When Ryuichi and his 2-year-old brother Kotaro's parents die in a plane crash, the brothers are adopted by a woman who lost her son in the same incident: the wealthy chairwoman of Morinomiya Academy. She's empathetic to the brothers' plight, but her kindness has a cost: she's opened an on-site daycare for the staff's children, but doesn't have enough people to run it. None of the students have been interested in helping, and the only adult childcare worker spends more time sleeping than caring for the children. The chairwoman's solution? Put Ryuichi to work as the very first member of the school's new "Babysitter's Club"!
Funny, adorable, and light-hearted? Yep. Does it live up to the manga? Not so much. Is it still worth your time if you're looking for something cute? Definitely. Story Ryuichi Kashima and his toddler brother, Kotaro, suddenly find themselves in the care of an elderly woman who is the chairman of a school (middle school and high school) when their parents are killed in a plane crash. The strict old woman also lost family in the plane crash, and takes in the brothers on the condition that Ryuichi has to work at the school's daycare facility for the kids of the teachers (who are also in the infant to toddler range). As anyone who has worked in a daycare or preschool can surmise, this leads to quite a few adventures, cute situations, and rambunctious children as Ryuichi balances his middle (and high) school life with working at the Babysitters Club. Characters Ryuichi Kashima - A somewhat airheaded yet kind and dedicated boy in the last couple months of 8th grade. He's very caring of his little brother and often puts Kotaro (and the other children) before any sort of typical school drama. Kotaro Kashima - A rather quiet toddler who loves his brother as much as his brother loves him. He comes off as being a bit of a "space case" and doesn't talk that much, loves having books read to him, and can be the calm in the storm when the other kids get worked up over something. Hayato Kamitani - A tall boy in Ryuichi's grade and class who plays baseball and comes off as the "cool" type (despite having a short temper, though he never yells or screams). His little brother is the same age as Kotaro, and so he is the first person Ryuichi meets who is the same age. He does have a habit of clocking his brother over the head when the boy acts up, though. Taka Kamitani - Hayato's little brother who is, for lack of better words, a "likeable brat". He's probably the first to stir up any sort of trouble, throws tantrums, and is extremely outspoken. Despite that, he shows empathy towards the other kids such as being the first to offer friendship to Kotaro and tries to make one of the twins feel better when the other is out with a cold. Yoshihito Usaida - A young man who works in the Babysitter/Daycare room. He is typically found asleep on the job, and though he often teases the kids when awake, he does care about them. Takuma & Kazuma Mamizuka - The twins (toddlers). Takuma is always smiling and happy, and seems to take after his mother, while Kazuma is always on the verge of tears and is extremely shy. Kirin Kumatsuka - The daughter of one of the teachers, she appears to perhaps be either the oldest or just slightly more mature than the other toddlers as she knows how to write a little and is the most articulate. Midori Sawatari - The youngest of the children in the room, she is the only infant and can't walk or talk yet. She is most commonly seen being carried on Usaida's back. There are many other characters, such as a couple classmates of Ryuichi and the old chairwoman who took them in (Yoko Morinomiya and her butler, Keigo Saikawa). Sound and Animation A quick touch on this; the opening and ending songs are cute and catchy, and the bright colors immediately show what sort of anime the series is going to be. Background music fits the scenes, and the outlines of the characters aren't a solid black which helps give the anime a "softer" look and feel to it. Those unused to these types of shoujo character designs/animation might be a little thrown off at first, but it's very easy to get acclimated to it. Since I've only seen it subbed (and have no idea when or if it'll ever be dubbed to English), my ratings on the sound also include the Japanese voice acting...which, by the way, is amazing. Overall If you like cute anime, this is for you. There are a few episodes where Taka will throw a tantrum and start screaming/crying, so if you have an adversion to crying children, heads up. Sometimes, the episodes aren't all "cute and innocent", as of course they have to tell some sort of little story or lesson. Some episodes are just the kids being cute, while others are Ryuichi navigating high school life, family issues, and the odd "love-hate" relationship between the Kamitani brothers. There's a little bit of drama in the first episode since it has the most exposition, but every other plot is far tamer. The episodes are divided into two, giving the viewers two mini-episodes spanning about 10-11 minutes long instead of one episode of about 23 minutes (with the exception of the first episode, which is a full length episode). This is both a good and a bad idea. It's good in that it gives the viewers some extra "cuteness" in two different stories in a