There are a lot of different character tropes and archetypes explored in anime. There are the classic magical girl characters as well as shonen heroes, for example. If you think about it, though, how often do we get a well-written, memorable anime dad? Nanato Mukaido shows his chops as a father with his constant encouragement and advice for our protagonists, Mirai Kakahashi and Saki Hanakago. On top of that, he’s an actual dad for (soon to be) two kids of his own! Now, let’s jump into why Mukaido is the best of the best when it comes to anime dads.
Breaking the Mold
To start with, let’s jump into who Nanato Mukaido is. Before the start of the series, he worked at a clothing company, planning new products and even designing them. It’s not often you see a strong male character with traditionally “feminine” duties, like clothing design, so we thought it was a fun addition to his character. He has a wife who adores him, a daughter named Nanaka, and another child on the way. All of this is almost ended by his surprise terminal cancer diagnosis, but when the angel Baret shows up to offer him a new hope to live, he takes it for their sake.
Looking Out for the Little Guy
When Mukaido gains his wings and red arrows, he’s quick to make sure that no matter what happens to him, his family will be taken care of. As Nasse suggested to Mirai in the beginning, it’s easy to steal what you need as a God candidate. Mukaido takes that message to heart, choosing to shoot some of the richest people in Japan with his red arrows and make them give his wife and child(ren) hundreds of millions of yen—in cash! Mukaido also uses his power at his apparel company to supply Mirai and Saki with outfits that will both assist them in their fight against Metropoliman as well as keep their identities secret. We really appreciate his willingness to take care of those around him, even if the ethics of his actions could be considered questionable.
Advice From Your Local Dad
Throughout the first season, Nanato Mukaido plays an advisor role to Mirai and Saki. He helps them through their issues in battle, finding workarounds for their mental blocks and struggles. Often, he’s even reminding them that sometimes there is no way out but through. Mukaido serves as a battle advisor as well, helping the two teens plan out better ways to take Metropoliman on. Usually, this is to their benefit, as he seems to anticipate the villain’s actions very well! What would they do without someone so level-headed to help them through such a nasty battle royale?
There are quite a few anime characters who are completely without a parent or guardian. It’s so common in a variety of stories that sometimes, it’s treated as a joke. Even Mirai has no family left to him, so it becomes all the more important for Mukaido to step in. Even the characters who get to have a new mentor don’t always get a good one, so we think it’s important to recognize Nanato Mukaido as the superior anime dad—at least for 2021!
We’ve established some really good reasons why Mukaido is amazing here, but this is not an extensive list. We could go on about his strategic mind, or how much he clearly loves the people in his life, but we think the picture we’ve painted here is pretty clear! What about you? Who’s your favorite anime dad, and do you think Mukaido lives up to those standards? Let us know what you think in the comments!