20 Best Anime About Friendship: Our Top RecommendationsThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
I’m a firm believer that anime can teach you a lot about life.
Love, loss, ambition, demon girls, all the fundamentals.
However, if there’s one theme anime really likes to nail home, it’s the importance of friendship.
So with that being said, what are some shows that send this message in the most entertaining way? We’re about to find out as we go through all the top anime about friendship you should try watching, maybe even with your friends.
20. Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends
Haganai follows your typical slice-of-life routine where the cast is made up of lone wolves who find happiness in each other’s presence.
They’re mostly oddballs or people who don’t feel like they belong in their respective school, hence the name. But as a group they function pretty well.
You have the intimidating and yet gentle male protagonist, a moe little nun, a tsundere, a popular girl who feels like no one gets her, and so on.
It makes for a pretty good watch. It’s relaxing and the plot isn’t needlessly convoluted, so definitely worth a try.
19. Honey and Clover
If the last pick seems a bit too juvenile and you’re sick of high school anime, well then maybe Honey and Clover is more your speed.
It takes place in college and is like a coming of age story, but for five separate people and their friendship.
In accordance to the poor student lifestyle, three of the protagonists share a small apartment while the other two buzz in and out, making the entire show feel very comfy.
The biggest thing to note with this show is the fact that they are not children. The themes covered can be very mature, things are played up as much as in some shows, and you can pick up a few extra nuggets of wisdom aside from nakama power.
18. Grand Blue
While we’re on the topic of college, we might as well give a shout out to Grand Blue.
It’s a ridiculous comedy set in college and it follows a particular diving club. It’s set up as your idealized Western view of college, so the characters are constantly getting drunk, passing out, and embarrassing themselves.
That might sounds trashy. But the show has a subtle serenity to it; you can really feel the characters bonding and ever more importantly their dynamic in extremely believable.
Trust me, if you watch this show with a group of friends you’ll be able to pick out who in your group corresponds to which character in the show. It’s a hoot.
With Bakuman you just have two dudes chasing their dreams together and growing close in the process.
The name of the game is manga creation. And Bakuman really doesn’t pull any punches showing how difficult it is to succeed in this business.
The protagonists have to constantly get over hurdles and compete with every person who owns a sketchbook. But that’s what gives the show its beauty.
Sure, they get frustrated from time to time. But man do they just make you want to call your bff and start up a business.
We’ve been in the zone of reality for too long, time to go back to fantasy.
In KonoSuba you’re almost tempted to say that the main cast aren’t even friends, as they definitely say and or do some nasty things from time to time.
But even though we’re talking about a dude in sweats, a useless goddess, a masochistic knight with the aim of a Strom Trooper, and a one-pump chump fire mage, their friendship seems extremely believable.
They make for the most unexpected group, and yet they have found a place to call their own in each other’s presence. Plus, the series is hilarious.
You know what really helps in creating a bond amongst friends? Pain and empathy.
Also, scientific experimentation.
In Kiznaiver, a group of 6 teenagers are abducted and used as lab rats for a system that’s intended for bringing about world peace.
The 6 teens now share pain.
And just to make sure the plot has some linear progression, one of the teens in the experiment hasn’t felt pain, physical or emotional, in years.
So the show starts off with a lot of bickering and misunderstandings. But over time they all become really close and start understanding each other.
14. Kokoro Connect
And since we’re already on the topic of friendships through shared experiences, we might as well throw Kokoro Connect into the mix.
By concept it’s pretty similar to Kiznaiver, only here it’s a group of friends and it’s not science, but a really melancholic and bored alien.
Also they don’t share pain, but rather switch bodies randomly, and maybe some other things as well later on.
Here the progression is seeing a group of friends fall apart and then slowly grow back together.
It has some rather heavy themes. But the notion of being there for your friends is always present.
13. One Week Friends
There’s something fascinating about the initial few days of meeting someone, as they go from a blank slate to a fully fledged person in your mind.
One Week Friends, as the title so subtly hints at, is a show where the female lead is suffering from memory loss.
Every week her memory gets wiped and she forgets all of the people that she has met. But that won’t stop a true friend.
And so the male lead keeps going through this introduction phase week after week, never wanting to give up on someone so close to him. The show is very touching and sends a beautiful message about patience and persistence.
People always clown on Naruto and his talk-no-jutsu, but at least he is sending a good message.
Because when you pull back the artificial stuff, every major fight boils down to Naruto trying to understand someone.
The entirety of Shippuden is mostly Naruto refusing to give up on Sasuke, and even the side characters have incredibly strong bonds amongst each other.
And let’s face it: when Naruto first aired, the sentence “Those who break the rules are scum, but those who abandon their friends are worse than scum” was basically engraved into our memory.
11. Iroduku: The World in Colors
At the center of this show is a girl named Hitomi, and let’s just say that her passion towards life has shrivelled and died out.
