A teacher can teach you many things. At least, they can teach you the basics of many things, but not all teachers are mentors. A mentor is someone that forms a personal connection with their ward, and teaches them how to ascend to greater heights while pushing them even further still on a personal level. Anime has the propensity for showing off a number of great mentors, as well as some not-so-great ones. If you are looking for a little inspiration of your own, then look no further.
Genkai from Yu Yu Hakusho
Genkai is no cute old lady, in fact, she is more of an abrasive monster. Her training consist of putting Kuwabara and Yusuke through hell and never giving them a kind word in return. However, you can’t argue with the results. The truly special thing, though, is that once she trains you, she is pretty invested. Caring deeply about anyone you train is pretty much mentor rule number one.
Piccolo from DBZ
Piccolo hates Goklu, but after Goku basically leaves his son alone with the guy, he decides to train him up. Unlike Goku, Piccolo is a no nonsense mentor. He actively puts Gohan in situations where he might die, but that’s the best way to learn for a kid whose true potential only comes out when angry. Despite being a big asshole to a little kid, their time training together did kind of make them friends for life. In fact, since his own father was busy being dead, Gohan often sees his mentor as more of a father figure.
Gran Torino from My Hero Academia
Let’s be real here. As cool as All Might is, he is not the best mentor to have. He is the type of man that, if he can, he’d prefer to do things himself. Furthermore, he’s kind of a terrible teacher in many respects. However, when Deku meets Gran Torino, All Might’s own teacher, he gets the kind of mentor that he deserves. He feeds Deku no easy answers, instead challenging him to find it himself.
Biscuit from Hunter x Hunter
Cute as a button, there is no doubt, but don’t be fooled. Bisky’s cute exterior is a chosen one to misdirect her students. She can teach then advanced Nen techniques the likes of which they have never seen. However, the training isn’t easy. Gon and Killua need to go through her forceful and tough training in order to push their limits and ascend further.
Master Roshi from Dragon Ball
Every great hero like Goku has to have a teacher in the beginning. In the Dragon Ball universe, that teacher was Master Roshi. He taught Goku his trademark Kamehameha, but most of all, he tested his pupils always and in the most random ways to make sure they continued to grow. Thanks to Goku’s limitless potential, he grew far above any other of his pupils.
Kamina from Gurren Lagann
Kamina is a man of passion and conviction, so when faced with unambitious and cowardly Simon, his personality overwhelms him like a tidal wave. However, Simon is a sponge and he has much to learn from Kamina about life and how to live it, allowing himself to get swept away. Even after Kamina is no longer in his life for various reasons, he continues to take inspiration from the man, pushing Simon on to even greater heights.
Izumi from Fullmetal Alchemist
In FMA, Ed is smart enough to learn how to do alchemy on his own, but he lacks the respect for the art. Izumi is the one that gave him that respect. Her guiding hand leads him to real knowledge and her stern discipline makes him more responsible. Of course, a good beating helps too.
Lisa Lisa from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Lisa is Joseph’s teacher and a Ripple master. While she is beautiful, for certain, she is one of those no nonsense sort of mentors that is quick with a beating to end all silliness and weakness. She quickly relates and bonds with Joseph, but there might just be another reason for that and her reason for wanting to make him strong.
Did we miss any more fine mentors from any number of anime series? Let fans know in the comments section below.