With June being the month of Father’s Day, I thought it would be a great idea to do a list about fathers in anime. But unlike the mothers, you can easily find men who can be considered the best fathers and men who can be considered the worst fathers. The fathers will be split into two different lists between the next couple of months. This list will focus on the five best fathers in anime, and the list for July will focus on the five worst fathers in anime.
This list features the five best fathers that have appeared in the anime that I have personally seen. Like the list with the mothers, I’m having a hard time ranking these five men into numbers, because I can’t truly say that any of them are better than the others.
Tatsuo Kusakabe (My Neighbor Totoro)
Tatsuo Kusakabe is the father to Satsuki and Mei. In the story, he and his daughters move into an old house out in the country to be closer to the girls’ mother, who is in the hospital recovering from a long-term illness. Throughout the movie, Tatsuo has to serve in the role as a single father.
In the film, we see Tatsuo trying to juggle work and single fatherhood, as well as trying to cope with the fact that his wife is recovering from illness. Yet he never shows any of his worries to his two young daughters. Instead, we see him finding time to spend with them and making sure that they get to have fun with him. Tatsuo puts on such a brave face, even though we know that he has to have some worries involved with his situation.
Choza Akamichi (Naruto)
Choza is the father of Choji Akamichi. Early on in the series, Choji is sensitive about this weight, and was put down a lot when he was young due to not being good at a popular children’s game. When Choji is down about not having friends, Choza knows just the right words to say to his son to help cheer him up.
Choza is a gentle and caring man, and he also seems to have wisdom and an understanding of the world. But most of all, he has a deep love for his son. We also get to see that Choza treats Choji’s friend Shikamaru kindly, as well as setting a wonderful example for Choji on how to treat others and interact with them. Choza is willing to reprimand his son when it’s needed, but he has the right balance of love and discipline to raise Choji and help him grow into a respectable young man.
Shikaku Nara (Naruto)
Shikaku is the father of Shikamaru Nara. Over the course of the series, Shikaku is seen giving advice to his son and helping Shikamaru regain his sense of worth after he lost someone very close to him. But unlike Choza, Shikaku can be rougher when dispensing his help and advice.
One of the most powerful scenes to appear in the Naruto Shippuden anime is when Shikamaru is having trouble coping with the death I mentioned earlier. While Shikaku’s methods for helping his son cope seemed rather harsh on the surface, the viewer realizes later that Shikaku did what he needed to do in order to get a message across to Shikamaru.
It was also revealed in the series that Shikaku was one of the few parents who didn’t order his son to stay away from Naruto Uzumaki; instead, he encouraged Shikamaru to make up his own mind as to whether or not he wanted to be friends with the boy that almost everyone else shunned.
Tatsuo Saeki (Gingitsune Messenger Fox of the Gods)
Tatsuo is the father of Makoto Saeki, the main character of the series. He serves as the priest at the Saeki Shrine, which belongs to his deceased wife’s family. Both his wife and daughter possess the ability to see Gintaro, the fox herald of the shrine, since they are from the Saeki bloodline; but since Tatsuo married into the family, he is unable to see the herald. But when he sees Makoto speaking with Gintaro or whenever she talks about the herald, he never disbelieves her or says anything that makes it seem like he thinks she’s pretending. He supports his daughter as a shrine maiden, including her ability to speak to something that he is unable to see.
Tatsuo has been raising Makoto as a single father since she was around four years old. He never begrudges his situation, and in fact, comes across as a rather positive and patient person most of the time.
Later in the series, Tatsuo takes in Satoru Kamio, the successor of the Kamio Shrine who had been raised by relatives who mistreated him after his parents died. Not only does Tatsuo take Satoru in to serve as a mentor, he also tries to be a kind of father figure to a boy that he’s not even related to. The love he shows for his daughter and the patience he shows to Satoru are very admirable.
Kuririn (Dragon Ball Z)
Kuririn becomes the father of Marron close to the end of the series. Once she’s born, Kuririn settles down in order to help raise her. While we see Marron’s mother, Android 18, spending some time with their daughter, it’s definitely Kuririn who takes on a lot of the actual responsibility for raising and taking care of Marron. It seems like the division of labor between Kuririn and Android 18 is that Kuririn is in charge of taking care of most of Marron’s needs, while Android 18 is the one in charge of protecting Marron when she’s in danger. But when Kuririn is seen with Marron in the anime, it’s easy to tell just how much he loves her.