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Vitriolic Best Buds: Anime & Manga
  • Kouji Kabuto and Boss from Mazinger Z and its sequels (Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer) and spin-offs (Mazinkaiser, Shin Mazinger, Shin Mazinger Zero...). Their first meeting consisted of Boss picking one fight with Kouji. They often bicker with each other, but they do get along rather well.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Goku has several of these such as Vegeta and Krillin. Their initial relationship was, much like many of Goku's friends, fairly antagonistic.
    • Also, Trunks and Goten, at least when they're 8 and 7 respectively. Trunks calls Goten an "idiot" or a "little child" numerous times, but with a big grin on his face and clearly no malice; less commonly, Goten calls Trunks out on the fact that he's a member of the world's richest family and has no real reason to be competing for money like he does. Once they become teenagers, this snarking has largely faded, to be replaced by Homoerotic Subtext.
    • Yamcha and Tien occasionally gave out hints of this, as well. They start out as pretty bitter rivals (no doubt accentuated by Tien breaking Yamcha's leg out at the end of their tournament match), but after Tien's Heel-Face Turn, they become pretty solid friends, if occasionally still snarky toward one another. Yamcha even jokingly calls Tien " a little pig-headed" before the latter makes an attempt to help Gohan by blasting Cell... which is followed immediately by Yamcha joining him in the attack.
    • Bulma and Chi-Chi in Z. They both find themselves arguing over their husbands and sons, but they do get along most of the time.
  • Tower of God has a plethora of examples. First of all, Koon Aguero Agnis and Rak Wraithraiser are a blue-haired noble and a giant humanoid Alligator respectively, and they do not get along from the very start, yet still maintain a bond of trust and rigid understanding after their team is dissolved. Ronin Hatsu and Lizard Girl Anak are also pretty close despite fighting a lot. Then there is Evan/Yuri. He gets thrown off cliffs a lot. And finally, there are Androssi and Anak who play this out like an Ur-example.
  • Bleach: Almost all of Ichigo's closest relationships are based on this trope with the exception of his relationships with Sado and Orihime.
    • Ichigo and Rukia argue a lot. Rukia will punch Ichigo and shout if it means restoring his resolve, and Ichigo will snark about her attitude and her bizarre taste in art.
    • Ichigo and Uryuu began as snarking enemies but very quickly faded into not-friends who snarked each other constantly and pretended to be enemies. They still can't admit they're friends but their classmates and the rest of their group find their vitriolic relationship to be very amusing, especially given how alike the two really are. Orihime has begun lampshading how strong their friendship has become, much to their horror. Uryuu in particular hates having this pointed out. It's also a Generation Xerox example - their fathers have almost the same relationship with each other.
    • Ichigo and Renji also tend to butt heads within moments of trying to do almost anything, often to the point of immediate physical violence, but will nonetheless put their lives on the line for each other at a moment's notice.
    • Ichigo and Tatsuki have a violent, argumentative relationship that goes back to their distant childhood.
  • Kurumu, of Rosario + Vampire, becomes this kind of friend towards Mizore and Yukari after character development sets in, teasing them about the weirdness of their respective species and their attempts to snare Tsukune. (The manga is predominately a harem series, and all three originally met because they were interested in the same boy.) It's a mark of how far their characters have evolved when they can let go of their jealousy and fear to snark with the playfulness that they do, and the manga has no shortage of moments when they drop even that and just support each other.
  • Jonouchi/Joey and Yugi are so Sickeningly Sweet in Yu-Gi-Oh! that Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series just had to make them verbally abuse each other every episode. It's far from friendly banter.
    • This trope also applies to Miho and Anzu/Tea in Season 0
    • If you can extend the definition of "friends" to include Kaiba, then this can sum up Kaiba and Joey's relationship.
    • Joey and Tristan are a better example. They snipe at each other a lot, but they always have each other's back.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn! does this too with Gokudera (the jerk) and Yamamoto (the oblivious idiot), mainly in the crack arcs.
  • Gintoki and Katsura from Gintama have their verbal scuffles, the latter tries to drag the former back into their resistance group while the former tells him in so little words to shove it — but when they team up against an enemy or twelve, the results are frequently awesome.
