Title: Baby & Me Vol 4
Author: Marimo Ragawa
May Contain Spoilers
After surviving an especially trying week at work, I’m in the mood for a little light reading. Baby & Me fits the bill perfectly. Sure, the stories are sappy and the resolutions to problems are oversimplified, but the illustrations are endearing and Takuya and Minoru are nice kids. The contrast between their well-groomed manners and some of the other kids’ is too deep at times, though they still occasionally manage to act like brats.
In this volume, Takuya and Minoru share an assortment of adventures, including a trip to a fireworks festival with limited amounts of cash (welcome to the real world!), Minoru visits a fantasy land in his dreams, featuring appearances by many of the cast members, the boys meet an old man in the park, and Takuya almost has a brush with the throes of first love. Minoru the scaredy cat was my favorite chapter, mainly because of the comedic facial expresses racing across the terrified toddler’s chubby cheeks.
The other stand-out chapter started with an unusually contemplative Gon asking for Takuya’s advice. He’s fallen in love with one of their schoolmates, and Gon just doesn’t know how to approach the object of his affections. Takuya, still disinterested in girls, is bewildered and can’t even imagine feeling that way for a girl. Acting as his friend’s intermediary, he asks the cute Ai if she’s free on Sunday, and ends up getting dragged along with her and Gon on their “date.” It was enjoyable despite the predictable ending.
Baby & Me is probably a series you want to avoid if you can’t stand sweets or have a propensity for cavities. It reminds me of marshmallows – mushy and sugary sweet. And like a bag of marshmallows, whenever there’s an unread volume in the house, I can’t help but open the book and start digging into the softy and gooey interior.
Included the bonus story Hands Off My Secret Boy.
Rated for Teen