Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / Gakuen Babysitters

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/schoolbabysitters.jpg
The Morinomiya Daycare
Advertisement:

Gakuen Babysitters (or "School Babysitters" in English) is a Slice of Life shoujo centering on the new lives of the two Kashima brothers, the teenage Ryuuichi and toddler Kotarou. It is penned and illustrated by Hari Tokeino of Onii-chan to Issho fame.

Beginning in the aftermath of a plane crash that kills both of their parents, the two brothers are adopted by Youko Morinomiya, the stern and affluent chairman of Morinomiya Secondary School who also lost her son and daughter-in-law in the same accident. The Chairman follows the concept of "give-and-take" to heart. Upon first meeting, she wastes no time in setting the conditions for her care; in return for her legal guardianship, Ryuuichi must invest most of his non-school-related time working in the school's daycare, where Kotarou will also be staying during the day. Adorableness ensues.

Advertisement:

The Morinomiya Daycare Center was initially established to tend to the faculty's children while they are busy with their jobs during the day. However, the school's budget does not cover its operation, and the attempts to start a babysitting club amongst the students fell flat, leaving a single graduate from the school, Yoshihito Usaida, to manage it by himself. With Ryuuichi's arrival as the new caregiver, he restarts the Babysitting Club as its first member. Along with Kotarou, Ryuuichi is now caring daily for five other children: Taka, Kirin, Takuma, Kazuma, and Midori. Eventually he receives help from Taka's brother, Hayato Kamitani, and the school's infamous Ice Queen, Inomata.

The series proceeds with the daily antics of Kotarou and the other toddlers as they grow from their experiences, as well as both brothers' assimilation into their new school and family life.

Advertisement:

It received an anime adaptation by Brains Base that premiered in January 2018, simulcasted by Crunchyroll.


This series provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Ryuuichi's name is often shortened to "Ryuu" which is an indication of how much the people around him like him.
  • Always Identical Twins: Two sets of twins, Kazuma/Takuma and Kichi/Suekichi, are identical. Both can be told apart by their temperaments — Kazuma and Kichi are usually teary while Suekichi and Takuma are energetic.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It isn't clear whether Midori saying "Udda!" was just her typical baby gibberish or an attempt to say Usaida's name. Either way, Midori's mother Yukari is a little upset that her daughter's (supposed) first word wasn't "Mama" or "Papa".
  • And You Were There: In one chapter, Kotarou has a dream where he's taken in by the princess of the cat people. Aside from the princess, everyone in the fantasy world are versions of people he already knows with animal ears and tails.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Many of the characters have names that are written with kanji that relates to animals, which is often lampshaded directly in the dialogue or alluded to through images and in the anime's opening. In Ryuuichi and the kids' case, both their given names and family names relate to animals.
    • The Kashima family name is based on the deer. Ryuuichi's is based on the dragon, while Kotarou's is based on the tiger.
    • The Kamitani family name is based on the wolf. Taka's name literally means hawk, while Hayato is an alternate reading for falcon.
    • Inomata's family name is based on the boar.
    • Usaida's family name is based on the rabbit.
    • Kirin's family name is based on the bear, and her given name sounds the same as the Japanese word for "giraffe".
    • The chairman's given name, Youko, is based on the sheep.
    • Combined with Theme Twin Naming, both Kazuma and Takuma's names are based on the horse. Their family name is based on the tanuki.
    • Midori's family name is based on the monkey, and her given name is based on the bird.
  • Animation Anatomy Aging: The series provides a typical example by making the toddlers chibi, huge-eyed, chubby-cheeked, and about an eighth of the size of the rest of the cast.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Not all sunshines and rainbow with siblings in the series; Taka usually bugs Kamitani enough to get smacked, and Inui finds Mika's obsession with love (especially when Kamitani is involved) annoying.
