This Sunday is Father’s Day, a great day to think about our own fathers and give them a big hug if you can. It’s also a good time to reflect on anime fathers. One reason anime is so good is that it’s a medium where stories that involve real family emotions can be told, and the feels the stories generate can deeply affect us all. Some of my picks for best anime Dad included…
- Akio Furukawa, the stoic father of Nagisa from Clannad who must endure so much suffering in his family.
- Genma Saotome from Ranma 1/2. How many dads can teach you martial arts and also turn into a giant panda?
- Gendo Ikari. He’s kind of a jerk in the 1995 series but is much more mellow in the movie remakes. Plus, how many dads will give their sons giant robots to pilot?
- Goku, whose kindness and strength was an inspiration for his son Gohan. He played the role of “anime father figure” to many kids growing up without dads, the same way I idolized William Shatner from Star Trek while growing up fatherless.
- The father from Totoro, who rides his kids around the neighborhood on his bicycle. He’s always there for them, offering a firm and steady hand while his wife works through her disease (which is tuberculous, as stated in the novel).
- Finally, fathers who know how to push their sons to the highest level possible, which I’d say applied to Bunta from Initial D as well as Jōichirō Yukihira from Shokugeki no Soma. All fathers should try to do this.
Then there’s the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure angle. I’m not personally familiar with Jojo since getting into series that have been running for longer than J-List has been a company (22 years) is a bit beyond my abilities, but my son is, and the other day he said, “Grandpa was from England, right?” I told him yes, Charles Payne (no relation to the guy on Fox) came from Chipping Camden, not far from Alice’s house in Kin’Moza. “So if Grandpa was from England, and you’re from the U.S.A., and I’m from Japan, that makes us like the Joestar family, since the grandfather Johnathan is English, Joseph is American, and Jotaro is Japanese, like me.”
So apparently my family is a Jojo reference.
Who do you think is the best anime dad, this Father’s Day? Tell us on Twitter!
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