Anime teaches us many life lessons when we watch them. There have been lessons of never giving up, that it’s okay to lose sometimes, or to even treasure your self-worth at times. One of the more prominent messages that anime have is the moral of friendship. In these anime, we are shown that playing lone wolf doesn’t always pan out. Having friends not only means that we have support that sometimes it even brings out the best of us.
If you ever needed a list to point out the anime that have loud declarations of friendship that make you shudder with excitement, this is the list for you. Join us as we count down the top 10 Friends Anime.
10. Fairy Tail
- Episodes: 175
- Aired: October 2009 – March 2013
In the land of Fiore, there lies a guild of mages known as Fiore residing in the town of Magnolia. A young celestial mage, specialising in the summoning of celestial spirits, aspires to join Fairy Tail. Enter Lucy Heartfilia, the celestial mage. Coincidentally, she runs into a dragon slayer named Natsu Dragneel, who is part of the very guild she wants to join.
There’s not much we really have to say about Fairy Tail to show that friendship is indeed a running theme throughout the long running and loved series. There are many moments where the heroes of the series are beaten down and defeated, but only pull through at the last moment when they realise that failure is not an option because their friends are on the line.
Indeed, when his friends are in trouble, Natsu’s dragon slayer magic always goes into overdrive mode. Never for greed, avarice, selfishness or self-gain, the motley crew of Fairy Tail’s only motivation are their friends, and the good of everyone of course.
9. Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: April 2012 – June 2012
Kaoru Nishimi is an honour student who moves to a new town because of his father’s job. Sentaro Kawabuchi is a thug of a student with a bad boy attitude. Before meeting, Kaoru tended to keep to himself. With their meeting, Kaoru started to open up from his shell and enjoy the many fine things in life, like jazz.
This isn’t a series about different kids falling into different geometric kinds of love. Indeed, otherwise it wouldn’t be here on this list. It’s more of an interesting experiment to pit various characters with many contrasting backgrounds against each other and see how they do as friends. And the best part? They do it to jazz music!
8. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day)
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: April 2011 – June 2011
A group of friends got along really well until a tragic incident happened, forcing them apart from each other. The group became estranged after the incident, no longer being friends. Now years later, a mysterious and surprise force causes them to pour out their guilt about the incident and forces them to confront their past together,
Sometimes, we get anime that have friends already being friends protecting each other from the harshness of life. Other times, we get new people trying to get along. In this case, we have friends who are no longer friends, somehow, becoming friends again. Make no mistake, Anohana is a tale of tragedy and loss, but it does highlight to us how important friends can be during moments like this.
7. Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
- Episodes: 203
- Aired: October 2006 – September 2010
Sawada Tsunayoshi is a no good dame who can’t get anything right. His tests are average (Read: barely passing), his athletics are nothing to brag about and he can’t seem to get along with his classmates. Worried about him, his mother hires a home tutor for him. Except the home tutor is a hitman. And he’s a baby. Tsuna’s life is about to be turned upside down.
Don’t be fooled by the synopsis of the anime, Hitman Reborn! is less slice of life and more action oriented. But what about it denotes friendship? The main battle system of the series revolves around the concept of familia, where each person covers an aspect of the sky, with Tsuna being the sky himself. This drive that makes them protect each other, as well as the way they work together in times of crisis just screams friendship.
6. Nichijou (My Ordinary Life)
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: April 2011 – September 2011
The English title should tell you about half of everything you need to know about the anime. It’s about the everyday life of a large cast of characters as they try to get along and just live in general. What it doesn’t tell you however, is the lollygagging hijinks of all the characters as they go through their daily lives, whether it’s screwing with each other or just getting into hilarious situations.
While large fight scenes with the main character shouting, “I will fight for my FRIENDS!” can be all well and good, sometimes we need something simpler to lighten the mood. Nichijou is purely about a few friends going through their daily lives. No drama, no tension, just some light hearted (and sometimes gut busting) humour.
5. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 2012 – March 2013
Sorata Kanda is made to move from the normal dorms into the run down dorms of Sakurasou because he can’t bear to let go of his cats. The problem he faces with this is that every resident at Sakurasou are whacky, insane and yet genius at their chosen specialty, making him feel rather lacklustre.
It’s important to fight for our friends. There can’t be enough anime that state this fact. But sometimes it’s also important that our friends fight for us. Sorata really doesn’t know what to do with his life at this point, and it’s only through the support of his new friends at the dorm of Sakurasou that he really starts to pick up the pace. Sometimes all we need is a helping hand.
4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: April 2009 – July 2010
In a world where alchemists have the ability to transmute objects into differing things at the blink of an eye, two brothers have committed a fatal alchemical mistake. Edward Elric, the Fullmetal Alchemist of the series, has lost his arm and leg to it. Alphonse Elric, the younger brother of Edward, has lost his entire body and his soul is attached to a suit of armour. The two set out to find a way to restore themselves, getting into trouble along the way.
The main concept of alchemy in the series is selfish in nature. It mostly focuses on self-empowerment. Fullmetal Alchemist places its characters in what is essentially a selfish world for backstabbers, and shows their struggles to get through to the end of the day and remain friends. It’s the ultimate test of friendship.
3. Boku Wa Tomodachi Sukunai (I Don't Have Many Friends)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: October 2011 – December 2011
Hasegawa Kodaka can’t make friends because of his blonde hair, making everyone think he’s a delinquent. He joins The Neighbour’s Club, which is for people who have this exact problem. Of course, he runs into a variety of weirdos that have their own share of problems, but as time goes on they start getting along regardless.
The anime has the word friends in it. Enough said. But in case you needed more, Boku Wa Tomodachi Sukunai follows the traditional formula of a social outcast joining a club to make friends and they proceed to have adventures together. What makes it stand out so much is the way it is executed. You can’t help but fall in love and laugh along with the characters and their hijinks.
2. Kokoro Connect
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: July 2012 – September 2012
The five students of the Student Cultural Club have had a happy go lucky life until an unexplainable force starts screwing with them by forcing them to swap bodies at random. Many more unexplainable phenomenon start happening, like mind reading, causing fractures and cracks to appear on their idyllic friendship.
When your perfect world starts to fall apart, can your friendship last or was it just a farce all along? Kokoro Connect tries to answer this question. A group of friends who seem like they would never fight, break apart or even no longer be friends are put to the test when strange things start to happen to each other. The anime shows us that friendship isn’t about being perfect, but accepting each other for who we are.
1. One Piece
- Episodes: 729
- Aired: October 1999 – January 2016
Monkey D. Luffy is an aspiring pirate who wants to reach the end of the grand line in order to obtain the greatest treasure of all, One Piece, and become the pirate king! Along the way, he picks up an assorted crew of people, each with their own backgrounds and skills that they contribute to the journey. Together, they must fight the government, other pirates and all sorts of monsters to reach the treasure of One Piece!
One of the most iconic phrases said by Luffy is, “You are my NAKAMA!!!” In case you didn’t know, nakama means friend. Indeed the concept of nakama is one of the most emphasised throughout the series. No matter what happens to the crew, as long as they look to each other, their nakama, they can pull through each and every situation, no matter how dangerous it gets. It’s such a prominent theme that the fan base uses the word nakama instead of friends! That should tell you a lot about the kind of series One Piece is.
It’s great that there are all sorts of anime to sate our needs. Sometimes we need a high stakes drama that keeps us on the edge of our seats. Or maybe a nice tragedy for us to cry a river to can be the thing of the day. But something we can all agree that we enjoy is an anime that shows us the friendships of different characters and at times we can even learn a thing or two from them.
Friends are the variety of life. We can’t do without them most of the time. After all, we’re all just humans who need support when we go down. These 10 anime understand this concept. So if you needed a pick me up, look no further!