Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day to do something nice for that very special mom in your life. It’s also a good excuse to reflect on the various mothers seen in anime series, and there are several basic archetypes to explore. First there are the “perfect mother” types like Akiko from Kanon or Junko Kaname, the awesome-but-tragic mother of Madoka, who always offer calm advice to their troubled children. Often anime mothers are terrible, which gives their offspring reason to work hard and avoid being like them: ditzy hostess Yasuko from Toradora and Meme Towa, the irresponsible moe mother of Erio from Denpa Onna might apply here. There’s a whole class of mothers who are MIA, either because they’re living overseas while their kids remain in Japan (KimiKiss, Miyuki) or because they’ve vanished for some reason (PapaKiki, Please Twins). Then there’s time-honored category of “dead mother is watching over us from heaven” like Kanata from Lucky Star, and the slightly less common “anime mother whose soul is enslaved inside a 40 meter tall giant robot,” as seen in the Evangelion series. Happy Mother’s Day!