The seventh day of the challenge is one that again paints me into a corner because one of my favorite shows of all time involves a romance, or at least a romantic triangle. In fact, most of the shows I enjoy the most have romance at the core so with the new challenge being to identify your favorite couple, it does become very easy. With that in mind, we’ll of course tweak it in a couple of ways to look beyond the best romantic couple since the challenge itself is kind of open-ended in what it’s about. You tend to default to romantic couple most of the time, but there are times you can interpret it to be something more.
Best Romantic Couple
The best romance for me is the one involving the characters in Kimagure Orange Road. The trio here makes for an interesting relationship as it progresses as Kyosuke finds himself in a relationship of sorts with the very outgoing and confident Hikaru, though she has her weak moments in her heart, while he finds himself deeply attracted and connected to Ayukawa, Hikaru’s best friend. Most shows in the last decade or so have been focused more on the harem style where lots of characters are interested in one guy, but series of this nature that focus on small numbers of characters and actually puts them into something resembling a relationship makes for better storytelling. Watching as the series progresses and you see the ways that they all become closer in different ways makes for an engaging experience and it all culminates in a beautiful, heartrending way when it gets to the first theatrical movie. That relationship has long been the gold standard for me of a romantic couple done right.
Best Action Couple
Buddy series are a bit dated when it comes to anime though they still do come out here and there, notably with Bee Train really working that formula during their heyday. There are some strong contenders from the classics, but the one that has left the best impression on me overall is that of Rock and Revy from Black Lagoon. While it has a lot of its focus on Revy and her kick ass and can do attitude that’s backed up by her impressive weapons and a mouth that nobody could love, it’s balanced by the use of Rock as a salaryman thrown into a bad situation that he actually makes the most out of. While he freaks out at first, he ends up becoming a key part of the group overall and has some of the best moments of any series as the two work together and actually talk with each other about how the world works. The pairing is simply one of the strongest I’ve seen that provides great characters, intense action and lots of solid dialogue.
Cutest Mascot Type Couple
There’s plenty of mascot/pet/animal type characters out there and often they’re well paired up with human characters, but there’s a pair that are just wonderful though they rarely spend much time actually together. But when they do, it’s beyond adorable. How could you not love the Mokona’s, Modoki and Soel. The each serve different purposes and use their abilities to serve who they’re worth, the black one with Yuko at her shop while the white one travels through the dimensions, but they have so many neat similarities and play off each other well when in person that you can’t help but to grin. While fans of the original Mokona loved the little white character in Magic Knight Rayearth, there was positively huge amounts of glee upon discovering that there would be two of them in xxxholic and Tsubasa, earning them a cutest couple nod.
Best Villain Couple
Say what you like, but the team of James and Jessie from Pokemon continues to be one of the most enjoyable to watch “couples” when it comes to the villains. You can have your ultimate evils that are doing what they’re doing for a true love, no matter how wrong it may be, but there’s something great about how this couple works together in order to try and gain as many Pokemon as possible for complete and utter world domination. They may never succeed, but they come close a few times and they always have the best wordplay with each other as they show up intent to impress while rattling off whatever saying they have for this particular instance. They just tickle me in the right spot when I see them come on, no matter how many times they go through their efforts.
Best Doomed Couple
There’s actually a lot of choices for this one, but it depends on how far you want to take the definition of doomed. For me, the best doomed and tragic couple out there are the two leads from Basilisk. With its focus on showing us just how in love Gennosuke and Oboro are and how their love is set to bring together two clans that have decades of animosity between them, there’s something very beautiful in the tragedy that happens as they’re forced to face off of each other while racing to try and avoid it. With so many comrades falling around them as they make their journey, through which we see more of their past and how intense their feelings are for each other, it becomes all the more powerful when they learn the truth and how history does repeat itself here. There’s something very haunting about their relationship through and through.