Follow TV Tropes


Promotion To Parent / Anime & Manga

Go To

People who were promoted to parent in anime and manga.

  • AIR has plenty of examples: Hijiri has to take care of her younger sister Kano and to some extent Haruko, who is Misuzu's aunt and Minagi who is more or less Michiru's sister also qualify.
  • Rika Noyamano of Air Gear definitely qualifies for this, seeing as her parents are gone, as well as Ikki's, the only mention of either ones' parents being that Ikki was left in her care by his parents when she was only a child. Though considering she's gone for months at a time with her Professional Wrestling gig, she might also qualify as a case of Parental Abandonment herself.
  • Advertisement:
  • Go Katou from Aishite Night is a college student and aspiring singer who has been taking care of his kindergarten-aged brother Hashizou ever since their father's death. In a subversion, Go's mother Yoko is still alive... but Hashizo's Missing Mom was actually the lover of their Disappeared Dad, making little Hashizou a pint-sized Heroic Bastard. Despite Yoko's conflicted feelings on the deal, Go still took the little kid in.
  • The whole premise — played for laughs — of Beelzebub. Example of a teenager being deemed the most appropriate parent, but only because his heart is the opposite of pure.
  • Kaori from Best Student Council. Hinted at in the early episodes, near the end we see that she is the oldest of four children, left caring for her siblings after their parents death. She is the only council member not to live at the dorm, preferring to live with her younger siblings in a house in the city, delivering newspapers to make ends meet. She keeps this a secret from the others because she doesn't want to them to feel sorry for her, and gets torn into by Rino for this once it comes out.
  • Advertisement:
  • Binbō-gami ga! has the Tsuwabuki family where the eldest brother, Keita, cares for his four younger siblings as breadwinner (while still a high school student) and the eldest sister, Rika, does a lot of the household chores and cooking. Their parents are nowhere to be seen.
  • In Binbou Shimai Monogatari, Kyou takes care of her younger sister Asu after their mother died and their father ran off. It's not always easy for her, since she is still only 15 herself and has to juggle school with work. Still, her love for her sister makes her pull it off.
  • Bleach:
    • Sora Inoue, who is 15 years older than his baby sister Orihime, protects her from their Abusive Parents and runs away from home with her as soon as he reaches legal age, bringing in a paycheck and raising her until his death in a car accident three years before the main plot, at which point Orihime lives on her own with some relatives' financial support. He even lampshades this by saying Orihime is "more like a daughter (to him) than a sister."
    • Advertisement:
    • Also, Hisana, Rukia's older sister. This is unique in the fact that it was actually Hisana and Rukia who died together and wound up in the afterlife. Unfortunately, that afterlife turned out to be a Crapsack World and Hisana couldn't hack it. She thus abandoned Rukia years before the start of the series, and could never forgive herself for it — therefore right before she died again, she begged her husband Byakuya to find Rukia and give her a normal life... without telling her; it's because of her last wish, and she felt she didn't deserve to be called Rukia's older sister after abandoning her, asking Byakuya to be the family and older sibling that she never was to Rukia.
  • Blue Ramun: A Downplayed example, but the minor character Killy of the Salaam Slums is the only caretaker to her anemic little brother Lau. Their father is physically abusive (when he isn't too drunk or too high on Gut Leaves to move), and their mother is died when her anemia went untreated. Every day Killy must steal food from the market in order to feed her family, and any money she can scrape together she spends on Lau's medical costs. She begs the Lezak distract Orphanage to take in her brother so that he can be treated by their doctor, but her pleas are turned her down because their father is still in the picture. At the end of her rope and out of options to care for Lau, Killy is willing to kill their father and turn herself in to the police to ensure that Lau receive the care he needs.
  • Daiichi Yamura from Bokurano takes care of his three younger siblings since his father has been gone for a while. Mr. Yamura is actually helping a friend in distress, not permanently gone. Daiichi dies after his battle, but the boss from his part-time job takes care of the other kids and then Mr. Yamura comes back for them.
  • In Captain Tsubasa Koujiro Hyuga's widowed mother does not want her eldest son to "replace" the family's Disappeared Dad (who died two years before the story started), but Hyuga himself insists in working part-time after school to help out the family. This partially stops when Hyuga becomes a Scholarship Student in Tokyo, but he keeps taking care of the family more indirectly once he becomes a soccer star: before going to Italy, he buys them a beautiful house in Saitama, and he sends them money regularly.
