Minnie: Hello everyone (again) to our lovely shipping countdown. First of all, if you wish to see our last shipping countdown, please click here for the top 46-50. Before I give over most of the introduction to TZM, I like to take some time to say that despite the numbers, #45 for example doesn’t necessarily rank higher than #44 because the pairings are supported by two different bloggers. We place it in alternating order that is most convenient for us. However, for the same blogger (aka either TZM or I), the smaller the number, the higher the pairing is in our lovable shipping book. That’s all. Over to you, TZM.
Katt: Wait, my introduction is expected to be longer than that? Minnie, you make my job hard! But okay, I will graciously accept the opportunity to introduce this post and give it…a dramatic twist! You see, it would get redundant if in all of these posts Minnie and I proved to be perfect twins when it came to our pairing preferences, wouldn’t it? And while we mostly will be agreeing, this post contains…a conflict! (Dun dun duuuun!) Want to see mine and Minnie’s preferences clash for once? Well then, friends, read on and enjoy as Minnie and I move on to the next five ships on our collaborative top fifty list~
#45 Yuiko and Leo (Beast Master)
Minnie: If it weren’t for Dengeki Daisy, I wouldn’t discover this cute, short manga called Beast Master by the same mangaka. I’m thankful for Beast Master because it introduces one of my favorite manga couples in Leo and Yuiko. I can’t really say that it’s a well-known or even popular couple because I haven’t even heard of this manga or pairing until I search for it. But for a manga that is this short, it is quite a feat for me to love this couple in such a short amount of time. That alone is enough to tell me that this couple is worthy to be on this list.
This story revolves around the relationship between Leo, who looks like a beast but is actually a softie, and Yuiko, a girl who is fond of animals but they all hate her. Already, you can tell this story is full of ‘aw so cute’ moments between a girl who has found ‘an animal’ who she can protect and truly treasure. And on the plus side, this ‘animal’ loves her too! He’s not afraid of her! On the contrary, he is quite fond of her and does everything in his power to protect her. I won’t go into much more detail than that except that if you like an unexpected, cute pairing, this is one for you~
Katt: All hail the wonderful Dengeki Daisy for prompting its fans to check out the mangaka’s other, wonderful works – especially the gem, Beast Master. Leo and Yuiko are an absolutely adorable couple. It’s quite an unorthodox pairing, with Yuiko being the ‘ferocious’ Leo’s protector just as much as he is hers. Kyousuke Motomi can call of his characters idiots all he likes (I wish I remember which author’s note I read this in; it was pretty hilarious), but it’s basically impossible not to love them–and because you love them, even in a short two-volume series like this one, you really really want to see the characters love each other too.
#44 Rumaty and Kajika (Hanasakeru Seishounen)
Minnie: Man, this pairing… it came up at the right time, I say. For those who are following the anime, you may recall that this ship has sunk last episode (or so we think?!). That doesn’t make it anything less worthy of this list. Even though I am a Li-Ren/Kajika shipper (look below at the wildcard area for more details), I do support Rumaty/Kajika too. I believe that if certain plot events (you know the political ones) didn’t get in the way, Rumaty/Kajika might have been the final pairing. Alas, it is one of those awesome did-not-quite-make-it pairings that I will remember for years to come. Of course, this pairing belongs to TZM so she has a lot more to say than I~
Katt: And say a lot more I shall~ Yes, this pairing might not work in the long run, but it has been my favourite from Rumaty’s introduction in episode 5. For those who haven’t heard of this series, the premise is that the protagonist Kajika is invited to play a game by her father, in which she will meet three men from which she will have to choose a husband from (in order to learn her secret past!). I know, it sounds awful – but it’s actually quite good. I’m not here to defend the series, though: I’m here to explain why Rumaty/Kajika is my personal favourite of the four main pairing possibilities for Kajika.
As I said, I liked this pairing best from the get-go and the reason for this was that these two characters have undeniable chemistry. Rumaty’s introduced as a very ignorant, takes-his-position-for-granted prince of a foreign country who needs to be put in his place and Kajika is just the girl to do that. Kajika isn’t mean-natured, though; she is just straightforward and this tends to leave people vulnerable. She exposes people’s weaknesses but helps them to overcome them at the same time. With Rumaty, she becomes the stable figure by his side that he never had in his life of isolation from the people he cared about most. The interaction between the two is always incredibly smooth and honest, which I find such a breath of fresh air when so many pairings out there have characters hiding things from each other. Rumaty/Kajika is all about that natural chemistry that I just find so irresistable!
