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Manga / Aishiteruze Baby

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Aishiteruze Baby ("I Love You, Baby"; "Aishiteru ze" is a casual, masculine way of saying "I love you") is a Shōjo manga written and illustrated by Yoko Maki, which was serialized in Ribon from 2002 to 2005. It received a 26 episode anime adaptation by TMS Entertainment in 2004.

Kippei Katakura is a lazy high-school playboy. He returns home one day to find that his sister has charged him with the upbringing of his five year old cousin Yuzuyu; this is because Miyako, Yuzuyu's mother, couldn't stand the stress of raising her as a single parent and (at least temporarily) can't handle being around Yuzuyu. Kippei then takes up the task with great gusto, and the series deals with his character development as he cares for Yuzuyu.

The series alternates between Yuzuyu at pre-school, Kippei at high school, and their life together at home, and is chock full of heartwarming moments.


  • Abusive Parents: One plotline deals with this happening to one of Yuzuyu's friends at school, Shouta Nashiya, who's badly abused by his mom. Yuzuyu walks into Mrs. Nashiya beating Shouta and suffers an Heroic BSoD, which uncovers the whole situation to the school.
    • It's later revealed that the real reason Miyako left Yuzuyu to the Katakura household was because she once lost control and hit her daughter, and is afraid that her behavior towards Yuzuyu might grow worse.
  • Aloof Little Brother: Satsuki, despite being the youngest of his siblings, seems to be the most introverted and reserved of the Katakura family.
  • Broken Bird: Miki. How it happened is a very harrowing tale in and of itself.
  • Cheerful Child: Yuzuyu is always very bubbly and full of energy.
  • Chick Magnet: Kippei, especially with Yuzuyu in tow. It seems like half the female cast members have a crush on him. Something of a subversion, Kippei is shown to be completely aware of the girl's crushes and doesn't hesitate to take advantage of that, but the guy acts like he isn't aware of the implications and is pretty much sincere in how he treats them.
  • Child Care and Babysitting Stories: The plot revolves around Kippei, whose irresponsible life gets turned upside down when he's asked to care for his little cousin Yuzuyu. Despite his lack of knowledge of child-raising, Yuzuyu slowly brings a responsible and caring side of him as the two bond together.
  • Children Raise You: The main premise of the series is to show how much Kippei changes after Yuzuyu comes into his life.
  • Distant Finale: The manga ends with Yuzuyu as a teenager, writing to Kippei. It's also implied that she's together with Shouta.
  • Driven to Suicide: Miki tries to either jump to her death (anime) or stab herself (manga).
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Shota, Yuzuyu's abused classmate, shows up in Episode 7, during the sports fest. He's shown waving at him abusive mom. He would later be introduced in episode 13.
  • Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: Yuzuyu says she plans to marry Kippei in one conversation with Satsuki.
  • Fiery Redhead: Reiko. She has red hair and a short temper.
  • Fish out of Water: Kippei, who is initially unfamiliar with child-rearing.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In one episode, Kippei playfully tickles Yuzuyu after she wakes him up from his nap.
  • Friends with Benefits: Kippei is implied to have several of these before he meets Yuzu, the most prominent being Natsumi, a girl who cheerfully jumps at him wanting to "play" on a few occasions early on. At one point she kisses him, and only when he continues to refuse does she tell him to stop groping her under her shirt.
  • Genki Girl: Aki.
  • Good Parents: Kippei's parents, in comparison to nearly every single other parent(s) in the series.
    • Kippei quickly becomes one for Yuzuyu.
  • Gratuitous English: In the OP.
  • Happily Adopted: Yuzuyu warms up to Kippei and his family very quickly, and clearly loves living with them.
  • Happily Married: Kippei's parents (and grandparents), relative to the rest of the families shown throughout the series.
  • Idiot Ball: Much of the conflict in the beginning of the manga/anime results from Kippei leaving Yuzu alone on the way to pick her up from kindergarten, after picking her up or some variation thereof, e.g. 'Please wait here alone in the middle of the street while I take my own sweet time to buy some caramel sweets for you', to the point where Yuzu wises up and refuses to leave her class until Kippei shows up.
  • Love Bubbles: Used straight a lot, as this is a Shojo series.
  • Love Triangle: They don't last very long, however.
  • Malicious Slander: Ayumi is a victim of this.
  • Missing Mom: A major plot point, and the basis of the story. This is because Miyako has been widowed recently, and has been in quite the a massive Heroic BSoD state ever since. Hence why she decides to leave Yuzu with Kippei.
  • Official Couple: There's little doubt that Kippei and Kokoro will end up together by the first third of the show. Or by the first third of the Title Sequence.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Kippei in spades. Specifically, he tends to be really affectionate with girls without realizing that it raises flags all over the place.
  • Parental Abandonment: Yuzuyu's mother Miyako. Kokoro also has the same issues, having lost her mother at an early age and having her father leave with another family.
  • Parent with New Paramour:
    • Kokoro's father. She doesn't live with him and his new wife, but in a rather nice apartment.
    • Later in the manga, Miyako is revealed to be this as well. Reiko does not take it well.
  • Pick on Someone Your Own Size: Kippei's stalker who picks on Yuzuyu out of jealousy.
  • Shoujo
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kokoro doesn't give in to Kippei's advances until she realizes how good he is with Yuzuyu.
  • Slice of Life
  • Spoiled Brat: Marika, at least until she gets some Character Development.
  • Squee: In-Universe the girls in Kippei's school when Yuzuyu brings him his lunch.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • Kippei's stalker who is Easily Forgiven despite traumatizing Yuzuyu by telling her that no one wants an abandoned orphan.
    • Kokoro has one, Itagaki. Kippei sets him straight in a very frank manner.
  • The Stoic: Satsuki, Kippei's younger brother. Which makes it all the more surprising when he gets a girlfriend later in the manga, and a model at that!
  • Those Two Guys: Kokoro's two friends, Aki and Motoki.
  • Third-Person Person: Yuzuyu talks like this, as she's only five.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: There's an episode devoted to Yuzuyu having to switch to the new school's uniform.
  • When She Smiles: Kokoro. Kippei even says so himself.