How, exactly, did the word “ship” come to involve romantic couplings that the fans like or dislike? I have no idea.
It’s quite appropriate, as I think about it, that we talk about the relationships between characters right after we talked about the characters, be they child, adult, or even inhuman. I mean, we humans love to gossip, the moment we have someone to gossip about. And we all see different things in how they interact, often coming up with out own ships, whether be legitimate or not, but also almost always taking a side in whether we like a certain ship or not. I blame Archie for that, giving us the endless debate of Bettie and Veronica. Or was it Gilligan who did that first, with Ginger and Mary Anne? Either way, point stands. 😉
Now, it must be said, my criteria for this consisted only of 1) it being canonical in the anime and 2) not putting me off in any way. In other words, an official ship that I like, or at least don’t dislike.
So, while I hope to avoid kicking any hornet nests, here a handful of ships which I picked… pretty much just because I like them! 🙂
1) Seras & Bernadotte
Not to start out on a morbid note, of course. 😉
Seras Victoria and Pip Bernadotte first meet when the latter’s mercenary company is contracted by the Hellsing organization to help fight vampires and guard their own pet vampires as needed. Step one: convince them that vampires are real. Cue the first meeting between these two, wherein Seras demonstrated her vampiric status via beating him with just a few flicks of her fingers to his face.
While Bernadotte was obviously freaked out, he had just met a very strong, beautiful woman, as exotic as it gets, and soon discovered that she was a sweet and innocent girl as well. Naturally, he really wanted to kiss her. I love the little relationship that exists between Seras and the mercenaries in general, but their leader was the one to actually go for it.
Their love story reached its crescendo very quickly, a seeming tragedy in the midst of a storm of blood, carnage, and death. Their first kiss was when they were at their lowest point, on the verge of death themselves, and there was definitely blood mixed in with that saliva. It’s a scene that made us feel everything as they kissed, and then Bernadotte laughed at having finally kissed her, and it only took her being blinded by their enemies to do it!
And then came the ultimate joining of their two souls. He died. She drank his blood and took his very soul into her being. Though that would normally mean he was gone forever, in truth, the two of them were bound eternally together. He became her shadow, never apart from her, always guarding and helping her.
As far as love stories among immortal vampires go, I imagine that’s actually one of the better ones! 🙂
2) Kyo & Tohru
No offense to fans of Prince Yuuki, of course! 😉
Between the endearing relationship of the first anime, and the impending romance of the true-to-manga reboot, I count these two as a couple, even though they’ve technically yet to couple up.
I think what I like most about these two is how they complement each other. Tohru is a very nice, kind, considerate girl, perhaps a bit too considerate for her own good, really, a bit quiet, but with emotional depths and her mother’s wisdom to make her a strong support to those around her. Kyo is much louder and more aggressive, but always true, always genuine, and never half-hearted in his passions. She is a natural nurturer, and he is a natural protector. The two of them just… they feel right together. And they’re just so sweet to each other! 🙂
3) Lucy & Hasebe
Servant x Service
I mentioned this in my review, but part of what I really like about the show is how good the couples are for each other, and the two lead roles demonstrate this especially.
Forgive me if I repeat myself a little.
Lucy is a fine, strong woman, competent, capable, hard-working, etc. She’s mostly stable, but has one little issue which sets her off and colors the entire way she sees things. Hasebe practically invented the art of looking like he’s doing nothing, just taking it easy, yet he has surprising depths to his character. Oh, and the one thing that excites him, to the point he needs to maintain his usual composure, is Lucy.
In short, she benefits from his calming influence, and he benefits from everything about her.
I like this couple! 🙂
4) Baka & Luna
Prince Baka of the planet Dogura, and Princess Luna of it’s moon, Magura. A couple whose coupling will be a legend throughout the universe for the ages. 🙂
They were betrothed at an early age, and if that were all there was to this coupling, therein would my interest in them end. But Baka did not want to get married, wanting to be carefree and not at all caring for how properly Luna behaved. So… she tricked him!
This was no small feet, either! Baka was a genius, and practically a walking encyclopedia on how to misbehave. He loved toying with people, in every way he could imagine, which, as he was a genius, was considerably varied and unpleasant. But he finally met his match in Princess Luna, for though she was more compassionate and level-headed, she proved to be every bit as cunning.
