It's culture festival time for Usagi Drop's penultimate episode - although this series being what it is, we don't get the usual focus that we might be used to from your typical anime take on such an event.
Indeed, our look at Rin's culture festival comes mostly through the eyes of Daikichi, as he finds himself looking on with something of an outsider's eye at his fellow parents - some of whom make him feel decidedly inferior to but most of whom he ends up getting along with. As some of the mothers present discuss their children catching the 'flu, so we settle in our real focus for this episode, and the very unique problems that come from being a single parent (particularly a single working parent in Japan) when your child comes down with even the simplest of colds.
Of course, it's Rin herself who proves to be our demonstrator in this case as she begins to develop a fever, and although it doesn't seem to be influenza it does happen to be a particularly nasty cold, one which leaves her having to stay home from school, and of course by extension Daikichi too has to take time off work. Having never seen Rin in anything other than the picture of health before, Daikichi finds himself panicking at her worsening condition and high temperature - cue Yukari to the rescue, as she not only talks Daikichi down somewhat from his constant fretting but also provides everything that Rin needs to recover comfortably thanks to her greater experience of such things. Thus, all's well that ends well - for Rin anyhow. But what happens when a single parent gets sick?
Despite serving up such a simple premise ("Rin gets sick" sounds like a pretty dull episode on paper, right?), this proved to be another emotive and touching episode of Usagi Drop - even those of us without kids probably know what it's like to fret too much over a sick loved one even if it is just a cold, and Daikichi's worries given his unique circumstances were not only palpable but also passed on to us as we found ourselves worrying about Rin's well-being ourselves - evidence of just how smart this show (and more importantly its characters) have been at worming its way into our affections. But with only one episode left to run, it seems that we won't be reaching the end of Rin and Daikichi's story this time around - a prospect that certainly isn't bad news if it means we can look forward to more Usagi Drop next year perhaps?