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Friendly Enemy / Anime & Manga

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Friendly Enemies in anime and manga.


  • Seth, of AR∀GO: City of London Police's Special Crimes Investigator. He's made it absolutely clear that he's just helping Arago so he can wait for the right time to take Arago's power for himself.
  • Mei, a goat, and Gabu, a wolf, end up becoming the best of friends in Arashi no Yoru ni. Needless to say, neither party is happy about this.
  • This is the relationship most Wolves in Ben-To have with one another.
  • While not exactly friendly, Guts from Berserk and Nosferatu Zodd has shades of this, in addition to being worthy opponents to eachother. This is most likely because Zodd is the only notable long-running apostle in the series that has yet to do anything Guts would consider a truly personal attack, and most of Zodd's motivation for fighting Guts is simply because he likes to fight, and Guts has proven that he gives as good as he gets. Zodd doesn't seem to be that high up on Guts shit-list either, since their interactions have mainly been straight up fights, and circumstantial at that, not personal or attempts at psychological torture and taunting, like many, many other apostles have tried and failed. He even compliments Guts on occasion, praising his sword and technique. Zodd did not participate in the Eclipse ceremony preferring instead to remain outside, fighting the Skull Knight because that was far more fun. Lampshaded by the psychic Sonia at one point, where she predicts that Zodd must choose to either fight or cooperate with "the one he admires". In the same fight, Zodd actually stops the apostles with him from attacking/killing a heavily injured and exhausted Guts, claiming they are there as warriors, and stating to Guts that their fight is on hold for now. He also gives Guts what seems to be a genuine smile as he is about to leave, giving the impression of being a literal Noble Demon. Although, this could simply be a case of extreme rivalry/bloodknight tendencies, which Zodd takes pretty damn seriously. Of course, because Zodd is an apostle, thus automatically sentenced to death in Guts' mind, and in addition serves as Griffith's dragon, Guts is most likely never going to consider him anything but a Worthy Opponent at best, so this could turn out to be one-sided. And because both of them have massive blood knight personalities, they will most likely never stop fighting or trying to genuinely kill the other.
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    • Zodd and the Skull Knight play this a bit more straight. They've clashed numerous times over the past 300 years with neither prevailing, and have similarly developed a mutual respect for the other's battle prowess in that time. They're capable of speaking to one another civilly and are even willing to put their fights on hold in special circumstances, as demonstrated after the Eclipse when Zodd saw that Guts, his other Worthy Opponent had survived. In the Japanese language of the manga, Zodd even refers to the Skull Knight as both his friend and nemesis.
  • Most of the cast of Black Lagoon. Eda and Revy have a Mexican Standoff one day, and share drinks in a bar the next. Shenhua is an ally in a mission against terrorists, an enemy in a Carnival of Killers, and a hired muscle for a later mission. This trope reached its ultimate in absurdity when Sawyer shows up to "clean" a hotel room for Greenback Jane. Everyone else, having met her off the clock, just greets her and lets her do her business. Jane freaks out, since the last time she saw Sawyer, she was part of the aforementioned Carnival of Killers, and Jane was the target!
  • City Hunter:
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    • Ryo and Mick once the latter was hired to kill the former.
      Mick: "I've been asked to kill you, Ryo."
      Ryo: "Kinda expected it... In this case... Let's hit the pubs to celebrate our meeting!"
      Mick: "Oh! Good idea!"
    • Ryo and Umibozu started with this dynamic, with them friendly chatting and Ryo willingly paying him a breakfast while Umibozu is supposed to try and kill Ryo's charge.
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch and Suzaku, depending on whether you see them as primarily friends (or more) or enemies - they started out as friends when they were children, and Nunnally always said that together, they can do anything. At a few points, they take this to heart and work together, resulting in the biggest wins for either of them. But the fact remains that they are on opposite sides, even when they're going to school together. What's more, over the course of two seasons, they each go Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, betraying each other and swearing to kill each other, then somehow met up at the bottom of said slippery slope. They join up again and dig their way back to the top. They also have rather heavy doses of Foe Romance Subtext.
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  • Death Note's Light and L. There is room for debate on how genuine the relationship was, but this is not the place for it.
  • Kaitou Kid, like Lupin III below, has this relationship with his favorite pursuers, especially Conan/Shinichi. In his Detective Conan appearances, he has more meta-motive and opportunity, given that only 28 chapters of Magic Kaito exist.
