Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Naruto's Real Best Friend According To Fans

Even casual fans of the "Naruto" anime know that the relationship between the titular orange-clad ninja and his rival Sasuke is a pretty big deal. Both start out as classmates at the Konoha Ninja Academy, and it doesn't take long for the pair to begin a rivalry in their quest for strength. Unfortunately, Sasuke's desire to avenge his massacred family takes him down a dark path of training and quickly alienates him from his former allies, many of whom long think him beyond redemption. It is none other than Naruto who remains steadfast in his belief that Sasuke can turn back to the light, and though the two come to blows numerous times, the former eventually helps the latter redeem himself and seek a better life.

It is due in large part to Sasuke's exceptional redemption arc and Naruto's role in it that some fans and outlets have deemed the pair's relationship to be one of the most iconic friendships across anime. However, there are some fans who take issue with the idea that Sasuke is actually Naruto's best friend, arguing that another key character within the series is much more deserving of this distinction.

Fans think Shikamaru is Naruto's true best friend

To some "Naruto" devotees, the orange-clad ninja's best friend is actually the lazy yet loyal Shikamaru. While the two didn't start off very close as classmates, Shikamaru was far less dismissive of Naruto than most and they forged a deep mutual respect. As they got older, their friendship continued to strengthen and Shikamaru even assisted Naruto in his efforts to redeem Sasuke. Time and time again, Shikamaru was there for Naruto when few else were. 

A discussion thread on the r/Naruto subreddit saw many fans argue that this unique devotion makes Shikamaru Naruto's true best friend. "Shikamaru has multiple scenes where he explicitly says he needs to better himself so he can be the support for Naruto when Naruto becomes hokage," Reddit user u/Gcons24 commented on the thread. "If that's not true friendship idk what is"

Others shared similar sentiments and suggested that they felt like Naruto and Sasuke had more of a brotherly dynamic than an outright friendship. "Yeah it's like Goku and Vegeta." user u/Millenniumeagle1 commented. "Krillin (Shikamaru) is Gokus actual best friend, while Vegeta is his rival and more like a brother."

While the debate surrounding which character is Naruto's best friend may never end, Shikamaru clearly has his vocal supporters. As seen in "Boruto: Naruto Next Generations," a sequel series to the original "Naruto," these characters all maintain their close relationships well into adulthood, and it will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future.