Shipping: Mahiro x Kuuko (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san)
My reaction to Mahiro x Nyaruko.
I fully admit that the reason I support Mahiro x Kuuko is because I am anti-Nyaruko, especially after episode 6 of season 2. There are myriad reasons why I believe Mahiro x Nyaruko to be so fucked up on so many levels. Supporting them would be like saying rape is okay, as long as it’s female-on-male. Honestly, this show would 1000x creepier if the leads swapped genders. (Funny because they did this for one episode.)
But anyway, let’s not drag this post down with an embittered rant. I honestly do like Nyaruko as a character – her annoying love for Mahiro aside, she’s quirky, cheerful and endearingly well-acted. It’s just that Kuuko is Best Girl: a pink-haired straight-faced raging lesbian Cthulu – what is there not to love?
So why do I think Mahiro x Kuuko work, when Kuuko is obviously lusting for Nyaruko? Well, it should be pretty self-evident from episode 6. They’re capable of intelligent banter and they feel comfortable enough with physical contact. Mahiro was surprisingly less of a prude with her, and Kuuko was honest enough to herself to admit that she liked him quite a lot. Obviously not as much as she loves Nyaruko, but willing enough to have him bear her child. How, uh, romantic of you, Kuuko.
Basically, I’m saying these two have chemistry. They’re pleasant. And perhaps most importantly…
Kuuko is not Pushy
The idea that love shouldn’t be the result of pushiness is something that is played with in Nyaruko-san. Kuune is obsessive about Kuuko, but Kuuko does not feel the same. Kuuko is obsessive about Nyaruko, but Nyaruko does not feel the same. Nyaruko is obsessive about Mahiro, but Mahiro does not feel the same… ish. Mahiro in fact draws attention to the central idea behind why he does not return Nyaruko’s affections – he privately admits it would be different if she wasn’t so forceful.
In episode 6, Kuuko could be considered pushy in the sense that, when threatened to marry her raging lesian of a cousin (oh the irony), she immediately latches onto Mahiro. But she does this simply out of reflexive instinct and desperation. Later on, she politely tells him her position and asks him to play along with her. Phrased in that way, it’s easy for Mahiro to say yes.
In a series where everybody seems obsessed with someone, it’s nice to take a break and see characters who don’t have to cope with the giving or receiving such feelings. There’s a refreshing lack of emotional burden in Mahiro and Kuuko’s relationship. Obsessiveness is fun for the giggles and all, but when it comes to really getting along with others, nothing is as effective as common decency. The strongest bonds are often the simplest ones to describe.
This Ship is Doomed
I will admit this straight up. This is a non-canon pairing, and it will get trumped by Nyaruko.
I honestly don’t hold much hope to see much focus on Mahiro and Kuuko in the coming episodes. Nyaruko-san is, after all, a pure parody series first. While there are a few episodes here and there dedicated to serious relationship exploration, I fully expect the meat of the development to go to Nyaruko. She is the main character, after all.
I like Mahiro x Kuuko because it is doomed. It’s not shoved down my throat. I find pleasure in making the connections myself when I watch them. I like them just as much as friends as fake lovers. They will never get together, and that’s fine. The lack of romantic development doesn’t make a pair of characters less interesting to watch.
Oh, and I would love to see Mahiro and Kuuko’s kid. Quote Kuuko:
“If it’s a boy, we’ll have him play basketball. If it’s a girl, we’ll have her go to Academy City.”
They’re naming the kid ‘Kuroko’.