Depictions of Abusive Parents in Anime/Manga

Anime and manga is filled with the trope of abusive, neglectful parenting. Incredibly popular anime and manga have featured characters suffering from some history of emotional or physical abuse from their parents. Memories of this abuse tend to drive their motivation and goals. A few examples include Gaara, Hinata, and Naruto from Naruto, Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Historia Reiss from Attack on Titan, Todoroki Shouto from My Hero Academia, and almost all the Zodiac characters from Fruits Basket. Examples abound, and some of the most well-loved characters have horrible family histories. This article seeks to examine the prevalence of this trope, the psychology behind abuse, the importance of its depiction, and why it might resonate with readers. It also looks at how abuse is depicted in a visual medium, and how that affects how the character is interpreted by the audience.

(Since there are so, so, *so* many examples of abusive parents in this medium, I’m curious as to whether I should hone in one one series instead of doing a broad sweep. Let me know what you think!)

  • I agree that there's many examples that can be used for this topic, which is great as it will provide a lot of content that can be analyzed and addressed. Rather than just focusing on one series, it might be interesting to reference multiple examples from different animes and mangas. However, try not to be too broad when referencing multiple examples - you'd still want to go into depth and analyze each example thoroughly. Doing so could possibly reveal similarities and/or differences to how abusive parents are portrayed in these mediums and what this might mean on a greater and thematic level. – jay 5 years ago
  • It also might be important to ask what the effect of the abuse may have on the characters (within) the stories themselves. How do the characters deal with their abuse. How does it change them. – Jiraiyan 5 years ago

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