Just a few more days until Father’s Day. While doing a series review, I’ve come to realise the difference between a father and a dad: a father is someone who contributed to a child’s birth, while a dad is always there to give emotional support, loves, accepts and is willing to make lifelong commitments to the child. However, not all dads are the same. Some might be more reserved, and only show his genuine care in action, like buying a breakfast for the family, offering some time-to-time advices or peeling skins off apples—which are all what my dad/father do on weekends.
It’s undeniable that every dad out there has their own flaws, even my own. But beneath their flaws, lies their unconditional love and care for their children. This warm feelings are portrayed quite a number of times in anime, which inspired me to create this topic for their unreplacable roles. So, what do dad do?
They play with children on their level.
Like Handa in Barakamon.
Although he doesn’t seem like it, he has a soft spot on children. Even though he’s not their dad, but his playful interaction with them forms a bond of trust and comfort with them so that they, especially Naru knows that he’s approachable. It’s a small trick to increase their reliability on him and have himself a little fun in the process.
They are thoughtfully honest, not brutally.
Like Souta in Poco’s Udon World.
He prioritises Paco’s feelings more than the fact that Paco messes up. He doesn’t just scold Paco for his fault straight away, but tells Paco his mistakes and what he should do to avoid them next time. He cares for Paco’s feelings and would always think about ways to answer his questions truthfully, yet not in a hurtful way. This makes Paco learnt a valuable lesson: what he did was wrong, why it was so and how to not repeat it.
They listen, and take action.
Like Daikichi from Usagi Drop.
He always choose to listen first, and then analyse steps to be done rather than just brushing Rin’s problems away. He’d try to understand the issues from her perspective and talks it out with her, not to her. This creates a mutual understanding and proves that he does care about her life, which keeps their interaction smooth and heart-warming throughout the series, with a few ripples at times that are solved by communication.
They protect, and they hug.
Like Golem in Somali and the Forest Spirit.
Whenever something makes Somali feels uncomfortable, she would seek protection and comfort from Golem—which he will always be there for. He prioritises the safety of Somali and is willing to shield her from dangerous beasts that hates human, even if he has to sacrifice his body in doing so. He often hugs her to give her a sense of safety, and holds her hand so that she doesn’t get lost.
They are always there.
Like Gotou in Kakushigoto.
Even though he’s busy in keeping up with the deadlines of his vulgar manga, he would always spare some time to join his daugher, Hime in her school events. He never misses one, not even once. Whenever she’s away from him, like on a camping trip, he’d find some excuses to get to the camp spot and check on her from faraway. He’s always there when she feels down to console her, and celebrate every joyful events with her. To the end of the line.
They teach, and they learn.
Every creatures, even the most viscious beasts have emotions and things that they want to nurture and protect. The prime example of this is this large bear from Bakemono no Ko, who adopts a human child as his disciple.
He has skills that he wants to teach him and knowledge to equip him with. But, through more and more adventure shared together, he begins to understand things from the boy’s perspective, and what it means to share a familial bond. Without them realising it themselves—by fighting and reconciling—they slowly fill the void of each other’s heart, while learning the fragility of each other’s feelings, and become stronger as a whole.
They do not exist in anime only.
Most of the interactions between a dad and a child in anime are based on real life stories. It’s what these anime are for. They do not simply exist to entertain us, but serves as a reminder for us to hold on to people who are important to us, with their nostalgic stories. And as the eldest child, I’d sometimes even play the role of a dad to my siblings, which makes me feel just a little closer to understanding what my dad feels.
Dads could sometimes be a part of the child’s chaos, but they are always thoughtfully honest, and are there to listen and protect, to teach and to learn. That’s how amazing a dad can be, and I’m pretty sure you already know it. So, from Anime as a Cup of Tea—Happy Dad’s Day.
Thanks for reading!