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  • The whole plot behind the 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother TV series. The melodramatic journey of 11-year-old Marco in search of his estranged mother Anna, who was working in South America, traumatized hundreds of Latin-American 80's children. And he eventually finds her, but right when she was about to die from a serious illness. She's ultimately saved, though.
  • In the Ace Attorney manga's "Turnabout From Heaven" case, the defendant, Diana Wheatley, says she was visited by the spirit of her mother, who was killed in an auto accident 16 years ago and promised to give her a necklace when she turned 20. It turns out that her dead supposed birth mother was actually her stepmother, because the birth certificates were altered, and that her actual mother was working for her father in disguise.
  • A handful in Akagami no Shirayukihime:
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    • Shirayuki was raised by her grandparents after her mother died when she was still very young.
    • Kiki's mother is also implied to be dead though it is uncertain how old Kiki was when this occurred.
    • Zen's mother started to spend less and less time at the castle after her husband's death, eventually leaving it and her sons almost entirely to deal with some overpowered corrupt nobles in the north of the country. As the regent her distance from her children is somewhat expected however.
  • The death of Jintan's Ill Girl mother Touko was pretty important in Ano Hana The Flower We Saw That Day.
  • Eren's and Mikasa's mother, Carla, from Attack on Titan. Her death was the Cynicism Catalyst behind Eren's violent hatred of Titans and his vow to destroy all of them.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia mentions three mothers among the Ancient Nations: Ancient Greece (Modern Greece's mother), Ancient Egyot (Modern Egypt's), and Ancient Brittannia (England and his siblings's). The three are pretty much stated to be dead due to obvious reasons; specially in the case of Ancient Greece, since her son is shown in her ruins and recalling her with quite the affectionate nostalgia. In the CD dramas, it's mentioned that Ancient Greece became the Byzantine Empire after Rome's death...and she died at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, whom we know as Turkey.
  • In Bakugan, Shun's mother died some time before the start of the show. At one point he had to challenge a young version of her in order for his bakugan to evolve.
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    • Mira and Keith's mother was never shown or mentioned. At the end of the second season, their father died and they became a full case of Parental Abandonment.
  • Tamaki's mother in Bamboo Blade. The fact that she practiced kendo and taught it to her daughter is a major plot point.
  • Guts of Berserk had two. The first of them died as Guts was being born, and his adoptive mother, Shisu, was an Ill Girl who died of plague before Guts's eyes just several years after she took him from his mother's lifeless body. To make matters even worse, Gambino, Shisu's lover and Guts's adoptive father, blamed him for her death and was abusive toward him, resulting in one hell of a horrific childhood for him.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo Kurosaki's mother Masaki died during a hollow attack when he was nearly nine years old, making Ichigo and Karin perpetual frowners and Yuzu a homemaker. Yhwach's purge of impure Quincies stole her power just as she engaged the Grand Fisher in battle, leaving her defenceless against a hollow she should have curb-stomped.
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    • Uryuu Ishida's mother, Kanae Katagiri, is a complete mystery until her introduction in the final arc. The pure-blood Ishida family employed the impure servant Kanae until she and Ryuuken Marry for Love. Yhwach's purge also killed Kanae but, while the Grand Fisher ensured Masaki's death was quick, the power theft left Kanae comatose for three months until she died.
  • In Blood+, Saya and Diva's biological mother is only briefly mentioned, and only appears in corpse form. Though Saya ends up with a replacement or two for their biological father, who is never mentioned in the context of the story, neither of the girls ends up with another mother figure (unless you count Julia).
  • In two of the three Captain Tsubasa anime series, Roberto Hongo lost his mother very tragically. In Captain Tsubasa J, she abandoned him in a convent to work and later die of illness; in Road to 2002, she was a factory worker who died in a work accident.
    • In the WYC manga, Brazilian star player Carlos Santana was abandoned by his mother as a baby, apparently because she was a teenager and couldn't raise him. In the end of the Japanese Cup, she actually appears and begs him for forgiveness, and Santana not only hugs her tearfully and accepts, he actually takes her to live with him in Spain to rekindle their relationship.
    • Misaki's parents are divorced and he lives/travels with his dad. At some point his mom reappears and asks him to live with her instead of going abroad, but Taro decides not to take it when he learns that she has remarried and even has a daughter with her new husband. However, when said daughter begs him to re-meet with their mom, Taro accepts and reconciles with her.
  • A major plot point of Bunny Drop is that the whereabouts of six year-old Rin's mother are unknown. As the series progresses, her guardian Daikichi eventually tracks down and confronts her. Rin's very young mother, Masako, struggled between taking care of Rin and her career as a manga-ka and eventually chose career. Though rather immature, she does clearly care for Rin, as evidenced by her request Rin use Daikichi's surname upon entering school to help cut down on any teasing she may catch from their names being different.