  • Ascended Extra: Several characters who initially play little in the story start to appear more often. For example, Ushimaru becomes more than just the one girl with a crush on Kashima when she befriends both the toddlers and Inomata, and Chuukichi appears more often when the story introduces his family.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: The babysitters are forced to cross-dress by Kumatsuka Yayoi so her husband will be easier to handle — he unfortunately sees right through Usaida's disguise, but somehow manages to be fooled by the other two (even when Kamitani spoke up in his usual deep voice). A dressed-up Ryuuichi also actually manages to attract Inui who, not knowing "her" true identity, tried to confess to "her". Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ryuuichi never manages to reveal the truth to Inui until Chapter 43.
  • Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: The Kamitani siblings constantly call each other "idiots" — Hayato always hits his younger brother if the latter starts being unreasonable, while Taka responds by calling his brother names. But, as shown in chapter 6, Taka loves his older brother, while Hayato admits that he doesn't hate Taka.
  • Baby Talk: All the children have varying degrees of competency in conversational speech, though Kirin's is the most prominent with the mispronunciation of many of her words. In an attempt at Woolseyism, all the translators so far have translated this into the Elmuh Fudd Syndwome.
  • Baby's First Words: At the end of Usaida's Sick Episode, the infant Midori — who so far could only incoherently babble — pulls on his pants and exclaims "Udda!" twice; the shocked Ryuuichi wonders whether or not that was her attempting to say Usaida's name. Midori's mother's reaction after being informed that her daughter spoke the name of her babysitter instead of, say, either "Mama" or "Papa" is to pout in frustration while grudgingly telling Usaida that it's probably unfair to blame him for this coincidence.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 12 has the babysitters, the children of the daycare, and their mothers go to the beach. Aside from one small scene with Inomata and her new swimsuit (with Ryuuichi and Kamitani reacting pretty much how you'd expect them to), this isn't done for fan service. Rather, they take the opportunity to explore Ryuuichi's insecurities about the trust and care between him and his brother by using his current and past visits to the beach along with Kotarou as a devices.
  • Big Brother Instinct: The older brothers in the series are protective of their siblings with varying degrees. Ryuuichi dotes on his younger brother very much and worries whenever he has to leave him with someone else; Kamitani isn't all that affectionate but doesn't like the idea of Taka being around his father, and is genuinely helpful in conquering his fear of going to the toilet; Inui would rather stomach his sister's bad cooking instead of throwing it out; and Chuukichi helps out his younger siblings whenever he can.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Kamitani does this twice. Once when he stops a cat from eating the chicks the kids were taking care of; and another time in Kotarou's dream, where he's a dog spirit who saves Kotarou from being turned into a cat spirit.
    • Inui saves Kotarou from falling down the staircase and also rescues him from being hit by a soccer ball.
  • Big Fancy House: Ryuuichi and Kotarou's new home with Chairman Morinomiya is a mansion, a given since she is well off.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Even Kirin eventually calls Yagi the "sparkly onii-chan". Sparkles are also observed with other attractive guys like Kousuke Mamizuka.
  • Brick Joke:
    • After mistakenly believing Kotarou has experienced his first love and needlessly preparing red beans and rice (see The Other Wiki on sekihan), Saikawa promises Ryuuichi that he would prepare sekihan as well for when Ryuuichi actually does experience his first love. A few chapters later, he does prepare the dish when Ryuuichi receives a love letter in his locker.
    • There's a chapter where Nezu's little brothers are stuck in the bushes with their heads sticking out for almost the entirety of the chapter. The chapter ends with Saikawa saying that there were two butts in the bushes that day.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: The climax of chapter 25 has Ryuuichi handing in his reflection to Hebihara on Kamitani and Taka's relationship as he does not like how Hebihara treats his sons.
  • Camping Episode: Chapter 66 where Ryuuichi, Kamitani, their brothers, the Mamizuka males, Yagi, Chuukichi, his younger twin brother, and Asahi go to a campsite for a picnic and end up locked out of their car and fish for lunch.
  • Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Because the daycare kids are just toddlers, they often can't differentiate what they see in books or on television from reality. Taka believes superheroes are real since he once met the actors from a Sentai show he watches while they were in costume, and Kirin spends a whole chapter trying to fly on a broom so she can become a witch. Kazuma is shown to scared of his father Kousuke at first since he saw a movie where Kousuke played a kidnapper, and later on the kids all become convinced that Kousuke is now a villain after they see him playing a Hero Killer on a Tokusatsu show they all watch. After Asahi intervenes, they're slowly starting to learn that actors are different from the characters they play.
  • Central Theme:
    • You Are Not Alone; there's always someone for you to look after and to look after you.
    • Children are a blessing, even if they are brats sometimes.
  • Class Trip: In one chapter, Morinomiya goes on a school trip to the mountains. Usaida and the rest of the daycare come along as well.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Both Ryuuichi and Kamitani are the two most fawned over males within their class, and neither have picked up on it, even when a girl attempts to confess by giving Kamitani some valentine chocolates (he rejects the chocolate simply because he dislikes sweets). Though they hold no real negative feelings toward either, the rest of the males in the class are none too pleased with the excess attention they receive. Inversely, their classmate, Yuki Ushimaru, is the Dude Magnet of the class, but she only has eyes for Ryuuichi.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the Beach Episode, Kamitani's mum attempts to get the boys to compliment Inomata when she returns in her new swimsuit, implying that they should say something to her. Kamitani responds with his usual bluntness ("Oh, it's a swimsuit."). While Ryuuichi initially appears to avert this by saying that the swimsuit is cute, it becomes apparent that he's literally complimenting the swimsuit, rather than her, when he makes an addendum commenting on the matching pattern with Kirin's floatie.
  • Cool Big Bro: Ryuuichi is pretty much the ideal big brother, and Nezu is also well respected by his younger siblings.
  • Couch Gag: The picture near the end of the anime's ending theme changes each episode to reflect the characters who were focused on.
  • Cry Cute:
    • Inomata cries near the end of her introductory chapter as she unleashes the stress and worries over her constant studying, but does so in a cute way.
    • The babies are all understandably adorable even when they cry.
    • The few times Ryuuichi sheds tears doesn't make him look ugly.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Being excitable babies, the kids are usually talking (or shrieking) in their high-pitched childish vices. They're absolutely adorable, but when they're excited or start to cry, you're reminded they're babies.
  • A Day in the Limelight: All the characters other than the siblings — ranging from the toddlers/their families to Kashima's adoptive family — get their own stories once a while.
  • Death Is a Sad Thing: The last part of the first chapter revolves around Ryuuichi finally allowing the reality of his parents' deaths to sink in, with the realization that he and Kotarou may now only have each other. As he sits in the pediatric hospital crying, Chairman Morinomiya arrives to comfort him, revealing that her initial interest in him started at the funeral for the plane crash victims, when she noticed that like her, they were the only ones not crying, out of subconscious denial of what had happened. She then tells him that even though their loved ones are gone, they do not have to cope with their deaths alone.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Inomata slowly opens up with others as she interacts with Ryuuichi and the children of the daycare.
    • Saikawa, who's initially portrayed as a completely robotic and unemotional assistant, begins showing his softer side through his interactions with Kotarou and Ryuichi, and is seen smiling a lot more.
  • The Diaper Change: Midori is the one baby in the daycare, so she occasionally acts as a source for jokes on this topic. Chapter 31 even implies that Midori is completely aware that invoking this gets her attention since they have to change her.
  • Elevator School: Morinomiya has a middle school section and a high school section.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Kirin talks like this in the manga.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone is able to tell that Ushimaru and Inomata have feelings for Ryuuichi.
  • Facial Dialogue: Saikawa, after taking care of Kotarou for an extended period of time, actually manages to understand his gestures and utterances!
  • Face of a Thug: The kids hairdresser who cuts the Mamizuka twins' hair is a super nice guy, but he also dresses like a punk (including a mohawk) which terrifies Kazuma and has him refuse to go back to him in one chapter. He remains friendly and in high spirits when the twins return to him to get their Gag Haircut (thanks to their mother) fixed, reassuring Kazuma to not be scared of him and to think of his mohawk as a "horse's mane".
