Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
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Finished series: Aishiteruze Baby

We've finished watching Aishiteruze Baby. My first episode review is here.

Kippei has to take care of his little niece Yuzuyu, because her mother has taken off in a fit of depression. Kippei doesn't take life serious: at school, he sleeps through the lessons and he is a total playboy, fooling around with a lot of girls. When taking care of Yuzuyu, he is forced to reconsider his way of life. While he still doesn't take school very serious, he cares fo Yuzuyu, and that spills over in the rest of his life -- mainly his relationship with Kokoro, a girl in his class.

As I wrote in my first episode review, Yuzuyu is very, very cute. The creators could have focussed only on Yuzuyu's cuteness and I'd still like the series, but apparently this wasn't enough for them. Equal time is given to both Yuzuyu's and Kippei's circumstances. Sometimes the focus of the episode is on Yuzuyu being taunted at school, at other times the focus is on Kippei's troubles with Kokoro -- but it's evenly balanced.

They don't shy away from the hard subjects either, like how Yuzuyu's mother abandoned her, and how that affects both her and her daughter. Like Kokoro's issues with losing her mother. Like how Shou-chan's mother abuses him. Like how Yuzuyu's niece is bullied by her classmates and her teacher and wants to commit suicide.
Rather grown-up stuff that Kippei is forced to deal with. Which, one has to admit, he does admirably -- in his signature easy-going idiotic way.

The designs are pretty manga-y, but that doesn't detract much from the series. I have been reminded of the expressiveness of the typical anime character designs. Yuzuyu's facial expression conveys such a rich palette of emotions. I was almost tempted to make a set of mood icons from some screencaps but I was too lazy.
Voice acting is very good. Yuzuyu does indeed sound like a little girl. I especially liked Kokoro's voice: calm, cool and collected.
Music serves its purpose, but the opening theme ("Sunny side up") is surprisingly catchy.

This series is, as was to be expected, based on a manga that runs longer than the series. Which means we don't get the kind of closure we would have liked to get -- though the series does end on a high note with at least some sort of closure.

Good points:
- Cute!
- Doesn't shy away from real issues;
- Equal focus given to Yuzuyu and Kippei;
- Good voice acting.
Bad points:
- Not the kind of closure one would want to have.

I'll give it an 8.5. It has the perfect mix of cute fluff and serious issues.
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