Being a parent is hard, especially when you’re seventeen! Kippei is a playa and is happy that way, but one small girl might be his undoing. When his cousin Yuzuyu is left with his family after her mother’s disappearance, Kippei’s older sister decides that he is the perfect person to look after Yuzuyu. Now, instead of going on dates, Kippei is learning to make bento boxes. The girls in his class are jealous that he is no longer paying attention to them and one girl decides to do something drastic.
I’d been resisting reading this book because I was already a fan of Crossroad and I read Baby & Me in Shojo Beat. I figured it would be like those two teens/kids-creating-their-own-family stories and it is a little, but Maki’s characters are lively enough to support their own story. Kippei is typical good-looking boy who thinks of girls and little else, but his interactions with Yuzuyu show him to also be a guy who truly likes women. He tries to do the best for Yuzuyu and when he makes a mistake, he’s willing to work to fix it. Yuzuyu is portrayed as very cute, but she generally acts like a five-year-old, instead of being too wise for her years. This first volume is slightly disappointing only because the troublemaker is drawn as overweight and not very good looking, but Kippei’s treatment of her is even-handed and readers can see the growth he’s undergone. Maki’s art is shojo-cute, with lots of flowers and sweetness, but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, I found this first volume to be a nice beginning to a fairly short (seven book) series. Recommended for fans of realistic, family stories who also enjoy a cute boy and a little romance.
Aishiteruze Baby, vol. 1
By Yoko Maki