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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Best Anime About The Power of Friendship

One Piece anime friends green swordsman Zoro and Luffy with his strawhat along with spiky haired anime boy Gon and cat-eyed Killua from Hunter x Hunter

It's time to choose a super ability!

Would you eat a cursed fruit (Noroi Mi)? 

Do you prefer to do 100 push-ups, 100 squats, 100 sit-ups, and run until you go bald? 

How about eating a strand of hair to gain one's almighty ability? 

Could you withstand an initiation to open your aura nodes and eventually use Nen?

If a genie from the anime world could grant you powers, what would you choose?

We would bet all our fingers that you'd be indecisive about over a hundred abilities, but the power of friendship is not one of them.

Cheesy as it may sound, friendship, the most underrated superpower (if you would consider it ), already blew many powerful villains in different anime universes. 

While it has proven to win the biggest anime fights of all time, yet only one in a billion souls would come forward to choose it if given a wide selection of badass abilities. 

We've put together this roundup of anime shows to convince you why thinking of your friends when you realized that you couldn't do anything against the enemy is worth the try. 

Though we doubt you'd risk choosing the boosts awarded by appreciation and affection over a sure-kill ability, these titles had perfectly executed the element of friendship to the extent that they made you cry.

#1 - Yu-Gi-Oh!

Tristan, Yugi, Tea and Joey wheeler friendship in Yu-Gi-Oh anime show

Those who value true friendship would care more about it than their life points. This scenario happened in many cases, but one anecdote we would share from Yu-Gi-Oh! is this unusual battle between a pro-duelist and a chaperone with minimal experience.

As a symbol of Tea Gardner's oath to friendship, she swore to protect a weak monster card, Shining Friendship, until the end of their match in the Duelist Kingdom. She had no reluctance to use all her valuable spell cards to power up the said monster, which led to the destruction of Mai Valentine's Harpie Lady.

Yu-Gi-Oh card Shining Friendship with description, attack and defense power

However, winning a match is more than just destroying your opponent's offensive cards. In her turn, Mai could have used the Harpie Feather Duster spell card to remove all of the Shining Friendship's buffs, leaving it susceptible, and the card duel would be over in a couple of moves. 

Luckily, Mai's also a friend, and all these events helped Yugi gain the star chips he needed to proceed through the semi-finals of Pegasus's tournament.

Although it's a card game, there are plenty of life-endangering events in the show where brawny friends would physically guard the weaker ones or brave the ocean tides to recover the protagonist's cards. In exchange, the main character triumphs every shadow realm match that puts them in imminent danger.

Yu-Gi-Oh friends join hands and create a symbol of their friendship

Yu-Gi-Oh! showcased friendships that are more than just cheering in the background. Each member of the gang takes a particular role in their adventure. Thinking how much of what they're doing would mean to Yugi every time they found themselves caught in a pinch has proven to be effective.

#2 - Haikyuu!!

Anime volleyball male players from Karasuno high smiling with friends

What’s going to work? Teamwork and friendship! This volleyball-centered anime exemplifies both, as it revolves around Karasuno high’s volleyball team, where many high school students gather under one goal: to be the very best team in their league.

The story starts with the ambitious Hinata Shoyo, a boy with nothing but volleyball on his mind and the unlimited drive to be the best volleyball player after being inspired by “The Little Giant.” 

Though Haikyuu!! starts with Hinata, it doesn’t end with him. The show also showed his healthy rivalry with Tobio Kageyama, Nishinoya's constant encouragement to his teammates, Daichi's selfless leadership, Sugawara's motherhood statements, Tanaka's protectiveness, and many more.

Haikyuu!! takes you along Karasuno High’s journey as individuals and as a team, highlighting along the way the plights and growth of each member and how they work together to overcome their struggles individually and wholly.

#3 - Hunter x Hunter

Hunter x Hunter main characters Leorio with dark sunglasses, Killua with white hair, spiky haired Gon with his fist and blonde chain use Kurapika showing power of friendship

In a story set in motion by a boy’s aspiration to find his father, Hunter x Hunter opened our eyes to what unconditional love for a friend should be.

It’s hard for friendships to grow in a competitive environment, but that didn’t stop Gon, Killua, Leorio, and Kurapika from becoming close friends and allies. 

Their total resolve to make a sacrifice for each other, even though it means giving up their life and their dreams, is the kind of friendship most of us have been looking for.

