Bunny Drop Volume 2 by Yumi Unita
I’ve had the second volume of Bunny Drop for several weeks, and when I finally picked it up I was reminded of how charming this low-key josei series is. Daikichi and Rin have settled in to their new lives together, but trouble looms ahead as Daikichi starts to try to track down Rin’s real mother. He also has to deal with school enrollment for his new charge, and the societal implications of his choice to voluntarily downsize his job.
One of the things that I like about this series is that despite the premise of a batchelor suddenly having to take care of his five year old aunt, it isn’t overly sentimental. Daikichi isn’t drawn to look particularly handsome, and most of the time he his expressions look just like what you’d expect from an overburdened new father. Fortunately for Rin, Daikichi’s family has started to warm towards her, and she’s able to enjoy visiting with them. Daikichi’s mom starts going into full on crafting mode, making school supply bags and digging out old handknit sweaters for Rin. It was fun seeing the subtle ways Daikichi and RIn have bonded as a family. When she has something to say to him that she’s afraid of saying out loud, she just stares at him until he leans down so she can whisper in his ear.
I was surprised at how quickly the mystery of Rin’s mother was solved. Daikichi figures out who she is and goes to meet her. As befitting the subtle ways Bunny Drop handles character and plot development, she isn’t a monster who abandoned her child. She’s a very confused young woman who seems to have brainwashed herself to discard any maternal instinct whatsoever. Daikichi decides not to feel guilty about stepping into the role of Rin’s parent, because he’s clearly the only person in her life who actually is trying to take care of her interests.
Bunny Drop isn’t a series with extreme highs and lows. It has a measured approach to storytelling that feels very naturalistic, and the way Unita portrays Rin’s milestones like getting a new school backpack or being able to help in the kitchen seems like an accurate portrayal of a young girl slowly beginning to grow up.