Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find the prompts here.
This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is all about dad related themes because this coming Sunday is Father’s Day in the U.S. I’m on a big manga/anime kick at the moment so I thought I would use that as the inspiration for my take on this week’s topic. I’m going to share with you my picks for the Top 10 Best Father Figures in Manga & Anime.
Ryoji “Ranka” Fujioka, Ouran High School Host Club
In Ouran High School Host Club, the main character Haruhi Fujioka is raised by her father, Ranka, who is a cross-dresser. He loves his daughter more than anything, which we see in flashbacks when he tries to deny himself for her sake (which she convinces him to stop because she loves him no matter what he wears) and in the present time when he defends her from what he thinks is Tamaki making a move (a BIG misunderstanding…poor Tamaki). Since Haruhi’s mother died when she was very young, Ranka had to take on both roles and while he struggled at some points in the process, he did manage to raise a strong, independent daughter who is smart and determined.
Maes Hughes, Fullmetal Alchemist
Maes is the epitome of the proud father. He will always talk about his darling little girl Elicia. Always ready to talk about her, he also carries around her picture, ready to show it off at a moment’s notice. His fate, and Elicia’s reaction to it, are particularly hard to take in the manga and the anime, but it doesn’t stop him from being one of my top favorite fathers in anime or manga.
Mifune, Soul Eater
Mifune is the first character on this list that is a father figure rather than a biological, step, or adopted father to the child in question. Mifune acts as the bodyguard to Angela, a witch who is little more than a child in the series, but who many would seek to harm. He fights off a host of enemies, including some of the main characters, and even compromises his personal integrity by working with the villains at one point because they promise to protect Angela. He’d die for her and that kind of self sacrifice earns him a spot on my list.
Sojiro Izumi, Lucky Star
Sojiro is a bit eccentric and, admittedly, a little perverted, but he is nothing if not a devoted father. He’s also an otaku and he shares this passion with his daughter (though maybe he did so a bit earlier in her life than was…wise?). He never thinks she’s weird because of the things she loves and encourages her to be herself. I think there are times when he feels like he might have missed out on giving her something because she doesn’t have a mother in the picture (her mother died while Konata was very young), but she reassures him, usually by joking or messing around, displaying that she truly is his daughter.
Fujitaka Kinomoto, Cardcaptor Sakura
This devoted father, while busy, makes sure that his daughter Sakura and son Toya never lack for anything and never forget their mother, Nadeshiko. His character is a bit different between the manga and the anime, certain features and character traits, etc., but his love for his family is never in doubt. He’s a busy archaeology professor who has a basement full of books and is a papa that is always ready with a story about Sakura’s mother, including how they met (Nadeshiko, after returning a baby bird to its nest, fell out of the tree and onto his head). I wish his anime character was more in line with the manga (spoilers there, so I won’t go into details), but I think he’s one of the most realistic working fathers on this list.
Gozaburo Seto, My Bride Is A Mermaid
Gozaburo is another papa that is a bit eccentric. Okay, he’s a lot eccentric, because he’s Sun Seto’s father first and foremost, but he’s also the head of the mermaid version of the yakuza. He wants to protect his daughter from everything, including the human he thinks tricked her into marriage (he didn’t). In order to do so, he leaves the ocean with a contingent of bodyguards and, with them and his wife, becomes teachers at the school his daughter and her “husband” have transferred to. Overprotective, yes, but he does love Sun and he did instill a brilliant sense of honor in her.
Kirigaya Kazuto/Kirito, Sword Art Online
The second father figure on this list. Kirito is the “father” to Yui, a little girl who started out as a program in the game Sword Art Online that was meant to monitor the psychological health of the characters. However, once the creator started the Death Game and she was no longer able to do her job properly, things changed. Without going into too many plot points and details, Yui observed Kirito and Asuna as a couple and became a part of their family, becoming their “daughter” and as far as I can remember, never once did Kirito treat her as anything other than a real child.
Kazuma Sohma/Shishou, Fruits Basket
Kazuma, or as his student/”son” Kyo calls him “Shishou”, is a member of the family in Fruits Basket that is cursed to turn into animals from the Chinese zodiac when hugged by a member of the opposite sex, though he himself is not cursed. He starts to train the other members of the family, partially as atonement for his treatment of his grandfather who was the previous cat. He becomes particularly fond of Kyo, the current cat, and does what he can to prevent Kyo from suffering a similar fate as his grandfather, something Shishou still feels guilty about. Kyo’s family, superstitious as most of the other Sohmas, disliked their son and were not very good parents, so Shishou is the closest thing that Kyo ever had to a father. He helped him gain a sense of self worth over the years, a sense of purpose, and when Kyo refuses to face the truth about himself and would rather give in to self pity, Shishou is one of the only ones to confront him and force him out of it. He might not be Kyo’s biological father, but he was that boy’s papa in every other sense of the word.
Tatsuo Kusakabe, My Neighbor Totoro
Tatsuo is a dad that’s doing the best he can. His wife is in the hospital suffering from a long illness, which I don’t think we ever figure out. That doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, though, simply that the mother, while still alive, isn’t able to be around and Tatsuo is caring for his daughters as best as he can. He takes charge of moving them from their previous home to a house in the country that is nearer the hospital where their mother is. Fixing it up, continuing his job, visiting his wife, it’s a lot of work, but he does this and is still a supportive father. His daughters tell him stories about soot sprites and forest spirits and he never tells them off for it. He joins in on their stories and plays with them, calling out to the spirits as well. I admire Tatsuo because he has so much on his plate, but he never lets on to his children.
No-ah, One Fine Day
No-ah is a bit of an odd choice, I’ll grant you, because in One Fine Day at first I wasn’t sure if the three main characters were children dressed as animals or if they were animals that became humanoid (I think they’re the second these days). Whether he’s a papa to kids or to animals, No-ah is a magical daddy (seriously, he’s a wizard or something like that) that loves these creatures and takes them into his home, providing all that he can for his unconventional family.
Can you think of any father figures in anime or manga that I might have missed? Let me know in the comments below what you think of these choices, or which you might have selected instead.