Please, I incest : Usagi Drop

I considered placing a ‘spoilers’ warning but the title gave it away already. Besides, no-one reads this blog so it’ll be fine.

Well, I’ve just finished the manga. Although I felt that the majority of the manga was well-written, I felt that last few chapters were a bit rushed, especially the final chapter, which surely must have confused at least one reader. Since you’re getting spoilers anyway, let me cut to the chase: Rin confesses her love to Daikichi, who tells her to wait two years. In the end , 2 years pass and it appears that the feelings are shared, and Daikichi accepts her love.

As a manga reader I felt that this ending would have been expectable. As an avid reader on philosophy something just felt wrong to me.

But then again everything feels wrong to philosophy fans

Let’s start with the basics: their relationship. The entire premise is about Daikichi taking Rin , his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter, in , acting as her guardian and a father figure. For 10 years, he sacrificed many things to bring her up, and several events, such as reuniting with her mother, led Rin to believe that her love for Daikichi was more than filial. The entire concept of incest has already raised a notable amount of questions to me.

Like mother like daughter?

Firstly, her love reminds me about Freud’s theory of Oedipus complexes. Most of the time, this applies to males in the later stages of their childhood, where it “denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father.”. (Thanks Wikipedia.) More often than not, it becomes this subconscious desire, and love for the parent of the opposite sex. It appears that her repressed desire for a mother, a mother figure that was absent from most of her life, led to her love for Daikichi, as more than simply a father figure. But the problem is that she was in high school when it happened. Surely, I couldn’t attribute it to something as simply as psychoanalytic theory.

Some, of course, talk about her relationship with Daikichi. Daikichi is not Rin’s father ; merely her guardian, who took care of her for 10 years. All of this, led to a close bond between the two, and with the revelation that Rin was an adopted child, led to Rin’s confession and subsequently, Daikichi’s acceptance of their new relationship. They say that their close bond and their time spent together culminated in this relationship.

Then again, think about incest. More specifically, think about what is involved in an incestuous relationship. Here’s an experiment for you: get out of your respective basements and head for your nearest family member (the family pet works fine too). Now, concentrate deeply about imagining yourself making sweet passionate love to said family member.  Can’t do it? I mean, can’t do it without squirming? ( I can actually imagine people being able to do it). So what if you spend countless moments with said family member? That doesn’t mean you’ll fall in love with your family member in the same way Rin does. If you still need more help understanding why getting into such a relationship is difficult, imagine if instead of that winter anime ‘My little sister isn’t this cute’, you watched ‘My little daughter isn’t this cute’.

Lastly, no matter what, their relationship will be taboo. Look , everyone knows that Daikichi acted as Rin’s father figure. He took care of her for years, something many people already are well aware about. He’s been respected for being a good father, and Rin a hard-working student. Should Daikichi come out admitting their relationship, imagine all the social backlash. Imagine how Daikichi would have to break the news to his family. He’ll probably have to cut off all his social contacts and move town.

Here’s where it gets tricky.

In one of the final chapters, when Rin consults Masako, her mother , about her love for Daikichi, Masako confesses that Rin and Daikichi aren’t related by blood. More surprisingly, it turns out that Daikichi knew this for more than 10 years, after reading his grandfather’s will. Furthermore, they aren’t even actually father and daughter. Rin’s effectively, and already an adopted child. This means that even when Daikichi makes Rin pregnant, he won’t go to jail.

Here’s the problem: in light of their pseudo-parental relationship, is their new-found love for one another hence socially acceptable? Given that since they aren’t related by blood , is it still taboo for the two to marry?

What’s your opinion?

But then again, since this blog is underground again, I can only hope for , say, 3 responses

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22 Responses to Please, I incest : Usagi Drop

  1. Nadja says:

    If they’re not related by blood, I think it’s fine. There may be a huge age difference, and that’s a little weird, but not totally unacceptable. However, the fact that she’s in high school and still wants to be involved with someone she has always seen as her father makes it a bit more odd. It would definitely create quite a scandal for anyone who knew the circumstances. If I were in her shoes, I would opt for dropping ties and moving away.

