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I actually thought I had blogged Yumi Unita's manga Bunny Drop, but it looks like I haven't (I can't find a review here, anyway). Basically, for the first four volumes it's a surprisingly deep "slice of life" manga about a bachelor, Daikichi, who adopts a four-year-old girl who is, in strict family tree terms, his aunt. Little Rin is serious, intent, and surprisingly independent, and the relationship between the two grows in a way that's heart-warming without being cutesy. [personal profile] rachelmanija wrote it up here.

The current volume marks the point at which this series, for me, basically jumps the shark. ==> Spoilers spoilers MAJOR spoilers: It time skips ahead to where Rin is 16 years old, and most of this volume was just the sort of high school teen manga that I avoid like the plague. In the last third, it went on track again for a bit with the heart-warming slice of life, but I understand - my husband's fault, he read ahead online - that in fact, Rin and Daikuchi are going to become an item in the future, and ewwwww! Anyway, if I continue further with this series, it will be merely from "OK, how do they get there?" curiosity and not from the affection that I felt for the first four volumes.

I was really happy to see Eiji Ōtsuka and Housui Yamazaki's Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service back in business. The volumes always come shrink wrapped and with Parental Advisory stickers, but usually all that is because of one or two grotesque scenes of nude corpses. This time, the protective measures are made to earn their keep thoroughly in the first story - and I realize that any more details would blow a reveal, so I'll stop right there. I like the second story, which is about a couple (male and female) of aspiring comedians, best: it managed to be spooky, grotesque, and sweet, a feat that Kurosagi pulls off every once in a while. The Asian-inspired doll collecting fad shows up in the final story. And in the notes at the end, volume 13 is mentioned, so yay! I was afraid that the hiatus had meant that the series was ending.

Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys has been getting more and more grim. This volume is a bit of a break, but I imagine it's just a false dawn before the ultimate crisis. Still, I'll take it: I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The mysterious guitar-playing wanderer "Yabuki Joe" (yes, I knew who he really is, as do most readers long before this point, I'm sure) and naif police office Chono try to cross a deadly checkpoint on their way into Tokyo. Yabuki Joe has a confrontation with a slimeball character that we haven't seen for many volumes, and it turns into a Moment of Awesome. All in all, a welcome breather from the ongoing disasters of the series.

This entry is also posted at Dreamwidth. Comment at either location, as you prefer.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
estara
Apr. 8th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
You know, I read the whole Usagi Drop manga ahead in scanlation and the twist at the end worked for me. It is totally Rin and Daikichi never sees it coming. The one chance for a more ordinary romance was lost in the current volume. And I thought the rest of Rin's teenage developments empower her a whole lot.

But maybe I've read too much truly twisty stuff ( SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and there will be a story twist which clear up a misunderstanding the readers have about the biological relationship of the two of them - and if you go back through the early volumes you will even see that the mangaka foreshadowed that reveal - so that part is far less squicky than original thought - but from all I can see on the US publisher's website, we will not even get the last volume in English, so this development will probably pass us by
END SPOIIIIIIIIILEEEEEERRR and various thoughts.
chomiji
Apr. 9th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
spoileriffic discussion

I just don't feel comfortable with it, though! It's not just the age - it's the nature of the relationship. And that doesn't change just because the actual genetic relationship isn't what we thought. I mean, he had to deal with the fact that she was wetting the bed and other stuff like that when she was little.

What's funny is that I usually argue the other side of this in the case of Polly and Tom in Fire and Hemlock. But Tom was never in loco parentis for Polly, and Polly was already 10 when they first met - still a child, but much less dependent.

estara
Apr. 9th, 2012 03:12 pm (UTC)
Re: spoileriffic discussion
SPOILER TO END ALL SPOILERS

With the progression of the storyline, I bought into it. I have to admit that the manga doesn't show how Rin's true aim about her decision (which she doesn't share with Daikichi - I think we only got it via interior monologue, or did she talk to her mother about it? Don't quite remember anymore) is achieved physically, because while there is a two year wait which he makes her accept to show the strength of her feelings - I can't see him feel like helping her out there all that soon.

It's just that it never is Daikichi's idea and that he does it because she wants it after trying everything he can think of to change her mind.

SPOILER END

I sort of want you to give it a chance - but I don't think we'll get the full story anyway in English - but I can totally understand that YMMV.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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