    • The Shinsengumi have a bond similar to this, as well. They even refer to it as a "rotten friendship".
  • Kaoru Kaidoh and Takeshi Momoshiro in The Prince of Tennis.
  • Sano and Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. Sano's Hot-Blooded, so he tends to be vitriolic towards everyone, even his allies.
  • From Shaman King we have Yoh Asakura and Ren Tao with the latter usually snarking at Yoh's ideals and trust in others. Though Ren will usually go along with him anyway.
    • This could also apply for Ren with both Horohoro and Chocolove as well.
  • Maka and Soul in Soul Eater. Soul heaps verbal abuse at his meister and gainsays her half the time, while Maka usually replies with a heavy book to Soul's face. Naturally, the two are inseparable and will Take The Bullet for each other without a moment's hesitation.
    • In the first episode it appears Soul does not even like Maka that much... until:
    • Later episodes and chapters make it known that this is very much a close relationship and some chapters seem to imply that their snark has to do with their own insecurities (like Soul's inferiority to his brother Wes and Maka's inferiority toward other[female] meisters who want to be Soul's partner).
    • Maka and Black*Star also fit this. Maka doesn't let Black*Star get away with his arrogance quite as much as Tsubaki and Soul seem to, and Black*Star tends to call her out on her own faults...but they've known each other since they were small (Unlucky Childhood Friend to Soul/Tsubaki, maybe?) and Black*Star not only hunts down the person who left Maka paralyzed, but becomes extremely angry with and attempts to fight Crona when Crona claims to have no memory of Maka.
  • Kuwabara and Yusuke from YuYu Hakusho, who start out seemingly set up as outright rivals, except...not really.
    • Hiei has some shades of this with all of the team as well, although Kuwabara might be the first thing that comes to mind.
  • Kenichi and Tanimoto in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. After he first defeats him in combat, Kenichi insists becoming Tanimoto's best friend despite the fact that Tanimoto wants nothing more than to beat his face in. Being a Slave to PR, he's willing to tolerate it, but once nobody's looking...
  • Taiga and Minori both share this with Ami by the end of Toradora!, getting to the point where Taiga's insulting nickname for Ami, "stupid chihuahua", becomes more of a term of affection.
  • Rosette and Chrono in Chrono Crusade. Chrono's actually a full-grown demon, but his child-like disguise and Nice Guy disposition matched with Rosette's Hot Bloodedness make for lots of griping, teasing, and roughhousing (see Rosette's self-coined Super Noogie). Despite this, they're in a trust-based contract and are sort of, you know, inseparable.
    • Rosette and Satella personify this too, almost to a greater extent.
  • Both Digimon Adventure (Taichi/Tai and Yamato/Matt) and Digimon Frontier (Takuya and Kouji) had a form of this with their main characters and lancers, of the both insulting each other variety. Ruki and Takato, from Digimon Tamers, were less best friends, since theirs was a Power Trio situation, but it's still a similar outcome to the first description.
  • Asuna and Ayaka from Mahou Sensei Negima!, to the point that their classmates worry about them if they aren't fighting. Asuna calls Ayaka a pedophile for having a crush on Adorably Precocious Child Negi, while Ayaka belittles Asuna for having a crush on her much older teacher and for getting terrible grades. Despite this, they're tight enough that it borders on Les Yay on some occasions.
  • The Straw Hats from One Piece in general are like this toward one another, at any given time at least two or three of them are arguing and/or hitting each other. They're basically a Vitriolic Crew. But don't let that fool you, they're all immensely fond of each other. If you hurt one of them, the others WILL kick your ass (and considering they are, as of now, considered one of the most dangerous crews on the Grand Line...). The most notable example are:
    • Sanji and Zoro . If they're not fighting together they're snarking at each other. Cue many a Yaoi Fangirl's speculation as to what would happen if they snap. Played up for laughs by Oda himself.
    • Sanji often expresses disdain towards the male members of the Straw Hats, usually only seeming to care about the safety and well-being of the female members (all two of them). He has shown to care for them, particularly Usopp, he just won't express it. This was also his relationship with his adopted father figure.
