There’s nothing more heartwarming than an anime friendship. The bromance between two buddies is a beautiful reflection of what good best friends mean to each other, and the necessary actions they take to keep their bond strong⏤even through the ups and downs⏤is something you don’t always see a lot of in real life. In these modern times, it seems hard to trust anyone anymore, and usually the people you think will have your back no matter what are now the first ones to disappear. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this list of best friends.
Here are some of the best anime friendships where “best bros” were never afraid to fight for their bond, even if it meant walking through Hell itself.
Gon and Killua from Hunter X Hunter
One of the most endearing and unlikely of friendships is the bond between Gon and Killua in Hunter X Hunter. Of course, there have been more than a few unlikely pairings in anime, but this clash of personalities is definitely unique in its own way. Whereas Gon is the happy-go-lucky and humble kid who just loves to fight, Killua is a highly mature sharp-witted child assassin who has no problem killing someone when needed.
With Gon’s strong sense of justice, you might assume that he’d never be friends with someone who kills, yet he sees Killua as a tortured soul forced into his cold existence, someone who needs a friend. With Killua’s cold disposition as an assassin, you might think that he’d never align with someone as naive and childish as Gon, but instead, he sees his friend as a valued little-brother figure who needs to be protected. It’s that symbiosis that strengthens their bond and makes them inseparable, even when their battles keep them apart.
Meliodas and Ban from The Seven Deadly Sins
Meliodas and Ban’s friendship in The Seven Deadly Sins is basically built on shared experiences. If you think about it, they’re kind of the same person. Both are superior immortal fighters who love to drink and fight with each other. They both have a woman that they’re trying to save and both have been pushed past their limits while trying to do so. After all they’ve been through together, it’s easy to become friends with someone who knows and understands what you’ve experienced.
Because of that, Ban and Meliodas see each other as kindred spirits. Thanks to their longtime friendship (which has lasted a century or so), they have developed a strong affection for each other as brothers-in-arms. They’ll do whatever it takes to protect each other, even if it’s from themselves. When the Demon King manipulated Meliodas to revert to his original demon persona and turn on the Seven Deadly Sins, Ban even walked through Hell itself to get Meliodas’ soul back. Let’s be real⏤there aren’t too many best friends in the world that would be willing to do that.
Kaneki and Hide from Tokyo Ghoul
The love between these two friends in Tokyo Ghoul was so tragic that they couldn’t even stay around each other if they wanted to protect each other. Kaneki’s transformation into a ghoul changed his life forever, forcing him to live a hidden lifestyle of fighting off government agents and feeding on human flesh. To protect his best friend from his ghoul side, Kaneki pushed Hide away as he sank deeper into the ghoul world.
But Hide refused to leave his friend alone and followed Kaneki. He even joined the CGS to get information so he could indirectly help protect Kaneki. And despite knowing that Kaneki was a ghoul, Hide still saw Kaneki as the same person: his best friend. Such a strong bond even pushed Hide to sacrifice himself just so he could remind Kaneki of that fact.
Even though they couldn’t always hang together as the inseparable friends they once were, Hide and Kaneki’s friendship was powerful enough for them to keep each other’s best interests in mind despite having drifted apart.
Mikado and Kida from Durarara
Mikado and Kida’s friendship in Durarara is another that began with the two being close friends before sudden events abruptly forced them to drift apart. The two started out as best friends, willing to protect each other from the pull of Ikebukuro’s underground world of gangs. But that was before Mikado was thrust into the world as he tried to stop the criminal activities in the city only to become the leader of the infamous Dollas gang himself.
That was what Kida was trying to protect him from since he was also the former leader of the Yellow Squares gang at one time. The funny part? For a while, neither one knew of the other’s gang affiliations and remained friends the entire time, even when their gangs were at war with each other. And despite the way things ended, they remained friends after. It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter if it’s war or separation⏤some friendships are just too solid to break.
