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TOP 5 GREATEST ANIME FATHERS

We're (belatedly) celebrating father's day with some of our favorite anime dads!

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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!

NUMBER FIVE == JOSEPH JOESTAR (JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE)

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!

NUMBER FOUR == BUNTA FUJIWARA (INITIAL D)

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.

NUMBER THREE == TATSUO KUSAKABE (MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO)

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).

NUMBER TWO == GENMA SAOTOME (RANMA ½)

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.

Gif time again! Click for the animated version.
Gif time again! Click for the animated version.

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!

NUMBER ONE == GOKU (DRAGONBALL)

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...

  1. He goes on adventures all the time
  2. He hangs out with dinosaurs (!!!)
  3. He basically devotes his life to what amounts to a high stakes Easter-egg hunt (kids love those).
  4. 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

Acura_Max moderator on June 18, 2013 at 2:08 p.m.
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.

Lol. You make us sound like people who like to punch puppies (We punch kittens instead. This is a puppy allied site!).

AgentJon June 18, 2013 at 2:46 p.m.

You could argue that he was a good father to Gohan, but what about Goten?

Supreme Marvelon June 18, 2013 at 2:49 p.m.

How the fuck is Goku number 1? Seriously? He's the worst father in the world.

  1. He has no job to support his sons.
  2. He constantly leaves his sons
  3. He always puts Gohan in harms way
  4. He chose Hercule and Dende over his sons and Trunks to die

If it wasn't for Chi Chi, Gohan would not be the same. She constantly fed him stories about Goku doing this, Goku doing that so when he manages to be with him he has a fantasy ideology of his father. Chi Chi offered him structure. He became a scientist because of her.

For proof of her child raising skills. Look at Goten. 7 years without Goku in his life and he turned out well.

When Goku came into his life Goten died within a few days.

Supreme Marvelon June 18, 2013 at 3:23 p.m.

It wasn't Goku that made Gohan turn out the way he did. It was Chi Chi and most importantly, probably Piccolo.

Petiewon June 18, 2013 at 3:38 p.m.

So I'm guessing this is more of a "Cool dudes who happen to also have a kid" list rather than actual greatest fathers?

Also how could you miss out Gendo "Father of the year" Ikari?

Kuro_Sanon June 18, 2013 at 5:31 p.m.

Goku is one of the worst parents ever. PERIOD

Not exactly an Anime, but Anime inspired, Asura from Asura's Wrath may take the cake in epic parenting, he fought God to rescue his daughter and fucking won.

Ranka Fujioka could also count, as even at his/her worst he/she is better than Goku.

Shirou Fujimoto from Ao no Exorcist may be one of the greatest surrogate parents

Shikaku Nara from Naruto also counts, damn all the Ino-Shika-Cho parents count.

Vegeta is a better parent than Goku, he fucking died for his son. He almost died twice to save him

Yet, the greatest father is Kotetsu Kaburagi (A.k.a Wild Tiger)

Destinyheroknighton June 18, 2013 at 5:49 p.m.

I think you are confuse, Piccolo is the one who teach Gohan to not be a crybaby and teach him some moves. (Goku only teach Gohan how to be a Super Saiyan). Goku is a bad dad in my eyes, I feel sorry for both Gohan and Goten

Halberdierv2on June 18, 2013 at 5:50 p.m.

just to note, the ranma link in the page goes to a dud article. This is where it should link to.

YotaruVegetaon June 18, 2013 at 6 p.m.

@Supreme Marvel: @Kuro_San: Goku has a job: SAVING THE WORLD. What job's on your business card? He has also died saving the world several times; that's because damn near every Dragonball character's died and came back.

I think we all know who's a better father than Goku, though! A real father is a cold, angry, incredibly powerful man.

No honorable mention to Lain's Dad, BTW? :)

Supreme Marvelon June 18, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: A "job" is a paid position of employment. Therefore he has no job. Most of the time he is the cause of the impending doom of the Earth. Several means more than two. He's only died twice. Fighting Raditz and sacrificing himself against Cell (which he could have easily have taken King Kai and quickly teleported back).

I agree, Vegeta is a better, much better father in comparison.

AlexEL staff on June 18, 2013 at 10:28 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: haha, i actually considered honorably mentioning lain's dad!

Sonata moderator on June 18, 2013 at 11:27 p.m.

The day we see someone like Goku as a great father figure is when human conception should come to an end.

SamJazon June 19, 2013 at 1:18 a.m.

Good argument for Goku to be honest. Still convinced Genma Saotome should be on the worst fathers list with Charles Di Britannia, Gendo Ikari, Shou Tucker and whoever Hayate's father is in Hayate the Combat Butler.

No love for this guy?

Maes Hughes
Maes Hughes
bigz007on June 19, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.

It's easier to find most horrible fathers.

rubberluffyon June 19, 2013 at 12:38 p.m.

I dunno about Joseph, on one hand he is a badass Grandpa to Jotaro, and goes on a worldwide journey to help save his daughter (Jotaro's mother), but Joseph also cheated on his wife and had an illegitimate child (Josuke Higashikata). Josuke didn't even meet Joseph until Joseph was old enough to start going senile.

Dads in JoJo never seem do a great job, Jolyne resents Jotaro for putting his job before his family, Giorno's dad is Dio using Jonathan's body, Johnny's dad clearly favors his older son and treats Johnny like crap.

Top8caton June 19, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.

Think you mean Piccolo is the greatestDBZ father.

YotaruVegetaon June 20, 2013 at 6 p.m.

@Supreme Marvel: Sometimes, one parent in the family works while the other does not. Doesn't make them a bad parent. Also, when you have to SAVE THE WORLD, there isn't much time for other things.

Supreme Marvelon June 21, 2013 at 4:57 a.m.

@YotaruVegeta: Yes that's true. But when do we ever see Chi Chi work? All the other things make him a bad parent. Many others could have saved the world.

Kino88on June 22, 2013 at 12:26 p.m.
I know he had his rough edges an all but.....
Kino88on June 22, 2013 at 12:29 p.m.
Gendo Ikari c,mon the man gave is son the keys to a giant robot, just sayin,

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