Mother’s Day is May 14th for the majority of the world this year (apologies for the mild heart attack this headline gave our U.K. readers—hopefully you didn’t forget about it back in March).
Parents in manga and anime oftentimes fall into the classic literary trope that we like to call “being dead.” It’s a convenient plot device that gives the authors one or two less characters to write and can easily create some tear-jerking backstories/flashbacks when required.
Today, Honey’s Anime is celebrating all mothers and the impact they play in our lives—not just mothers related by blood, but adoptive mothers and motherly figures in general. Join us on Honey’s Anime as we talk about the Top 5 Moms in Manga for Mother’s Day 2023!
1. Inko Midoriya from Boku no Hero Academia (My Hero Academia)
Let’s get one of the biggest tear-jerkers out of the way first. Whether you love him or hate him, Izuku ‘Deku’ Midoriya only wanted to be like other kids his age—a little superhero in the making, in a world filled with supernatural ‘Quirks.’
Even though he was born Quirkless, Deku still wanted to become a hero—and his mother, Inko Midoriya, shouldered the harsh burden of guiding young Deku through understanding that he would never be like his hero, All Might. Not only is Inko a supportive mother to young Deku, she continues to worry over him even after he enrolls at U.A. High School and puts his health on the line to save people.
Being there when your kid needs you the most? That’s all you could ever ask from a mom!
2. Kobayashi from Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
Kobayashi might not be a mom in the traditional sense—she certainly didn’t give birth to any dragons!—but when her life gets upended by the dragon-maid Tohru, she also becomes a pseudo-parent to the young Kanna. After being exiled for her pranks, Kanna moves in with Kobayashi and Tohru, where she happily enjoys life with other kids her age.
Kobayashi has a complicated relationship with her own mother, but without realizing it, she begins taking on a motherly role for Kanna, helping her go to school, meet friends, and attend plays or sports days.
There’s certainly no doubt that Kanna thinks of Kobayashi as a mother—so at this rate, Kobayashi might just be stuck with that title!
3. Motoko Izumi from Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie)
Knowing when to be hands-on and when to let your little ones take flight is a delicate balance for any parent. Motoko Izumi knows that her son has terrible bad luck (a trait that she ironically suffers from herself), but she also wants him to live a fulfilling and happy life.
We love how Motoko creates an open and loving space for both Yuu and Shikimori, accepting her son’s girlfriend like her own daughter. Motoko goes to the effort of enrolling in cooking classes with Shikimori and inviting her over for family dinners, all to make sure that her son’s relationship has every opportunity to bloom.
Shikimori might be a cutie, but the real wing-woman was Izumi’s mom all along!
4. Yor Forger from Spy x Family
To hide her identity as an assassin, Yor Briar forms a hasty marriage with the mysterious and charming Loid Forger, an apparent widow with a precocious young daughter named Anya. Unbeknownst to Yor, Loid is actually a spy for the enemy nation, and Anya is a telepath!
Despite this dysfunctional family setup, Yor throws herself into the role of motherhood with as much heart and conviction as she can possibly muster. She’s experienced in taking care of her younger brother, and she always worries over Anya—especially whether Anya accepts and likes her as her ‘new’ mother.
Yor might struggle a lot, but she’s fully committed to being the best mother to Anya she can be—just, maybe be careful around her weapons-grade cooking?!
5. Kyoko Honda from Fruits Basket
This entry probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s read or watched Fruits Basket—in fact, Kyoko Honda has been dominating ‘best mom’ lists for decades now, and with good reason.
Once an infamous ruffian on the streets, Kyoko proved herself capable of immense empathy and compassion. All the kindness and love that Tohru offers her friends stems directly from the kindness and love that Kyoko showed her young daughter.
Tragically passing away before the start of Fruits Basket, Kyoko’s legacy endures in the hearts and minds of those who knew her—including several main characters whose lives were forever changed by Kyoko’s motherly influence.
While we don’t advise joining a gang, we think Kyoko Honda is as perfect a role model as possible!
We’re not ranking anyone on this list, because there’s no right or wrong way to be a mom! Every person and every family has their own unique set of circumstances that makes parenting a unique but rewarding challenge.
Who’s your favorite mom in manga? Let us know down in the comments below, and as always, thanks for reading!