There are a lot of TV shows out there and in this golden age of TV streaming, the choices have never been greater. So how do you cut through the noise and find the “Best of” for any chosen topic? Well, we’re here to help celebrate and shine a spotlight on some of the latest, greatest and unforgettable shows through the years.
For our ongoing series of articles depicting the best anime, our attention this time turns to friendship. From intense battle shōnen to calm romantic journeys, there’s a good choice to whet your appetite.
Of course, if we’ve missed any of your favorites, feel free to comment below and we’ll get them added on!
Honey and Clover
Honey and Clover offer an engrossing narrative that will speak to fans on grand emotional levels. This is an anime that will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on your current livelihood.
Nevertheless, this anime offers an incredible youthful tale about love, and self-discovery, and dives into the complex relationship between five individuals. You’ll see them struggle to grow out of their youthful personas and face obstacles regarding nonreciprocal affection.
The animation in this anime is top-notch. The character designs give off a wonderful welcoming vibe along with its beautiful water-color palette. The art style and animation appeal will vary from person to person, but this design choice establishes the anime’s overarching atmosphere wonderfully.
Grand Blue is a hilarious thrill ride that explores a man named Iori Kitahara’s struggles in balancing his festive college experience with his mundane adult lifestyle. This anime highlights his many adventures with his eccentric companions ranging from scuba-diving to alcohol consumption.
Imagine if all your incredible dreams about college were real, and you’ll know what you’re in for with Grand Blue. It features its protagonist attending parties, meeting new people, and having the time of his life. There’s a lot of humor in this show, despite the anime offering a decent narrative.
Grand Blue delivers impeccable visuals. The landscapes and oceans look mesmerizing. The character designs mesh well with the environments. The facial expressions and bodily reactions during humorous scenarios will get a chuckle out of anyone. These aspects are amplified by the anime’s vocal talent, and everyone involved delivers phenomenal performances.
If you’re looking for comedic anime that depicts college life in a fun-filled fashion, check out Grand Blue.
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World is a popular Isekai anime full of delight and hilarity. This anime offers an incredible cast of characters. Each character contributes something grand to the multiple stories told throughout the anime.
Konosuba follows Kazuma Satou, a delinquent who ends up in the presence of an offensive goddess named Aqua after dying a pathetic death in his world. Aqua offers Kazuma two options regarding his life. One of these choices involves Kazuma ascending to heaven while the other involves his reincarnation as a civilian in a fantasy world.
Considering his gaming roots, Kazuma chooses the latter option. Aqua informs Kazuma that he must slay the Demon King, and can select any item to take with him. He hilariously decides Aqua should be his item, and the two are transported to the world. Unfortunately for Kazuma, Aqua’s not the strongest goddess, and living in this world will be a lot harder than he anticipated.
This is a fun anime. Granted, there are some saddening and complex moments sprinkled throughout the anime, but its purpose is to make its viewer laugh. Its comedy ranges from witty facial expressions to raunchy body humor. There’s never a dull moment in Konosuba, so it’s worth watching for those needing a good laugh.
Kokoro Connect is an interesting supernatural anime with a grand storyline, phenomenal characters, and a wonderful world. Our tale follows five students who band together to form a culture club. These five friends each have different characteristics and skills that allow them to stand out.
For example, one of them is a wrestling enthusiast and another is a class clown. One day, two of these friends find themselves in the other’s body for a good chunk of time. This phenomenon continues to spiral out of control and affects the three remaining friends.
The friends band together to pinpoint what’s causing this supernatural occurrence. However, as they switch bodies with each, they learn of each’s hidden scars and tragedies. Not only must they find out a solution to their body swap issue, but they must ensure their friendship with each other remains.
Kokoro Connect delivers an impeccable story of friendship and curiosity. The drama in this show is compelling enough to keep viewers engaged. The characters are enjoyable and well-rounded. They offer wonderful humorous and emotional contributions that are memorable and satisfying.
If you’re looking for another emotional anime to add to your watch list, Kokoro Connect should be one of them.
One Week Friends
One Week Friends is a slice-of-life anime full of humor and charm. With its relatable characters, compelling storyline, and beautiful visuals, fans will gain an understanding of how making friends isn’t an easy task for some people.
This anime follows Yuki Hase, a teenager who musters up the courage to speak with his crush Kaori Fujimiya. Kaori is a quiet girl that likes to keep to herself. The two meet on the school roof consistently, as Yuki hopes this will help him understand her better. One day, Kaori pushes Yuki away.
Yuki finds out that Kaori can’t retain her memories with those close to her as they reset every Monday. This has happened to her ever since a devastating accident in middle school. Yuki plans to maintain his friendship with Kaori by asking her if she wants to be friends with her each Monday.
The anime focuses on the friendship between Kaori and Yuki. Their relationship builds gradually over the course of the anime despite Kaori’s amnesia. Fans will adore the struggling scenarios our characters endure, and will gain an appreciation for the friendships they’ve made in their lifetime.
Despite losing her memories each Monday, the anime implements a satisfying catch to Kaori’s amnesia that will make Yuki’s efforts feel rewarding and not worthless. The activities Kaori and Yuki participate in are wholesome and charming. From eating bento box lunches to studying together, you’ll have your heart warmed whenever you see these two smiling and chatting on screen.
If you’re looking for a nice slice-of-life anime with likable characters, check out One Week Friends.
There’s no denying the popularity the Naruto franchise has gained for itself. From its fabulous action scenes to its iconic characters, this show carried the torch that shōnen franchises of the 90s era left behind. Although Naruto’s remembered for its fights and multiple ninjutsu techniques, it left fans with a beautiful message regarding friendship.
