Josei, huh? That’s the term for “women’s interest” in these circles, apparently. Once again, I’m a little vexed by how audiences are classified so strictly, here, but that’s not stopping for me enjoying USAGI DROP - - even if I’m a guy.
I’m certainly not averse to close-to-Earth dramas and I’ll certainly champion the notion that animation’s a medium that can handle stories of every genre and tone. However, from a purely logistical standpoint, I always wonder how worthwhile it is to lavish so many extra hours of rendering on a subject that can more easily be presented in live action. Animation lets you entertain the wildest flights of fancy without leaving the studio, but using that same “magic brush” to paint a breakfast table conversation seems somewhat akin to putting something like 50/50 out in 3D. Perfectly conceivable, of course, but is anything added to the experience if it’s not going to be a spectacle?
To whit, I could very, very easily picture USAGI DROP as some light live-action drama - - something that Rob Reiner or James L. Brooks might direct. Still, there was enough stylization and expressiveness in the art to warrant the ol’ pen and ink and, on a more basic level, this is simply an interesting and moving human drama; and that transcends a lot of concerns. Seriously, the concept of a guy adopting his much-younger aunt is something with universal appeal and I’m quite surprised that this hasn’t ever gotten adapted by Hollywood. More so than AKIRA, EVA or BEBOP, this is the manga/anime that wouldn’t require much retooling to hit those elusive “four quadrants.”
Color me charmed, but I don’t know how appropriate it would be for this column. For as much as I’d love to continue watching, the other edge of the show’s gentler hand is that there isn’t too much to speculate on or analyze. It’s not like there’s any use in me speculating if these two will go to the zoo in the second episode or something, you know?
Watch this episode "The Bellflower Girl " here and decide for yourself.