As my idea pool continues to shrink at an exponential rate, I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel only two posts into my 12 Days of Christmas Showdown Throwdown Countdown. And since 10 kind of looks vulgar if you REALLY put your mind to it, which I know all of you have done at one time or another, here are my favorite couples, stated or implied, of the year. They may not always be the most developed, but something about them struck a chord that made them seem like the ideal two people to get together. And no, not all of these are series from this year. Romance isn’t THAT dead that the best I can do is a slew of horrible relationships from these past few seasons.
As always, THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
10. Koyomi Ararararararagi & Hitagi Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari
Dry wit and biting sarcasm go extremely well with more of the same, and that’s why these two are a sort of match made in supernatural animal spirit-exorcising heaven. And if Ararara-etc.-ragi ever acquires a kink for scissors, he’s set for life.
9. Koujirou Sasohara & Misato Tachibana from Nichijou
Better known as that one guy in the fancy duds and the girl who attacks him with various firearms on a regular basis in response, I would not be surprised if there were some deep seated feelings for him that could only be put to rest by attempting to blow his body into gooey chunklets. However, since this is a cartoon that operates on an inordinate amount of cartoon logic, the chunkification doesn’t happen, and instead we just have to content ourselves with totally non-sexual tension. Hey, it still made me laugh, and that has to be worth something.
8. Yuuki Natsuno & Tohru Mutou from Shiki
It wasn’t so much that these two were great together, as it was hilariously obvious that there were either some more than platonic feelings shared between them, or these were two of the most homoerotically heterosexual boys in existence. It’s the Top Gun volleyball scene of anime.
7. Taki Tooru & Takashi Natsume from Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou and Beyond
Nothing much to say here, they’re adorable as all fuck.
6. Satou Tatsuhiro & Misaki Nakahara from Welcome to the NHK!
What essentially amounts to one of my favorite shows ever also has one of the most screwed up relationships ever. The ways Misaki uses Satou to further her own selfish gains are abhorrent, but somehow understandable. And even if she does help him for reasons that aren’t exactly philanthropic, she does put in the effort to help him slowly break out of his hikikomori shell. It’s for this reason and their psychological dependence on each other that I list them as one of the most interesting relationships in all the anime that I’ve seen this year… if not exactly the healthiest.
5. Yukari Nitani & Daikichi Kawachi from Usagi Drop
As two single caregivers who happen to be neighbors, the two hit it off immediately. Considering the open-ended conclusion to the anime and my ability to deny what happens at the end of the manga, these are two people that I think would do well eventually hunkering down together, as excellent friends if nothing else.
4. Taiga Aisaka & Ryuuji Takash from Toradora!
I know, I know, obvious pick. But really, so are the rest. The two are opposites in terms of… well, everything, with one acting as the perfect foil for the other. While Taiga is small and non-threatening looking, her appearance belies her tempestuous nature and never ending series of contradictions in her personality. And beneath this spiky coat underneath a soft shell is another soft shell that Ryuuji uncovers on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Ryuuji’s gruff appearance belies the demeanor of a natural caregiver, one who wouldn’t hurt a fly. Get the two together, watch the sparks fly, and be amused for 25 episodes. Be very amused.
3. Ringo Oginome & Shouma Takakura from Mawaru Penguindrum
At first starting off on very different sides of an issue (Whether stalking is love, even if it’s for somebody else), Ringo and Shouma eventually start to feel for one another as they both open up a bit more and Ringo stops her creepiness. While I say her personality changed a bit for the worse after the fact, it’s difficult to deny that the two work together surprisingly well in the short screen time that they have with one another. Now if only Ringo were given more of it…
2. Kurisu Makise & Rintarou Okabe from Steins;Gate
Imagine the witty banter that went on between Arararararagi and Senjougahara on a regular basis, multiply that by several times, and throw in time travel, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what Steins;Gate has in store with these two onboard. Balancing perfectly between mockery of each other and genuine affection, I was tempted to name this my favorite relationship of the year. But then Mirai Nikki came.
1. Yukiteru Amano & Yuno Gasai from Mirai Nikki
Nowhere near as perfect together as Kurisutina and Huouin, Yuuki and Yuno nonetheless fly to the top of this list because of just how bad for each other they are, yet entirely dependent on staying together. As Yuno’s fragile psyche grows closer to shattering and Yuuki’s life comes under greater danger, they’re brought together closer than ever before as they vie in an unknowing battle of wits for the course of their very lives. While Kurisutina and Huouin were an utter delight to watch, seeing how Yuno and Yuuki awkwardly try to straighten things out gets more painful as the show goes on. It says something that in a series filled with over the top hyperviolence, the relationship between the leads is the main attraction.