For those unaware, Naruto is an action-adventure anime about a young ninja named Naruto Uzumaki. Naruto is a rambunctious prankster that’s hated by his fellow villagers. He’s hated for being a delinquent and for harboring the terrifying Nine-Tailed Fox, Kurama. Despite being despised by many people, Naruto dreams of becoming his village’s Hokage (king/leader).
With each battle Naruto finds himself in, he grows and develops into a like-minded individual. The scenarios are brutally challenging, as each villain Naruto encounters is stronger than the previous. These villains will put Naruto’s morale to the test, encouraging him to evolve his personality, learn new techniques, and make wonderful allies.
If you’re looking for an incredible action-adventure anime where the protagonist gradually becomes a likable person over time, check out Naruto and its sequel Shippuden.
Looking for an anime with a cozy atmosphere and harmonious tone? Yuru Camp may be the show for you. This is a stellar slice-of-life anime with well-written characters, an engrossing narrative, and a beautiful world. Yuru Camp’s premise is straightforward and lacks any complexity, though.
The anime spends most of its time fleshing out its female cast during their camping trip. The characters are full of wonder, and there’s sure to be one that stands out to you. This is a series that showcases the excitement and imagination one can attain spending time outside with friends.
Our tale is about a girl named Rin Shima, who adores spending her free time outdoors than going to fancy indoor locations. This leads her to embark on a camping trip to Mount Fuji where she can pitch her tent, gather firewood, and be at peace. However, her time alone is shattered when a lost girl named Nadeshiko Kagamihara takes refuge at her campsite.
Although Rin planned to enjoy her time alone, she allows Nadeshiko to stay at her campsite. The girls enjoy their night eating ramen, telling stories, and sitting around the campfire. Although Nadeshiko’s sister finally picks her up, both girls silently consider going camping again.
This is a heartwarming anime that details the growing friendship between Rin, Nadeshiko, and others. Fans looking for a visually appealing world with charming characters should give Yuru Camp a try.
Orange is a sci-fi romance anime with time-travel elements. This anime features well-rounded characters, an engaging premise, and heartbreaking scenery involving death, depression, and suicidal ideation. While it contains a slew of dark topics, friendship serves as this series’s heart.
This anime revolves around a high school sophomore named Naho Takamiya who isn’t starting her new school year off right. She receives a strange letter from her future herself. Although the whole situation feels shady, Naho denies her skepticism when several events depicted in the letter unravel before her eyes.
Naho revisits the letter, informing her that her future life is full of regrets. One such regret involves keeping a blind eye on a new transfer student named Kakeru Naruse. Her future self tells her that he’s not around in the future. With her newfound knowledge of the future, Naho plans to utilize her knowledge to protect Kakeru, herself, and everyone else from a cruel futuristic fate.
This anime will remind fans of the strong sacrifices they made to maintain relationships. You’ll see Naho’s personal interests clash with the kind-hearted choices she needs to make. There are a lot of saddening scenarios sprinkled throughout this series that will make you cry. However, if you’re willing to sit with this show to the very end, you’ll walk away from it satisfied.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
This anime is an emotional roller coaster full of sadness and harmony. From its likable characters, powerful soundtrack, and engrossing narrative, it’s an anime you’d want to watch with a tissue box at your side. This is a show that delves into the emotional stages of grief and loss brilliantly.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day revolves around Jinta Yadomi, who doesn’t attend school and chooses to spend his time playing games at home. One day, his friend Menma arrives at his doorstep and annoys him about a forgotten wish. Jinta pays her no mind because he knows she’s a figment of his imagination.
Unfortunately, Menma died many years ago but she keeps popping up everywhere he goes. Although he thinks it’s a hallucination, he becomes convinced that what he’s seeing is her ghost. To make matters worse, Menma’s death caused a ripple in Jinta’s relationship with their group of friends. However, Jinta ponders a plan to help Menma’s spirit ascend into the afterlife.
The anime follows Jinta and his friend’s attempt to help their fallen friend move on to the spirit world. While helping Menma is their goal, the anime spends time strengthening the bond between Jinta and the others. Essentially, viewers can expect Jinta and his friends to develop into stronger-minded individuals and become friends by the series’ end.
The events that lead up to that conclusion carry a mixture of heartwarming and heartbreaking vibes. You’ll see Jinta and the others struggle to attain their bond. The soundtrack and animation for this show are top-notch. The music flows wonderfully with the scenes appearing on screen. The characters animate wonderfully and never look out of place.
A Silent Voice
Moving from one heartbreaking ride to another, A Silent Voice is a remarkable anime film about bullying, friendship, and redemption. This anime contains relatable characters, beautiful animation, an endearing soundtrack, and an incredible plot.
A Silent Voice revolves around an elementary school bully named Shouya Ishida, who picks on a fellow classmate named Shouko Nishimiya for being deaf. Unfortunately, his cruel antics cause Shouko to transfer out of the school. This leads Shouya to be ridiculed and shunned for his actions all the way up to his junior year at high school.
Now a teenager, Shouya is still plagued by his actions as a toddler. However, life throws him a bone when he spots Shouko wandering around the area. Aiming to make matters right, Shouya plans to apologize to Shouko for his actions, hoping to make amends for his cruelties as a kid. This film features a heartwarming tale about the reunion of two former classmates.
The lengths Shouya goes to make amends for his actions are inspiring and wonderful. Despite being on the receiving end of his cruel antics, Shouka also receives a great deal of development. This film offers great life messages that everyone needs to hear and adopt in their lives.
Check out A Silent Voice if you are looking for an anime film that addresses bullying and friendship in a cruel and meaningful way.
So, there we have it, our picks for the best anime through the years about friendship!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!