Not all anime series (especially in the shonen genre) feature deep and nuanced family relationships, certainly not as much as they explore friendships and rivalries. But some do!
The gradual introduction of more characters from a particular family, bloodline, clan, or lineage can add lots of texture and depth to the world of an anime series—and that complexity draws us in further.
Families in anime series can serve to support the emotional growth (or regression) of a main character, introduce mysteries via secrets only known to the family, or even hook us with special abilities that are only passed down to blood relatives.
Anime families and clans are also great for additional drama, whether through rough intra-family dynamics or rivalries between different families, which can evolve into political intrigue and wider plots.
From dark and brutal bloodlines to lovingly unique family units, here are my picks for the best anime clans and families of all time.
17. The Charlotte Family (One Piece)
While Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate views his crew as his family, Charlotte "Big Mom" Linlin has her family as her crew. Among the Charlotte family are characters of different races ranging from the Long-Neck Tribe to the Three-Eyed Tribe.
Her aim to build a kingdom where every race exists and is deprived of discrimination and hate is what makes her family belong to this list. However, it is partly contrary to how she rules her family, subjects, and subordinates using her "iron fist."
She further expands her family by arranging marriages for her children, aiming to acquire more political power and a wider range and scope of influence.
While the Whitebeard Pirates treat Whitebeard with respect as their father, Big Mom's children and the whole Big Mom Pirates both respect and fear their matriarch.
16. House Vermillion (Black Clover)
One of the royal families of the Clover Kingdom, House Vermillion is comprised of fierce mages that include the siblings Mereoleona and Fuegoleon, who are masters of fire magic.
Unlike other royals and nobles, House Vermillion doesn't view non-nobles as low, shown by how Fuegoleon and Mereoleona treat Asta.
Most Vermillion mages join the Crimson Lion Magic Knight Squad, while others are free to choose which squad they want to join, like Kirsch (Coral Peacocks) and Mimosa (Golden Dawn).
15. The Noah Family (D.Gray-Man)
The Noah family is not exactly a normal family. Instead, they're descendants of the survivors of the "great flood," who have awakened their inner dark side via their "Noah genes."
They are the antagonists of the series D.Gray-man, with Millennium Earl leading as the father figure. They all have the same pale-to-dark-gray skin coloration and cross-like stigmata.
They are self-proclaimed "children of God" and are powerful individuals with an interesting history full of story twists and turns, including the revelation of the Fourteenth and Allen Walker's involvement.
14. The Forger Family (Spy X Family)
The small Forger family of three is so amazing and unique in their blend of dangerous abilities yet wholesome personalities.
The father figure Loid Forger is a spy. The mother figure Yor Forger is an assassin. The daughter figure Anya Forger is a telepath. The thing is, none of them know these things about each other—except for Anya, who knows but must keep it to herself so they don't find out she's a telepath.
Indeed, the Forger family is a fake family where all three come together and act as a family for their own personal reasons. But over time, they truly care for one another in special ways, and that's a great element on top of the show's action and comedy scenes.
13. The Kudo Family (Case Closed)
The Kudo family of the Case Closed (also known as Detective Conan) series is another small but interesting family in anime.
The head of the family, Yusaku, is a novelist who showcases his great skills in deduction and problem solving from a very young age. It's no wonder why Shinichi (i.e., Conan) is fond of mystery cases and becomes a talented detective himself as a high school student.
And then there's Shinichi's mother Yukiko, a beautiful actress who can disguise herself. Though neither of his parents are prominent throughout the entire series, their occasional appearances do add twists to the mysteries of their respective episodes and arcs.
12. The Hanma Family (Baki)
While many characters are known for their clan's bloodline limits and inherited powers, members of the Hanma family are known for their incomparable brute strength.
Yujiro, the "head" of the family, is known as Earth's strongest creature. The younger son, Baki, aims to defeat his father and has already become a formidable fighter at a young age. The older son, Jack, was a product of scientific experiments that turned him into an actual monster.
All three of them are unstoppable forces when it comes to fighting, whether in the form of street brawls or underground tournaments.
11. The Joestar Family (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of the most unique anime series of all time, whether we're talking about its plot, its characters, or its art style. The main leads all come from the Joestar bloodline, with each part of the grand story focusing on a specific generation of the family.
The Joestar family is known for its members being Stand users, from Jotaro Kujo and his Star Platinum to Jolyne Cujoh and her Stone Free. This results in Dio Brando stealing Jonathan Joestar's body.
Thus, the Joestar family also includes Dio's son, Giorno Giovanna. He's legitimately and undeniably a Joestar in flesh, blood, and Stand because his father had Jonathan's body.
10. The Uzumaki Clan (Naruto Shippuden)
The Uzumaki Clan was a prominent clan in the Land of Whirlpools (which no longer exists), with its members scattered around to neighboring lands after the demise of their nation.
The clan's great abilities, including their prowess with sealing techniques and their unique chakra natures, made other countries plot against them and drive them to extinction.
While we don't see too many Uzumaki characters until the end of the anime series, we learn that Uzumaki members have contributed greatly to the world's backstory—like Mito (Hashirama's wife) and Kushina (Naruto's mother) both being hosts to the Nine-Tailed Fox.
9. The Saiyan Race (Dragon Ball Z)
The Saiyan Race is a race of fearless warriors in the Dragon Ball universe. They have the ability to channel energy and become a Super Saiyan, then grow even more savage and destructive as a legendary Great Ape.