single episodes, but it is also bad in that some of the situations would have benefitted more from having an entire episode dedicated to it. For example, in the first big fight that the Kamitani brothers have, the limit of 10-11 minutes on the episode cut out a lot of emotions and interactions. It was hard to keep up with the fast pacing of the episode rather than let the viewer feel all of the emotions before it jumps to the next situation within the episode. Other episodes did just fine as a 10-11 minute half-episode, such as their trip to the beach and when the kids had a dispute on whether witches or super sentei heroes were real. There are also a few changes, some minor and some major, between the anime and the manga. The manga is about 25-30 pages per chapter, meaning that it was a huge surprise to me when episode 2 aired and the format became two 10-11 minute episodes. Again, that meant that some things were cut out and-or altered. One such instance is a rather minor one, but explains a little of the reactions other people have when Kazuma is picked up. In the manga, he tends to not only cry but also wet himself when he is picked up by strangers. In the anime, this fact is left out and he merely just cries. Yet, they left in one character who has a nosebleed when he pokes the cheeks of the kids. Honestly, I don't understand why they were so selective in what was shown there. Now, that's a minor detail, but it might confuse some people who haven't read the manga and don't understand why one of Ryuichi's classmates made a weird face when he picked Kazuma up. The zoo trip was also heavily edited, as Usaida's habit of falling asleep rather than two seconds of looking away is what causes an incident. I don't know why they changed that, to be honest. After around episode three or four, the anime starts skipping around as well. People who have never read the manga will have no idea why Takuma always rushes over to greet Hayato (something which was explained earlier on in the manga in which Takuma starts emulating Hayato because Kazuma quietly looks up to him). I was able to understand each instance because I had been reading the manga for a while before the anime adaption came out, but those who haven't read the manga will probably be a little confused on that part. I don't mind them skipping around with what they decide to animate; some chapters of the manga are a little more interesting than others, and the focus is always on Ryuichi, Kotaro, and the other kids over Ryuichi's school life (even in the manga, there's a bigger focus on the kids over the teens). I'm glad that the anime kept that focus. A mistake some similar series makes (such as "Love So Life") is that it starts to focus more on the teens/adults rather than the kids. In Gakuen Babysitters, I feel that we get to know all of them equally and at a proper pace. While there are some manga chapters which focus more on one or the other, the anime keeps a good balance between them. Despite some of the hiccups in the anime (such as the split episodes and jumping around which might confuse some people a little bit), the anime stays mostly true to the manga and is enjoyable to watch multiple times. Though I knew what to expect in the first episode, I still cried at one part even though I swore I wasn't going to. To me, that's the mark of a good adaption; I knew what was coming (and the emotions in the manga had left me in tears as well), but the anime version still had me in tears as well even though I prepared myself when that particular scene came about. So, there are a couple slightly hard-hitting parts, but it's not nearly as dramatic as a series such as "Aka-chan to Boku". The series is definitely more situational based and character driven than plot driven. Sadly, because of the pacing of some of the episodes and how short they are, it sometimes feels like they tried to cram character development into them and comes off a bit weaker than the manga did. For the most part, the characters shine, but there are quite a few moments which were expanded on in the manga and didn't make the cut in the anime due to the length of the episodes. If you're looking for a heavy overall or episodic plot, this isn't the anime for you. If you're looking for something cute and rewatchable (and overall lighthearted and warm), then you'll definitely enjoy Gakuen Babysitters.
It's been a long time since i watched an anime like this that made me feel so light and airy while still leaving me with something real substantial. The children are precious while still having their own personality that fits perfectly. The relationship between each brother is unique. Reminds me of my own siblings. So overall anyone looking for something thays light and wont make you cry because of too much angst this is it. You might cry but it will be from laughing and will leave your smiling and then angry that there isn't a second season.
I just got done watching this today. I must admit, it is pretty good. The babies in here were adorable. I must say that I feel like everything in Gakuen Babysitters moves to fast. I am pretty sad now that I had finished the series. I recommend this to anyone looking for something lighthearted and cute animation. It is worth it, trust me.
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