    • Some of the loudest shouting matches are between Nami and Usopp, with either one calling out the other on whatever zaniness they're trying to pull. When they're not fighting, however, they're working together to keep up with the physically-stronger members of the crew. Usopp even provides Nami with magic weapons and helps her work out strategies for using them. This is probably because Nami and Usopp are the only members of the original crew with above-average intelligence (Chopper, Nico Robin, and Franky have not reached this level of closeness).
    • Also outside the crew, the way Ace and Sabo treat Luffy initially seems to be this.
    • Iceburg and Franky who argue about everything, from when they were young to even when they were adults. But when Iceburg discovers that Franky wasn't actually dead after being run over by a sea train, he has this to say.
      Iceburg: "We never change, do we? We yell at each other as soon as ... look, I won't forgive you and you probably won't forgive me either, but Franky..." (tears up) "... Idiot ... I'm glad ... that you're alive!"
    • The relationship of Shanks and Buggy continues to be this, no matter how much time has passed, the huge gap between their abilities, or how much Buggy continues to deny it.
  • Just about every word Sawamura says to Rintarou in Wa Ga Na Wa Umishi is snarky. He's not above hitting him either. Yet somehow the two work together great when a job needs to be done, right down to saving each others' lives multiple times.
  • Kei and Yuri, the Dirty Pair.
  • Meg and her rival Non share this relationship in Majokko Meg-chan.
  • Kurogane and Fai from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Despite the fact that Kurogane would never admit it, they have become very close over the course of the series. Just how close is debatable.
    • It's CLAMP. It's only debatable if you're in denial.
  • Ranma and Ryōga of Ranma ˝ eventually evolve into this, being Worthy Opponents, although this is definitely NOT the case at the start of the series.
    • Ranma and Akane, also. When they're not using their insults to deliberately hurt one another, they demonstrate a surprisingly strong report in which they cheerfully exchange barbs back and forth.
  • Ryoma and Hayato in Getter Robo have this relationship in some continuities. The fact they like the same girl, Michiru, doesn't help. They have come to blows at least once, and an early iconic sequence in Getter Robo Armageddon involves them in a Mexican Standoff.
  • Keroro and Giroro from Keroro Gunsou qualify. These two, despite their constant arguments, are shown to be extremely close and will always pull through for each other.
  • Most incarnations of Sailor Moon have this in some form:
    • Rei and Usagi in the anime version fall into a softened version. Usagi does get upset by Rei's name calling but Rei is her closest friend out of the Sailor Senshi (her death affects Usagi much worse than that of the other girls) and Rei seems to be trying to toughen Usagi up and it is Rei who she entrusts with the silver crystal when she can't trust herself not to give it to the enemy in return for Mamoru, and later is the one who expresses more sympathy for Usagi when she finds out in Stars that Mamoru has disappeared and Usagi was a Stepford Smiler over it.
      • The DiC dub made it seem Raye was trying to usurp Serena's position as leader at times instead due to removal of subtlety in the dub. They blatantly made Raye openly express a desire to be leader instead of Serena and changed the show of trust between the two surrounding the silver crystal into having Raye keep it when Serena left it at Raye's house by accident instead of returning it.
      • And Sailor Moon Abridged took the dub version and took out the subtlety.
    • The anime also, at times, had this between Minako and Makoto. Usually when they were arguing over a guy. Interestingly this showed up in both their second season and fourth season power up episodes.
    • In the Anime in particular Haruka is always the harshest on Usagi, calling her out on her hopeless idealism, getting frustrated with her tactics or lack there of, and even violently jumping her at one point just because she was angry at the way Usagi handled a situation. Where as Usagi doesn't appreciate Haruka's rough manner of dealing with things and close-mindedness. But deep down it's shown that Haruka has an incredible amount of love towards Usagi. Feeling a fierce protectiveness for her and getting incredibly angry when anyone even indicates that they might harm her. Likewise, Usagi greatly respects and looks up to Haruka, and (though she doesn't always trust her judgement) she does appreciate Haruka's concern.
