(I am posting this half asleep and in between breaks at work an home. Please excuse me ahead of time about any mistakes in spelling and grammar. I feel really bad about missing so many days. My work out Wednesdays are almost non existent but I am working out. I will attempt a post about my fiasco’s after this one regarding working out with a erratic and physically taxing job)
So this one was a bit hard for me. Not because I had so many choices but rather because I have very strong feelings about what makes a set of characters a “good” couple. And it’s one of the reasons I have a low tollerance for many shojo as a rule. It also doesn’t help that I have a low mush factor tollerance either. There are several fiction works I’ve read and shows I’ve watched and it tells me a lot about what the author felt about relationships and people as they fit into them. Often times they are horrible examples.
One of my pet peeves is creating a couple that makes no sense, there is no set up for and it feels that the author threw them together just because they where there and they wanted to “surprise” the audience with a odd choice.
You can have odd couples, that’s ok. But please do not toss people together because you want to “not be a sterotype.” It goes back to a rule I learned in Art school:
“You have to know the rules before breaking them.”
Because you then break the rules more effectively, and provocatively than if you simply throw stuff to a page and force it to stick. This is even more so true when dealing with romance.
I did not fully understand this rule until a few years later. The easiest way to see this in action is look at a fanfiction. Any Fandom will do, really. You’ll run the gambit of very poorly written fics to some serious works of art. Then you’ll have the ones where the writer wants two characters to get together but just tosses them together but can’t make me belive that it would work. It seems odd, forced, or just strange (these also are usually filled with poor plot progression and all of the writers fave concepts shoehorned into one story).
A common complaint is that people are tired of the two main characters being a couple. While it is not impossible it is very hard to have a serious background/ side character as a major love interest within a story.
Sorry, it just is.
Because when in a relationship that person becomes your partner, complementary side/ other half. Often times they challange you to be better than you are and/ or inspire or push your development as a person (healthy relationships that is there are anime’s that intentionally show unhealthy relationships). That is hard show off in cameos and offhand mentions. It would have to be life altering events each time with much much exposition to make it work. So yes often main characters become a couple because not only does the viewer/reader know them best so does the writer.
Now keep in mind thus us a general rule. Which CAN be broken. Take a look at Cowboy Bebop they broke the rule, technically, but Julia was manitained as a viable character (and a oft reoccuring one with important character altering scenes) through Spike’s love, his flashbacks and actions. But the person must know the rule to break it well. Naturo and Hinata worked as well due to her own desire to grow and the important scenes they used to highlight her love and Naruto’s maturity out of his infatuation with Sakura. But first it helps to know what makes a good couple work and still beable to break the mold in a good way. Just breaking the “tradition” because one is simply tired of it but not sure why tradition is the way it is (our why it works) is a good way to make a mess. It’s usually in the ways they work with each other. The old adage: “Opposites attract.” isn’t really true. If you ‘fell in love’ with your polar opposite eventually you’ll endevor to kill them because everything they do would be completely contrary to how you think, feel, or act. Two complementry angles work better. They are very similar at their core but different enough that keeps the other (and viewer) guessing.
*sighs softly and puts away soapbox. Pulls out fangirl hat and flags. She also puts on some hater blockers because of one of her choices.*
All of that being said I have three favorite couples one Canon the other only teased so far. No, I can’t and won’t pick just ONE because I like them all equally for various reasons.
First is my first couple I loved:
Himura Kenshin and Kamia Kaoru of Ruroni Kenshin
I love all of them!! Right down to their designs and as they look as a pair. Visually, personalities they complement each other very well. Usually I’m not a fan of large age gaps BUT given the time period, and their general personalities as they grow it works well.
Mizutani, Shizuku and Yoshida, Haru from My Little Monster / Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
These two hold a special place in my heart for the Quirky couple. They both have their issues and failings but together they are better than alone. Both manage to get through the other’s fronts and tendencies and through comedy and misunderstandings (mainly due to their strangeness) we as a audience come to love both as much as they start to like each other. Visually they work very well too.
Natsu Dragneel and Lucy Heartphilia from Fairy Tail
They are not particularly cannon, but they are best friends. ‘Couple’ doesn’t have to mean romance but it often does. I do want this one cannon but leave out the mush. Mashima-sensei seems to use other characters to get out his mushiness and that’s ok. For a shonen these two characters are very well realized, deep, and though very different they are very much similar at their core. It would also be a nice change that showcases the fact that romance can come from best friends that aren’t childhood friends and a gradual realization of mutual affection with out all the typical shojo trappings of confessions and the like. Also…the tension in the story is amazing…
So what do you think? Yay? Nay? Did I forget something? Want to sound off on your fave couple or why you dislike any of these?