What anime did you kick off 2018 Winter season with? A profound, sad one like Violet Evergarden? Watching Emperor Nero in Fate/EXTRA, or maybe going the nostalgic path with Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card Arc? Some of you might have started the season with one of the cutest, purest, most adorable slice-of-life anime airing this very winter anime season: a combo of babies and toddlers’ cuteness and teenagers shenanigans under the title of Gakuen Babysitters. Yes, you have made a very good choice.
Based on the manga by Tokeino Hari, Gakuen Babysitters tells the story of Kashima Ryuuichi and his toddler of a brother, Kotarou, who have just lost their parents in an airplane crash. Their luck brings them to an old lady whose children had also been killed in the same airplane crash, who later take both Ryuu and Kotarou into her home and enroll Ryuu into the school she happens to own: the Morinomiya Academy. However, strict as the old lady is, Ryuu is told to take care of the school’s daycare, created for the teachers’ children, as the first member of the Babysitter Club. As he spends days with the kids in the Babysitter Club, Ryuu finds himself making friends with the kids’ parents, brothers, and fellow schoolmates who loves children as well, and of course, learn that life isn’t simply hardships.
Gakuen Babysitters is a shoujo series portraying the daily life of adorable babies and the people they grow up with. It’s a lot of siblings fluff and heartwarming family moments, amusing comedy that isn’t very exaggerated. While sometimes there is an undertone of sadness in the stories, it’s always hopeful and ends in an uplifting note. If you’ve fallen in love with Gakuen Babysitters (and probably have marathoned the manga series as a result), we have prepared six similar anime to Gakuen Babysitters that you could watch while waiting for next week’s episode! Have you watched all of them?
Similar Anime to Gakuen Babysitters
6. Fruits Basket
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: July 2001 – December 2001
One of the many nostalgic titles for those whose early teenagers phase was early 2000s, Fruits Basket was literally The Shoujo Series that everyone loves. It tells the story of a 16-year-old girl, Tooru, who is trying to live by herself in a tent in the woods after losing her mother and having to move out of her grandfather’s house that is being renovated. As luck would have it though, her ‘living place’ got buried in an accidental landslide, and it just happened that the Prince of her school, Souma Yuki, and his cousin, Souma Shigure, just passed by, and kindly offered her a place to stay. Except she soon discovered that the Souma family is special: when they’re hugged by people of opposite sex, they turn into one of the animals of the zodiacs! What sort of secrets does this household have?
Fruits Basket might not have adorable babies or toddlers (though it does have very cute boys), but it has a very similar story tone to Gakuen Babysitters. Both Ryuu and Tooru are teen protagonists who are very resilient and kind, and are very good of taking care of people. Both series have very similar sense of humor: amusing but not too-exaggerated, and an uplifting, hopeful way of looking into the issues and conflicts in the story. While Fruits Basket does have a bit more romance storyline, ultimately it focuses on the relationships between characters to drive the story forward, which is exactly what Gakuen Babysitters is doing, too. If you enjoy Gakuen Babysitters, why not try looking into an older shoujo series that would give you not only heartwarming tales, but also lets you enjoy top-grade voice acting of seiyuu such as Okiayu Ryuutarou, Seki Tomokazu, Horie Yui, Hisakawa Aya, and Inoue Kazuhiko?
5. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: July 2011 – September 2011
Produced by Production I.G., Usagi Drop tells the story of Kawachi Daikichi—a single man of thirty years old, whose life changed after he attended his grandfather’s funeral and met his grandfather’s illegitimate child, Rin, who is still six years old. As the rest of the family seems to not know what to do with their grandfather’s previously-hidden illegitimate child, and not knowing where her Mother had run off to, either, Rin finds herself being ostracized from the rest of the family. That is, until Daikichi finally puts down his cup of tea and decided to take Rin in and try to raise her. Thus, begin the life of a single salaryman trying to raise a tiny girl who is technically his aunt.
