What’s it about ?
At a family reunion after his grandfather’s death, a man has parenthood suddenly thrust upon him.
Daikichi, our protagonist. 30 year-old. He seems to be a bit the black sheep of his family, seen a bit as a slacker (especially as he’s still single).
Rin, a 6-year-old girl, and technically Daikichi’s aunt (apparently Grampa was pretty spry even in his seventies). Her mother having disappeared gods know where and Grampa having just died, nobody in the family’s really keen on taking care of her… except for Daikichi, who’s somewhat hit it off with her and steps up to take her under his wing. Does he know how to take care of a child, especially one as taciturn as Rin ? Of course not, but he’ll learn it on the fly. Hopefully.
We see a dozen other family members at the family reunion/funeral, but none of them leaves much of an impression… aside from Reina, Daikichi’s niece, who’s every bit annoying as any child that age can be at such a solemn gathering (cue embarrassed looks from her mother).
Pastels everywhere ! (Although it’s not as deliberately artsy as Wandering Son.) The animation team seems mostly interested in carefully transcribing every character’s expressions (especially Daikichi’s perpetual frown), which is of course the most important with such a story.
Well, that’s certainly different from the sound and fury of nearly everything else this season : a calm, laid-back inter-generational drama piece. It’s every bit as good as you’d expect from NoitaminA’s reputation and the buzz from the original manga (which I’ve heard is quite acclaimed).
The nascent chemistry between Daikichi and Rin (and their alienation from anybody else) is carefully established through body language and very sparse dialogue (I think he barely says ten lines to her before offering her to go with him, and she’s been entirely silent up to that point), without anything as clumsy as narration or internal monologue. I like this minimalistic approach.
Obviously it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s very good at what it does.