For some anime characters, the power of friendship can help them overcome any hardship. But that’s not the case for everyone. Unfortunately, some friendships break down. Whether it’s betrayal, differing goals, interpersonal conflict, or great tragedy, these stories of friends turned foes are proof that friendship doesn’t always last forever. So, best friends or best enemies? Let’s take a closer look at this striking duality found in several anime.
#1 Griffith & Guts – Berserk
Griffith and Guts were once members of the mercenary group, the Band of the Falcon. They had what Guts always considered a deep friendship. – he cared so much about Griffith that he risked his life to save him after he was kidnapped. But Griffith threw their friendship out the window and ended it when he was given the opportunity to become a member of the Divine Hand (God Hand) named Femto.
In order to be reborn with extraordinary powers, Griffith sacrifices nearly the entire Falcon Band. He also sexually assaults Casca – the woman Guts loves – and forces him to watch. It’s hard enough to maintain a friendship with someone who destroys your entire life in their quest for personal power. This is how Guts and Griffith become better enemies, one embodying humanity and the other embodying evil.
#2 NARUTO & SASUKE – NARUTO
The rivalry between Sasuke and Naruto eventually becomes the central conflict of the entire franchise. First classmates, then reluctant friends (on Sasuke’s side), Sasuke’s journey to the ninja equivalent of the “dark side” and determination from Naruto to save him will spawn one of the anime world’s most iconic rivalries.. The success of this melodrama is partly due to the fact that the audience is forced to feel the same as Naruto. Fans have seen these characters grow up together and apart, and wanting to save their friendship is as natural as wanting to save their childhood.
Naruto is the only person who has never given up on Sasuke. Sasuke sometimes acted badly, but Naruto never stopped considering him a good friend. He trusted and believed in Sasuke’s ability to do the right thing. When Sasuke deserted the village, Naruto promised he would bring him back one day, and during their final fight, Naruto finally managed to reason with his oldest friend.
3. Kakashi & Obito – Naruto
The friendship between Obito and Kakashi had a rocky start – Kakashi was obsessed with following the rules and couldn’t tolerate Obito’s careless attitude. However, they were both teammates who befriended completing missions together.
During a mission gone wrong, ‘Obito found himself crushed under a giant boulder, and gave one of his sharingan to Kakashi as a parting gift before dying. But Obito survived his severe injuries thanks to his ancestor Madara. Madara not only helped Obito heal, he also brainwashed him into helping him with his Tsukuyomi Infinite plan. To do this, he kept him locked underground and told him about the horrors of the world, then orchestrated a situation where he forced Kakashi to end their teammate Rin’s life and made sure that Obito would see him.
As Obito and Kakashi meet again, Obito hates Kakashi, and Kakashi is horrified to see the friend he thought was dead turned into a villain..
4. Gojo & Geto – Jujutsu Kaisen
When Gojo and Geto were young apprentice exorcists, they were close friends who loved each other deeply. This changed after Geto decided his true destiny was to slaughter everyone who wasn’t an Exorcist. When Geto killed his own non-exorcist parents and over 100 civilians in a single attack, he was expelled from Jujutsu High School and fled.
Geto eventually returns with many followers under his wing who believe in his cause. Gojo and his students must fight Geto and his team in order to protect humanity. Needless to say, the old friendship between Gojo and Geto is now over.though Gojo still cares about the person Geto was.
5. Eren & Armin – Attack on Titan
During most of The attack of the Titans, Eren and Armin are best friends. They support each other through the trauma of destroying their home, the rigors of training with the Survey Corps, and the hardships of life in combat. Eren admires Armin’s intelligence and strategic mind, while Armin admires Eren’s boldness and decisive nature. Both are determined to one day get rid of the Titans and see the outside world (and the sea) – together.