Looking at how Rin is in the first two episodes would definitely remind you of Kotarou—both children are quiet and reserved, but once they’re around people they can trust and enjoy being with, they just radiate cuteness. While Usagi Drop offers a more serious look at the daily life of Daikichi raising Rin, both series are similar in that they’re both heartwarming slice-of-life that would make you simultaneously laugh and cry at times. And while you’re at it, both opening and ending songs of this anime are super cute! You can also enjoy voices of Tsuchida Hiroshi, Sakamoto Maaya, Uchiyama Yumi, and of course the adorable young seiyuu Matsuura Ayu!
4. Kimi to Boku (You and Me)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: October 2011 – December 2011
Why is a shounen title in this list? Well, Kimi to Boku isn’t exactly your usual shounen comedy slice-of-life series. It’s a series written by Hotta Kichii, serialized in GFantasy, and is pretty much a series about the importance of unimportant things. Kimi to Boku tells the story of five high school students: the model student Tsukahara Kaname, the kind-hearted Matsuoka Shun, the mischievous but adorable Asaba twins, Yuuta and Yuuki, and the loud-mouthed Tachibana Chizuru. This is a story of how they pass their high school days in which everything is very peaceful to the point of seemingly boring. Except it’s much more than that—in Kimi to Boku, we see how the uneventful, peaceful school days of these five boys are actually important days they grow to treasure and remember fondly; it is about how you find the little things in those seemingly mundane days that makes them important.
Both Kimi to Boku and Gakuen Babysitters share the same sort of slice-of-life theme: finding things of importance in mundane, seemingly unimportant things. Just like your heart would be warmed by Kotarou trying to squeeze juice out of lemons for a sick Ryuuichi, you’d also go ‘aaawww’ at Yuuki trying to comfort Yuuta after his first time breaking up with a girl. Both series are also heavy with siblings fluff—Kimi to Boku might not have constant focus on older siblings taking care of their younger siblings like Gakuen Babysitters, but you’d get to watch the twins caring for one another in their own unique way, or Shun dealing with his younger brother trying to date a girl. Kimi to Boku also lists up a very gorgeous cast; the main boys are voiced by Kimura Ryouhei, Uchiyama Kouki, Irino Miyu, Ono Yuuki and Toyonaga Toshiyuki, and supporting characters cast included names such as Endou Aya and Okamoto Nobuhiko.
Any Anime Like Gakuen Babysitters ?
3. Aishiteruze Baby
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2004 – October 2004
Another very nostalgic shoujo series that was popular in its time, Aishiteruze Baby is a shoujo comedy anime based on a manga with the same title, running in Ribbon Magazine by Maki Youko. Following the life of our teen protagonist-slash-high school playboy Katakura Kippei, Aishiteruze Baby is a story of how an irresponsible male teenager is suddenly responsible of the life of a five-year-old girl: Kippei’s cousin Yuzuyu, a very bright, adorable girl whose mother had suddenly gone missing and appeared to have abandoned her somehow. Between caring for Yuzuyu, who is deeply wounded by her mother leaving her, and the high school life and unexpected romance blooming between him and his friend Kokoro, Kippei attempts to get his life together and learns what responsibility means.
