Like Skwisgaar above, we love our MILFs and GMILFs. In a sense, Skwisgaar embodies everything that is mother’s day. And though they aren’t highlighted often, especially since stories about moms don’t really appeal a whole lot to the western anime market, there actually are quite a few anime and manga that center around moms. While I probably could have mentioned Full Metal Alchemist and shows and manga people actually know about, I chose instead to highlight some shows where the main character is either a mom or is otherwise heavily centered around moms.
Reiko Kamohara Kaasan – Mom’s Life Kaasan – Mom’s Life
explores the everyday life of Reiko Kamohara, a woman balancing her job as a mangaka between caring for her two young children, Bunji and Fumi, and their dog, John. Bunji is a little slow, loud, brash and obsessed with a sentai superhero named Hopperman (hilariously mistranslated as Batman in the first couple of episodes of the Crunchyroll sub since Batta is Japanese for grasshopper). Fumi is normally well behaved, but the way she’s overly spoiled by her father makes her instantly jealous of anyone or anything that receives more attention than her. As for Reiko’s husband, his job as a war photojournalist means he spends long amounts of time out of the country, and when he is home is he’s usually getting plastered. The only real extra help Reiko gets is from her mother, who’s living with them. Reiko has an almost constantly exasperated expression on her face from the stress of her work and caring for two very active children.
The ongoing series is being released streaming on Crunchyroll and Anime News Network.
Sachiko Azuma With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child
Sachiko is thrilled after the birth of her son, Hikaru, but by the time Hiakru is two years old she notices something doesn’t seem right. He doesn’t speak, still isn’t toilet trained and is easily upset by perplexing things, such as the sound of babies crying or Buddhist chanting . The worst is when they attend a funeral, where the family of Sachiko’s husband, Masato, compares Hikaru’s ill behavior to that of another similarly aged and well-behaved child in attendance and ostracize Sachiko for her bad parenting. Masato’s mother in particular believes that Sachiko is a bad mother, and after Hikaru is diagnosed is initially convinced it’s Sachiko’s fault Hikaru is autistic. The rest of the manga is about Hikaru’s development and how Sachiko must sometimes struggle to make sure he gets the proper education and treatment in a Japanese society that’s less-than-understanding when it comes to the disabled.
The manga is being released in English by Yen Press. The mangaka for this series, Keiko Tobe, unfortunately passed away recently, leaving the manga unfinished. There’s also a live action drama for the series.
Masane Amaha Witchblade
Masane is a single mother moving to Tokyo with her young daughter, Rihoko. The two are on the run from child services, who believe they can provide a better home for Rihoko than an unemployed drifter like Masane can. Though Masane is ditzy and many times Rihoko acts more mature and more like the parent than she does, the two don’t want to be separated. The fact that Masane has the Witchblade is important in relation to Rihoko late in the series.
The anime is being carried in the US by FUNimation.
Mito Space Pirate Mito
Mito is a three foot tall humanoid alien with the appearance of a 6-year-old. Mito owns multiple “mail suits” which allow her to take on the appearance of a human adult. She wears one such non-combat mail suit in front of her half-human, half-alien son, Aoi. It isn’t until Aoi is 15 years old that he learns that truth when he catches Mito removing her mail suit after coming back from a yearlong space mission. While she kept it a secret from him, she did so to protect him from her dangerous lifestyle.
Space Pirate Mito is available in the US from Media Blasters.
Yamada Tamaki My Grandma is an Idol
And now a series that highlights grandmas! Tamaki is an elderly 65-year-old woman from a wealthy family who comes to visit her son’s family for the first time since her granddaughter’s birth. She never approved of her son’s decisions in life, but after losing her money in a real estate scam (of which her family is initially unaware), she has no choice but to move in with them. Tamaki drives her 16-year-old granddaughter, Momoka, insane with the extremely formal and antiquated lifestyle that she forces on her. But everything changes for the worst for Momoka after Tamaki demands she take her to the TV station where her father works. Tamaki gets electrocuted, which renews her cells and gives her the appearance of a 16-year-old girl. Not only does she start attending Momoka’s school, but because of her beauty everyone begins referring to Momoka as “Old Yamada” and Tamaki as “Young Yamada.” If that weren’t bad enough, the boy Momoka has a crush on starts developing feelings for her grandma!
Mutsuki Ichimonji, Kisaragi Ninomai
, Yayoi Sanzenin
, Uzuki Shitenno
and Satsuki Gokajo Happy Lesson
It’s a harem series where instead of multiple potential love interests, the protagonist has multiple mothers (but not in the “Heather has Two Mommies” kind of way). Chitose Hiotose (Susumu Arisaka in the manga or “Cheetos” if you’re watching the dub) is an orphan being cared for (somewhat against his will) by his five teachers. Mitsuki is the Japanese Classics teacher and Chitose’s homeroom teacher; Kisaragi is the emotionless science teacher with somewhat of a cruel streak; Yayoi is the attractive school nurse who’s also a Shinto priestess; Uzuki is the cosplay-obsessed art teacher; Satsuki is the loud and brash athletics coach.
Happy Lesson was released in the US under the (now defunct) A.D. Vision. ADV Manga also began releasing the manga version, but given that they folded long before many of their manga were completed I’m not sure if they completed the series. The Japan Girl