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16 Anime Characters Who Ended Up In The Friend Zone

Updated November 12, 2020 6.5k votes 1.6k voters 53.1k views16 items

Friendship is awesome, but if you're looking to make the change from friends to lovers, getting shot down can be seriously painful. But that's exactly what anime characters who got friendzoned have to deal with. Sometimes it's funny and sometimes it's heart-breaking, but no matter what, it's always dramatic.

One popular example is Rem from Re:Zero, who confesses her love to Subaru only to be told he loves someone else. This is heartbreaking to the poor girl. But it's not always doom and gloom - there's Kenji Harima from School Rumble, whose unrequited crush on Tenma Tsukamoto leads him to pick up a new hobby that could lead to a real career - creating manga. 

Which of these friendzoned characters strikes a chord with you? Be sure to vote them up!

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  • 1

    Satoru Fujinuma Saves Kayo Hinazuki's Life In 'ERASED' 

    Satoru Fujinuma's priority was never romance. When he went back in time to save Kayo Hinazuki from being eliminated by a mysterious killer, he didn't aim to get into a relationship with her. Doing so would have been wildly complicated because when he goes back in time he has his child self's body, but his adult self's mind. Still, the more time he spends as his child self, the more he really is a child, and the more he's reminded of his crush on Kayo. Most of this stuff is under the radar, but the scene where they hold hands makes it pretty obvious how he's feeling.

    But that crush never has a chance to come to fruition. That's because he ends up in a coma for well over a decade after a conflict with the killer. In the meantime, Kayo grows up and marries Hiromi Sugita. Satoru is thrilled to have been able to save her life, but he's also devastated by what he lost - years of his life, and an opportunity to be with Kayo. 

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  • 2

    Tsubaki Sawabe's Love For Kousei Arima Is Unrequited In 'Your Lie In April' 

    Tsubaki Sawabe is a middle school student who is carrying a torch for her childhood friend Kousei Arima. At first, she sees him as more of a younger brother figure whose emotional wellbeing she's responsible for, but as time passes she realizes that her feelings are in fact romantic ones.

    Unfortunately for her, Kousei sees her as a friend. His romantic interests lie with Kaori Miyazono, a bubbly musician who brings him out of his shell with her carefree attitude. No matter how much Tsubaki loves Kousei, he just can't reciprocate her feelings.

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  • Naruko Anjou's situation is a particularly painful one. Her crush, Jinta Yadomi, isn't just disinterested in her - he's disinterested in just about everything. Depressed and reclusive after the loss of both his mother and his childhood crush Menma, Jinta has no desire to date anybody. What's more, he still hasn't gotten over his romantic feelings towards Menma.

    Despite the double emotional whammy of being concerned for Jinta, and missing Menma who was also her friend, Naruko still has love in her heart. It isn't easy, but her focus is on supporting Jinta as a friend rather than attempting to pursue a relationship.

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  • 4

    Rio Futaba Can't Admit How She Feels About Yuuma Kunimi In 'Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai'

    Rio Futaba Can't Admit How She Feels About Yuuma Kunimi In 'Rascal Does Not Dream Of Bunny Girl Senpai'
    Photo: CloverWorks

    When Rio Futaba first started high school, she tried to buy bread from a food truck but was nearly trampled by a mob of aggressive customers. Yuuma Kunimi helped her out and bought her a chocolate coronet. This gesture sparked romantic feelings, which only grew the more she got to know him.

    But Yuuma had a girlfriend named Saki, so Rio decided to keep her feelings to herself. Refusing to acknowledge her own emotions, combined with a pathological hatred of her own body, led her to develop Adolescent Syndrome. In her case, the symptoms involved splitting into two versions of herself - one who was modest and kept to herself, and one who craved attention and posted lewd photos of herself to get it. 

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