A while back I ordered Aishiteruze Baby on Amazon, but I ordered each volume from individual sellers on Amazon for a penny per volume (plus the $3.99 shipping which likely has their profit built in). When the first volume arrived I read it, but volume 2 hadn’t come in yet. When all the rest of the volumes finally found their way to my home I had somewhat lost interest in the series. My initial reaction to the series was that Bunny Drop was a superior story when it came to watching over an abandoned child family member. I still think I prefer what I’ve seen of Bunny Drop so far compared to Aishiteruze Baby. BUT Aishiteruze Baby explores lots of serious issues without getting buried by the sadness of the stories. And for this I think it deserves a lot of credit.
Kippei is a popular high school boy flirt that doesn’t take school particularly seriously. He lives with his eldest sister (Reiko), younger brother (Satsuki), and his mother. One day he comes home to a serious family meeting, his aunt fled to a place where she couldn’t be contacted claiming that she would return for her daughter (Yuzuyu) when she is ready. The family now debates how she should be cared for, Reiko (his sister) forcefully puts Kippei in charge of her well being. This series follows Kippei and Yuzuyu as they grow close and cope with the worry over Yuzuyu’s missing mother. Kippei also tries to juggle being with the girl he loves while also taking proper care of Yuzuyu. Along the way they encounter other characters (friends and family) that are attempting to cope with their own serious life issues. However, most of the characters in this series try to be positive despite feeling overwhelmed by their personal problems. I have a lot of admiration for characters like that, they’re the ones I root for. The story also takes a neutral approach to these conflicts, the series doesn’t paint a black and white picture as one person being the victim and the other a heartless villain. It sometimes touches upon how the one causing the harm isn’t entirely bad (although they’re still definitely weak willed and selfish in my opinon).
The art style isn’t anything spectacular, it’s standard shoujo manga art style to me for the most part. Although a review I read praised the “clean use of backgrounds” and “well-differentiated character designs”. I hadn’t thought of the varying character designs until that review mentioned it, and I agree. It’s not often but every once in a while I come across a shoujo manga series where all the characters seem to only have minor differences in their appearances and it’s frustrating at times (ex: The Gentlemen’s Alliance).
Overall it’s a worthwhile series and I admire that it’s a romance shoujo that’s so much more than just seeing a high school boy and girl overcoming hurdles and getting together. It’s also particularly refreshing to see a shoujo story through the eyes of the male hero rather than the female. Definitely a series that is a nice change of pace for the shoujo lover. I recommend it for those that like shoujo and series that deal with serious life issues. And if you like this series I definitely think you should give Bunny Drop a try as well.