While the month of June is probably best known as Pride Month, it’s also home to National Best Friend Day! June 8th is the day where you can unabashedly celebrate your best friend. So, here at ComicsVerse, we’ve decided to celebrate some of our favorite anime best friends.

A best friend is always there when you need them, through both good times and bad. They can be your shoulder to cry on or that little voice inside your head telling you to stop making dumb decisions. Whether you’ve known them for your entire life or for just a few years, your best friend is your best friend because there is no one else you can imagine by your side.

The anime best friends we chose here today are all these things and more. Here’s to them!

Yohei Sunohara and Tomoya Okazaki – CLANNAD

National Best Friend Day: Sunohara and Tomoya from CLANNAD
A couple of delinquents just hanging out | Image: Hulu

What makes a best friend great? Is it the fact that they’re always there for you when no one else is? Or maybe that they accept all of your weird idiosyncrasies? These things are definitely important. But for me, I need to be able to joke around with my best friend; someone I can roast all day, every day without them getting mad. There may be no better personification of this than Yohei Sunohara and Tomoya Okazaki from the CLANNAD series.

These are two guys that have been friends for as long as they can remember. When you know someone for so long, joking and teasing each other come naturally. Unfortunately for Yohei, he’s usually on the wrong end of all the practical jokes. Tomoya is always taking advantage of his gullible nature and pulling fast ones on Yohei. At the end of the day though it’s all in good fun. And when stuff starts to hit the fan, this dynamic duo knows they’ll always have each other’s back.

The two’s relationship is so refreshing because, like the CLANNAD series in general, it just feels like real life. When I first watched CLANNAD, I couldn’t help but laugh at the similarities between Yohei and Tomoya ‘s friendship to those of my own. They’re hilarious, heart-warming, and any person would be lucky to have a friendship like these two. (Matt Karban)

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Gil and Oz from PANDORA HEARTS
Oz presents Gil a ceremonial robe, leaving him completely speechless. | Image: Crunchyroll

When it comes to friendships in anime, PANDORA HEARTS offers one of the most unique relationships out there. Oz Vessalius and Gilbert Nightray share a deep and lasting friendship that transcends tragedy, family feuds, another dimension, and even a massive time jump.

Although Gil was Oz’s personal servant when they were children, their relationship is much more than that. Gil worries that their friendship would make Oz look bad as an aristocrat, but Oz doesn’t care. Despite his good-natured teasing, Oz thinks highly of Gil and never once views him as just his servant. However, the depth of their friendship is quickly tested. Oz’s coming of age ceremony is interrupted and he is dragged into a demonic dimension known as Abyss. Although his time there seems short, Oz discovers upon his return that an entire decade has passed.

But, the tragic event at the ceremony is quickly forgotten and both friends are as devoted to each other as before. When Gil’s life takes a dark turn, Oz accepts him without a second thought. Gil, who feared that Oz would grow up and leave him behind, is assured that their friendship is stronger than ever. Not even the supernatural can divide these two friends!

Gil and Oz don’t have the perfect relationship. There are disagreements and moments where each is unsure of the other, especially given their dark pasts. Yet through it all, they always come back to each other. What makes Gil and Oz’s friendship so heartwarming is their unquestionable acceptance of each other and perseverance. After all, if they can still be friends after everything that they went through as kids, then there’s no doubt their friendship withstands the test of time. (Summer Buffin)

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Yugi Muto & Joey Wheeler from YU-GI-OH DUEL MONSTERS
Best buds on their way to play a life or death children’s card game | Image: YU-GI-OH Official Website

We can’t talk about anime friendships and not include YU-GI-OH! DUEL MONSTERS. The series very possibly holds the record for highest number of times the word “friendship” is spoken in a show. And while the core four characters are without a doubt the closest of friends, it’s Yugi Muto and Joey Wheeler who stand out and redefine what it means to be best friends.

Their friendship might seem hard to believe after such rocky beginnings. Joey was once one of Yugi’s biggest bullies until Yugi came to his defense against an even worse bully. When the cards are down, they always have each other’s backs. Whether that means helping to buff up a duel monster deck, handing over $3,000,000 in prize money to afford life-changing surgery, or defending each other from soul-destroying, ancient, dark magic, there’s no wavering in their friendship. And really, how far are you willing to go for your best friend? Probably not as far as Yugi or Joey.

When Yugi first put together the Millenium Puzzle, in the very beginning, he made a wish. He wished for friends. And throughout the series, Yugi keeps Joey and the rest of his friends close. He does whatever he can to protect them all, even from themselves at times. Towards the end, when Yugi has to say goodbye to the Pharaoh in the Puzzle, he’s hit with the paralyzing idea that maybe it was the Puzzle’s magic that gave him his friends. What if, after everything, they leave when the Pharaoh is gone? Well, you can bet Joey wiped away any of those doubts. Friendship might seem like magic, but their bonds were real and true. Millennium Puzzle or no, nothing could come between their friendship. (Kaitie Kwiatkowski)

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Happy National Best Friend Day!

Who are your favorite anime best friends? Let us know in the comments below! And on behalf of everyone at ComicsVerse, we wish you and your best friend a happy National Best Friend Day!

Featured image from Hulu.

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