    However, this whole scenario is something that I can’t really see happening.

    Also, I don’t really think it’s as big of a deal in America as it is in Japan. American society is all about being bold and trying new things, so people would be likely to think it a little odd at first, but would probably just shrug it off. Japan’s society is more about sticking to what’s expected and following everyone else. Their relationship would probably be seen as unnatural and scandalous.

    • Valence says:

      Unlikely. My friends told me that it wasn’t incest. However, as they shared a father-child relationship despite being not related by blood. People knew of this relationship too, so I still think that it would be taboo.

  2. Simplicality says:

    I’d still consider it taboo. I don’t understand how someone can go from looking at one person as a child-figure and then as the child grows older the person starts to see it as a lover-figure. And while a child might see a parent as something more, that always seems to occur when the child is younger and the child grows out of it.

    Good post about Usagi Drop. I had read on wiki or something about this ending but I haven’t taken the time to finish reading the manga yet so it was nice to read this summed up version.

    • Valence says:

      That was something I had against the manga as well. How does Daikichi move his parental love to just love on command? Maybe he’s a pedophile. Who knows.

      The weird thing about the manga was that their love only became apparent when Rin was in High School, and not while she was young, as would be expected of children.

    • Joel Tng says:

      urgh over enthusiastic hand hit the enter key =w=

      anyway, to me I find no reason to call this relationship taboo, except for maybe that huge age difference which might make things awkward.

      To those that say they don’t understand how someone can be a fatherly figure then a lover, well of course you can’t, you never undergone what they went thru. And there is a reason why he’s called a father-FIGURE instead of just father. Also don;t girls go for ppl that give em a sense of security, I guess Rin just felt most “secure”/at ease with him =/

      though that age gap is alittle too much for me ^^;

      • Valence says:

        Father-figure in this case would refer to anyone who played the role of father. In that case, the same feelings and emotions apply as essentially this figure replaces the original father. Even if Rin felt more secure with him, as with children and their parents, it doesn’t translate directly to becoming lovers, and especially at such an age gap.

    • Valence says:

      cannot complete sentences

  3. feal87 says:

    I feel its an appropriate way to say to people that if they grow up a random abandoned girl, she’ll come back to marry them after becoming a beautiful woman…

    Ok, give me an hit with a bat. It doesn’t make any sense, wtf is with this ending?! Is it really this way?! Are you joking like always right? 😐

  4. flomu says:

    I heard people complaining about the ending on Twitter. I’d never read the manga and I only knew the very basic premise of it, but I predicted it!

    What a stereotypical incest ending. This is why Japan sucks.

  5. I would not count this as incest or taboo, since they are not related, but I would have reservations on that point of getting married. I mean taking care of her all those years, I would consider the girl a daughter and not a really a romance interest, but that is just me. Something just feel wrong with situation naturally even though their is no “relation” bond, but still a bond that inside my mind that it is something I would not dare do. An excellent question you pose btw.

    (See you gotten your writing spark back.)

    • Valence says:

      Spark? I’m disappointed with this post too.

      And also, post when?

      Nevertheless, the girl is indeed the daughter for 10 long years. How could his feelings of parental love switch to actual love so easily?

  6. blacksun88 says:

    ah rin look beautiful after she grown up. well, sometime, “feeling” can only understand by the people in involved. And i strongly agree that, in term of relationship (parental, friendship, couple-love), the line is pretty blur at times

  7. Nopy says:

    I only saw the first picture, but wow…

  8. sera says:

