Easter Usagi!

Konbanwaaaa! It’s difficult to tie Japanese anime with Easter, I found at first, until I realised that they both have a symbol in common, the bunny!

The Easter Bunny shows the fun side of Easter. It’s usually depicted as a rabbit holding a basket full of colourful Easter eggs, eager to share them out with kawaii children like me! And as for anime, the usagi is probably one of the common animal motifs, right behind the neko. I really only see the cat, rabbit and dog being portrayed in most anime, but do tell me if I’ve missed something out. At any rate, most of you would imagine the kind of rabbit in Easter to be different from the ones you see in anime. For example, simply take a look at Kuro Usagi, the black bunny in Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara kuru sou desu yo?

But really, the Japanese anime industry has, believe it or not, evolved beyond rabbit stereotypes. There’re other kinds of bunnies out there who aren’t puffy-tailed waitress personas. For instance, look at this one.

Wait what? How is that a bunny, you ask? Well, you obviously haven’t watched Tiger & Bunny. Neither have I, but I know enough to know that it was a pretty big anime of its time, which was really not long ago. Tiger & Bunny was aired in 2011 by Sunrise — the studio name may catch your eye, and it’s about a futuristic setting (which you may have guessed from the mecha) where superheroes fight crime and promote real-life sponsors at the same time. So it’s like the capitalist version of superheroes. For some reason, the Incredibles comes to mind. This might turn out promising.

So why is this guy a bunny again? Well, the main reason is really that his name’s Barnaby Brooks Jr. Geddit? Bunny, geddit? But comments seem to be very positive about this show, saying it’s akin to a Western superhero animation, and it’s gone on to spawn movies and video games in its name.

But enough of bunny characters. My mind may be straying a bit but I’m reminded of a particular quote I heard from an anime movie. I’ve forgotten the precise line, and it wasn’t so important anyway. But basically the male lead compared the female lead to a rabbit, and he was ridiculed by his friend who said she didn’t look like she couldn’t do without a companion. So what film was it?

Kara no Kyoukai 2: A Study In Murder I. For those who watched the show, did Shiki strike you as having any rabbit-like characteristics?

I must say the movie struck me deeply when I watched it. Maybe the volume was loud enough to make an impact, but I thought the movie was great — maybe also because the male lead Mikiya was voiced by Suzumura Kenichi (and Shiki by Sakamoto Maaya). It is a strange mystical fantasy sort of romance, probably accentuated by how the story doesn’t quite seem to have a complete end. The books, and subsequently the movies, are arranged in a non-chronological order, and one must watch all seven films to understand the complete picture of the story.

But it may be because of its sinister mystery, and the fact that the suspense was never solved, that I loved the movie. I didn’t continue watching it though, mainly due to lack of opportunity, but I think it must be a great feeling to watch everything in its deliberate sequence.

And from a study of rabbits, I’ve mentioned 3 different anime, all catering to different tastes — whether you actually adore bunnies or not. May you have a happy Easter, and don’t spend it all glued to the TV screen watching anime!

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