Manga Village

Bunny Drop Volume 3

June 6, 2011

I’ve been fairly candid in the past about mentioning my love for Bunny Drop, a Yen Press title with a twice-yearly release. The series so far has been an absolute delight to read. I’ve neglected reviewing the first two volumes, so I will try to rectify that issue with a review of the third volume.

Written and Illustrated by Yumi Unita
Publsiher: Yen Press
Age Rating: Teen
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Price: $12.99 ($14.50 CAN)
ISBN: 978-0-7595-3120-8

Bunny Drop, for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, is the story of a single man who adopts his grandfather’s illegitimate child after he passes away. Daikichi, a salaryman who works in sales at a small company, now has the responsibility of taking care of this child, Rin. The entire process isn’t trivialized – we see Daikichi go through the steps of getting Rin signed up for schools, getting her a desk, going shopping for her, and all the while stepping down from a much busier position at work to a lower paying job that gives him more freedom so that he can make sure to pick up Rin from school and be there for her. Bunny Drop has its funny moments, but they are more subtle, and more gentle than the similar Yotsuba&!.

Daikichi also attempts to discover who Rin’s birth mother is, and finds out piece by piece who she is, and arranges a meeting with her to discuss Rin’s future. Subsequent meetings help delve into Rin’s life before she was adopted, and this interaction seems to add a certain weightiness to the entire book. While it would seem natural to heap anger and blame on Rin’s mother for abandoning her child, the story is much more complex. Unita does not let her story become so simple as to allow readers to heedlessly take sides –like real life, both sides have their own stories.

Unita seems determined to create a cast of memorable, true to life characters, and has done really well with Bunny Drop. We get to see Daikichi’s co-workers and the other single mom whose son hangs out with Rin quite a bit. We see Daikichi deal with Rin’s birth mother, and the advances of a manipulative newbie at his workplace. The whole story is so… complete that it is hard to remember  at times that Rin and Daikichi are not real people.

Another interesting thing about Bunny Drop is the unconventional art style. Unita uses a light hand when illustrating, and most panels are devoid of any shading or shadow – instead, she uses textures and screen tone in forms, which gives the art a very unique look compared to most shojo or josei manga. This doesn’t make the book look unprofessional or poorly illustrated – in fact, it is quite the opposite. Bunny Drop looks beautiful, and definitely has a distinctive style virtually unmatched in Japanese comics.

I have heard things are about to drastically change for this series, so I hope that further volumes retain the simple charm of the first three volumes. Bunny Drop, so far, is an emotionally honest comic that looks at the challenges and rewards of adoption and parenthood – I highly recommend these first three volumes. They are a refreshing change of pace from super powers and ninja tabi.

About the author

Alex is a comics critic and writer at the blog Sequential State. His previous writing has included work for Manga Village and for the now defunct Manga Widget.

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