Story: The series revolved around a 30-year old bachelor who decided to take care of the recently found out illegitimate young child of his grandfather, after no one else in his family decided to step up to the responsibility. This followed the developing relationship between the single man Daikichi and child Rin with Daikichi understanding how to be a parent and care for a young child.
The anime was absolutely heartwarming and beautiful, staying true to the first half of the manga for the most part and thankfully not covering the less than pleasing second half. Throughout, the anime depicted 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. Difficulties that come with raising a child along with the growth and happiness that comes along as well was so realistically conveyed. This was not the simple case of Daikichi becoming an ideal parent followed with cute interactions with a child. The focus was mainly toward 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.
The series managed to achieve a light atmosphere between the father-child interactions while still managing to convey difficulties of single parenthood. There was little fault I had with the plot.
Animation: Beautiful water color that depicted the down-to-earth and realistic feel of the series. There was nothing over the top, no vibrant colors, or stark character designs. There was little use of sparkles, glitter, and flowers tainting the scenes. The water color animation really added to the light and calming tale of learning to parent a child. 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. The main flaw was the somewhat inconsistent animation. At time the scenery was blurry and details become hazy so there were slight faults here and there. Despite that, the animation overall was quite lovely and fitting.
Sound: Lovely piano music that fit the serene atmosphere. No dramatic music or anything highly memorable but somehow that worked with the anime. This anime was not over-the-top so the music fit wonderfully. Though I would not notice the music outside the anime or go crazy for the soundtrack, the pieces were sweet and soothing and never detracted from the plot. The opening and ending in particular were quite adorable and accurately described the series.
Characters: The characters are the main reason the series 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.
Overall: A beautiful and endearing depiction of a bachelor turned parent by a sweet young girl. This series wonderfully and 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. This anime is a must-see and was probably one of my favorites for the summer. I highly recommend this.
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