    • Lupin himself (and Jigen) has this relationship with Conan in the crossover movie.
  • Dominion Tank Police and the sequel series New Dominion Tank Police:
    • Feature the Puma Twins, a lovable, troublemaking pair of catgirls who have several run-ins with the title squad. Even though they are criminals, their relationship with the Tank Police is more one of friendly mischief than anything.
    • In the first series, they are sidekicks to another example of this trope: the cyborg thief Buaku, an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who befriends Tank Police officer Leona.
  • In Dorohedoro, Shin and Noi are quite friendly to Cayman's crew (they're not to Cayman himself, however, at least so far). With the Grey and Gray Morality, however, the issue is a bit shady.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Krillin in the early part of Dragon Ball, and Piccolo and, later, Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z. Most of Goku's friends went through this stage at some point, though often not for long before the next Big Bad pushed them into a full Heel–Face Turn.
    • One interesting case was the android trio of 16, 17, and 18. After 17 and 18 killed Dr. Gero, which actually went hand in hand with Future Trunks's prophecy about their terror, they only went after Goku because it was in 16's programming to do so and the twins needed some entertainment. When 17 and 18 curbstomped the Z Fighters on a mountain road somewhere, they didn't kill them, but instead actually left Krillin standing (as he was too scared to jump in), told him to use the Senzu beans to heal the others, and offered to fight them again anytime they wanted. When asked why they were going after Goku when they were already free from Gero, 17 said he only wanted to beat (not kill) Goku, and only because it would be fun. 16 actually didn't take part in this fight at all, as he would rather embrace his newfound love for nature rather than fight anyone not named Goku…until Cell showed up to absorb the twins. Then, they each had a gradual Heel–Face Turn, 16's being the most pronounced.
  • Interestingly, most of the Rivalries in Eyeshield 21 seem to be of this nature. While always competing very aggressively with one another, the rival characters typically hold good feelings for each other.
    • Sena had this kind of relationship played up with Shin, Riku, Yamato, and Panther.
    • The moment that Gaoh seriously considered Kurita his rival, he had nothing but respect for him. In fact, AFTER being defeated by said rival, he openly declared Kurita to be a friend on the basis of his strength and honor.
    • Hiruma and Kid were even seen at a bar playing darts (getting a perfect bulls-eyes every time...both of them), discussing what to do with Hakushuu.
  • The Fukuyama siblings from Girls Bravo. Though, they tend to get a little "too friendly" at times.
  • Gundam:
    • Andrew Waltfeld in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. Initially presented by the local Desert Dawn rebels as an oppressive and ruthless dictator, the Desert Tiger turns out to be a likeable and friendly guy with a penchant for coffee. By the penultimate episode of the desert arc, he's already become friends with Kira, despite knowing he pilots the Strike, and openly regrets having to fight him to the death in the next episode.
    • The two protagonists of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Astray, Lowe Gear and Gai Murakamo, have this sort of relationship. They met as enemies, fought each other to a draw, and since then have demonstrated a profound respect for the other, both in fighting skills and in character. Though they occasionally wind up on opposite sides of a conflict (Gai being a mercenary means he doesn't really have a permanent "side"), they nearly always end up helping each other or finding some way to ensure that they both get what they want from the situation, and are willing to vouch for each other when asked.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: That is the case of Asemu Asuno and his archenemy/best friend Zeheart Galette. Even after Zeheart is exposed as a Vagan spy, they cooperated in several occasions, with Zeheart saving his life a couple of times the last time, even Asemu gives him the killing blow. An OVA focused solely on them is to be released in 2013.
  • Gunnm:
    • Desty Nova and Alita in are just as often on the same side of a conflict as they are at odds with each other from destroying the berserk Zapan in their first meeting to trying to reach Ladder in Gunnm: Last Order. This partially has to do with Nova's Mad Scientist nature, as he considers Alita a valuable experimental subject and/or variable in his continuing study of Karmatron Dynamics, and tends to consider her much more valuable alive than dead. This doesn't, of course, stop him from antagonizing her allies or dropping the occasional mind screw on her to see her reactions. Alita's on-and-off alliance with Nova is purely out of necessity, but they did share a critical moment of empathy when Nova trapped her in the Ouroboros program and he let his emotional guard down. Unfortunately, the next back-up was right before that moment of empathy.
    • Similarly, Sechs, one of the rogue Tuned replicas of Alita, attempted to destroy Alita to prove her superiority when they first met. They soon became allies in the Z.O.E. tournament, but Sechs' desire for a final "proving" battle remains obvious.
