16 Anime Where The Protagonist Unexpectedly Becomes A Parental Substitute

Voting Rules

Vote up the best anime with this premise.

For some people, becoming a parent is a planned thing. For others, it's a complete surprise. Anime where the MC adopts a kid - often without ever intending to do so - are becoming increasingly popular in the anime world. These stories force the adult character to radically change their lives and become much more mature, and they also feature plenty of adorable parent-child moments. 

Perhaps the most famous of these anime is Bunny Drop, an anime about a 30-year-old bachelor who adopts his six-year-old aunt after her father - his grandfather - passes away. It's a heartwarming show as long as you ignore the unsettling manga ending. Looking for something a little more recent? There's Kotaro Lives Alone, which is about a four-year-old who is basically adopted by a whole apartment building, and Spy x Family, which features a fake family with surprisingly real emotions. If you can stand the extreme cuteness, queue up one of these shows.

  • 1
    123 VOTES
    Spy x Family
    Photo: Spy x Family / Wit Studio, CloverWorks

    Loid Forger needs to create a fake family, and quick. Why? He's a spy with a mission that requires him to infiltrate an elementary school in order to make contact with a national enemy who happens to be the father of one of the students. To do this, he needs a child who is attending that school, and a wife to fulfill the school's requirement that students have a father and mother who are married. 

    He adopts Anya, a young girl who is - unbeknownst to him - psychic. He also ends up arranging a fake marriage with an office lady named Yor who says that she wants to get married so that her brother doesn't worry about her. But Yor is hiding something too - she's an assassin! Together, the two of them have to find a way to raise Anya and get her through the rigors of an elite elementary school - all while keeping major secrets from each other.

    123 votes
  • 2
    13 VOTES
    Buddy Daddies
    Photo: Buddy Daddies / P.A. Works

    Assassin duo Kazuki and Rei get more than they bargained for after they leave a Christmas Eve job with four-year-old Miri. While taking in a child was never part of the plan, gradually the three of them create a bond that resembles a family that has been missing from their lives. Miri finally has the parental figures she's been needing, and caring for the girl helps resolve past traumas that both of the men have been struggling with.

    Buddy Daddies is a heartwarming and wholesome series about the never-ending shenanigans between two assassins and the vibrant child they inadvertently adopt.

    13 votes
  • The Yakuza's Guide to Babysitting
    Photo: The Yakuza's Guide to Babysitting / feel., Gaina

    Known as “The Demon of Sakuragi,” Tooru Kirishima is one of the most feared members of his yakuza faction. When his propensity for violence nearly destroys a peace treaty, his boss decides to teach him a lesson by giving him an unexpected responsibility - taking care of his seven-year-old daughter, Yaeka. 

    Kirishima knows that he can't let his boss' daughter come to harm, but he has absolutely no idea what to do with a child. Once he actually starts trying to get to know Yaeka, he realizes that he understands her a lot better than he thought he would - which means that he's one of the few people who can help her through painful things like her mother being in a coma. 

    70 votes
  • Somali & The Forest Spirit
    Photo: Somali & The Forest Spirit / Satelight, HORNETS

    In a world where humans are nearly extinct and face discrimination from magical species, a golem finds a little human girl. He had intended to live out his limited lifespan in the forest he'd been guarding, but he ends up deciding to take the little girl - named Somali - on a journey to find a group of humans who will take her in. Though he supposedly doesn't have any emotions, he ends up growing quite attached to Somali, who sees him as her father. 

    Finding a group of humans is a dangerous task, especially since Somali has trouble following directions, but the golem is determined to make it work before his life comes to an end. 

    62 votes
  • 5
    69 VOTES
    Photo: Beelzebub / Pierrot Plus

    Tatsumi Oga is just about the last person you'd imagine taking care of a child - he's a high school delinquent with a terrifying reputation. One day, he helps a man floating in a river, only to witness that man's body splitting in two and revealing a baby. That baby turns out to be Kaiser de Emperana Beelzebub IV - also known as Baby Beel - the son of the Demon Lord himself. 

    With help from Beel's demon maid Hildegard, Oga tries his best to raise the baby. But with both delinquents and demons coming after him, this is far from easy. 

    69 votes
  • 6
    66 VOTES
    Photo: Hinamatsuri / feel.

    Yoshifumi Nitta is a mid-level yakuza member who spends his free time collecting priceless vases. His life is disrupted when he's smacked in the head by a capsule containing a mysterious blue-haired girl named Hina. Aside from her name and the fact that she possesses incredible psychic powers, he knows very little about her. Well, he does know one thing - if her psychic powers don't get used, they cause serious mayhem. 

    Seeing no other alternative, Nitta reluctantly lets Hina live with him. When he realizes that she can help him out with his yakuza dealings, he starts to appreciate her company a little more. Over time and despite himself, he finds himself getting attached to Hina as a child under his care, not just an annoyance who is useful at times.

    66 votes