One of things that is guaranteed to make me re-read a book are genuinely fantastic friendships. Maybe it’s because my family consists of my friends; people who have shared a shattered road of obstacles with me since we were wee, little youngsters. A lot of my favourite platonic relationships in books and anime tend to remind me of my closest comrades and all of the good, hilarious, and shitty things we’ve been through in life. There is a level of comfort derived from being able to re-experience these bonds via completely unfamiliar faces.
In memory of one of my best buds, I have decided to spend some time today sharing a few of those bookish friendships, specifically bromances, with you all today. Because I am gender fluid, we used to joke all of the time (back when we were like sixteen years old) that we would be bromancers for life. This person was a very kind-hearted human being, who always placed his friends above himself. His compassion was inspiring and continues to motivate me with each passing day. I know that if he was here today, we’d clank our beer bottles and have a good chuckle about the dudes I’m going to mention. Please note that these aren’t in any specific order. Enjoy!
Gimli & Legolas
Probably one of the most famous bromances out there, Gimli and Legolas were a couple of my favourite people from The Lord of the Rings trilogy written by J.R.R. Tolkien. A trope that I really enjoy in literature is one where two people who loathe each other eventually come together to formulate awesome, badass friendships. These two had a natural aversion to one another due to the fact that their races weren’t good bedfellows. But once they began their long journey, fighting alongside and protecting each other from the forces of evil, a bond began to develop between them. Friendly banter and competitiveness grew into a connection that became rooted in warmth and affection. They are an ultimate feel-good group of kids that always fill me with a sense of satisfaction when I read about them. Did I mention that they also have really great chemistry? When they do bicker back and forth, it never feels forced or out-of-place. It’s always wonderfully natural. It’s quite possibly one of the most ordinary aspects of the series.
Goku and Vegeta
Another rather famous friendship, Goku and Vegeta from Dragon Ball written by Akira Toriyama, are just so fucking funny. Originally enemies, circumstances helped them come together and create a bond that has lasted them through so much shit, and plenty of life-and-death situations where they protected one another. While Vegeta will always be determined to defeat Goku one day, his mask of disposition does little to hide his respect and admiration for the food-addicted, naive monkey with massive hero hair. In contrast, Goku isn’t afraid to tell Vegeta how much he appreciates having the Prince of Saiyans around. Their chemistry is also really amazing. It’s impossible to bring Goku down, and no matter how much he denies it, he’s an arrogant asshat. This complements Vegeta’s superiority complex and keeps him on his toes. Simultaneously, it’s helped Vegeta to learn that there is more to life than simply being the best. Did I mention that they are also fantastically hilarious when they’re together? It’s glorious.
Itsuki “Iggy” Takeuchi & Takumi Fujiwara
I went back and forth on whether I wanted to put this on my list, or not. The problem is that the friendship between these two individuals isn’t as evolved as I originally hoped. They are from the manga serial Initial D by Shuichi Shigeno. In the end, there are two reasons why I wanted to share them. The first is that they were my friend’s favourite anime characters. Their bromance is something he admired dearly. Secondly, although the bond between them isn’t as cultivated as the others on the list, they still have a ton of respectable qualities to their camaraderie. Iggy can be loud and ridiculously obnoxious, but he’s immensely loyal. No matter what kind of negative situation arises, he always has his best bud’s back. He’s also the kind of person who doesn’t cower away from apologising and making amends when he’s in the wrong. Likewise, Takumi is quiet and sensationally aloof. Most of the time he’s in LALA Land thinking about God only know what. Regardless, he will always kick ass when someone dares to disrespect Iggy. Both of them understand each other in candid ways that no one else can, or even tries to. At first glance, their personas seem quite clashing, however. Due to the fact that they have been friends for a very long time, it works perfectly for them. It may not work for others, but for Takumi and Itsuki, it’s home and comfort.
Takeo Gouda & Makoto Sunakawa
This pair is from the manga series My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!) written by Kazune Kawahara and illustrated by Aruko, and they have one of the best written friendships I have ever read. They are an unlikely duo. You have the super popular and handsome Sunakawa, and Takeo who’s got a shit ton of girth on account of him being a martial arts student. People think Takeo is frightening and unapproachable, and Sunakawa is superficial and too stuck-up. But that is one-hundred percent untrue. These two are some of the most kind-hearted and selfless characters that I have ever read about. They are always honest, compassionate, and considerate of one another. Since they’ve been friends since childhood, they can decipher any problems or unspoken thoughts that maybe plaguing the other. Instead of playing mind games, or a waiting game, they go ahead and address the negativity they are sensing. Takeo and Sunakawa have a relationship that is so beautifully positive, and rare in literature. Their bonds helps them grow together as well as individuals. It’s also delightfully natural and realistic.
Diran Bastiaan & Ghaji
I can’t have a bromance list and not include my favourite bromance duo of all-time! From the fantasy series, Blade of the Flame Trilogy (Eberron) by Tim Waggoner, Diran and Ghaji are just so goddamn badass. The two came across each other during The Last War and ended up becoming platonic life partners. Diran used to be an assassin who gave up his criminal activities to become a priest, and Ghaji is a half-orc who, after being subjected to intense ridicule and bullying for being a “half-breed”, left his people to make his own destiny. Similarly to Takeo and Sunakawa, Diran and Ghaji are always brutally honest with one another. Since they fought bloody battles together they also have a sixth sense about how the other fights and thinks when it comes to strategising for such a thing. Reading about them kicking ass fills me with such excitement and exhilaration. In addition, due to their dark pasts, they have developed a deep-rooted understanding of how a person’s past doesn’t have to define who they will become. They are the perfect depiction of flawed, imperfect characters with tons of potential for good. Diran and Ghaji also have wonderful senses of humour, usually a tad bit dry and occasionally morbid. This contributes to the healthy and comforting chemistry that they share as well. I have read this trilogy about five or six times, and it is my favourite book trilogy ever written mostly because of Diran and Ghaji. Since there’s no picture of them together, I’ve included the cover for the first book of the trilogy.