Day 6 of Anime


Day 6 - Favorite anime couple

I think I faced the coming of this question with equal parts anticipation and dread. As always when faced with a ‘favourite’ or ‘most X’ question, I can’t quite seem to make up my mind. This sentence is giving me a sense of intense déjà vu again, so I think it’s safe to say I’ve said this a fair few times already.

Kenshin and Kaoru

Now the first couple that popped into my mind of course was Himura Kenshin and Kamiya Kaoru, from Rurouni Kenshin. With Kenshin’s complex past, he doesn’t feel as if he can really stop and just settle down, feeling like he has a duty of sorts to keep moving on and helping whoever falls across his path. Later on, he seems to think he needs to move on in case the Battousai in him surfaces and causes danger to erupt.

Naturally Kenshin doesn’t want to get Kaoru involved in the battles to come to keep her safe, but she soldiers her way into them anyway and is determined to be reunited with him, forcing him to also face his feelings for her. This eventually brings him back to Tokyo Edo with her, despite her life being threatened yet again as a result - though this is only really detailed in the manga, I’m not sure how comprehensive the animated movies were.

It’s kind of funny because I realise as a I type this that every series seems to have two pairings in it that helps to progress the plot in various ways. Many male characters have a ‘past love’ that will come up again in their ‘present’. In Rurouni Kenshin, it’s Kenshin and Enishi Tomoe. I quite liked this pairing and the character of Tomoe as a whole, but she really represented who Kenshin was in the past and the mistakes that he made which made him into the Rurouni that he was. Whereas Kaoru represents his ‘future’ and the type of person he was moulded to be after meeting her.

Perhaps Kaoru could have been a stronger character, or her strength could have depicted more (especially in the anime), but I think Watsuki-sensei did an admirable job and I can’t help but love the pairing that these two become even as people and events continually come between them.

Inuyasha and Kagome

The next couple that comes directly to mind are (of course) Higurashi Kagome and Inuyasha. While I do love them as a couple, no doubt their relationship is a little dysfunctional as they argue all the time. Inuyasha sees it as quite natural to insult her and can be somewhat controlling over whether she comes or goes back to her time period.

While Kagome can hold her own more and more frequently as the series progresses and does have power over Inuyasha thanks to the ‘Osuwari’ and her own strengths in her purification powers, I would still say that Sango and Kikyo are stronger female characters.

In the end its obvious that they care a lot about each other and they and their relationship seem to mature quite a bit through the course of the series. While I love the pair, and will always have a headcanon of what happens to them at the end of the series, I don’t really see these two as in the running for ‘favourite’ per se.

As before, this series has another pairing with the main male protagonist, and that is Inuyasha with Kikyo. What we hear of the relationship is interesting in how it blossomed, but how it’s torn apart so completely really doesn’t leave that much room for it to be considered. It actually gets annoying throughout the series whenever Inuyasha would dash off at the slightest sign of Kikyo, often leaving Kagome feeling abandoned and moody. Alas, he has to slowly realise which person he values more.

Chrono and Rosette Christopher

This is a particularly difficult one for me, because just as the above two, this series has two couples with the main male protagonist. In this case there actually is some competition, whereas the other two series were a little more clear-cut. In Chrono Crusade we have Chrono and Rosette Christopher, as well as the other pairing in the series Chrono and Mary Magdalene.

The Chrono and Rosette pairing, I have to be honest, isn’t so obvious at first - particularly in the manga though they take more opportunity to depict it in the anime. They’re clearly amazing partners who get on very well with each other, but their single minded goal can sometimes obfuscate their deeper feelings for each other.

Rosette helps Chrono at first to find a measure of peace, temper the darkness inside him and find a new purpose in life; at the same time is also the means for him to achieve his goal because both their goals are the one and same. Chrono is willing to sacrifice himself to help Rosette with her goal. But Rosette realises that she can’t take the journey by herself and needs Chrono with her, setting out to find him, which is where we find out about Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene is a tortured girl with visions who changes Chrono. The encounter with her makes him question what he is doing, and change from being a mere tool of destruction to be used by Aion to something a little more human. He comes to understand the world better and develops his own desires. Mary Magdalene is the turning point for who Chrono will become, and Rosette is the girl that continues to ease his inner demon and that he nurtures and supports.

I should note that the anime depicts these relationships rather differently, and I’m not 100% sure whether the ‘real’ Mary Magdalene even plays a part in the animated adaption as Rosette is depicted as ‘Mary Magdalene’ or something. So that’s one reason I don’t think it would be suitable to pick this for favourite anime pairing given I didn’t like their depiction in this anime that much - certainly Chrono and Rosette have many more moments together and a peaceful and heartwarming (yet also heartbreaking) ending moment in the anime that I always come back to.

But if it were between the manga depictions, the choice between the two pairings would definitely be hard to decide. In a way Chrono is like two different characters because of the massive difference between his childlike form and his adult form, the difference isn’t so huge when it comes to someone like Kenshin (hairstyle change and larger scar - so what?). Luckily, today isn’t about manga pairings as such.

Others

If I think on, there are still so many other couples I can think of and love and yet the fact that these first few were the first ones that came to mind makes me feel like these are definitely more significant to me than any others that I can immediately think of.

Other pairings I know and love are such as Aisaka Taiga and Takasu Ryuuji from Toradora, Yagami Kazuma and Kannagi Ayano from Kaze no Stigma, Winry Rockbell and Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist, Uzumaki Naruto and Hyuuga Hinata (!!) from Naruto as well as Uchiha Sasuke and Haruno Sakura from the same, Sohma Kyo and Honda Tohru from Fruits Basket… and more. I also love Emiya Kiritsugu and Irisviel von Einzbern from Fate/Zero, but can you really consider them a pairing when the first time we meet them in the anime is already the beginning of the end? Most of my love for them comes from reading their backstory and fanart…

Anyway, on the yaoi front Kamijou Hiroki and Kusama Nowaki from Junjou Egoist (part of Junjou Romantica), Takano Masamune and Onodera Ritsu from Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, Sagara Rei and Sena Shougo from Love Stage!! and I’m sure there’s more here too.

But the fact that I can’t remember these well, or the fact they came to my mind after the above ones means I can’t really rank them as high as the other ones… though having said that there are a few pairings in the above couple of paragraphs I really do feel strongly about. Man, now that I’ve remembered them I really want to go and read/watch these series again now.

The decision is hard, but in the end I think the greatest anime pairing for me has to be Himura Kenshin and Kamiya Kaoru, because I loved their manga selves and the anime managed to carry most of them over to animated form and still let us love them. Scenes like this are still embarrassing to watch though ////