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REVIEW: Bunny Drop GN 9


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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4065
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:07 am Reply with quote
Adults are adults, whether they are immature or not.

Nor do I totally disagree with you, either.

But it is easy to decry what you see as a failure in Daikichi, since you don't have to live with the consequences of what follows if he did what you want him to.

There is a price to pay for every decision you have to make.

No one complained about his parenting, until they found out what Rin wanted, then suddenly it is his fault because he raised her wrong.

Can any of you guarantee that there will be a "Happy End" for Daikichi if he follows your moral pathway? I don't think you can, cause they are just as equal chances for there to be a Bad or Dead End, too.
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Errinundra
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:21 am Reply with quote
I saw mum today so, partly because of the discussion in this thread but also because she's old and unwell (she's 80, I'm 55) and the opportunity to know about my background is running short, I asked her about her marriage to my father. If you didn't read my earlier post, rather than re-hash the details, here's what I wrote about it then.

I wrote:
...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...


My father proposed to my mother when she was 19 and he was 44 (their birthdays were 2 days apart so I was wrong in my original post - the age difference was 25 years). Mum says she was very keen on him. The didn't marry because her father (my grandfather on my mother's side; my cousin once removed on my father's side) refused to consent to the marriage. At the time the minumum age for marriage without parental consent was 21. Two years later (the parallels, though not exact, are amazing), at the first opportunity, she put the hard word on my father. She tells me that, by this time, he'd had a change of heart and tried to talk her out of it, giving all the reasons you'd expect why it wasn't appropriate for them to marry. Mum wouldn't have a bar of it. When I asked her if she had the stronger personality of the two, she acknowledged that she probably did. (As an aside, mum says that, once she married, her parents held no grudges against her or my father. That's impressive.)

Mum says her greatest regret was that her three children from the marriage grew up without their father - I have two older sisters; mum was pregnant with me when he died. (I tell people he died when he had a vision of what was on the way. By the way, if I were living in classical Rome one of my three names would be Postumus.) I asked her if she knew then what she knows now would she still have married. She thought about it a moment and said yes, that she was very much in love and very headstrong.

***

I'm writing this post because I want to bring the discussion to the level of the personal. Ever since Zac (I think it was Zac) brought up the end of the manga in the season preview of Bunny Drop, people have been arguing ever so righteously about the decision that Rin and Daikichi make. Too often it seems to me that the posters are quick to condemn because their own value systems have been affronted. It comes across to me as mean-spirited and self-centred. It's about imposing one's own values on someone else. A parallel is gay marriage. If someone doesn't approve of gay marriage, that's their choice, but to deny gay people the right to marry is, well, mean-spirited and self-centred. If you don't approve, don't do it, but what right do you have to deny it to others? My plea to ANN readers is, ignore your own feelings; think of it as two people who love each other and wish to marry. Who are you or I to impose our values on them? Moral relativism or no, stepping outside your cherised value systems is hard to do. Even the list of questions I raised in the earlier post contain within them my own values.

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?

***

Some thoughts.

Here's a thought experiment. If you had the opportunity to change the law to stop Rin & Daikichi from marrying, would you do it? How would you explain your reasons to them? How would you counsel them to cope with the grief they will experience?

On a slightly different tack, the parallels between my mother and Rin didn't occur to me until long after I first saw the anime & read the manga. It struck me when I was arguing in another thread on this vexing topic here at ANN. Instead, the parallel I immediately recognised was between Rin and myself - note my avatar. Neither of us have met our respective fathers. I have the advantage over Rin in that I know who mine was and know some of his history; there are still a small number of people alive that I know and who met him. Rin has the advantage over me in that she still has the prospect of meeting her father. I would willingly trade my circumstance for hers. It seems to me that the reason I take the stance I do is because I so readily empathise with Rin. Indeed, one of the things I've noticed about the debate is that most everyone takes aim at Daikichi, as if Rin isn't important at all. People need to step into Rin's and Daikichi's shoes and try to see things from their perspective, not from the comfort of their own ivory towers of morality.

As I've got older I've given up judging people on their sexual and romantic proclivities. People never stop surprising me. Well, I do judge but I keep it to myself. I long ago gave up on the notion that my judgements had universal application. I'm just a little atom in an enormous universe. So long as Rin and Daikichi are comfortable within their own skins and their own consciences then that's OK with me. I think they are comfortable.

***

As mentioned, I've deliberately made this post personal. People have been unmoved by arguments. I just wish people would get over their precious beliefs and try some empathy instead.


Last edited by Errinundra on Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:44 am; edited 4 times in total
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
Posts: 2404
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:35 am Reply with quote
Why do people keep bringing up examples of age? I highly doubt the age difference is the problem most people have with the end of the manga. I know that wasn't my issue.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3452
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:31 am Reply with quote
Quote:
I just wish people would get over their precious beliefs and try some empathy instead.

Empathy is not the issue here. Bad writing is.

Way too many people on this thread acting like Daikichi and Rin are actual people with autonomy and wills that we're supposed to respect rather than characters in a story written by an author. Rin didn't "choose" Daikichi, Unita Yumi chose to have Rin fall in love with him. The choice we should be questioning isn't "does a child have a right to fall in love with their parent?" but rather "should an author write a story that has a child wind up in a sexual relationship with her guardian?"

