The Power of Friendship: Stop Hating!

From first to last and their mangakas: Natsu Dragneel from Fairy Tail (Hiro Mashima), Izuku Midoriya from MHA (Kohei Horikoshi), Naruto Uzumaki from Naruto (Masashi Kishimoto), and Kirito from SAO (Reki Kawahara). Manga panels are mixed from the works of their respective mangakas.

The characters are losing horribly to their adversary. As they reminisce about the times with the people they’ve met, welled up power bursts within themselves and wins. Who doesn’t know about the amazing effects of the power of friendship? Friends, families, lovers, or even strangers have some form of mystifying power that they are able to grant our heroes with. But, the issue with the power of friendship is that it negatively affects the story from a rational and realistic viewpoint. The power of friendship is seen as a simplistic work-around solution for solving problems with poorly developed characters. But, let us convince you that there is a way that you could appreciate the power of friendship.

There are situations wherein the power of friendship could potentially reach a deeper feeling than any other trope could ever achieve. The feeling of camaraderie is an intense feeling that can be invoked from the viewer who became a supporter of the show through their dedication of sticking by to watch. If they have formed a connection with their favorite characters, and their characters requested help to defeat a common foe, the viewer would feel like they are lending a hand by cheering on behind the screen. It’s the same thrill that a spectator feels when watching a match of their favorite team. But, there are some cases where this trope could be poorly implemented.

Characters from the Naruto Series and Class 1-A from Boku no Hero Academia. Characters are owned by Masashi Kishimoto and Kohei Horikoshi respectively.
Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online (2012),
produced by A-1 Pictures.

Let us look at an example of this trope in Sword Art Online, whose main character receives a lot of criticism for being unreasonably overpowered. Kirito defeated a stronger enemy after taking on the sword of his fallen comrade. He should have died immediately, but because of his “god-mode” (which he activates with his “willpower” to avenge his friend), he was able to live on to beat the enemy with a counterstrike. We can see here how the trope can be a poor excuse for plot armor.

Kirito vs Heathcliff, SAO (2012), produced by A-1 Pictures.
Fairy Tail: Final Season (2018), produced by A-1 Pictures, CloverWorks, and Bridge.

So, let’s not immediately criticize the power of friendship as bad writing. There are some cases where they are important to show camaraderie and development.





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