「その7」 (Part 7)
It was inevitable that the subject of romance was going to be playing a bigger role in Gakuen Babysitters. Not so much because it’s set at a school (there are any number of anime out there with similar settings which don’t dwell on the subject much) but because the hints have been strong in the last few episodes. What remains to be seen is whether our protagonist (who has a lot of other stuff on his mind) is going to be a willing participant in all that.
I must confess, the segment of the A-part I liked the best was the scene where the girls in Ryuuichi’s class were waxing rhapsodic about what kind of boys they like. Now I’ve never been a teenaged girl myself, believe it or not, and truth be told a lot of what I know about what Japanese ones think about romance comes from manga and anime (and thus, may very well be mostly fanciful – to use a charitable term). But there does seem to be a certain fondness for “comfy” guys (I love that term in this context), at least among some girls – and Ryuu certainly fits that mold. He’s definitely a “good boy” type and that comes with its own set of romantic hurdles, but the biggest hurdle Ryuu’s female classmates see is the competition provided by Kotarou.
Yuki is certainly the hometown favorite – even among the Class 1-3 girls who also like Ryuuichi – but Inomata-san is not off their radar, either. She’s a tsundere’s tsundere, there’s no question about that, and as such she can get a bit tiresome with exposure. But it was quite enjoyable seeing Kirin-chan (with help from Kotarou) unknowingly put her through the wringer. Kirin sort of gets it and sort of doesn’t – she understands enough to know that Inomata’s reactions indicate either that she likes Ryuu or hates him, but not enough to see through to the real answer. So she embarks on an ambitious plan to get Inomata to stop hating Ryuuichi – in the process outing her for having a crush on him in front of his entire class.
Kirin may have gotten all that a bit wrong, but she was sort of right with her “Usaida is bad” proclamation – this guy is solidly in the running for worst caregiver of the year, as is once again demonstrated in the B-part. The twins are at the center of this one, which means Mamizuka-san is too – he drops Takuma off at school and announces that Kazuma-kun is home sick with a cold. Anytime twins are separated at that age its bound to be traumatic, though unsurprisingly the carefree Takuma seems to be taking it much better than the porcelain-fragile Kazuma.
What I liked here is that the seemingly silly fears of the twins’ dad turned out to be right – Takuma was kind of holding it in, and after he woke from his nap and didn’t see his brother he started to unravel. Now, I would very much like to think that Usaida-san knew what was happening, called the twins’ mom and followed Takuma and Kotarou outside and kept an eye on them while Takuma (heartbreakingly) waited for his brother at the school gate (I’d like to think it – but can I, really?). I’ve noted it before, but sibling bonds are at the heart of what Gakuen Babysitters is about more than anything else – and this chapter was yet another facet of that endlessly complex bond.