Five Worst Anime Pairings
I’ve seen this sort of topic discussed on forums, but I don’t believe anyone’s really taken the time to write out a list of all-time shitty anime pairings. Maybe it’s because there’s just too many of them. I decided to write my top five that annoy me at this moment. Before we get to the list, a few things about my reasons behind my choices (in case you are a fan or something):
- My level of sympathy for a pairing depends directly on the extent to which it is shoved down my throat.
- I don’t pick a pairing just because it “gets in the way” of a pairing I happen to like more. I’m neutral on issues like Ichigo/Rukia vs Ichigo/Orihime. I pick pairings to hate on if I think they’re badly written or just plain boring.
- I’m not going to even bother going into fan pairings.
- I’m not insulting you as a person if you happen to like these pairings.
Aaaaand, now to the list.
5. Shinn Asuka and Lunamaria Hawke
Gundam Seed is a series known for its lacklustre attempts at romance, but the Shinn/Luna pairing from Destiny has to be the shittiest and most nonsensical of the lot. The hookup scene between these two had absolutely no buildup, made absolutely no sense in context and was really just evidently tacked on for the heck of it.
Shinn is a hotshot ace pilot from whose hotheadedness and impulsiveness is driven by a black-and-white view of the world and a tragic past involving the death of his family. Fans think he’s a dick. At least he’s nice to girls. This might justify Shinn/Luna on his end if it wasn’t so painfully obvious that his “type” consists of younger girls who remind him of his sister, so that he can protect them.
Luna is an occasionally competent teammate of Shinn’s who serves no real purpose in the series besides wearing a short cheerleader’s skirt and to hook up with a guy she thought killed her beloved sister. She’s stated early in the series that she thinks of Shinn as immature and she’s also implied to have had a romantic interest in Athrun at that time. If Shinn is into younger girls, Luna is into older guys. So just from that angle alone they don’t really fit. Also, Luna does not carry herself like a frail, defenceless girl and is only seen onscreen with Shinn for about five minutes in total for the first thirty-odd episodes of Destiny.
When Shinn returns from a mission having supposedly killed Athrun and Luna’s sister Meyrin, Luna instantly seems to forgive him and cries in his arms. Seriously, what the fuck? I can understand if Luna could bring herself on an intellectual level not to blame Shinn, but realistically, not only would that take time, she probably wouldn’t help having an aversion to being near him. She certainly wouldn’t seek intimacy with him. Imagine how awkward conversation would be. And Shinn? Well, he’s suffering from something not unlike post-traumatic stress disorder as well as grief from recently losing Stella (who he was previously in love with). The situation reeks of rebound relationship.
This pairing sucks because the setup was totally ignored, the needs and desires of both characters were also ignored, and it was done because of the unwritten “The Hero needs a Girlfriend” rule. This pairing could be justified and explained as the foolish choice it is by having Shinn and Luna break up within an episode or so. These sorts of relationships never last long. Alas, they’re still together in Final Plus.
4. Shota Kazehaya and Sawako Kuronuma
In general, Kimi ni Todoke is a pretty teeth rotting show, but I did like and could relate to parts of it. The Kazehaya/Sawako romance, however, is one of the weaker aspects of the story: it relies on piled layers of misunderstandings to create tension and is nothing more than a teenage girl fantasy. Just because it’s a shoujo romance that’s not about a girl falling in love with a guy who shows his love by being a total asshole to her doesn’t mean it’s not escapist.
Kazehaya is a guy known for being “refreshing”, although he is about as refreshing as dog shit. He is a popular guy at school who also happens to be nice. This I could accept, but Kazehaya is too nice, and he is way too shy around Sawako to seem like a convincing socialite. Someone who is popular like Kazehaya is can still be nice, but they would definitely have much more confidence and aura and would be more straightforward about their feelings. Similarly, he does not feel genuinely boyish to me, either, and there is nothing fleshed out about his personality beyond “He is nice”. He seems more like a passive object for girls to swoon over than an actual person to me. Hence, I do not buy his “romance” with Sawako.
Sawako is a nice, quiet girl whose similarity to Sadako from The Ring has made it difficult for her to connect with people. It is her involvement with Kazehaya that slowly leads to her coming out of her shell. This I could accept, but Sawako borders on the impossible with her sickly sweet attitude towards bitches like Kurumi. (I liked Kurumi, but no one would try to be her friend after finding out from her she spread rumours that almost lost you your friends.)
