School Babysitters – Mid Season 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)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: School Babysitters has spent its first six episodes gradually expanding its cast of characters, offering us a love struck fool, a tsundere girl, and several other archetypes. Despite this large cast, with introductory stories meant to flesh out the characters and better define them, these characters generally remain stagnant, unchanging once they’ve been set into the story. Their fixed personas exist only to offer up varied scenarios week to week, crafting short but sweet tales focused on endearing character drama, or soft comedy. By and large School Babysitters’ little runts, the rugrats of anime, are the true stars. They too are stagnant, rarely developing from the characters we meet in Episode 1, but are cute and adorable enough to give the series a baseline level of fun.
Linny: When it comes to the story, School Babysitters is a mix of cute, silly moments and emotional stories, that are often contrived and cheesy in the way these ‘sweet’ anime can be. The drama should still work if you’re new or partial to it but will most likely feel a little too try hard, silly or at worst, predictable. Watching a father get extremely worked up over one of his toddler twins being scared around him is heartfelt, yet contrived and all too expected. Also, these ‘dramatic’ plots are often resolved quick and easy, which keeps in line with the show’s more happy vibe but further undermines any real emotion that could have been stirred up by it.
Tom: One character that’s potentially a sticking point for viewers is Yagi Tomoya. Introduced early on, Yagi is a young man whose nose bleeds whenever he interacts with the toddlers. Ultimately meant as a more innocent sign that Yagi gets excited when interacting with little bundles of joy, the nose bleed gag in anime is typically used to denote sexual excitement, giving a grave misunderstanding to the character. The anime plays into this misunderstanding, but if Pedo jokes already make you uncomfortable, Yagi’s entire presentation hinges on that gag, feeling largely uncomfortable rather than amusing. Thankfully Yagi remains a sparingly used character, only appearing twice through this first half of the season.
Linny: Missteps like Yagi aside, if you’re thinking of checking School Babysitters out it’s probably because you want to watch a bunch of toddlers being adorable. And that’s definitely something the show succeeds at, making the kids as anime-style cute and lovable as they possibly can be with bumbling speech, adorable designs and even more charming gags and storylines. The soft colours of the animation, along with the endearing moments, combine to form a show that’s easy on the eye and great to unwind with, even if the animation itself isn’t top quality. As Tom already mentioned, a lot of the plot and characters are one dimensional but the cuteness is off the charts. Also, if it isn’t already obvious, do not expect much realism in the handling of the toddlers’ personas, as they fluctuate between needy or independent as much as the show requires them to be for each particular episode.
Tom: School Babysitters isn’t going to be winning any awards. Its comedy is too soft, its characters too stagnant, and its primary appeal consisting of little more than heartwarming tales of teens bonding with the adorable tykes. But what it does set out to do School Babysitters does well enough, crafting a lazy, relaxing slice of life filled to the brim with cuddly cuteness. Like Laid-Back Camp, School Babysitters acts as a fun way to unwind after a hard day, with a little more emotional drama, just a tad, than some of Winter’s other laid-back anime.
Linny: School Babysitters has a clear audience: those who love seeing adorable animated children, or specifically toddlers, getting themselves into mostly comedic capers with a light and likely contrived heart string tugging plot line here or there. You shouldn’t pick it up expecting well developed characters or a deep plot. Keep your expectations lowered to cute, adorable fluffy content and you’re likely to find yourself sitting through most of the show with a smile.
School Babysitters is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.