Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting Episode 9 Reveals Miyuki’s Backstory

The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting is a brand-new comedy anime making its debut in the Summer 2022 anime season, starring the mobster Kirishima Toru and the boss’s young daughter, the timid Yaeka. The two of them make an odd but wholesome pair, and they have both learned a few vital lessons on the value of family, blood or otherwise.

Meanwhile, there is the lingering issue of Yaeka’s mother Miyuki, who has been comatose in the hospital for a few years now after getting into an automobile accident. She hasn’t said or done anything so far, but Miyuki does appear in flashbacks, such as in Episode 9, and those scenes firmly establish her as an outstanding wife and mother. It’s no wonder Yaeka misses her company so much.

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In Episode 9, most of Yakuza‘s main characters gather for Toru’s birthday, including the boss, Yaeka and Kanami, not to mention Kei and a few of Toru’s other mobster associates. Toru’s birthday is a happy and straightforward affair, and the scene serves not to develop Toru’s own character but that of Sakuragi Miyuki, who isn’t even there. Kazuhiko and his sister-in-law Kanami both wax nostalgic about the absent Miyuki, and they share some fond memories of her. That is when Episode 9 begins its flashbacks to reveal how exactly Yaeka’s mother met her father one fateful afternoon.

The flashback depicts Miyuki in her late teens or early 20s, working cheerfully in a flower shop when the tall, handsome Sakuragi Kazuhiko walks in, only for Miyuki to greet him and make an awkward first impression. The scene immediately establishes Miyuki as a charming, hardworking and slightly goofy person, while Kazuhiko’s gap moe side is reinforced with his wholesome hobby of flower arranging.

This is a time-honored and serious art form in Japan, and the beautiful, constructive and innocent nature of that art form helps remind viewers that there is more to the tough-talking Kazuhiko than his mobster business. In fact, their shared passion for flowers is what brings Miyuki and Kazuhiko together, and they agree to meet again soon to discuss it. Kazuhiko may be aloof and serious as a mobster, but he doesn’t have a heart of stone. Then and now, he always puts other people first, even if he won’t admit it.

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The flashback continues from there, depicting Miyuki and Kazuhiko transforming their outing into a proper date without even realizing it. The date itself is pretty conventional, but it does serve two purposes in Yakuza‘s narrative. First, the date’s dialogue clearly establishes Miyuki as an emotionally mature and resilient person, given how her parents are deceased but she has come to terms with her grief. No doubt the emotionally warm, outgoing Miyuki misses them, but she does not wallow in the past. Instead, she works hard to support herself and her younger sister Kanami, and no doubt Kazuhiko is impressed by all this. Perhaps this is what inspires Kanami to be such an attentive and dedicated aunt to Yaeka in the present day, with Kanami working hard to be for Yaeka what Miyuki once was.

The other purpose is to deepen the emotional impact and stakes surrounding Yaeka and her comatose mother. Back in Episode 2, the narrative really only told fans that Yaeka misses her beloved mother, but Episode 9’s flashback actually shows the emotional warmth that Yaeka is missing. Scenes like this serve to show viewers what a character is missing out on, usually if the other character is comatose, missing or deceased. This strengthens the emotional impact of seeing Miyuki unresponsive in the hospital, with fans now knowing exactly what Yaeka is longing for.

Moreover, Miyuki isn’t just a comatose mom for drama’s sake. She is Sakuragi Miyuki — a fully-realized, wonderful character whose absence now feels much more serious. Fans finally get to see what Yaeka’s mom was like before the accident, and now more than ever, fans are dearly hoping for Miyuki’s return. That gives viewers the same emotional stakes as Yaeka herself, which will definitely bring anime fans coming back for more.

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