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Heartwarming / Gakuen Babysitters

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"Listen. Those we've lost will never come back, but that doesn't mean we are all alone in this world, either."
This manga is about an orphaned high school boy and his toddler brother with a crabby old woman whose only son and daughter in law has passed away. Also, the high school kid has a part-time job as a babysitter at the school's daycare, full of really cute kids and babies, somewhat forced on him. This manga might as well be the trope codifier what with all the "aaawwww..." moments it has in every chapter! The entire story is full of Sweet Dreams Fuel


  • Practically every kid in the series (belonging to the day-care or not) refers to Ryuuichi as their older brother. It shows how comfortable and at ease they are with him.
  • While it doubles as Funny, the recurrence of Kotarou's feelings being hurt when anyone implies that Ryuuichi is disliked or flawed in any way is actually rather sweet. At one point Kirin and Kotaro misunderstand Inomata's avoidance of the daycare as a dislike of Ryuuichi (It's actually more than likely the exact opposite), so they take it upon themselves to show what a good and nice person he is so she'll like him again. Kotarou takes his mission of "defending Nii-chan's honor", as Kirin puts it, very seriously. They even succeed in making him more popular with the girls in his class than he already is!
  • From the little readers find out about him, the chairwoman's son appears to had been a very kind man who got along with Saikawa, got Usaida to start working again and also helped the pregnant Yukari Sawatari with her parenting class by having Usaida accompany her in place of her working husband.
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  • Family is one of the core themes, and there's a lot of emphasis on the kids' loving relationships with their parents/siblings and how families come in different forms.


  • Chapter 1 makes it clear the chairwoman is kinder than she lets on, with the seemingly-grumpy woman comforting Ryuuichi after he finally starts mourning for his parents and assuring him that he isn't alone.
  • Inomata crying in Chapter 2 is quickly dealt with by the kids, who apologize and hug her, letting her cry about her loneliness. Ryuuichi then let's her rest with the kids when she falls asleep which is very sweet.
  • In Chapter 5, Kazuma and Takuma's father has trouble getting close to them because his acting career appears to be keeping them distant. Then the twins cry out for him when he tries to leave (and gets mobbed by all the female students), showing that they really do care about him and know him — they watch his movies all the time! It's just that his mother had recently shown them a movie where he plays a kidnapper, hence Kazuma being terrified at first.
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  • In Chapter 7, Kotarou's insistent on staying with Ryuuichi when he's sick. The Chairwoman has to take him out of the room, so he immediately plasters himself to the door. They then work together trying to make a mixture of hot tea, honey, and lemon for Ryuuichi.
  • Chapter 9:
    • All the toddlers are excited for the chicks to hatch, especially Kotarou — and Ryuuichi. As Kotarou stares blissfully at the chicks hatching, Ryuuichi is reminded of how happy he felt when Kotarou himself was born.
    • Kotarou is willing to go as far as to try Taking the Bullet when a cat shows up and is about attack one of the chicks. Afterward, all the kids also wind up worshipping Kamitani after he stops said cat.
  • In Chapter 10, as a result of the previous chapter, Takuma starts copying everything Kamitani does. Ryuuichi initially thinks it's just him admiring Kamitani — however, he learns from their father than it's actually because Kazuma was bragging about Kamitani so much that Takuma felt prompted to act like him so that he can become someone his twin could look up to.
  • During the Beach Episode in Chapter 12, Kotarou becomes a little bit afraid of the water, but he leaps right in when he sees his older brother get submerged (he was only reaching down to get a shell for his little brother to play with).
  • In Chapter 15 (episode 5), upon seeing Kirin cry over her failed attempt at flying on a broomstick (as she was trying to prove that witches exist), the Chairwoman simply tells her that it would take a hundred years before she is even ready to try. Basically, she helps ground Kirin back to reality without shattering her dreams. It's another sweet moment that showcases Youko's Hidden Heart of Gold.
    Kirin: Then... can you fly on a broom?
    Youko: Can I? I'll leave that to your imagination.