  • Nadeshiko in Cardcaptor Sakura died when Sakura was three years old. Like in the Nanoha example, there doesn't seem to be any negative repercussions and her presence can still be felt in the series...sometimes literally, since she visits her family every so often as a ghost.
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch's mother Marianne "The Flash" Lamperouge was murdered in specially messy and suspicious circumstances which also left Lelouch's sister Nunally blinded and crippled. One of Lelouch's leitmotives for his "revolution" is to find out the truth behind Marianne's death.
    • Eventually it's revealed that she isn't actually dead, having body surfed into someone else. Turning this from a case of Missing Mom to flat out Parental Abandonment. When Lelouch finds out, he gets pissed, really pissed. Enough to end up a Self-Made Orphan.
    • Played straight with the never-mentioned variety when it comes to Suzaku's mother, who is never touched upon. His dead father is the main tragic plot-point behind his story, because Suzaku killed him.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Radical Edward/Françoise has no mother. She's nearly a case of Parental Abandonment as well, because her father forgot her in an orphanage for several years and seems not entirely sure his child is a girl, or even what her name is. Which is why it's so sad when she leaves the Bebop, because Jet was a far better father for her than her real dad.
  • Cutey Honey, being a Ridiculously Human Robot, is understandable in her lack of a mother in her later incarnations (Flash, Re). However, in the original (and by extension, New), she was created partially as a Replacement Goldfish for her "father" Doctor Kisaragi's dead daughter. The good doctor's wife is never mentioned.
  • Digimon:
    • Juri Katou from Digimon Tamers: her biological mother died of illness when she was very young and she never quite got over it, after being told that it was her "destiny" by her father (who also never quite got over it). She has a good-hearted and caring stepmother, but poor Juri is simply too screwed up to connect with the second Mrs. Katou emotionally, despite actually trying to do so and having no ill will towards her.
    • In Digimon Frontier, Kouji believed that his birth mother was dead and like Juri has trouble accepting his stepmother. However, his separated twin brother Kouichi reveals that she is very much alive — their parents had actually divorced.
    • In Digimon Savers, Touma's mother was hit by a truck on her way to a summer festival and died. Oddly enough, the mother of Touma's Ill Girl half-sister Relena also died, apparently in childbirth.
  • In Death Note Teru Mikami's mother tells him to give up his high views of justice out of concern for him after being bullied to increasingly dangerous levels. Mikami, however, stops thinking of her as his mother and wishes that his new obstacle to justice would be removed. She gets run over by a stolen car that the people who bullied him were driving and she dies. Unlike other examples, however, he wasn't sad over this.
  • Dragon Ball:
  • Renton from Eureka Seven has no mother to speak of. She gets a tiny mention in the first episode as being late, having died. In addition, Renton's replacement mother figure and older sister, Diane, is gone by the beginning of the series, which directly and indirectly causes angst for several members of the main cast. It's implied his mother, Blau, passed away giving birth to Renton, suffering from some complication.
    • Holland's mother fell victim to Death by Childbirth.
    • Renton's and Eureka's son Ao also has this problem - mostly because Time Travel is screwing him over. An interesting subversion of this trope; while Eureka is prominently mentioned, no one seems to really care about who Ao's father is...at least at first.
    • Naru Arata's mother was vaporized by an energy blast caused by a Scub burst and made her father resent Scubs, and Fleur's was a victim of a car wreck where her husband had to choose either her or his daughter to save and would cause Fleur to hate him for that reason.
  • In Father and Son, Shou's mother is practically absent from the story. She is mentioned by her husband and she does show up a few times. However, because she's barely home, Youichi is left to take care of their son on his own.
  • Ur from Fairy Tail to her daughter Ultear, though it wasn't intentional. She took said daughter to some scientist tam because Ultear was an Ill Girl in serious risk, but they kidnapped her instead and told Ur she was dead. Ultear grew up believing that her mother had ditched her. Erza is a much more radical case in that her mother abandoned her at birth because her mom, Irene Belserion, was a Dragon Slayer turned dragon who had gone mad from the disturbing loss of humanity right down to her ability to stave off hunger and insomnia and a centuries-long lifespan; this change was caused by unwanted side effects of overusing Dragon Slayer Magic and causing a Dragon Seed to manifest.
  • In FLCL, Naota's mother is briefly mentioned when Amaro is discussing Kamon's (Naota's Dad's) personal history. She died.
    • Having no apparent mother relationship aside of this brief mention may have been intentionally significant to the plot. Consider the fact that Naota grew up in a totally male environment (his grandfather, father, and older brother) and most of the relationship problems he has in the show are with women.
