Story: Yumi Unita
Art: Yumi Unita
Translation/Adaptation: Kaori Inoue
What They Say
As Rin and Daikichi embark on a new kind of life together, this collection of vignettes takes a trip down memory lane: Snapshots of Daikichi’s chaotic life immediately after taking in Rin, his evolution from bachelor to parent, and his growing understanding of his duties not only to Rin, but also to his parents. Kouki’s childhood with Rin, his time as a young delinquent, and the story behind his scar. Masako’s struggles with the decision to give up her child, and her fateful meeting with her future husband. Like looking through an old photo album, these unique stories of the unlikely pair of Rin and Daikichi and their friends and family are colored into exquisite detail in this final volume of Bunny Drop!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The story of Bunny Drop concluded properly in the last volume. While I was less than pleased with the execution of the material and its overall conclusion, I still have relatively fond memories of the series as a whole. This is mostly because the first four volumes were absolutely perfect in almost every conceivable way. The final volume of the series is nothing more than a bunch of side stories to add to the series as a whole. It also marks a return to Rin’s youth and the unbridled joy that carries with it.
The book consists of six chapters: three take place in Rin’s youth, one focuses on Rin’s mother shortly after she gave up Rin, one with Kouki as a troubled teen, and finally, a coda to the series proper. The three chapters during Rin’s youth show that the author never lost touch of what made this series special. She is able to capture that spark that made me, and many others, fall in love so long ago. They are small trifles but pleasant nonetheless. I was pretty surprised to see that one of these stories finally tells the story of how Kouki got his scar. It was never a plot point of any importance, but when you enjoy seeing these kids grow up as much as the series made you, any extra bit of time spent that isn’t just a superfluous story is very welcome.
I wasn’t a big fan of the story involving Rin’s mother. The series itself tried to change her into a sympathetic character but was never able to fully pull it off. I just could never see any good in her because she abandoned her child and the series never really tried to justify it outside of her own selfishness. This side story fits right in line with the approach that she was simply selfish. It does add some more depth to her by showing us that she actually was full of regret and her decision ate her up the entire time. This is a good view to have with her as a character but it would’ve been more impactful during the series proper.
One of my favorite aspects of Bunny Drop after the time skip was Kouki. His dynamic changed drastically during the time skip and there was alway so much territory that could have been explored with his relationship to Rin. It was an angle that was, sadly, misstepped while the series focused on fostering Rin’s romantic attraction to Daikichi. So I was quite taken with this side story that shed light on Kouki’s delinquent phase, which was simply alluded to in the series proper. It was nice to finally get a little insight into what changed with his character in a more detailed fashion.
The final story acts as a simple coda to the series. It takes place at some undisclosed time after the series ended, it’s mentioned in passing that Rin and Daikichi are now married. This chapter was a bit all over the place. We touch on Rin’s mother for a couple of pages and then spend most of the chapter with Kouki as he starts forming a new romantic relationship and catching up with Daikichi. It’s a good story for these pages. Showing Kouki move on with his life and just being Kouki is very smooth storytelling. However, the way the series ended rears its ugly head again and it just doesn’t work. Daikichi is bragging about his wife, Rin, and then we see some post-marital interactions between Daikichi and Rin. It just doesn’t work with their established relationship. They’ve always been father and daughter. So even if the squick factor doesn’t bother you when Daikichi is bragging, then seeing how the two interact with each other will. They’re now married and they still have that extremely strong father/daughter dynamic that makes what we see awkward. If the story showed some evolution of their characters to where we could see them as husband/wife in a normal healthy relationship, this could have improved on the series as a whole. It just doesn’t do anything of that sort and solidifies the weak storytelling and poor decisions that were made for the series to conclude.
An anthology volume of side stories was always going to be a mixed bag. But with four of the six stories being enjoyable and interesting, three of those being the “good stuff” when Rin was a child, that actually makes for a very successful collection of stories. Even the story with Rin’s mom is pretty good; it just suffers from a case of “too little, too late”. The volume doesn’t really add anything to the series, nor does it detract. That makes this book recommendable. So, whether you liked how the series ended or not, there’s something here for you to enjoy. Besides, we all just wanted more kid stories anyway so that’s a resounding success right there.
Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: April 22nd, 2013