written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
Happy Mother’s Day! So I wanted to do a Top 5 for Mother’s Day and toyed with a few different forms of media, ultimately I decided to focus on anime since in all the years I’ve watched anime I’ve experienced some pretty eccentric and overall awesome moms among the plethora of anime series I’ve watched over the years. It took some real thinking but here are my Top 5 mothers of anime.
Noriko Irie (Itazura na Kiss)
First on my list has to be the mother from Itazura na Kiss. Still sits near the top of my list of all time favorite anime series, Itazura na Kiss told the story of the unlikely love between the most popular boy in school, Naoki Irie, and the girl he (rather harshly) rejected, Kotoko Aihara. When an earthquake destroys the Aihara home, Kotoko and her widower father end up moving in with the Irie family since the fathers are close friends. Immediately, Noriko becomes smitten with Kotoko and even goes so far as to push her to date her son. Though Naoki is her son, Noriko greatly wanted a daughter and sincerely cared for Kotoko. Always in her corner; throughout the ups and downs the couple experience during the series, Noriko remains Kotoko’s biggest supporter.
Kaede Domyoji (Hana Yori Dango)
Oh how I hated this woman. Whether it was the anime, reading the manga, or in the widely popular drama version… this woman was the definition of cold. Truly intent on separating Tsukushi Makino from her son Tsukasa, she employs every dirty trick in the book to keep her from dating her son. While eventually she warms up to her and even accepts their intent to get married, such a strong force made Tsukushi that much stronger… thus strengthening the love she had for Tsukasa. While she was horrible in many ways, sometimes you gotta just love the villain. Tsukushi Makino is one of my favorite heroines in all anime, so I can’t help but have a soft spot for the woman who pushed her to fight for her one true love.
Yasuko Takasu (Tora Dora)
One of my favorite anime series of all time has to be Tora Dora. Hence including main character Ryuji Takasu’s mother is an absolute given. Truly loves her son and while Ryuji may look like a delinquent, she knows just how kind and sweet her son really is. When Taiga Aisaka befriend Ryuji, the three are often having dinner together and Yasuko even goes so far to include Taiga as one of the family. Yasuko had a hard life having to raise a child all by herself, she manages and takes great pride in the kind of man Ryuji has grown to become. Her sunny disposition is rivaled only in how adorable she is, some of my favorite scenes from the anime involved her interacting with the main two of Ryuji and Taiga.
Kushina Uzumaki (Naruto)
Her story is tragic, but what better way to be a mother than to lay your life on the line for your child? Be warned, spoilers ahead… but before Naruto became the host of the Nine-Tailed Fox, Kushina was. When the Fox was unleashed and began laying waste to the village, she and her husband (the Fourth Hokage) gave their lives to seal the demon within their son. While this makes Naruto a pariah to the rest of the village, she truly did love her son. During an event where the seals within Naruto were weakening, she manifests herself in Naruto’s mind to help strengthen the seals. One of the saddest moments I remember reading in Naruto was this reunion, and watching it in the anime proved to be equally heart wrenching.
Yui Ikari (Neon Genesis Evangelion)
More spoilers ahead, but one of my top moms has to be Shinji’s mother. Shinji pilots the EVA-01 and during the course of the series it’s revealed that Yui’s soul resides in Shinji’s EVA. Always protecting him, EVA-01 goes into a berserk mode when Shinji’s life is in danger. Though this proves to further complicate the already fragmented relationship Shinji has with his father, at her core… Yui wants to protect Shinji no matter what the cost.
So that’s my list! I hope you all have a good Sunday and make sure to spend it with your own mom. To our mothers out there amongst the g33ks, thank you for taking on one of the hardest and most demanding jobs you can take. To the mom’s out there, I wish you the happiest of Mother’s Day