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Baby & Me Vol. 3 (Story & Art by Marimo Ragawa) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

December 5, 2006 by  



babyme-3

Marimo Ragawa’s “Baby & Me” is unique for a manga series but also something you don’t see being released in the U.S. But it’s a storyline that many people can relate too, full of humor and a series about two brothers and their ups and downs.  With the third volume, it’s more of a slice-of-life storyline about these two brothers but an entertaining manga series thus far.  Highly recommended!

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© Akachan to Boku by Marimo Ragawa 1991. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Baby & Me Vol. 3 (赤ちゃんと僕)

STORY AND ART BY: Marimo Ragawa

FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: SHUEISHA, Inc.

PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC/Shonen Jump Manga

RATED: T for Older Teen

RELEASE DATE: December 5, 2006

Minoru is growing up, but just because he’s out of diapers doesn’t mean things are easier on Takuya. Being a big brother is tough, and Takuya has to deal with his own troubles even as he tries to protect Minoru from the harsher realities of life. But Takuya finds unexpected help from the warm memories of his mother and a troublesome schoolmate, his loyal friend Gon. The Enoki boys are learning that if they stick together, they can weather whatever the world throws at them!

In the latest volume of “Baby & Me”, Takuya and Akihiro compete against each other at the school marathon, Minoru becomes a big fan of the Washing Matchin Attack Squad, the Bubble Five and Takuya gets to know the new girl, Shinako Fukaya.  Plus the family goes on a summer trip!

Also, included are information on Marimo Ragawa’s standalone manga features.

All this in vol. 3 of “Baby & Me”!

What is “Baby & Me”?

For Mangaka Marimo Ragawa, it took a year of persistence to become a manga artist.

At the age of 12, she had wanted to become a manga artist and began submitting manga to the same magazine until she became 16 and decided to try a different magazine, this time “Hana to Yume” and sure enough, her first submission earned her a top prize. Two years later, she would write the manga “Time Limit” and in 1991, her most successful manga series “Aka-chan to Boku” (Baby & Me),

Published in Japan by Hakusensha, the manga series would win the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1995 and receive an anime adaptation in 1996.

And now a decade later, Ragawa’s popular manga series will be released in the U.S. courtesy of Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in Feb. 2006.

“Baby & Me” is a manga series that revolves around two children, ten-year-old Takuya and his baby brother Minoru who’s life changed when his mother was killed in a car accident.

As his father tries to take care of the family as a single working father, his father depends on Takuya to help take care of Minoru. But as a child, Takuya doesn’t like the fact that unlike most kids his age, most of the time he’s having to take care of Minoru.

He gets irritated that Minoru follows him everywhere, Minoru is often crying and at times, Takuya just wants to hit his brother and he just wishes he can get away.

But his mother told him to take good care of Minoru and for the sake of his family, young Takuya knows he must do just that.

 

The third volume of “Baby & Me” continues the slice of life style in the lives of Tatsuya and his little brother Minoru.  From Tatsuya taking part in the school marathon and taking on his friend Akihiro, to little Minoru being addicted to the Bubble Five (a sentai style group promoting a washing machine in a commercial).

The series introduces us to a new character named Shinako Fuya and it will be interesting if this character will be an important character in volumes to come, possibly a love interest for Takuya?  But for now, these two start out in not-so-good terms.

And also seeing the family go out on a summer vacation with one chapter that features a ghostly story that was interesting to read.

The manga concludes with Marimo Ragawa showcasing some of her manga one-shots which was a pretty awesome addition to this third manga volume.

But along with these stories, I love the added commentary by Marimo Ragawa.  In this case, talking about her brother and sister (without their permission) and wondering if she should have done it or not.  It’s a funny commentary but she tends to do this with each volume, which I enjoy reading.

Marimo Ragawa’s shojo artwork is rather well done, a lot of emphasis on the eyes and hair of the character design, not so much for backgrounds but a lot of Ragawa’s panels are closeups and nicely drawn.

Overall, Marimo Ragawa’s “Baby & Me” is unique for a manga series but also something you don’t see being released in the U.S. But it’s a storyline that many people can relate too, full of humor and a series about two brothers and their ups and downs.  With the third volume, it’s more of a slice-of-life storyline about these two brothers but an entertaining manga series thus far.  Highly recommended!

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