  • Fruits Basket. Notable cases include Tohru (her mom died in an accident), Momiji (his mentally-unstable mother rejected him after finding out about the curse), Arisa (her mother left the family and married another man), and Kyou (his mom committed suicide).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has more than a few examples:
    • The Elric brothers' mother, Trisha, is dead, so—after they tried to rectify the situation by attempting to bring her back to life through alchemy, with disastrous results—both basically become the parent to the other. Edward is also hostile to any mention of his father.
    • Winry Rockbell was raised by her grandmother Pinako after both parents were killed during the Ishval War (by Roy in the 2003 anime, by Scar in the manga and Brotherhood).
    • Scar's parents (plus his older brother) were killed by Kimblee when he attacked the area where Scar lived.
    • Riza's mother presumably died when she was young, leaving her with her mentally-unstable father.
    • Nina Tucker's mother was killed, though she thinks that her mother abandoned her. More precisely, Shou Tucker turned his own wife into a chimera, and she died shortly afterwards.
    • Mustang's birth parents died when he was a young child. He was raised by one Madame Christmas. Who is actually his biological aunt.
    • The homunculi have a father, but no mother. This is first addressed by Pride when he mentions that he never knew what it was like to have a mother until he was adopted by Mrs. Bradley.
    • Wrath in the 2003 anime. He rejects Izumi as his mother when he eventually meets her and loses his surrogate mother, Sloth, near the end of the series. In The Movie, he and Izumi are ultimately Together in Death.
  • In Futatsu no Spica, Asumi has never known her mother, who was horribly burned and left in a coma when the Lion exploded and fell on her hometown. This series does a rather nice job of delving into the after-effects of this. For one thing, it's revealed that the infant Asumi was in her arms when she was burned, and that she protected her from further harm, which explains why Asumi sometimes has horrible nightmares about the incident in spite of having been too young to remember it. It's especially poignant when Asumi's mother later dies, and Asumi repeatedly tries to take the box containing her ashes from the funeral service and put it out on her favorite hilltop, because she's never seen her mother inside anything besides a closed box (the life support system she languished in, or the box containing her ashes) and wants her to be able to be in a nicer place.
    • Later on, Asumi does meet her mother, after she nearly dies from drowning and ends up in the world through which dead souls travel. She ultimately helps her mother, whose spirit is, for the time, blind due to the harm her body suffered; she's able to help her spirit make her way to the other side. It's especially sad because Asumi cannot tell her mother who she is, since speaking her name aloud here means that she won't ever be able to go back to the living world; the moment at which Asumi's mother, having begun to make the final trip to the afterlife and regained her sight as her full form is restored, sees her daughter and starts to cry is absolutely heart-wrenching.
  • An episode of the GeGeGe no Kitarō series from The '90s deals with Kitaro and his friends helping a widow man whose son emotionally shut down after his mother's death in an accident. It turns out that there's a specific reason why this happened: the boy saw his mom die as she was ran over by a truck. Ever since then the poor kid has constant guilt-driven flashbacks and Bad Dreams of the terrible event, and it's only with the help of Kitaro and his mother's spirit that he can get over his trauma.
  • In G Gundam, Domon's mother Mikino was shot by the government when trying to protect his brother. It's also full Parental Abandonment, since the same incident led to his father being arrested and sentenced to a cryogenic state... to keep him from telling the truth about said incident.]]
    • Domon's close friend Chibodee Crocket is also an example. His mom disappeared during a riot caused by terrorists dressed as clowns and is strongly hinted to be dead after that. Chibodee never fully got over it, and the flashback shows that he loved his mother very much.
  • Sho Fukamachi's father in Guyver is a single father; Sho's mother died years before. He does a good job raising Sho and even gets in on the action until he gets turned into a Zoanoid that nearly kills Sho, forcing the catatonic Guyver to kill his own father in one of the most shocking twists in anime.
  • In Haikara-san ga Tooru, both Benio and Shinobu lost their mothers early in their lives. Same goes to Ranmaru, which is why Benio befriended him. Then the readers learn that Shinobu's mother, a German woman, was forced away from Japan due to her heritage and married a Russian count, having a son named Sasha...aka Larissa's dead husband.
  • In Hajime no Ippo, Takeshi Sendoh's grandmother tells Mari that Sendoh's mother died right after giving birth. It's not known whether it was Death by Childbirth or not, however.
    • Later in the series, Alexander Volg Zangief's Ill Girl of a mother passes away.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Tai. Taro's mother dies in the backstory just before the series begins. Oddly enough she's very rarely mentioned during the series itself.
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Yuuhi grew up without a mother and had a very lonely childhood. When he starts working as a nanny to Shouta, whose mom is also dead, he sees too much of his own past in him and becomes determined to be the perfect parent to Shouta.
  • InuYasha has three as well:
    • Inu-Yasha's mother is rarely mentioned except as part of his tragic backstory. She was a human noble-woman who died when Inuyasha was a child, which effectively orphaned him as his father was already dead.
