This Mother’s Day, we’re putting a different spin on ranking the best mums in anime. These aren’t just the most nurturing, the most caring, the most thoughtful; they’re also strong-willed, charismatic, and downright awesome.
Bulma – Dragon Ball
As a result of Dragon Ball spanning multiple generations, there are plenty of great mums in the series. Chi-Chi seems like the obvious choice, but if nothing else, Bulma built the time machine which let Trunks go back in time to save Goku, and therefore the world. Can’t argue with that.
Junko Kaname – Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Madoka’s mum might seem callous at first – apparently more interested in her career than her family – but she also respects Madoka enough to treat her like an adult. She still worries about her and guides her like any mother would, but when it comes down to it, Junko has faith in Madoka to make the right decisions. Parents usually aren’t particularly nuanced characters in anime, but in just a few short scenes, Junko is portrayed as mature and unusually complex.
Yui Ikari – Neon Genesis Evangelion
Although Yui is apparently only seen in flashbacks, she is one of the most instrumental characters in the series. EVA-01 is imbued with Yui’s soul, which awakens in moments of extreme danger to protect its pilot: her son, Shinji. Maternity is one of the central themes of Evangelion, so it’s no surprise Yui would be so important.
Ragyo Kiryuin – Kill la Kill
She’s not gonna win any Mother of the Year awards, but there’s no denying that Ragyo Kiryuin, the Big Bad of Kill la Kill, is an unforgettable character. Her arrival changes the entire show, revealing the driving conflict to be insignificant compared to her plans for world domination. Plus, she has a wicked theme song.
Izumi Curtis – Fullmetal Alchemist
Izumi’s storyline is one of the more tragic in a series not short on emotional gut-punches. Izumi’s child is stillborn, and when she tries to use alchemy to bring it back, she instead creates a monster she is forced to kill. This guilt saddles
Michiko Malandro – Michiko & Hatchin
How many mums do you know who’d break out of jail and drive a scooter through a window to rescue their daughter from an abusive foster family? Probably a lot, but Michiko is the only one in anime.
Yayoi Kanbara – Kyoukai no Kanata
It’s likely nobody will ever find out what or who exactly Yayoi Kanbara is, besides the mother of Kyoukai no Kanata’s male lead. But this cosplaying enigma steals every scene she’s in, making her a shoe-in for this list.
Medusa Gorgon – Soul Eater
Like Ragyo, Medusa actively works against her child in the series, Crona, tormenting him into becoming a destructive pawn. But without Medusa, Crona wouldn’t have the most interesting arc in this promising but flawed show. Maybe the characters wish she didn’t exist, but this list is glad she did.
Queen Serenity – Sailor Moon
Queen Serenity made the ultimate sacrifice so her daughter and her friends could be reincarnated and live a normal, peaceful life on Earth. Usagi owes her several thousand years worth of Mother’s Day gifts for that one.
Allied Mothers Force – Naruto Shippuden
Kushina Uzumaki isn’t the only powerful mum in the Narutoverse. This alliance, formed by all the mums in the Hidden Leaf Village, defends the population while the shinobi are away at war. And they are a force to be reckoned with.
Lisa Lisa – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Unbelievably stylish, a rigorous mentor to her son Joseph Joestar, and one of the coolest fighters in the series, Lisa Lisa puts her son, her husband, and her father-in-law to shame.