From what we've seen so far, the power of friendship dwells more inside the two main character's hearts:

Gon and Killua are two very different characters who surprisingly brought out the best and the worst. 

Due to the simple-minded Gon's episodes of selfishness and the formerly cold-hearted, Killua, now a devoted friend who's willing to give it all, some concerned fans perceive it to be a toxic or one-sided relationship. Still, many see it as a normal stage among friends where one has to give so much patience and understanding while his other half is going through some challenges.

Regardless, we can see how Gon saved Killua from the latter's confusions of his nature. When the naive boy declared that he didn't mind a friend's betrayal for as long as it's Killua, we knew that it's going to be a life-long bond. 

Silent Killua and blinded Gon in events of Hunter x Hunter movie Phantom Rogue where Killua tried to commit suicide and Gon came to rescue him saying "Besides, if it's you, i don't mind getting betrayed."

We also discern that more hardships integral to determine the next course of their relationship will come along, and we're excited to see it happen. However, we couldn't erase the worry of a sudden change of heart. But with imminent dangers surrounding them and how quick death is in Hunter x Hunter, it's sure that the two best friends will be by each other's side during the most challenging times.

All these and more is what made "Gon and Killua" one of the best partnerships ever made in anime history. 


#4 - Attack On Titan

An image of Mikasa, Eren and Armin while they're young and wearing outfit before joining the military

Friendship might be the last thing you would associate with an anime about giants obliterating the human race. Despite the uncanny relation, Attack on Titan portrays it in the most innocent way.

As the series showed no mercy to its characters, it seemed like there's not much time to cry. But as we go along, we fully understood how some characters evolved from frail kids to strong-willed soldiers.

A perfect example is the show's protagonist, Eren Yeager, who swore to protect the remainder of his family and friends from hungry and persistent titans. As his knowledge of the titan's origins deepens, he appeared desensitized to everything and has less regard for his friends. As of this writing, and since we want to finish the show first in anime before reading the manga, we're still unsure of his true intentions.

Another popular character is Captain Levi Ackerman, who didn't reveal apparent grievance when the Female Titan brutally wiped out his former squad. However, as the anime reached its final season, and considering his OVA story, we knew that Captain Levi is just a benumbed figure in a world that offers a slim chance of survival.

Despite the despair, misery, and devastating revelations, friendships did not perish within and outside the walls. The characters' bonds led to sacrifices and resistance that paid off, such as Armin's great resolve to endure the Colossal Titan's heat emission, giving Eren a sure opening for a final attack.

The power of friendship went on with the dramatic struggle to win the spinal fluid injection for Armin. While Levi maintains a sound judgment to revive Commander Erwin Smith, who suffered greatly from the Beast Titan's ranged attacks, Eren and Mikasa fought to give Armin a chance to live again.

However, Levi decided to restore Armin. Although the two superiors had this strong relationship, from the mightiest soldier's point of view, it's Erwin's time to go. As this decision is one of the bigger questions in the series, we ought to talk about it in a different publication. Still, many speculate that one's reward to a suffering friend is freedom. 

Levi and Erwin from the Attack On Titan movie back story

In the grander scheme of things, Mikasa and Armin's loyalty to Eren, our conflicted protagonist, will always rise above. Amid the conundrum and what may seem like Eren’s change of heart, his two best friends held to their unwavering faith that they know him well enough to trust his inner workings and what he’s capable of. 

Not losing hope in someone in a world where nothing seems to be certain is a feat in itself. Furthermore, everyone has to admit — it would be hard to team up, stick out your neck, and beat some titan ass if you weren’t fighting alongside your friends. 


#5 - Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho main character having big eyes like Saitama and silky hair that looks like wig and a floating green ghost with a funny face

Take the most ordinary kid, and give him extraordinary psychic powers, and you get Mob Psycho 100. Shigeo Kageyama is your middle school wallflower, nicknamed “Mob” because of his unobtrusive character. 

Like anyone who has suddenly acquired an unknown power, honing it is indeed the first struggle. Mob does his best to keep this secret in the dark but also tries to make it manageable. He then encounters Reigen Arataka, who also claims to be a “psychic,” and Mob decides to become his assistant and hopefully learn how to control his power. 