This is because the world is full of very colourful magic. And Hitomi neither likes magic, nor can she see color.
But then her grandma, arguably the best grandma ever, uses her magic to send Hitomi back into the past in order to bring some pip in her step.
This might sound like a random idea. But when Hitomi meets her young grandma as well as an artist who paints in colors she can see, it quickly becomes apparent why this plan was set into motion.
10. Yuru Camp
If you want a show to just warm your heart while you snuggle under some blankets, then Yuru Camp is perfect.
The premise is as simple as it gets: girls go camping, and that’s about it.
However, this group of rag-tag friends just manages to tug at your heart strings over and over again. Not because there’s some drama going on, but because of how serene everything is.
The five protagonists get close to each other while under the endless sky, and with a fire crackling in the background. It’s more subtle and quiet that some of the other series on this list.
But it is just a treat.
9. ORESUKI Are you the only one who loves me?
If you’ve ever unironically used the word “friendzone” then you should probably watch this show.
It’s all about a r/niceguy who’s devastated to see that he isn’t getting the harem treatment from all of his female friends. However, he manages to find redemption through getting called out and showing his true colors.
Of course, it takes him quite some time to get used to the idea of speaking his mind and keeping it in his pants. But at the end of the day he forms some long-lasting relationships.
And it was all thanks to bench-kun.
Just think about this show as the sequel to The Frays “How to Save a Life”.
The plot goes as such: our protagonist Nago gets a letter one day from her future self, informing her to keep an eye out for the new transfer student. Because in her timeline he has already left them.
Naho brushes it off. But before long she understands the gravity of the situation.
So she and her group of friends to their best to let the transfer student know that he’s loved, that he’s important and that he will be missed. I told myself I wouldn’t cry.
7. You and Me.
In the slice of life genre, You and Me is probably one of the sliciest.
This is because the entire premise is just this: four guys have been best friends since kindergarten, a new transfer student joins their group. That’s literally it. No superpowers, no 5-way romances, no time travel, it’s just five guys chilling.
And it’s because the plot is so simple that these characters really get to grow organically and their friendship always makes sense, so it’s perfect for this list.
6. Mob Psycho 100
It’s always nice to think that if you had immense power you would be happy. But Mob Psycho 100 argues that it might not be that simple.
Mob truly has godlike powers, and yet he feels like he doesn’t understand himself and hasn’t connected to anyone in a meaningful way.
So even though he still beats up spirits and uses his flashy powers, there is a subplot of Mob just trying to fit in and make some new friends.
Man, I love those bodybuilder guys!
5. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Sometimes tragedy can really split up a friend group. Which is the case in this show when a young girl suddenly dies.
However, years later her spirit comes back, uneasy and pissed that her old pals have grown apart from each other.
They soon realise that they all have to make amends in order for her spirit to rest easy.
And I don’t mean just going out for drink once. They have to get to the bottom of why they truly went separate ways, and how that affected their relationship.
4. Rainbow Days
This show could have easily been named “boys will be boys” as it follows four male friends and their endless quest to find girlfriends, and mess around with their buddies.
The characters are a bit hyperbolized. I mean, one of them just carries a whip everywhere, but since it’s a comedy show that goes to its advantage.
Rainbow Days is pretty chill overall. And the bromances in this show are pretty top notch.
So definitely worth a watch if you’re looking to just lay back and have a few laughs.
3. A Place Further Than The Universe
Now this show fills a very similar void in my heart as Yuru Camp.
It just follows four girls as they set their sights to Antarctica in order to solve a mystery.
Saying that the show is beautiful wouldn’t be giving it enough credit, as the atmosphere is like a band-aid for the soul.
The chemistry between the four girls is also very infectious. And watching them grow up together from episode to episode really makes you yearn for a good old adventure with your buddies.
2. Natsume’s Book of Friends
What’s so magical about this show is that it depicts yokai, which are like spirits, and yet it manages to be so down to earth.
Our protagonist is a lonely little boy who can’t seem to connect with anyone. He can, however, see the yokai.
One day he finds his grandmother’s ‘book of friends’ which has the names of dozens of yokai bound to it. The protagonist(whose name is Natsume by the way) decides to set all these yokai free and starts going down the list.
However, with each encounter he gets another snippet from the life of the yokai, and soon learn to appreciate those around him.
The puffy cat Madara is also easily one of the most entertaining characters ever.
1. A Silent Voice
I want to top this list with this movie, as I think it portrayed both guilt and friendship in a spectacular way.
The story centers around Shouya, who in his foolish youth picks on a deaf girl in his class.
Karma gets him very quickly and he’s soon left all alone, contemplating whether life itself is worth it anymore.
However, a few years down the road he decides to find that poor girl and make everything up to her.
He tries to befriend his previous victim and even meets a few other peculiar characters along the way.
It’s a modern masterpiece, in my opinion, and is definitely worth a watch.