Aishiteruze Baby, “I’m in Love with Ya, Baby”
• Yoko Maki • Viz (2006–2007)
• Shueisha (Ribon, 2002–2005)
• Shôjo, Romantic Drama
• 13+ (violence, child abuse)
Kippei is a Casanova in the making, preferring to spend his time on the school roof making out rather than languishing in the classroom. But everything changes when his little cousin Yuzuyu comes to live with his family and he finds himself stuck as her primary caretaker. His exasperation quickly disappears as he learns to take pride in preparing Yuzuyu’s lunch and joy in playing with her in the sandbox, and as he learns how to cherish someone, this new insight brings him closer to Kokoro, the girl he thought was forever out of reach. While Aishiteruze Baby has plenty of heartfelt scenes, it isn’t sappy—in fact, many of the characters suffer from abuse of some kind, giving the story a dark undertone. The art is adorable without being mawkish.