  • In Chapter 18, during a trip to the mountains, Ryuuichi ends up befriending a child spirit of the mountain who has some sort of power to cause snowstorms, Ryuuichi gives him his gloves, which prompts the spirit to smile, stop the snow and place Ryuuichi near his friends again.
  • Chapter 19:
    • Putting up her Girls' Day doll display reminds the chairwoman of her own childhood, something Ryuuichi notices.
    • Kotarou too becomes attached to the dolls and names them all after not just his family, but also his friends and the chairwoman and Saikawa.
    • Kotarou accidentally breaks one of the dolls, and Ryuuichi is worried the chairwoman will get angry. Instead, the chairwoman makes sure Kotarou isn't hurt and gets Saikawa to glue the doll's head back. Later when they're taking a commemorative family photo the head falls back off — and gets stuck on Kotarou's head. This makes the chairwoman laugh, ending the chapter on a warm note.
  • In Chapter 20, Kazuma gets sick and Takuma has to go to the daycare by himself, which causes him to latch on to Kotarou as a Replacement Goldfish. Although Taka is initially jealous, after he hears that Takuma is alone, he offers for the three to play together.
  • Chapter 25:
    • It comes to the kids' attention that Taka doesn't have a dad (who does exist but not to Taka's knowledge), upsetting him. Usaida cheers him up by reminding him that everyone's families are different and he still has Kamitani. Taka lightens up and declares he'd rather have a brother than a dad.
    • After seeing how upset Kamitani looked for being brushed off, Ryuuichi angrily submits his "reflection" (for answering late in class) to Hebihara — which is actually him recounting all the things Kamitani and Taka have done with the babysitters' club, showing how much Ryuuichi has come to care for his friend and his family. Hebihara afterward takes the photo Ryuuichi attached and tells Kamitani off in his assignment feedback for not treating Taka nicely and says to go to himself for advice after work, signing off as "Dad".
  • Chapter 26 has the chairwoman, Saikawa, Usaida, the kids and their families and the students they've befriended coming home to accompany Ryuuichi and Kotarou on their first Christmas without their parents.
  • Chapter 27 reveals Usaida's always tired because at night he tutors his neighbour, who wants to apply for school and get a job for his unborn child. Usaida also recounts how the chairwoman's son effectively saved him from his slump by recruiting him for the school's daycare centre.
  • Chapter 30 gives the Morinomiya household a scare when the chairwoman collapses due to a strain and is bedridden for a while, which reminds Ryuuichi of his parents leaving him before their deaths. Here, Ryuuichi finds out she has a box full of things he and Kotarou have given her which she tried to hide under the carpet in a hurry in her study when she accidentally dropped it as she fell. Saikawa also clarifies that the reason she says she's only taking the siblings in until Ryuuichi's an adult isn't because she doesn't like them, but because she doesn't want to become a burden on them when it's time for them to go their separate ways. Ryuuichi ponders to himself that he's scared that the more he accepts her kindness the more he and Kotarou will miss her and visit her after they leave her house.
  • Chapter 31 shows one of the few times Kamitani's smiling, let alone laughing, when he tries to calm Taka down after their baby cousin breaks his toy sword.
  • The Volume 6 omakes show how the kids and their families are like at home, providing many cute moments:
    • When asked about anyone she likes, Kirin proclaims she likes her mother the most and shares a big hug with her.
    • After apparently refusing to take Taka to a hero show, Kamitani compromises and offers to take him to the park instead.
    • Midori's so used to her dad Yutaka with a beard that she cries when he shaves it off (and is happy again when Yukari puts a Santa mask on him). After admitting he felt shaved it off because he felt self-conscious that the other dads looked young, Yukari affirms that she's already proud of her gentle husband.
    • Kousuke frantically pauses the movie a tearful Umi and the twins are watching because he's worried she's jealous of his scene. Umi however unpauses it right away — turns out she was just really into the movie. Both she and the twins give him a kiss afterward and sit him down.
    • Saikawa puts a blanket over a sleeping Kotarou and Ryuuichi and the chairwoman decides to leave them be until dinner.
