Manga review written by riseabove77
Flighty, flirtatious high school student is unexpectedly thrust into the role of parent by annoying, controlling older sister bent on molding him into a responsible adult. Do I have your attention? It's not a plot often seen in manga or manwha, and boy does it work for Aishiteruze Baby.
Seventeen-year-old Kippei Katakura is a teenaged Lothario who could usually be found with a bevy of girls surrounding him, but who is never serious about anyone or anything. Enter his five-year-old cousin Yuzuyu. Her mother has disappeared and her father has recently died, leaving her at the mercy of the Katakura family. Reiko, the eldest, is appointed guardian to Yuzuyu, a role she readily relinquishes, rather forcefully, to Kippei. To the surprise of many, especially Reiko, Kippei takes to Yuzuyu immediately, and eschews his previous lifestyle with little protest. From making her obento lunches, to taking and picking Yuzuyu up from school every day, Kippei proves the numerous naysayers wrong by diving headlong into parenthood, which, as he discovers, is not without its pitfalls.
Kokoro, Kippei's classmate and long-time crush, who had long ago dismissed the possibility of a relationship with him because of his womanizing ways, begins to see Kippei in a new light once his relationship with Yuzuyu becomes apparent. Now Kippei has to learn how to balance between school, his growing relationship with Kokoro, and the responsibility for Yuzuyu, and somehow manage to maintain his sanity.
What sets this manga apart from others is that it is sweet without being saccharine. A lot of shoujo mangas suffer from an excess of sentimentality, but Aishiteruze Baby does not fall prey to such a convention. This is a real story, about a real family, and as such, it is an engaging manga to which many readers will be able to relate. Full of interesting, fully-fleshed out characters, beautiful art, and a plot that kept me riveted, this manga is a story about the resiliency of the human spirit, the strength of familial bonds, and most importantly, it's about the power of love.