Anime: School Babysitters
Season aired: Winter 2018
Number of episodes: 12
Genres: Slice-of-life, comedy, drama
Thoughts: This is a very, very cute anime. However, at the same time, it is a heartfelt anime that teaches the audience about grief, hope, brotherhood, and family. Introducing one of the most wholesome anime to have graced the winter season: School Babysitters, also known as Gakuen Babysitters.
It centers around two brothers, Ryuichi and Kotaro, who have both lost their parents in a terrible airplane accident. An old lady who lost her son and daughter-in-law in that same accident with no grandchildren of her own decides to adopt these two brothers, help them acclimate into a new school, and learn to become a family as they both deal with their separate losses. In his new family, Ryuichi befriends new classmates, connects with teachers, and bonds with his brother even more.
And that’s about as much of a summary as I can give about the anime. It’s episodic, so there is no overarching conflict that overtakes the story. In fact, each episode tends to contain two stories. The pacing is gradual, the conflicts are minor and quickly resolved, and there’s a lot to laugh and cry with. This anime wasn’t made to change the world. It wasn’t made to leave audiences questioning the state of society. It wasn’t even made to inspire intrigue or imagination. It is mundane and thoughtful, but that’s what makes this series so successful. It knows that it’s here to provide comfort, love, and happiness for the viewers, and it never tries to stray from its goal.
The thing about School Babysitters is that it is very stylized. The colors are pastel, the music is bright and happy, the characters are all cute, including the more gangster-looking Kamitani, and the stories are written to make the audience feel good. It is personally a style that fits me very well, but it is not a style that fits everyone. Some will probably think this anime is too cute for their liking. Others might even find it boring for the lack of conflicts and slow pacing. What I want to stress most about this anime is that it is not gender-specific but rather, style-specific despite what others might lead you to think.
School Babysitters is an adaptation of a shoujo manga. In other words, it is published in a magazine that claims its stories are specifically for the female demographic. And I can understand why. Cute babies are the central theme to the story. But underlying all the fluff and sweetness is something very sentimental and deep. It explores the shock and pain of losing family members and the healing one has to go through.
There is never a moment in the anime where the episodes fail to remind the audience that Ryuichi is a teenager who literally became an orphan in just a few minutes. On top of that, he is now the caretaker of a much younger brother. And what makes this all the more impactful is that it does not take place in a fantastical setting where people die at the drop of a hat. It is in our world where we are more concerned about homework instead of war, where we worry about relationships instead of policies, and where we argue and fight with our parents instead of dark lords. To see the wonderful people around Ryuichi help him through this hard and unexpected time in his life serves a reminder to us as the audience to remember there are those who suffer on a daily basis from their losses.
It’s a heartwarming anime, but it is a very heartbreaking anime at the same time. I appreciate its exploration of the positive relationships that help Ryuichi grow as a better person instead of focusing on the negatives. Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed by our own problems that we forget to look at the people who have held our hands the entire time. This anime reminds us to look at those people and thank them for their contributions to our lives, from our parents, to our siblings, to our friends, and to our teachers.
So in summary, School Babysitters successfully managed to make me have the feels, and I’m sure it will give you the feels as well if you give it a chance.
I am planning to rate all my anime based on the anime rating system that Japanese anime critics use. I will have 5 categories, each with the top score of 10, and then a final multiplier of 2.
Voice acting: 9
FINAL SCORE: 78