Why is the relationship between Daikichi and Rin in Usagi Drop so controversial?

Rin and Daikichi meeting for the first time in mourning clothes in Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop, also known as Bunny Drop, began as a charming manga about a single man, Daikichi, raising his orphaned six-year-old niece, Rin. However, the relationship between Daikichi and Rin in Usagi Drop threw the fandom into chaos, leaving a bitter taste and raising complex questions about relationships, representation, and the author’s intent.

Why Daikichi and Rin in Usagi Drop’s Ending Divided Fans

Praised for its heartwarming portrayal of father-daughterhood and slice-of-life charm, it garnered a dedicated following. But that was only true foe the movie and anime adaptation, whose creators saw the sense in not including the time-skip in the production. The same cannot be said for the manga.

The Deceptive Allure of a Father-Daughter Bond

Rin talking to Daikichi while he is reading
Rin and Daikichi | Image via TMDB

Usagi Drop’s early chapters resonated with readers. Daikichi’s dedication to raising Rin, navigating the challenges of single fatherhood, and their heartwarming bond were relatable and endearing. The manga tackled societal expectations, single-parent struggles, and the joys of family, earning praise for its realistic portrayal.

The Shocking Twist in the Ending

Rin and Daikichi eating a meal
Rin and Daikichi | Image via TMDB

Everything shifted in the final volumes. Now a teenager, Rin confesses her romantic feelings for Daikichi, who reciprocates on the condition that she waits until graduation. This sudden romantic turn drastically altered the narrative. Readers who saw their bond as purely paternal felt betrayed, accusing the author of exploiting a father-daughter relationship for an unsettling twist.

The Ending Ruined the Legacy of the Manga

Daikichi piggy-backing Rin
Rin and Daikichi | Image via TMDB

The ending sparked a heated debate. Some defended it, arguing it wasn’t technically incestuous as their blood relation was disproven. Others vehemently condemned it, finding the romantic development exploitative and undermining the entire story’s message. This division extended to the anime adaptation, which thankfully ignored the manga’s ending, further solidifying the split between those who embraced the anime and those who rejected the manga entirely.

The Difference Between the Anime and Manga

Daikichi picking Rin up from school
Rin and Daikichi | Image via TMDB

Usagi Drop’s ending left an indelible mark. The manga’s reputation suffered significantly, as it was rarely recommended and often discussed in a negative light. The anime, however, remains fondly remembered, highlighting the impact the ending had on the overall perception. The controversy continues to spark discussions, serving as a cautionary tale about the power of endings to alter a story’s legacy and the importance of audience sensitivity.


Rin and Daikichi in the kitchen
Rin and Daikichi | Image via TMDB

While acknowledging the ending’s impact, it’s important to remember the wider context. Usagi Drop explored themes of family, responsibility, and societal expectations, not solely revolving around the controversial ending. Exploring alternative recommendations like “Sweetness & Lightning,” “Gakuen Babysitters,” and “Poco’s Udon World” allows us to appreciate the genre while acknowledging the complexities surrounding Usagi Drop.

In conclusion, Usagi Drop’s ending serves as a reminder of the power of narrative decisions and the importance of audience sensitivity. While the manga’s original charm remains, the ending’s impact cannot be ignored, offering a valuable lesson for creators and audiences alike.

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