  • Touya from Cardcaptor Sakura gets a partial one. Fujitaka actually is a good father, just a very busy one (despite his own wishes) and Nadeshiko is dead, so Touya has to take care of Sakura many times.
  • In Castle Town Dandelion, Satsuki was this during high school, looking after her 4 siblings while her parents were out to work.
  • Haruma from Chocotto Sister gets plunged into this role after he gets his sister Choco as a Christmas present.
  • Code Geass: After their mother was murdered and their father abandoned them, Lelouch becomes the primary caretaker to his disabled little sister, Nunnally, to the point that making the world a better place for her is one of his main motivations for his rebellion against the Emperor.
  • Ian gets this in A Cruel God Reigns after his father, Greg, and stepmother, Sandra, die. Although his aunt Natasha is around to help, she runs away due to a guilty conscience for not telling anyone that she knew Greg was sexually abusing Jeremy.
  • In Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!, Yumoto Hakone's parents are never seen and he's been pretty much raised by his older brother Gora. Gora makes Yumoto's school lunches and is shown to be extremely protective of him, while Yumoto quotes his advice often and dreams of being a man like him someday.
  • Mad Scientist Komui Lee of D.Gray-Man is obsessively overprotective of his little sister Lenalee. As befitting the trope, their parents were killed by Akuma before the story.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, it is one of the few sympathetic aspects of the demon siblings Gyutaro and Daki, they come from a very tragic background when they were still humans, being raised by a very abusive prostitute mother, living in poverty and constant abuse made Gyutaro, the big brother take his little sister Daki with him as he ran away from home, trying to make a better life for themselves, he has raised her ever since, even when tragedy struck and they became vicious evil demons.
  • In Eden of the East, Saki's older sister took responsibility for raising her after their parents' deaths. Saki is grateful for her assistance and that of her husband, but is hoping to get a job so as not to rely too much on her kindness.
  • Gantz has a rather tragic example of this trope; not only is Kato basically his young brother Ayumu's parental figure, he ends up dying, thus leaving Ayumo without an adult to look after him.
  • In Get Backers, Himiko Kudou is said to have been raised from infancy by her older brother, Yamato, and that he was the one who taught her to use her poisoned perfumes and to work as a thief alongside him from a young age. His murder when she was thirteen is what fuels her grudge against the main character, Ban Mido. Who actually is her real brother. And not to mention, Yamato himself asked Ban to kill him.
  • Racine in Glass Fleet accredits her tomboy personality and love of swordsmanship to having been raised by her brother, Michel. Even though their father was still alive, he didn't do anything for Racine except try to get her to Stay in the Kitchen.
  • Grave of the Fireflies: Seita for Setsuko. Their mother dies at the beginning of the film and their father is fighting in the war. They move in with an aunt, but they butt heads, so halfway through the film Seita decides that he and Setsuko will set off and live on their own. It's not a spoiler to say that this doesn't end well. Tragically, the short story this film was based on is semi-autobiographical, with author Akiyuki Nosaka writing it as a way to come to terms with his sister's death.
  • Implied in some episodes of Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics:
    • In "Bluebeard", two of Josephine's three brothers look notoriously older than her and the youngest one, and their parents aren't mentioned. This means the two eldest almost surely raised the two youngest, and it'd certainly explain why the three are super protective of her.
    • In "Brother and Sister", Rudolf/Brother and Rose/Sister had been looking out for one another ever since the beginning due to having a Wicked Stepmother, but after they escape from her and Rudolf gets turned into a stag, Rose takes care of him more openly. She even takes him to live with her, despite him still being a stag, when she marries the local King.
  • Michael Garret of GUN×SWORD was promoted to parent years before the series began. Up until he is kidnapped by the Claw, he did a good job of caring for his younger sister, Wendy.
  • Sixteen-year-old Kodaka Hasegawa of Haganai is this for thirteen-year-old Kobato. With their mother Airi dead a few years after Kobato was born, and their father Hayato working in America as an archaeologist, the boy had to raise Kobato by himself, cook her meals, and put up with her vampire-lolita fantasies. Fortunately, at least Hayato was generous enough to send them to study in St. Chronica Academy, run by his best friend, Tenma Kashiwazaki, whose teenage daughter Sena would develop an comically unhealthy obsession for the little girl.
  • Kurumi from Haou Airen is both the eldest daughter and the main breadwinner of the Akino family, since the father died when she was 14 years old and the mother is a very frail Ill Girl.