    • In every adaptation Chibiusa's in she has this kind of relationship with Usagi. It makes this trope because the two aren't technically sister like they pretend to be and Chibiusa doesn't yet consider Usagi to be her mother They often fight over treats, toys, and Mamoru's attention. Chibiusa complains about Usagi's immaturity while Usagi complains about Chibiusa's cruelty and general brattiness. But the two do love each other very much. They both are genuinely sad when ever Chibiusa has to return home, and Chibiusa draws a picture of Usagi secretly naming it "the person I admire most" Then of course you have Usagi risking her life to save Chibiusa's best friend in the S season, jumping off a platform thousands of feet in the air in order to save Chibiusa in Super S, and jumping into a black hole to save Chibiusa in the Super S movie
    • In the manga, Rei has this type of relationship more with Minako, not Usagi.
    • The live action version followed the manga in the case of Rei and Minako's relationship with hints that there may have been something else hidden under the fighting to the point that during fights the two always had each others backs and when Minako died it was Rei who was most upset out of the senshi despite how only a few episodes earlier Rei left them due to a fight with Minako
  • Essentially the relationship between Saki and the entire Genshiken through most of the story. Saki is disturbed or confused about the nerdy (and porn-obsessed) interests of the rest of the club, and responds to them with snark and insults unto the very end, despite eventually regarding most of the club members as close friends. Also, although she claims to wish for the day the Genshiken club is closed, she's more than willing to stand up for them.
  • Crest of the Stars: Given how large part of their social life is based on a culture of polite insult, it's not surprising that most of the Abh friendships happen this way. Among the best examples are Bibauth brothers, Crown Prince Dusanh and his Chief of Staff, and Admiral Spaurh with, well, everyone.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist this kind of relationship with his superior Roy Mustang. He complains about Mustang piling on orders, and the two snark at each other, but in reality, the two care about each other.
    • Ed's relationship with Ling. Ling is sort of an Idiot Hero (or at least acts the part) and considers Ed a good friend, Ed is annoyed with Ling's mooching food and money off of him, seeking immortality — essentially an evil goal given the method of getting it in this universe, and for being much taller than him even though he's a year younger. Deep down, Ed does actually like Ling (which becomes obvious when the two are trapped in Gluttony's stomach).
    • So it's no wonder that Yaoi Fangirls ship the crap out of both of these pairs (though especially Roy/Ed).
  • Samurai Champloo. Jin and Mugen have completely opposite personalities and ultimately plan to fight to the death but are best friends.
    • At the end of the show they finally have their fight to the death, which just ends in a draw when both their swords break. They put the whole thing behind them after that and admit to being friends.
  • In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon and Itsuki hang out a lot, because they are both SOS Brigade members, but Kyon doesn't seem to like Itsuki at all.
    • Also with Taniguchi and Kunikida. He even said to Tsuruya that he threw Kunikida out the window once ("And that's how we became friends.")
    • As well as Kyon and Taniguchi, with the latter always looking for chicks and rating them.
    • Really, it's more or less Kyon and everyone else in the SOS Brigade. He begrudges everything that he does in it, but wouldn't change it for the world if given the choice ...and he was.
  • Once they get past the whole brainwashed murder attempt incident, Tamahome and Tasuki of Fushigi Yuugi fall into this. Tamahome regularly provokes the already short-fused Tasuki, and uses Tasuki's absolute phobia of water as a particular source of torment. Meanwhile, Tasuki tends to "accidentally" set Tamahome on fire, needles him about his Money Fetish, and starts using Tamahome's hated childhood nickname as soon as he finds it out. Still, when push comes to shove it's actually Tamahome who manages to give a successful I Know You Are In There speech when Tasuki goes Brainwashed and Crazy himself, and it's the idea of betraying a friend that finally gets Tasuki to successfully fight from the inside, even attempting suicide in order to stop himself.
  • Konata and Kagami from Lucky Star are pretty good examples of this (or Belligerent Sexual Tension, depending on how seriously you take the Les Yay vibes). Much of their dialogue consists of verbal jousting, and the barbs get quite vicious on occasion. You just know that both would happily give every organ in their body to the other if they had to.
  • Michiko Malandro and Atsuko Jackson from Michiko to Hatchin, maybe with a side of Unrequited Love.
  • Ino Yamanaka and Sakura Haruno from Naruto.
