SK8 came out of the G8 to wow everyone this Winter season. While, surely, nobody expected a skateboarding anime to leave such a lasting impression, fans from across the globe found even greater enjoyment in seeing the relationship between Reki and Langa blossom into a beautiful platonic friendship (so far *wink wink*). Regardless of your potential fan-fiction couplings, Reki and Langa got us thinking about the BFFs of the anime world and how special it is to find that partner who will always have your back. Here, we countdown some of the best anime friendships featuring an explosive wild-child, and his suave companion!
1. Gon and Killua from Hunter X Hunter (2011)
It’s astounding just how many similarities this pairing has with Reki and Langa. Gon has the feisty, quick to anger, failed-every-test-he-ever-took kind of personality, whereas Killua is the more reserved, tactical, and level-headed half of the relationship. When Miya was ridiculed by Adam, Reki leaped to defend his honor without paying heed to the potential risks of the situation. Langa, on the other hand, calmly analyzed Adam’s skills before entering into a potential bout. Similarly, when Kaito lost his arm at the hands of Pitou, Gon became enraged and looked to start a losing battle. Killua had the mindset to know that the fight was unwinnable, promptly knocking Gon unconscious and carrying him to safety. It seems the Langa/Killua dynamic of the relationship is to keep the hot-head from a potential explosion!
That is not to say that the relationship is a one-way street, however. Both Gon and Reki succeed in their mission as well. Making that damn tsundere smile for once in their god-forsaken life!! Langa and Killua are both fairly cold and closed-off at the outset of each journey. However, when you spend so much time with a Reki or a Gon, you can’t help but succumb to their overbearing charm! Watching Langa join in with Reki’s jokes or dancing is great to see play out. Additionally, watching Killua learn to trust others through Gon’s unwavering loyalty, is almost poetic. Truly, there is no greater joy in this world than having a best friend. That, or vicariously living your life through anime so as to receive the same dopamine rush of having a best friend. True bliss.
2. Mahiro and Yoshino from Zetsuen no Tempest (Blast of Tempest)
Let’s take a look at the other side of the frantically restless spectrum. This time, we’ll not be covering the happy-go-lucky type of charismatic protagonist. No, instead, let’s take a look at the violent hate-filled protagonist! Should be fun! While Yoshino is arguably the main hero of Zetsuen no Tempest, Mahiro plays just as significant a role in the story. Quick to anger and extremely protective of his younger sister - Fuwa Aika - Mahiro seems ready to throw down at the drop of a hat! Alternatively, Yoshino is calm throughout the series and rarely loses his mind even in the face of adversity. The two only came together due to unfortunate circumstances, but they eventually bonded and became true friends.
After Aika passes away, both of the boys being so close to her, it felt as though they each had someone to rely on to help through the mourning period. Unbeknownst to Mahiro at the time but Yoshino’s secret girlfriend was in fact Aika all along. Even when this fact becomes known, Mahiro admittedly loses his cool a little, but eventually, he comes to accept that this is a good thing. ‘His best friend and his sister!’ ala Ross from Friends, if you will. Similar to Langa and Reki, two people with polar opposite personalities find a common ground on which to tread in the form of skateboarding. Just recently we’ve seen how any good friendship is prone to tumultuous seasons in SK8. Reki feels as though he cannot keep up with Langa’s amazing talent and this creates a rift in their relationship. All in all, the friendship in Zetsuen no Tempest works so well due to Yoshino’s ability to keep Mahiro in check, and Mahiro’s ability to...to uh...smash things. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER!!
3. Senku and Taiju From Dr. Stone
Finally, let’s talk about another mismatched pairing in the form of Senku - the brainy scientist lacking any physical strength - and Taiju - the muscle-bound gorilla. So far, we’ve discussed both the jovial and temperamental side of Reki, as well as the calm and reserved side of Langa. In Senku and Taiju, we uncover yet another key aspect of this relationship. Firstly, when comparing Senku and Langa, we can see how both are so calculating in everything they do. Senku for obvious reasons (his scientific desire to restore humanity), but in Langa, it is his approach to skateboarding that really cements his conviction. Always trying to better himself by studying new techniques, regardless of the toll it takes on his body, is very admirable. Likewise, Taiju and Reki, despite lacking in the same mental fortitude as their respective companions, are always ready to support their friends.
We have seen Reki spiral into depression due to his inability to compete with his rival skaters. However, new life seems to be soon breathed into him, as he possibly finds a new role on the sidelines, supporting Langa the high-flyer. Taiju understands his role in the restoration of humanity project - following Senku’s orders despite possibly not understanding their immediate purpose. Reki is not quite there yet but we have hope that he can find just as much joy in helping a friend as he can with outperforming them.
Reki and Langa's is a friendship with so many more layers than were ever needed in a skateboarding anime. Nevertheless, we are incredibly pleased to see so much effort being put into these characters, while not skimping on any of the crazy skateboarding races. Each of these friends has undergone hardships but has managed to reconcile. We’ll see if Reki and Langa’s friendship manages to stand the test of time by the series finale! Who are your favorite BFFs in anime? Which friendships remind you the most of Reki and Langa? Let us know down below!