Top 20 Worst Parents in Anime, Ranked

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Have you ever been genuinely frustrated towards a parent (or two) in an anime series?

As much as I want to have more adult characters in anime, it pains me to see mothers and fathers who don’t have an inkling of how they should treat their kids.

Worse, some do know how to be good parents but don’t act that way because they’re so busy conquering the world or pursuing whatever lofty (and often demented) goal they have in mind.

And if you want to see just how despicable anime parents can be, have a look at my hall of shame below.


20. Ging Freecss

Ging Freecss from Hunter x Hunter anime

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

Is Ging Freecss a legendary adventurer? Yes.

Is he an absentee dad? Also yes.

If it were any other kid, Ging’s son would have grown up with severe abandonment issues. Thankfully, Gon is a kid who vehemently refuses to dwell in negativity and is pretty much a ray of sunshine to many.

Ging could’ve at least visited his only son at the hospital when he was on the brink of death. He could’ve kept in touch now and then given his resources — but he didn’t.

He’s not giving Gon grade-A ‘tough love’.

Ging is just an irresponsible father who will claim that it’s all to motivate Gon.


19. Hiromi Shiota

Hiromi Shiota Assassination Classroom anime screenshot

Anime: Assassination Classroom

I remember seeing Ansatsu Kyoushitsu for the first time and wondering about the MC.

It’s a good thing that his androgynous character design wasn’t a gimmick.

Apparently, Hiromi Shiota was fine with having a kid — but only if they were a girl.

Seeing that Nagisa was a boy, Hiromi still forced her gender roles and expectations onto him, all so that she could raise a ‘daughter’.

Worse, Nagisa was often the target of his mom’s physical and verbal abuse.

Hiromi treated her own kid like a doll to dress up and order around instead of allowing him to freely discover and hone his gender identity. Not cool.


18. Kazekage Rasa

Kazekage Rasa in Naruto anime

Anime: Naruto

Kazekage Rasa was an inherently awful dad.

However, the dire situation forced him to choose between being a leader of his people and a father — so he used Gaara, his own son, to seal away the One-Tailed Beast.

Even before that, Kazekage should’ve been more careful with his decisions.

The council saw Gaara as a weak individual who can’t lead the village in the future, but he didn’t need to assess his son’s potential using their criteria.

Thankfully, Kazekage managed to seek forgiveness, realize his mistakes, and congratulate Gaara for how much he’s grown when he got reincarnated.


17. Endeavor

Endeavor from My Hero Academia

Anime: My Hero Academia

Endeavor is obsessed with power and recognition.

He wants to save the world as the top-ranking Hero and not (once again) second to All Might.

But what if he doesn’t succeed All Might?

That’s exactly why he carefully planned his family.

Endeavor considered Rei as his best possible wife – not primarily because of romantic attraction, but because her Ice Quirk and his Hellflame would be a fantastic combo for their child to inherit.

Once he realized that Shoto showed signs of being a fine successor, he harshly trained him while ignoring his other kids & treating Rei terribly.

Rei spiraled down, which led to her attacking Shoto and going to a psychiatric ward.


16. Vinsmoke Judge

Vinsmoke Judge One Piece anime screenshot

Anime: One Piece

Like Endeavor, Vinsmoke is the kind of dad who demands strength and superiority from his kids.

But Sanji can’t compete against his siblings because he’s an ordinary human with no genetic upgrades.

No amount of tough love from his dad could significantly strengthen Sanji.

Vinsmoke forced Sanji to live in a dungeon for over half a year, and turned a blind eye when his other children ganged up against him.

It’s great that he allowed Sanji to run away.

But he did this only because he didn’t want his biggest regret to remain by his side.


15. Kikyo Zoldyck

Kikyo Zoldyck in Hunter x Hunter anime

Anime: Hunter x Hunter

The Zoldyck Family are wealthy and deadly assassins.

Thus, it makes sense for Kikyo Zoldyck to be utterly delighted when Killua and her other children look forbidding and ready to kill regardless of their target’s age, gender, and innocence.

Still, a mother who doesn’t care if other kids die at the hands of her children is far from a role model.

And Killua already said to both Kikyo and Silva that he wants to continue adventuring with Gon, so Kikyo should respect her son’s decision.

I applaud her character design (and voice actress), but Kikyo Zoldyck is a dangerous maternal figure.

Her failure to recognize her ‘supreme motherly affection’ as anything but toxic makes it so harder for her to change her ways.


14. Medusa Gorgon

Medusa Gorgon from Soul Eater anime

Anime: Soul Eater

Medusa Gorgon was an exceptional nurse and faculty member of the Death Weapon Meister Academy.

Students and the other staff weren’t afraid to approach because of her calm and thoughtful demeanor.

But this was all a ruse.