    • Back when the Sasuke was still with Konoha, he and Naruto were like this, trading insults and each giving as good as they got. After he left, their relationship crossed into a different trope.
    • To varying degrees, Naruto has this with the some of the Konoha 11, most notably Kiba, Ino, Shino, and Neji. Naruto often makes fun of his friends for their personality quirks, and they make fun of them for his, but they stand together in dangerous times, and Naruto's friends don't seem at all bothered by him being host to the demon fox. In a filler arc, the Arc Villain whom Naruto had often talked with reminds him of how he often complained about his friends, Naruto responds that while they fight, he likes them and trusts them to help stop his Evil Plan.
  • Revy and Eda from Black Lagoon are either this or With Friends Like These...... It's kind of hard to tell. They certainly haven't done anything selfless to help each other yet, but seem to get along well enough when they share a common goal. (i.e. money, booze, Seinfeldian Conversation, shooting at other people, or any combination of the above.)
  • Lelouch Lamperouge and Suzaku Kururugi in the Code Geass Sound Stages, when Lelouch and Nunnally were staying with Suzaku prior to the invasion of Japan. They initially hated each other, but became friends after looking for a lost and injured Nunnally together. The two were willing to make fun of the other's physical and mental strengths and weaknesses, but they worked well together and formed a bond before Britannia invaded.
    • Also Kallen and C.C., particularly in the radio dramas set between seasons, and several scenes in the manga.
  • Azumanga Daioh has Yomi and Tomo, and Nyamo-sensei and Yukari-sensei. While both of these pairs are clearly adversarial, they do maintain a friendship of a sort. Although in both cases, particularly the latter, it may simply be a case of having been together so long, they're probably just stuck with each other.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has quite a few (mostly of the Homoerotic Subtext filled variety, understandably). The most notable are Germany and North Italy, Spain and South Italy and England and America (both major Tsunderes, with England more aggressively tsuntsun and America being a subtler Master of the Mixed Message). England's relationship with France is almost this but it's a little too heavy on the vitriol and not enough on the "buds" part.
    • There's also England and Australia, based on their Real Life relationship. And Australia and New Zealand.
    • Greece and Turkey, of all nations, seem to be set up as this in the new character profiles. Apparently, in spite of them taking any and every opportunity to exchange blows with one another, fighting over Japan's attention, and making England and France look positively peaceful in comparison, Greece still goes shopping in Turkey's malls.
    • The Hetalia Fantasia 2 Drama CD and his Image Song reveals Iceland to be this with his puffin.
    • The Frying Pangle are also shown to have elements of this, especially if it involves Prussia.
  • Let's not forget the title character and Koga from InuYasha who, as romantic rivals, could, according to Kagome, "scrap (...) all day"; have fought side-by-side against numerous adversaries while trading barbs about each other's ancestry, personal cleanliness and fighting experience. (Or, rather, the lack thereof...)
    • Notably, they keep it up right until the end, when Koga's jewel shards are stolen, but there is definite friendship between the two. Which is possibly why so many fans were up in arms when Inuyasha stated in the final battle, "there isn't one missing," and Koga notably was.
    • The rivalry-friendship evolves notably from the first appearance of Koga as a main sort-of villain, when he is quite determined to kill Inuyasha in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and it isn't even remotely funny. Once he discovers that Inuyasha wasn't the one who killed all his friends, he settles into a comfortable role of showing up occasionally and being annoying. In fact, the two have a tendency to rescue each other from various horrible situations, snarking at each other all the while for being unable to escape themselves.
  • Ash and Misty from Pokémon practically named this trope. This is due to the fact despite being friends they are rivals for being top Pokémon trainers, and because their personalities naturally clash with each other. Many characters seem to take their bickering as a clue to "Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other".
    Nurse Joy: What's the saying? You only hurt the ones you love?
    Ash and Misty: (both blush) No way!!!
    • Jessie and James in Team Rocket. Though they are constantly bickering (Jessie used to beat up James quite often) they do genuinely care about each other, are good friends, and remain a team despite constantly losing to a bunch of kids.
      • Add Meowth. As demonstrated most recently in Unlocking the Red Chain of Events, any one of them will go to the mat for the other(s).
