Daddy Daughter Time

usagi drop daikichi rin sunset

Like GL, I’m a father with three young kids, in particular, two young girls. In the last couple of years, as a causal form I’ve entertainment, I’ve taken a stronger interest in watching anime. My only real exposure in the past were shows on Cartoon Network, during the Toonami time slot or Adult Swim. During this exploration of new and old shows, my kids started joining me in watching, wondering what strange cartoons I was watching.  Being ages 7, 4, and 2, they have differing amount of interest in types of shows. But the one that surprises me the most is my 4 year old daughter.

Now keep in mind, no one in my family speaks or reads Japanese. My wife, genetically Korean but raised by a WASP family here, does speak Spanish, but that’s as close as we get. My oldest daughter is just beginning to learn to read. So you would think watching a subtitled show in a foreign language would be a little hard for a four year old. But every week she wants to sit down with DadUsagi Drop Rin Daikichi back to back and “watch a show”. But, what really got her hooked, was watching Bunny Drop (Usagi Drop) this last summer. It became our Sunday ritual to watch together.

And what a fun show to watch together. A soft, and loving premise written around a working man, and the young girl he adopts into his home. I’m not saying my family situation is the same. But I see the interactions between a father and daughter in our own life. Together, we match up to there ages pretty well. Me, a working Dad, and Rin, a pre-school aged girl.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of dialog to understand the generality of what’s going on. So, she watches intently, making cute comments as Rin does silly stuff, and giggling at the more comical situations. These moments make the experience of watching the show Usagi Drop Rin Mirror Funny Hairall that more enjoyable. I’ve found something in common with my daughter that is just for us, an activity that she solely comes to me for and not Mom.

And as the season closed, it has hard to tell her that their would be no more to watch. And of course, she doesn’t understand why. But as I make my way through shows new and old, she’s there enjoying them as well, my little anime watching sidekick.

And a question for you as you read his post. What would you recommend I watch next with her? What can we watch together that can continue this great experience so far?

My Daughter with her Hello Kitty

About JoeAnimated

-Growing Older, but never growing up. Father, engineer, and all around nerd. Grew up watching the great american cartoons of the 80's, now a casual watcher of Japanese Anime.
This entry was posted in moments in anime, moments of 2011, today's special guest writer, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Daddy Daughter Time

  1. Anya says:

    I think I may have told you before, but try Heartcatch Precure. It’s a good show that I think you’ll appreciate, and it should appeal to your daughter. And since it’s a long show you’ll be able to keep her entertained for a long time. The stuff it teaches is good for a kid too I think.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Yes, you suggested that a few weeks back. I’ve watched some of Pretty Cure in the past, but it would probably be more enjoyable watching it with my daughter. I will find it this weekend. Thanks!

      • Matts says:

        All seasons of Ojamajo DoReMi would be a good idea too. It’s similar to HeartCatch because of the character design, it’s aimed towards young children and it doesn’t involve fighting. It’s mainly about a clumsy girl and her friends becoming witch apprentices and helping out their classmates with their daily troubles along the way. The girls are 8-12 years old throughout the course of 4 seasons, the first three are already out subbed, Doremi subs is working on the final season now. It’s a very long show and maybe your daughter will enjoy the similarities with HeartCatch.

        • JoeAnimated says:

          Thanks Matts, I’ll take a look!

          • Matts says:

            I hope you’ll both get around to watching it and enjoy it. There is also a 13 part OVA called Naishou taking place during the third season but if you will get around to watching that make sure to skip episode 12. It deals with a young girl figthing cancer and while beautifuly executed, it’s probably a subject that a 4 year old should not have to confront just yet. The rest of the episodes are fine.

  2. lonny says:

    Chi’s Sweet Home-Chi’s new Address. Roughly 50 episodes each but only a few minutes long per(can watch a few together or fit in if short on time). Kaasan Mom’s Life is 132 eps and going( 22 minutes each) About a Mom who is a Manga Artist/ has to balance raising a boy and girl and a husband(Sweet and funny). Both series can be watched for free on just like Bunny Drop

  3. sadakups says:

    There’s a similar concept in Aishiteruze Baby, the only difference is it’s a high school playboy taking care of his five-year-old cousin. It doesn’t compare to the dynamics and presentation in Usagi Drop, but it’s entertaining nonetheless. Not to mention that Rin is more likeable and cuter than Yuzuyu.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      That might good, since it sounds like there might be some comedy to keep me interested as well. Thanks for the suggestion!

      • sadakups says:

        Yeah, give it a try. Not to mention it’s 24 episodes, though like Usagi Drop, it has an open ending.

