School Babysitters – Anime Review
Synopsis: Ryuichi and Kotaro are brothers who lost their parents in an airplane crash. They’re taken in by the chairman of Morinomiya Academy, who lost her son and daughter-in-law in the same crash, on one condition: Ryuichi has to babysit the kids at the daycare room in the school! This room was opened to help the school’s teachers who had kids to take care of, but it suffers from a lack of staff until Ryuichi becomes the first member of the babysitter club formed to solve that problem.(Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: School Babysitters is one of several ‘easy-going’ Winter anime. The intent behind the series is to craft a generally relaxing atmosphere to unwind with, though School Babysitters does this differently from the infomercial anime (Ex: Laid-Back Camp) that have also peppered this season. School Babysitters offers up a sprinkling of drama, primarily misunderstandings, and superficial character growth. Characters routinely learn lessons each week, yet those never have much bearing on future events, giving the series a largely episodic feel. Characters remain the same as the episode they were introduced, and while the cast is indeed filled with a wide assortment of additional supporting characters to round out what is ostensibly Ryuichi and Kotaro’s story, it never feels like we’re really moving anywhere.
Linny: School Babysitters indeed feels like episodic bites of the lives of its characters, glimpses into their day-to-day that flaunt the bonds between Ryuichi and Kotaro or the other families and siblings featured. It stays sugary sweet throughout with every ‘obstacle’ and tale meant to sell just how adorable everyone’s familial and friendship bonds with each other are. This makes School Babysitters best suited to those who love their entertainment ultra cute, something to make them go aww and squeal in delight, and those who prioritize cute moments over plot or character development.
Tom: The wide array of characters does help to atleast craft a lot of varied comedy, and while none of that humor is rib-ticklingly hilarious, it’s still generally amusing all the same. That said there are certain characters more problematic than hilarious, weathering the general social and political climate of today’s Western world, specifically America, like a plastic bag caught in a wind storm. Thankfully the series cycles through these misunderstood members of its cast so frequently that these low points come and go as quickly as they appear. The truth however is that for as much as Ryuichi’s classmates round out the cast, the true stars of the series are Kotaro and the rest of the little kids, whose wide-eyed, simplistic, boisterous and exaggerated personalities make the show as lively as it can be.
Linny: The only issue that could possibly arise from School Babysitters is that it likes to pigeonhole its characters and often trap/define them by some extreme characteristic. Some of the stronger personalities may rub viewers the wrong way. It’s not an outright offensive show by any means, heck it’s the exact opposite but it does have peculiar minor characters like a teenager extremely fond of cute kids and an overprotective father who keeps switching between flaunting his daughter’s cuteness to her male friends and then threatening the boys if they dare do ‘anything’ with her with ‘anything’ including things like holding hands.
Tom: Unlike other forms of media, anime has the most prevalent number of ‘feel good’ ‘low drama’ stories. Crafted instead to relax rather than excite, we’ve seen an increasing number of ‘infomercial’ anime, designed to educate viewers, mildly so, on a particular topic, with a huge serving of adorable antics and little meaty drama. School Babysitters isn’t quite that, it’s not as if we learn how to care for babies during any of this. But it’s more in line with slice of life anime pre-‘informercial’ days. Sweet, cute, with a touch of actual drama and comedy. If Laid-Back Camp’s complete lack of drama and conflict is just too divorced from traditional entertainment for you, yet you still crave an easy-going series, School Babysitters is it, offering just enough drama, just enough laughs, to feel like a meaningful watch episode to episode.
Linny: School Babysitters is definitely more in line with ‘classic’ ‘cute’ anime where the main purpose is to showcase its adorable cast and overly sweet interactions between them. Any drama in the show is quickly resolved and usually exists solely for a feel good wrap up. School Babysitters’ main appeal would be its toddler cast whose maturity and capability rises or dives as much as the show needs it to for maximum cuteness effect and they’re the biggest source of cute jokes and sweet moments. If seeing the design alone of the toddlers in this show was enough to pique your interest, then the chances of School Babysitters entertaining you are sky high.
School Babysitters is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.