GentlemanOtoku Explains: The Childhood Friend

Definition: The longtime friend of a protagonist who harbors feeling romantic feelings for him or her secretly.

What You Need To Know: The Childhood Friends is not from another world. They are characters that have known the protagonist for a long time and represent a more down to earth alternative the flashier Supernatural Girlfriend character.

No crazy alien/robot baggage here
No crazy alien/robot baggage here

Since The Childhood Friend has known the protagonist for so long, the two share a very close relationship with one another, usually demonstrated by their bickering. The Childhood Friend will often play the Tsundere role in love comedies, being unwilling or unable to move her relationship with the protagonist beyond the “friend zone.”

She only hits you ’cause she cares

The Childhood Friend will act as the protagonist’s moral compass, which usually means beating him up when he does something perverted. However, in times of crisis, The Childhood Friend can act as a shoulder to cry on if necessary.

Hey, hey...maybe they'll release an OVA
Hey, hey…maybe they’ll release an OVA

Also, for some strange reason, a lot of Childhood Friends tend to be brunettes.


Western Equivalent: The western version of the Childhood Friend is the “girl/boy next door.” This character is also the more down to earth choice for the protagonist. In the west, however, the “girl/boy next door” usually acts as a goal or person of desire. In the case of the Childhood Friend, she/he is the chaser to the oblivious protagonist.



Special Note: Tomomi Saikyō (The Evil Childhood Friend)