As much as you may see your parents relationship reflected in this one because of the age difference, age difference is not the concern we have here. It's that the author depicts what was, for many volumes, an explicitly guardian-child relationship converting into a romantic relationship. That is where the squick comes from. I have rooted for a lot of big age-difference relationships over the course of my lifetime as a reader, but in none of them did the older man help the younger girl through a bedwetting phase, or take her to kindergarten, or raise her from childhood.

The fundamental problem with Bunny Drop is twofold:
1) Unita is saying that foster parents aren't "real parents" and therefore a romantic relationship with them is okay. This is an insult to every foster parent who ever existed.
2) Unita is saying a guardian-child relationship can be easily turned into a husband-wife relationship, implying that the two are somehow analogous. This perpetuates the idea of women as the "junior" partner of a relationship, under the authority of her husband. Age-difference relationships are not inherently unequal, but one where the husband was literally her guardian for more than ten years is never, never going to be anything resembling an equal relationship.

This isn't about individuals making choices in mates, this is about a writer choosing a very bad road for a story to go down. There are lots of well-written stories where characters have a big age-gap, but this is not one of them.
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Fencedude5609



Joined: 09 Nov 2006
Posts: 5088
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:34 am Reply with quote
You /could/ write a good story about this kind of relationship.

This, however, is not that story.
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NottJim



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
Posts: 35
Location: Edinburgh, UK
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:26 pm Reply with quote
The age gap was not the issue for me, the issue is that Daikichi raised Rin and is her parent figure.

It's a false equivalency to compare two adults with a large age gap with Rin and Daikichi.

Apparently it's a trope called Wife Husbandry.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WifeHusbandry
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
Posts: 8164
Location: England, UK
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:49 pm Reply with quote
insert name here wrote:
Mohawk52 wrote:
insert name here wrote:
Mohawk52 wrote:
Single parenthood is the same regardless of gender.


Maybe it should be, but it isn't. And I suspect that an analysis of gender roles may be useful to interpreting the work here.
You obviously aren't a parent then.


Maybe not, but I don't see how that invalidates my analysis. I'd like to think that my lack of experience aboard whaling vessels doesn't disqualify my ability to interpret Moby Dick. Gender, like capital or other socio-symbolic constructs, operates at different levels of abstraction. The division of labor in the raising of children has been historically gendered, and I think this is going to effect how it is represented in culture.
Yeah, it just makes you an arm-chair observer. Not like actually standing on a soaking wet wooden deck in a raging gale with high seas washing over you being yawed and pitched to and fro whilst holding on to a large and heavy harpoon waiting for your right moment to hurl it at your prey before being eventually washed over board into freezing cold waters to your death. Or having a 5-year-old throw a tantrum in front of you whether at home, or in public, because she wants something, doesn't want something, refuses to do something she's told, or when ever something upsets her, day in, day out, 24/7. Next time you witness a mother, or father, or both going through such a situation in your local supermarket, pretend it's you, and think how you would react, and then take comfort in the realisation that it's not you. Some days I would have rather-ed to hunt whales in raging gales. BTW I'm a Navy veteran of the Cold War. My whales were made of Soviet steel. I'm also the father of two. Wink
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:00 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
TarsTarkas wrote:

You can judge her and belittle her feelings as you like, but I doubt she cares what we think.


Here comes Captain Moral Relativity to let us all know that the best way to think about every gross thing that happens in anime is to be as accepting and super OK with it as is humanly possible!


Not really, I agree that it is not acceptable, and perhaps that even the writer, wrote the story she did to force a convoluted reasoning.

My problem is you all make it seem so simple, all Daikichi has to do is what you want, and everything is going to be rainbows and flowers for Daikichi and Rin, no chance for it to be a tragedy.
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NottJim



Joined: 04 Apr 2013
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:06 pm Reply with quote
I don't think people have said it will be rainbows and flowers, of course it will be extremely hard for both of them.

But I also don't like the sub text of this suggestion that Daikiski has to agree to Rin otherwise it might end in "tragedy" (suicide / mental breakdown I guess is what you're hinting at).

One, a relationship is about both people wanting to be in it, you can't / shouldn't force a person into being in a relationship.

Two, people get rejected by the people they love everyday, it is terrible, but in time they get over it. If people didn't get over it most of us wouldn't have survived through our early 20's!
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1686
PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:08 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:
Quote:
I just wish people would get over their precious beliefs and try some empathy instead.

Empathy is not the issue here. Bad writing is.

Way too many people on this thread acting like Daikichi and Rin are actual people with autonomy and wills that we're supposed to respect rather than characters in a story written by an author. Rin didn't "choose" Daikichi, Unita Yumi chose to have Rin fall in love with him. The choice we should be questioning isn't "does a child have a right to fall in love with their parent?" but rather "should an author write a story that has a child wind up in a sexual relationship with her guardian?"

