These 17 Iconic Anime Friendships Keep Me Going

These 17 Iconic Anime Friendships Keep Me Going

No, Naruto and Sasuke don’t count.

Though the “power of friendship” trope is a hit or miss concept for the anime community, there’s nothing quite like a genuine camaraderie to make you fall in love with a series. Best friends in anime can elevate an entire narrative, especially those as iconic as the ones on this list.

1.

Gon and Killua (Hunter x Hunter)


Madhouse

Hunter x Hunter‘s beloved main duo is the first thing most people think of when you say “anime best friends.” From the Hunter Exam to the 13th Chairman Election arc, this pair made it through countless life-altering situations. Gon and Killua’s bond prevailed despite the manipulative Zoldyck family, Biscuit’s excruciating training sessions, and the traumatic Chimera Ant arc (among other things). It’s safe to say they’ll be best friends for life.

2.

Ash and Pikachu (Pokémon)


OLM Incorporated

While the Pokémon franchise has expanded exponentially over the years, Ash and Pikachu remain the core of the series. Their friendship is as iconic as it gets, spanning decades of adventures and intense battles. 

3.

Yugi and Joey (Yu-Gi-Oh!)


Studio Gallop

If there’s anything more powerful than believing in “the heart of the cards,” it’s the power of good old-fashioned friendship. Joey is brave, goofy, and loving. Yugi is the loyal best friend who sticks by his side and stands up for him when necessary. It’s a dynamic as old as time, but it works like a charm. 

4.

Goku and Krillin (the Dragon Ball franchise)


Toei Animation

No, Goku’s best friend isn’t Vegeta, even though they carry one of the most iconic rivalries in anime history. Krillin earned his spot as Goku’s best friend throughout the series, growing up together and tearing through an endless string of enemies for decades. Any rivalry between the pair has always been friendly.

5.

Yusuke and Kuwabara (YuYu Hakusho)


Studio Pierrot

Yoshihiro Togashi sure knows how to craft a lovable best friend pair. Before writing Hunter x Hunter, he gave us the timeless YuYu Hakusho, which boasts a fantastic main cast. Yusuke and Kuwabara’s rivalry can be hilariously hostile at times, but the true essence of their friendship arises when they’re made to work as a unit.

6.

The Straw Hat Pirates (One Piece)


Toei Animation

The heart and soul of One Piece lies within Luffy and his crew mates. His journey to become king of the pirates wouldn’t be possible without the Straw Hats, especially characters like Zoro, Nami, and Sanji, who aided Luffy throughout the early stages of the series. As their unit grows, so does their love for their found family. To call them “best friends” almost feels like an understatement.

7.

Itadori and Todo (Jujutsu Kaisen)


MAPPA

Despite being a relatively new series, Jujutsu Kaisen has already given us one of the most enjoyable best friend dynamics in its genre. Itadori and Todo bonded over women (Jennifer Lawrence specifically) and immediately became an unstoppable brother-like pair. 

8.

Hinata and Kageyama (Haikyu!!)


Production I.G

Sports series tend to be carried by teammate dynamics, so it’s no surprise that volleyball anime Haikyu!! features several likable friendships. The most intriguing is the bond that Hinata and Kageyama share. Sure, they’re not “best friends” in the traditional sense; they’re partners and rivals. They’re teammates who bicker and barely spend time together off the volleyball court, but they also have a powerful unspoken trust in each other. It’s a relationship fortified by actions rather than words, and it’s one of the core aspects of the series. 

9.

Ban and Meliodas (Seven Deadly Sins)


A-1 Pictures

Meliodas and Ban have one of the most light-hearted friendships in popular anime, even if the latter is technically a subordinate. Ban treats his captain with respect and holds no nefarious ulterior motives. They’re warriors and best friends, two people who simply enjoy fighting the good fight together.

10.

The Sailor Scouts (Sailor Moon)


Toei Animation

The iconic Sailor Scouts are a group of young women who squabble and have their differences, but they always pull through for each other without hesitation. They have so much history together, it would be a disservice to split their dynamics into pairs, much like One Piece‘s Straw Hat pirates. 

11.

Kamina and Simon (Gurren Lagann)


Gainax

Mecha series Gurren Lagann boasts a best friend dynamic as massive as the Gunmen robots they pilot. Kamina and Simon knew each other their whole lives, having grown up together in the village of Giha. Their bond is a brotherly one that hits hard during a certain (no spoilers!) climactic moment.

12.

Spike and Jet (Cowboy Bebop)


Studio Sunrise

Spike Spiegel is one of the coolest characters in anime, but even he needed a little company sometimes. Spike and Jet may have been very different on the surface — which, as a result, meant they argued like siblings — but they cared for each other more than anyone would have imagined. They were just too aloof to properly display their affection. 

13.

Yato and Yukine (Noragami)


Studio Bones

Despite Yato being Yukine’s “master,” the bond between these characters develops into genuine affection as the series progresses. Like a lot of friendships, these two had a rough start, but they were ultimately fated to be best friends.

14.

Kaneki and Hide (Tokyo Ghoul)


Studio Pierrot

Tokyo Ghoul — a series that’s better experienced in its manga format rather than its anime counterpart — has its fair share of tragedy. Amidst all the dark, gut-wrenching content lay Kaneki and Hide, who were best friends since they were children. Discussing their relationship involves a fair share of spoilers, but they were a lovable pair before everything went downhill.

15.

Joseph and Caesar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure)


David Production Inc.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a long-running series that boasts many eclectic duos and friendship dynamics. One of the most notable is Joseph and Caesar’s. While they didn’t get along at first, they warmed up to each other throughout the course of the series, eventually becoming allies and best friends. The classic “enemies to best friends” trope will never die, but honestly…no one wants it to.

16.

Gintoki and Katsura (Gintama)


Sunrise

Gintoki and Katsura have known each other since they were kids, and they continue to fight alongside each other as adults. Given the nature of Gintama, their bond is oftentimes depicted with comedy, such as Gintoki referring to his friend as “Zura,” a nickname that Katsura dislikes. 

17.

Kaiman and Nikaido (Dorohedoro)


MAPPA

Dorohedoro‘s most charming pair sealed their friendship with a pinky-promise, pledging to remain best friends no matter what happens in their futures. While some fans speculate that Kaiman and Nikaido are more than just friends, their camaraderie is undeniable.

Source: BuzzFeed.

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