  • Chapter 33, where Usaida gets sick and Saikawa is assigned to the daycare center for the day.
    • Saikawa runs into a problem when Midori's diaper springs a leak and the rest of the diaper supply gets ruined. Saikawa's phone gets ruined mid-call when asking Usaida if he had a spare supply, making Usaida think that there was an emergency involving Midori (doesn't help that Saikawa uses that exact word). Usaida responds by walking to the daycare from his house with a burning fever just to check on Midori. After he gets there, he sees everything is fine as Saikawa made her a cloth diaper — yes Saikawa was really that dedicated to the job.
    • After Usaida's arrival, the kids reassure him that they can take care of things until he gets better, so he should go home and rest, moving Usaida to tears. On a final note, Midori is so upset about Usaida being gone that when she sees him she starts grabbing his pant leg and yelling "Usa!" (or "Udda!" in the anime). This is makes Usaida's name her first word. Doubles as a funny moment when her mother is shown to be a bit put out by her first word not being "Mama" or "Papa".
  • The kids bringing flowers for Ushimaru to apologize for roughhousing with her until she fainted in Chapter 34.
    Kirin: Yuki-neechama, flowers aren't scary, right?
  • In Chapter 38, Kamitani gets locked out of the house on a freezing snowy day thanks to pissing Taka off. When the backdoor is finally opened again, instead of taking out his anger on Taka, Kamitani pulls him in for a hug. His excuse is that he's treating him like a hot pack, but Ryuuichi notes that even he has a doting side.
  • Chapter 40 shows how Usaida first met Yukari two years ago and accompanied her in her parenting class. He quickly excused her out when he noticed she wasn't feeling well, noted how strong mothers are, and helped her to relax about raising her unborn child. Usaida was determined afterward in preparing for his childcare exams, saying he works extra hard when he has to. Usaida smiles after the flashback when looking at a photo of him and the chairwoman's son, which was taken after Usaida passed the exams.
  • Chapter 45
    • Taka notices his brother placed his wishnote  on the bottom of the Tanabata tree. He tries to remove it so he can put it on top for it to come true. Unfortunately, it rips and he gets upset when he learns that the team lost. Kamitani isn't upset at him when he finds out, patting his head and telling him to not cry over it.
    • Despite trying to be an aloof father at best, Hebihara can be seen watching the baseball game.
  • In Chapter 55, the Chairwoman and Saikawa travel for a couple of days, leaving Ryuuichi and Kotarou alone. To cheer his little brother up, Ryuuichi tells him that they will spend all their time together doing whatever Kotarou wants. While at the beginning Kotarou is overwhelmed trying to pick an activity, he eventually decides that what he wants to do the most is to hug his big brother and cuddle with him.
  • In Chapter 63, Kotarou spends time with Usaida (whom he specifically asked for) while the Morinomiya household are away on their trips. The two get along well, and Kotarou finds out Usaida wants to be a teacher when he discovers his guidebook. As the toddler is asleep, Usaida thinks about the chairwoman's son, who was the one who wrote the book and was probably the one who inspired him.
  • While a number of chapters allude that Hebihara is not as cold-hearted as he seems, his softer side is fully culminated in chapter 64, where he convinces the runaway Taka to return home to his mother and brother, and fondly compares him to Shizuka, though not without giving him a stern lecture for causing so much trouble.
  • In Ryuuichi's Birthday Episode in Chapter 67, Kotarou wants everybody to hug his big brother and say happy birthday. While it's also quite funny, it's very sweet to see almost every character introduced hug Ryuuichi and wish him a happy birthday (including Kamitani), being thankful for his presence during the year. The chapter ends in an even sweeter note as the chairwoman insists on being the last person to give him a hug, saying that this is a hug for three people, herself and his parents, who ought to be proud of the man Ryuuichi is becoming, which leads him to tear up and thank Kotarou for his birthday.
