Shipping just girls with boys? Who are you kidding?
Boys who love boys are a thing (We stan ZhanYing!)
But HaraChi under sakura in spring:
it is still one of my favorite things.
Cannon romances with chemistry stronger,
or love straight created by fan-fiction authors:
all kinds of pairings are supported here
But still no SebCiel; he’s just a teen!
AMVs featuring good looking protagonists
wrapped in the arms of certified badasses
holding in feelings of love because ANGST
Oh how I feel the ship’s second-hand sting!
When the man dies,
when the girl cries,
when I’m feeling sad,
I simply find fix-it fics on Ao3,
and my shipping heart grows glad.
I’m finally back, and even I don’t know what this is, guys. I could have been writing about Terror in Resonance, but hey, this is good, too, right? If you like this, check out “To Ship or Not to Ship.” Also, from one shipper to another, if you hunt out any good Hakuouki/FMAB/MDSZ/BNHA/No.6 fics, do share, won’t you? 🙂
We’re on our way back from our anniversary trip to Chicago. As part of that trip, we visited the Field Museum, and at the Field Museum we saw (amongst many other things) a gemological exhibit.
I noticed this:
My brain 🧠 immediately whiplashed into Sailor Moon Mode (TM), and things only got worse from there:
Before I know it, I’m scouring the display for Sailor Moon characters, but that’s neither here nor there. I don’t know why Naoko Takeuchi chose to name her characters (both good and bad) after gems, but it was a smart move. And this whole affair got me thinking about a great villain ship that, at this point, I probably don’t need to introduce.
But how many villains do I actually ship with their fellows and with their non-villain counterparts? I’d never actually considered it before. Thus, this article is born! I had originally planned on including villain ships from multiple franchises here, but instead, I think I’ll focus on Sailor Moon and save the rest for another day. Without further fare, so begins a reflection.
We’ll start with the pairing that began it all—Zoisite and Kunzite. Let me pull a Bernie Sanders and make it very clear; I don’t care about the relationships these characters had in the manga with the inner sailor scouts. I don’t care if this was anime-only. These two are a SHIP 🛳. Like, they have sailed, and they aren’t coming back to port, guys.
They are such a notable, casual approach to same-sex couple depiction, especially for the 90s. They go about themselves, and clearly love each other. And honestly, I don’t like their coupling for that reason specifically, but it’s worth mentioning.
I watched the dub as a kid that turned Zoisite as a woman, and finding out much later that “she” is actually a “he” was shocking at the time. (This is the same dub that turned Neptune and Uranus into cousins instead of lovers sooo no big surprises there.) And even as a kid, it was so clear how much they mattered to each other.
They’re evil, yes, but what are their motivations? What are their actions hinting at that might run deeper than their orders? Where are their hearts? I’m not spoiling anything for those of you who want to go back and take a refresher course in their romance. I mean, hey, I’m going to do so once Husband and I get home today. Because I need a good cry today, right?
I mean, “Zoisite, guide me to the world where your soul drifts” ???? True love, guys.
The original Sailor Moon Anime was surprisingly good at tugging the heartstrings. We’ll touch more on that with our next half-villain couple: Molly (or “Naru”) and Nephrite.
Okay, I know Molly is like 14, so for my sanity, Nephrite is a teenager. That’s how it is. He’s a teen. I can’t find anywhere it gives him a specific age, and it makes sense that he would be, so it’s official. He is.
Molly is totally into the guys, but Again, she’s a teenage girl, and it really isn’t any surprise. (I mean, I was a teenage girl once. I get it.) What’s most interesting about this ship is Nephrite’s particular (and fairly short) redemption arc.
Until the very end, he’s well-and-truly evil while at the same time obviously acting on his feelings for Molly. Does he use her to get to Sailor Moon? Yes. Does he stop his attack on Sailor Moon to run to Molly’s aid when she’s in trouble (after having SENSED as much just from Molly’s thoughts because he’s so in tune with her)? Also yes! He himself doesn’t understand his feelings for her, and he denies them to his fellows, yet he saves her. He laughs with her. He protects her (spoiler because I HAVE TO) at the cost of his own life.
And Nephrite’s first experience with love brings this ship home to harbor in the saddest way…
Even though this post founds its inspiration and beginnings in Sailor Moon, my reflection can’t end there. I’m going to have to be more observant about the villains I ship. I think I’ll put out a headcannon post in the near future as well.
What really deserves a look are the general relationships in Sailor Moon that proved tragic. Because there are a lot of them. (Saphir and Demande, I’m looking at you.)
Did these ships break you like they broke me? Let me know in the comments below! And, you know, if you find any well-written, clean fanfics, lemme know about those too? :p
Now, in all seriousness, I could get deeply invested into examining my own feelings and the shows that I’ve seen to best ascertain a thoughtful answer to this prompt, but~~~ I could also just…
Nah, okay, okay, I will be serious. How about this? I will explain my reasoning behind two anime couples that truly I adore together, and then begin listing other pairs that I ship just for the hell of listing and my own indecisiveness. Sound good?
Though I ship these people with certainty, there are some fascinating relationships that defy definite shipping for reasons of depth, realism, or fate. (Example: Yukari x George from “Paradise Kiss”)
Final Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a complete listing of my ships. You can’t ask me to be so final about an ever-growing list, and I ship so many people that I must narrow this down a little bit for the sake of brevity.
