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We hope everybody's still in the Father's Day mood, because this week we’ve decided to honor five of our favorite dads. We’re not talking exclusively about paragons of animated parenthood, father-of-the-years or role-models, mind you... these are the dads we just can’t get enough of!
Even if you’re sick of your own pop, these guys wont let you down!
That beard alone would be enough to earn this guy a spot on the list...
However, he’s also got a bionic arm, Indiana Jones wardrobe, and he shoots magic brambles. I guess you can keep reading if you want to, but that’s really all we ever look for in a Dad.
In his younger days, he thwarted Nazis and the ancient evil they awoke (as well as winning a chariot race, natch). That’s some timeless manliness. Dads all over the world are jealous.
Oh yeah, and he’s psychic.
Joseph knows what you’re going to say, before you say it, and he’s going to make fun of you about it. Humiliation is the final key in the perfect dad puzzle!
Bunta fits neatly into the anime character tropes hall of fame: wise, nearly-closed eyes, permanently-dangling cigarette, somewhat scruffy demeanor. Yeah, and flawless, superhuman control of his car. Dude's the classic shonen father.
This guy is not only the record-holding, absolute best downhill racer in all of Mt. Akina, he is also possibly the sneakiest, training his son Takumi to carry on the legacy without him even knowing about it! This man’s devotion to tofu delivery, racing and smooth cornering are matched only by his dedication to tricking his son.
This unassuming man is a fearsome beast of a driver - - and a pretty huge and looming shadow for Takumi to try and escape - - but he seems confident that his son will indeed surpass him one day. This man is a rock, a pillar of assurance, quiet dignity, and presence of mind... and he gets the tofu to you on time. What a man.
In start contrast to papa Joestar, Professor Kusakabe is the kind of animated father that you want to have picnics with. This guy could not be more trusting, sympathetic and relaxed as shit. This guy is taking care of two kids in a house full of spirits, with a wife in the hospital, but you’d never know it from his relaxed temperament, kind face and family bath-time antics. This guy keeps it together in the toughest of circumstances.
When the prof’s daughters tell him they’ve seen monsters in his yard, he doesn’t argue, or scold them... he encourages their new supernatural friendships! Even the most open-minded dads don’t usually like their kids hanging out with giant-mouthed monsters at the bus stop after dark.
This is the kind of guy who would bring home made cupcakes for your whole kindergarten class on your birthday, then stay and teach the rest of the class better than your regular teacher ever could, then take everyone in class for ramen, and then everyone would laugh all night at his stories (and go home hating their own parents).
Genma Saotome is a monstrous father who probably should have his kid taken away by child services. Not only was it his idea to swim to China and train his son in the ways of a martial arts style he made up (eventually getting his son cursed with a body that switches gender whenever it touches cold water - -and then continually shaming him about it), he also promised his son’s hand in marriage to a host of people around Japan.
Ranma is Genma’s successor, and it is clearly important that he carry on the famous Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts, but Genma is more than to exploit Ranma’s marital future. He might use it to secure a place to stay, satiate an old pal or get a bit of fish to eat when he’s really hungry.
On the other hand, he’s also a giant panda about 60% of the time and it’s damn hard to argue with that. What Genma lacks in responsibility and good judgement he makes up for in being a giant panda bear (and elaborate secret martial arts techniques).
Oddly enough, Genma Saotome and Joseph Joestar have the same ultimate martials arts technique - - the art of running away!
Before you start whining that Goku's an absentee father, or more concerned with fighting than parenting, think for a minute about how Gohan turned out. That wasn't an accident!
Also, how psyched would be if your dad saved the world about a billion times, was friends with a few dragons, died and came back on two occasions, and taught you some badass alien kung fu in a time chamber?
Goku has done just about everything a man can do for a planet/son, and arguably even better than that, he’s a career optimist. Cheerful at almost every turn, Goku always has the best intentions, and the biggest hair. Yeah, so maybe he spent one of Gohan’s formative years running around on a Snake Way and hanging out on tiny planet - - but it was only because he sacrificed himself to save everyone he knew!
Plus, he punches dudes through mountains...
One of Goku’s most admirable qualities is his willingness to make sacrifices for the greater good: be it his own death, or embarrassing fashion decisions like a certain pair of earrings that bound him to his former arch-nemesis. Goku isn’t squeamish. Goku doesn’t care what you think. Goku has seen and done it all, and probably already punched whatever your worst nightmares look like.
If you’re somehow still not convinced, here are some bonus Dad credentials...
- He goes on adventures all the time
- He hangs out with dinosaurs (!!!)
- He basically devotes his life to what amounts to a high stakes Easter-egg hunt (kids love those).
- He doesn’t tolerate bullies
And ultimately, he taught his home-schooled crybaby kid to take care of himself in a world where there seems to be a new alien monster/robot/demon/pink blob monster/psychopath every weekend. This is perhaps the greatest fatherly feat of all. He’s raised a son who can deal with the insane cartoon world they live in, full of constant danger and monster attacks.
These are five of our favorite dads in all of anime, but I’d bet there are a few you’re angry we’ve neglected! Who makes your list, Daikichi Kawachi? Maes Hughes? Let out all your frustrations in the comment section below.
Alex Eckman-Lawn is an illustrator and comic artists from Philadelphia. Check out his site - - alexeckmanlawn.com - - rumble with his Tumblr - -dudenukem.tumblr.com - - and hit up his Twitter: @alexeckmanlawn