There is nothing about their individual characters that suggests they’re incompatible, but when they’re together, it’s just… the lack of communication is crippling. Even when they’re happy together, they’re not really communicating. The artist just draws them looking awkwardly at each other, and their lack of ease with each other is meant to be seen as “cute”. Then there are the occasions when this problem is brought up as a plot point. Episodes upon episodes pass where Sawako and Kazehaya think they don’t like each other because of simple misunderstandings. Honestly, all their problems could probably be solved if one of them bothered to ask, “So is this what you really meant?” Being shy does not mean you instantly assume you are hated when someone says “I like you.” No. Just fuck you, Kimi ni Todoke.
This pairing sucks because it tries too hard to be cute, is wish fulfillment and stretches the viewer’s suspension of disbelief way too far in order to create drama. This pairing could be justified if Kazehaya and Sawako broke up, saw other people and gained a little more life experience before getting back together. As it is, these two don’t know how to interact normally with each other as they are with other people, and that makes their interaction painful to watch.
3. Moritaka Mashiro and Miho Azuki
When Bakuman is a series about manga, it succeeds pretty well. When Bakuman is a series about love, it falls flat on its face. Unfortunately, both elements are essential to the series that Bakuman is, since it uses the Mashiro/Azuki pairing as the primary motivation of the lead character Mashiro. It’s forced, shoved down your throat, and it’s even less natural than the Kazehaya/Sawako pairing. Yeah, sit there and chew on that for a bit.
Mashiro is your average ninth grader who happens to have a major crush on his classmate Azuki. Then, pretty much out of the blue, he proposes to her. Azuki agrees, but only if his manga with Takagi becomes an anime and she gets to voice act the heroine. The problem with Mashiro is that, despite being the main character, it’s actually hard to describe his personality. Sometimes, he’s shy; sometimes, he’s upbeat; sometimes, he’s nonchalant. Azuki motivates him from afar, but her role provides us with little insight on what kind of guy Mashiro actually is.
Azuki is a shy girl who secretly wants to be a voice actor in anime. She crushes on Mashiro in the same way he crushes on her – their awkwardness is painful to watch. They even agree not to interact before they get married. The hell kind of arrangement is that? Honestly, I am so bleh about this pairing that I can’t even be bothered ranting about why it sucks.
Seeing as Mashiro and Azuki don’t interact, or if they do, they barely even speak to each other, that should function in itself as a kind of deterrent to a relationship. And yet despite this so-called “subtlety”, it is shamefully shoved down our throats and held up in the story as the epitome of love stories. Hell, it even mirrors Mashiro’s uncle’s life, although it ended up with the more downbeat yet more realistic ending: his girl got tired of waiting.
This pairings sucks because Mashiro and Azuki have nothing in common besides their own one-track ambitions and because their relationship is made out to be all-important and romantic when it’s really just childish and immature. This pairing could be saved by drastically cutting down its impact as Mashiro comes to see the joy of creating manga as more important than achieving his goals. Who knows, something like this could actually happen in the manga. I have my fingers crossed.
2. Renton Thurston and Eureka
Ah, Eureka Seven…! It wouldn’t have been a show at all if the romance didn’t suck so hard. Honestly, I am so confused why this pairing seems to have no hatedom to speak of: Renton/Eureka is forced, it stinks of rotting cheese and the characters are bloody annoying.
Renton is an irritating, whiny fourteen-year old boy whose only reason for joining the badass Gekkostate is because he falls in love at first sight with Eureka. He follows her with puppy-like devotion, which is… iffy but acceptable, as long as Eureka doesn’t reciprocate. Unfortunately, about halfway through the series, she decides she does. This immature infatuation on Renton’s part never really changes but at this point it’s held up by the series as true love.
Eureka is our resident Rei Ayanami clone and at first, she acts like it. Then Renton changes her. I still don’t understand why Renton in particular changed her since she had her children as well as a host of other, more emotionally mature characters like Talho to reach out to her. It’s explained in the plot that she and Renton are destined lovers and we’re left with that as our explanation. Destined lovers in stories always piss me off.
Renton and Eureka alternate between acting sickeningly sweet and sickeningly angsty. Their relationship is one of those rickety wooden rollercoasters which make you jolt in your seat in the worst way. So much of Renton and Eureka’s relationship depends on what’s happening in the plot. Similarly, their hookup was decided by plot circumstances. Eureka went the entire series being completely nonchalant about Renton, and then she decided, quite randomly, that she is in fact in love with him.
This pairing sucks because neither character had much genuine chemistry with each other but plot demanded that they got together so they did. This pairing is, quite frankly, beyond saving for as long as their names are inscribed with a love heart on the moon.
1. Daikichi Kawachi and Rin Kaga
I have no words. Fuck you, Usagi Drop manga!