We often talk about the strongest, smartest, coolest, and all around best characters in anime, but what about those who are actually at their best when they’re with someone else in particular?
Let’s count down some of the most dynamic duos in all of anime.
#5 Waver Velvet & Rider (Fate/Zero)
Waver was a bit of a brat before his experiences with Rider. His temperament was somewhat cultivated, though, in that he was looked down upon by more elite mages, and his work was often discredited. One day, he discovers that his jerk of a professor plans to take part in something called the “Holy Grail War”. Waver then steals his professor’s artifact and summons Alexander the Great. The two initially clash with differing personalities and mentalities, but ultimately earn each other’s respect. These two have probably the most engaging character arcs in Fate/Zero; I was rooting for them all the way through.
#4 Rintaro Okabe & Kurisu Makise (Steins;Gate)
Okabe and Kurisu are the only romantically involved couple on the list (in series canon, at least). The pair is arguably also the most intelligent. While Mayuri is undoubtedly the best member of the lab, Kurisu and Okabe’s fiery, sarcastic romance propels them to create a fully functional time machine. The two are obviously more entertaining and motivated when they’re together. Furthermore, both are willing to take action against their own interest for the sake of the other half. That kind of devotion is commendable.
#3 Junta Teshima & Hajime Aoyagi (Yowamushi Pedal)
Teshima and Aoyagi are the embodiment of hard work, belief, and determination. On their own, they are merely average cyclists. Together, however, they are able to push themselves to compete with the best racers in the country. Their strength stems from a promise made to ride together at the annual Inter High bicycle race. They practiced together, they pushed each other, and they made it. While their success has yet to be determined, they get bonus points for having a special move—the Synchronized Straight Twin. By perfectly syncing their breathing, alignment, and posture, they can ride with the power of two and the wind resistance of just one. They are the only two specifically mentioned to have such a joint ability in the YowaPedal series.
#2 Goku & Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)
Goku and Vegeta are one of the most iconic duos in all of anime. Their progression from enemies to rivals to bromance is one of driving forces of the Dragon Ball Z narrative itself. The two have fought each other on many occasions. They’ve also teamed on many, and even fused together a few times. Having ascended from relatively insignificant status to a level at which they can challenge the very gods of the DBZ universe, the growth these two have achieved together is nearly unfathomable. None of this development would be possible were it not for their unique rivalry and friendship.
#1 Sora & Shiro (No Game No Life)
Sora and Shiro are not my favorite team on this list. However, they are the only pair here that is entirely undefeated. The brother-sister duo are rather unimpressive on their own, but together they form Blank—an indomitable team of gamers brilliant enough to challenge the gods of the NGNL universe. The two are so good that they sometimes know how the end of a game will unfold even before they play it. On the off-chance they don’t, their quick thinking, impeccable teamwork, and trust in one another is still enough to achieve certain victory. This
pseudo-incestual tag team is truly the most dynamite duo in anime.
Tien & Yamcha (Dragon Ball / Dragon Ball Z)
Tien and Yamcha are one of the coolest duos DBZ. Much like Goku and Vegeta, they started as enemies and later became friends/rivals. Unfortunately, their accomplishments and interactions pale in comparison to the aforementioned Saiyans. While this is primarily the fault of poor writing and shounen power creep, it remains true nonetheless.
Kyou Sawagi & Kyou Sawagi (Ben-To)
Here’s a fun pair of siblings—two twin sisters with the same name. Together, they form “Orthros”—a nearly unstoppable duo of brawlers who almost literally wipe the floor with their opposition. They’ve been known to crush entire groups of combatants with ease. Unfortunately, it was that reputation that exposed their initial weakness—social rejection. Kyou and Kyou were too good for their own good. Prior to the events of Ben-To, another fighter by the name of Hercules convinced everyone in town to simply stop challenging them. The two were alienated from the community as a whole, and utterly traumatized by the experience.
Jesse & James (Pokémon)
Jesse and James are absolutely dynamic—complete with style and sass. Unfortunately, their Team Rocket squad isn’t really complete without their third member, Meowth. In this regard, they are more of a trio than a duo.
Welp, that’s all I’ve got for this right now.
In all of these cases, two really is better than one. I’m sure there are still many other stellar duos that I missed. Let me know what you think of the ones on this list, as well as any others you think should be on it.
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