  • In Chapter 71, Usokawa wants to submit a funny video to a TV show by recording the kids from the daycare react to Ryuuichi and Kamitani getting kidnapped. Although this plan is hilariously ridiculous and full of ulterior motives, thanks to the mothers' advice he actually helps the kids conquer their fears or things they're bad at in order to "save" the babysitters: Taka gives up his beloved toy sword (which he's thrown tantrums over in the past) in exchange for his brother, Kazuma learns to put his head in the water and blow bubbles (he was terrified of the water in the Beach Episode), Takuma resists eating the snacks in front of him (Usokawa folds after the kids' stomachs growl and they start drooling), Kirin tries to draw the kana character ぬ (she ends up writing ね but Usokawa brushes over it), Midori stands by herself with the help of a chair (his friends are amazed she's even taking part), and Kotarou successfully (even if not perfectly) puts on his pajama pants and buttons his pajama shirt by himself (Chapter 67 showed he was terrible at it). Usokawa is apologetic afterward but Ryuuichi is grateful, saying they've saved some good memories; as he ponders how the kids will react to the video after growing up, an imagine spot of the kids as teenagers/adults watching and laughing at the video is shown.
  • Chapter 72:
    • When Saikawa falls ill, he tries time and again to leave the house and not be a bother, but the Chairwoman orders him to stay put with Ryuuichi and Kotarou keeping him company and helping nursing him. It's in this moment that Saikawa realizes that he truly is part of the makeshift family.
    • In an extremely adorable part, when Kotarou has to go to sleep, he first asks Ryuuichi's help to bring all his toys to Saikawa's room, so they can keep him company and he wouldn't be lonely.
  • Kotarou makes the Chairwoman a giant heart-shaped cookie in Chapter 73, after rejecting the small heart cookie cutters because they don't display enough love. The other tots follow suit and make giant cookies for the mothers.
  • At the end of Chapter 74, Taka refuses to let his mum brush his teeth, not even after he got cavities. Kamitani offers to do it instead, and Taka happily complies. The narration notes that Kamitani will sometimes do this and Taka's started enjoying brushing his teeth ever since.
  • Chapter 78 has a thankfully more lighthearted story of Yayoi being away from Kirin as the two exchange diaries while the mother is busy with drama club training. The diary keeps them entertained and informed about what's happening on their sides, and helps Kirin not be as lonely. Yayoi on the other hand is encouraged by her drama kids to go see her daughter at the end of the chapter since it becomes clear she's missing her. Satoru also sneaks his way in the diary, and though most of the exchanges between him and Yayoi are hilarious there's a sweet moment of her telling him she loves him too, leading him to blush.
  • In Chapter 81, Kotarou wants to learn to eat with chopsticks, but he just can't do it. To cheer Kotarou up, Ryuuichi shows his brother photos in an album of him when he was Kotarou's age and eating with his hands because chopsticks were too hard. Kotarou starts fawning over how cute little Ryuuichi is, and he excitedly takes the album to show the Chairwoman.
  • In Chapter 84, Usaida has a What If? dream where the cast's ages have been switched around, and although plenty amusing there's many sweet things about it:
    • Taka, Kirin, Takuma and Kazuma are still close, if their First-Name Basis and casual interactions are anything to go by, and they are welcoming to Kotarou too.
    • Taka is confirmed to be a part of the babysitters' club, and it can be assumed the others are at least regulars if not also a part of it.
    • Even as kids, Inomata and Ushimaru still want to be friends and play together.
    • Recognising it's a dream, Usaida goes out of his way to make it so that in this alternate universe both Kotarou and Ryuuichi's parents and chairwoman's son are still alive, with the parents being away on a business trip and Saikawa being the son's "child".
    • As much as he likes this dream, Usaida looks forward to waking up so he can deal with the real kids as they are. Nevertheless, he admits that having this dream shows that he really does love them.
  • Chapter 89 has Taizou Hebihara win a shaved-ice machine and the one thing he does with it is give it to the babysitter's club so that the kids can have snow cones. Seems sweet on the surface until it turns out he relives when the kids share with him the snow cones just like Hayato did when he was young.


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