Unfortunately, the Saiyan Race was annihilated by Frieza and now only a handful of remnants survive, including Goku and Vegeta.
Goku and Vegeta each started a family of their own on Earth and successfully revived their dying race. The young Saiyans inherited their warrior traits and could turn Super Saiyan and Great Ape.
8. The Kamado Family (Demon Slayer)
The Kamado family was massacred by Muzan, who turned Nezuko into a demon and left Nezuko and her brother Tanjiro (who wasn't there at the time) as the sole survivors of their family.
Though their family members have been long dead, they still help Nezuko and Tanjiro in times of dire need throughout the series, like the scene where Nezuko awakened her Blood Demon Art: Exploding Blood.
Another thing that makes this family one of a kind is its history with the progenitor of the demons, along with the Sun Breathing Technique from which other Breathing Techniques are derived.
7. The Zoldyck Family (Hunter X Hunter)
The Zoldyck family is a family of deadly assassins and hired killers, to which Killua and Illumi belong. Killua was trained to be a killer from a very young age, making him capable of taking down any enemy instantly.
Aside from Killua and Illumi, the Zoldyck Family includes Zeno (grandfather) and Silva (father), Kalluto, Milluki, Kikyo (mother), and a child hidden under tight security, Alluka.
Despite the family's shady business and brutal nature, they impose a rule that no one in the family should hurt a member, otherwise they'll be punished—like when Killua hit Milluki, only to be chained and punished.
6. The Akabane Family (Good Night World)
Clans are part of many online games nowadays, where players form groups to participate in events or wage wars against other clans. In the series Good Night World, the Akabane family is a clan of four top players and one of the strongest clans in the game PLANET.
But why are they on this list if they're just an in-game group? Well, they're actually family—a dysfunctional one—but they don't know it since their real identities are hidden by their in-game names and avatars.
In-game, they're a family full of love and respect; in the real world, their relationships are filled with hatred and guilt. However, when the game turns into reality for the players and the world, things change for the Akabane family, who all grow to have familial bonds with each other.
5. The Gojo Clan (Jujutsu Kaisen)
With Satoru Gojo representing the Gojo family, you already know this clan is far more than just extraordinary. The Gojo clan is one of the three most distinguished sorcerer families in the Jujutsu Kaisen series.
The Gojo family has an overpowered bloodline ability called Limitless and a rare ocular ability called Six Eyes.
With both clan techniques manifesting in him, Satoru Gojo becomes a one-man army who can truly and reliably claim to be the strongest sorcerer—even in front of the King of Curses, Ryomen Sukuna.
On top of being a powerful clan, the Gojo family also has great influence over politics involving the Jujutsu sorcerers. No wonder Satoru Gojo casually and confidently does whatever he wants, like protecting Yuji and Yuta when they're both on the brink of execution.
4. The Monkey Family (One Piece)
Like the Hanma family in Baki, there are only three known members of the Monkey family in One Piece. But three is enough to stir the seas and cause all kinds of conflicts between pirates and marines.
Monkey D. Garp is the Hero of the Marines, who becomes one of the biggest names during the God Valley Incident in which he wins the battle against the infamous Rocks Pirates.
Monkey D. Dragon is the leader of the Revolutionary Army, who opposes the World Government and is one of the most wanted criminals.
Monkey D. Luffy, on the other hand, started as a newbie pirate from a young age and eventually becomes one of the Four Emperors of the Sea.
What makes this family so interesting is that they all have the "D" middle initial, which has remained a big mystery for a long time. There's no doubt that it'll shake things up when the meaning is revealed.
3. The Uchiha Clan (Naruto Shippuden)
Madara, Itachi, Sasuke, and Obito all came from the Uchiha Clan, which is a direct bloodline descendant of the Sage of Six Paths from Indra Otsutsuki. The Uchiha Clan is one of the two founding clans of the Hidden Leaf Village alongside the Senju Clan of Hashirama.
The Uchiha have the bloodline ability called Sharingan, which can be evolved further—although only a handful of them have ever done it—into the Mangekyo Sharingan, which grants incredible powers like Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, Kamui, Susanoo, and more.
The clan was so strong that one member, Itachi Uchiha, massacred the entire clan in the middle of the night to prevent further bloodshed arising from greater conflicts between the clan and the world.
2. The Senju Clan (Naruto Shippuden)
The Senju Clan was one of the founding families of the Hidden Leaf Village alongside the Uchiha Clan. It was headed by the God of Shinobis, Senju Hashirama, who later became the First Hokage.
The Senju clan is directly descended from the Sage of Six Paths from Ashura Otsutsuki, who inherited Hagoromo's chakra. While Hashirama is the only one who's seen to possess power on par with a Tailed Beast, the Senju clan has had several other notable members.
Tobirama (Hashirama's younger brother) and Tsunade (Hashirama's granddaughter) are two of the most talented shinobi from the Senju clan, who eventually became the 2nd and 5th Hokages, respectively.
What makes the Senju clan remain so influential in the village is that their Will of Fire still burns in the hearts of many Hidden Leaf ninjas.
1. The Nobi Family (Doraemon)
The Nobi family will always be a treasure for those of us who were treated to the fun adventures of the Doraemon anime series. They're the family to whom the robotic cat Doraemon was sent from the future.
While the main character of the series is Nobita Nobi, his family also plays important parts in the development of the plot, eventually leading to wholesome comedy and heartwarming moments of family love.