Katakura Kippei is a carefree high school playboy until he returns home one day to find his 5-year-old cousin, Yuzuyu waiting on his doorstep. Abandoned by her widowed mother, the Katakura family takes Yuzuyu in and Kippei’s older sister decrees that until the day her mother returns, Kippei will be responsible for taking care of Yuzuyu.
Based on Maki Youko’s original manga of the same title, Aishiteru ze Baby is a light-hearted type of series in which the characters make it shine. Yuzuyu is a very rare type of child character in that she actually behaves like a child and not a tiny adult. Also, she’s cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute. Not the sugary sweet make you sick kind of cute. But the “I would gladly take this kid home with me if she needs a home” kind of cute.
Kippei’s character is a little troublesome because aside from some instances of him running late to pick Yuzuyu up from school and having to learn how to cook, he is damn near perfect. He is almost a static character which is a no-no for main plot characters. He doesn’t grow or change all that much, which is disappointing.
Kokoro on the other hand is a secondary character and far more interesting. She starts as one of Kippei’s disillusioned classmates who rarely even glances his way and when she does it is with the utmost disdain. However, after stealthily observing his interactions and relationship with Yuzuyu she begins to fall in love with him. Who wouldn’t. He’s perfect, as I said.
Even though Aishiteru deals with some pretty serious issues (abandonment, child abuse, and suicide), it remains relatively light-hearted. It is almost disappointing the way the story touches on the subjects but ensures that everything ends happily for everyone involved. This is good because it makes it safe for everyone in the family to enjoy however, it isn’t very realistic in terms of real life. Sometimes we want everything to end well, so that’s okay.
The character design is unique but it took me several episodes to get used to it. The artwork has a pastel look to it. Very beautiful.
If you want something deep and moving, you will more than likely be disappointed in this one. But if you want something that will just make you feel warm inside, you can’t get much better than Aishiteru ze Baby.
Recommended Audience: Pretty much anyone. As I said, the more serious issues are resolved. Everyone is happy. Everyone loves everyone else so it should be fine for 8+
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