ones I've pirated are the ones I need to "pay back" and get first). And I do plan on getting that anime set as well, there's just the small matter of saving up for that nice, and expensive, NISA set.... 

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