Story: The manga revolves around a 30-year old bachelor who decides to take care of the recently found out illegitimate young child of his grandfather, after no one else in his family decides to step up to the responsibility. This follows the developing relationship between the single man Daikichi and child Rin and Daikichi understanding how to be a parent and care for a young child.
The story mainly has two arcs. The first was absolutely heartwarming and beautiful, depicting death, divorce, difficult marriages, family strain, and the hardship of juggling a full-time career and caring for a child in a sweetly enduring but not cliché and sappy manner. This first arc wonderfully depicts the difficulties that come with raising a child along with the growth and happiness that comes along as well. This was not the simple case of Daikichi becoming an ideal parent followed with cute interactions with a child. The focus, thankfully, mainly remains among the interactions among Daikichi and Rin, with the characters and their situations adding to their relationship, and less on romantic and biological mother/father drama, so the series feels realistically slice-of-life as opposed to having a soap-opera feel. If only the manga had ended here, I would have given the series overall a 9/10.
Sadly, that was not the case. Instead, the manga continued through a second arc, which paled in comparison and had a rather bizarre and slightly disturbing ending. This arc focused more on romantic drama and angst while the parent/child relationship started falling more towards the background. As such, the quality seemed to have a more high school drama feel with less of the heartwarming and uplifting feel of the first arc. Though relationships were still realistically depicted and the characters remained true to themselves for the most part, the plot somewhat fell a little flat and progressed in a bizarre manner towards the very end. Truthfully, the ending seemed slightly too convenient, trying to make the entire situation less disturbing and more acceptable but I still was not a fan.
Art: Beautifully simplistic and yet nicely detailed. There was little use of sparkles, glitter, and flowers tainting the scenes and the panels were well organized with little clutter. There was not too much going on in any page. The background was simple but still nice and cleanly done. The character design was simple but distinct, with characters depicted in a realistic manner as opposed to having characters who are all somehow unrealistically attractive. Had the characters all been model attractive, the story would seem less realistic and relatable as such much focus was given to make them seem more ordinary and typical. There mannerisms were comical, sweet, and melancholy as the situation called for without being over-the-top. They each truly looked the part and such nice detail was taken to portray their individual characteristics. The animation was highly suitable for the slice-of-life and realistic portrayal for the plot of the manga.
Characters: The characters are the main reason that manga was as wonderful and heart-warming as it was without being lame and cliché. I will focus ont the main two since they were the ones who carried the plot through and through.
Daikichi, the single over-time workaholic, does not just become an ideal parent overnight. He clearly struggled raising Rin, even honestly admitting that he had to make sacrifices and wonders if he made the right choice or not, but worked hard, nonetheless, to be a good parent due to understanding how helpless 6-year-old Rin must feel from the situation. Despite some reasonable shortcomings and typical human imperfections, Daikichi showcased what a truly kind and thoughtful person he was deep down. Though he was new to parenting, he was able to wonderfully care for her by simply trying his best to make her happy and be there for her.
Rin depicted an almost ideal child. She was sweet, caring, mature, proper, yet still naïve all in an endearing but realistic manner. Throughout the series, she also progresses and starts opening up from a shy, reserved young girl to one who feels more comfortable expressing herself and supporting Daikichi the way he does for her. The love between the two was beautifully depicted.
The others were either fairly likable or somewhat annoying, but still realistic, keeping the manga grounded and not becoming some cliché and dramatic soap opera. However, the second arc seemed to take away slightly from the characters, making them more unlikable. I was not particular to the decisions the characters made in them even though I marginally understand some of them.
Overall: A beautiful and endearing depiction of a bachelor turned parent by a sweet young girl. This manga sweetly yet realistically conveys the hardships that are faced by parents (may they be single mothers or father, divorced, married but clearly unhappy) and the positive and negative events that come from raising a child. Had the manga simply ended with the first arc, this series would be one of my favorites. However, the second slightly tarnished the overall series. I would highly recommend reading the first arc of the series and just stopping there.