  • Yujiki looks after her little sister Hinagiku in Hayate the Combat Butler, but usually it ends up being the other way around. While this may have been true after their parents abandoned them (and possibly even before), it seems that normalcy has reasserted itself after they get adopted by the Katsura's. Yukiji seems to have reverted to more child-like while Hinagiku is supporting herself and generally not truly caring about her older sister except when it makes her look bad.
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan has Taihei, a blue-collar worker who takes care of his younger sister Umaru. It's... hilariously hard.
  • Played with in Kaguya-sama: Love is War. Because of their mother's abandonment and their father's immaturity and job instability, Shirogane had to take a more significant role at home as the person who "mothers" Kei. Just as so, he receives the blunt force of Kei's teenage angst and rebellion all on his own.
  • In K-On!, the Hirasawa sisters' parents are often away traveling, leaving Ui to manage the house and look after her sister Yui...despite the fact that Ui is actually the younger of the two. Ui has gotten so used to looking after Yui that when Yui is away on a school trip, she doesn't know what to do with herself.
  • In Kore wa Koi no Hanashi, despite Haruka's parents both being alive, Shinichi is eventually given guardianship of her by her father. Her father decided it's for the best, considering the time Haruka has already spent at Shinichi's house and the fact that he and his wife are barely at home.
  • Happens in Kyou Kara Yonshimai when the father of the girls abandons them after their mother's death. It's up to the oldest sister to take care of her sisters. She ends up running off as an adult though.
  • Touka Takanashi of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions anime becames as she started to take after her younger sister Rikka. This is a deconstruction, as Touka is clearly not a very good parent — especially in dealing with Rikka's emotional trauma arising from Parental Abandonment.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Related: There is a discussion between the two children adopted by Fate Testarossa-Harlaown regarding adoption and how they view their guardians. Admiral Lindy Harlaown became Fate's adoptive mother, but Caro decides that after being adopted by Fate that she's like an older sister. When Erio is asked whether he considers Fate more like his mother or his sister, he can't decide. Strictly speaking Erio thinks of Fate as a mother from his reaction. He's just too embarrassed to say that to Caro. Especially given that she's his sister by adoption (due to Fate being too young at the time to adopt him officially) and he's attracted to her.
      • In the StrikerS manga, he occasionally calls Fate "Fate-nee-san," but exclusively refers to her as "Fate-san" in the anime.
      • Most other characters refer to Fate as Erio and Caro's mother when talking with them. Vivio even believes that she should keep her distance when Erio and Caro spend time with Fate, because she has two mothers while they only have one, but they suggest that she does not need to do that.
      • Not to mention, there's Mad Scientist Jail Scaglietti referring to Fate as Erio and Caro's mother during his horrifying Hannibal Lecture towards her, in which he accuses her of raising them as Child Soldiers and being not that different from her Evil Matriarch mom Presea. Luckily, Erio and Caro don't agree and tell Fate it's all right, which reassures Fate and lets her beat the shit out of Jail.
    • Furthermore, Nanoha ends up as Vivio's mother by virtue of being the only one that treats her like the scared little girl she is, with Vivio doing the promoting by clinging desperately to her almost all the time at first.
    • And let's talk how Hayate Yagami "getting and adopting" her new "family" in A's...
      • She even explicitly refers to them as her "children," and in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, Hayate, the Wolkenritter, Reinforce Zwei and Agito are referred to as "the Yagami family."
    • Perhaps the straightest example from this series would be Tiida Lanster, who took care of his little sister Teana after their parents' deaths.
  • In March Comes in Like a Lion, Akari Kawamoto more-or-less serves as the parental figure for her two younger sisters, caring for them and even arguing with them as a mother would, as noted when she realizes she had a similar argument with their mother as she did with Hina.
  • In the Mazinger series:
    • Mazinger Z: After their parents and grandfather's deaths, Kouji became his little brother Shiro's de facto guardian. Even after they gain a Parental Substitute in Dr. Yumi, Kouji remains as Shiro's main caretaker.
    • Great Mazinger: In the sequel, Tetsuya and Jun take care of Shiro most of the time after Kouji and Sayaka go to the USA until almost the end of the series. Subverted because they didn't know for a long while that they were his adoptive siblings.
  • In Minami-ke, Haruka takes care of her two siblings Kana and Chiaki. While there is no mention about parental abandonment and their older cousin Takeru comes by once in a while, Haruka is the one who does all parental duties.
  • My Hero Academia has Mandalay and her Super Team, the Wild Wild Pussycats, raising Kota, the child of her deceased cousin, who was part of the Battle Couple Water Hose. This is somewhat awkward, since Kota has grown to hate all things related to Heroes as a result of his parents' deaths.
