Unlike in your typical RPG, parents generally have pretty strong roles in anime. They are not only to blame for how a protagonist grows up, but usually they are there to provide guidance and some pretty sound advice.
Well, the mothers are, at least.
In most anime series, you’d think the creators have some serious daddy issues with how many absentee fathers there are in them. Either they work 24/7, which is quite typical in Japan, or they are overseas, or they are just plain dead. Good ol’ dad may be mentioned once or twice, but after that, they are never heard from again
But not all fathers in anime are presented as such. Like in real life, there are some real superhero dads in anime, and they don’t always have super powers.
Goku from Dragonball Z
Goku is one of those dads that is both good and terrible at the same time. On one hand, he’s fun, super good natured, and pretty supportive to his kids. On the other hand, he is missing from the majority of Gohan and Goten’s childhood.
But it is all for the sake of the world, right?
Sometimes you have to make those sacrifices, and his kids turned out okay anyway. I mean he did leave Gohan with a strange, mean alien to train for a year, made him fight a super powered android, and generally drags him into his battles, but its fine. …Right? It’s actually surprising that Gohan turned out to be a pretty good father himself.
Isshin Kurosaki from Bleach
Isshin Kurosaki is the kind of father that takes a really big interest in what his kids are doing at home, but other than that, doesn’t seem to keep tabs on them. I mean, what was he doing when Ichigo was in Soul Society or Hueco Mundo? Just hanging out with his daughters, being like “have you seen your brother lately? I feel like it has been weeks.” Regardless, his cheerful attitude, dedication to his wife, and general comedic relief is what makes him such a likeable father. Even if he does keep a few crucial secrets from his kids, he is still a pretty quality dad, to his daughters, at least.
Sojiro Izumi from Lucky Star
His motives towards his daughter’s friends may be really questionable, but his love for his daughter isn’t. Sojiro Izumi is that kind of dad we all want to have – Laid-back, easy to talk to, and a fan of video games and anime. Even if he does have a bit of a rubber neck, he has raised his daughter Konata from birth after the death of her mother, something that is not easy to do. He did his duty as a father, so who cares if he is a bit of a lolicon? He has earned it.
Kotetsu Kaburagi from Tiger and Bunny
Kotetsu is one of those rare fathers whose character isn’t completely defined by being a father. He is a great standalone character in Tiger and Bunny, but the show perfectly walks the fine line of keeping him independent, yet focusing on his relationship with his daughter, Kaede. What is most interesting is that his daughter isn’t even particularly fond of him at first, but after he risks his life to save hers, she comes around. He does his best, and we love him for it.
Shiro Fujimoto from Blue Exorcist
Although only an adoptive father, Fujimoto was one of the best. He was able to put up with the bratty Rin and his sister almost to the end in order to protect them from their real father. Along the way, he was able to somewhat quell Rin’s innate anger and allowed him to live as a relatively normal human even if it would have been easier to share his origins and try to get him to act differently. Even though he’s a priest, he maintains a comical weakness for big breasted women that often lightens the mood in the otherwise depressing church. Even in the end, Shiro sacrificed himself for his adopted kids.
Maes Hughes from Full Metal Alchemist
Ah, Hughes. He is easily one of the most famous anime fathers out there, but is he really a good one? Of course he was. He was dedicated, doting, and as cheerful as a major comic relief character can be. Unfortunately, as dedicated as he was to his family, he was also dedicated to his friends. That is ultimately why he ranks so low as one of the best anime fathers. After a certain point, a father has to put his family before friends, especially if he finds himself in a dangerous line of work.
Ryoji “Ranka” Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club
Although his daughter is hard-working and independent, Ranka keeps the lights on and the spirits up while also finding time to pursue his passion of dressing as a woman. While Ranka’s cross dressing is portrayed as just one of his many comic relief quirks, even so, it makes him both a mother and a father to his daughter. He is strong and protective, yet tender and supportive. In his way, Ranka is like the perfect parent.
Soichiro Yagami from Death Note
Sometimes you just need a father that believes in you, even when you are a horrible serial killer. In that scenario, you would definitely want Soichiro Yagami as your father. Throughout Death Note, even when it is blatantly obvious, Soichiro maintains that his son Light is innocent and is not the serial killer Kira. Of course, while he has the utmost faith in his son, he is, for some reason, conflicted when it comes to saving his daughter from the mafia. He makes the right decision in the end, but there seems to be some bias there.
Daikichi Kawachi from Usagi Drop
When it comes to being a good father, sometimes blood doesn’t matter. You can be their adoptive father, birth father, or, in Usagi Drop’s case, a nephew. After his grandfather’s death, not only did Daikichi take in his illegitimate aunt, but he did a great job of raising her. There were hiccups at first, but ultimately he stepped up to the sacrifices of being a father. He stopped smoking, he stopped going out for after work drinks, and he even asked for a demotion so he could make it home at a decent time. Let’s just pretend that all the weirdness that happens later in the manga doesn’t happen though.
Akio Furukawa from Clannad
So who’s the best dad? It’s Akio, of course! Even it you are not a Clannad fan, you can’t not love Akio. He is everything a father needs to be. He knows when to be strict, he knows when to be sensitive, and he does it all under a veneer of rough-talking, cigarette-smoking loveliness. Akio Furukawa is a man willing to sacrifice his dreams for his daughter, but still embrace his inner weirdness to make her laugh and keep their family happy. He is a father that will keep you growing up right, but isn’t afraid to be your friend sometimes too.