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REVIEW: Bunny Drop GN 9


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Zac
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Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:51 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
octopodpie wrote:

Why do you have to leave creepy, gross comments in every thread? The lol face you use doesn't make the sentiment any less gross.


It's fiction; I'm just having fun with it, that's all.


You're also going out of your way to be disgusting.

You're out of here if you keep it up.
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enurtsol



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:10 am Reply with quote
^ Duly noted. (Though really, the scenario that was presented that guardian consent necessary is from the same guardian, I just found it so stupid it's funny, in fiction of course.)
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Sven Viking



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:07 am Reply with quote
Previous posters have pretty-much covered everything I was going to say (including the Woody Allen example). Really wish I'd never looked the manga up after finishing the excellent (in isolation) animated series. "Gutted" is indeed the word for it.
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Mohawk52



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:26 am Reply with quote
PingSoni wrote:

And why is a gentle story like Bunny Drop so much worse than all the harem stories or a story like Hot Gimmick?
Hot Gimmick, if I understand the synopsis, is aboutspoiler[ a girl who is abused and threatened with rape by a violent gang in her neighbourhood. In short criminal Grievous Bodily Harm. ]
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:09 am Reply with quote
An ethical approach to Bunny Drop

It seems to me that people have been making moral judgements about Bunny Drop without considering the beliefs underlying them. To condemn Daikichi and/or Rin for marrying because of the difference in their ages or because of Daikichi’s role as guardian is to make proximate judgements only. There is nothing wrong, per se, in a 44-year-old man marrying a 20-year-old woman. (Twenty being Japan’s minimum marriage age). There is nothing wrong, per se, with a man who has had a guardian’s role with a minor, then marrying her when she is an adult. Talk of grooming or cradle snatching is, I think, ignoring more fundamental points.

I think there are six essential questions to be answered before condemning Daikichi, Rin and, by extension, the ending of Bunny Drop.

1. Are both Rin and Daikichi fully capable of consenting to marriage?
2. Do they actually give their consent?
3. Do they have genuine intentions and good will?
4. Are they equal?
5. Is it legal?
6. Is it wise?

On the evidence provided by the manga (and ignoring personal belief systems) I believe the answer to the first four questions is yes. I have no doubt about the first three and, while I am equally certain of the fourth, it may require more argument. (In short, throughout the manga Rin makes it abundantly clear that she does not consider Daikichi to be her father. What’s more, she has the stronger personality of the two: it will be Rin who will set the terms of the marriage.) The answer to question five is also yes - if they wait until Rin is 20 before marrying - especially given that we now know the truth about their supposed kinship.

It’s only the last question that I have misgivings about, but for reasons that may surprise you. I’ll expand upon that in the third part of this post.

A polemical approach to Bunny Drop

Many people have criticised the manga for its unexpected and supposedly tacked-on conclusion. Further, it surprises – and disappoints – me that a female reviewer would entirely ignore the underlying feminist polemic that propels the manga. If Yumi Unita’s political motivations are taken on board then the end is not only not shocking but it becomes central to her argument.

Let me provide a different reading of the first half: Daikichi isn’t learning how to be a father; he is learning what it is like to be a single mother. We now have an entirely different slant on what Bunny Drop is about. Daikichi, a privileged male from a patriarchal family, must learn how constricted are the choices for women in a modern society. The manga rams this point home time and again not only with the problems he faces but also with the examples of Kouki’s mother, Haruko, his co-worker who takes on a low status job, and even Masako. Single mothers are isolated, restricted and condemned. Society tells them how they must behave. It deprives them of choice.

The second half of the manga takes a different tack by showing women making choices we don’t want them to make: Kouki’s mother choosing someone other than Daikichi; Masako continuing on in her self-centred world; her response to her daughter's marriage; Rin overlooking Kouki; and, of course, her choice of marriage partner. The argument has been developed: a woman’s freedom to choose, so long as she chooses something we approve of, is no freedom at all. Women must be free to make choices that confound us.

At the start of Bunny Drop a conservative, patriarchal family condemns the unorthodox behaviour of an old man and his young house cleaner. At the end of Bunny Drop we are cast into the role of that family facing the same dilemma. Have we learned the lesson that Yumi Unita is teaching us? Rin Kaga is a capable, intelligent woman who knows precisely what she wants in life. Are we so sexist, so patriarchal, so conservative that we would deny her that life just because it makes us uncomfortable? The end takes us back full circle to the beginning. Where on Yumi Unita’s political compass do you fall?

A personal approach to Bunny Drop

Possibly the main reason why I have never been unnerved by the end of the manga (and why, perhaps, I can see it differently to other people) is that I am the product of exactly that sort of marriage. My father was 24 years older than my mother; they were related – my grandfather (my mother’s father) and my father were cousins and good mates; and my mother knew my father well from childhood. Like Rin and Daikichi, my mother was the headstrong, wilful one while my father was the mild, generous one. By all accounts it was a relatively happy marriage between two consenting, equal adults.

I say “by all accounts” because I know all too well what the real problem is with such a marriage. The man will die many years before the woman, something that people here aren’t imagining. My mother was left a young widow - I never met my father. This, of course, is a practical problem, not an ethical or polemical thought exercise. Four years later my mother married a man within 12 months of her own age, surely meeting the approval of everyone here given all the rhetoric in this thread. He was an abusive man and it was an unhappy marriage.

It isn’t the age difference that matters. Or the social relationship. It’s what’s in people hearts. Rin and Daikichi have their hearts in the right place. I’m rooting for them. Readers here should show the same generosity.
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Ryujin99



Joined: 21 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:43 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
An ethical approach to Bunny Drop
...
A polemical approach to Bunny Drop
...
A personal approach to Bunny Drop
...


I have no such personal experience, but I think errinundra's interpretation makes a good point.

The way I see it, if the series had instead been about, say, Daikichi being Rin's high school teacher or filled some other non-guardian role, then I think a lot fewer people would've had a problem with it.

While I agree that the concern over psychological consequences is legitimate, I feel like the series handles that by demonstrating that Rin didn't see Daikichi as a father in the first place. There certainly was a reasonable amount of evidence for this, even earlier in series.

Considering that the two are not, in fact, blood related at all, I don't really see why people are complaining so much. I admit that everyone has the right to their opinion, but... judging it from a moral perspective simply doesn't seem fair.
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Princess_Irene



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:29 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
Further, it surprises – and disappoints – me that a female reviewer would entirely ignore the underlying feminist polemic that propels the manga.


Just as your personal experience colors your reading of a text, so does mine. I did not see a specifically feminist agenda in Bunny Drop, but rather a statement on being a single parent in general. Single fathers, in my experience, struggle with the same issues as single mothers, and so to me the first half of the manga was about the non-gender specific issues that Daikichi faced as the sole guardian and parental figure for a young child. This, for me, was backed up by the fact that many of his male work friends found themselves in similar positions. I believe that it does single fathers a disservice to simply read this as a statement on mothers; of course, this is based largely on my own views and experiences, just as yours is with your interpretation.

I understand and appreciate your different take on the story's ending. I do know several couples with large age gaps, and they are very happy. The issue for me likely stems from my work in education: the unequal nature of the relationship is based not on the age difference - although I would argue that very few teenage girls are fully ready for a mature relationship of the sort Rin wants - but that she has been subservient to Daikichi. Even if she has not seen it that way, it is highly likely that he has, and that this could cause problems in the future.

For the record, I'd have been just as bothered by a student/teacher relationship of this nature.
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Mohawk52



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:47 am Reply with quote
We should also keep in mind that that is the basis of the whole fantasy with this story really. Wish fulfillment. I just pray that that is all it is and that somewhere in the educated world this sort of thing hasn't actually happened, though I'm sure it has in the past centuries when society was mostly ignorant of the consequences. Wink

For the record a man "learning to be a single mother" is labelled a Single Father, or to be pedantic a "single male guardian acting as a father". Rolling Eyes
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Wrathful



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:21 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
Snip


Reading this more than confirm that the majority of anime fans aren't that accepting to other cultures than previously I thought to be. In fact quite the opposite. I avoided reading the manga because I read the rumour of how horribly butchered the ending is, now I'm curious to read. I imagine the anime only displayed quarter portion of the original source. Manga as real and grounded in reality I thought it would tackle a lot of controversial issues.

Seems Western society takes a lot of issues with how it's done in Japan. It's reasonable in some senses but a lot of other times, the media should take a chill pill and do it when it's really carried away with pandering (like Oreimo). I'm sure in Japan, the ending raised a few eyebrows but it didn't go further than that. There will be censorship to everything if the mangaka takes criticism from overseas to heart.
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Looneygamemaster



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 9:31 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Reading this more than confirm that the majority of anime fans aren't that accepting to other cultures than previously I thought to be.


There is nothing worth accepting in this kind of relationship. It's morally repugnant.
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insert name here



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:10 am Reply with quote
Mohawk52 wrote:
For the record a man "learning to be a single mother" is labelled a Single Father, or to be pedantic a "single male guardian acting as a father". Rolling Eyes


The point that she was making, and I think it is an interesting interpretation, is that the trials that Daikichi undergoes are closer to that of a single mother. It is my understanding that Japanese society is still rather patriarchal and that men do not typically get as involved in the raising of children. Therefore, Daikichi is "feminized" by choosing to undergo this process. This is possibly a valid interpretation as josei (and especially yaoi) have a history of portraying feminine fantasies and experiences under the guise of male subjects. And typically, if we want to get Freudian about it, the function of the father really only exists in relationship to the mother. Of course, none of this makes their later relationship any less incestuous.
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:26 am Reply with quote
Wrathful wrote:


Reading this more than confirm that the majority of anime fans aren't that accepting to other cultures than previously I thought to be...
Seems Western society takes a lot of issues with how it's done in Japan.


This isn't a cultural norm in Japan. No one is being intolerant of Japanese "culture" and I'm sure plenty of Japanese people would feel insulted by suggesting so.
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:28 am Reply with quote
octopodpie wrote:

This isn't a cultural norm in Japan. No one is being intolerant of Japanese "culture" and I'm sure plenty of Japanese people would feel insulted by suggesting so.


THANK YOU, if you read reviews on Amazon.co.jp you can see most of the Japanese fans didn't like the ending either (at least the ones that left reviews).

I guess they are intolerant of their own culture as well. Rolling Eyes
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Zac
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:32 am Reply with quote
"EVERYONE IN JAPAN EMBRACES MY WEIRD FETISH YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND JAPANESE CULTURE" boy am I not sick of hearing this!
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Blood-



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:45 am Reply with quote
Interesting post, errinundra. I have not read any of the manga, I have only watched the anime which I adored. I own the first five Bunny Drop manga volumes and will read them eventually and I'll pick up the remaining four at some point.

As a fan of the anime, I cannot say I am delighted at the conceptual level where this is all headed. It's not a turn I would have voted for if given a choice. However, the anime was so well done that I am assuming I will feel the same way about the manga source material that covers the child - guardian part of the story.

I am very curious as to whether the manga will be able to overcome my conceptual bias against its ending.
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