Monday, April 30, 2012

Manga Monday: Can a 40-year-old Daikichi raise a teen?

Ten years have passed, and Daikichi has a whole new set of problems in Bunny Drop Volume 5.

Note:  Bunny Drop Volume 5 is, of course, the sequel to Bunny Drop Volume 4.  The review of Bunny Drop Volume 1 is here, and the review of Bunny Drop Volume 4 is here.  Otherwise, read on!

Even though so much time has passed, some things never change.  Daikichi still has no luck with women.  Kouki is still a bit of a troublemaker, but fiercely protective of Rin.  Rin is still very independent and takes care of Daikichi as much as Daikichi takes care of her.

But other things do change.  Daikichi and Nitani-san don't seem to be as close as they used to be.  Daikichi's sister Kazumi has finally given in and had a child, who is a very energetic baby.  And both Rin and Kouki are starting to look towards their futures.

Rin, ever the pragmatist, hasn't been looking at universities so much.  She wants to be able to take care of herself, and wants to start working right after graduation.  Surprisingly, Kouki is working hard at cram school, because he wants to get a good job someday and support his mother and his family.

And surprisingly, the two households never did combine.  Life doesn't always work out the way people expect.  Because of the rather...uncontrollable behavior of her son, Nitani-san simply wasn't comfortable with Kouki living in the same place as Rin.

The problem with this volume is that in previous volumes the story revolved around Rin and Daikichi together.  It was a charming story about a young girl and a young man, and their everyday lives both together and with their own peer groups.  Now, it appears that Rin's contribution to the story has turned into the standard High School drama.  Rin, Kouki and Reina go to cram school, worry about their grades and try to figure out where they're going in life.  If this is where the series is headed, then the whole tenor has changed.

However, this is also a transitional volume.  Much of it is consumed with showing the reader what has been going on in the last decade.  Certainly this volume will be a bit different than others.  It could be, now that we have seen where everybody stands, that the series will continue as a slice-of-life family story as it had previously.  Therefore, while this volume is the weakest so far, it may not be representative of what is to come.

Highs:  Rin and Daikichi at Souichi's grave.

Lows:  Less teen drama, please!

Verdict:  A necessary transition, but hopefully not representative of what is to come.

Further Reading:  Yotsuba&!, Chi's Sweet Home

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