Do You Know Your Anime Mothers?
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so it’s a good time to reflect on our favorite anime mothers. Ever since the classic 1976 anime 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, the tear-jerking story of a boy who travels from Genoa to Argentina to find his sick mother and bring her home — the show was an early international success for anime by Takahata Isao and Miyazaki Hayao — anime mothers have provided an emotional punch, spicing up stories and sometimes bringing fans to tears. Having this extra emotional dimension is one way anime tells stories that are truly engaging to fans, and has enabled anime to find so many fans around the world.
Let’s look at the five types of anime mothers
- Type 1, Basic Perfect Mom. The archetypal perfect mother who speaks with a calm, steady voice, cooks wonderful breakfasts for her children every morning and is the foundation of happiness and security for the family.
- Type 2, Tragic Mom. These mothers have on-screen deaths that are extremely dramatic and which propel the characters in new directions. Similarly they might put into life-threatening situations as a means of moving the story dramatically, without them actually dying. Often associated with the Anime Mother Hair Style of
- Type 3, Stoic Mom. Mothers who have to endure some great difficulty. Sachiko from Erased, who has to watch over her time-traveling son in a coma for 14 years, and Hana, who must raise her half-wolf children when her shape-shifting husband dies.
- Type 4, MIA Mom. Embodied in the “invisible parents” archetype in which an anime character’s parents live overseas for some convenient reason that helps the story along.
- Type 5, Unreliable Mom. A mother who lacks emotional maturity she should have as a parent, like Satsuki from Hanasaku Iroha or Yasuko from Toradora. As a result, the children of these mothers are extremely competent and mature.
- Type 6, MILFs. Mothers who are extremely sexy, often used for fanservice or comedy. The list is long, but Rinko from Gundam Build Fighters is a fan favorite.
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