This was supposed to be done by Mother’s Day, but I never do anything on time, so why start now? I wanted to do this cute post on my favorite anime moms for a while now, but I realized that way too many moms in anime die before the opening credits. That would make this too morbid for mg tastes, so I’m sticking to the ones who stay alive throughout the whole series (which, considering anime, is way harder than you think.) There’s no ranking here – just think of it as a five-way tie for #1. But remember, the most important and best moms out there are the ones in real life. Give your mom a phone call, will you? Tell her Mari said hi.
Note: The only reason Wolf Children isn’t on here is because I haven’t seen it yet.
Inko Midoriya – My Hero Academia
Izuku Midoriya may have One for All, but the real superpower in this family is Inko’s relentless love for her only son. She puts her neck out for Deku, and has been his #1 fan since the kid was still in diapers. She gets insecure about letting him down, but what parent doesn’t sometimes? And she’s not afraid to put her foot down, like when she gave All Might a serious tongue-lashing for putting Deku’s life in danger in Season 3. Inko’s care and support is the main reason Deku can go to UA and My Hero Academia can exist as a series, which technically means she’s the most important character in the show.
Junko Kaname – Puella Magi Madoka Magica
For as soul-crushingly dark as Madoka gets, the relationship between Madoka and her mother Junko is (shockingly?) wholesome and sweet. Junko is a career lady and the breadwinner of the family, who loves to scheme about taking over her entire company as she drinks whiskey straight out of the bottle. But deep down, she’s a kind, sentimental woman who only wants the best for her family. Her best scenes are the quiet ones, where she gives Madoka relationship advice that somehow applies perfectly to her supernatural woes. They give our young protagonist the hope to keep going despite the cruel unfairness of her world.
Lisa – Ponyo
I could probably make this whole post on Studio Ghibli moms if I really wanted to, but I’ll just stick with the most memorable one for now. Lisa is headstrong, possibly a bit manic, and my favorite part of Ponyo. She helps out old folks in her spare time, and makes friends with supernatural fish people like it’s no big deal. When her son Sosuke is in danger, she literally drives through a tsunami to save him! To be fair, though, Lisa should not be allowed to drive. I love her, but that woman goes like a juggernaut on rocket fuel.
Aunt Mito – Hunter x Hunter
This one might be a stretch, but considering we never see Gon’s actual mother in the show, Aunt Mito is his mom where it counts. She raises her adopted son by herself, after his asshole father Ging drops him off and leaves for 12 years to ride on dinosaurs. If it weren’t for her, Gon would have been a feral child living in a wolf pack or something. Mito does everything she can for her kid, and supports him becoming a Hunter knowing full well the risks he will face on his journey. She’s one of the most under-appreciated characters in this long, epic series. And her and Gon’s voice actresses are mother and daughter in real life! Isn’t that adorable?
Hitoha Miyamizu – Your Name
Grandmas are moms too, and old Hitoha is the best mom she can be to her adorable child Mitsuha. She’s a former shrine maiden who wants to continue the family tradition of, um, making rice wine by fermenting it in your mouth and spitting it into a wooden box. This causes some conflict with her teenage daughter, who wants to leave their podunk village for a more glamorous life in Tokyo. But when Mitsuha mysteriously switches bodies with city slicker Taki, Hitoha gives him some home-spun spiritual wisdom as if he were her own child. She constantly helps the young couple in subtle ways, and shows the fascinating connection between Japan’s futuristic urban life and its adherence to thousand-year-old traditions. Makoto Shinkai is a master at crafting down-to-earth yet memorable characters, and Hitoha from Your Name is one of the best examples of this.