Anime friendships are one of the main things that hook us on a series. The undying friendship between two great characters is often the strongest bond in anime—even stronger than blood and romance.
And most anime series are really good at developing these friendships as they throw in various twists and complications that help those emotional threads grow tighter and unbreakable.
Sometimes, the power of friendship is even an actual power. Whether it’s the motivation that drives the protagonist or a catalyst that awakens a hidden power deep within, friendship can manifest in tangible ways that can lead to epic scenes.
One thing is clear: in anime, the best of friends are always there, no matter what happens. Here are some of the best anime friendships we’ve found ourselves rooting for.
8. Yujiro Hanma and Biscuit Oliva (Baki)
Yujiro Hanma (“The Ogre”) and Biscuit Oliva (“Mr. Unchained”) have a very unusual friendship. When Oliva was tasked to eliminate a drug cartel, he encountered Yujiro in the area… and Yujiro left him there, stating that it’s too early to “eat” him.
Both are superhumans—on the verge of being monsters—who can each defeat a troop of soldiers with their bare hands alone. When they join forces, they become near unstoppable. And they do form a mutual bond, never demonstrating hostility toward one another.
Over the course of Baki, the Ogre and Mr. Unchained have normal conversations and meetings just like any pair of friends might. Yet between their friendship is a raw strength that can overtake entire countries when they work together.
7. Sasuke and Naruto (Naruto)
The Naruto and Sasuke duo always comes to mind when talking about anime friendships. Though they differ in abilities and mentalities, they always manage to accomplish missions together. Their bond is so extraordinary that they’ve permanently changed each other.
Naruto, being the vessel of the Nine-Tailed Beast, involuntarily unleashed some of his hidden powers due to being unhinged after seeing his friend Sasuke near-death, beaten by Haku.
Sasuke, the only surviving member of the Uchiha clan, awakened the final tomoe of his Sharingan due to the immense emotional stress of having believed he’d killed Naruto after defeating him during the Sasuke Rescue Mission.
And while the two are at odds for most of the show’s run, Naruto and Sasuke come together during the Fourth Great Ninja War and combine their Nine-Tails and Susano’o techniques—one of the most epic and badass moments in the entire series.
6. Taiga and Kuroko (Kuroko no Basuke)
Taiga and Kuroko make the best combination moves of the Seirin basketball team in the series Kuroko no Basuke.
Perfect passes from Kuroko to the team’s aggressive shooter keep their score rising. Although Taiga almost loses his cool when they’re near-defeat, Kuroko manages to stay cool and helps Taiga regain his morale to keep going and win the game.
5. Yoh and Amidamaru (Shaman King)
Amidamaru was the spirit guardian of Yoh Asakura, but when Yoh befriends Amidamaru, he treats him not as a spirit guardian but someone he can rely on. A friend.
They trust each other’s powers and abilities, making them move as one during their spirit fusion. Without hesitation, Yoh not only lets Amidamaru do his sword techniques during battle, but trusts his partner so much that he’s willing to put his life and body on the line.
4. Kaneki and Hide (Tokyo Ghoul)
The friendship between Kaneki and Hide is one of the most tragic stories in the Tokyo Ghoul series.
After knowing that his friend Kaneki had turned into a Ghoul, Hide finds ways to help his friend and is even willing to sacrifice his own life for the survival of his friend.
Although the series features many bloody action scenes, it can be emotional when it needs to be—like that one heartbreaking moment (you know which one) where Kaneki and Hide show that Ghouls can indeed be friends with humans.
3. Gon and Killua (Hunter X Hunter)
Born from different statuses and worlds apart, Gon and Killua are friends who endured so much together during the Hunter Exam, all the way up to the battle with the Chimera Ants.
Killua’s keen observation and planning (being an assassin) match well with the easy-going Gon and his natural ability. The trust they have in each other is something that even their peers don’t understand.
The arc where Killua and Alluka were chased down by their brother Illumi demonstrated his willingness to do anything that could help to bring back Gon (who was mortally wounded during his fight with Pitou)—even to the extent of defying his family.
2. Dazai and Chuuya (Bungo Stray Dogs)
Although their first meeting was a disaster, Dazai and Chuuya formed a friendship that continued to last even after Dazai left Port Mafia.
Knowing that Dazai will help him with his anti-gift ability, Chuuya unleashes his Corruption ability that stopped powerful enemies even if it drains his own life.
1. Straw Hat Crew (One Piece)
Headed by Monkey D. Luffy, the Straw Hat Pirates possess an unbreakable friendship with each other, even though their personal goals differ from each other. They will all do whatever it takes to keep everyone safe.
This friendship has been put to the test time and time again throughout One Piece, and whether those scenes played out as comedic, heartbreaking, or intensely action-packed, the bond has always won.
One specific arc that demonstrates the power of the Straw Hat friendship is when they rescue Nami from the Fishman Pirates of Arlong and manage to save the town from the tyrants.