  • Hand Maid May has Kotaro Nanbara, who proclaims himself Kazuya Saotome's "best friend and worst enemy".
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Nagato and Asakura. Nagato kills Asakura in the series, but in the Disappearance Movie, Asakura takes care of Nagato and cooks for her. While Nagato was reborn without her memories, Asakura does remember everything, as seen in the 7th novel. This might fall in both Foe Yay and Les Yay.
  • Alucard and Father Anderson in Hellsing. It's clear that they enjoy fighting each other far more than anyone else, they take any excuse to go into open combat (even when ordered not to by their superiors, to whom they are ordinarily absolutely obedient), they often pass up opportunities to finish one another off for contrived reasons (though it's unclear at first whether either of them is capable of killing the other), etc. This is because they both really enjoy combat, but are so powerful that anyone else is a boring Curb-Stomp Battle. Alucard is absolutely crushed when Anderson uses an ancient "holy" artifact that destroys his mind and turns him into a monster in order to become more powerful in the final battle.
  • K's Red and Blue Clans take this to something of an extreme. During one of their fights, the Red Clan's Tatara and Anna watch from the side and Tatara tells Anna that even though they're fighting, it's more like they're dancing, and communicating their feelings through their powers. The individual members have a lot of Foe Romance Subtext. Saruhiko and Misaki seem to be the only ones who haven't gotten the memo that they're not actually enemies, and, well, they have the most Foe Romantic Subtext of the lot of them. And in the second season, the Silver King gets them to form an alliance together.
  • In Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, Yamamoto acts like a very friendly enemy towards Squalo, who can't stand him.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • Agaard Jum Sai, the resident Muay Tai master of the YAMI group's One Shadow Nine Fists. Although his disciple, Tirawat Koukin, is a mostly cold bastard, Agaard himself is quite friendly, has great respect for his rival Apachai even before and after the two fight each other, and freely and openly acknowledges Kenichi's growth as a martial artist under Apachai's tutelage. He also gives Kenichi pointers for defending himself against a YAMI weapons master even while he himself is unable to assist directly due to temporary paralysis from his fight with Apachai.
    • Fellow Nine Fists member Akira Hongo comes in second place to Agaard in spite of his cool and aloof nature. While he and his rival Sakaki Shio aren't exactly on friendly terms due to their shared past, Hongo does acknowledge Kenichi as a worthy disciple of Sakaki, appreciates the bond that should exist between a martial arts master and his disciples and encourages Sakaki to stay close to Kenichi and offer the boy support while Hongo himself takes the burden of fighting Silcardo Junazard.
    • Miu's father Furinji Saiga the leader of the Nine Fists is pretty friendly to Kenichi after revealing "John" was him in disguise all along. He thanks him for helping Miu, and gives his parental approval for their developing relationship.
  • In Kill la Kill, Ira Gamagoori goes out of his way for his Student Disciplinary Committee Chair responsibilities to help Ryuko and Mako out when he drives by the two hitch-hiking. As the three are driving back, they trade some friendly banter as if they weren't about to fight the very next day.
  • In the Lupin III franchise, the titular Villain Protagonist treats Inspector Zenigata more as an affectionate rival than a threat. If a severe threat to world peace appears, they team up to take them down. Both are sad if the other appears to die, and Zenigata typically goes into a fit of grief. Also, any time he's taken off the Lupin case or when Lupin appears TRULY dead, one of his first reactions is usually to go visit the gang. (Lupin and his gang returned the favor at least once, showing up at Zenigata's funeral to mourn - from a distance - when he was believed dead.)
  • Tohru and Elma were like this in the backstory of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, having become close friends despite being members of opposing dragon factions. Their friendship has long since deteriorated into a fierce rivalry by the time the story starts due to personal issues (mainly related to Elma's eating habits), albeit one with strong Vitriolic Best Buds undertones and they end up reigniting their friendship later on.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto and Sasuke though they're more rivals than enemies. They constantly bicker and fight and attempt to outdo one another, but do have times when they get along fairly well. Later on in Shippuden they become the opposite—functional enemies who Naruto won't acknowledge aren't still friends. By the end of the series, after one last fight Sasuke finally decides to come back to the village with Naruto.
    • The dead raised by Edo Tensei are good guys made to fight other good guys. It reaches extreme levels during the Fourth Shinobi World War when summoned "enemies" happily warn the good guys of what moves they're about to be forced to perform and generally doing their dead level best to lose to former students and family despite their lack of free will.
