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6 Anime to Watch With Your Dad

by Lynzee Loveridge,

I just got back from camping out in the woods (okay it was a state park) and roughing it old school (in a cabin) but while much of America is barbecuing with their folks, it's the perfect opportunity to turn on one of these shows and introduce your dad to the world of anime!

Father's Day is this Sunday, and while we've previously looked at anime parents (albeit bad ones) and "gateway" series, this week we're taking a little from Column A and a little from Column B. Here are six shows you could sit down and watch together with your dad, little to no knowledge of Japanese culture required! The choices are grouped by different types of "dad" interests, so you can pick the dad-ime that's right for you.

Grillmaster Dad (Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma) If your dad has serious flair in the kitchen or out on the grill, then he might enjoy the mouthwatering culinary competitions in Food Wars! However, the first few episodes might give you pause. The "foodgasms" are overtly sexual early on but are quickly abandoned in favor of over-the-top ridiculousness with apple-headed princes and barrages of meat arrows. That said, this is the most "otaku" entry on the list, so proceed with caution if naughty humor is not your dad's bag.

Football Dad (Eyeshield 21) Eyeshield 21 has the distinction of being one of the only anime series about American football. It builds off a familiar formula: average kid is discovered to have athletic talent and gets recruited onto an underdog sports team. So freshman running back Sena and the other football misfits try to make a serious play for a national tournament win. Eyeshield 21 has a few risks for beginners, namely its large episode count. A dub exists for some of the show but isn't readily available anymore. So long as subtitles don't scare off your Pops, the entire series is streaming on Crunchyroll.

Car Dad (Redline) This stylish sci-fi feature will hold your dad's attention as its greaser protagonist faces cyborgs, dog-men, and other cut-throat contestants in a no holds barred intergalactic race. The film is set in the future, but the "Trans Am 2000," as well as the other stylish vehicles, will be sure to impress your gearhead dad. You might want to get up and grab a drink during the the brief topless nudity if that seems like an uncomfortable situation, but otherwise Takeshi Koike's 100-minute labor of love is a sure winner.

Sitcom Dad (Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto) American sitcoms are a very specific type of animal. My own parents are constant consumers of the latest long-running comedy, having faithfully watched Seinfeld, That 70s Show and now The Big Bang Theory. The kind of humor we usually get from anime is entirely different and often based around cute high school girls. Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto isn't a perfect fit, but it has a number of points in its favor that could lead to a successful crossover. The gags are mostly physical without resorting to slapstick. Each episode's A-B format (or sometimes A-B-C) also sets a faster pace, so if one joke leaves him slackjawed, you aren't sitting there awkwardly for long.

Sci-Fi Dad (Psycho-Pass) Psycho-Pass's plot and themes should be easily accessible to anyone with an interest in science fiction crime dramas. This is for the more grounded sci-fi dad who likes dystopian shows like The 100. The series draws heavily from American crime shows and the beginning story arcs should feel familiar to fans of CSI or Fringe, drawing viewers in before expounding on the larger philosophical themes and more intricate plot points.

Buddy Comedy Dad (Tiger & Bunny) If your dad eats up Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and the rest of TV's tie-in Marvel and DC superhero shows, than Tiger & Bunny is a safe bet. The show stars two superheroes who participate in monetized crime-fighting with plenty of action amid the story's larger questions. Barnaby and Kotetsu's rookie vs. old timer dynamic will feel familiar, while the anime's larger questions of heroism and justice will provide something to chew on.

The new poll: Which anime character has the strangest name combo?

The old poll: Which Isekai World Would You Like to Live in Permanently?

  1. The Pokémon World (Pokémon series)
  2. Digital World (Digimon)
  3. Alfenheim Online (Sword Art Online)
  4. Disboard (No Game, No Life)
  5. Kingdom of Belzerg (KONOSUBA)
  6. Theldesia (Log Horizon)
  7. Gaea (Escaflowne)
  8. Republic of Biscotti/Kingdom of Galette (Dog Days)
  9. Cephiro (Magic Knight Rayearth)
  10. None of the above
  11. Yggdrasill (Overlord)

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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