How often have we seen our heroes at the brink of defeat only for the bad guy to lose because the real power/treasure has always been the power of friendship? For those very enthusiasts of the power of friendships in anime, we have created a list of the best anime about friendships. In anime, friendships very often go above and beyond. Rivals challenge one another to do better even while they are at odds with one another.
Characters form powerful and emotional attachments with their friends in ways that go far deeper than most of the other interactions in their setting. Friendship is frequently portrayed in anime as something that gives one strength, often rather literally, as anyone who is familiar with the iconic “power of friendship” would know. Even the most jaded of fans can be moved by the displays of solidarity and brotherhood between such renowned characters as Naruto and Sasuke or Gon and Killua.
List Of Anime About Friendships
- Saint Young Men
- Rainbow Days
- Natsume’s Book of Friends
- Honey and Clover
- Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
- One Week Friends
- Shinsekai Yori
- Non Non Biyori
1. Saint Young Men (2012)
Have you ever wondered if Jesus would approve of your shopaholic tendencies, or if Gautam Buddha would love manga and video games? If your answer is yes, this is your sign to go watch this anime! This seinen anime is literally what the title suggests, the story is about two saints as young men in modern-day Japan. This slice-of-life comedy will have you cracking up as you watch important religious figures as roommates living average lives.
Here’s a small preview:
While Jesus and Buddha vacation on earth, they need to navigate modern Japanese society but without revealing their real identities. The bromance is so impressive in this anime, as we get to watch two very unlikely friends fall back on each other through a rollercoaster ride of an anime about friendship.
2. Rainbow Days (2016)
Rainbow Days is a slice-of-life treat for a relaxing summer day. Also known as Nijiro Days, this anime follows four high school boys as they struggle through their teen years with one solid thing to fall back on – their brotherhood. We watch the boys live through the usual school experiences – unreciprocated crushes, low grades and near-tragic school trips.
Nijiro Days is one of my favourites as there are no distractions to the storyline. The sincerity and bromance in this show is top-tier, and as an anime about friendship, this show just follows boys being boys.
3. Kiznaiver (2016)
This sci-fi seinen anime is slightly different from the usual tropes of friendship anime. The title of the series is based on two Japanese words – ‘kizu’ meaning wound or scar and ‘kizuna’ meaning connection. Circumstances find six teenagers as a part of an experiment that attempts to promote world peace by creating bonds that force people to share each others’ pain.
The six kiznaivers each have a distinct personality that clashes with the other, but soon the chaos births a beautiful friendship that only gets stronger with each danger they encounter. This show takes the ‘kizuna’ to a whole new level and you’re gonna love this show if you love anime with great friendships.
Also Read: Anime like Darker Than Black
4. Natsume’s Book of Friends (2008)
Also popular as Natsume Yuujinchou, this anime deserves our hearts because of the beautiful character development we see throughout the show. This iyashikei shoujo anime revolves around a young orphan, Takashi Natsume who can see spirits and one day finds the Book of Friends, which belonged to his deceased grandmother who had written down the names of all the yokai who she had trapped.
As a reclusive Natsume sets off on a journey to give all these creatures their names back, life gives him the chance to open up to new friends, each ready to have his back any time he needs them. Natsume Yuujinchou is a tale not only about friends but the journey towards that friendship as well and that is what makes this anime about friendship so heartwarming.
5. Honey and Clover (2005)
Honey and Clover is a slice-of-life anime that has a much more mature premise than some of the others. It centres around five young adults, as they navigate the new world while still figuring themselves out. It takes a realistic approach to life, as friends usually are companions in our train of life. We all get off at separate stations but we never let go of the bonds we create on the journey.
There is a particular uncertainty about the characters as they take wobbly steps towards building their own lives. And that relatability is what strikes the audience’s heart. We root for all the characters, even when things are looking unfavourable. I can guarantee, this anime about friendship will give you one of the most visually appealing experiences.
6. Aharen-san wa Hakarenai (2022)
Even non-anime fans couldn’t resist this romantic comedy about the adorably awkward Reina Aharen, and I totally get why. Who could turn away from the tiny Aharen-san trying her best to maintain the only friendship she has? She is timid, doesn’t really understand boundaries and suffers from extreme social anxiety. On the first day of class, Raidou picks up an eraser for Aharen, and she assumes they are now friends.
Well, maybe not quite because Aharen is initially afraid she is going to scare away Raidou with her clingy behaviour but once reassured, she doesn’t fail to make each day a new adventure in their friendship. If you haven’t yet watched our tiny rapper Aharen-san, this is your sign to go binge!
7. One Week Friends (2014)
This premise of this show might remind you of the Hollywood movie, Fifty First Dates. Here though, our Yuuki Hase is no Adam Sandler but a young teenager who desires to befriend the unsociable Kaori Fujimiya. The obstacle is that Kaori suffers from memory loss owing to an accident she got into and that results in Kaori forgetting the people she meets in a few days.
Watch this amazing fan-made trailer:
One Week Friends is a wholesome anime that follows Yuuki trying to befriend her every week with all his determination, even as her memory slate is wiped clean by the end of the week. There is such a sweet sincerity in this anime, you can’t help but get fond of it. This anime about friendship will have you reaching for your tissues even as it warms your heart.
8. Shinsekai Yori (2012)
Set in Japan 1000 years from now, Shinsekai Yori revolves around five children who discover secrets that could have their utopian world crumbling. As truths begin unveiling, they realise they are facing something much, much bigger than them. This dystopian drama is a real test of friendship even as there is an outbreak of psychokinesis that turns people into monsters.
Here’s a fan-made trailer:
They experience problems as they evolve, including the devastating loss of loved ones. Through years of surviving real challenges, the one thing that hasn’t changed is their friendship, which is unwavering and remains unaffected in the face of all hardships in this shounen thriller.
9. Orange (2016)
Orange is going to make you cry buckets, out of happiness and sorrow and everything in between. Naho Takamiya receives a letter from herself 10 years in the future. While initially sceptical, she begins following the instructions on the latter and befriends the new student Kakeru Naruse. She later learns that her future self is writing from a place where Kakeru no longer exists.
This show is by far one of the most beautiful stories of friendship in anime. It has the right kind of complexity while keeping the story easy to follow. Orange is a story of friends who create a universe where their friend does not end up driving himself off the edge of the world. Seldom do you find such a hard-hitting story in anime about friendships that triumph over death itself.
Also Read: Anime Like Classroom of The Elite
10. Non Non Biyori (2013)
Non Non Biyori, an anime that follows a group of girls through their daily lives in the heart of rural Japan, has a number of intriguing character combinations. One stands out, though, because of how peculiar and wholesome it is. Renge is a clever first-grader who stands out for her insatiable curiosity and Kaede, is a jaded young adult who struggles with money and finding her way in life. The differences between the two are glaring and yet, they are close friends in spite of this.
This iyashikei is so wholesome with almost all of its relationships and Renge just has my heart. With all the experiences the young characters go through, this heartwarming anime about rare friendships is an absolutely wholesome indulgence.
Here are a few anime about friendship that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Kokoro Connect
- Yuru Camp
- You and Me
- Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day