Gia's List: The 8 Craziest Anime Familiesby Gia Manry, Jul 21st 2012
My dear Anime News Network readers, it is with great sadness that I announce that this will be my last Gia's List column for the foreseeable future as I am about to move into a new and exciting opportunity! I wanted to end the column with a bit of a bang, so here are the seven most insane families in anime— ones whose members you might not even want to meet on the street, and others whose insanities are more...charming.
8. Arcana Famiglia (La storia della Arcana Famiglia)
Japan loves exploring "mafia" style families, whether they're murderous criminal organizations or benevolent friends of the community. The Arcana "family"— it's unclear exactly how many of the members are related by blood —sits snugly in the latter category, serving as a sort of volunteer police force that may or may not be inhibited by local laws or authorities...we haven't seen any in the series so far. Not only do these guys fight crime and have strange, Tarot-inspired super powers, but leader "Papa" apparently gets to do whatever he wants with his followers, including marrying off daughter/heroine Felicità to whomever wins a thus far unspecified competition between the other family members. Sure, she gets to compete as well, but the whole idea of competing to become "Papa" has a defrinitely creepy vibe.
7. The Rozen Maidens (Rozen Maiden)
These "sister" dolls have a "father" who created them all specifically so that they could compete for his love and affection. As in, compete to the death. "Father" has never really been seen in the anime series, but our loving sisters include the psychotic discard Suigintou, cute would-be investigator Kanaria, tsundere Suiseiseki, tomboy Souseiseki, snobby Shinku, childlike Hinaichigo, and violent disembodied vine-wielding Kirakishou. Most of these dolls live in peace and harmony despite their avowed determination to become the perfect "Alice" in order to make their mysterious, ethereal "father" happy. Not exactly the kind of foster sisters you would want if you were to be adopted, right?
6. The Ushiromiya Family (Umineko no Naku Koro ni)
The enormous Ushiromiya clan is led by Kinzo Ushiromiya, a self-taught sorcerer who manages to summon the "golden witch" Beatrice, with whom he procreates, leading to the birth of another Beatrice. Unfortunately, young Beatrice grows up to look exactly like her mother, leading her father to go nuts and father two children on his own daughter. Young Beatrice also has four siblings: money-hungry Krauss, aggressive and hostile Eva, Eva's partner-in-crime Rudolf, and hard-working young Rosa. And these crazy kids have their OWN crazy kids: Beatrice's rival Battler, perky but asthmatic Jessica, and well-intentioned George. SPOILER ALERT: When this family holds a reunion, it should come as no surprise that most of them wind up dead. No inheritance is worth it!
5. The Matou Family (Fate/stay night)
Much of the Matou family's insanity can be traced back to family elder Zouken Matou, one of the original creators of the Holy Grail system that serves as the central conflict throughout the Fate/stay night franchise. Zouken not only created a constant, ongoing cycle of destruction, anger, and death, but he also pioneered the art of training young would-be magicians by way of hideous torture and brutal assaults. His grandson Shinji is also violent, controlling, and has a nasty temper, who assists his grandfather in this torture despite (or because of?) his own anger at not being his family's heir. Though honestly it seems like not being forced into the Grail War is more of a blessing than a curse...still, in this family you're either tortured to improve your skills or neglected in favor of the better-skilled. Either way: not fun!
4. Eastern Europe (Hetalia)
It should come as no surprise that a "family" consisting of personified nations would have some pretty weird dysfunctions, and every continent has its issues...but Eastern Europe takes the cake. To start, you've got Russia, the biggest, loudest, most powerful sibling who is also giddily psychopathic. Russia shies away from his little sister Belarus, the intimidating, knife-wielding yandere who is obsessed with him. When distant relative Lithuania made a move on Belarus, she broke all his fingers. Latvia is painfully shy, Ukraine attempts to keep the family together but is actually somewhat terrified of her siblings, and the "sane" family members (Estonia and Poland) usually avoid getting caught up in the family hijinks. Even people who live in Europe might prefer not to get caught up in these family squabbles.
3. Britannian Royal Family (Code Geass)
The Britannian Royal Family's history is chock-full of colorful characters, political intrigue, and outrageous deaths. Emperor Charles zi Britannia had 108 consorts, with whom he had any number of children. In the Code Geass storyline we only meet about eight or nine, most of whom have their own psychoses. Protagonist Lelouch is obsessed with the fact that his father allowed his mother to be killed, Schneizel has no compuction about slaughtering people to suit his needs, Odysseus is wishy-washy, and little-seen Carine loves nothing more than a little violence. Or a lot of it. We don't want to spoil anything if you haven't watched the show, but there's more than a little inter-sibling violence. So if you're tempted by the chance to become emperor of the world, well...it's probably not worth it.
2. The Hair Siblings (Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo)
The story of the ridiculous adventures of Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo revolves around the Five Hair Siblings, whose father set them to fighting over an inheritance: control of the Hair Kingdom. After invaders sacked the country and left, the second-oldest sibling, Bibibi-bi Bi-bibi, took control of the kingdom as a tyrant, dividing the nation into 16 districts and generally making life tough for citizens. The eldest sibling, Bababa-ba Ba-baba, is no longer on the earth after Bo-Bobo flung his teleporter into space, while middle sibling and only sister Bububu-bu Bu-bubu tries to help Bo-Bobo wrest control from their siblings. Second-youngest brother Bebebe-be Be-bebe is a member of a secret organization of evil, and protagonist/youngest sibling Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo who is obsessed with restoring his nation. Oh, and each one of them has the ability to control certain kinds of their hair: chest, head, armpit, leg, and nose, respectively. Whatever else you think about this family, be warned: they're crazy.
1. The Ikari Family (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
It's not a very big family, but every member of the Ikari clan that we know of is psychologically damaged in some way. Teen king of angst Shinji Ikari has lived a life without his mother Yui, who passed away, and without his father Gendo, who operates in a shady organization ostensibly dedicated to saving the human race from insanely powerful aliens called "Angels." When Shinji finally hooks back up with his father, he's forced into piloting a giant robot at his father's behest in order to stop those aliens, and doesn't get so much as a "thank you" at the end of it. Yes, there are more than a few bonding issues between this father/son pair, and if you start including alcoholic guardian Misato and Rei, who bears more than a passing similarity to Shinji's mother Yui, well, you get one messed up family.
The new poll: I know, I know, there's not going to be a "next time" for the results of this poll, so this time I'm making the results publicly viewable. You final poll is: which summer 2012 anime are you enjoying the most so far? Vote here and check back on the results!
The previous poll: So it turns out that more of you want to live with the gorgeous high school bachelor Tamaki Suou from Ouran High School Host Club (33%) than with the similarly infinitely-funded home of tsundere manga fanatic Nagi Sanzenin (24%)— maybe it's because she has semi-dangerous tigers and robots around all the time? Here are the full results of the poll:
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