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Top 5 Heartwarming Father-Daughter Anime

Pursuing a Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Pennsylvania State University, and writing about anime in my spare time.

Daikichi combing Rin's hair in "Usagi Drop"

Daikichi combing Rin's hair in "Usagi Drop"

Father and Daughter Anime

Are you a fan of heartwarming family vibes? Do you like watching shows featuring the father-daughter dynamic? If so, this list is for you. Each show focuses on the growing familial relationship between an older man and a younger girl, and how taking care of the girl changes the man for the better.

5. Aishiteruze Baby★★ (Love You Baby)

  • Studio: TMS Entertainment
  • Aired: Spring 2004
  • Score: 7.57
  • Popularity: #988
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo
  • Episodes: 26


Katakura Kippei is a high school playboy who suddenly finds himself tasked with raising his 5-year-old cousin Yuzuyu. Knowing nothing about childcare and averse to responsibilities of any kind, how will Kippei manage to care for this young girl?

How is this a father-daughter anime?

Kippei may not technically be Yuzuyu's father, but he is given the same responsibilities as one. He has to take care of the girl, drop her off and pick her up from school, and help her deal with her emotions regarding her mother's disappearance.


This show has some of the biggest character growth of the ones on this list. Kippei starts as a slacker and womanizer but learns the importance of hard work and dedication through his trials with Yuzuyu. There is also a very prominent romance aspect to this show, which helps to demonstrate how Kippei's time with the child makes him a better person.

4. Alice to Zouroku (Alice and Zouroku)

  • Studio: J.C.Staff
  • Aired: Spring 2017
  • Score: 7.25
  • Popularity: #1238
  • Genres: Adventure, Mystery, Seinen
  • Episodes: 12


Sana is a little girl with the power to materialize anything she imagines. She escapes from a research lab and seeks help from an old man named Zoruku. Will she finally have the chance to live a normal life?

How is this a father-daughter anime?

Though this may seem more like a grandfather-daughter anime, this is actually one of the few anime on the list to truly be father-daughter (granted she's adopted). Though wary of each other at first, they both come to really love each other as a family as Zoroku teaches Sana how to be a normal girl.


This is the only anime on the list with real action, even including fight scenes (as one might expect in a show about girls with super powers). These scenes are juxtaposed with quiet slice-of-life moments to demonstrate how Sana is adjusting to her new life. To some, this contrast may be jarring as some episodes are all action while others can be very slow-paced and uneventful.

3. Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness and Lightning)

  • Studio: TMS Entertainment
  • Aired: Summer 2016
  • Score: 7.58
  • Popularity: #531
  • Genres: Slice-of-Life, Comedy, Seinen
  • Episodes: 12


Kouhei Inuzuka is a high school teacher left caring for his daughter on his own after the recent death of his wife. Finding it difficult to cook himself, he accepts an offer from one of his students to eat at her mother's restaurant. However, the restaurant is closed since the mother is away, so the teacher, daughter, and student end up cooking together instead.

How is this a father-daughter anime?

This is the only anime on the list with a biologically related father and daughter. Now that Kouhei's wife has passed away, he has to learn how to care for his daughter himself, starting with learning how to cook for her. This brings him and his daughter much closer.


It's a cute anime but gets a bit formulaic with its episodes. It also focuses mainly on the food preparation and eating aspects rather than devoting as much time to childcare, though there are some nice father-daughter moments.



2. Barakamon

  • Studio: Kinema Citrus
  • Aired: Summer 2014
  • Score: 8.49
  • Popularity: #169
  • Genres: Comedy, Slice-of-Life
  • Episodes: 12


Seishuu Handa is a talented but egotistic calligrapher. When a veteran criticizes his work, Handa loses his temper and punches the man. As punishment, Handa's father sends him away to a remote island. There Handa meets the locals, and in particular the energetic child Naru, who help Handa to mature as both a calligrapher and a human being.

How is this a father-daughter anime?

This is the biggest stretch on the list. Naru technically lives with her grandfather, and Handa never really adopts her or becomes her guardian. Naru even seems to take care of Handa more than he takes care of her. Nevertheless, it is through their developing relationship that Handa finally begins to mature and understand what he truly values in life.


Barakamon is a relaxing and heartwarming anime. There is no action and little drama except towards the end. The characters are easy to get attached to, and both the character dynamics and idyllic countryside make this show a pleasure to watch.

1. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop)

  • Studio: Production I.G
  • Aired: Summer 2011
  • Score: 8.55
  • Popularity: #241
  • Genres: Josei, Slice-of-Life
  • Episodes: 11


Daikichi Kawachi, a 30-year-old bachelor, takes it upon himself to raise his grandfather's illegitimate daughter Rin after his grandfather passes away. This is the story of his journey through fatherhood.

How is this a father-daughter anime?

Daikichi raises Rin as his daughter, even though he never officially adopts her. The reason for this becomes apparent in the manga, but you should avoid reading it if you want to retain the heartwarming feel of the anime.


This is by far the best father-daughter anime on the list. We watch as Daikichi slowly learns how to be a father and develops his relationship with Rin, making sacrifices along the way in order to keep his daughter happy. We also get to see Rin develop from a shy, wary girl into a friendly, helpful person as a result of Daikichi's parenting. As a pure slice-of-life anime, this is a realistic look into the daily lives of a single father and his daughter, allowing us to share in both their sorrows and their joys.


Jeremy on August 10, 2020:

Kagushigoto is a must add to this list. It coming oit after this article is presumably the only reason it isn't.

Sabrina on July 05, 2020:

Thank you for making a recommendation list! My favorites are Shelter - music video - and Kamisama no inai Nichiyoubi.

Cassidy Cornblatt (author) on April 24, 2020:

I'm sorry to hear that. Sweetness and Lightning can be very powerful, particularly in the early episodes. Hope you are doing okay.

Raven Rose on April 24, 2020:

Sweetness and Lightning was the best for me since I related. My mother passed away a while ago and my dad has been taking care of us. So this anime really hit hard.

Jack on January 07, 2020:

Usagi Drop's manga couldn't have ended better!! I loved the ending! And the anime is perfect!!

Cassidy Cornblatt (author) on May 03, 2019:

This is strictly based on the anime and why I warned against reading the manga.

Rei on April 30, 2019:

Yeah, until Usagi Drop ends with them getting married.

EdgyMC_69 on April 17, 2019:

Usagi Drop ends with their incestual relationship in the manga. The anime doesn't go that far.

Sabrina Rocha on April 09, 2018:

We have also 'Sunday without god'. I think this anime fits that lost well

Cassidy Cornblatt (author) on January 11, 2018:

I enjoyed Udon quite a bit, but since Poco is a boy, it didn't make this list.

Cassidy Cornblatt (author) on July 05, 2017:

You may not have heard of the others simply due to timing. Alice to Zouroku and Amaama to Inazuma are both very recent shows, so you may have missed them if you haven't been watching seasonals consistently, and Aishiteruze Baby is pretty old compared to the others.

N B Yomi from Dallas, TX on July 05, 2017:

I'm kinda shocked to learn that these except Usage Drop and Barakamon.(Which I already knew about.) I'mma checksum out....At the risk of getting frustrated with their lack of exposure.

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