School Babysitters
Episode 7

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 7 of
School Babysitters ?

Has anyone ever thought of installing a lock on the daycare room? Because with Usaida's sleep habits, these kids sure wander off a lot. Admittedly Kotaro's jaunt to the high school wing last week was sanctioned by Usaida, but his escape with Kirin this time was not – although Kirin did leave a note, so at least she's being responsible even if she draws poor Inomata as if she were a yamamba. More concerning is Takuma's trip, because he's not going to play with Inomata or deliver Ryuichi's lunch; he's actively trying to go home to Kazuma, who's sick in bed. A toddler not only making it out of the building but off school grounds is definitely cause for concern.

That said, it's still pretty realistic for a kid to do – I used to try and escape from daycare through the woods with my middle sister. (We would have made it too, if it weren't for that old wire fence!) When Kirin decides that she and Kotaro ought to go find Inomata if she's not going to show up at the daycare, that's just little kid logic; if you want to see someone, you go see them, end of story. Kirin's precociousness then leads her to decide that Inomata hates Ryuichi because she can't distinguish between the various degrees of “like” and “hate”, which is another wonderful detail because emotional nuance is a tricky thing to figure out even as a teen like Inomata, who gets way too caught up in a toddler's perception of her love life. All of this gives poor Kotaro another moment of shock and horror when he realizes that someone might not appreciate the bestest big brother ever – not only is it darkly amusing to see his look of shock, it's also incredibly heartwarming that he has such faith in Ryuichi and expects everyone to see how amazing he is.

That's definitely not lost on the girls in his class, much to Yuki's chagrin. Apparently Ryuichi and Kamitani are the heartthrobs of their class, in no small part because Ryuichi is so devoted to Kotaro. While they acknowledge that none of them stand a chance with a little brother in the mix, the girls can't deny that they find such parental devotion and kindness incredibly appealing. Only Yuki really seems like she might act on her crush (possibly next week), mostly because Inomata is trying really hard to deny that she has a crush in the first place. Not that Ryuichi is aware of any of this – heck, he didn't even notice that he left work in his apron with a butt covered in stickers courtesy of the toddlers – and that's probably why the other boys in class don't dislike him outright. It's hard to compete with someone who isn't aware that there's a competition.

While this week's hard split between vignettes isn't anything new for the show, it does feel somehow more disjointed. I'm having a difficult time putting my finger on why, but I suspect that it's because both halves follow the exact same pattern: child feels strongly about something, child leaves, older person finds child and resolves issue. This certainly isn't an unusual pattern for School Babysitters, but we don't typically have it back-to-back like this, and while there usually is a unifying theme for the episode as a whole, past weeks have executed their two-parters with more diversity. It's fair to say that there are important plot points and differences between these stories, but on the whole it just doesn't feel as smooth as it could have.

Even with that issue, this episode is still brimming with charm and cuteness, which is a major part of what makes the show work. Frankly, if the kids want to beat on Usaida a bit more to make my cold go away, I'd be a happy person.

Rating: B+

School Babysitters is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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