    • Miroku's father and grandfather are confirmed dead and he was raised by a monk called Mushin. However, his mother is never mentioned at all.
    • Sango had a close relationship with her father before he died, but her mother is never mentioned.
  • The Is the Order a Rabbit? anime never made this clear, but the manga stated Chino's mom died when she was younger.
  • Kotoko's mother is dead at the start of Itazura Na Kiss and she lives with just her father until they lose their home, and she gets sort of adopted/taken over by Naoki's mother.
  • Jeanie's mom in Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Shirogane's mother ran off several years before the story began. Kaguya is also implied to have lost her mother due to heart problems when she was in middle school.
  • In Kaiba, Popo's mother was separated from him at a young age, saying that they'd be reunited if he became great. This serves as a drive for his efforts to overthrow the government.
  • Kare Kano:
  • Yoshimori Sumimura's mother in Kekkaishi is never seen by the audience properly, not even when she showed up again briefly in the manga (only to leave again immediately). Also a subversion—she's clearly the one that Yoshimori inherited his powers from, as his father is a house-husband who works from home. Yoshimori and his brothers are generally shown to be craving her approval and attention while she's off doing whatever it is that she does. In other words, her role is that of the Disappeared Dad.
  • Ryuko Matoi in Kill la Kill was raised by only her father, Isshin Matoi. While she was told her mother died when she was a baby, the Awful Truth is that her mother, Ragyo Kiryuin, actually abandoned her by intentionally throwing her down a garbage chute when she believed the experiments to infuse Ryuko with Life Fibers had failed. Isshin had decided he has had enough of his evil wife's shit, and faked his own death so as to raise Ryuko on his own. To makes things even more Squick, Ragyo relishes in performing deliberate Parental Incest on both Ryuko and her sister, Satsuki Kiryuin.
  • The death of Kei Enjouji's mother Hotaru in Kizuna is an extremely important plot point, since she leaves behind a letter in which she reveals the secret behind Enjouji's heritage: he is actually the Heroic Bastard of Hotaru's former lover, the Yakuza boss Takeshi Sagano.
  • In Lady, Sarah's mother Frances was an Ill Girl and died when Sarah was a little girl. Her dad George married a Japanese woman named Misuzu, who'd become the mother of main character Lynn...and later she died too, with her death kicking off the plot since Lynn must stay in England with George and Sarah from then on.
  • Love Lucky: Kirari's mother abandoned her.
  • In Lucky Star, Konata's Ill Girl mother Kanata died when Konata was very young, forcing her Otaku father to raise her on his own. An episode has her visiting her family as a ghost...which causes much terror for Konata and her father when she secretly joins in on a picture. Hilarity Ensues, in a genuine way.
  • Quint, the mother of Subaru and Ginga Nakajima in Lyrical Nanoha, was an Action Mom who was killed during a secret mission. Her death didn't seem to affect them in a negative way, and they remember her quite fondly. This also extends to Cinque, Nove, Dieci, and Wendi after their adoption, though none of them ever met her.note  Nanoha is much more notable for missing men, though Nanoha herself has a father that her Triangle Heart 3: Sweet Songs Forever counterpart didn't (he was killed while in his bodyguard work while his wife Momoko was still pregnant with Nanoha).
  • Although much ado is made about the whereabouts of Negi's father in Mahou Sensei Negima!, no mention is ever made of his mother until rather late in the story. In chapter 252 we learn her name: Princess Arika of Old Ostia. (And in 258 Rakan confirms it.) It also turns out that there is a decent reason that no one told Negi who his mother is: a Government Conspiracy framed her for genocide and tried to have her executed, and now they might be targeting Negi. Who was safely hidden until he started poking around, looking for information about his parents...
    • Also, Anya's mother was turned into stone in the incident where Negi's hometown was destroyed. Alongside many other people.
  • Arika's reason for joining Garderobe Academy in Mai-Otome is to find out what happened to her mother, Lena Sayers. Near the end of the main series, she finds her dead body in a jar.
  • Kouji Kabuto, the original Idiot Hero of Mazinger Z and most of its related continuities has grandfather Juuzo (Killed Off for Real, often in the first episode of any given series) and a father named Kenzou (who effectively abandoned him and his Tagalong Kid brother, but they later reconcile and later dies, at least in Great Mazinger). . . but it wasn't until Shin Mazinger (made thirty years after the original) that we get to meet his mother, Tsubasa Nishikiori, a lady who is more or less responsible for all of the traits that make Kouji a badass. In the original anime, though, she died in a laboratory experiment gone wrong.
    • Most of the young characters of the Mazinger trilogy are motherless: Sayaka -Kouji's Love Interest- and her father live alone, and it is often assumed her mother died -or left-; Tetsuya and Jun from Great Mazinger are both orphans and adopted by Kenzo; the parents of Duke and Maria from UFO Robo Grendizer got murdered and Hikaru and her little brother are raised by their father since their mother died.