#43 Maki and Aikawa (Prunus Girl)
Minnie: Wait a second! Is this a het pairing, yaoi pairing, or what? Most of you guys must be confused. ^^;; The answer is neither or both! But it doesn’t matter! Here. I’ll slow down and explain. Maki is your lucky male lead. That’s the easy part. Then, there’s Aikawa~ The thing with Aikawa is that despite what he looks like up there, he tells Maki and the whole school that he’s actually a boy! In other words, he has the package down there. XP But he acts like a girl… looks like a girl… talks like a girl… what the hell is going on? This is one of the most powerful pairings I have ever read (in 9 chapters no less!) because of this aspect. While Maki is undoubtedly attracted to Aikawa, he has to keep reminding himself that Aikawa is male. Underneath that pretty face and skirt… is a dude.
Where does this take Maki though? Can he love Aikawa despite him being male (maybe? The mangaka teases us a lot T_T)? Can he look past society’s stern rules toward homosexual relationships for Aikawa? Can he make himself like a male for the sake of love? How about Aikawa? Why does he keep teasing Maki like this? Is he testing how far Maki will go for him? In the end, it doesn’t matter what sex Aikawa really is. It’s the fact that Aikawa has claimed to be male makes this pairing so powerful and here’s a toast to hoping that the manga never reveals which sex he really is~!
Katt: This one of those pairings/series that I have never heard of before. While I’d normally still go along with Minnie’s reasons for liking a pairing, saying what elements sound like they would interest me, in this case the only thing that I can say is…WHAT?!
#42 Guy and Natalia (Tales of the Abyss)
Katt: Did you guys know that Minnie and I first started talking to each other thanks to our love of a certain Tales Of pairing? No, it wasn’t Guy/Natalia, although as more Tales Of games came out we found that we continued to share favourite pairings! But er, wait… this is an anime list, right? Lucky for us, Tales of the Abyss was turned into an anime series last year, so we can totally impose our pairing love from the game onto the anime. Yaaay for cheating!
So here’s a character intro for you all: Guy is a super sweet, gynophobic (that would be a fear of women) servant to the Duke’s son, who it just so happens that Princess Natalia is engaged to. Without spoiling anything, I will just say that these characters endure incredible changes, as do the people around them, which lead to loves and lifestyles changing drastically and the characters struggling to cope with that. Natalia’s character revelations leave her quite the emotional wreck and Guy’s genuine comforting nature is the perfect remedy to her struggles in my opinion. Generally speaking, the personality pair of a total nice guy servant and a haughty yet sincere princess is pretty damn intriguing in itself, no?
Minnie: Man, what more should I add except that this is one of those pairings that you might have missed if you don’t look hard enough, especially with the more obvious Asch/Natalia pairing running around in the fandom. Although I admit that I do like that mentioned pairing, I prefer this one for a couple of reasons. One, unlike Asch/Natalia, I can’t see this relationship being abusive. Natalia and Guy know each other well and respect each other a lot. Sure, Natalia might go after Guy a couple of times, but it’s for the sake of his manners or something. That’s what wives do anyways! Two, this relationship is just… on the borderline of total cuteness. There’s no major angst that can come from this pairing so in the long run, it works out better~ Then again, some people might like super angsty pairings. ^^;;
#41 Nana “Hachi” and Takumi (NANA)
Art credited to TomoJie from DA~
Minnie: Speaking of angsty pairings, here is an angst-fested pairing that is most debated/talked about in the NANA fandom as well as the shoujo fandom in general. I hate to say it, but one of the major reasons why I ship this pairing so hard is because it’s so controversial (Steve can definitely back me up on this one). In other words, it’s so different from the usual shoujo pairings that you can’t help, but take it at face value at first and then, tear that up and look at the deeper meaning.
Hachi and Takumi is one of those pairings I admire the most because it’s not afraid of being hated and yes, it is hated by about half of the fandom (Hello Nobu/Hachi supporters!). Why? Look at this scenario for a second. This famous musician Takumi is a major playboy and he happens to pick up his friend’s girlfriend’s roommate (^^;;). And well, you know what happens when a 20-year-old Hachi is in a hotel room with her idol of a musician… stuff happens. XD He leaves his number, but man, what kind of relationship are they leading? He doesn’t call her. He doesn’t even think about her. He is possessive as hell when he does see her. For Takumi, it’s work, work, and more work, while Nobu is Hachi’s knight in shining arm who is loyal and sincere toward her. Oh wait a second! I’m supposed to be supporting this pairing, aren’t I? Those reasons above are exactly why I’m supporting it. Yup. I’m crazy I know. XD But frankly, Hachi/Takumi is realistic (in both how they handle their upcoming problems in their relationship) and I love realistic pairings… Nobu/Hachi? That’s something you read out of a fairy tale. Sorry Nobu. The nice, selfless guys don’t win in realistic shoujos. They just don’t and assholes like Takumi are where the real chemistry lies and where my allegiance also lies~ And hell, Hachi agrees and I love Hachi so I’ll go with her decision~ (Did I just spoil most of NANA for you guys? XD)
Katt: NANA is another one of those series on my “oh man I need to read that but I am just so lazy” list. Reading Minnie’s description, I really have to wonder which half of the fandom I would be on: the asshole side or the nice guy side? I have such a huge soft spot for ‘nice guy’ characters that I think I might end up opposing Minnie on this one (whenever I read NANA); on the other hand, though, when a character is that much of an asshole? You just can’t help but be intrigued and want to see more. It certainly does make for a more compelling pairing because it’s not the ideal, it’s a harsh reality and, thus, it’s not predictable. U-Uhm…that’s what I’m assuming, anyway, until I read it.
