Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works

Baby & Me

赤ちゃんと僕

Mangaka: Marimo Ragawa 羅川 真里茂
Born: Aomori Prefecture, Japan
Original Publisher: Hakusensha
English Language Publisher:
Published: January 1991 to January 1997
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 18
Serialized: Hana to Yume 花とゆめ
Genre: Coming of Age, Comedy
Demographic: shojo

Synopsis
After their mother dies in an accident, ten-year-old Takuya has no choice but to take care of his toddler brother Minoru, as their salaryman father works long hours to support the family. Although Takuya is only a fifth grader, he must take on all of the household duties of his mother, including looking after two-year-old Minoru, which is in itself a full-time task. All of this leaves him with little time to do anything enjoyable for himself.

At first resentful of having to be a surrogate mother, Takaya soon learns to accept his responsibility, and he even comes to love his brother even more than before. The rest of the series follows the day-to-day activities of the older and younger brother as they discover more about themselves and the world around them.

Baby & Me is a mostly prosaic story with a large cast of engaging characters. Lacking any major story arcs, Baby & Me follows a humorous episodic format. The writing is excellent, and the art makes much out of the kawaii toddler Minoru.
Background & Impact
Baby & Me won the 40th Shogakukan Manga Award for best shojo manga in 1995.

It was adapted into a 35 episode anime by Studio Pierrot which aired from 1996-1997.