?When it comes to steady, well-adjusted characters, anime and manga are somewhat lacking. To put it bluntly: they’re full of heroes, villains, and supporting players who are all completely messed up in the head. But does that make it their fault? Not so much. If it takes a village to raise a child, it only takes one really bad parent to screw that kid up for life. It’s not as simple as damaging their self-esteem, thus resulting in huge therapy bills years down the line, either. In worlds where there’s no such thing as a psychological screening test for pilots of experimental mechas capable of flattening entire cities, poor parenting skills can have dire consequences for the entire world. Let’s take a look at 10 of Japan’s worst moms and dads.
10) Rem Saverem from Trigun
Unfortunately, Rem completely failed with Vash’s twin brother Knives, who started out by smashing spiders and continued on to sabotage the colonists’ spaceships, resulting in the unplanned landing on a really crap-ass planet. Not to mention he arranged the deaths of his own crewmates–all at the tender age of one year old. He then spent the next hundred years tormenting Vash in order to get his brother to see his side of things. So why does Rem get the blame for this, considering she raised both boys the same way? Because she named him KNIVES. When you can’t even give your kid a name that doesn’t doom him to a lifetime of psychopathy, you’ve pretty much failed from the beginning.
?The adopted mother of ace gunman and avowed peacenik Vash the Stampede, Rem can be justifiably proud of how one of her “sons” turned out. As he wanders the desert planet that humanity crash-landed on after escaping a ruined earth in giant spaceships, Vash can be a little gluttonous and a tad obnoxious when a pretty lady catches his eye, but he also goes out of his way to resolve neighborly disputes, protect people who can’t protect themselves, and do anything he can to help people, even at the cost of his own safety.
9) Allen Schezar from Vision of Escaflowne
?Some of the parents on this list got here by being terrible at raising their kids. Allen’s on here because he didn’t even bother to do it. When high school girl and part-time psychic Hitomi first meets Allen, she’s super-charmed by his good looks (for a quasi-medieval society, he’s clearly got modern salon-quality shampoo, and lots of it), his chivalry, and his resemblance to her hometown crush. Turns out he’s not such a good catch; when he was younger, Allen met, wooed, and knocked up the now-deceased Princess Marlene of Asturia. When the gang meets Marlene’s widower, Duke Freid, and his young son Chid who just happens to look exactly like Allen, it’s more than obvious what the naughty knight got up to. Some chivalry. Chid got lucky enough to end up with the Duke as a responsible ‘father’, but Allen needs to learn to wrap it up or take responsibility.
8) Mitzi Nohara from Crayon Shin-chan
?Good manners start at home, and judging by Shin-chan, we know exactly where he doesn’t get them. With as little tender loving care as she pays to her kids Shin and Hima, we have to wonder why Mitzi ever bothered becoming a parent. The iron fist with which she rules her household regularly makes contact with her son and husband whenever they displease her. Still, at least she’s optimistic and determined, never giving up on her heart’s desire of breast implants. This is one bad parent who’s actually fun to have around; the dysfunction of the Nohara family wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining without her.
7) Genma Saotome from Ranma ?
?Who doesn’t love a cute, cuddly panda? But if the panda in question is Genma, we’ll take a pass on hugging him. Genma might be a powerful martial artist who founded his own style of fighting, but he’s also kind of an asshole. He’s basically responsible for getting himself and his son Ranma cursed by the springs of Jusenkyo because he didn’t bother to do any research before going there to train and falling in the pools. He also repeatedly offers to marry his son off, regardless of Ranma’s wishes. With the arranged marriage to Akane, at least Ranma would be taking over the family dojo, but Genma also offered Ranma’s hand in exchange for an okonomiyaki cart–and then ran away with it. Genma kind of sucks.
6) Every Single Parent in Pok?mon
?Just who the hell thought sending 10-year-olds around the globe in order to capture and enslave adorable creatures for the purpose of forcing them to battle was a good idea? What, it’s wrong when it’s Michael Vick, but because you can’t hear a Pok?mon cry from outside their Pok?ball, it’s okay? What kind of morals are these parents teaching their kids? That’s assuming they’re even around. While Ash’s mom appeared at least once (that’s her above), Ash’s dad is never seen and he might appear to be a happy kid, but we’re pretty sure it’s just a brave front.
