The anime fandom has many sayings, but one of the longest-lasting is that the childhood friend never wins. While it may seem like that, it is not completely true. Whether you need yourself a harem slanted towards the childhood friend or just want to see their affections at least acknowledged instead of pent up or straight up ignored harder than Eren ignores Mikasa’s desperate thirst, then why not try some of these anime recommendations where the childhood friend finally wins out over all that other girl-shaped riff-raff.
It should be obvious since victory usually means the end of a series, but there are very likely spoilers down below, but we’ll try to avoid major ones. Typically you can see a romantic victory coming from a mile away anyway.
Kimikiss Pure Rouge
We are no strangers to people leaving town for awhile then coming back to their childhood friends, but usually it is the boy that leaves, not the girl as is the case with Kimikiss. When she returns, she isn’t just lasered in on her childhood guy friend either, which is refreshing, so it a great show if you want to watch the relationships progress and change.
Love, Election, and Chocolate
Typically when it comes to school life and school club-focused series, the childhood friend in the group doesn’t stand a chance, but this series is the exception to the rule. It is a series about trying to preserve school extracurricular clubs that house slackers where the childhood friend finally wins and doesn’t lose out to biased writers or better characters.
Your Lie in April
If you’ve seen this particular anime series, you know how much of a monster we are for putting it on here. If you haven’t, well, we wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise!
In True Tears, the childhood friend very nearly did not win because her sadist of a mother told her that the boy she was in love with was actually her brother. This isn’t true of course, so she very narrowly eeks out a win over the other girl that he was dating at a the time.
Tamako Love Story
Tamako Love Story, an anime movie, and the subsequent anime series Tamako Market are about two kids that grew up the children of shop owners in a close-knit market area. It is filled with weird and wonderful characters, but also developing feelings between two friends reaching the tender cusp of puberty.
A Lull in the Sea
When you are all childhood friends, you really can’t lose! However, despite them all being childhood friends, A Lull in the Sea has become notorious for having one of the mightiest love triangles in anime. It is not so much large, but everyone loves someone else and feelings are rarely reciprocated, which makes for a fun watch.
Ai Yori Aoshi
The whole thing about Ai Yori Aoshi is that the two characters were placed in an arranged marriage as kids. However, when Kaoru left his clan, that deal was broken. However, Aoi, the girl from his arranged marriage, had genuine feelings for him, so she gave up her opulent life and followed him to college. It sounds like your typical childhood friend recipe for disaster, but it ends up well.
Oh, it is a tale as old as time, two families – one owning a batting center and one owning a sports store – and because their kids are the same age, they grew up together. However, the twist is that the little sister likes the boy next door just like her older sister. Technically they were all childhood friends so no matter who he picks, there is no wrong answer.
Blue Spring Ride
Typically you get the feeling that a lot of people don’t change from childhood to whatever age they end up at in anime, but in real life they do. Blue Spring Ride is about a girl who had a crush on her childhood friend, but then he moved away. However, he suddenly comes back a changed and much colder person, but she has changed herself as well. Blue Spring Ride is all about unraveling why they changed and learning to accept the person you became.
As a result of an accident, both Kaito and Akiho have unique conditions that they have to deal with. As childhood friends, they have also looked out for each other. However, despite Kaito attracting the attention of many others, he never stopped looking out for Akiho. While you don’t get major pay off here, if you are patient, you get enough.
Although it is all sorts of danced around in the anime, in the manga is is concretely revealed that Naru is indeed Keitaro’s childhood friend alongside Mutsumi. This is pretty crucial if you know that the entire plot of Love Hina revolved around Keitaro trying to get into Tokyo University so he can fulfill a promise to a girl from his childhood that he loved.
Since it is told in the omnibus format where every girl gets a spin around the romance wheel, everybody wins! That must explain why people like Amagami SS so much. Regardless, one of the chosen girls is indeed a childhood friend, so this counts.
Like with some other series, Kanon sort of stacks the deck by making a lot of the girls the main character’s childhood friends. There is really only one new girl in his life so the odds are stacked against her. Of course, the series is given a further element of clichéd complexity by throwing the old amnesia card in there.
This is another series that is about a young man returning to his hometown after being away. Of course, he is surprised to find that while some of his childhood friends stayed the same, others have changed drastically. While Myself;Yourself is melodrama at its finest, when all the choosable girls are those you knew from childhood, there is no losing.
Special A provides a unique twist on the whole childhood friend trope. Yes, the main characters met as kids, but the female lead sees her male friend as a rival rather than a love interest. To the contrary, the male friend, though he enjoys competing and teasing her, also desperately tries to attract her affections.
You don’t need to be a romance series for the childhood friend to prevail. It took the entire damn series, but Winry, in her perseverance, finally won Ed’s heart. Of course, when you are basically the only girl that the main characters show affection for, odds are pretty good.
We’ve probably missed a few childhood friend victories, so let us know some more in the comments section below.