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Gia's List: 8 Anime Parents You'd Call Child Services On

by Gia Manry,

Mommy and daddy issues are a staple of fiction across the world, but sometimes it seems hardly an anime parent passes who isn't somewhere on the scale between "bumbling" and "abusive." The following are eight anime characters whose parent-child relationships are cause for concern just from the last five years. (What, you wanted a list of the worst anime parents of all time? Half of them would be from Neon Genesis Evangelion.)

8. Sakura (Hanamaru Kindergarten)

This may seem like a surprising choice for a creepy-parents list. Sakura, mother of Hanamaru Kindergarten's child protagonist Anzu. She's smart, feisty, fun, and she encourages her daughter's unique personality. All of which sounds great...except that Sakura also has a bad habit of encouraging her daughter's determination to marry her kindergarten teacher, Tsuchida. By force of seduction, if necessary. Is she serious, or just kidding around? Hard to say— but the more important question is whether her five-year-old daughter can tell the difference.  

7. Kotetsu T. Kabaragi (Tiger and Bunny)

Kotetsu, also known as the superhero Wild Tiger, loves his daughter Kaede, very much. The only problem is that he loves everyone else in the entire city, too. His heroic high jinks constantly take him away from his attempts to visit Kaede and see her ice skating performances or other school functions...which might be acceptable except that for a fair few of them, Kotetsu winds up serving little or no practical function. Sure, it's not necessarily his fault— those are usually in episodes focused on other characters —but you still have to be glad that Kotetsu's mother is Kaede's primary caregiver.  

6. Spirit Albarn (Soul Eater)

Another utterly devoted dad, nee Spirit Albarn (also known as Death Scythe) dotes on daughter Maka Albarn, but she rebuffs his attempts at affection because his extracurricular activities seem to have driven off Maka's mother, who has remained unseen throughout the series. See, Spirit Albarn loves the ladies. Kinda hard to bond with your pops when he's flirting with females, especially ones who may not even be that much older than you, right? Sure, in the end Spirit comes through for his daughter...most of the time, but the best dads are always on duty— not just when things get tough.

5. Shingen Kishitani (Durarara!!)

Eccentric dads can be cool, but it's tough to get personal with a guy in a gas mask. Shingen Kishitani is the father of black market doctor Shinra Kishitani in Durarara!!, and in addition to finding Tokyo's air "filthy," the elder Kishitani may also be behind some of the biggest problems the show's characters suffer. Yeah, okay, he offered Shinra's future crush— the headless motorcyclist Celty —a place to crash, but only in exchange for performing surgery on her supernatural body...and making Shinra participate in it. He also generally seems apathetic to and largely absent from his son's life.


4. Junichirou Kumashiro (Occult Academy)

A man more interested in the supernatural than in his own offspring, Junichirou Kumashiro's daughter Maya is so bitter that when he dies, she returns to his other baby— the Occult Academy of the series' title —with the intention of destroying it. Oh, and he left behind a message for his students (and Maya) which winds up summoning a demon. Just what every child fantasizes about when they imagine getting a message from their dead parent.  

3. Saena Mogami (Skip Beat!)

Skip Beat! protagonist Kyoko Mogami is chipper, cheerful, brutally honest, and more than a little obsessive. The entire story follows her adventures stumbling into the world of acting, originally as a method of vengeance against the boyfriend who mistreated and cheated on her. But her desperation for affection comes as no surprise once you see Kyoko's flashbacks to her mother Saena, a distant woman who despises her daughter (at least, according to Kyoko). In fact, the show's heroine met the aforementioned boyfriend because his family was happy to have her around, unlike her own. Despite being under the age of 18, Kyoko begs her management company's owner not to go to her mother to obtain legal permission, claiming that her mother really wouldn't care.  

2. Reiji Kokonoe (Kodomo no Jikan)

Okay, technically he's a stepfather, not a biological parent, but Reiji— legal guardian for his dead lover's daughter (who is also his cousin-once-removed), third grader Rin —still counts. For the most part, he seems like a model stepdad: he works hard to support Rin after her mother passes away. He encourages her individuality. And...he has also hinted that he's raising Rin to replace her mother. Yes, wife-raising has an old literary history in Japan: it appeared in the 11th century novel The Tale of Genji as well. And it was as creepy there as it is here.  

1. Emperor Charles zi Britannia (Code Geass)

Let's see how much we can talk about Charles' terrible relationship with his kids, Lelouch and Nunnally Lamperouge, without spoiling the show for folks who haven't watched it yet. Charles was involved in the murder of his kids' mother, Marianne, then proceeded to banish the children to Japan (renamed Area 11), allowing no contact between himself and his youngest children. He enforces nepotism with all his other kids, born to his many-numbered consorts, regardless of their aptitude for ruling. Oh, and he's a pretty harsh social Darwinist to boot, encouraging competition in the name of supporting only the strong...even when it involves his offspring killing one other. Yeesh.
Each list is accompanied by a new reader poll, as well as the results from last week's poll.

The new poll: Now that the summer anime season is well under way, we want to know what your favorite shows from spring are. Take the survey here and check back in next time for the results!

The previous poll: ANN readers' favorite crossdressers!

It turns out that even five years after the anime adaptation of Ouran High School Host Club aired— and six months after the manga ended in Japan —ANN readers still favor its reluctant heroine, Haruhi Fujioka, over the rest of our (admittedly non-exhaustive) list of anime crossdressers. Another high contender taking the #2 spot was Kuranosuke Koibuchi from the more recent anime Princess Jellyfish, and the titular Revolutionary Girl Utena rounded out the top three.

Here's the full list, in order of popularity:

  1. Haruhi Fujioka (Ouran High School Host Club) - 20.9%
  2. Kuranosuke Koibuchi (Princess Jellyfish) - 13.1%
  3. Utena Tenjou (Revolutionary Girl Utena) - 11.6%
  4. Nuriko (Fushigi Yugi) - 7.3%
  5. Hana (Tokyo Godfathers) - 6.5%
  6. Mariya Shidou (Maria Holic) - 6.3%
  7. Oscar Francois de Jarjayes (Rose of Versailles)- 4.9%
  8. Hansel and Gretel (Black Lagoon) - 4.9%
  9. D'Eon de Beaumont (Le Chevalier D'Eon) - 3.9%
  10. Makoto (Minami-ke) - 3.8%
  11. Jun Watarase (Happiness!) - 3.1%
  12. Nadeshiko (Shugo Chara!) - 2.3%
  13. Aoi Hyoudou (Maid Sama!) - 2.0%
  14. Nathan Seymore / Fire Emblem (Tiger & Bunny) - 1.9%
  15. Seishirou Kotobuki (Lovely Complex) - 1.3%
  16. Hamaji (H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~) - 0.6%

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