It was by sheer chance that the opportunity fell into her lap. A rebellious faction sent agents to capture and impersonate her, hoping to gain legitimacy for their movement via absconding the royal marriage. But they failed, and Luna had the idea of using the same scheme to her advantage. She impersonated her impersonator, putting on a glorious performance for the prince she sought, and guessing in advance what he would do.
True to form, Baka decided to marrry the girl who, it seemed, was a rebel and a thief, much more interesting than some dull princess. The truth was revealed only after he had fallen for it and become her husband, and there is no question that he was impressed and fascinated. Luna tricked him, one of the most devious beings among the stars.
And, as it happens, their wedding hailed the widespread revelation of extraterrestrial life to the people of Earth. After all the fear they’d had at imagining what form their first contact would be, it was a happy, joyous occasion, both for them, and for the royal couple, and for the universe collectively, now knowing that the devilish prince had a firm hand on his reins, a beautiful woman who could match his every move.
And they all lived happily ever after.
…either that, or Baka and Luna absolutely laid waste to everything in their path. Whichever! 😉
5) Zaryusu & Crusch
From the moment these two lizardmen met, I loved them! 😀
Zaryusu was driven by need to try and rally all lizardmen in a fight for their very lives. His first stop brought him to Crusch’s tribe, and the instant he sees her, he is struck as if by lightning. He is speechless, and when he manages to regain his composure, answering her question of why he’s there, the first thing he says is, “Marry me.”
It is a fantastic moment, an excellent beginning! His words and her reaction both had me laughing, and I immediately fell in love with their love story. The dire circumstance provides the tension needed to move things along, and the two of them just worked well together, ya know? They are both strong in their own ways, both distinct outsiders in their own ways, and both of them are leaders. The connection between them felt a natural as breathing and as touching to the soul as a campfire.
In short, they’re great together. 🙂
And that’s it! My five picks!
What do you think? Who would you have picked? What anime couples, or any other couples, are you a fan of, and why?
“How, exactly, did the word “ship” come to involve romantic couplings that the fans like or dislike?”
I’ve always understood it to be shortened from “relationship”.
“It’s quite appropriate, as I think about it, that we talk about the relationships between characters right after we talked about the characters, be they child, adult, or even inhuman. I mean, we humans love to gossip, the moment we have someone to gossip about.”
Is it gossip? Or is it “no man is an island”? I think it’s the latter, as who we’re around is largely a reflection of who we are. (The whole “family of choice” thing.)
I think my favorite anime couple is Kirito and Asuna… Possibly because they mirror my IRL relationship with my wife. They’re best friends as well as deeply in love. When it comes to character relationships, the former factor isn’t addressed nearly as much as it should be IMO.
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Yeah, I love Kirito and Asuna. 🙂 That’s one reason I hate the whole harem-ish thing they did around him.
Heh, what I mean by gossip is that we’re constantly talking about who’s with who and who isn’t anymore and who’s good together and who’s bad together and so on. Not always a bad thing, but still gossip. Demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sPU3ymk2ms
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Shirou Emiya x Rin Tohsaka is probably the best Fate Pairing, love those two together.
Issei Hyoudou x Harem is also quite fun, the girls bring out the best in him.
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Yeah, from what I hear, they’re pretty great, and Rin’s great. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to make it past the first episode of any part of the Fate franchise. It’s on my list, but it just didn’t hook me in the right way right away, ya know?
Heh, as for Issei, I never really felt any of the pairings, but… hm, I think I just realized you’re right, he’s better with the entire harem around him. Interesting.
@ Fate: It’s a love it or hate it sort of series, but you should give it another shot. Rin and Shirou’s relationship is very much one of two teenagers, but it’s also built off mutual respect and complimenting each other’s faults
@ Issei: Stay tuned to my blog come June, i’ll be getting into dat.
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Heh, we’ll see about Fate. And I look forward to your DxD thoughts! 😉
Hmm… these were just what popped into my mind today… Revvy x Rock (Black Lagoon), Riko x Regu (Made in Abyss), Mikaela x Yuuichiro (Seraph of the End), Saki and Maria (Shinsekai Yori), and Zenkichi x Medaka (Medaka Box)
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Nice picks! 🙂