He’s not the most vibrant or the most enthusiastic of characters, but underneath his lackluster exterior, Mob has a heart. Controlling his powers could be considered the least of his problems. Mob also desires to make friends. Specifically, he’d like to make Tsubomi Takane’s acquaintance. His introversion gets in the way of that, and as the series goes along, Mob’s suppression of emotions is evident, eventually causing him to mismanage his powers. 

The show is a wonderful reminder of the importance of company. Mob could’ve had a much easier time dealing with everything if he had someone he could trust and vent to. He could’ve used a solid support system in the toughest of times. 

Still, Mob Psycho 1000 highlighted his innocence in his desire for friendship in general, to think there must’ve been a time when we, ourselves, were that pure and also that alone.



#6 - Naruto

Naruto and other characters who he consider friends

It’s the tragic story of how a young boy lost his parents. The monster that took his parents’ lives and threatened their village is now sealed within him. This could only cultivate fear and hatred towards Naruto, an innocent boy with an unfortunate fate. 

In this misfortune, though, there is redemption. At this rate, who do you turn to? 

In this case, Naruto didn’t have a family, but he found them in his friends. His dream of becoming a Hokage wouldn’t have been plausible if he didn’t have friends who had faith in him and helped him persevere. This love from his friends prevented him from retaliating against his village. It formed peace and security in his heart, whereas he was so full of love and friendship that he could extend it even to his enemies.

It takes a peculiar kind of selflessness to be able to extend genuine compassion to those against you. Also, it requires immense self-control to handle disputes with words and not brute force, yet Naruto could spew words as weapons and win over his opponents. We’ve all heard of war fought with violence, and we all know how it ends, and this anime shows us that war can be fought with friends and will usually yield better results.

#7 - Fairy Tail 

Fairy Tail friends Natsu and other characters

Nothing solidifies a friendship more than teaming up to save the world. Fairy Tail is an adventure where we see Natsu Dragneel, a Dragonslayer wizard, face not only life-threatening challenges as he embarks on a journey to save the world but also personal challenges of his own. Sounds a bit rough, huh? Well, as harsh as it is, thankfully, it isn’t something he goes through alone. 

Before this quest of his, fate seemed to form a team to tag-along him. A handful of companions go by Lucy, Gray, Happy, Erza, Wendy, and Charles by his side. It is shown that Natsu can draw strength from his love for his friends and his friends’ support back towards him. This gives him the motivation to fight even harder and with a stronger purpose. In his eyes, nothing is impossible. There’s nothing he can’t overcome, and that’s all thanks to his mighty and dear partners in crime. 

#8 - Sailor Moon

Following the theme of friends teaming up to save the world, Sailor Moon is another great example of this. The show is about Usagi Tsukino, a middle school student, who finds out her fate as a soldier destined to save the world from evil via a talking black cat. She then encounters fellow soldiers who teamed up with her to form the Sailor Guardians.

Along the way, they effectively exhibited the power of friendship when it is evident that Sailor Moon would win battles because of the support of the Sailor Guardians. 

The action was taken to the extreme in the first season when the Dark Kingdom waged war. The events would lead to the destruction of the Moon Kingdom, forcing their Queen to send the Sailor Guardians alongside her daughter and Prince Endymion out to protect their kingdom.

Warning: Sailor Moon spoiler!

In the final battle, the Sailor Guardians performed one more grand gesture of sacrificing each of their lives for Sailor Moon to be able to defeat their last opponent Queen Metaria, and to quote a completely different genre, “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” 

But fear not, this act of selflessness does not go to waste because it resulted in their victory and the resurrection of the Sailor Guardians. 


#9 - Akazukin Cha-Cha

Akazukin Cha Cha characters Shine Cha-Cha and Riiya

This classic anime may not be appealing to older audiences, but it is indeed a pun-filled, feel-good show. The story surrounds Cha-Cha, a young mage under the tutelage of her caring master, Seravy. At a young age, she learned to fight dark forces with the help of her friends, Riiya and Shine.

When their powers of love, courage and hope combine, they can turn Cha-Cha into a magical princess warrior who usually deals the finishing blow. Despite their innocence on many things, these kids know the value of friendship and how to treasure it.

One of their most challenging adventures is a testament to this loyalty. While searching for the Phoenix, they met Piisuke, a pink chick, who called for their help as her friends were caught by the massive rock monster named Gandar.

