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10 Harsh Realities Of Being An Anime Dad

Whether in the world of anime or in real life, parenthood is a serious responsibility, and fictional parents come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are model mothers and fathers, and some of them are hardworking single parents who give everything up for their young ones. This is never easy.

RELATED: 10 Coolest Anime Dads Who Just Want to Have Fun

There are many proud anime parents out there, some of whom have raised kids stronger than themselves. Then again, it’s clear that there are many harsh realities and downsides to being an anime parent, and many anime fathers know this all too well. Even if they’re not a bumbling sitcom dad like Homer Simpson, they face many harsh realities as a parent, and it might cost them everything.

10 His Wife Might Perish

It’s heartbreaking for anyone to suffer the death of their spouse, and anime isn’t afraid to explore this pain. Some single anime parents became single because their spouse died in the story, and that includes a handful of anime fathers, such as the ancient Van Hohenheim.

Many anime fathers are also married, and they belong to a nuclear family, such as the Elrics. And some of these anime dads must experience the loss of their wives, such as Hohenheim’s wife, Trisha Elric. He visits her grave often, as do his sons, Edward and Alphonse.

9 His Wife Might Leave Him

Not all anime fathers are married men, but many of them are, or at least, were. Ideally, the anime dad’s wife and children will stay by his side through thick and thin, but alas, that doesn’t always happen. Even if the dad’s wife survives, she might leave him, and she might take the kids with her.

Papa Shirogane from Kaguya-Sama: Love is War went through that, and it devastated him. He still has his son and daughter with him, but missing his wife left a huge hole in his heart, and Miyuki and Kei aren’t doing much to help him recover. They tend to mind their own business instead.

8 His Job Might Keep Him Away From His Kids

Ging Freecss Hunter X Hunter Chairman Election Arc

An anime father is likely to be employed, or perhaps he has an unusual career based on exploring the world or fighting monsters and aliens elsewhere. Whatever the case, these anime fathers are often away from their kids because they must put their job or quest first.

RELATED: 10 Strongest Anime Moms, Ranked

This creates tension in a number of anime families, and many anime protagonists resent their dads for always being away. The elderly Joseph Joestar almost never makes time for his son, Josuke, and Ging Freecss is always absent from Gon’s life. Some part of Ging must feel terribly guilty about that.

7 His Child Might Turn Evil

makarov dreyar fairy tail

Many anime parents are immensely proud of how their children turned out, but some fathers get the opposite experience. An anime father will be horrified, shocked, or outraged if his son or daughter turns evil instead, and characters such as the detective Soichiro Yagami and the wizard Makarov Dreyar know that feeling.

Soichiro always believed in Light’s innocence, but Light really was Kira, and L insisted on it, which stressed Soichiro immensely. Then, Makarov’s adult son Ivan turned evil and quit the Fairy Tail guild, then formed the villainous Raven Tail guild.

6 His Children Might Be Kidnapped Or Threatened

Even if an anime dad’s children don’t turn evil, other villains might enter the picture and threaten those children somehow. Often, the villains will do this to gain serious leverage on the father, to torture him with the threat of his children’s grisly demise, or both.

RELATED: 10 Coolest Anime Moms Who Just Want to Have Fun

In Death Note, Soichiro Yagami was in agony when his daughter Sayu was kidnapped and held in the U.S., all to pressure Soichiro to give up the notebook. And in Naruto, Obito threatened to kill the newborn Naruto Uzumaki if Minato Namikaze didn’t give in to his demands.

5 He Might Die Or Start The Story Already Dead

It’s common for young action heroes to have one or both parents dead or missing, as characters like Naruto, Luffy, Ichigo, Gon, and more can attest to. This often includes anime fathers, and the story will give the protagonist a mentor or coach to act as a substitute father figure, such as Askeladd the Viking or Jiraiya the Toad Sage.

If anime dads knew what they were in for, they’d panic. Characters such as Minato Namikaze, Katsuya Honda, and Thors the Viking might hesitate to start a family if they knew it would mean their untimely deaths. The plot demands their death, and that’s not something to look forward to.

4 His Kids Might Resent Or Even Hate Him

An anime father might be at odds with his children for any number of reasons, and even if his kids don’t turn evil or go rogue, they still might clash with him. Sometimes, it’s the anime dad’s fault, and sometimes, it’s not. In any case, no father wants his kids to dislike him.

RELATED: 10 Anime Parents Who Sacrificed Themselves For Their Children

Any father would be heartbroken if his child told him “I hate you!” or if they held him in contempt or insulted him. Joseph Joestar had to go through this during Diamond is Unbreakable, but then again, he did cheat on his wife and was never there for Josuke. No wonder Josuke doesn’t like him.

3 He Might Not Be Taken Seriously

Isshin lunges happily at the viewer

Stereotypical sitcom dads, such as Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin, are portrayed as bumbling doofuses, and that leads to resentment among some viewers, and not without reason. Anime fathers are much more varied than that, but some of them still manage to become the Homer Simpson of their franchise.

Isshin Kurosaki is a dedicated single father and a skilled Soul Reaper, but his kids treat him as a joke, and he is cheap comic relief more often than not. He has his moments, but overall, Bleach treats Isshin as the class clown, and it’s not always a good look. At least he doesn’t scarf down doughnuts all day long.

2 He’s Expected To Make Serious Sacrifices


All mothers and fathers are expected to make daily sacrifices of their time, energy, and even happiness for the sake of their kids, and plenty of anime mothers and fathers deliver. But dads, in particular, are expected to sacrifice even more, including their safety and their very lives. Men are, by tradition, expected to be the ultimate shield for their families.

This is a noble idea, and plenty of fictional and real dads are ready for this sacrifice. But some are not, and they might run away and feel terribly guilty that they couldn’t make the sacrifice expected of them. Or they do make that sacrifice, as Thors did, and they pay the ultimate price for it.

1 He Might Alienate His Family With His Viewpoints Or Methods

Some anime parents turn evil, and there are plenty of wicked moms and dads out there, from Irene Belserion to Shou Tucker the state alchemist, and these evil parents know what they’re getting themselves into. But other anime fathers go bad and alienate their kids and feel guilty about it.

Some anime dads are borderline villains or are simply too extreme in their methods/goals, but they actually do mean well. Endeavor is a real hero who wants his son Shoto to succeed, and Azami Nakiri wanted what was best for his daughter, Erina Nakiri. The problem is that these dads go too far and end up pushing their kids away, and they feel pretty bad about that.

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