- Alt. Name
- Gakuen Babysitters
- Release Date
- Winter 2018
- No. of Episodes
- Brain's Base
School Babysitters is a 2018 Slice of life anime series from Japanese animation studio Brain’s Base. While the studio hasn’t had substantial global success like it once had, that doesn’t mean this studio can’t crank out something extraordinary, though the odds are against them. Add that plus the fact that this series usually is outside of anime viewers’ radar due to the Slice of life aspect. Still, when an anime season has such releases as Violet Evergarden and Darling in the FranXX, it’s evident that smaller niche series will be overlooked. Though sometimes the best series are the ones that nobody released until all the dust has settled from the hype.
After losing both parents in a fatal plane crash, teenager Ryuuichi Kashima must adjust to his new life as the guardian of his younger brother Kotarou. Although Ryuuichi can maintain a friendly and kindhearted demeanor, Kotarou is a reserved toddler still too young to understand the reality of the situation. At their parents’ funeral, they are approached by Youko Morinomiya, the stern chairman of an elite academy, who surprisingly decides to take them under her care.
However, there is one condition Ryuuichi must fulfill in exchange for a roof over their heads and enrolment in the school – he must become the school’s babysitter. To support the female teachers at the academy, the babysitter’s club was established to look after their infant children. Unfortunately, the club is severely short-staffed, so now not only is Ryuuichi Responsible for his little brother, but also for a handful of toddlers who possess dynamic personalities. Though his days at school are never dull, he can always count on something happening that’ll make his newfound life exciting and memorable.
There are two types of plot progressions when it comes to anime within the Slice of life genre. One is a simple plot where the progress is slow-paced and simmering until three-fourths of the series run, or there’s no concrete plot. This particular series is the latter, which isn’t a negative perse but can provide a large hole for entertainment. However, when it cokes to School Babysitters, their plot is simplistic yet heartwarming, filling in the mundane progression.
Alongside this heartfelt story was a plot that had an easy to follow story, but what’s more impressive was the actual use of plot progression when it was used. No matter what the genre is, a majority of series sometimes have a problem with character progression with the story itself. This series had its moments where the plot would sometimes take a backseat for the characters to truly shine and mature, which is a pleasant change of pace for any anime fan. Another positive aspect of this narrative is that the gimmick doesn’t get tiresome or gives the viewer the need to quit the series, which can be problematic for sequences.
However, School Babysitters did have some drawbacks when it came to its storyline, and some of them can’t be overlooked. For instance, this series is mainly about the infants within the babysitter’s club. So, if one isn’t interested in heartwarming, somewhat slow-paced series, this wouldn’t be the choice for them. Outside of that obvious negative is that the story has an official start but no end. The ending in the series was weirdly placed, potentially leaving the viewer with a weird feeling of questioning, “how could this be it?”
This series’s art style is what one would expect within a relaxing slice of life anime series, calm and clean. The art is charming, but at the same time, it’s nothing to write home about, and the viewer would be misled if they thought it was anything more than simplistically calm. The colors within this series are peaceful, which is probably the best part of this art style. The art style gives the viewer just enough cuteness and sweetness within itself to not go over the top, and along with the simplicity of the design, presents an excellent pairing for the series.
Though the animation production of School Babysitters was somewhat lackluster, compared to the story and the art and the overall production value, the opening had terrific animation. It kept the same emotional feeling of the series’s entirety, but unfortunately, it got quite boring after a while. Whether that be the opening song or the animation is a toss-up, which potentially saves this production is the ending sequence. The ending sequence was a tad more refined, but what makes this ending even more splendid is that the Japanese voice actors sing the ending theme song.
Within any series geared towards the Slice of life genre, the characters are usually the most critical part of the show. This series nails a great majority of its characters surprisingly well, and albeit even the best series sometimes fail at having great personalities. Ryuuchi Kashima and his little brother lost their parents in an airplane accident, leaving them orphaned. Morinomiya took them in exchange for helping with the school’s babysitter club. Overall he is a kindhearted and friendly boy who quickly befriends people around him and tries always to find the good in every situation.
Hayato Kamitani is Ryuuchi’s best friend and son of Hebihara Taizou, a school science teacher. He’s mostly expressionless and rarely says anything that’s more than needed. When dealing with the younger children, he is the polar opposite of Ryuuchi, where he’ll threaten the little ones who disobey – rule by fear. Maria Inomata is an intellectual type of character who is also socially awkward. She’s blunt and sometimes offensive, but overall she’s not a bad person. Out of everyone within this series, she’s the single character that the viewers will have the most change-of-heart towards, both within the positive and negative lights.
Now the real stars of the series are indeed the children within this series. Kotaro is the younger brother of Ryuuchi. He is a toddler who loves his older brother and sticks with him like glue. Like his older brother, he gets along well with everyone in the babysitter club, and he’s also the quietest of the infants. He often is seen as expressionless in dangerous or sometimes even comical situations. Taka Kamitani is one of the children in daycare. He’s best described as boisterous and stubborn, as his attitude often puts him at odds with his older brother. although he’ll never admit to it himself, he cares deeply for his older brother and aspires to be like him.
Takuma and Kazuma Mamizuka are twins, and even though their appearances look-alike, their personalities are anything but. Takuma is very cheerful and outgoing, while Kazuma is very shy and prone to tears at the best of times. These two are the closest of friends and are always side by side. Kirin Kumatsuka is the oldest toddler within the daycare. As she is smarter than her peers, she speaks relatively eloquently and politely, although she is not above getting into childish gambits herself. She is rarely ever seen without her favorite stuffed animal, her most prized giraffe.
Outside of these characters, the best two are the chairwoman Yoko Morinomiya and Keigo Salkawa. Yoko being strict and work-driven does have a heart for her adopted children, though she’ll never admit to it, but does show it in other ways. Her butler Keigo is probably the best, if not the most outstanding minor character within this series. He watches over the siblings and treats them to their needs, and even has a few jokes along the way. Anyone would love to have a person dedicated to their work.
Overall this series was quite interesting and surprisingly well-rounded. It covered all the needs of a relaxing slice of life series any anime watcher would enjoy. Though some characters weren’t the best, including Maria and a potential pedophile? A vast majority of the characters were well-liked and can easily be seen as pleasant to any age viewer. Don’t let the Slice of life genre fool anyone; this series is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys calm and relaxing anime.
If someone is questioning if they’d enjoy this series based on the genre, I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone appreciating the genre and doesn’t find this series pleasant. Its sweetness isn’t overpowering, and the beautiful moments within this series are genuinely heartwarming. School Babysitters could easily be seen in any Slice of life’s top twenty list, and possibly even some viewer’s absolute favorite. This series had a single goal, and it reached that goal tenfold.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.