  • Festival Episode: Taka and Kamitani invite Ryuuichi and Kotarou to a summer festival, in a chapter focusing Taka's lost possession and how Kamitani chooses to deal with the situation as his brother.
  • Flying Broomstick: Kirin tries to invoke this since she believes that she can become a witch and fly on a broom if she tries hard enough, but she learns the hard way that this trope isn't possible in real life when she jumps off a high ledge and has to be rescued by Ryuuichi.
  • Friend to All Children: Ryuuichi can handle children very well, and they all love him as a result. Yagi tries to be one but his creepy tendencies ruin his efforts.
  • Generation Xerox: The toddlers share many personality traits and interests with their parents. Kazuma is shy and gloomy like his father while Takuma is bright and upbeat like his mother; Taka physically looks similar to his father but is loud like his mother; Kirin has her father's eyes, and it's implied will grow up to do drama activities like her mother.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: The author has said Ushimaru and Inomata are "just normal friends" but compares their outings to romantic situations. The two are best friends (despite also being love rivals) and call each other on a First-Name Basis. In chapter 34, an excited Ushimaru says that she "likes Maria-chan the best" while hugging Inomata. When the two have their first "outing" together, the chapter cover teases readers by Switch and Baiting Inomata being on her first date when she's actually just going on her first outing with a friend — not that it stops her from behaving in a nervous excitement as though she is on a date.
  • Hot Springs Episode: In Chapter 42, the chairwoman's acquaintance invites her and the daycare cohort (kids, babysitters, mothers, and students who are friends with them) to her hotspring. Turns out to be a ploy to get rid of the monkey that's been hanging around.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: In the case of the toddlers, this series wastes no time in showing the reader that children crying is loud, none too pretty, and an annoyance to everyone nearby. Special mention goes to Taka when his older brother begins to completely ignore him, who not only lets out the waterworks in the most undignified matter, but also has his speech impaired while he talks.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Taka has a rather comedic one in chapter 6.
    Kamitani: It's not really like or hate when it comes to you.
    Not like or hate—>not like—>hate
    Taka: I HATE YOU TOO!
  • I "Uh" You, Too: Taka, who's asleep, mumbles a "I love you, aniki," while Kamitani is carrying him back from the zoo in Chapter 6. The latter begrudgingly mumbles a "I don't really hate you, either" in response.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Several characters are cranky and seem rude but really do care for their families and friends.
    • Chairman Morinomiya, despite coming off as a cold old woman, she has shown many instances to be very kind and caring toward her adoptive wards. Even during times where she would vent about her busy schedule, she's willing to reschedule her business matters after receiving an invite from Kotarou for a play.
    • Kamitani, especially in regards to his baby brother. He's harsh, violent and impatient. However, he will show a more kind and brotherly side of him ... once in a while.
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Ushimaru and Inomata, who both have a crush on Ryuuichi and are best friends with each other. Ushimaru, who is a meek and shy Dude Magnet, is the light feminine, while Inomata, a Tsundere Ice Queen, is the dark one.
  • Love Triangle: Both Ushimaru and Inomata develop crushes on Ryuuichi, who is yet to show any romantic interest at all let alone towards any of them.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Nezu siblings amount to six, and they all look extremely similar.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Chairwoman looks hlariously horrified when she realizes that she unknowingly uproots the strawberry plants Ryuuichi and Kotarou had grown together.
  • NEET: Discussed and joked about during one early chapter. While playing house with Kirin, Usaida plays the role of Ryuuichi and Kirin's eldest son, an unrepentant NEET who shows no shame in begging his father for money and asking when his mother will finish with dinner. As Ryuuichi states, the role suits Usaida a little ''too'' perfectly.
  • No Name Given: Many chapters pass after Inomata's introduction before her given name is revealed to be Maria. The Chairman's full name, Youko Morinomiya, wasn't known until it its reveal in Chapter 6 in a conversation about her resemblance to sheep, which is one of the characters in her given name. Kashima's parents also are yet to be named.