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Mikey and Draken from Tokyo Revengers
Though Tokyo Revengers is a relatively new anime on the scene, there’s no denying the deep level of friendship that Mikey and Draken have in the series. Yeah, it’s true that Draken is a subordinate to Mikey in the Tokyo Majin Gang, but there’s a reason for that if you look closer. Aside from being Mikey’s right-hand man, Draken is more like a big brother to the much younger gang leader, watching after him and ensuring that the young boy takes care of himself in the day-to-day life outside of their gang activity. He loves and respects Mikey but, unlike everyone else in the gang, has no problem scolding him if he feels Mikey is in the wrong.
Mikey accepts this, as he respects and loves Draken as a friend equally. Even though he’s more ruthless and powerful than Draken, Mikey still looks up to him like an older brother and follows his advice, even when he disagrees, and could easily pull rank on him when it comes time to make decisions. And though they may butt heads from time to time, it’s no question that they’ll have each other’s backs to the very end.
Worick and Nico from Gangsta
In real life, it’s not always easy for childhood friends to remain close in their adult years, but that’s not the case for Worick and Nico in Gangsta. Not only do they share a similar backstory, but because of it, they’ve only had each other to lean on for the past twenty years. Both were ill-treated by their fathers and forced to create their own independence from their families, leaving them no choice but to fend for themselves (and each other) on their own.
Now full-grown adults, Worick and Nico have been through pretty much everything together. Worick is the only one that keeps up with Nicolas’s necessary medications and dosages, while Nicolas is very protective of Worick. They share even clothes, something only best friends do. Their friendship stands on a mutual understanding that is both codependent and complex. Nevertheless, their time spent together cements their friendship into solid stone, regardless of any tension between them.
Simon and Kimena from Gurren Lagann
One of the most inspiring friendships in anime, Simon and Kimena’s bond in Gurren Lagann was more of a big brother/mentor relationship. As the original leader of Team Dai-Gurren, Kamina’s strong will and outgoing personality always pushed the much younger Simon to be a better person. Of course, Kimena saw great potential in his small friend, which is why he was always there to encourage Simone and break him out of his timid shell through inspiring speeches and praises. In return, Simon always had Kimena’s back and was always quick to defend him whenever he felt Kimena was being disrespected.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything when Kamina was mortally wounded in battle and sacrificed his life to defeat the Beastman General. Nevertheless, the loss drove Simon to follow in his big bro’s footsteps and do his best to live by the ideals that Kamina taught him. And he would carry that same drive all the way to the very end of the Gurren Lagann series. Their friendship was not as long as it should have been, but it was still so strong that even after death, Kimena’s spirit still lived on in Simon’s heart well into adulthood.
Reki and Langa from SK8 the Infinity
In the series SK8 the Infinity, Reki & Langa’s bromance is everything that you would want out of friendship. Reiki is usually the anchor that holds down their bond, but there is no disputing that Langa cherishes Reki equally and would do anything for him. Naturally so, since it was Reki who first befriended Langa when the young teen moved to Japan from Canada after his father’s death. Though Langa is usually a quiet, soft-spoken boy, his father’s death threw him into a deep depression, making him even more withdrawn and reserved. His only respite would have been snowboarding⏤a sport he used to share with his dad⏤but without the snowy weather that he was used to in Canada, Langa had nothing to help with the pain.
And then he met Reki, the outgoing red-haired teen who loved skateboarding. Determined to be friends, Reki coaxed Langa out of his funk and introduced him to the world of skateboarding. Reki’s infectious passion for the extreme sport soon spread to Langa, and before he knew it, the white-haired teen asked Reki to teach him how to skate. Reki even designed and built Langa’s board so that Langa could incorporate his snowboarding style to skateboarding and also so Langa had the best chance of succeeding as he practiced. Through their practices together, the two grew to become the best of friends. They met every day (before and after school), practiced during their free time, and even competed together against rivals who disrespected their friendship. If you want an accurate picture of what best friends look like, all you have to do is look at a photo of Reki and Langa; they’re really the epitome of “friendship goals.”