  • My-HiME: Mai Tokiha inherited the responsibility of taking care of her sickly younger brother Takumi from first her mother and later her father. This responsibility weighs on her pretty heavily, but she tries not to let anyone know that. She also ends up considering her status as Takumi's caretaker a key part of her identity, so much so that she has conflicting feelings when he expresses a desire to become more independent, and this is part of the reason Yuuichi replaces Takumi as her Key.
  • In Neo Ranga, the eldest Shimabara sister Minami is the caretaker for the school-aged Ushio and Yuuhi; she works at least two part-time jobs and manages her company to provide for herself and her little sisters. This has given her a Money, Dear Boy mentality, and she uses Neo Ranga itself for monetary purposes.
  • Oda Eiichiro actualy subverts this multiple times in One Piece.
    • Nami's older sister Nojiko clearly did her best to provide moral support, but Nami was just away from the island and forced to grow up too fast to be given much parenting after their mother died. Nami doesn't hold it against Nojiko at all, however.
    • Even though Ace became a lot more mature after Sabo's 'death' (Sabo wasn't any older than Ace, but he was more cautious and levelheaded, and the three of them together could live largely independently), he was still ten years old and not even close to being emotionally stable or responsible enough to take care of Luffy, and left the bulk of that to Dadan and Makino.
    • A very young Donquixote Rocinante defied this when he ran away from his pre-teen older brother because said older brother was a sociopathic Self-Made Orphan, and soon he found a much better Parental Substitute in the future Admiral Sengoku.
  • In PandoraHearts, poor Gilbert got promoted to parent before his age reached the double digits: his parents sold him and his little brother Vincent to a freak show because of the latter's red eye (a sign of being a Child of Misfortune). The two children grew up on the streets, and Gilbert took it upon himself to feed his brother (by stealing) and protect him — even though he was tempted to abandon him and fend for himself many times. Vincent developed a twisted obsession with Gilbert as a result.
  • Kanba Takakura from Penguindrum became this to Shoma and Himari when he was around 13 years old. As a child, he promised his father Kenzan that he'd protect his siblings if something ever happened to him and their mother Chiemi. Then it turned out that the parents were members of a terrorist organization and had to run away from home...
  • Sakanoue Gammon of Phi Brain: Puzzle of God has a younger sister, who he supports by submitting puzzles to magazines. He also tries to butt into every one of the Kenja Puzzles set up by the P.O.G. in an attempt to get the prize money and later joins them, though in that case it's not just for the money.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Brock in his debut episode. He was left in charge of a gym and his 9 siblings, when his parents left Wandering the Earth. Arguably, he holds the same position within Ash's group as well.
    • It appears Clemont is this to his little sister Bonnie at first, but several episodes in we're introduced to their father.
  • In the Gold/Silver arc of Pokémon Adventures, we learn that Blue met Silver (age five and three, respectively) after they were kidnapped by the same giant bird to become the Masked Man's minions. The two of them were put together as a team. From then on, Blue acted as a surrogate sister to the boy, and eventually escaped with him. In the Green Leaf/Fire Red arc, Silver only starts looking for his biological family after Blue has successfully found her own parents.
  • The Prince of Tennis gives a partial one to the pre-teen Tomoka Osakada in the anime, since both of her parents work and often leave her in charge of her barely toddler-aged twin brothers.
  • Sara in Princess Sarah becomes Lottie's "little mother" for all intents and purposes, as in the original novel. It's stated in the anime that Lottie's mother died when she was very small, though she does have a father who appears briefly in one episode.
  • Kasumi of Ranma ½ pretty much took the role of the mother in the Tendo-dojo.
    • Tatewaki Kuno has also taken over in his family — and when his father returns they even fight about it, with Tatewaki refusing to surrender leadership of their family. Kodachi of course favors her father, and it's not like Tatewaki has done that great a job of "parenting" Kodachi, but considering the choices are Tatewaki or his father — it's one of the few times Tatewaki comes off very favorably.
  • Nori from Rozen Maiden tries to be this to Jun, but she's not really cut out for it... most of the time.
  • Yukishiro Tomoe from Rurouni Kenshin took over the motherly duties for her younger brother Enishi after their mother died during Enishi's birth.
  • In a weird example, inverted, Usagi and Chibi-Usa in Sailor Moon have a similar relationship. Chibi-Usa is sent to the past to live with Usagi, who is her mother in the future. However, since Usagi is a teenager, Chibi-Usa usually has a lack of respect for her as her future mother, and they get into arguments as if Usagi were the sibling substituting for the parent, instead of the future parent.