Katt: It’s just our second post and already the pairings that we’re listing are getting so good! And Minnie is continuing to tempt me to get into more series just to get to know these pairings that she supports. Minnie, you’re out to make me do badly in school by convincing me to read a bunch of manga instead of studying, aren’t you?
Minnie: Of course not. ^_^ Though… I do have a list of awesome shoujo manga I can recommend you. According to a handful of my friends including Tangerine, I am good at picking out awesome shoujo out of the mess of horrible, cliche ones out there. Anyways, I agree that the pairings are awesome and getting me excited. Second post and already… we’re moving onto 2 paragraphs~
Katt: That is so typical of us. By the end of this list, we’ll be writing full-blown essays to express our support!
Minnie: We’re done for today! Oh wait a second… what do we have here… crack and not-so-crack pairings? Pairings that didn’t make the top fifty? Total nonsense or perfectly valid? What???
Minnie’s Wildcard Choice:
Li-Ren and Kajika (Hanasakeru Seishounen)
Katt: Minnie got to say her thoughts first for Rumaty/Kajika, so it’s only fair that I get to talk about Li-Ren/Kajika first~ This is the most apparent pairing in Hanasakeru Seishounen – the first one that you are introduced to, and I’m guessing that it will be the last one we see as the series wraps up, too. And while I support Rumaty/Kajika most of all, I’m really open to all of the four main pairings in this series because of how much I adore the boys. I know that this is the pairing that grabs most people’s hearts (I watched a screening of the first Hanasakeru Seishounen episode at an anime con last year, and my friend who was with me immediately loved Li-Ren/Kajika), but maybe Minnie can elaborate on why it continues to attract so many fans over thirty episodes later?
Minnie: I must admit that Kajika/Li-Ren caught my eye from the very first episode too, but I didn’t really like it until like way later. In the beginning, I was wavering between all four pairings. Along the way though, Li-Ren’s jealous and pushy side whenever it comes to Kajika really convince me that he’s the one for her. I begin to notice Li-Ren’s cute expressions too~ And having one of my favorite voice actor voicing him can’t be bad. Wait a second… I’m not supposed to fangirl over Li-Ren, but Kajika/Li-Ren. Basically, take the nice childhood pairing, add some jealous, add some Li-Ren smexiness, add a whole lot of ship tease, and some Kajika/Li-Ren bonding moments and you have all the reason to like this pairing~ (Let’s ignore the fact that this pairing didn’t make it high enough on my list to get into the top 50 )
Katt’s Wildcard Choice:
Zero and Yori (Vampire Knight)
Katt: While I have a lot of pairings in my reserves that I like more than this one, it felt appropriate to keep with theme of not-so-canon pairings that I coincidentally have going on in this post–and Zero/Yori is probably the non-canon pairing that I would most sincerely love to see happen in its series, though my reasons for wanting to see it happen are really shallow.
Basically Yuuki, the series’ protagonist, is a very frustrating character to me, which is upsetting because I adore Zero and want him to find a lovely lady who will make him happy. It just so happens that Yori, Yuuki’s best friend, is a waaaay better character than Yuuki, so why not shove her together with Zero, right?? Totally logical. …okay, I know, it’s not. But in recent manga chapters I like to think that there’s a little more possibility for this pairing being presented, what with Yuuki up and gone and Zero needing someone to fill the void. Oh, and Yori isn’t intimidated by Zero like all of the other schoolgirls! Who knows? Maybe one day this pairing will reach a point where isn’t viewed as crack, but instead as perfectly plausible (there are already small waves of support rippling in the fandom!).
Minnie: Really? I don’t follow the VK fandom so I have no idea. This pairing reminds me of a crack pairing that I might present in the future from the Yu-Gi-Oh fandom. But anyways, I totally agree with you on this one. It’s one of those pairings that are (for lack of better word) under the radar. Right now, it might be seen as crack, but who knows? In the future, if Zero really does lose to Kaname in the love triangle, I’m sure the Yori/Zero pairing will become a lot more popular~ Not saying that he will lose of course because I still have some hope for him. ^^;; Anyways, totally agree on this pairing… and I believe that’s a wrap~ Come and see our future shipping posts again!