  • In Medaka Box, Medaka's mother died right after her birth. Not from childbirth complications, she just happened to have a heart attack after the baby was born. Medaka claims she didn't feel sad upon learning about this, and merely thought that her mother had served her purpose in life and died. Which ends up being creepily accurate, since her birth was all a plot by her uncle to breed the perfect wife. Averts the part about the mother being looked on fondly though, since apparently she was best known for being something of a bitch.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: While both Tohru and Kanna's fathers appear, neither of their mothers ever show up. Dialogue does imply that they're both alive though.
  • In the manga, Quatre Raberba Winner of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing loses his mother twice. First, Ill Girl Katherine Winner dies in childbirth, having chosen to bear a child naturally despite knowing that pregnancy was so dangerous she was guaranteed not to survive. Quatre's father Zayeed then lets him believe he is just replaceable offspring grown in a laboratory to be an heir (like his sisters), so he won't be traumatised and blame himself for Katherine's death; he dies without revealing the truth. This is just one of Quatre's many, many issues.
  • In Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei lost his mother when he was no older than 10. More exactly, when he was a Brainwashed and Crazy Child Soldier under the name of Soran Ibrahim, he killed her under the orders of his leader, Ali Al-Saachez. One of the reasons why he gets platonically close to Princess Marina is because she looks a LOT like his dead mom.
    • Similarly, the conflict between Sergei and Andrei Smirnov comes from the death of Andrei's Action Mom Holly, whom he never forgave his father for. It ends up in horrible tragedy, as Andrei kills Sergei believing him to be a traitor; once he realizes what he has done with help of his adoptive sister Marie, he becomes The Atoner, and goes through Redemption Equals Death in The Movie.
  • The death of Flit Asuno's mother happens right at the start of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, and it's vital to the plot: Mrs. Asuno, in her last moments, handed young Flit the design for a mobile suit: the Gundam that he would later build.
    • The sequel novel Frozen Teardrop does it thrice over: for Heero (his parents were Hitman with a Heart Odin Lowe and OZ spy Aoi Clark, who raised Heero in his very early years alongside her Second Love and husband; when they both died, Odin Lowe took little Heero back in), Treize (his mother Angelina went completely mad after her husband Ein Yuy was horribly killed and she was kidnapped by her family, who never approved of their marriage. She and her other son/Treize's former Number Two Vingt died in the crossfire when the real Heero Yuy was assassinated), and Duo II (his adoptive mother Hilde Scheibaker died some time before the story began, leaving her husband "Father" Duo Maxwell to raise the kid alone).
  • In My Little Monster, Shizuku's mother is barely home. She spends most of her time at work instead of with her unemployed husband and children.
    • Haru's case is even worse. His parents selfishly sought after his intelligence when he was little. When his father kicked him out, she didn't try to convince her ex-husband to let him stay. She didn't even take him in afterwards. Instead, she let her sister-in-law have him.
  • Naruto:
    • Even though Naruto's mother, Kushina Uzumaki, is dead, she was never even mentioned until very late in the series. This is because she was the previous container for the Kyubii. After Naruto was born, it escaped after an attack by Tobi, and Kushina had to seal it in her son's body at the cost of her (and her husband Minato's) life. He shares her surname, though. In a surprising encounter, Kushina's spirit is revealed to linger inside Naruto and she directly interacts with him before moving on to the afterlife.
    • Also, lots of characters like Neji, Hinata, Shino, etc., are shown to have fathers but no mothers. Hinata's mom was seen once in the anime in a picture, but not much more is mentioned.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has every single child (and most of the adults) motherless, even the peripheral schoolmates. We find out the story behind each of the central characters', and eventually it becomes clear why this is: an Evangelion can only work if the soul, or part of the soul, of the pilot's mother, is in its core (barring other circumstances, such as Kaworu being able to control Unit-02 due to having the soul of Adam, the being it was cloned from), and all of the children in the school class are potential classmates. This means their mothers are all dead or insane, due to being either fully absorbed into a Core, like Shinji's mother, or having part of their soul torn out and placed into one, like Asuka's mother (also implied to have happened to Rei, although the soul in Unit-00 is of the first version of her, the implication being that her soul was split in half, one half going into the core and the other into Rei II). This links into the show's Freudian themes and exploration of parent-child relationships; Shinji and Asuka are both heavily affected by the loss of their mothers, although Shinji's psychological issues stem far more from being abandoned by his father shortly after his mother's 'death'.
  • Ojamajo Doremi:
    • Aiko Senou lives with her divorced father, the cab driver Kenji; her mother, a nurse named Atsuko, lives in Osaka, and they were estranged for a long time. Kenji and Atsuko get back together much later.
