Love them or hate them, parents can be quite interesting. Some parents are standoffish and allow their kids to do their own thing while other moms and dads are in your every waking moment telling you what to do. Parents can be truly mysterious beings but when they are in the anime realm. Their strangeness is usually tenfold. The perfect example of strange parents comes from the series Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World - and they just so happen to be the parents of our main hero Subaru Natsuki! Both Kenichi and Naoko Subaru are as odd—if not more bizarre—than their son but, let’s be honest, Subaru’s parents are easily some of the best parents we’ve seen in any anime!
Happy, Crazy and Tons of Fun
In many anime, parents can be quite boring and or seemingly non-existent. In Death Note, for example, Light Yagami’s dad—Souichirou—is the leader of the investigation team for Kira but he’s very dull and often barely acts like a dad to Light. Light’s mom isn’t much better taking an extremely hands-off approach to her son thus missing all of his strange activities. Needless to say, parents like this in anime are dull and boring but that isn’t the case with the Natsuki parents.
Kenichi and Naoko are both quite silly and extremely quirky. Kenichi legit wrestles with his son in his first appearance in Re:Zero and his mom offers Subaru a plate of peas stacked to an unusual size! These parents know the meaning of having fun and are quite happy while doing so. Those are parents we need more often in the anime world!
Loving and Caring Parents
Being die-hard otaku, we’ve seen numerous anime parents who are far from loving. Shou Tucker—the Sewing-Life Alchemist—from Fullmetal Alchemist is an example of a parent who should have his dad card revoked for various reasons. Another bad parent is Hiromi Shiota from Ansatsu Kyoushitsu—Assassination Classroom in English—who tries to make her son Nagisa into a girl whenever possible. Trust us, there’s a laundry list of bad parents out there in the anime landscape but thankfully, the Natsuki parents aren’t that.
As we discover in the 4th episode of the second season—or episode 29 for continuity purposes—Subaru had a lot of issues growing up. We mentioned this in another article in greater detail but Subaru was battling a slew of inner demons as a kid. Instead of attacking their child or being uncaring towards his plight, Kenichi and Naoko continued to shower their child with affection to remind him he was always adored and loved. These are the type of parents some kids need and we can only imagine how bad Subaru would be if his parents acted differently towards him.
Still Mom and Dad
Since Subaru’s parents were introduced in the anime, we have heard numerous debates online about their hands-off behavior. In our minds, though, the way Subaru’s mom and dad handled him wasn’t wrong but necessary. Look at Rei’s adopted father in 3-gatsu no Lion. Masachika Kouda is Rei Kiriyama’s step-father and he didn’t adopt our main lead for love or support. Instead, Kouda saw the Shogi skills within Rei and wanted to harness that for his own personal interest. Rei needed parents like Subaru…if he had that love and support maybe he wouldn’t be so disjointed and withdrawn like he is.
Intelligence from the Heart
Near the end of episode 29, Subaru’s mom steals the show by having a long discussion with her son. As aloof as Naoko came off, she instilled words of wisdom to our hero Subaru. Naoko knew that her son was suffering and while she didn’t come and question him on his pains she continued watching to support him and be there when he needed her. This shows Naoko had just the right mindset on how to handle our main protagonist and we need to give her a medal for this. Naoko reminds us of Nagisa Furukawa’s mom—Sanae—from Clannad who didn’t act her age too often but showed that within her heart laid a smart mom.
In the older days of anime, parents were almost non-existent and it became a running joke in the eyes of the viewers. Lately, more parents have started to appear in the lives of our anime heroes/heroines but very few can be as awesome as Kenichi and Naoko Subaru. Do you agree with us in saying these two are parents of the year worthy or do you think there are better anime parents out there? Let us know down below! For even more anime-themed articles like this one keep stuck to our nurturing hive here at Honey’s Anime!