In reality, Medusa was absurdly selfish and despised the idea of tending to others.

She’d only be interested in people if they could help with her scientific endeavors.

In particular, Medusa needed subjects to experiment on — like her own biological child.

Medusa didn’t hesitate to imprison Crona for days.

Eventually, her daughter lost her mind and became pitifully subservient – the complete opposite of her goal of making her independent.

So Medusa ended up perceiving her kid as a failed experiment.


13. Momiji’s Mother

Momiji's Mother Fruits Basket anime screenshot

Anime: Fruits Basket

Similar to Hiromi Shiota, Momiji’s mother didn’t shower her newborn child with love and affection (like how any normal parent should).

Yes, I agree it must’ve been traumatizing for her.

As a mother, the last thing she expected was for her premature baby to transform into a rabbit after giving him his first embrace. But her response upon learning about the Sohma Curse is what matters most.

Instead of becoming more compassionate, she disowned Momiji and had nothing but hostility for him.

But the worst part is that she chose to completely erase her memories of the “creature” she gave birth to — then had another child.


12. Dario Brando

Dario Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure

Anime: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

Dio Brando is one of the most recognizable characters in the entire JoJo franchise.

But why did he become so (infectiously) dishonorable?

If there’s one person to blame, it’s his dad. Dario Brando had all the characteristics good parents shouldn’t have.

He didn’t care where he got his money for his alcohol.

Apart from domestic abuse, his wife died because she worked all the time to keep the family afloat while Dario did nothing. Unsurprisingly, Dario had no remorse and ordered Dio to sell his dead spouse’s clothes to afford more liquor.

Sure, Dario allowed the Joestars to adopt Dio.

But he’s still an overwhelmingly corrupt man who beat up his family.


11. Gambino

Gambino in Berserk anime

Anime: Berserk

If you thought that Endeavor and Vinsmoke Judge were horrible dads for forcing their sons to undergo abusive training and denying them familial love, you’ll be horrified to learn what Gambino put his Guts through.

He always considered his adopted son as a bad omen.

Even worse: he sold Guts to Donovan for three silver coins.

And what did that buyer do? Let’s keep it PG-13 and not answer that question here…

But at least Guts managed to kill both of these vile men.


10. Kagemitsu Daigo

Kagemitsu Daigo from Dororo anime

Anime: Dororo

Kagemitsu Daigo is one of those powerful men who will do anything for even more power, which is why he made a pact with evil entities.

Specifically, he allowed 12 demons to take ownership over body parts of his unborn child, in exchange for more might and authority.

In other words, Kagemitsu already treated Hyakkimaru as nothing more than a set of valuables for trade, before he could open his eyes or say his first words.

When he discovered that his son survived, Kagemitsu punished Nui (his past wife) and ordered his men to locate and kill Hyakkimaru, whom he sees as a half-demon kid rather than his human child.


9. Saika Gasai

Saika Gasai Future Diary anime screenshot

Anime: Future Diary

Okay, the seemingly good thing about Saika Gasai is that she adopted Yuno — and that’s it.

For the most part, Saika is evil and should’ve never been an adoptive mother.

I’ve heard about folks defending her attitude by saying that she probably has bipolar disorder.

That’s a fallacious excuse.

Imprisoning one’s own daughter, barely feeding her, and breaking her spirit with verbal abuse aren’t symptoms of mental health disorders like BPD. It’s no justification for Saika to terrorize Yuno, especially when a likelier factor is her husband’s negligence toward her.


8. Grisha Yeager

Grisha Yeager from Attack On Titan anime

Anime: Attack On Titan

Fans can definitely empathize with Grisha Yeager.

He was hellbent on revenge against the Marleyans because of what Faye (his sister) and the other Eldians had to go through every day.

However, he was harsh on Zeke with his revolutionary rhetoric. Grisha focused too much on his mission that he viewed his own son as a winning chess piece.

When you force your beliefs onto someone, don’t be surprised when it backfires.

And did Grisha learn his lesson?

Not exactly.

He also deeply involved Eren (and vice versa), which had catastrophic consequences for the entire world.

I guess Grisha’s parenting was a colossal failure (pun intended).


7. Shouichi Makise

Shouichi Makise in Steins;Gate anime

Anime: Steins;Gate

His daughter is Kurisu Makise, one of the most brilliant minds of her generation — and this frustrates Shouichi.

He’s a veteran in physics, yet Kurisu has consistently identified the loopholes and errors in his theories.

So what did Shouichi do?

First, he separated from his wife and distanced himself from Kurisu.

Then, when his daughter asked if he would like to become a co-author of her groundbreaking thesis (and reconnect with her), Shouichi didn’t accept because he wanted all the credits to himself.

Kurisu tried her best to explain why it was unfair for him to become the sole author – but Shouichi only got angrier and tried to kill her.

