Favorite Couples (or Ships) in Animation
I haven’t been on this Earth for long, but I’ve been here long enough to appreciate the art of shipping. There’s just something so appealing about figuring out which characters in a work of fiction should be a couple. It’s also fun to watch the shipping wars rage. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d celebrate by looking back at some of the great romances I’ve witnessed over the years. Thus, here are my favorite ships in animation.
Gray Fullbuster & Juvia Lockser (Fairy Tail)
This ship is as hilarious as it is heartwarming. On one side, we have the ice wizard of Fairy Tail that can’t seem to stop walking around in his underwear. On the other, we have the water wizard who fell for Grey at first sight and joined the Fairy Tail Guild just to be with him. Grey was… less than enthusiastic about that.
This ship works for me for three reasons. Firstly, their respective ice and water magic complements each other perfectly, making them a nigh unbeatable team in battle. Secondly, see Juvia’s over the top acts displays of affection towards Grey are always hilarious to watch. Finally, despite Grey being a tsundere about it, he can’t deny that the two have chemistry together. By the end of the series, it’s all but confirmed that the two are a couple.
Kirito and Asuna (Sword Art Online)
That’s right, I’m a fan of this ship. Bite me. The reason that this ship is on my list is because, in my eyes, Kirito and Asuna represent how devoted a person can be to the ones they love. They will fight back to back in a video game or in real life, and should anyone be dumb enough to try to separate them, they’ll stop at nothing to reunite. In Season One, we saw Kirito fight his way through an entire MMO to rescue Asuna from imprisonment. Meanwhile, the recent Alicization Arc has seen Asuna take on a branch of the Japanese Government to track down a comatose Kirito, then dive into the midst of a VR war to locate him. Bottom line, don’t mess with either of them, or you should say your prayers.
Krillin and Android 18 (Dragon Ball Z Abridged)
I was already happy at the fact that Krillin found love with Android 18. However, Team Four Star managed to give the abridged version of these two characters an even better relationship than they do in the canon. Whereas she’s more aloof about her feelings to her future husband in the canon, here it’s made clear to all that 18 is as into Krillin as he is into her. As a result, this makes for their eventual coming together in the end all the more satisfying to watch. That, and their relationship also brought Dragon Ball Z Abridged to a satisfying conclusion.
Robin and Starfire (Teen Titans)
Best superhero ship ever, period. Like in the comic books the show’s based on, Robin and Starfire begin to fall for each other during the Teen Titans run. The romance between these two teen superheroes remains one of the show’s longest running subplots, with several episodes even dedicated towards their deepening relationship. The fact that both of them get crazy with jealousy when someone flirts with them only shows how much they love each other. Thankfully, fans of this ship got what they wanted, as the series finale movie firmly cemented their status as a couple. Hopefully, they end up better than their comic book versions.
Star and Marco (Star vs. The Forces of Evil)
Considering how I wrote an entire post about this, I don’t think I need to explain myself further.
But all these pale in comparison to my original favorite ship of all time.
Aang and Katara (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
My original OG pairing from my favorite cartoon growing up. From the moment they meet, it’s clear that Aang and Katara have an incredibly powerful bond that only strengthens as time goes on. Over the course of the series, these two friends become each other’s biggest supporters and closest confidants in the main group of heroes. Katara sees the potential in Aang to do great things and has faith in him even when he himself doesn’t. At the same time, she also recognizes that he’s still a boy who’s being thrust into a role that most grown-ups wouldn’t be prepared for, and serves as his emotional support. Conversely, Aang encourages Katara to follow her own dreams of becoming a master Waterbender, and will fly into a rage if anyone tries to harm her.
I didn’t start out shipping Aang and Katara as a couple. However, once I realized that Aang had a crush on her, I wholeheartedly supported this ship and its milestones. Suffice to say, the fact that the show ends with them sharing a passionate kiss remains one of the most satisfying moments of my life. That satisfaction’s only increased when follow-up material reveals the two got married and raised a family before Aang died of natural causes. Kataang for life.
Before I leave, I wanted to show off this new piece of fanart that I had commissioned for Valentine’s Day, courtesy of Andychipps on Instagram. This recreates a very romantic scene from one of my favorite fanfics, Star the Monster Princess. Enjoy!
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Click here to read last year’s review of my favorite Valentine’s Day Special.