Moving on, we begin! The following are some really great ships!
Shirayuki and Zen
Shirayuki and Zen from “Snow White with the Red Hair” are a wonderful couple. They complement each other and support one another without needing to revolve their lives around their relationship at the expense of everything else. They encourage each other to reach their goals and decide their own destinies while enjoying their time together and living in the moment. They care for each other, but they understand that as much, while important, can’t be the end-all-be-all in their lives right now (or perhaps ever) due to their circumstances and Zen’s station. Shirayuki understands Zen’s obligations and supports him whole heartedly, while Zen encourages and appreciates Shirayuki’s support and independence while still striving to protect her behind the scenes as needed. Neither treat the other as incompetent, and it’s probably one of the healthiest examples of a relationship that I’ve found in shoujo. Shirayuki is not a damsel in distress, and Zen is a prince who will protect her if necessary but ultimately trusts her capability. Shirayuki protects Zen; Zen protects Shirayuki. She loves him not because he is a prince, but because she respects his character. He loves her because of who she is, and because she sees him as Zen first and a prince second.
Their relationship construed in quotes:
“I suppose you’re right. Zen will always be a prince and there will always be rules he’ll have to follow. But that doesn’t matter. I still have to try to do the right thing here, no matter what it might cost me…You’re wrong [about me having no power]. True human value can’t be measured by social status. It’s measured by one’s depth of character.”
-Shirayuki to Lord Brecker
Shirayuki: Zen, I think I’m in love with you. I’ve always cared about you and had so much respect for the person you are. I thought I just wanted to be there for you. But now I know it’s more than being your friend. It…it scares me. I can’t act like things are the same as they’ve been between us. This is so much bigger than anything I’ve ever felt before. It almost hurts and I don’t know what to do with it.
Zen: You’re right, it’s different now. Shirayuki, my title might not always be able to protect you. In fact, it might make life harder for us sometimes. The truth is, situations will arise where I am forced to choose my duty over you. It’s inevitable, and I need you to understand that in the beginning. I don’t care that it might not be easy though. Together, we can weather the storms. You give me that faith. I swear I will protect you and what we have with my life. It may seem strange, but I’ll need your help, too. You inspire me like no one I’ve met. You are my strength; I think you’re my destiny. So tell me; if I reach out my hand, Shirayuki, will you take it?
Misa and Usui
Misa and Usui from “Maid-sama!” have got a crazy interesting vibe. While I’m less in love with the coupling in comparison to Zen x Shirayuki, it’s easy to see that the two listed here compliment each other well. “Baka” Usui supports Misa, but there’s more humor there. Misa’s fiery attitude and determination sparks and holds Usui’s interest (and, let’s be real, I’m pretty sure she’s the only girl he’s really interested in at all because she’s her) while Usui’s determination and teasing nature appeals to Misa even if she isn’t ready to admit it to herself. Usui maintains, even without telling her (for she’d surely disagree on principle), that a good, strong woman like Misa can stand a lot taller with the help of a good man behind her. She’s smart and able, but he feels that she still requires some protection, and he will do said protecting behind the scenes (for the most part). Misa maintains her pride. Usui maintains his bad ass image. The two quickly become known as a tag team. It’s excellent. (And I totally think Usui’s maid fetish is real, by the way.*)
There relationship constructed in (sleepy on Misa’s part) quotes:
Usui: Miss President, I…you’re the one person I would never want to hate me.
Misa: Huh. There you go again. You’re always makin’ fun of me. You really piss me off, you know that? Huh. But I’m…I’m so grateful to you. I wonder if I’ll…forget about that, too. Gratitude for the sports festival, for me at [name], and the school festival. Mmm. Still haven’t repaid you, for everything. For all the things you’ve done for me.
Usui: Hmmm. That’s fine. Even if you never repay me, I’ll help you whenever you need. And I will make you fall in love with me over and over again. Just leave it to your “master.”
Misa: N-now you’re just talking stupid, dummy.
Other couples I ship include…
Clannad: Nagisa x Tomoya
Dance with Devils: Ritsuka x Rem
Death Parade: Chiyuki x Decum
Diabolik Lovers: Yui x Ayato (GAG ME, I KNOW. TRULY, NOTHING REDEEMABLE HERE.)
Fruits Basket: Tohru x Kyo (all media) / Tohru x Yuki (only in anime, not manga)
Hakuouki: Chizuru x Hijikata
Hiiro no Kakera: Tamaki x Takuma
Kamisama Hajimemashita: Nanami x Tomoe
Kiss Him, Not Me!: Kae x Sleepy Guy
Magic-Kyun! Renessiance: Kohana x Tekia
My Little Monster: Shizuku x Haru
My Love Story!!!: Makoto x Takeo
Ouran High School Host Club: Haruhi x Tamaki
Princess Jellyfish: Tsukimi x Kuranosuke
Red Data Girl: Izumiko x Miyuki
The Wallflower: Sunako x Kyohei
Uta no Prince Sama: Haruka x Ren / Haruka x Tokiya
Vampire Knight: Yuki x Kaname / Yuki x Zero
Yona of the Dawn: Yona x Hak
So, what do you think about these anime couples? Who do you ship?