Thursday, February 14, 2008

VALENTINE'S SPECIAL: Memorable Anime Love Teams!

Ouran High School Host Club © Hatori Bisco, BONES, VAP, ANIMAX/NTV.

The blog you are reading today was requested by my niece. She asked me why don't I write a blog about anime love teams, it being Valentine's Day and all. However, not being exactly a huge fan of romance in general, I had to rely on the opinions of a few friends who are diehard otaku as to who are the most memorable love teams in anime.

Here are everyone's choices in ascending order...

15. Gennosuke and Oboro (Basilisk)

When you say "star-crossed lovers", the term most definitely describes Gennosuke and Oboro of the samurai action drama Basilisk, which makes Romeo and Juliet seem mild in comparison. Same as in Shakespeare's play, our lovers come from rival ninja families, who are hoping for their clans to be unified with their coming marriage...until the nasty emperor decides to rekindle the centuries old feud by choosing them to represent his two sons who are line for the throne. Whichever clans win, the son they represented will become the new emperor. Sadly, Gennosuke and Oboro are forced to become bitter enemies, which leads to a heartbreaking ending.

14. Van and Wendy (GUNXSWORD); Saiga and Kagura (Speed Grapher)

These two anime came dangerously close to portraying romances between middle-aged men and girls half their age. In the case of Van and Wendy, it's pretty obvious in the way Wendy dotes on Van and her apparent jealousy towards Carmen 99 and Priscilla. On the other hand, Kagura clings desperately to Saiga as they are pursued by evil villains. Love, however, triumphs in the end despite the age letting the male characters wait a bunch of years until their teenaged sweetheart comes of LEGAL age. That's the power of the scriptwriter for you!

13. Tenchi and Ryoko (Tenchi Muyo!); Keiichi and Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess); Kei and Mizuho (Please! Teacher)

It's a time-honored anime tradition to pair off a clueless, clumsy, somewhat nerdy High School boy with a bombshell, whether she is a hot-blooded alien or a sweet goddess. The fact remains that it's a pairing that ALWAYS clicks among fans. However, fans would always remember Tenchi and Ryoko, Keiichi and Belldandy, and Kei and Mizuho as the best couples of this lot.

12. Hitomi and Van (Vision of Escaflowne)

Behind every angsty prince from another dimension is a kind-hearted Earth girl to always bring him back to his senses. Credit to Escaflowne's success lies in the fact that Hitomi is not like your everyday damsel-in-distress who counts on the man in her life to save her. Nope, she also gets into action and ends up saving not only Van and Allen, but a whole universe as well.

11. Yusuke and Keiko; Kuwabara and Yukina (Yu Yu Hakusho)

Bit of an argument developed with this one. While many obviously loved the pairing of battle-crazy Yusuke and level-headed Keiko, quite a few defended the unlikely pairing of brash Kuwabara and timid Yukina. I don't think Hiei was happy about his little sister being paired off with Kuwabara though.

10. Pete Pumps and Tazusa Sakurano (Ginban Kaleidoscope)

Although a relatively new pairing, Pete and Tazusa of Ginban Kaleidoscope deserved to be mentioned for being quite a lively and funny couple, despite the fact that poor Pete is just a spirit. Too bad the scriptwriter couldn't think of a nice ending to the story by actually bringing the two of them having Pete get reincarnated? Or maybe Pete has had enough of the tomatoes that Tazusa had been shoving down his throat?

9. Ranma and Akane (Ranma 1/2)

There's a kind of citrusy taste to Ranma and Akane's relationship -- sweet but with a touch of sourness that is not only caused by martial arts rivalry, but by the natural envy of a girl (Akane) towards another girl (female Ranma) who is better endowed beauty-wise than she. Of course, you don't see Kunou complaining, even if he gets punched and kicked to kingdom come.

8. Seiji and Midori (Midori Days)

They say it's nice to have a girlfriend on hand, but this is ridiculous. Still, it cannot be denied that Seiji and Midori were a very memorable couple, simply owing to the fact that Midori was so patient enough to endure Seiji's immaturity and even saw being stuck to his right hand as a blessing in disguise. Unlike Pete and Tazusa, however, they DID get together in the end. Happy, happy!

7. Tamaki and Haruhi (Ouran High School Host Club); Kyouhei and Sunako (Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge)

There's a saying that "Opposites attract." This statement aptly describes these two love teams, who are as different as night and day. From Ouran High School Host Club, you have level-headed commoner Haruhi being paired off with bubble-headed rich boy Tamaki. (Personally, I preferred the Kyouya/Haruhi pairing). Then, in Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge, pretty bully boy Kyouhei ends up falling for horror queen wannabe Sunako. Certainly makes for romance that is funny and bittersweet at the same time.

6. Shiro and Saber (Fate/Stay Night)

The dynamics of the Shiro and Saber love team is pretty unique...because you have a lovely young lady defending a gallant Magician who, in true male fashion, wants to defend her. In the end, they joined forces to help destroy an evil menace. Sadly, they too split up at the anime's conclusion.

5. Kenshin and Kaoru (Samurai X)

Ask any Samurai X fan and they would tell you how much they loved the fact that the love of Kenshin and Kaoru endured through all the villains and uprisings that were thrown their way. Even when their love story ended in tragedy, they stuck together up till the very end of their young lives that were cut abruptly short. Nuff said or else I'll start blubbering like an idiot.

4. Ryuuki and Shuurei (Colourcloud Palace)

Everyone just loves Ryuuki and Shuurei, and with good reason. It's not every day that you get to see an immature emperor taught the ways of the world by a poor, but very intelligent young lady (who has a tendency to nag as well). It should be mentioned that while this pairing is very popular, I've got friends who are also rooting for Seiran and Shuurei and Sakujun and Shuurei. Aaaaah...just let Shuurei choose the man she'll love, will ya?!

3. Syaoran and Sakura (Card Captor Sakura & Chronicles of the Wings); Hideki and Chee (Chobits)

CLAMP certainly do know how to create real memorable love teams. While Syaoran and Sakura are top favorites among fans, I have a soft spot in my heart for the cyber-love team of Hideki and Chee from Chobits.

2. Inuyasha and Kagome (Inuyasha)

Although I'm not a fan of Inuyasha, I've always found the love team of Inuyasha and Kagome very refreshing to watch. Kagome especially is probably one of the few female anime characters that I like because she is no damsel-in-distress who relies on Inuyasha to get her out of any tight predicament; she tries to do something herself. Of course, I always get a kick out of Kagome telling a nagging Inuyasha to "Sit, boy!" Now, that's a woman who knows how to put her man in his place!!

1. Tamahome and Miaka (Fushigi Yuugi)

Let it be said that everyone was unanimous in choosing Tamahome and Miaka as the most memorable anime love team of all-time. Personally, I found Miaka irritating and she always needs to be saved by the Seven Star Warriors. Still, I guess every female anime fan loves the idea of a strong, handsome man coming to the rescue of a helpless (groan!) female.

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