    • Tepig and Oshawott are a rare Pokemon example. While there have been Pokemon in the past that fought with each other despite being on the same team, these two seem to be the most recurring example. They often fight for juvenile reasons, but most of the time they're happy being on the same page.
  • Watanuki and Doumeki from ×××HOLiC. Doumeki acts like an ass around him? Check. Will Doumeki spend hours digging under the rain to rescue him? Definite check!
    • It is CLAMP, though. There's definitely something more on Doumeki's side.
  • Shinra and Shizuo from Durarara!!. Shizuo spends about half of the friendship (unsuccessfully) trying to resist the urge to beat Shinra senseless (largely for being such a gossip and motormouth). Luckily for him, Shinra has something of a mile-long masochism streak, and doesn't consider things like "he regularly dislocates your jaw" to be barriers to friendship.
  • Yamada and Miharu from B Gata H Kei.
  • Light Yagami and Ryuk the Shinigami of Death Note. They exhibit both types 1) idealistic Selective Obliviousness: Light laughs it off whenever Ryuk reminds him that he's a Death God and he's going to kill him one day and 2) Jerkassery: teasing and insulting each other in equal measure.
    • Also Light and L fall into this, especially during the Yotsuba arc when Light becomes a Nice Guy that genuinely likes L but L isn't too enthusiastic about it, knowing (but unable to prove) that Light is an (amnesiac) mass murderer. It becomes more of a Type 1.
    • Matsuda and Aizawa. The latter would criticize the former for his idiocy, but Matsuda still looks up to him.
  • From Monster Rancher, we have Tiger and Hare, both who love nothing more than to snark and insult each other. But if the other was in any trouble, the other won't hesitate for a second to jump in and help them.
  • Lina Inverse of Slayers has this with all of her friends (especially Gourry, topped off with varying quantities of Belligerent Sexual Tension depending on the adaptation) even though she'll pick fights with gods and volunteer for any hardship on their behalf in a heartbeat. And with Naga even more than Gourry.
  • Shinagawa and Izumi of Flunk Punk Rumble. While they spend much of their time together either viciously staring each other down or outright brawling, they make a good team, and in spite of the fact that they clearly don't get along and often outright detest each other, they both seem content to admit that just because they hate each other doesn't mean they don't like each other, and would each inarguably (and demonstrably) go to the ends of the earth to save the other from danger.
  • Asuka Masamune and Hajime Tonomine from Otomen. Hajime considers Asuka his number one rival and takes every opportunity they meet to see who is better at the task at hand. However Asuka often asks Hajime for favors, and they keep the other's secret, i.e., their Otomen identities. Recent volumes have even shown Hajime having a grudging respect for Asuka, though that doesn't stop him from engaging his rival in battle!
  • Ushio and Tora are definitely headed this way.
  • Mitsuba Marui & Miku Sugisaki from Mitsudomoe are generally rivals for the title of the Alpha Bitch. However, if one thinks the other's in genuine trouble (Mitsuba is sick, or Mitsuba thinks Miku's been kidnapped) they'll go to the other's aid.
  • Natsu Dragneel and Gray Fullbuster of Fairy Tail. They constantly snark and insult each other at every time, however both have proven time and time again that they would sooner take a bullet (or whatever other magical attack comes their way) through the face for the other.
    • Also Natsu and Gajeel have become this over time, with Gajeel being a bit more snarky than Natsu is, however both of them are friendly to each other in their own way, make a perfectly awesome team, and do actually care about each other as friends.
    • Not to mention Lucy and Juvia, both best friends and rivals in love (well, Juvia considers Lucy a rival, anyway.)
    • Really, this could apply to everyone in the Fairy Tail guild; the brawls that spark up between members for no good reason have been legendary and frequent. Often whenever anyone returns from a mission.
  • Hibiki and Kanade of Suite Pretty Cure ♪ have been like this since they entered middle school.
  • Touma and Misaka in A Certain Magical Index are very much this, seeing as most times they talk to each other there are usually some jabs mixed in (unless its a serious situation). it get funny during a couple times Touma calls and asks Misaka for help with something... like getting through a shuttered subway entrance...
  • Akina and Kyosuke from Yozakura Quartet fight. A lot. Unless they have a common enemy.
