Just recently, something has come into my mind about how parents raise their children in Anime after watching the 8th episode of Tari Tari. With the stereotype of Asian parents wanting their children to succeed such as the Tiger Mom and Eagle Dad, some of these stereotypes are also present in Anime. This is because Asian countries typically value education a lot, which is why they tend to rank high on science and math. For that, I’m going to explain what these terms mean with examples from various shows. (Image Source)
Since both of my parents are both of Asian ethnicity, there is always an emphasis for good grades. While I admit to slacking off a bit in high school, I got better when college got along since I worked and study hard. Even so, my parents weren’t extremely strict and let us play video games. However, a Tiger Moms and Eagle Dads are in a different spectrum because they are very strict and force their children to do activities like Piano while not allowing them to do activities like sports.
The phenomenon of strict parenting got attention in 2011 when Amy Chua published her parenting experience of her two daughters in a book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. The book was highly controversial as there were extreme actions she took such as threatening to donate her daughter’s dollhouse if she didn’t perfect a very difficult piece. On the other hand, the Eagle Dad is often called the male equivalent. This term got coined when a Chinese father forced his four-year-old son to run in the snow only in his underwear. Although you won’t see something extreme like this in Anime, strict parenting can benefit the child. It will allow them to discipline themselves to achieve. However, they can backfire explained later on, but I’ll start with the positive.
One of the prime examples of a Tiger Mom is Ohana’s grandmother, Sui Shijima from Hanasaku Iroha. As you remember, she is the owner of Kissuisou. She basically forced her granddaughter to work at the inn and slaps her workers that went out of line. While first impressions were rather harsh, I appreciated her strictness as it influenced Ohana to become a stronger person with the ability to resolve a tough situation. She basically took on some of Sui’s ideals like knowing the customer to satisfy their needs. While Ohana’s situation is different compared to Chua’s daughters, you see Sui’s positive impact on her even though it’s not always pleasant. Her relationship with her grandmother grew throughout the series. Likewise, Kirino’s father, Daisuke from Ore no Imouto is a male version of a Tiger Mom. He is very strict and narrowly allows Kirino to do her modeling job as long she does well in school. However, strict parenting does not always work as it can cause them to do the extreme and eventually hinder their children.
While strict parenting to unlock the child’s potential can be viewed as a good thing, it can backfire as they might take extreme measures to accomplish it. There are two instances from anime that this is apparent. The first is Fate/zero with Tokiomi Tohsaka deciding to give Sakura to the Matou family because he didn’t want to waste her potential. Long behold, Zouken stuffed worms into her, causing her to become a different person while tragedy starts to brew in the family. I could understand his good intentions. However, he just picked the wrong family to give up his daughter to, thus she suffered. On the other hand, Papa no Iukoto o Kikinasai is a milder example with Yuuta’s relatives wanting to split up the three girls for their own interests without giving any regard to the bonds the girls had. I didn’t agree with their plan since the girls were closely knitted and they will certainly become depressed if the relatives had their way. Thankfully, his relatives changed their tone in the end after the challenges Yuuta faced and proved his capability to become a father. This allowed him to take the house to raise them. So, they essentially reversed their strict stance on upbringing the girls, which can be viewed as a good thing.
Nevertheless, strict parenting will always exist in real life and Anime. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t like their children. Even with instances like Sawa hating her father over her future and Kirino’s father going crazy over his daughter’s Otaku stuff, this doesn’t mean that they don’t show any love. They just show it in a different way.
With that, I’ll leave you with a question to discuss/think about: Do you agree with the strict parenting demonstrated in Anime? If so, why? Also, would you do the same to unlock the child’s potential?
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4 Comments… read them or add your own.
My mom has been one of least strict parents ever. She encourages me in everything I do (as long as it’s nothing immoral) and she never put any pressure on me as far as school grades. The few times my grades weren’t that great, she’d always look to blame the teacher first! But despite this, I always studied hard and got good grades on my own anyway, so I don’t think granting your child a lot of freedom will necessarily make them a slacker. It just depends on the child; some children are more prone to act out of line so they need rules while others are more prone to do good without being told. Placing some life boundaries and expectations is okay, but I don’t think a parent should control their child’s life to the point that their life is nothing but stress and no time to enjoy the pleasures of childhood. There’ll be plenty of time for more necessary stress in adulthood XD
I think this is where strict parenting has a gaping flaw. I agree that every child is going to be different and that freedom is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if one becomes too strict, there is always the possibility that the child will rebel and become counter productive. I think we seen this a few instances in Anime like Sawa telling off her father about not being able to do horseback riding professionally and Kyousuke having to tell his dad off so Kirino can keep her Anime stuff. As they say, we only live our childhood and teenage years only worse, so a balance needs to be struct. Also, people will always have different ways to parent their child, as long they don’t do stupid things like drink, do drugs or start to date and do good at school, I’m okay.
It’s interesting that, more often than not, most anime series leave the parents out of it and they’re almost irrelevant to the story. You also have the stories in which the characters live without their parents because said parents are away on a business trip or something.
The parents that I look to with the most fondness still has to be the Clannad parents though. The Furukawas do represent the very essence of what good parents ought to do.
I kind of notice this as well in most slice of life show… In one particular instance, I know K-ON doesn’t mention the parents at all and basically Ui acts like Yui’s mother… However, I think the Key shows has some emphasis on parents, especially in Air and of course Clannad. But yeah, Furukawas are pretty amazing and cheerful family although they have their quirks.