  • Nosebleed: Yagi gets nosebleeds whenever he's around a toddler, apparently because he loves their chubby little cheeks. It's still creepy, though, with other characters calling him a pervert and sometimes threatening to kick him out or call the police.
  • Not So Stoic: Many stoic characters will show more expression (whether a lot more or very subtle) once a while, like Kotarou and Kamitani.
  • Overprotective Dad: The three dads, not counting the distant Hebihara, tend to react unnecessarily in regards to their children. Kirin's dad Satoru thinks all males are beasts after his daughter, Midori's dad Yutaka sounds rather threatening when he sees Satoru holding on to Midori longer than he'd like him to, and the twins' dad Kousuke is terrified when he learns his sons have gone out for an errand by themselves.
  • Parental Abandonment: Both parents of the Kashima siblings are dead before the story begins due to a plane crash, and Hebihara leaves his family before Taka is born and avoids his sons unless he has to act like a teacher to Kamitani.
  • Pint-Sized Kid: The kids at the daycare are tiny in comparison to the older characters, looking more like Super-Deformed characters than actual children.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Usaida is very close with Midori's mother whom he refers to as Yukari-chan, and had supported her throughout her pregnancy period because her husband was away.
  • Reality Ensues: The kids are all pretty adorable in their own ways, but sometimes it's shown that dealing with toddlers and babies can be, well... gross. There are quite a few jokes involving snot and changing Midori's diapers, and Ryuuchi admits to Ushimaru that as much as he loves all the kids, he still doesn't like having to deal with things like snot and urine.
  • Reflective Eyes: In Chapter 20, Takuma and Kazuma's eyes reflect each other when they are reunited.
  • Running Gag: Kotarou referring to Chairman Morinomiya as "Shaggy" due to her sheeplike hair, as well as associating anything with a fluffy appearance or texture to Chairman Morinomiya.
  • School Festival: Even though the Babysitting Club is not exactly a "club" in a traditional sense, the kids beg Ryuuichi to allow them to participate in the festivities, too, culminating in a vegetable-themed cafe.
  • School Play: While Kirin's mother is working on the school play and leaves Kirin in Ryuuichi's extended care, Ryuuichi and Kirin decide on doing their own play with the rest of the daycare for their parents.
  • School Swimsuit: Inomata initially wears her school swimsuit during the Beach Episode, before the mothers' convince and help her pick out a new swimsuit.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Ryuuichi and Kamitani, respectively. Ryuuichi, a Nice Guy who is somewhat of a pushover and a Friend to All Children, is the sensitive guy. By contrasts, Kamitani is a stoic Jerk with a Heart of Gold who, outside his babysitting duties, is the star of the baseball team and is considered "manly" by his fans.
  • Shrinking Violet : Despite being a famous actor, the twins' father is very timid and gets easily embarrassed by the roles he is forced to play. Kazuma takes after him, being a passive crybaby compared to his more cheerful twin.
  • Sick Episode:
    • Ryuuichi falls ill during summer vacation in Chapter 7, leaving him in the care of Chairman Morinomiya and Kotarou.
    • Kazuma gets sick in the onset of Chapter 20, and the rest of the chapter explores how both of the twins react when they are separated.
    • When Usaida takes a sick day, Saikawa fills in for him.
    • When trying to get together for cherry-blossom viewing, a majority of the main cast gets flues afterward and Ryuuichi and Kotarou deliver flowers. The two are the ones to get sick afterward.
    • Chapter 72 has Saikawa get sick with a cold, and Ryuuichi and Kotarou try to tend to him. The chairwoman ends up sick at the end of the chapter.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Chapter 11, Taka leads the kids in an attack on Inui, yelling out as he waves his toy sword, "It appeared!"
    • Episode 8 has an eyecatch where the kids are all dressed up as various Sanrio characters (Midori as Kuromi, Kirin as My Melody, Kotarou as Cinnamoroll, Takuma as Keroppi, Kazuma as Tuxedo Sam, and Taka as Pompompurin).