    • Madara and Hashirama are a good example of this. They share opposite ideals, and wage an intense battle that lasted for a day. They also grew up together as kids, as friends, and both shared a similar dream of a world where there is no more violence, even if it was through different means.
    • The Sequel Series Naruto Gaiden shows that Orochimaru is more or less this with Naruto and Sasuke. Despite him being a prominent antagonist of the original series who caused them quite a bit of grief, they're fairly cordial when dealing with him.
  • One Piece:
    • Gold Roger and Vice Admiral Garp are shown to have become good friends after all of their encounters and fights, resulting in Roger asking Garp to look after his child for him and hide him from the government after he dies, and Garp accepting. Despite the fact that Garp is committing a severe crime against the World Government he serves by doing so. Only his status as the World Government's greatest hero keeps him safe from punishment, as acknowledging his actions would have severely embarrassed the Government.
    • The same goes for Whitebeard and Roger, to the point where they were seen drinking together in a Flashback shortly before Roger's death when Roger told Whitebeard the truth about the Will of D.
    • Mihawk towards the Straw Hat crew in general. Specifically, he keeps tabs on Luffy and Zoro's growth as pirates, gives a mental apology to Shanks before attacking Luffy at Marineford, and agrees to train Zoro during the time skip so the latter can protect his crewmates, despite knowing full well that Zoro's ultimate goal is to defeat him.
    • Trafalgar Law has shades of this toward Luffy and the Straw Hats as well (his switching around of some of their hearts and minds notwithstanding). Law was pretty friendly to Luffy at their first meeting, and also acknowledges his role in saving Luffy's life during the Marineford arc even as Luffy himself acknowledges that they'll be enemies as long as they're both searching for One Piece—though he claims that that was something he did on a whim, thinking it would be a lame way for such an interesting rival to die. Now that they're in an official alliance, though, they're not really enemies anymore. By the beginning of Zou Arc, they are even full blown 'nakamas', having integrated himself fully with the Straw Hats (No, he didn't leave his own crew).
    • Smoker has shades of this towards the Straw Hats as well, particularly towards Luffy. Sure, he still wants to capture them, but after the events in Alabasta and Punk Hazard, it's clear that he has respect towards them that no other pirate has ever earned from him, and Luffy returns it…though he's just a little too friendly by comparison.
      • Smoker's protégé Tashigi is the same way, though mostly in regards to Zoro.
    • Franky and Senor Pink get fairly chummy during their fight, finding common ground in their excessive manliness and honor, each accepting all other's blows without attempting to dodge or parry as if they were offered a drink at some bar.
  • Through most of Peacemaker Kurogane's prequel, Suzu and Tetsunosuke have this sort of relationship. Until Suzu goes insane and becomes obsessed with Tetsunosuke...
  • Pokémon:
    • Team Rocket partake in this occasionally, such as in one episode where everyone enters an orienteering contest, including the Rocket trio in disguise. James wins.
    • Gary is this as of the D/P arc. Whenever he makes a rare appearance, it's usually to help Ash and the gang out with the problem of the week.
    • Most of Ash's rivals are this. The most notable subversions of this trope are Paul and Trip, until Ash earns their respect.
  • Ranma ½: Ranma and Ryoga are this trope to a tee. When Ryoga is first introduced, he tried to kill Ranma in his sleep. By the end of the series, they've saved each other's lives repeatedly, helped each other unlock more true potential, and defeated near-demigods together. And then there was the whole koi fishing rod story, in which Takahashi herself spoofed the "Friendly" part of the equation by having Ryoga accidentally cause Ranma to fall madly in love with him.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena:
    • Utena and Touga, strongly give off this vibe in their final duel - Utena wonders how often they've dueled, and comments that it feels like it's been dozens of times more than it has, while Touga swears to protect her. More evident in the manga, where he isn't as manipulative and later makes a complete Heel–Face Turn away from Akio's influence.
    • A straighter example is Utena and Miki, the only member of the student council (and more or less the only duelist in general, other than Mitsuru) who doesn't actively antagonize Utena and Anthy, and doesn't harbor any ill will toward either of them, even during his duels with Utena.
  • Saiyuki has this sort of relationship between the heroes and the opposing side. This is mostly because the Quirky Miniboss Squad is headed by a literal Noble Demon and one of the members of the opposing side is Gojyo's brother.
