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Gia's List: Anime's 7 Best Frenemies

by Gia Manry,

Sometimes a friend is a friend and an enemy is an enemy. Others...it's a little less cut-and-dry. These are some of the "best frenemies" of anime, folks whose enmity may be obligatory, have developed a strong respect over the years, or just love their ongoing fights.

7. Misha & Shia (Pita-Ten)
Misha is an angel. An inept, failed angel, who wants nothing more than for her friends and loved ones to be happy but whose exuberant efforts often backfire. Shia is, of course, a demon...an inept, failed demon, who wants nothing more than for her friends and loved ones to be happy, which is a problem in and of itself. Upon their first meeting, Misha and Shia become instant heterolifemates, and when Misha learns that Shia lives alone (talking demonic cat companion Nyaa-san nonwithstanding), the angel invites the demon to live in her apartment next to protagonist Kotarou. The two carry on a blissful, if not exactly peace-filled, coexistence, to the great and ongoing irritation of both Nyaa-san and Misha's super-angel sister Sasha.
6. Ranma & Ryoga (Ranma 1/2)
Early on in Ranma 1/2 Ryoga declares himself to be an eternal enemy of Ranma Saotome, who remains mostly unimpressed. Ryoga's enmity should, in theory, increase as he falls for Ranma's "main" fiancée, Akane Tendo. But instead, as the show goes on, the two become something vaguely similar to friends, often supporting one another's various endeavors (except for Ryoga's chasing of Akane, naturally). But while Ranma doesn't really continue to think of Ryoga as a rival in love or martial arts, Ryoga still views himself as Ranma's enemy. Of course, there was that one time that a female Ranma was accidentally cursed into falling in love with Ryoga, but that's a matter for an entirely different list.
5. Revy & Eda (Black Lagoon)
Girls, guns, and guzzlin' booze: that's Revy and Eda. It's true that the two have occasionally been spotted on opposite sides of a fight, each trying to out-shoot the other, ostensibly for money but sometimes just for kicks instead. However, you're more likely to find them drinking hard liquor together at the Church of Violent, where Eda serves as one of anime's most dubious nuns. Revy seems willing to just sit and drink, but Eda usually wants to pry into Revy's personal life, like why she isn't sleeping with coworker Rock yet. On the other hand, maybe Revy's just given up on prying into Eda's life: as fans of the show already know, there's considerably more to her than working as a simple nun/gun runner.
4. Lelouch & Suzaku (Code Geass)
These bishonen boys grew up as children together and were reunited in Area 11 (née Japan) in high school when Suzaku gets an upgrade while working in the Britannian army. Unfortunately this upgrade pits him directly against former Britannian prince Lelouch's Black Knights. Suzaku doesn't know that Lelouch is involved with his enemies, but Lelouch recognizes his childhood friend and does his best to keep fighting without killing Suzaku, even saving him from death at the hands of his military colleagues. Unfortunately, some of these efforts blow up in Lelouch's face in the long-run, but by and large the two manage to carry on a normal-ish friendship in school, at least in the first season. Unfortunately for the twosome, all things must fall apart.
3. Alucard & Father Anderson (Hellsing)
It's hard to really call Alucard and Father Anderson "friends," since the Hellsing audience never sees them just hanging out together (at least canonically)...and their relationship revolves exclusively around fighting, as Father Anderson works for the Catholic Church while Alucard's mistress keeps him in line for the Church of England. Plus he's, you know, a vampire and stuff; turns out that the Vatican isn't really digging his existence. On the other hand, these two don't just fight out of loyalty to their masters: they are each other's favorite fighting partners, the only truly challenging enemies they've got. In fact, sometimes they disobey their leaders in order to get their fight on. So they make the list...mostly because they're just so fun to watch.
2. Light & L (Death Note)
While one of the favorite pairs of friend-enemies on this list, it's hard to say whether the friendship between Light and L is genuine or simply a front so that each can learn more about the other. The twosome spend time together in the "capture Kira" headquarters, plus there's tennis, and (spoiler alert!) when Light loses his memories, he joins L's team of investigators to take down Kira (end spoiler). On the other hand, each has a lot to gain from earning the other's trust: L is on the trailer of a killer, and that killer is Light...who would like very much to not get caught by the master detective; becoming his friend and co-investigator gave him access to L's plans...or at least, most of them.
1. Lupin III & Zenigata (Lupin III)
The ongoing chase, in which Inspector Zenigata tries his utmost to track down famed international thief Lupin III, is perhaps the most classic example of friendly enemies. Sure, Zenigata insists that one of these days he will catch Lupin and hold him accountable for his many, many crimes...but on the other hand, more often than not the two find themselves working together to deal with a larger threat. But there's more to it than simple convenience: it's a frequent Lupin trick for the thief to fake his own death, and every time Zenigata thinks his quarry has passed he bursts into a fit of sorrow. It's hard to say exactly what Lupin himself thinks of his long-time adversary, but after so many years you'd have to assume there's a fair amount of fondness.

Each list is accompanied by a new reader poll, as well as the results from last week's poll.

The new poll: Last week we asked about what anime school you'd want to attend; this week's question is similar but with a sharp turn towards the martial: tell us which anime military you'd consider enlisting in. Like last time, the poll isn't all-inclusive, so feel free to vote and add your nominations in the comments.

The previous poll: Perhaps unsurprisingly in today's economy, ANN readers decided that they'd most like to attend Ouran High School, the school that is (with very few exceptions) only attended by rich kids. To be fair, it also looks like a school with a lot of really fun students. Next up came Fumizuki Academy from Baka and Test, and you have to wonder who those voters are, since the primary features of the school are that the top-tier students get phenomenal resources...and that the lowest-tier students can fight their way to the top. Rounding out the top three is Cromartie High School, because everyone loves the world's most ridiculous delinquents. Here are the rest of the results:

  1. Ouran High School (Ouran High School Host Club) - 37.6%
  2. Fumizuki Academy (Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts) - 15.6%
  3. Cromartie High School (Cromartie High School) - 10.6%
  4. Mahora Academy (Negima!?) - 10%
  5. Tokyo-3 1st Municipal Junior High School (Neon Genesis Evangelion) - 7%
  6. Tristain Academy of Magic (The Familiar of Zero) - 5.6%
  7. Yokai Academy (Rosario + Vampire) - 4.5%
  8. Alice Academy (Gakuen Alice) - 4%
  9. Constant Magic Academy (Demon King Daimao) - 2.2%
  10. Hakusenkan (Special A) - 2%
  11. Miyagami Private Academy (Best Student Council) - 0.9%

A few of the unlisted schools that came up on the forums include Yagami Academy from School Rumble and the unnamed schools from Angel Beats! and A Certain Magical Index.

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