Episode 6 of The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting delivers on the same appeal that prior episodes have provided. Nonetheless, interspersed all through the sugary-sweet slice-of-life moments are more meaningful observations and connections that culminate in a considerably more resonant theme than the flashes of sentimentality we’ve had previously.
Interestingly, Kirishima is not the most important fixture this week. Sure, he’s present in a lot of scenes and there is an engaging B-plot about him learning to cook thanks to Kanami. We study his initial life with his mother and what gift-giving truly means. We also get into another conversation with his old school friend and get more insight into the contrast between the Kirishima of previously and the ongoing Kirishima post-Yaeka. While both of these sections are great, they are still generally reiterating emotional beats that we as of now have seen. That doesn’t make them ineffective mind you, yet it does leave them overshadowed by the other portion of the episode.
Instead, Yaeka and Kazuhiko get the genuine standout moments of the episode. Interesting that they get to foster new and interesting emotional connections with Sara and her father, who are shiny new characters to both the cast and the audience. Sara and her father are immigrants to Japan, and their status as outsiders with a sort of sweet obliviousness to the situation allows them to literally and figuratively move beyond the walls that Kazuhiko has built as a component of his empire.
With no pretense or understanding that they are essentially ingratiating themselves with a horde, Sara and her father can get the Sakuragis’ level footed in the best possible sense. They take fun photos, make fast friends, and join in for Yaeka’s birthday celebration – all areas where others are either frightened off or part of the organization. There’s an unguarded authenticity to these events that is extremely refreshing for the cast and for us as viewers. There are no expectations here, just genuine friendship and kindness.
As Sara’s father states, “I didn’t actually realize you had a cherry tree back here.” It’s a sign that behind the walls and unpleasant business-like exterior, there is something beautiful growing in secret – however, it doesn’t need to be like that.
The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.