Rin, Usagi Drop , that FACE and the innocence of childhood

While I was tempted to come up with something unoriginal like Misaki’s idea of getting ideas for posts from other people,  my lack of Formspring responses my craving for original content told me otherwise. Curse this exam week for making me abstain from blogging for so long.

So currently, Usagi Drop is about 4 episodes in. Anyone who watches Usagi Drop – and read the original manga- should be able to see the difference quite clearly. Production I.G. is still one of the more stellar studios, seeing how they animated the show to quite a great detail. Even though the anime version is a faithful adaptation of the manga, the anime seems much better currently.

The first interesting plot point would be the fact that Rin was Daikichi’s grandfather’s illegitimate child. In the manga, they kind of brushed the whole funeral scene away quite quickly. It seemed so very, very rushed. But in the show, we see Rin’s love for the grandfather portrayed more vividly, and it becomes much more entertaining. Not to mention the manga looks like this:

I love you Production I.G.

Bizarre faces aside, I’m not sure if Production I.G. did it on purpose, but there was something unique to the anime that the manga didn’t seem to have. The face. In the manga, we see Rin as simply embarrassed, with her blushing. But in the anime, we get this simplified, ‘cute’ face.The details of the regular face are gone. Yet this seems much cuter, and makes the scene much more entertaining.

Now, the reason I wondered whether Production I.G did this on purpose was because it was excellent in one purpose: in portraying the child as an innocent figure, especially Rin.

The reason Daikichi brought her home was because he felt sympathy for her. He thought that it wasn’t her fault at all, that all his relatives wanted her gone and ‘treated her like a villain’. One of the major themes for the first half of Usagi Drop was her innocence. The point which made the show work was that Rin was innocent in all of this. She had no idea of the things that went behind her back: how others treated her and even about the secret behind her own birth. She thought that her mother was her maid. Clearly, she had no idea. Innocent.

This is where Production I.G. scores again. In the manga, we get this general, ambiguous feel that she was in a way, innocent. Yet in the anime, we see this portrayed in a much clearer way. Who could forget the scene where she plays on her futon and falls over…with that face? I doubt it’d be as adorable with her regular face. You could even think of it as a chibi face if you wanted to. With that face, she seems much more carefree and innocent, despite her headstrong attitude being one of her points of characterization. (Case in point: trying to handle all her problems herself.) Not to mention Production I.G. describes her actions in greater detail. In the manga we see her falling asleep in the funeral. But in the show we see her , trying as hard as she could to stay awake. Doesn’t sound like much, but the connotations are miles apart.

One more way Production I.G. is awesome portrays Rin as an innocent , pure child is by comparison. Now, is there another child we can compare Rin to? Yes.

Reina.

Sounds like the evil version of Rin, doesn’t she? Like Scott and Nega-Scott.

In the manga, she’s already fucking annoying on her own. Now, the reason I emphasize the idea of purity here is because they both, are in a sense, innocent. In the manga, Reina-chan demonstrates her ‘poop bomb‘ (I’m not making this up) and asks why ‘Grandpa is not moving’. Rin shares different emotions because he was , after all, her father. She tries to stay awake the whole night, and in the end, runs into the garden to pick bellflowers, his favourite flower. Reina is still annoying.

In the anime, they cranked this to the max. Reina tricks Rin into playing Cat’s Cradle (was it?) and takes what she made, telling her mother that she, herself made it. In both the manga and anime, she mocks Rin’s inability to speak, while she clearly could, but in the anime, it was much more annoying. Makes you want to slap the little bugger. Yet we see Rin’s personality remaining the same in both the show and the manga, albeit expressed better. The two might still be friends, for some reason anyway, but who could like Reina-chan over Rin?

As such, Production I.G. portrays Rin as an innocent, pure child, much more effectively than in the manga. By using the simplified face, something not seen in the manga, Production I.G. was thus able to make the anime much more adorable, and Rin much more innocent. Now, how will they animate her in high school 10 years later where the plot now centers on her finding out her non-relation to Daikichi the rest of the series?

Also, MOVIE. SINGAPORE. WHEN.

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About Valence

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11 Responses to Rin, Usagi Drop , that FACE and the innocence of childhood

  1. Lee Ming Xuan says:

    Curse you, spoilers! Or that was what I was going to say. But I already read them…

  2. flomu says:

    Didn’t know Rin was actually a goblin…

    Also I go by ‘flomu’ now – it sounds cooler. yep yup yap

  3. Marina says:

    Ahhhh….J-drama version, MUST SEE NOW. Thanks for linking to that trailer; I’ll now be on the look out for it.

    And that manga image really does show the difference in art style between the two. While I felt sortof of so-so about the anime at the start, each episode has increasingly endeared Rin to me. While her regular face is, yes, innocent and sweet, and absolutely love her pouting, puffed up face.

  4. Nopy says:

    The “face” is actually used quite a bit throughout anime in order to portray a feeling or emotion more clearly than with the regular face. The most recent example I can think of that made excessive use of it was Kimi ni Todoke. You’ve gotta love people that take the time to think about how to make something better when you transfer it to another medium 🙂

  5. blacksun88 says:

    ah the movie adaptation looked promising, rin is so cute!!

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