        Don’t expect comedy here though, but it has also the AWWWW moments Usagi Drop had. A word of warning though, there’s one long kissing scene in one of the episodes which also involves some fondling. You probably don’t want your kid to see that.

  4. Vucub Caquix says:

    If you’re feeling ambitious, Kemono no Souja Erin is pretty fantastic and 50 episodes long. Although it does get pretty dramatic.

  5. Reid says:

    A friend of mine told me, upon getting married to a woman with a young son who really liked him, that “kids are like friends that you can make exactly how you want.” I think that’s both funny and pretty true. I don’t have any children, and I don’t want to any time soon, but I think it’s a desirous thing to be able to share something you love with a young person, whether it’s a sport, books, anime or whatever. My cousin’s son, age 4, is a pretty awesome little dude, and we play Mario Kart and other games on his Nintendo 3DS but that’s about as far as it gets, since he hasn’t liked the movies I ATE UP when I was his age – Ninja Turtles and stuff. I guess I’ll have to wait until I’m a father before I get to experience some of the cool things that one only gets to do when the kids are your kids, since I don’t think I could kidnap my coworker’s Sonic the Hedgehog-obsessed kid.

    As to a recommendation for a good anime to watch with your daughter, that’s a tough one. Naturally, I lot of the things that I like when it comes to anime don’t appeal to most females of any age, much less a 4-year-old. However, if she’s already shown herself to be interested in watching shows with you, don’t limit yourself to just anime. Can’t go wrong with Powerpuff Girls or Dexter’s Lab or any of those classic tv shows. I think the key is to establish early in her life an appreciation for quality stuff when it comes to tv, movies, books, video games (if she’s into that), rather than just what’s new and popular at the time. Good luck and have fun!

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Enjoy the time with your cousin. Before you know it, he’ll be whooping your tail at any game you can put in front if him.

      Bringing up PPG brings up an interesting thought. We have Netflix streaming, that has lots of quality older cartoons. It would be easy to browse through and find some good classic shows. Maybe evena something liketo Samurai Jack fie my son. Thanks!

  6. ces06 says:

    I second Heartcatch Precure. It’s great stuff for all ages- you’ve got all the great (epic) action going on, and there’s the daily life interaction between the characters that’s cute and heartwarming. I’m sure she’ll love the mascot characters as well, they’re cute as hell lol. The end arc can be a little tough to watch though, as it gets dramatic. But in the end, it’s a great, heartwarming series with a lotta heart and good morals to teach. Plus, it’s subbed in it’s entirety (along with the movies) by tv nihon.

  7. Trakand says:

    I highly recommend Ichigo Mashimaro. It is a slice of life comedy focused on four elementary school girls, and the silly situations they get themselves into. It’s a very cute show, with cute girls who do cute things, and your daughter might really like and relate to the characters.

  8. kadian1364 says:

    Hmm, anime for dad and daughter? Heartcatch, Chi’s Home, and Anne of Green Gables are all good suggestions here. I’ll mention two series not yet mentioned. I recommend a shoujo sports gem called Kaleido Star. It’s about a girl moving to America to join a Cirque du Soleil-type performance group. Its bright and humorous mood and instantly likeable characters are great for kids, yet the strong heart and story will pull you in too.

    The other title I suggest is Kamichu! Best described as Spirited Away the TV show, its about a middle school girl who suddenly wakes up as a Shinto god. It travels between the sweet and leisurely-paced seaside town life of school kids and the wondrously imaginative world of Japanese spirits and gods. It’s instantly charming appeal transcends all ages.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I appreciate you holding back on the Terribad ;). Kaleido Star might catch her interest. She’s into ballet and performing, so itmay hit a note with her. And imaginitive worlds always go over well with the kids.

  9. Soulstrider says:

    Hmm besides what was suggested, this come to my mid
    -Anything Ghibli really
    -Heidi, Girl of the Alps, a very old anime but really nice to watch in familiy.
    -Cardcaptor Sakura, I know this was popular with young girls here
    -Doraemon was good for all ages for kid of both genres.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Right now, Ghibli films are on Netflix, and we’ve watched a few of those, like Ponyo and Tales from Earthsea. I will take a look into the rest.

      • Tiboreau Lee says:

        ‘Tis a lovely blog post! It is heartening to hear a show bringing family together, appealing to all ages. Reminds me why I enjoyed Usagi Drop–longing to see it again after that! Thank you for sharing, Joe.

        Concerning Studio Ghibli, I highly, highly recommend My Neighbor Totoro in addition to Spirited Away & Kiki’s Delivery, and second the Kamichu! recommendation.

