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A great man who knows how to age becomes a sage that guides youngsters on their roads to heroism. Perhaps, he is simply a great example to follow. Or perhaps he has had so many adventures that you can spend hours listening to what he tells by the fireside. That great person is the grandfather.
If there is something better than an awesome grandfather for otakus, it is an anime grandfather. They come in all shapes and sizes, don’t they? But grandpas are not discussed as much as fathers are. Let’s correct that a little bit in this article. Let’s remember some of the best grandfathers of the anime world!
10. Mr. Hessen from Alps no Shoujo Heidi (Heidi: Girl of the Alps)
- Episodes: 52
- Aired: Jan 6 to Dec 29, 1974
We had to include one of the most memorable grandparents in anime because of the nostalgia! Better known as the Alps Oldman, we meet Mr. Hessen in a rather uncomfortable way. Aunt Ethel takes Heidi to live with him, but the old man gets all cranky and moody, even driving Ethel away from his house. The Alps Oldman has a reputation of violence and of being an atheist. Many other rumors run about him in the village on the base of the mountains.
Nevertheless, he takes Heidi in, and within time, he is revealed to be one of the sweetest anime grandpas ever. The Alps Oldman builds everything he needs with wood and has several goats to provide him milk and cheese. He has a lonely life until Heidi comes along. Let people spread rumors. Heidi knows best that her grandfather is a kind and caring man.
9. Monkey D. Garp from One Piece
- Episodes: Unknown
- Aired: Oct 20, 1999 to present
If you are adventurous and like to explore other places, you probably would prefer a grandfather who is in the marine forces. How about Monkey D. Luffy’s grandfather? The famous Monkey D. Garp is a tall, broad man of the sea. He still is attractive despite all his years, and of course he is in good condition.
You have to be careful when he is around, though. He is not the brightest man, unless you count military strategy and fighting skills. Monkey D. Garp can be pretty brutal even when he is trying to be nice, like when he does his “Fist of love”. Nevertheless, he has the characteristic of all the Monkeys, who enjoy adventure and freedom above all.
8. Mr. Satan from Dragon Ball
- Episodes: 153
- Aired: Feb 26 Apr 12, 1989
Meet the champion of the World Martial Arts Tournament on a time when there were no Z warriors to stand against him. We have to concede to Mr. Satan that he trained hard throughout his life, amassing a big fortune by himself. Later, he fought against Cell, Majinboo, and the Androids. That is something for a completely human guy, right? Although he became an egomaniac.
But don’t let Mr. Satan’s fame and fortune misjudge him. He has been shown displaying warmth and heroism through crisis that have touched his family deeply. For example, he was key to fight the Androids and he was the first to befriend Majinboo He also has been shown as a caring father and later grandfather for Pan. So, if your type of grandfather is the superstar who you can have fun with but at the same time can be honorable, this is the perfect match for you.
7. Solomon Muto from Yu Gi Oh!
- Episodes: 27
- Aired: Apr 4 to Oct 10, 1998
That’s Dr. Solomon Muto for all of you. This rather plump and kind looking fellow reminds us of someone, right? Solomon is another example of a passion running thick through the veins of a same family. Yugi could not have a better mentor than his own grandfather.
Solomon’s youth was impressive as well. He was like an Indiana Jones with adventures on Egypt and all! That’s the place where he got the Millennium Puzzle which eventually be Yugi’s. Now, Solomon enjoys a more relaxed life as the owner of a game shop. Nevertheless, with such impressive titles as The Eternal Duelist Soul, Stairway to the Destined Duel, World Championship 2004 and Destiny Board Traveller, Solomon is the perfect guide that canalizes Yugi’s fondness for games.
6. Jonathan Joestar from Jojo no Kimyouna Bouken (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct 6, 2012 to Apr 6, 2013
Sometimes family blood runs very thick in an anime. In the particular case of Jojo, his destiny was strongly related to his grandfather’s. Joseph Joestar was an elegant son of a nobleman called George Joestar I. Kindhearted and positive, he met his doom through his adoptive older brother Dio Brando.