  • Scrapped Princess, Raquell is the eldest of the Cassull siblings and doubles as the mother figure to Shannon and Pacifica, ever since their parents were killed while protecting Pacifica from Inquisitors from The Church of Mauser.
  • Taishi in Servant × Service towards his little sister Touko, out of Parental Abandonment. This is the cause of the latter brother's Big Brother Worship.
  • Shinshunki Miman Okotowari:
    • The junior high student Manato Sudou has pretty much raised his little sister Kazusa since their mom died and their dad, aside of sending them money, isn't present in their lives.
    • When Kazusa and Manato's older half-sister Asuka arrives to the Sudou household, she decides to invoke the trope and take care of them and their home from then on, hoping that the three will become a family — which she badly needs, since her mom died too and she wants to prove herself to their father, Mr. Sudou.
  • Yor Briar of Spy X Family raised herself and her younger brother Yuri after their parents died when they were both young. The reason she became a Professional Killer was to provide for Yuri, and he developed a Weirdness Censor that never questioned why she came home covered in blood with lots of cash. He also developed a Big Sister Attraction, which becomes a problem when he meets her husband.
  • Ralph Werec in Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry was promoted to parent of his much younger sister Sara after the death of their parents, James and Annie. This fostered an enormous sense of Big Brother Worship in her, which makes it even more painful when he leaves to join the army and comes back as an Omnicidal Maniac.
    • Sara herself plays a similar role to Emily.
  • Black of Tekkonkinkreet takes care of the playful but peculiar White much like a parent; he steals money to support them both and even helps White dress. (He doesn't know how to do so by himself yet.) Although it's never explicitly stated that they're related, the two are so close that they might as well be siblings.
  • Defied example in Trigun as Evil Twin Knives tried to do this with his brother Vash who wanted nothing to do with him after Knives had gotten their adoptive mother Rem and millions of other humans killed. Vash successful escaped from Knives but blew up a city as a result.
  • Hwang Bu-ling aka Mew Pudding from Tokyo Mew Mew, a victim of Parental Abandonment — her mother is dead, her father left to practice martial arts, and she has five younger siblings to look after. The anime version at least introduced a kind kindergarten teacher who helps her to take care of her little sister. Top it with the fact that Bu-ling herself is only an elementary school student, and prior to the series beginning, she apparently supported her family entirely by doing tricks in a park. It must be even more exhausting since she's a waitress at a cafe and a superhero fighting aliens.
  • Variable Geo: At 16, Satomi's had to struggle to support herself and her kid brother, Daisuke, since they have no other living relatives. She holds two jobsnote , while continuing to finish highschool. But her brother's medical treatments are so costly, that she barely earns enough for them to live on.
  • Vividred Operation: Momo takes care of the domestic chores, because her mom is in the hospital, grandpa is busy with research, and Akane is busy making some extra money to support the family.
  • Fairly common in Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Seto Kaiba of Yu-Gi-Oh!, who promised himself when he was ten that he would be a father to his brother, Mokuba, after their parents died. Aside from his Noble Demon personality and Agent Scully views, Seto has been good to his word. Mokuba uses the highest, most respectful honorific toward him, "Nii-sama." The manga has them both be evil at first, with Mokuba trying to emulate his brother before both reform.
    • Jun Manjyome's older brothers in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX are the closest thing to parents he appears to have, constantly putting pressure on him to uphold the family honor. Too bad they're Corrupt Corporate Executive jerks.
    • After both her Adventurer Archaeologist parents disappear, Tsukumo Akari of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL becomes head of the family, having to look after both her grandmother and little brother Yuma. Fortunately, she's already an adult with a stable career, and her parents seem to have had enough funds that money isn't an issue.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yugo and Rin are both orphans living in the slums, and despite being unrelated and the same age, Yugo describes Rin as his mother figure.
    • Deconstructed in Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS. With an age difference of ten years, Zaizen Akira turns to a life of illegal hacking-for-hire at the age of sixteen to support his stepsister Aoi after their parents are killed in a traffic accident. While he eventually works his way into a top position at a legitimate corporation, his pursuit of success for Aoi's benefit estranges him from her, and by the time the series starts she's financially well cared for but hungry for his attention and validation as well as possibly depressed. Akira exhibits more Knight Templar Big Brother tendencies such as banning Aoi from Dueling and grounding her for her safety, but she eventually manages to prove her skills to him, and they reconcile in the second season.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: