Title: Bunny Drop – Volume 2
Alternative Title: Usagi Drop (うさぎドロップ)
Written by: Yumi Unita
Published by: Yen Press
Based on: Original Manga
Language: English Text, Sound effects in both Japanese and English
Pages: 208 Pages
Cost: $AUD22.95 from Borders Online Store or RRP: $US 12.99
Previous Reviews: Volume 1
I have realized I have neglected manga reviews for the last couple of months, however cleaning up my bookshelf today I found myself with a slight dilemma. My bookshelf is 4 x 4 cubicles in design, and out of the 12, seven of them are taken up with manga which I intended on reviewing. I personally admit that I have only done one shelf, maybe a bit more, therefore over the next few days, I intend on knocking out a cubicle in reviews. Starting off with a sequel to a manga previously reviewed, Bunny Drop Volume 2 follows the tale of Daikichi Kawachi and his younger aunt Rin and what follows on after the mysterious cliff-hanger of the previous volume. Whilst you cannot judge if a series is good through a single volume, as this series has had both a live action movie announced and due to be in the Japanese movie theaters soon (ANN News Link – Click Here) and a more recently announced anime adaptation (Official Website – Click Here), my expectations are high for the rest of this series. So, does it continue the interesting storyline of the previous volume? Read on to find out in my review of Bunny Drop Volume 2.
Like a plot out of a soap opera, bachelor Daikichi Kawachi’s boringly normal life got a touch of the abnormal when he learned that his late granddad left behind a love child. And further rattling the unexpected skeleton in the closet? The ungainly, unglamorous Daikichi’s impulsive decision to take in little Rin! But as the impromptu dad and his charge learn to adapt to both one another and their very new living situation, Daikichi is plagued by thoughts of Rin’s mother. Who is she? Why has she been quiet all this time? Hot on the trail after discovering a modem at the old man’s computer-less abode, Daikichi plays detective in a search for answers. But elementary school enrollment, extracurricular activities and other parental obligations wait for no man, so when the day of confrontation with the mysterious Masako arrives, will Daikichi be prepared!?
I originally thought that the supposed “modem cliff-hanger” wouldn’t be a big part of the storyline as it just seemed to me that it was improbable that any storyline twist could be used effectively, however it was used very well in terms of progressing the storyline and convincing Rin to divulge information on her fathers “helper” as well as point out secret notes left by him for Rin’s next carer. The storyline for the most part, follows the storyline of Daikichi and very little in terms of Rin, making Rin seem like more of a secondary character then a main character. This is actually better this way as if it focused on Rin, the storyline would be more towards pushing the cuteness of Rin (Which is what Aishiteruze Baby tried) then the actual struggles of sudden parenthood which is what this story is about.
As Rin is about to graduate from kindergarden, the normal preparation is forced upon Daikichi alongside struggles with old work colleagues, worries about how Rin really feels about him and most importantly of all which takes up the main focus of this volume, the mystery of Rin’s mother. I do like how they did it, as everything starts off from the modem he found at the end of volume one. He plays a detective role and has to gather information from a number of people and sources until he actually manages to meet her. Personally I do feel that her personality may take a small jab at otaku’s, but at least they don’t try and hide her fragileness and lack of interest in Rin.
In terms of characters, Daikichi and Rin are the two primary characters, however as stated on the main characters section of the book, Gatou-san, a woman who is a colleague of Daikichi as well as Kouki, a friend of Rin’s and his mother have made the cut to the official main characters list. Gatou-san doesn’t really have much focus in this volume after the staff party in the first section of the book, however Kouki and his mother do play a considerable role throughout the volume. Kouki is most probably the primary reason for Rin’s boost in confidence outside of her family, whilst his mother plays a more mentoring role, as well as some sort of love interest for Daikichi. The only other characters of note would be Daikichi’s mother, who is a key source of information about his grandfather and his secret mistress and Masako, who is mentioned above as Rin’s mother.
Overall, the storyline flows well, does not dwell on one topic for too long that it gets boring. The storyline is good for both the number of pages and the cost of the book. One final point of note, this book had a heartwarming ending in comparison to the previous volume, which I think was much nicer and felt like the volume ended less abruptly.
My comments from the previous review still stand in this volume. The design quality I feel has improved slightly and the character designs are better and more varied, especially where Rin becomes a bit more conscious about her appearance so she changes hairstyles and clothing more often. I still maintain that the one thing Yumi Unita does very well in this series are character expresions, even going as far as adding chibified and more impossible facial expressions to get the characters mood across. In terms of landscape designs, for most of the close up scenes, they rely on very little detail or as I like to call it… the void of white nothingness. However, in just a few scenes, when the characters are outside, they do a pretty good job at doing the buildings, street lights, power cables etc. More time needed to be spent on the backgrounds, however the character designs not being overly cute and cuddly is definitely a plus for a seriousish manga like this.
Sadly, there is not much in terms of extras in this volume. The extras included are:
- A colour title page, which is pretty well done and most probably the cutest thing in the book by far.
- A very empty main characters page… I assume this will fill up as the volumes continue…. cause two pages and five characters isnt what I would have called an effective use of space.
- Between each chapter, there is one page of artwork of the characters to introduce each chapter… some of them are pretty good.
- Translation Notes Page… also most probably the only honorifics guide that is placed at the back of the book.
Personally, I enjoyed this volume much more then Volume 1, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series when it is released by Yen Press on the 29th of March 2011. If you are after a book that will make your heart melt into a puddle due to cuteness overload, try one of the other books similar to this such as Aishiteruze Baby, however if you want a series that actually has a really good storyline and does not rely on sometimes over the top plot twists, and still may make your heart melt into a puddle, then you may be more inclined to read this series.
Personal Opinion: A-
Overall Score: A-