5) Charles zi Brittania from Code Geass
?If bad childhoods create bad parents years down the line, then we suppose we can understand why the Emperor of Brittania in this history-twisting series is such a crap father. After all, he came of age in a family whose members constantly fought and killed each other in order to win succession. That would mess anyone up, right? But still–get some counseling. Don’t adopt social Darwinism as a parenting philosophy and produce a brood of kids who also end up fighting and killing each other. Sure, maybe his secret ambition to destroy all lies and unite mankind in a single mind is a little more admirable…kind of…if you squint and look at it sideways. But not much makes up for casting out his underage son Lelouch and disabled daughter Nunnally to Japan, where they’re used as political prisoners. Of course, this resulted in Lelouch’s evolution into Zero and Charles’ own downfall, so maybe he got exactly what he deserved.
4) Kurotsuchi Mayuri from Bleach
?Look, we’re plenty open-minded; we know that a nuclear family isn’t the only healthy kind of family unit. And if a single guy who occasionally turns into disgusting green goo with a dead baby for a sword spirit wants to adopt a child, who are we to object? It’s not like Soul Society has social services. In the case of the Twelfth Division’s creepy captain, adoption wasn’t enough; he created his ‘daughter’ Nemu out of experiments with faux bodies and mod souls.
That’s not so bad on its own, but Mayuri treats his creation more like an object and constantly smacks her around, belittles her, and expects her to grievously injure herself for his sake in battle. Etiquette tip: when your daughter is badly hurt and tells you so, the proper response is not to walk over and stomp on her for underestimating her own capabilities. Worst of all, when fellow mad scientist Szayel Aporro Grantz has nearly sucked the life out of Nemu in the Hollow realm of Hueco Mundo, Mayuri reinvigorates Nemu through offscreen means that are quite possibly enough to prompt a call to Chris Hansen.
3) Ren Sohma from Fruits Basket
?Everyone’s got insecurities, but Ren Sohma, mother to family head Akito Sohma, just took it way too far. Though she ended up with Akito’s father because she who was the only person to treat him as his own person, once she got pregnant with a daughter, who was also the “god” of the family members afflicted with the Zodiac curse, Ren promptly freaked out about being replaced and decided to raise Akito as a boy. As if this weren’t enough to mess up her kid, she spent years purposely feeding Akito’s fears of abandonment and slept around with other extended family members to make Akito jealous. All of this makes Akito one angry, unstable god who torments all the other cursed Sohmas. Whatever happened to one big happy family?
2) Gendo Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion
?Gendo first appears to be a total bastard, but as the anime proceeds, he’s revealed to be…a total bastard. Oh sure, he supposedly feared that his love for his son would hurt Shinji, but anything’s got to be better than abandoning him for years only to act like a complete jerk when he summons Shinji to come pilot Unit 01. In fact, rather than working to give his child’s a better life than the one he had, like most halfway-decent parents do, Gendo’s whole plan is to cause the Third Impact and rejoin with the essence of his dead wife through Human Instrumentality. (In other worlds, all of humanity becomes Tang. Gross.) In the process, his lack of parenting skills helps turn Shinji into a shattered wreck of a human being who whines constantly and masturbates on comatose girls. Nice going, Dad.
1) Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist
?When the Elric brothers first meet state alchemist Shou Tucker and his so-cute-she-causes-cavities daughter Nina, Tucker seems like a pretty decent guy. A little awkward, sure, but that’s not uncommon for a brilliant researcher whose life has revolved around work and raising his daughter since his wife walked out on him. When you include Nina’s best friend, their dog Alexander, it’s a sweet, small family.
That all goes to hell when the Amestris government puts the squeeze on Tucker to re-create his talking chimera from a few years before. He gives them what they want, all right–by fusing his own friggin’ daughter with Alexander, creating a half-dog, half-human, completely inseparable single being who horrifies the Elric brothers (along with the entire viewing audience.) Tucker also gets a retroactive award for being a terrible husband when it’s revealed his prior chimera creation was actually his wife, who had been fused with another animal and never actually abandoned her family. Seemingly doomed to a hideous existence, Nina/Alexander ends up a smear on the wall thanks to the arrival of Scar, and the whole depressing affair is enough to put Tucker among the worst of the worst.