True Companions

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
(Redirected from Nakama)
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All for one, and one for all!

"As long as you have friends, you have family."

True Companions are just like a real family—they may not necessarily like each other, but they know they can depend upon each other in a crisis. It is a relationship considered to be deeper than mere friendship but more innocent than romance.

This sort of group dynamic appeals to younger audiences who are unfamiliar with romance, and appeals to older audiences who live in a world of complex relationships and convenience masqueraded as false friendship, who are feeling nostalgic about the times when friendship meant a lifelong bond.

A writer may use this to avoid writing romantic relationships, though this usually doesn't stop fans from making up their own.

This trope was originally known as Nakama, a Japanese word that many Westerners mistakenly think means a deep friendship with a dedication akin to family.

Subtropes:

  • Band of Brothers The group is formed by a shared dangerous circumstance, normally military.
  • Blood Brothers The group is formed by some pact, oath or ritual, occasionally as a tradition in response to someone saving your life.
  • Fire-Forged Friends People who specifically didn't care for each other but form a bond after a conflict forces them to work together.

Compare The Power of Friendship, A Friend in Need, Close-Knit Community. Contrast Enemy Mine, A House Divided, We ARE Struggling Together!, and occasionally Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.

Heterosexual Life Partners and Platonic Life Partners are this trope distilled down to a two-person group (same sex and opposite sex, respectively). Often, a group of characters become true companions after a Misfit Mobilization Moment. If the characters happen to be particularly Badass, you get a Badass Crew.

See also Apple of Discord. Related to I Just Want to Have Friends, where this is just a desire. See also: Like Brother and Sister, Honorary Uncle, Band of Brothers, The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry.

Examples of True Companions are listed on these subpages: