Three cheers for moms. Single moms, cookie-baking moms, strict moms, workaholic moms, martial arts master moms, bike gang moms, wolf child moms and actually-giant-mecha moms—we appreciate you, in life and in anime. And there are some very, very good moms in anime.
In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’re honoring our five favorite anime moms. Here we go:
Junko Kaname from Madoka Magica
Junko keeps it very, very real. She’s busy as hell, a real businesswoman and the family’s breadwinner. In the morning, she helps her daughter Madoka tie bows into her hair. Late at night, when she returns from work, she drinks herself into a stupor. Her most memorable quote: “Us adults are always in pain. That’s why we’re allowed to drink alcohol!”
Chi-Chi from Dragon Ball Z
Chi-Chi’s idea of mothering might be a little controversial. She’s pretty strict. When her son Gohan is training to defeat some critically evil figure, or running off to save the world, Chi Chi’s always telling him, no, studying is more important. She’s overprotective and, probably, would prefer it if her husband and son weren’t constantly endangering themselves. But she loves her son and just wants him to grow into a good kid—which is exactly what he does.
Kyoko Honda from Fruits Basket
Throughout Fruits Basket, Kyoko is a strong presence, even though we never really meet her. Before a fatal car crash left her daughter, Torhu, an orphan, Kyoko had lived a full life, spurning her bad family situation and joining a biker gang. She was all surgical masks and dyed-black hair until she met Torhu’s father, a kind businessman. Later in life, after he dies, Kyoko is a loving mother to Torhu, raising her alone selflessly and with good humor. She had a hard go of things, but taught her daughter to always be positive in the face of harsh times.
Sanae Furukawa from Clannad
What a weird mom. We meet Sanae as she’s feeding protagonist Tomoya a very questionable rice cracker bread bun she baked. She’s soft-spoken and can go a little overboard if someone doesn’t like her bakery’s... stranger... goods, like octopus bread. But Sanae loves her family, and whomever her family loves, and will do anything to help them out. Also, her quirks are endearing as hell.
Hana from Wolf Children
The strength Hana musters to raise her two half-wolf children is admirable. Back at school, Hana fell in love with a werewolf who dies soon after they have kids. Her kids aren’t the easiest—they’re constantly turning into mischievous little wolves. But Hana gives up everything to provide for her children, something she never thought she’d have to do. It’s inspirational and, at the same time, heartbreaking.