I can't seem to figure out how this is supposed to be parsed. For context, two characters broke up and went back to being friends, and when they get back together again, one of them says this. (This is from a manga, so I put spaces where there were column breaks and new lines in between the bubbles.)

なんかさ… 別れてから 友だちに戻って
実はちょっと 嬉しいとき あったんだ
…なんか そーゆーの
友だちとか 恋人より
もっとずっと 仲良しって 感じしない?

My first interpretation was that it was something like 友だちの方が恋人より仲良し, but I'm not sure that that makes any sense. It seems like the opposite that 友だち would be more 仲良し than 恋人.

Another interpretation was that it's そのときの方が友だちとか恋人とかより仲良し, but again I don't think this makes much sense.

4 Answers 4


(S)he is indeed claiming that "友だち would be more 仲良し than 恋人".

Here's my attempt at translation:

なんかさ… 別れてから 友だちに戻って 実はちょっと 嬉しいとき あったんだ

How would I put it... After we broke up and went back to just friends... I Actually was a little happy.

…なんか そーゆーの 友だちとか 恋人より もっとずっと 仲良しって 感じしない?

Like, you know... being friends... has this feeling of being much more close than lovers, you see?

Unfortunately 仲良し does not have an exact equivalent in English and may be somewhat difficult to distinguish from 友だち/friendship.

The root of it is 仲{なか} (relation; [close] relationship) which is also used in the following words among many others:

  • 仲間{なかま} - friend/partner/colleague/comrade
  • 仲{なか}直{なお}り - reconciliation; making up (e.g. after a fight/break up)
  • 仲間{なかま}入{い}り - getting accepted into/joining a group (e.g. of friends)
  • 仲人{なこうど} - matchmaker
  • 仲間{なかま}はずれ - being left out; being ostracized

As another example, 仲{なか}がいい is also used when describing siblings or cousins who help and respect each other, don't fight etc.


By popular demand, let me try to clarify the terms a little more.

While 仲良し can be used as a type of relationship on its own (probably somewhat analogous to "best buddies"), in this case it's used as a qualifier on the closeness/intimacy of the relationship and is not a stage by itself.

Both 友だち (friends) and 恋人 (lovers) can be 仲がいい (on good terms) or 仲が悪い (bad terms/falling out/cats and dogs). E.g. in the latter case the friends may have had a quarrel over something or "lovers" could be in an abusive relationship and only stay together due to some external factor.

Now, assuming you were on good terms (仲がいい/仲良し) in both cases, how would being friends be a closer relationship (もっとずっと仲良し) than lovers?

This is a little difficult to answer without reading the work, but going by the common tropes I've seen in manga, during the 恋人 stage there could be a more heightened awareness of the other party or the opinion of the people around (緊張 - tension/nervousness), or the implied pressure of having to be considerate (気遣い), while 友だち is usually a more relaxed environment where each can be closer to their true self and more open, which could make it feel more close or intimate.

  • What would be the hierarchy of these different relationship types? What is the least intimate? I think that from what you described I can determine that 仲良し might be the most intimate, but I can't tell which is the least.
    – ajsmart
    Sep 19, 2019 at 12:54
  • @ajsmart: that's a whole another question which depends on your definition of "intimate" and probably on the personal opinions of the people involved. It's somewhat akin to trying to rank 恋, 愛 and 恋愛. Sep 19, 2019 at 14:25
  • So would you say that 友だち is more 仲良し than 恋人 in general? Does the word 仲良し actually imply this or is it simply this one character's interpretation?
    – Sam
    Sep 19, 2019 at 15:39
  • @Sam see edit, hopefully it's a little clearer now Sep 19, 2019 at 19:49
  • @Igor That helps, thank you
    – Sam
    Sep 19, 2019 at 20:02

How to parse 「友だちとか 恋人より もっとずっと 仲良し」

The fundamental structure of the phrase is as follows:

AとかBより C

It is more C than A and/or B

Here とか is used to enumerate a list of things (A and/or B). Based on the structure, we can infer the meaning of the phrase as follows:

友だちとか恋人より もっとずっと仲良し

We are in a relationship that is way more intimate than a friend and/or lover.

Relationship among 友だち, 恋人, and 仲良し

Even though 友だち and 恋人 are different types of interpersonal relationship, they are both classified into 仲良し (an intimate relationship). Keeping this in mind, review how the relationship of the two characters has been changed (arrow ↓ denotes the flow of time):


↓ 「別れてから 友だちに戻って」


↓ 「実はちょっと 嬉しいとき あった」


↓ 「友だちとか 恋人より もっとずっと 仲良しって 感じ」

Despite the change of their relationship type, they have kept their intimate relationship (仲良し) going, all the time. This implies a strong intimacy/bond that goes way beyond the types of their relationship (友だちとか 恋人より もっとずっと 仲良し). This is also why one of the characters said, "To be honest, I was a bit happy (実はちょっと 嬉しいとき あった)."

All in all, the key is that they have kept 仲良し, no matter the type of their relationship (友だち or 恋人).

  • Sorry that this was unclear in my description, but there was never a time when they were neither 恋人 nor 友だち. They went from 恋人 directly back to 友だち then back to 恋人. I don't think this really affects your answer, but I thought I'd mention it.
    – Sam
    Sep 19, 2019 at 15:36
  • @Sam : Thank you for the comment. I have deleted 'Not 恋人 nor 友だち' from the answer.
    – user
    Sep 19, 2019 at 15:44
  • @Sam : I have added another way to parse the phrase 「友だちとか 恋人より もっとずっと 仲良し」 at the beginning of the answer.
    – user
    Sep 19, 2019 at 21:52

The relationship between her and her boyfriend has three types.

One is just a friend. Second is a pair of lovers. Third is back to being friends with her boyfriend after they broke up.

She says she feels that the third relationship is closer to him than the other two relationships. 仲良し means "the relationship is close".


It is like 私達は別れてから友達に戻ったから、私達は今、ただの友達よりも恋人よりも、仲良しだと感じる.
そーゆーの here means the two who broke up but now are friends.
She feels more friendship now.

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