As much as you may see your parents relationship reflected in this one because of the age difference, age difference is not the concern we have here. It's that the author depicts what was, for many volumes, an explicitly guardian-child relationship converting into a romantic relationship. That is where the squick comes from. I have rooted for a lot of big age-difference relationships over the course of my lifetime as a reader, but in none of them did the older man help the younger girl through a bedwetting phase, or take her to kindergarten, or raise her from childhood.

The fundamental problem with Bunny Drop is twofold:
1) Unita is saying that foster parents aren't "real parents" and therefore a romantic relationship with them is okay. This is an insult to every foster parent who ever existed.
2) Unita is saying a guardian-child relationship can be easily turned into a husband-wife relationship, implying that the two are somehow analogous. This perpetuates the idea of women as the "junior" partner of a relationship, under the authority of her husband. Age-difference relationships are not inherently unequal, but one where the husband was literally her guardian for more than ten years is never, never going to be anything resembling an equal relationship.

This isn't about individuals making choices in mates, this is about a writer choosing a very bad road for a story to go down. There are lots of well-written stories where characters have a big age-gap, but this is not one of them.


I want to hug this post, and then frame it on my wall. Because it says everything I feel about this manga. If Rin and Daikichi had not shared a father/daughter relationship, I wouldn't have a problem with this match-up even if they were distantly related (for me, cousins are the closest I'd be comfortable with. I might twitch at the thought of shacking up any of *my* cousins, but it's so prevalent in manga I think I could get by--you know, twitchingly).

Then again, if this hadn't been a parent-centric story, I doubt some of us would still be reading it. Confused
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Maidenoftheredhand



Joined: 21 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:13 pm Reply with quote
I just watched a version of Les Miserables. The ending of Bunny Drop makes me think what if Cosette ended up with Jean Valjean instead.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:18 pm Reply with quote
Maidenoftheredhand wrote:
I just watched a version of Les Miserables. The ending of Bunny Drop makes me think what if Cosette ended up with Jean Valjean instead.


"Well if you're open minded and empathetic and know about pre-revolutionary French culture maybe you'd understand and your stupid small-minded American mindset wouldnt


Ah geez I'm making my head hurt.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:11 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Zac wrote:
TarsTarkas wrote:

You can judge her and belittle her feelings as you like, but I doubt she cares what we think.


Here comes Captain Moral Relativity to let us all know that the best way to think about every gross thing that happens in anime is to be as accepting and super OK with it as is humanly possible!


Not really, I agree that it is not acceptable, and perhaps that even the writer, wrote the story she did to force a convoluted reasoning.

My problem is you all make it seem so simple, all Daikichi has to do is what you want, and everything is going to be rainbows and flowers for Daikichi and Rin, no chance for it to be a tragedy.
So By your way of thinking he should just take her to his bed as a wife so she doesn't commit suicide? So you definitely think she would do that if he didn't? Damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't? I know the clear path, but what would you do in such a situation? Wink
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Sherris



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 176
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:18 pm Reply with quote
So what is Unita trying to say here? That males are lustful, devoid of higher emotions creatures who are alright with having sex with anyone that is willing as long as it's legal? Thanks for hammering the message, Unita.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:22 pm Reply with quote
@Mohawk52

He raised her as his daughter. When you raise someone, that relationship is more important than any blood relation. So I agree with most here that this relationship is unacceptable.

As to what I would do, well, I would do everything possible, not to get in this position in the first place.

The writer seems to have purposefully written Daikichi into a box. Rin was not isolated, and seemed to have a boyfriend. With that in mind, I don't know if there were any major warning signs that Daikichi could have seen, which would have allowed him to head this off much earlier.

In time, Rin may have been able to get beyond such thoughts, but once her 'bastard' of a boyfriend outed her, she lost that time and her feelings were cemented.

Suicide is an all too real possibility. I have seen my share of attempts while in the military, amongst the young adults. Always due to boyfriend/girlfriend issues. Because of the nature of this relationship and its unacceptability in society, one could say this is a more severe problem, than just your boyfriend dumping you. This is not to say, whether or not, that Rin is made of sterner stuff. Only the writer knows that answer to that.

A more probable outcome may be the destruction of the father/daughter relationship or of any type of relationship, if Daikichi rejects Rin's dreams and feelings in this matter. Rin is not simply going to accept a 'no' answer. Something more forceful, negative, and perhaps even anger would be required.

What kind of person is Rin, just how much does she have invested in Daikichi, and for how long has she felt this way. Sounds like it has been for years. Knowing the above, do you think she could handle being told that what she feels and wants is wrong, even if you told it in the nicest way possible. I sure don't know.

What gets me, is that many try to write Rin out of the equation, as if it doesn't matter. But for Daikichi, the daughter he has raised for years, it is all that matters.

If you want to be mad at someone, be mad at Rin's boyfriend, and ultimately be mad at the writer. The writer especially, because if she was going to go this route, she might as well have made it a tragedy, much like what happens to Dahut in the city of Ys.

Seems this was the writers intention, so she wrote it to make it work in her eyes. Perhaps her publisher or fans pissed her off and she did a 180 in revenge.

It is sad that such a heartwarming story had to end on this note.
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