  • CLANNAD: Despite the fact that Tomoya regularly pulls pranks and snarks at Sunohara, they share a close friendship. In actually serious situations, they will help each other.
  • Mai, Yuuko, and Mio from Nichijou. Surprisingly, Nano is excluded.
  • Rental Magica has Adilicia and Honami, a pair of opposites bound by respect, disagreement and constant rivalry up to The Only One Allowed to Defeat You. They became like this back in Wizarding School where Addie plainly didn't perceive anyone else as even close to an equal — not that this part changed much. Even more evident in the Love Triangle: they don't mind much that Itsuki is unsure in which one he should be more interested, but instantly band together if it looks like he's distracted by someone else.
  • Slam Dunk: Akagi and Sakuragi and to an extent, all of Shohoku.
  • The eponymous Tiger & Bunny don't reaaaaally fit this description until episode 25, when they're working together as willing partners but also squabbling over who's going to pay for a damaged car. Before this they were completely unwilling partners, or Barnaby was busy forgetting who Kotetsu was and hunting him down for murder... Yeah, it's complicated.
  • Hal and Kai from Switch!. Hal is constantly referring to Kai as 'useless' and 'no good', sometimes even using the phrases in place of Kai's name. Despite this, Kai remains affectionate and loyal to Hal.
  • Sonic and Knuckles in Sonic X and also Amy and Knuckles to a lesser extent.
  • One-sided variations appear very commonly in Anpanman. Some characters (normally girls), become friends with Baikinman, despite him wanting to have nothing to do with them. Multiple times, a single kind deed will make the other party believe that Baikinman's not a villain whatsoever, much to the surprise of everyone else, and even when being told the truth, they'll still see Baikinman as a friend, even when he himself tells them otherwise. Even Anpanman himself treats Baikinman with the same kindness he shows others (most noticable in the educational videos, where the feeling reciprocated), but they will go back to being enemies as soon as Baikinman does something to endanger someone else.
    • Also in the series is the Donburiman Trio. Multiple episodes are made up of them fighting over which donburi is the best, them leaving in a huff, getting upset about being without the others, and reconciling by the end of the episode. Why do they stick together? Because they are the Donburiman Trio, so they'll always have each others' backs and still be best friends, even if they all hate each other sometimes.
  • Tomoe and Mizuki, Nanami's two servants, from Kamisama Kiss. Mizuki first showed up in a minor villain role before being defeated by Tomoe. A short while later Mizuki entered into a magic contract with Nanami, much to Tomoe's displeasure. They work together and even have a somewhat friendly understanding while at the same time competing enthusiastically for Nanami's affection and approval.
  • Rei "Hana-no-Saint-Juste" Asaka and Kaoru "Kaoru-no-Kimi" Orihara in Oniisama e.... When they're in good terms, they playfully insult each other while smiling. When not, Kaoru will do her best to support the very emotionally unstable Rei no matter what.
  • My Bride Is a Mermaid: Kai and Nagasumi spend about 90% of their shared screentime fighting or otherwise being antagonistic towards each other, but during an episode where Kai is Mistaken for Dying Nagasumi is genuinely grieved at the thought and treats him with respect, trying to make his last days as good as possible.
  • The Major and Batou frequently have this dynamic in various Ghost in the Shell storylines, especially in the original manga and Arise OVAs. Arise, which serves as a sorta-kinda alternative prequel to the whole franchise, shows that this has grown from the pretty genuine and bitter rivalry they had in their army days, when Motoko was with the 501'st Secret Commando Unit, consisting of total-conversion cyborgs, and Batou was in JGSDF Rangers. They frequently clashed during various clandestine missions due to the Right Hand Versus Left Hand attitude prevalent in the JSDF brass at the time,note  but mellowed out since both retired and were hired into Section 9.
  • Levi and Hanji from Attack on Titan. They tease each other almost constantly, but they seem to be very comfortable around one another, and aninterview has mentioned Hanji, Levi, and Erwin all having a close, trusting bond.
  • Kanon Mizushirou and Ruby of Jewelpet Sunshine probably beat each other up every day, yet they absolutely trust each other and one worries if the other is not acting like herself.

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