  • Sneeze Cut:
    • Usaida sees Ryuuichi and Kotarou making an invitation for the chairwoman, and thinks "You better come, you cheapskate old hag" — cue the chairwoman sneezing so hard, she blows off someone else's wig
    • When Usaida is sick and Ryuuichi, who is about to attend classes, asks the kids if they will be fine with just Saikawa, they easily state that they'll be totally fine even without Usaida. A bedridden Usaida sneezes in his futon in the next frame.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Saikawa and Kirin's mum Yayoi are very good at suddenly appearing out of nowhere, often surprising Ryuuichi.
  • The Stoic:
    • Kotarou is the most quiet and reserved of all of the toddlers.
    • Kamitani's facial expression rarely deviates from his default irritated look.
    Ryuuichi: You look calm, Kamitani. Aren't you cold?
    Kamitani: I am cold. I'm freezing to death.
    Classmate: Then show it!
  • Stoic Spectacles: As a proper butler, Saikawa always maintains a reserved expression, even when telling or being told a joke. Ryuuichi finds him mysterious because of this.
  • Strong Family Resemblance:
    • Kamitani looks so much like his mother, Shizuka, to the point where one might say he's like a male version of her. This is lampshaded by both Ryuuichi and Usaida when Shizuka muses over who Kamitani takes after in personality. When Kamitani has to cross dress along with the rest of the bay sitting club, Taka apparently mistakes him for his mother and calls him mama.
    • Tsugumi, Kamitani's baby cousin, is noted to look exactly like a baby version of Kamitani, complete with the Death Glare.
    • All six of the Nezu siblings look like giant or miniature-sized versions of each other, which is lampshaded when Kamitani, in a rare moment of snark, refers to them as clones. Even the lone girl amongst the six simply looks like pigtails were attached.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Hebihara-sensei is very stern, cold and demanding towards his students and his estranged family. But even though he often act harsh/uncaring, he secretly dotes on his sons (especially Taka), and never fails to send them (anonymous) gifts.
  • Take a Third Option: Chapter 63 features a G-rated, non-romantic example. Ryuuichi have to go on a class field trip, while the Chairwoman and Saikawa both have business elsewhere, leaving Kotarou alone. His friends (Kirin, Taka, the twins and even Midori) all invite him to stay in their houses. Kotarou chooses none of them and goes with Usaida instead.
  • Tears of Fear: Kazuma often displays comedic tears out of fear as a default expression.
  • Theme Naming: Aside from the Animal Theme Naming for the main characters, the Nezu siblings are based on various magnitudes of luck.
  • Those Two Guys: Usokawa and Ketsukuma, who are the two male classmates of Ryuuichi and Kamitani that are seen the most and basically serve as as commentary for the other, more mundane aspects of the two boys lives respectively.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: This is subverted when Ryuuichi begins to attend Morinomiya as a third-year middle school student and is presented with his new uniform. He initially attempts to be practical by opting to continue to wear his old uniform since he'll only remain in the middle school section for less than a year. However, Chairman Morinomiya counters with the fact that he's now part of her school in possible defiance of the trope, since it's vaguely implied she's aware of the kind of impression another school's uniform would give off to everyone in the student body.
  • Twin Telepathy: The twins have this for a Played for Laughs moment in Kazuma's Sick Episode in Chapter 20 where Takuma (at the daycare) claims to be fine which immediately makes Kazuma (at home) upset.
  • What, Exactly, Is His Job?: Ryuuichi is confused as to whether Saikawa is the chairman's butler or secretary. He responds by telling Ryuuichi to refer to him however he prefers.
  • What If?: One chapter explores an age switch between the babies and all the main teenager, all through a dream of Usaida's. Given that Usaida recognizes it's a dream later, he also lets Kotarou and Ryuuichi have their parents again, simply letting them be on a trip for a while.
  • You Are Not Alone: The Aesop of the first chapter is that even with their families gone, the Kashima siblings and the chairwoman can move on together.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: For the most part, the author's hair color choices are normal. However, Ryuuichi has dark-reddish hair, Taka's is blue, Kirin's is dark green, and Usaida's is... magenta.
Top