As Armin stays the course, Eren changes drastically. When he discovers that the Titans are actually transformed humans who belong to the same ethnic group as them – the Eldians – and that in the rest of the world the Eldians are harshly persecuted, Eren decides that there is only only one solution: destroy all non-Eldian life on Earth. Armin doesn’t want to oppose his closest friend, but he can’t let him destroy most of the world.
6. Aizawa, Present Mic, & Oboro – My Hero Academia
This time it hurts because it’s not Oboro’s fault that he ended up on the villain team. Mic, Aizawa, and Oboro were close friends as college students and heroes-in-training. When an accident left Oboro crushed under a pile of rubble, they believed he had died. This loss painfully reminded them of the dangers of heroism, and that was a big part of why Aizawa was so strict with his future students – he didn’t want them to meet the same fate.
But things got worse. Instead of just dying, Oboro’s body was pulled from the rubble and used to create Kurogiri, a Nomu whose role is to protect Tomura Shigaraki. Before anyone makes the connection, the heroes battle Kurogiri numerous times. But once Mic and Aizawa figure out the true identity of the body they’re fighting, they try to reach the Oboro that still exists inside Kurogiri, but it doesn’t seem to work.
7. Vicious & Spike – Cowboy Bebop
Spike and Vicious were once close friends and members of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate. Their friendship fell apart when Spike had an affair with Julia, Vicious’ girlfriend, and Vicious reacted by telling Julia that she had to either end Spike’s life herself or leave them. both get killed. Sleeping with your friend’s girlfriend is bad enough, but reacting to infidelity with such extreme violence is even worse. Naturally, their friendship could not continue.
Julia and Spike had planned to leave the Syndicate anyway, so Julia ended up hiding while Spike faked his own death to become a bounty hunter.
8. Akira & Ryo – Devilman Crybaby
Akira thought he was friends with an ordinary, albeit exceptionally intelligent, young man. Ryo is not human – he is Satan who has taken on human form. During their childhood, they have a fairly normal friendship as Ryo’s human side still takes over. Ryo learns about human emotions and builds a kinder, gentler character.
But when they find themselves in adolescence, everything changes. Ryo drags Akira to the Black Sabbath and manipulates him into becoming Devilman. With no control over his new powers, Akira ends up slaughtering most of those present. As Devilman, Akira is constantly afraid of causing damage he doesn’t want to cause or getting caught. Ryo supports him to some degree, but he also gets her in trouble. We have to wait for the end of the world, literally, to that Akira finally understands the truth about his friend and starts to fight against him – but then it is too late to change much.
9. Lelouch & Suzaku – Code Geass
It’s hard to stay friends when you have completely different political views. Lelouch is a child of the British Empire, but he totally opposes his family’s attempts to colonize Japan. In fact, he opposes it so much that he is ready to be terrorist.
His best friend Suzaku is also not very favorable to the British occupation: as a Japanese, he will be subjected to abuse and extreme racism. But Suzaku doesn’t want a rebellion. He believes that a rebellion would cause unnecessary suffering and loss, and that the best way forward is to work within the system. He is so convinced of this that he put an end to his own father’s life to prevent him from fighting against the occupation. Lelouch and Suzaku care for each other very much, but with directly opposing goals, their friendship eventually falls apart.
10. Tetsuo & Kaneda – Akira
Tetsuo and Kaneda are only enemies from Tetsuo’s perspective – as far as Kaneda is concerned, they are still good friends. They first met in an orphanage. With Kaneda having a stronger and more confident personality, Tetsuo soon became emotionally dependent on Kaneda. Eventually, his gratitude towards his friend turned to resentment – he hated always being Kaneda’s second in command and having to rely on him.
So when he gained psychic powers through scientific experiments, he was overjoyed. He rebels against Kaneda and all of his other friends and focuses on developing his abilities which are spiraling out of control. But contrary to what he claims, Tetsuo is actually in great danger and in desperate need of help. Kaneda isn’t quite sure how to help him, but he spends the entire movie chasing him.
If you liked this article, then you will probably enjoy our file on the best student-sensei relations.