    • The girls' classmate and local Ill Girl Shiori Nakayama is mentioned to have lost her mother when she was young, therefore her father is very overprotective.
  • Happens a lot in Omamori Himari. Both of Yuuto's parents are dead, as are all of Shizuku's relatives. Himari's mother died either in childbirth or shortly after. Lizlet never had relatives to begin with. Rinko and Kuesu's mothers are alive, but have virtually no presence in the story.
  • One Piece:
    • Luffy's mother hasn't been shown yet and it's unknown whether she's still even alive. Ace reveals that he took his mother's maiden name Portgas as his own since he refuses to acknowledge his father's side of the family and he states that he "owes her a great debt." It's unknown as of yet whether Luffy knows/remembers his mother, especially given his response to hearing about his father was "I have a dad?". But his family has a tendency to pop out of the woodwork at the most unexpected times.
    • In an SBS Oda stated she's probably alive, but he hasn't decided if she'll actually make an appearance.
    • In a more traditional case, Robin's mother Olvia left Robin as a young child to go and continue her late husband's very risky work in archeology, causing her to be shunned. Robin is only given a brief time to reunite with Olvia before all the archeologists are killed in a Buster Call by the World Government.
    • Ace's aforementioned mother, Portgas D. Rouge, was introduced in the story immediately prior to Ace's execution. There it was revealed that to prevent Ace from being found by the government (who sought him out because of his father), Rouge managed to delay giving birth and remained pregnant for twenty months to protect her son. An act that ultimately killed her.
    • Other Straw Hats hit by the Missing Mom are Usopp, Nami and Sanji. The death of Usopp's mother Bachina by illness started him on his tendency for lying. Nami's biological mother is never shown but it's safe to assume she died in the war 18 years ago, and her later adoptive mother Bellemere sacrificed herself to save her and her sister Nojiko. As for Sanji, his mother Sora died when he was very young from a drug she took to try and prevent Judge's plans to modify his children's genes and turn them into Tykebombs. It sadly only worked on Sanji, and the drug's aftereffects made her an Ill Girl and eventually killed her, but she died with no regrets, happy that Sanji grew up into such a kind child.
    • Other deceased mothers include Rebecca's mother Scarlett (Shot by Diamante while trying to get her daughter some food). Vivi's mother Titi (Passed away from unspecified causes when her daughter was very young), Shirahoshi's mother Otohime (Shot by Hody Jones for her attempts to make peace between Fishmen/Merfolk and humans), Law's unnamed mother (Burned along with her husband and daughter when soldiers destroyed the hospital where they lived), Momonosuke's mother Toki (Burned with her castle shortly after her husband's execution by Kaido and the shogun of Wano Country, for refusing to tell a certain secret), and Big Mom's surrogate mother Carmel (Strongly implied to have been Eaten Alive by a then-six-year old Big Mom).
    • A reader noted and lampshaded in an SBS how mothers in the One Piece world have a high death rate, and asked Oda why. His answer was because "mothers are the opposite of adventure".
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, Haruhi's mother Kotoko is dead and Tamaki's French mother Anne sophie is currently forbidden from seeing him by his strict grandmother. Though later his father manages to turn the tables.
  • Pokémon:
    • Brock's mother Lola was said to have left their family, but later returned. In the English dub, she is stated to be dead due to a mistranslation, but still appears alive and well later on. This has led some fans to believe that she is a ghost.
    • Jessie's mom, Miyamoto, went missing on an expedition to find Mew in the Andes Mountains. She never returned but is apparently alive.
    • Team Rocket's Meowth is a rare case in that he can actually talk about his Parental Abandonment. Flashbacks show that Meowth's first memories were of being alone, with no family or friends.
    • Misty, Tracey, Iris, Cilan, and the Brother-Sister Team of Clemont and Bonnie all have a Missing Mom as well. In the case of the first four, both parents aren't mentioned at all while Clemont, Bonnie and Mallow all at least have dads. Mallow's mother is also stated to have died from an illness when Mallow was little.
  • In Prétear, Himeno's mother died when Himeno was a child, leading to her being raised by her father Kaoru alone — as a result, she is pretty good in martial arts, but finds it difficult to behave like a lady, which becomes a problem after her father marries a rich widow with two daughters. (Yes, this plot is from "Cinderella", lampshaded in the manga by Yayoi.)
    • In the manga, this is expanded: Mrs. Awayuki fell victim to Death by Childbirth, and Kaoru keeps it from Himeno to not cause her psychological damage. She actually learns that from her stepmother Natsue.
  • Numerous examples in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, to the point that the fact that title character has a mother at all is called out as distinctive. Mami lost hers in a car crash (alongside her father). Homura is, well, Homura. Kyouko, well, let's not go there.
