Written by Anthony CockingJanuary 29, 2021
It’s no secret that anime is riddled with all kinds of amazing characters that we instantly fall in love with. Whether it’s due to their strength, their winning personality or their murderous intentions — no judgement, you do you — one feels drawn to them somehow, observing their exploits in quiet admiration.
Me personally, I sometimes like to take things a step further and subjectively opine on how I just kinda wish certain anime dramatis personae would hang out with me. Would they even want to? Or would I prove far too annoying? These are the hard questions that have to be asked, and for the five potential best friends below, I hope the answer is an emphatic ‘yes’.
…And also, I assure you this idea is very cool and not at all creepy.
(My Hero Academia)
It’s hard not to like Deku. He’s considerate, amiable and always interested in what others are capable of. He’ll fight for you whenever you need him, and he knows exactly what to do in a pinch.
Despite this, he wasn’t exactly Mr. Popular as a kid, stemming from his lack of a Quirk to make him stand out from the crowd. In conventional terms, he was the quite the normie, and probably would have had to opt for a much less epic career than heroism. Perhaps he could have been a poet? He does write an awful lot down.
Equipped with One For All however, Midoriya’s aptitude increases tenfold, making a potential allegiance with him much more thrilling. At last, his physical abilities rival the strength of his heart, and he capably fends off evildoers great and small. Now your diminutive chum can smash walls with a single kick — which is super useful for emergency situations, or just general house renovation.
Friendship likelihood rating: Very strong. He’s nice enough not to bring up the fact that I don’t have a Quirk, or could help me unlock a latent one lying dormant underneath. Alternatively, I can attempt to forcibly steal his and become a supervillain. It’s nice having options, after all.
My Hero Academia
Mankind has developed superpowers known as "Quirks" with 80% of the population having some kind of superpower. These new abilities see the rise of both superheroes and villains. A prestigious school known as the The Hero Academy trains superpowered hopefuls into the heroes the world needs...
(Yu Yu Hakusho)
Although he’s unable to best Yusuke Urameshi in a fight, Kazuma Kuwabara has a lot of other things going for him.
At first glance, he possesses the gruff, boorish demeanour of a high school delinquent — because in fairness, that’s exactly what he is — but he won’t ever abandon you, no matter how high the stakes. He’s loyal to a fault, sticking up for his pals and mustering all his power to protect the wellbeing of his posse.
His introspective nature coupled with a gentle soul have provided him with heightened spiritual affinity, capable of channelling his Reiki into a devastating spirit sword. He’s virtuous in a lot of ways while still proving to be a stubborn lout who lets his fists do the talking; overall, a compelling, engaging young man who you’d love to have by your side in any situation.
Also, he’s got fantastic bone structure. Just putting it out there.
Friendship likelihood rating: Fairly solid. He can be won over with a kitten, however he might just want to fight me for no reason at all. My Reiki isn’t that awe-inspiring, though I have managed to use a pocketful of sand to great effect in the past.
Yu Yu Hakusho
From cutting classes to brawling in the streets, Yusuke Urameshi is not your typical role model. In fact, this kid’s nothing more than a fourteen-year-old delinquent with a talent for trouble. But in a single selfless act Yusuke dies while saving another. For such noble sacrifice he is given a second chance at life, but it’s to be a life far different than the one left behind...
(Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies moved to a starter town?)
As fun as it may be to have braggadocious, bombastic buddies, there’s definitely something to be said for the quiet ones, too. Lloyd Belladonna is the embodiment of humility; polite, self-doubting and pure. Raised in a village where he was routinely antagonised by beasts, he believed himself to be a weakling, and grew up to be the honest, upstanding citizen he is today.
Of course, the issue wasn’t that he was weak so much that everything surrounding him was incredibly overpowered. In actuality, Lloyd is an understated killing machine who just happened to have grown up in the equivalent to the endgame.
The result is a young man who thinks he’s pitiful, while routinely displaying herculean fits of strength and stamina, and therefore, a fantastic ally. Not only will you never hear him boast about his exploits, but he’ll probably think anything you achieve is super cool: get a new ringtone? Lloyd would be impressed! Buy a pair of chinos on sale? Lloyd is ecstatic! Recycle an ancient meme that nobody uses anymore? You’ve blown Lloyd’s damned mind.
Friendship likelihood rating: Almost certain. Lloyd’s so convinced he’s a plebeian, he probably already made this list years ago, with me featured on it.
Suppose a Kid from the Last Dungeon Boonies moved to a starter town?
Lloyd is a novice adventurer whose dream is to discover "true strength" in the capital he's always admired, despite growing up with neighbors who always considered him weak. The story starts with him departing from his hometown, which just so happens to be located right next to...one of the most dangerous dungeons in the world?!
The streets of Tokyo can be a dangerous place. There’s temptations lurking in each nook and cranny, from scandalous games of chance to the occasional flesh eating fiend. Dare you attempt to intervene, or even be tempted to try a little nibble while you’re there? Mum always said not to waste food, after all…
Ah, too many rash decisions to be made! That’s why it’s prudent to befriend someone like Touka Kirishima. She has the fighting acumen and lightning fast reflexes of a ghoul, and the earnest accessibility of an aloof teenager. It may sound like a particularly volatile mix, but she seems to make it work.
Once you chip away the defensive layers she’s put up over years of hardship, you’ll find a driven, kind young woman with a strong sense of duty and a wistful longing for a better life.
Friendship likelihood rating: Incredibly unlikely. I doubt we share any of the same hobbies, plus I’d more likely side with the CCG given the choice. Those quinques are just too neat to pass up… Bonk! Bonk!!
In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: creatures who look exactly like humans - yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary boy, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about his powers.
If a single person isn’t amenable to becoming my best friend, maybe an entire nation would?
When you’re looking for someone who can listen to you for all eternity without ever cutting in, Canada is your guy. He’s far too meek and deferential to interject, and by the time you’ve gotten everything off of your chest, you may have forgotten he’s even there.
Some might accuse him of lacking presence, and it’s hard to deny that. Who else would you prefer to spend your time with, though? The stupefied Italy, uptight Germany, or even his blowhard brother America?
No, I reckon I’ll invest my time and attention into… the other guy. Whatever his name was.
Friendship likelihood rating: …Wait, who were we talking about again?
Forget everything you learned in history class, and imagine all the nations of the world as cute guys hanging out on a wildly inappropriate reality show. Now, toss in every stereotype ever and prepare to pledge allegiance to your favorite superpower in Hetalia Axis Powers!
To be honest, we would love to call almost any of the wonderful anime characters our friend. The best way to open up your social group and add a tomodachi or two is to check out the full range here on AnimeLab.
Be sure to share your thoughts, your art, your slam poetry… If it shows off your greatest fictional companionships, we’d love to see it all!!