First Look: The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting


Alternative title(s): Kumichou Musume to Sewagakari
Manga Adaptation by feel. and Gaina
Streaming on Crunchyroll


Known as “The Demon of Sakuragi,” the violent Tooru Kirishima is the right-hand man of the well-known Sakuragi yakuza family and has a tendency to kill first and ask questions later. To instill in him a sense of responsibility, Kirishima’s boss tasks him with a new job that will challenge him unlike any other to date: take care of Sakuragi’s 7-year-old daughter.

Artemis’ verdict: … Meh?

Of all the brand-new shows airing this season, The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting was the title that I was most looking forward to based purely on its premise. If it had gone the dumb but laugh-out-loud route like Way of the Househusband (the live-action version, anyway), I would have been happy. If it had gone the poignant and heartwarming found family route like Usagi Drop (the anime version, obviously), I would have been just as happy. If it had found some way to combine the two, like some kind of weird yakuza version of Spy x Family, I would have been ecstatic. Sadly, I got none of the above.


In fact, The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting doesn’t really seem to know exactly what it wants to be. Instead, it’s stuck awkwardly between a comedy and drama while not particularly succeeding at either – a both narratively and tonally strange creation that feels uncommitted to its own premise and far too slow-paced to completely pull off either its jokes or its “aww” moments.

Moreover, there’s another odd disconnect in terms of the main character himself, with the show seemingly telling viewers that Kirishima is this swell dude deep down when that’s clearly not the case. To be clear, he’s not a yakuza of the adorable scamp variety, nor does he have any aspirations of leaving the yakuza life behind him. Nope, he flat-out gruesomely murders people and doesn’t give a crap, but then the series want us to feel like he’s not such a bad guy because he does a competent job at caring for his boss’ kid? Sorry, but that doesn’t make him any less of a bad guy – there’s no particular redeeming storyline here, much as this premiere apparently wants me to think otherwise.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended in any way, just mildly confused and uninvested in any of the characters. I’ll likely give this one more episode to try and prove itself, but from what I’ve seen so far, The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting, while far from the worst show this season has to offer, still manages to be my most disappointing.


Jel’s verdict: Watch Hinamatsuri instead

Rather than trying to make what we would call a traditional “dad” anime, I get the impression this is more about appealing to the specific demographic that likes physically attractive but otherwise terrible, usually abusive, anime guys. But this time, he’s nice to a little girl! Sure he’s a brutal, callous murderer, but he can be so vulnerable! If that sounds appealing for some reason, maybe The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting will work for you. Otherwise, I don’t think you’re going to get much else out of this.

If you do want a good series about a Yakuza dude taking care of a little girl (who also has super powers), please watch or read Hinamatsuri. Please.

2 thoughts on “First Look: The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

  1. Yeah, I definitely like Hinamatsuri better. But weirdly, I kind of think Hinamatsuri would have been just as good without the superpowers, and Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting kind of needs something more in it’s story, like super powers!

    • I’m trying to imagine Hinamatsuri without super powers and thinking about the “fight” between Hina and Anzu in episode 2, but they are just slapping each other as hard as possible. Yeah, it would probably work. There are some bits later in the manga that would require more drastic changes though.

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