  • Ranma ½ has a boatload of missing mothers:
    • The Tendo sisters' mother died when they were little, which especially affected Akane (and apparently Nabiki in the manga); Kasumi got a Promotion to Parent (or at least, homemaker) and Soun appears to have never gotten over it. (The Tendos' ongoing grief is played remarkably straight for a comedy series.)
    • Ranma left to train with his father at such a very young age that, until his mom Nodoka showed up to visit, he'd forgotten he ever had one.
    • Shampoo's father was seen a time or two in the manga, but never her mother, and she is otherwise raised by her great-grandmother.
    • Both of Ryoga Hibiki's parents are never around due to an improbably bad sense of direction and we never meet them. Different from the Ranma ½ norm because they're all alive and aware of the others' existence and would spend more time together under better circumstances.
    • Mousse's mother is never mentioned in the manga and only briefly in the anime.
    • The Kuno siblings' mother and Ukyo's mother are never seen or even mentioned.
  • Rurouni Kenshin
    • Kaoru's mother is so missing that she doesn't get mentioned at all. Her father not being a part of the story is explained: he was drafted into the army and then killed, leaving Kaoru to try to handle the family business alone. In the (Watsuki-disowned Seishouhen OAV, however, Kaoru explains to Kenshin that Mrs. Kamiya died of illness when she was very young; she adds that the very day she died her father immediately came back to handling the dojo, and she resented him for refusing to grieve for his dead wife.; no details in the actual canon have openly contradicted this.
    • In the filler Shimabara arc, the death of Shougo and Sayo's mom is very important: it was an Heroic Sacrifice from Mr. Mutou to make sure that her children would safely escape from their Doomed Hometown with their uncle. The kids even see her being shot to death in the seashore.
    • In the manga, Sanosuke's mother is explicitly said to have died of pneumonia when he was a child.
    • In Yahiko's introductory story, Tae tells Kenshin and Kaoru that his mother was the widow of a dead samurai who had to prostitute herself to raise him and ultimately died of illness (strongly implied to be syphillis), which is why Yahiko is forced to be a pickpocket for a bunch of criminals.
    • Both of Kenshin's parents died in a cholera epidemic when he was young. The survivors of his home village sold him into slavery to get rid of an unproductive extra mouth to feed. The slavers were later killed by bandits, who were killed by a wandering swordsmaster by the name of Seijiro Hiko, who then took in the sole survivor of the massacre as his apprentice.
  • Let's examine Sailor Moon. Rei and Hotaru both have living fathers and never-seen dead mothers; this is a plot point in the case of the latter, and in the manga and live-action series the first alienated herself from her dad because of how coldly he treated her mother. Setsuna may not even have parents, but she's called "Daughter of Cronos" at least once; that's a father, if taken literally, but also no mother. Neither Haruka nor Michiru ever reference parents; although they do have a mysterious benefactor, this is generally theorized to be Setsuna, sometimes jokingly referring to how her ability to see the future could be used in the stock market.
    • This is used in Naoko Takeuchi's earlier work, The Cherry Project, in which Chieri's mother died in a plane crash and all she has left is her dopey if well-meaning dad. This was used again in Sailor Moon, with Makoto's parents both dying in a plane crash.
  • In Sand Chronicles, Ann's mother Miwako commits suicide in the very first chapter due to depression, leaving her daughter in her parents' care. This death haunts Ann throughout the series.
  • Shinshunki Miman Okotowari actually begins right after the death of Asuka's mother, Kazue. This is the catalyst for the whole manga since Asuka sets off to find the father she has never met, but she first finds her also until-then-unknown half-siblings Kazusa and Manato instead...
  • Selector Infected WIXOSS: Ruuko was abandoned by her mother and left with her grandmother.
  • Slayers: The queen of Seyruun and mother of Amelia and her older sister Gracia was murdered by an assassin that was after the latter princess. Gracia killed said assassin very messily, was extremely traumatized due to that, and left to learn of the world the next day under a nom de guerre, "Naga the Serpent", and would eventually meet Lina, among other things. From the scant number of times this is mentioned, Amelia is still rather sensitive about it.
  • In Soul Eater there are a number of these.
    • Despite the fact that Maka's parents’ divorce is mentioned, and Maka's estrangement from her father is a plot point, Maka's mother doesn't appear in the anime. The manga has even less information, not even showing that she and Maka are in contact.
    • This is lampshaded in Death The Kid's case as people point out that his existence implies his father had a wife, but they and the audience have no idea who this is.
      • Shinigami is a Truly Single Parent to Kid, in a manner (creating and raising a child for a single purpose) which makes for a weird contrast with Medusa.
    • Black* Star is a case of Parental Abandonment: his family was wiped out for being dangerous psychopaths, and he was raised by the school.
