For 13 weeks, Buddy Daddies has managed to bring audiences one of the best-found family stories in anime. Last episode, Kazuki and Rei were reunited with Miri, only, unfortunately, it came at the expense of Miri’s mom’s life. With the series having taken a dark turn over the last few episodes and taking into account our hitman father’s dangerous world, the final episode of the season, Buddy Daddies Episode 12, “Daughter Daddies,” brings closure and hope for the little family.
In Buddy Daddies Episode 12, Kazuke and Rei have been dads for a year. They’ve grown to love Miri and with that, they need to protect her and their family at any cost. Having decided to take the fight to The Organization instead of waiting for them to chase them down, Kazuke and Rei confront Boss Suwa. Some gunshots and ramming a car through a gate will fix the situation, right? Right? Well, it does, and it also gives audiences the largest look at Kazuke and Rei’s particular murderous skillset in a way we haven’t seen since the beginning of the season.
While we’ve seen each of them fight on their own, Buddy Daddies Episode 12 shows the duo working as a time and protecting each other. Kazuke and Rei have had a dynamic relationship throughout the series. Still, the added element of getting to see them work together after watching them grow together only adds to it. They love each other and whether its platonic like PA Works has set it up, or romantic like fans like myself want, it’s beautiful. Not to mention having Ogino stalk Kzauke like Mr. X through the Suwa mansion only to reveal that Kazuki’s reason for life is Miri, and you have a fantastic finale that pays off every choice made this season.
As a finale, Buddy Daddies Episode 12 is stellar, and that’s thanks to the way PA Works has balanced the story on wholesome family moments and violence pushed by a family. Audiences have seen the push and pull of The Organization against their family, but Rei’s monologue as he holds a gun up to his father solidifies every bit of growth we’ve seen in the series. Rei has learned how to care for someone else, felt the warmth of sleeping in a bed with a loved one, learned to appreciate cheap food made with love, and so much more. The emptiness he was raised to create in his life is gone, and instead, he has something to live for, die for, and ultimately kill for that isn’t a shadowy evil but a family he loves. It’s a touching moment that shows the importance of the little things in life and how they all culminate in what someone can hold dear. Something small from the outside can feel like a momentous occasion for a real family.
Overall, Buddy Daddies Episode 12 is a great finish to a great series. One of the best anime series for the Winter 2023 season, PA Works is quick to leave the door open for more seasons while also presenting a fantastic ending at the same time. Even with The Organization behind them, there is more to see with this family, and I want it. The easiest way to see that there are more stories to tell with this family is Kazuki’s assertion that while they’ve changed, they still have a long way to go—and let’s be honest, seeing our chaotic daddies as dads of a teenager would be a whole world of hijinks. Filled with wholesome family moments, deeply emotional explorations of family, and a charismatic cast, Buddy Daddies is fantastic in every way.
Buddy Daddies Episode 12 is available now on Crunchyroll.
Buddy Daddies Episode 12 — "Daughter Daddies"
Buddy Daddies Episode 12 is a great finish to a great series. One of the best anime series for the Winter 2023 season, PA Works is quick to leave the door open for more seasons, and I hope they embrace it. Even with The Organization behind them, there is more to see with this family, and I want it.
Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. There, she coordinates film, television, anime, and manga coverage. Kate is also a freelance journalist writing features on video games, anime, and film. Her focus as a critic is championing animation and international films and television series for inclusion in awards cycles.