Manga Review: Aishiteruze Baby

Manga Review: Aishiteruze BabyAishiteruze Baby by Yoko Maki
Published by VIZ Media on January 1, 2002
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Aishiteruze Baby is a shojo series that revolves around the life of Kippei Katakura, a popular high-school playboy who suddenly finds himself the surrogate parent of his 5-year-old cousin, Yuzuyu Sakashita, when her mother disappears.

Kippei has a lot to figure out, like what to make for Yuzuyu's lunch and how to drop her off at kindergarten while still getting to high school on time. Kippei is enjoying his time with Yuzuyu, but not everyone is happy about it. The girls at school miss their quality time with Kippei, and one decides to play dirty to get him back.

Aishiteruze Baby is a pretty great shoujo series. For one thing, I really appreciate the fact that the main character is a male, because this is rare to see in shoujo series. He’s not a perfect guy, but he definitely seems like a real person. Watching him evolve into a mature adult from the flirty guy with no thought of the future is quite touching.

Generally, I do not much care for stories about children, but even I must admit that Yuzu is often quite charming. What person has a heart hard enough to not feel bad for a five year old abandoned by her mother? And, of course, caring for Yuzu makes Kippei sensitive enough to be able to support a slightly bruised girl like Kokoro.

While mostly light-hearted, the story also takes on darker issues like child abuse and bullying. This is an utterly touching story about the importance of family and growing up.

Although this song is about a girl thanking her teacher, I think it captures better than any other the way that Yuzu will probably think about Kippei when she’s older, even if he wasn’t actually raising her until she was old enough for perfume. Then again, I doubt the teacher would have been teaching a student for that many years either.

 

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