    The ending is so nasty. I actually had a big argument with my friend over it!
    Indeed, I am likely taking it as a kind of personal insult (as I am adopted myself) but I cannot understand why so people view the relationship between that of an adopted child and parent being somehow different of that of one who is not adopted. THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE. The genes are different, but the relationship is not. A very difficult for most people with no experience of adoption to grasp, but it is true (but I know you aren’t all like that).
    I am uncomfortably reminded of that ‘Fritzl’ case with the madman who said he wanted a family and children with his own daughter and created his own (hellish) world where that became a reality…The writer of usagi drop has said that he drew upon his own child rearing experiences as inspiration for the story, but at it’s conclusion what is this manga really, his own private world where what—the daughter confesses her love to him? They get married and have kids? AND OH teehee they are not biologically related so that makes it ok for Daddy to do it with her, even more ok because she is the one who wants it.
    I watched only the first 3-4 episodes of the anime and found it very sweet – I even berated myself for suspecting that the intentions of the writer might swerve into bad territory, the story was far too tasteful and heartfelt with parental adoptive for that! But upon finding out the ending I should have trusted my instincts.

  9. William says:

    Personally, I loved this manga, but hated the ending, for more reasons than simply being annoyed at the incest aspect. My first grievance of course was that he was effectively her father, and… HELLO!! 47 years old to Rin’s 17. Talk about an inherently unequal relationship! I get that in Japan laws about age of consent and age difference are a little different, but this is way over the top at 30 years apart.
    But beyond that, and slightly off-topic, I’ll say it, I was disappointed in the pairings. All throughout the manga, whether or not it was said outright, it was implied in my opinionl that daikichi and kouki’s mother would get together, and that kouki and Ron would get together and eventually marry (although, if kouki’s mother and daikichi married, run and kouki would be siblings in law, so the irony that the incest would still sort of happen is there).
    But beyond that, it was overall a poor ending that sort of turned me off to the entire manga. Even if rin had confessed to daikichi, I could have accepted the other outcomes if he had turned her down (gently of course.) but as it was, the whole manga sort of leaves a bad memory now, despite it only being the last few chapters that quite frankly sucked.

  10. Alan says:

    The ending was just wrong. At least seeing through Western eyes. Yes, yes, it isn’t “Incest” because they aren’t related but Daikichi cared for her as a parent for ten years. He thought of himself as her father and did all the things a parent would do for her. The whole first part of the Manga (and Anime) is built up as a man who adopts a child to care for her and bring her up ala “Yotsubato” (is Yotsuba going to grow up to want to have sex with Koiwai? I think not, and I certainly hope not).

    Its hard for people who haven’t been parents to imagine this situation. A previous poster hit it on the head about trying to imagine people you’ve been living with as a family in a sexual way after many years. It will turn your stomach. It is ludicrous to think that suddenly Daikichi is going to want to have sex with this girl who he used to dress, clean up her urine when she wet the bed, and cared for when she had a fever.

    Also, a previous poster talked about adoptive parents and pointed out, correctly, that such relationships are usually exactly like a biological parent relationship. Yes, there are foster fathers who consider a foster daughter as another addition to their little Harem and there are adoptive fathers who want to have sex with their adopted daughters (Woody Allen) but even when these cases are not criminal, they are seen as negative because of all the issues of power differences and abusing positions of authority.

    Yes, yes, cultural differences blah blah blah but, at the very least, the ending was in very poor taste. It makes it hard to reread the manga knowing that that little girl Daikichi is dressing in Volume 1 is going to end up to be his lover. Talk about squick.

  11. simpledaylife says:

    This was the first link that came up when I googled for “usagi drop incest?”… lol.

    So what’s with the ending? I know mangas tend to cross the boundaries particularly with all the yaoi and incest etc, but gee I wished they’d start talking about it from the get-go. I really liked the whole adoptive father-daughter relationship (Yotsubato is one of my favourite mangas), but why do they have to end it like that?!?! urrgghh!!

  12. kath says:

    I think you have my views as well. i like the anime so much that i felt disappointed knowing that this is how it will ends. 😦 terrible ending.

    • Valence says:

      The ending wasn’t that bad….just that it was poorly executed and/or explained. The sequel might be on the second half of usagi drop as well

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