SPOILER WARNING: We will discuss the deaths of important characters and how their deaths impacted the plot of their overall show. If you haven’t seen one of the shows on the list, skip to the bottom of their segment to see where you can stream it and catch up before you get spoiled.
Dead parents have always been a common trope in media, as it allows the protagonists to go on journeys without the constraints of having parents that would otherwise tell them not to be reckless. So it is no surprise that the world of Japanese animation would also have its fair share of perished parents. More often than not, however, it is just the mom who dies in these shows.
While they don’t last long, they are important characters and always have a place in our hearts. Here are the five most influential anime moms who are no longer with us.
Oshi No Ko was one of the most highly anticipated animes of 2023, and there is no doubt that Ai’s unique charm isn’t the reason for that. The main character’s mom and main character in her own right, Ai, is a central part of the story in Oshi No Ko. Had her children been born to anyone else, I feel the story wouldn’t have taken such a wholesome and thrilling turn.
Two major fans of Ai’s are reborn as her children. One was a sickly girl who always dreamed of being an idol, and the other was the girl’s doctor. Because they were reborn as the children of the idol they adored, they made it their mission to be the best kids and protect her from scandals.
All of their efforts went to waste when Ai was killed. Now they work to find her murderer and follow in her footsteps.
You can watch Oshi No Ko on HIDIVE.
If it weren’t for Trisha, we wouldn’t have a Fullmetal Alchemist, and without a Fullmetal Alchemist, the world wouldn’t have had Edward as a hero. Trisha was a gentle but firm mother who raised her two sons with extreme care. Her untimely death fanned the flames of their alchemist obsession when they desperately tried to find a way to bring her back. Without her, these events would have never been set into motion.
Not only that, but she pretty much solidified the dead mom hair trend. Whenever side ponytails are spotted in anime, people are quickly reminded of Trisha’s iconic look. Truly influential in the show and the rest of the anime world as a whole.
You can watch Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on Crunchyroll.
Raising the future king in Ranking of Kings isn’t the only thing that made Sheena special. She was the strongest of all the female giants and was set to become King Bosse’s wife and mother of his first child, Boji. By doing this, Bosse was able to have the strongest child in the land.
She didn’t know Bosse’s real plan was to steal his first son’s strength to be even stronger than he already was. As a result, Sheena’s son was born weak and deaf. Sheena did what a mama does best and raised Botchi with all her love. She died defending her ailing son when there was an attack on her kingdom. She didn’t die in vain. Her love and courage lived on in the future king, Boji.
You can watch Ranking of Kings on Crunchyroll.
Oh boy, is this one a touchy subject. Carla’s cry was heard around the world as what started Eren’s tragic journey. Unlike many other mothers who died of a sickness or in their sleep, Carla was fully conscious during her demise. The scene was gruesome, sudden and traumatic for viewers and characters alike.
Carla wasn’t just the driving force for Eren’s story but the story of other characters. The titan that ate her was her husband’s ex-wife, leading fans to believe that even in a mindless titan form, Dina was motivated to find her husband. During Carla’s time alive, she raised Mikasa, another main character. She was also the wife of one of the major antagonists/protagonists of the show, Grisha. Truly a highly impactful character to the very end (which was also at the very start!)
You can watch Attack on Titan on Funimation.
Ano Hana followed the story of a group of friends who had a falling out after the death of one of their most treasured friends, Meiko Honma. The main character, Jinta, was especially close to her and even had a crush on her. Before the death of Meiko, Jinta also lost his mother.
Many years after her death, Meiko comes back to her friends in the form of a ghost. She is desperate to get the gang back together but, most of all, fulfill Jinta’s mother’s final wish. That’s right; her spirit had the strength to return due to an unfulfilled promise to Jinta’s mother. Without her, the entire story would have never taken place, and Meiko would never have been able to say goodbye to her friends properly.
You can watch Ano Hana on Crunchyroll.
The dead mom trope is so strong in anime that fans have maximized their pattern recognition skills to predict when a character’s mother will die. One of the traits is “dead mom hair,” and even without intentionally looking for that characteristic, half of our list has said hair. These fans are really onto something.
Is there anything else these anime moms have in common? Let us know in the comments!