Aishiteruze Baby anime review

Aishiteruze Baby anime review
Kippei Katakura is a high school playboy who flirts with any girl he sees. His life is turned upside down when one day his 5-year old cousin Yuzuyu shows up at his house after her mother had seemingly abandoned her. Kippei has been charged with the task of taking care of Yuzuyu, and he must learn how to become the "mother" that Yuzuyu needs.

Aishiteruze Baby is one of those anime that is a lot better than it may seem at first glance. Seeing the title and the fact that the two main characters are a teenage boy and a little girl, you'd think that it's a lolicon anime. But fortunately, it isn't. Instead, it's a touching and heartfelt shoujo drama. When I heard that Aishiteruze Baby was going to be made into an anime, I immediately wanted to see it, and I was not disappointed.

The characters and plot make this anime shine. Although Kippei appears to be a lazy bum, he does care for Yuzuyu and looks out for her, and tries to take his job seriously. Of course, since he's had no experience in raising children before, he gets into some sticky situations (such as what I can only call "The Onigiri of Doom"). Yuzuyu herself is that rarest of movie and TV children: a kid who actually acts like a kid and not like a little adult. She's cute, but not sugary sweet, and watching her bond with Kippei and the rest of the family is a joy to watch. The other characters are just as good, especially Kokoro, Kippei's classmate who at first seems to be the stock EEEEEVIL character, but soon proves to be much more than that, and Shouta-kun, one of Yuzuyu's friends in kindergarten who is introduced in the later episodes.

The plot might seem to be rather "kiddy" at first, but it does have its serious moments. Yuzuyu is harassed at kindergarten because she is motherless, Kippei has to prove that he can be a responsible person, and in several heartbreaking scenes in episode 16, it is revealed that Shouta-kun's mother often beats him when she gets drunk. Fortunately, Aishiteruze Baby does not wallow in angst and has many funny scenes, too.

The art is mostly good, with lots of pastels, although the character designs only have some resemblances to Maki Youko's distinctive character designs for the original manga. The animation is somewhat low-budget, but at least it's not as creaky as, say, the second season of Tokyo Underground or any other Studio Pierrot work. The opening and ending songs are soft ballads and the rest of the music follows in this vein. It somewhat suits the anime, although sometimes the music score made me want to fall asleep.

In short, I really like this anime, and I look forward to seeing more of it. A lot of anime nowadays that have "cute" stuff in them usually push stupid bratty characters on you and expect you to think they're cute. Either that, or they pander to the toddlers. Aishiteruze Baby does neither, and that is why I recommend it.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Aishiteruze Baby. Watch it now:
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