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Imaginary Friend / Anime & Manga

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  • In Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Yozora has an imaginary air friend she calls "Tomo-chan". She talks to it as if it were real, which surprises Kodaka when he first sees her at school. She later references Tomo-chan again when they sing karaoke, which Kodaka says she shouldn't be counting her air friend as a second person.
  • Kujira no Josephina (Josephina The Whale) is about Santi, a Shrinking Violet Spanish boy who went on adventures with his imaginary whale Josephina and gradually started to see life in a better light. In the last episode, Santi eventually grew up and said goodbye to Josephina... yeah. Though it's implied that Josefina may keep living on as this... but now for Santi's Annoying Younger Sibling Rosa, who had been able to see her before.
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  • Noramimi features existing "imaginary friends" (similar to Foster's Home, below) labelled "mascots", who stay ("freeload") with a child until they grow up, and move on to another kid afterwards.
  • The cutesey mascot Maromi from Paranoia Agent who speaks to Tsukiko seems to be quite imaginary, but is a whole lot more dangerous. Somehow.
    • Short version: She's a manifestation of all the paranoia and frustration in Tokyo, with the "active" end being Shonen Bat. The ultimate plot is to make everyone vent their worry into merchandise with her image, and then yank it away, causing the paranoia to spike to the point it turns physical and hits the city like a moving tidal wave.
    • Alternate Interpretation: She was an imaginary friend specific to Tsukiko who gave her comfort and shielded her from the world that was often mean to her because of her behavior as a Cloud Cuckoolander (this is likely the function the original Maromi, a pet dog, served for Tsukiko before it was run over). When Tsukiko grew up and made Maromi for an advertising company, the effect of providing comfort and acting as an emotional crutch spread, which is why it sold so well.
  • In Bleach, Lilynette was this to Starrk, before Aizen stepped in and gave Starrk an upgrade in his powers, allowing him to give her a real form.
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    • Or the other way around. They've been together for so long that neither of them can remember which one is 'real', so it's possible that Lilynette created Starrk.
    • Sorta used with Yukio, who as a child used his powers to create imaginary friends that looked like his neglectful parents.
  • Ninja Ninja, Afro's foul mouthed, perverted, jive talking imaginary friend from Afro Samurai was thought up because Afro's entire adoptive family was murdered by a band of thieves and he created him so he wouldn't be completely alone. He is also the polar opposite of Afro, no one else can see or hear him but he can get hurt and once he accepted responsibility for their deaths he let go of Ninja Ninja allowing him to be killed in his place and letting vanish from his life, although he returns in the movie.
  • Yami Marik from Yu-Gi-Oh! started as this with Marik/Malik but eventually turned into a Split Personality.
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  • England in Axis Powers Hetalia is assumed to have these- subverted in that they're actually fairies that only he can see. Its revealed that other nations (apart from America) go to his house they can see them too.
  • A pretty major plot point in Copernicus Breathing. We're not sure if Bird's Nest's dead little brother is just a figment of his imagination, or if he's actually a Not-So-Imaginary Friend.
  • In When Marnie Was There, Anna come to this conclusion about her new found friend Marnie when reading her diary.
    Anna: Marnie is...someone I made up. An imaginary girl, only in my mind.
  • In Fairy Tail, there is an arc that goes back to the story of how the Guild was formed. It centers around Fairy Tail's founder, Mavis, and her best friend, Zera. Except the real Zera was Dead All Along. She died in a massacre, and Mavis was the only survivor. To keep her mind from being traumatized by the resulting loneliness, she unknowingly awakened to her illusion magic, and created an illusion that grew up alongside her. And since she was alone, nobody was around to notice her talking to thin air. Well, until her future guild mates showed up...
  • It starts happening to Okabe in Steins Gate 0 anime episode 9, where by he starts occasionally hearing his own thoughts in Kurisu's voice & seeing her in his lab.


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