Despite the havoc Brando brings into the family and later generations of Joestars, Jonathan remains a gentleman. As a strong fighter, he is also worried and protective towards his family. Well loved by his wife and friends, this sometimes naive Joestar left a legacy of duty but unfortunately also of revenge. This dual legacy is what our main protagonist Jojo has to deal with, but he has a fine example to follow on his grandfather.
5. Hiruzen Sarutobi from Naruto
- Episodes: 220
- Aired: Oct 3, 2002 to Feb 8, 2007
Meet one of the first ninjas from the village of Konoha. Hiruzen Sarutobi was among the first citizens of this place, becoming also the third hokage. This guy is a firm believer on the Will of fire, which means that all the village is a family. Hiruzen is also lecherous, but kind to everyone inside and outside of Konoha.
Hiruzen might sound soft to his detractors, but he trained none other than the Three legendary ninja. Should we remember that one of such legendary ninja (Jiraiya) was Naruto’s teacher? And Naruto eventually became hokage himself! The legacy of Hiruzen’s Will of fire lived even after his death.
4. Lloyd Steam from Steamboy
- Episodes: 1 movie
- Aired: Jul 17, 2004
This grandfather has a tall but lean body, with an interesting rebellious white hair. In some ways, his expressions look though. He is also strong and resistant. Lloyd Steam is a resourceful and adventurous genius. Alongside his son, he discovered a mineral with which they developed a new energy source.
But that is not all. Lloyd knows exactly why the O’hara foundation is behind this invention, so he instructs his grandson Ray to guard the energy source. Ray has inherited the brains and inclination towards adventure of the males of his family, so… you can imagine. The whole movie is a great action story. Plus, Ray’s grandfather was there to help him in key moments, eventually dying on his own bed at an advanced age.
3. Fu from Fullmetal Alchemist, Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Apr 5, 2009 to Jul 4, 2010
We can imagine how difficult is the job of a bodyguard. Now imagine you are the bodyguard of a Prince in Fullmetal Alchemist. It could be helpful if we have a grandfather who knows all the tricks of the job, right? That’s where Fu comes to play. He is a combination of bodyguard, strategist, and personal ninja. Not bad for his age, huh?
Fu is fiercely loyal to prince Ling Yao, who goes to Amestris to find the secret of immortality. He keeps mentoring his granddaughter Lan while they are there, as her short temper sometimes gets the best of her. We think Fu has duty and honor above anything else, but when his Lan loses an arm, he breaks down to tears. A great warrior, he dies as he always lived: fighting for the sake of the Xing Empire’s royalty.
2. Samuel Oak from Pokemon
- Episodes: 276
- Aired: Apr 1, 1997 to Nov 14, 2002
Professor Oak is the cool scientist grandfather that every Pokemon trainer has ever wished for. He lives and works in his research laboratory in Pallet Town. Professor Oak’s specialities are humans and Pokemon relationships. That explains why Ash is so fond of being friends with his Pokemon.
Just imagine having a grandfather who has access to so many Pokemon. You probably would grow up to become a Pokemon researcher yourself, just like Gary. Professor Oak truly cares about the critters, though. This is not about cold scientific studies. He also mentors and cares for the Pokemon trainers of the Kanto region, always being available when they need help or consultation.
1. Makarov Dreyar from Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: Oct 12, 2009 to Mar 30, 2013
So you are more into comical and relaxed grandfathers? Here we have Makarov Dreyar for you. His first appearance was… kinda impactful but not for the regular reasons. We can expect a grandfather to have a sage vibe, but Makarov is rather short. He was wearing casual clothes and a funny hoodie in vibrant colors.
Remember my dear otakus, we must not take first appearances for granted. Makarov also has a martial formal attire and has commanded guilds like a pro. This guy is a veteran, always worried about the future of guilds and the rules others try to impose in magic. Makarov believes that magic is alive, so it can flow in every direction it wants. So, if you want an expert mage who also has a young heart as grandfather, here you have your match.
Elders hold the wisdom from the past, but they are also observant of the present. They usually are the best mentors for the younger generations, as long as we are keen to listen. But grandparents are human too, so they have flaws. As we could see in our review, there are several types of grandparents that make our anime even more joyful. So, do tell us: which is your favorite anime grandfather and why? Don’t forget we are open to all your comments. See you soon!