Aishiteruze Baby, like Gakuen Babysitters, is amazingly cute. Watching Kippei tries to take care of Yuzuyu is like watching a less-inept Ryuuichi caring for Kirin. Both Kippei and Ryuu are high school students, so if you enjoyed Gakuen Babysitters’ high school-related comedy, Aishiteruze Baby is a very similar setting. Both shows have very similar shoujo comedic tones—silliness and cuteness abound—and while Aishiteruze Baby also focuses a bit more on the romance between Kippei and Kokoro, it still focuses more on how Yuzuyu interacts with people around her. It might be an old series, but it’s worth checking it out! You might also hear Aoi Yuuki’s early voice acting as Marika here, along with nostalgic names such as Chiba Saeko, Fujita Daisuke, Hara Fumina, Tsuzurahara Miyu, and Endou Kumika.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: July 2014 – September 2014
This series briefly graced the 2014 Summer anime season with only 12 episodes, but everyone who watched it simply fell in love with it. Barakamon is an anime based on a manga series with the same title, currently still serialized in Gangan Online by Yoshino Satsuki. Handled by the studio Kinema Citrus, Barakamon tells the story of a young award-winning calligrapher-slash-narcissist, Handa Seishuu, who is facing very bad repercussions after losing his temper to a veteran calligrapher. To make him self-retrospect, he is banished by his Dad to the Goto Island—a rural area that offers a completely different lifestyle from the one Handa has been used to in Tokyo. There, he tries to develop his own unique style and find inspiration. Except as luck would have it, he’s now surrounded by a loud kid, some middle school students, and even old men. How is he supposed to live now?
Like Gakuen Babysitters, Barakamon is a comedic slice-of-life series that is very heartwarming to watch. Both series have a similar sad undertone that would cause you laugh and shed a tear simultaneously, without ripping your heart to shreds. The silly shenanigans of Barakamon is pretty much the sort of crazy shenanigans you would also find similar to Gakuen Babysitters, and Handa’s exasperation of Naru would remind you of Hayato’s exasperation at Taka. Of course, that’s not the only thing that makes Barakamon great—it boasts amazing cast from Ono Daisuke, Uchiyama Kouki and Endou Rina, to Ookubo Rumi, Suwabe Junichi, and of course the little Hara Suzuko.
1. Akachan to Boku
- Episodes: 35
- Aired: July 1996 – March 1997
Yes, this is the Gakuen Babysitters of late 1990s! Akachan to Boku is an anime adapted from an award-winning manga by Ragawa Marimo, serialized in Hana to Yume, and was produced by Studio Pierrot. The story follows Enoki Takuya, a fifth grader whose mother has just passed away and now only lives with his father and baby brother, Minoru. His previously fun elementary school student life changed as he had to pick up the responsibility of taking care of Minoru while their father works, and Takuya has to deal with tailoring his life between school, friends, house chores, and Minoru. So many things for a fifth grader to learn, so many responsibilities to take, but in return, Takuya learns what family really means.
Simply from the summary, you’d probably get a sense of how similar these two series are. Both focuses on an older brother taking care of their baby brother after a loss of parent (or parents, in Ryuuichi’s case), and juggling their school and social life as well. Both series have the same sort of heartwarming stories that would make you laugh and tears up at the same time, but always ends with an uplifting note. Just like we get to see Ryuuichi having his school friends joining the Babysitter Club shenanigans and bonding over their younger siblings, we also get to see Takuya bonding with his other friends over their younger siblings—Fujii Akihiro and Gotou Tadashi, for example, have younger siblings who become friends with Minoru. Most importantly, both series showcases unexpectedly well-written side-characters development: Gakuen Babysitters delve into stories of the parents and Usaida, while Akachan to Boku oftentimes put Takuya and Minoru’s father in the spotlight, or the Fujii household situations. Despite being an old series, this one guarantees you a really good story and experience, and you could listen to the many veteran seiyuu you might not hear a lot these days, such as Yamaguchi Kappei, Sakamoto Chika, Michiko Neya, and Hoshikawa Mai.
What do you enjoy from Gakuen Babysitters? Is it the teeth-rottingly adorable shenanigans and the unbearable cuteness of the babies? Is it the heartwarming siblings fluff, and stories of families, both tied by blood or by choice? Is it the uplifting, hopeful look on life despite the bittersweet undertone? Whichever your choice is, one of the anime listed above should be a good match for you, and you can watch through that series while waiting for Gakuen Babysitter’s next episode!
Have more suggestions, or your own comments if you’re watched any of these series? Do tell us in the comments!