        • JoeAnimated says:

          I had my doubts about UD, but in watching it, and including my daughter, the show grew on me. We’ve even watched all the OVAs since. Its been fun. I need to go through Netflix and add all the Ghibli films to my queue, and start watching them with the kids on the weekend when the wife is at work.

  10. jreding says:

    I would recommend Binchou-tan! It is super sweet, features little girls and you understand everything what’s going on just from watching.

  11. I’m just glad you put this post up here on WRL so I don’t have to go far to get recommendations when it’s our turn (my girl and me) to look for ‘toons to watch together.

    Rigthly or wrongly we will try to watch robot anime together anyway. My parents never got to watch robot anime with me as a kid — or at least as much as I (thought) I wanted them to… because both of them worked. It’s the same for my wife and I so it’s not really a feasible thing… though I will try.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Definitely a lot of good suggestions in the comments. I have more ideas than time to watch, which isn’t a bad thing. As for making time, I usually take a short amount of time before the kids go to bed to wind them down, and TV plays into that occasionally. And, I did get her to marathon ‘Aquarium’ with me over Christmas 😉

  12. Awwww! I have first hand experience with this myself. Though I don’t believe my daughter and I have bonded as much as you & yours has over an anime. There were times when she was just living with her mom that I would let them borrow my Azumanga Daioh DVD’s for entertainment. To this day she still hates it when I tease her about being a perfect little know-it-all like Chiyo-chan.

    After Azumanga Daioh though, the choices have been few and far between. And I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them either. For some strange reason, my daughter gravitates towards the Shakugan no Shana series. She’s just mesmerized by it for some reason, but she won’t admit to liking it enough to having me put it on her TV. The other show is Heartcatch Precure, which she watches sparingly. Sadl to say, she hasn’t really caught the anime bug yet. Her and her little brother are more into video games and American cartoons right now.

    I will tell you this, (I’m sure you’re smart enough to realize this without me telling you) keep her away from ANGEL BEATS! Her and her mom decided to check it out because they thought what daddy was watching was interesting. A week later I see both of them crying, getting tears all over my nice leather computer chair! I suppose they’ve learned their lesson. Don’t touch daddy’s anime without his consent. Daddy likes GRIMDARK and the “tears of time.”

    Best of luck with your daughter, I hope you enjoyed my little horror story. -Oh I forgot one! IKA MUSUME (Squid Girl)! My whole family loved that show. It’s a very easy watch, and the comedy is easy to pick up on without translation notes (unlike a few episodes of Azumanga Daioh).

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Bonding? Its more like out mutual interests coincide at times in watching cartoons. But, it is a moment where I get her to sit still and spend time with dad. I think I have to resign to the fact that “magical girl”, and “cute girls doing cute things” are going to be what I will be watching with her in the immediate future. Maybe with a shot of scotch.

  13. acostoss says:

    Assuming you haven’t any qualms with watching dubbed shows as well, I think Princess Tutu is right up your alley. It gets a bit dramatic, but always within bounds that are suitable for a girl her age. Azumanga Daioh, Ichigo Mashimaro, Ika Musume, Binchou-tan, and Chi’s Sweet Home are all fantastic watches, and are among my favorite shows for winding down after a long day at work.

    As she gets older, and becomes more of a fan of dating dramas, be sure to have her watch KareKano(His and Her Circumstances). It is tame enough for her to watch now, but depending on different things, it might not capture her attention.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      The ballet aspect of Princess Tutu would definitely catch her interest. It seems like many of the shows recommended are all magical girl types. It looks like I have to overcome my dread of those shows, and watch them with her. Kare Kano might be a little mature at this point, but could be better once she understands things a little more. Thanks for stopping by, and hopefully we’ll see you in SCCSAV more often this year!

  14. Hana says:

    Daawww, you anime daddies! I second the Ghibli (well, Totoro, seeing as you’ve already seen Ponyo, though most Ghibli films seem pretty engaging for the littl’uns too) recs. Seeing as you’ve also already watched/ are watching Usagi Drop and PoyoPoyo, I’ll have to get back to you on any others, but Fruits Basket is also a fun cross-over anime; mainly for older kids/ teens upwards, but it’s a fun show that’s also full of people constantly transforming into animals left, right and center, so she might enjoy that too. ^ ^

    • JoeAnimated says:

      Fruits Basket is dubbed on Netflix. so that would be easy to sit down and watch it with her. Yes, we’re watching Poyopoyo. And every time we do, my daughter reminds me “Dad, you don’t like cats. Dad, you’re allergic to them, aren’t you?” At least it’s only 3 minuets long 🙂

  15. foshizzel says:

    Deadman wonderland! Just kidding! Smile precure for the win!

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