Highlighting some of the sweetest sibling relationships from the world of anime
April 10 is National Siblings Day in the United States — a day to celebrate those people who grow up alongside us, know us better than anyone else, and get to use the 3DS next. (Mom said so.) Just like we love our own brothers and sisters, being anime fans means getting to know the siblings in our favorite shows. Sometimes they're friends, sometimes they're rivals, and sometimes they're just a boy and a sentient suit of armor trying to make their way in the world.
Today, we're highlighting five of our favorite sibling relationships in anime. From twins to sextuplets, from psychics to mecha pilots, they're on our minds today, too! Did yours make our list? If not, be sure to let us know your favorite anime siblings in the comments!
The Matsuno Brothers — Mr. Osomatsu
Talk about strong bonds... these brothers have been together for 57 years!
Originally introduced in the 1962 manga series Osomatsu-kun, the Matsuno sextuplets — Osomatsu, Karamatsu, Choromatsu, Ichimatsu, Jyushimatsu, and Todomatsu — found popularity with a new generation when they returned as grown-ups in their own 2015 anime series. They've been going strong since then, recently starring in a new animated film.
They didn't all grow up as expected, becoming NEETs rather than heroes or idols. But their antics continue as in their childhoods, with a more modern and grown-up sensibility. We can't wait to see what they get up to next!
Shigeo and Ritsu Kageyama — Mob Psycho 100
Think it's hard being a powerful psychic with no one to talk to? Try being his younger brother.
The relationship between Mob and Ritsu in Mob Psycho 100 is a difficult one at first — while Mob admires his brother's intelligence and success and overall goodness, Ritsu spends every day wondering when his own psychic powers will surface. Oh, and worrying that his big brother will hit max capacity and his powers will go haywire again.
While things are strained at first, Mob and Ritsu eventually grow to understand each other for more than one reason. Both are stronger in their respective "weak" areas than they give each other credit for... and whether they know it or not, both are leading the other by example. Now if only Mob could keep his spoon straight during dinner...
Simon and Kamina — Gurren Lagann
For those of us with no blood-related siblings (or family in general), "family" becomes the people around us. Simon and Kamina are brothers by circumstance, and they're just as close as, if not closer than, brothers by birth.
When we first meet the pair, the shy young Simon and the bold Kamina couldn't be more different. But they both burn with the same desires: to see the world's surface, to set humanity free, and (of course) to pierce the heavens. Plus, they share a bond like few others, where a hard punch to the face is a sign of brotherly affection. (Actually, that might not be as rare as we're making it sound...)
Simon and Kamina continually learn from each other while they're together. By the time the show's final battle is underway, it might as well be the two of them side by side, as Simon carries Kamina's bravery and lessons with him, combined with his own optimism and hopeful intention.
Rem and Ram: Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
The iconic best girls of Re:ZERO, Rem and Ram are already so beloved that they get their own birthday party every year in Japan! Even so, we still want an extra day to celebrate this magical duo.
Even if you have a favorite of the pair, they're so complementary that it's hard to separate them in our minds. Rem's emotional innocence balances Ram's confident maturity. And while the two have a lot in common — the same terrible childhood, similar worries and self-criticisms — it's their differences that make them match up so perfectly.
That said, we wouldn't want to cross either of them. We know what they're capable of, especially Rem. You can't fool us; it's always the quiet ones.
Edward and Alphonse Elric — Fullmetal Alchemist
You didn't think we'd finish this list without mentioning the Elric brothers, did you?
Possibly the most iconic brothers in modern anime, Ed and Al show just how far family is willing to go for each other. Ed gave his right arm (like, literally) to save Al's life, but still blames himself for the position his little brother is in.
The duo offer each other amazing support while thinking only of the other — Ed wanting to help his Al in any way possible to make up for his past mistakes, and Al not caring about his own situation unless Ed can benefit as well. They may butt heads and have completely different personalities and methods, but it's hard to imagine a pair of people who care for each other more than these two.
We haven't even scratched the surface of anime's amazing siblings, and we'd be here all day if we tried! Who are your favorites, and what do you love about them? Let's get talking in the comments and celebrate our faves with each other!
Kara Dennison is a writer, editor, and interviewer with bylines at VRV, We Are Cult, Fanbyte, and many more. She is also the co-founder of Altrix Books and co-creator of the OEL light novel series Owl's Flower. Kara blogs at karadennison.com and tweets @RubyCosmos.
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