Happy Mother’s Day, readers! And what better way is there to start the day than with a riddle? Here goes: what do anime and Disney movies have in common?
You guessed it. Absent if not deceased mothers.
While this treatment often extends to anime fathers as well, there’s something about the signature “deadly ponytail” that guarantees our main character’s mother won’t be making it to Season 2. Needless to say, the women we do get to know end up leaving a lasting impression. They can always be looked to for sage advice, warm hugs, and above all, undying love. Today we’ll be celebrating some of the coolest, sweetest, and most unconventional mothers anime has to offer.
The COOLEST Mothers
- Junko Kaname
Junko is a confident career woman who acts as the breadwinner of the Kaname family. Whether Madoka’s troubles be middle school drama or deadly witches, her mother is her go-to. Among the many mothers of this list, I believe her advice to be the most valuable. Despite belonging to the Magical Girl genre, she urges her daughter to acknowledge and make as many mistakes as possible. None of that “believe in yourself” and “power of friendship” fluff from her.
- Ren Seto
As the matriarch of an underwater yakuza gang, Ren Seto calls the shots. This mermaid is beautiful, capable, and cutthroat – and she knows it. However, this isn’t to say that she is lacking in the “cool mom” department. Ren cares deeply about her family and knows exactly how to keep the gang members in line. Her howling voice isn’t too shabby either.
- Sachiko Fujinuma
The newest mother to be added to this list, Sachiko is both levelheaded and tough-as-nails. A former news reporter, this woman is her son’s strongest advocate and never fails to amaze us with her devotion. Seriously. Watch Episode 11 if you need proof. While she gives a young Satoru way too much freedom, in my opinion, she raised him well and never has to worry about him doing wrong.
The SWEETEST Mothers
- Delia Ketchum
Being a 90’s kid, I’m obligated to add this lady to the list. Out of all the mothers to make an appearance in the show, manga, and games, Delia reigns supreme. Why you may ask? On top of being sweet and caring, she’s proven capable of taming dangerous and troublesome Pokemon alike. Not to mention that she has to deal with our frustrating protagonist on a semi-regular basis. Sorry Ash, but twenty years without any character development whatsoever is hard to forgive.
- Sanae Furukawa
Oh, Clannad. What a reputation you’ve garnered. If there’s anyone sweeter than the already sweet Nagisa, it would be her mother. Compassionate and sensitive, Sanae is the epitome of the picture-perfect mother. However, there’s more to this woman than meets the eye. She and her husband have made several sacrifices for the sake of their daughter – a love that reaches a whole different level in CLANNAD After Story.
- Yasuko Takasu
I just finished watching Toradora! for the third time, so it’s still fresh in my mind. Besides being one of the better English-dubbed anime out there, the love story of Ryuuji and Taiga also packs an impressive single mother. Despite being abandoned by her lover at a young age, Yasuko chose to raise her son by herself. Comical and hardworking, Yasu puts her son and Taiga above all else.
The Most UNCONVENTIONAL Mothers
Along with Spirited Away and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Wolf Children is one of my all-time favorite anime films. Needless to say, the unique tale of a mother raising two half-human, half-wolf children tugged mercilessly at my heartstrings. If I had to pick one word to describe Hana, it would be persistent. Like any mother wolf, she is free-spirited and protective of siblings Yuki and Ame. She faces adversity with a smile – her story being one that isn’t often told in anime.
- Magno Vivan
Vandread is a lesser known anime about an intergalactic war between men and women. Leading the female pirates in the show is an elderly woman named, “Magno.” While she isn’t technically a mother, Magno is undoubtedly the mother/grandmother of the group. A natural born leader, this tough lady isn’t afraid to break some knees or make herself look like a fool for the sake of her fellow pirates.
- Yuri Egin
It ain’t easy being the “wife” of Satan, but Yuri managed to do so with dignity. She also has the honor of being the only anime-exclusive character on this list. I’m personally a big fan of the show’s rendition of the Devil and his love-hate relationship with his family. Even before meeting her future husband, Yuri proves to be open-minded when it comes to the demons that live among humans. She’s brave, stubborn, and one hell of a mother.
And remember, be sure to wish a mother you know a Happy Mother’s Day!