Great parenting.


6. Shou Tucker

Shou Tucker from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

This bespectacled maniac would be at the top spot if this was a popularity contest.

Simply posting his infamous smiling photo (or of his ‘modified’ child) can make any FMA fan instantly recall all his evil deeds.

It’s horrific that he experimented on his daughter, his wife, and their family dog.

No sane man would combine his own child with an animal, both of which are innocent and have nothing but love to give.

Also, I find it similarly terrifying how Shou believes that escaping from poverty and pushing the limits of science can justify his actions.

His mind is brilliant, but his heart is clearly empty.


5. Gendo Ikari

Gendo Ikari Neon Genesis Evangelion anime screenshot

Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion

For all the memes about Shinji’s cowardice and self-loathing, you can’t blame him for acting how he does – when his father cares about nobody else other than his dead wife.

The TV series does a swell job at highlighting Gendo’s faults:

He left his kid when he was young — and remained distant (emotionally and physically) when Shinji got into NERV.

Both behaved like this because they didn’t want to unintentionally hurt the other, but Gendo should’ve been more proactive and taken chances since he was the adult figure.

Gendo’s desire to reunite with Yui made him too blind to see that all his wife wanted was for him to ensure that Shinji lived a fruitful life.

But he did the exact opposite: bringing disaster upon Shinji and humanity.


4. Ragyo Kiryuin

Ragyo Kiryuin in Kill La Kill anime

Anime: Kill La Kill

Ragyo Kiryuin is a horrendously insane maternal figure in an insane series.

Is she happy when her daughters excel in battle? Yes.

But at the same time, Ragyo has long lost her care for humanity since dedicating everything to the Life Fibers.

She didn’t hesitate to experiment on both her daughters Satsuki and Ryuko — but that’s not all!

Ragyo imprisoned Satsuki and assaulted her for years.

Even if the Life Fibers didn’t ask for it, she’ll beat up anyone to showcase absolute dominance. Ragyo is so narcissistic and arrogant that she’d rather die by her own hands than submit to Ryuko.


3. Masachika Kouda

Masachika Kouda from March Comes In Like A Lion

Anime: March Comes In Like A Lion

My top three entries don’t have special powers.

But they still deserve to be known as the worst parents in anime, because they’re characters whose horrible actions toward their children exist and persist in real life.

Masachika Kouda adopted Rei (who lost his family in a tragic accident) not out of love, but out of interest in his shogi skills.

Rei had a new home and family – but didn’t feel like he was accepted for who he was. And he was correct!

Masachika made him feel valued only for his shogi abilities, which forced Rei to become a professional player to “earn the right” to stay in his household.

Moreover, Masachika paid less attention to his biological kids once he discovered Rei’s shogi potential.

He’ll never understand what he has done to his children. But he’s successfully damaged their emotional stability resulting in depression, anger issues, and the constant pressure to prove one’s worth, to name a few things.


2. Saki Arima

Saki Arima Your Lie In April anime screenshot

Anime: Your Lie In April

The problematic situation between Saki Arima and Kousei is complicated.

Saki was not an abusive mom because she wanted her son to fear her. In contrast, she and Kikyo Zoldyck are alike in how their sense of motherly affection is warped.

You see, Saki realized that Kousei had massive potential as a pianist.

And since she knew she had limited time left in the world due to her sickness, she had to make the best of it for him.

Unfortunately, her “passion” to make his son a triumphant pianist (just like her) traumatized Kousei.

Even if she had the best intentions, Saki shouldn’t have beaten him to the point of bleeding.

And please, fans shouldn’t defend her.

Kousei had a demented vision of his mom in his mind precisely because Saki’s “tough love” ruined his childhood and caused long-term distress.


1. Akemi Hinazuki

Akemi Hinazuki from Erased anime

Anime: Erased

Akemi Hinazuki is the first person that comes to mind when I think of horrible parents in anime.

I guess I have to thank A-1 and the rest of the team for the realistic portrayal of a mother who shouldn’t have had a child in the first place.

If you’ve seen Boku dake ga Inai Machi, you know how anger-inducing it is to see Akemi treat poor Kayo.

Her daughter is so unloved that she’d rather stay alone at a park for hours after school than return home and suffer another beating.

And judging from how much Kayo cried just because Satoru Fujinuma’s mom cooked a proper meal for her (and from how she was so grateful to have spent her birthday with Satoru and their friends), you can sense how much Akemi denied her of motherly love & basic needs.

Lastly, Akemi is No. 1 in this ranking because she highlights the reality that failing to recover from trauma can make you become the person you feared, and hurt the people you love as well — and this cycle can go on across generations if no one steps in.

Browse: Anime

R. Romero

Millennial introvert on the lookout for slice-of-life anime, world cinema, and European music. Follow on Twitter @notspencer08