Upon encountering Gandar, the trio did the best they could to defeat it. However, their efforts were for naught as the monster is mightier than the previous beasts they fought. Luckily, after Riiya and Shine devoted every ounce of their strength to prevent their team from getting crushed, Piisuke revealed itself to be the Phoenix they've been searching for, which led to Gandar's defeat.

Each of them often risked their lives and rushed to help one another, despite the puppy rivalry between Riiya and Shine.  

While the show did not exemplify a mature friendship as other anime in this list would, Akazukin Cha-Cha gave us a glimpse of a bond in its purest form. One of the things we wish we could experience again. No wonder this is one of the best retro animes of its time.

#10 - Dragonball Z

Dragon ball friends

Widely perceived as the strongest anime character, Goku has a certain flair that made him outshone the rest: his ability to turn the vilest enemies into allies and friends.

During the first few seasons, our hero battled it out with many of his rivals. While it's understandable for competitors to be friends after the fight, Goku had gone too far.

After butchering a whole planet and slaughtering Goku's friends, Frieza had a miserable death at the hands of Super Saiyan Goku. But decades later, we will see him fighting alongside Goku in an intergalactic competition.

On the other hand, the destructive Android 17 of different realities helped our protagonist gather enough energy in the fight against Kid Buu. While it wasn't clear if they got acquainted, Android 18's twin would soon join forces with Goku to represent their Universe.

It takes a special kind of personality to befriend aliens who killed your friends or family. Maybe being powerful helped Goku nurture his trusting and forgiving soul. However, it's a faculty beyond the understanding of most people, which proves that the power of friendship is an endless realm that needs further exploration.

#11 - The Disastrous Life Of Saiki

Disastrous Life Of Saiki friends

An overpowered anime character, the cynical Saiki Kusuo can see through almost everything. Despite his skepticism of relationships and humanity, he always utilizes his psychic powers for the greater good while making an excuse to the audience that it's to keep himself away from grief and probably, regrets.

With immense psychic powers, Saiki could read minds, sense people from miles away, teleport, perform divination, separate his spirit from his body (astral projection), strength enhancement, destroy the world if he wants to or by accident, and a lot more.

However, some of his powers have conditions and limitations. Also, he has a weakness for coffee jelly, he is soft to his family, and he freaks out because of cockroaches. These events made his life happy and, at the same time, miserable, despite his set of useful abilities. Moreover, his skills are no match against the dominant force in anime that is friendship.

No matter how Saiki maintains a low profile and mind-controls the rest of the world to perceive that his pink hair and antennae are normal, he still finds himself surrounded by people who want to forge a bond with him. 

One of the notable The Disastrous Life Of Saiki episodes that portrayed the power of friendship was when Saiki tried to avoid everyone so that he could enjoy that rare, time-limited coffee jelly for himself. However, he ran into some events he couldn't ignore that time went on to his disadvantage. 

In the end, our overpowered protagonist did not make it soon enough. Luckily, his friends did and the episode ended in a heart-warming scene where everyone shared their coffee jelly with a silent Saiki, who's probably touched with what happened.

Indeed, friendship is inevitable.

#12 - One Piece

It's hard to end this list without stories of friendships that left us in tears. 

Eiichiro Oda's One Piece is one of the longest-running anime around, and everyone's glad that it's still ongoing. The anime tells about a young man named Luffy who wanted to become the next Pirate King. With the help of his crew, which he calls "Nakama," they sailed endless seas, met tons of weird people, and defeated powerhouses.

As of this time, many things had happened. The bond between the Straw Hat members has only grown stronger that they've given their all to help each other achieve their dreams.

Luffy's trustworthy, innocent, and impulsive nature helped him forge valuable alliances and impressed acquaintances. He made good friends on every island they visited with some of those who would stick out their necks for their team. 

One of the earliest challenges that tested the bond of their friendship is in Alabasta Arc. It also showcased Luffy's golden ability to draw in the most brilliant characters in the series to his side, while it always seemed like he's a ticking time bomb.

As the anime draws near to its conclusion, there is still a lot to witness. We look forward to more events that will move our hearts and bequeathed us to tears as One Piece characters fortify their spirits and trust the magnanimity of their bonds to win the harshest of these ocean wars.

While we know there are still more to add, we'll leave the suggestions to our readers so we can add more anime shows in our future updates. Feel free to drop your comments below.

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