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Spotlight on Manga: Bunny Drop by Yumi Unita

After his grandfather dies, thirty-year-old Daikichi accidentally adopts his grandfather's young daughter, Rin, when he finds out that his relatives are planning to put the girl in foster care.  That's right--he technically adopts his aunt.  Bunny Drop is full of this kind of dark humor.  This manga is really a dark domestic drama/comedy.  Daikichi knows nothing about children and Rin refuses to speak half the time.  Daikichi has no idea what to do with Rin after he takes her in, but he's stubborn and refuses to give his relatives the satisfaction of seeing him fail.  From figuring out how to get Rin into daycare to what clothes and toys he should buy her, Daikichi struggles and freaks out about everything.  But he never gives up.  Rin seems very independent and capable for a six year-old, but she's clearly hurting since everyone in her life has either died or left her.  Even though there is no magic or techno-gadgets in this manga - the world isn't in peril - the story is still captivating.  I cared a lot more for Rin and Daikicki than I did for most manga characters after reading the first volume.  Watching the two stumble around each other and trying to figure out how to make their new small family works is not just funny, it's very real.  If you are sick of magical worlds and giant robots, and outlandish comedies that make up most of the manga world, and you want something that's more like real life but will still make you laugh, read Bunny Drop.

-Lauren

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