  • In one episode of Sands of Destruction, the World Destruction Committee and World Salvation Committee work together to escape from a sand submersible. The otherwise adversarial Lia goes dere dere over Kyrie. When the ordeal is over, Naja opts to part ways with a gentleman's agreement rather than attempt to arrest the Destruction Committee, and Kyrie and Toppi suggest in a joking yet not-so-joking manner that it would be nice if they weren't at odds with one another.
  • If they weren't swinging sharp objects at each other all the time, it'd be pretty hard to tell that the characters of Sengoku Basara were enemies. Yukimura and Masamune have a friendly rivalry that borders on Ho Yay, Shingen and Kenshin never seem to have an ill word to speak about each other, Sasuke and Kasuga have some definite Foe Yay, and Keiji...well, he wants to be friends with pretty much everyone.
  • Extreme case: in Spiral, Ayumu and Hizumi immediately hit it off, despite (or perhaps because of) everyone constantly assuring them that Kiyotaka set it up so that one of them will have to kill the other. They go from strangers to Heterosexual Life-Partners almost instantly; literally living, going to school, and hanging out together. They even share the housework.
  • Tentai Senshi Sunred: Despite being the classic archetypes of masked hero and monstrous evil general, Sunred and Vamp are the best of pals in everyday life, even if Sunred is a bit too uptight to admit it sometimes. Vamp's even helped Sunred move into his new house.
  • In UQ Holder!, Episodes 4 & 5 (chapter 14) sees this with Kaito & Tota. Beginning of episode 4 and latter half of episode 5. His evil attitude begins to taper off when he sees Tota improve with his Martial Arts.
  • Vagabond: Despite the fact that, historically speaking, Musashi will kill Kojiro in their final duel, the two have nothing but admiration for one another. Musashi even thinks of Kojiro whilst dueling with another (inferior) opponent, and Kojiro, whilst practicing calligraphy, constantly draws the character for Musashi.
  • Thorkell likes to think that he and Thorfinn have this relationship in Vinland Saga. Thorfinn thinks otherwise.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • While he kidnapped Yugi's grandpa in the first episode of the anime (and flat out tried to kill Yugi and his friends in the manga), Seto Kaiba generally ended up helping Yugi and his True Companions frequently.
      • The same could be said of Pharaoh Atem and Priest Seto, whom Kaiba is the reincarnation of. Priest Seto even referred to himself as 'the Pharaoh's true friend' on an epitaph of sorts for Atem.
    • In the movie, Pegasus saved everyone with a helicopter.
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Dr. Crowler (Professor Cronos) evolved from a villain to a more-or-less good guy, but was this in-between, and he wasn't always happy with it. (At one point, when he tried to help the students and they started cheering for him, he was a little annoyed by it; as he said in the dub version, "I think I liked it better when they hated me...")
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal
    • III Arclight from with Yuma Tsukumo. Up until the point that Tron used a ritual that made him Ax-Crazy and sociopathic, that is; but he got better.
    • Gauche was also this towards Yuma in Season One, so much that he tended to help Yuma as much as he opposed him. (Gauche really wasn't truly bad anyway.)
    • In Season 2, Alit is this towards Yuma (at least to his own point of view). The friendly attitude ended for a while after Don Thousand woke up, however. He returns to this status eventually.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
    • Bommer and Yusei respect each other as duelists, and Bommer even stood up for Yusei when he faced animosity from the spectators. The only reason they're fighting is because both have loved ones who are at stake.
    • Team Unicorn and Team Taiyou during the WRGP arc. Team Unicorn are fierce competitors who are amicable enough to Team 5D's when they're not dueling. Team Taiyou are just a couple of friendly guys who happen to be facing Team 5D's due to the roster match-up (one of their members, Yoshizo, is even a Yusei fanboy).
  • YuYu Hakusho played this trope several times with numerous opponents of the Urameshi team during the Dark Tournament arc. Any character who wasn't killed or didn't show signs of being a total heartless bastard generally wound up making reappearances in the series as an ally. In fact, some characters, such as Chu and Jin, actually managed to get along fine with Yusuke during their actual fights. A particularly good example is Yomi. Considering how Hot-Blooded he was in his youth, 1000 later, Yomi is civil even to one of the people he'd been in a 500+ year stand off with, even if he does plan to destroy them.
  • In Zettai Karen Children, members of BABEL and PANDRA try to kill each other far less often than they have friendly conversations with them. Even to the Big Bad Hyobu Kyousuke.


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