    • Tsubaki and Soul Eater, by contrast, seem to have practically normal families, albeit ones they don't have much contact with. Even though Soul dislikes his Embarrassing Last Name, this seems to be down more to his issues with individuality than suggestion of a troubled history with his parents.
  • In Space Patrol Luluco, Luluco's parents got divorced when she was a child and she's been living with her father ever since. We find out in episode 4 that her mother is a notorious Space Pirate named Lalaco Godspeed.
  • In Sweetness & Lightning, Tsumugi's mom (and Kouhei's wife) died six months before the beginning of the story.
  • In Tamako Market, Hinako Kitashirakawa died sometime when her children were still young. The movie shows it was Mochizo who really helped young Tamako cope with the loss of her mother.
  • Tenchi Masaki's mother from Tenchi Muyo! Both the first movie and the third OVA series focus on his relationship with her; the OVA deconstructs the trope by revealing that she was...kind of a bitch.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, a large percent of the cast are orphans. However, the absence of mothers is a major theme uniting many characters and having strong influence over the course of the story. Of particular note are the deaths of Kaneki's mother, Hinami Fueguchi's mother Ryouko, Hikari Kirishima, Kasuka Mado, and Ukina ( aka the mother of Eto/the One-Eyed Owl).
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Bu-ling's mother died some time before the start of the show; her father is alive, but she and her younger siblings ended up with full Parental Abandonment because he left to practice martial arts. Zakuro is a case of Parental Abandonment from the start.
    • This is only in the anime, and the English dub simply does not mention the mother. In the manga, the only parents ever seen are Ichigo's, who have a bad case of Older Than They Look, while Mint's mom is mentioned, but never seen. Ichigo's parents are seen twice in the series. Adults do not exist practically at all.
  • In Tsukigasa, Azuma's mother dies when he's quite young, leading to his Creepy Uncle raping him because of his resemblance to her.
  • Minami Asakura's mother died before the beginning of Touch.
  • In Urusei Yatsura, Ryuunosuke Fujinami is about the only main character with this. Everyone else has a mother, even if they only show up in rare occasions (Sakura's Gonkish mother, Jariten's obsessive firefighter mother, etc) or don't get paid much attention (Shinobu's parents). It's never made clear whether her mother, Masako Fujinami, died in childbirth or if she was driven off by Mr. Fujinami's whacked-out obsession with having a son to carry on the family tea shop. Nobody knows what she looked like- not even the Fujinamis themselves; Mr. Fujinami hired lots of women to pose for pictures with him and baby Ryuunosuke after Masako left, and took so many that even he doesn't remember which of them is Ryuunosuke's real mother and which are fakes.
  • Victorian Romance Emma, Richard Jones (William's father) has a portrait of his wife hanging in their mansion, but she is never mentioned except in recollections. In the second season, her whereabouts are revealed, along with an explanation.
  • Wagaya No Oinarisama gives us Noboru and Tooru Nakagami, whose mother died soon after Tooru was born. She is seen mainly in photos and flashbacks, but her ghost appears in episode five to visit with Tooru for a short time before having to return to the afterlife.
  • Yami No Purple Eyes states that protagonist Rinko's mother died two years before the story takes place. Eventually, Rinko goes missing and is presumed dead, shortly after giving birth to her daughter Mai.
  • Yes! Pretty Cure 5 spent an episode on Urara's deceased mother and how Urara feels about her.
  • Your Name: Mitsuha and Yotsuha's mother Futaba died of illness 6 years ago in the backstory, and the events resulting from that drove a wedge between them and their father Toshiki. Meanwhile, Taki's mother is inexplicably totally absent from the film, with not the slightest mention of her or even a background photo to be seen. Even the novelisation just makes a vague mention of him having to get used to staying with just his father, but doesn't bother to elaborate further. For better or worse, the film doesn't use Bonding Over Missing Parents or otherwise make anything of this Commonality Connection.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Marik's mother died giving birth to him and was raised by his strict father, whom he later killed when he became possessed by the Millennium Rod.
    • Jounouchi's mother left home with Shizuka after she divorced Jou's dad, and they've barely had contact. Until Shizuka's operation, where they more or less make amends.
    • Pharaoh Atem Yami's mother is not shown in the anime, but is shown holding him next to Pharaoh Akhnamkhanon (Yami's father) in the manga. She never shows up to in any flashbacks of him growing up, or when he's on the throne, so it's assumed that she died when he was young.
    • Subverted in an odd way with Yugi himself. In the entire manga and anime, his mother shows up in exactly one scene. This scene was cut in some versions of the anime, so most viewers probably assumed that his parents were dead.
  • None of the four protagonists from the various Zoids anime have mothers; in fact, their mothers are never mentioned at all. It's particularly noteworthy with Van from Chaotic Century/Guardian Force; his father is an oft-mentioned decorated war hero, but his mother's existence is never even hinted at.

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