Here it is, my final ship post. It’s quite a bit longer than the others despite there being fewer ships, though that’s not much of a shock given how much I like the ones on here. This is also where some of the more ship-heavy fanbases ended up so people might actually disagree with some of these, so hopefully, everyone reading this shares my opinion, haha. Anyway, let’s get started on my final one of these.
Cocona x Papika: The entire story of Flip Flappers centers pretty heavily on Cocona coming out of her shell, and she’s only able to do that because of her relationship with Papika, so it should come as no surprise that I’m fond of the ship. Seeing Cocona slowly but surely fall in love with Papika is great, but even better is that we then get to see her realize that fact and come to terms with it. The show does a better job than any other of showing how homophobia affects queer people without directly portraying it, and it needs credit for that. In addition, they’re just really cute and my gay daughters. Sucks for Yayaka, but I love these two.
Oreki x Chitanda: The chemistry between these two is incredible, in spite of the fact that we never get to see them start dating. Chitanda helps to pull Oreki out of his shell, much like Papika helped Cocona, though it obviously occurs in a different way. The thing I care about most for ships is the sense that the relationship meaningfully improves the characters as people, and I definitely get that sense between these two. The final episode in which Oreki mentally takes on a part of Chitanda’s burden is excellent and shows how strong their relationship is and will be.
Kaban x Serval: I see every ship in Kemono Friends as a different type of relationship. In the case of Kaban and Serval, I see them as two people who’ve fallen in love for the first time, early in their relationship. These two are absolutely adorable throughout the whole anime. Serval’s naivety and Kaban’s lack of knowledge cross well, as it helps to show them mutually benefit one another throughout the series. They’re cute and close the whole time, but it’s the end that really seals them. Seeing how much they care about one another when they’re in danger is excellent, but even better is the fact that Serval is willing to leave her home in order to come with Kaban. They’re absolutely adorable and I’m sure their relationship will only improve in the future.
HM: Moose x Lion, Fennec x Raccoon, Crested Ibis x Alpaca, Prarie Dog x Beaver, Margay x PPP, Red Fox x Silver Fox, Eurasian Owl x Northern Owl: I can’t actually give detail to why I like all of these individually, so I’ll just sum up why I like shipping all these characters so much. Not only does Kemono Friends bring most characters in pairs, it focuses pretty heavily on the dynamic between these pairs. When you focus on relationship dynamics like that it’s only natural that a lot of ships come out of it. Like I said they all have different dynamics and embody different relationship tropes, but they’re all unquestionably great.
Nico x Maki: This is perhaps my second favorite ship of all time. I absolutely adore the double tsundere dynamic in this and other relationships, and everything else about them is good as well. Nico struggles for the unlikely dream of becoming a successful idol while helping her relatively poor family, while Maki has been set up to become a doctor by her rich parents her whole life. That these two can come together is a miracle which is only possible because they became school idols, and that’s incredibly sweet. Doujins are what really sell them the best though, as it’s where we get to really see their deredere sides. If not for how perfect my true OTP is, this would easily be my favorite ship. It has canonical support, plenty of fan material, and it’s just adorable. For good doujins check out Ooshima Tomo, Sekihara, Karuha, and Udon.
HM: Nozomi x Eli, Honoka x Tsubasa, Kotori x Umi, Rin x Hanayo: Let’s run down this list real quick. Nozomi and Eli are basically a married couple and easily have the most canon support in the series. I can’t possibly imagine them being separated and they do a great job at being the “moms” of µ’s. Honoka x Tsubasa is rarer than I would like but it works great. Honoka doesn’t have anyone really good to pair with, and Tsubasa clearly shows an interest in her. Kotori and Umi can both be paired with Honoka, but I think they work better together, primarily because Umi’s reticent personality pairs well with Kotori’s bubbliness without verging into the occasional stupidity that Honoka brings. Lastly, Rin and Hanayo are just adorable together and fawn over one another all the time.
Love Live Sunshine
Chika x Riko: If these two had more fan material, I’m almost certain I’d rate them on the same level as NicoMaki. I came into Sunshine expecting some good yuri ships, but I wasn’t expecting one of them to be canon. Sunshine is practically a love story between Chika and Riko, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Chika does such a great job at helping Riko’s self-confidence, becoming friends with her right after she moves and encouraging her to do what she loves. They spend so much time together, eventually culminating in Riko’s amazing, romantic confession. I certainly feel bad for You in this situation; it never feels good being the third wheel. But these two are so strong together that I’ll never ship another 2nd-year pair, even if the others are cute.
HM: Kanan x Mari x Dia, Yoshiko x Hanamaru: I just can’t bear splitting up the 3rd years. They work so well together, and it’s so clear how much they care about one another. Kanan and Mari get a bit more material in the anime, but Dia is just as close to the two of them, and it’s easy to imagine them in a poly relationship. I might be willing to leave You out of the picture, but I couldn’t bear to do that to any of them. Yoshimaru is a ship I like almost entirely due to one doujin artist: the excellent Mezashi. Her fantastic, adorable Yoshimaru comics instantly endeared me to them, and it’s kind of hard to see them being in any other relationship now. Once again, sorry to Ruby and You, but I’ll defend these ships.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Kyouko x Sayaka: This is definitely the most tragic of all my ships, though it’s not all bad for them as we see in Rebellion. Sayaka spends most of the series obsessing over Kyousuke, but when she needs help Kyouko is the only one willing to be with her. Sayaka gave Kyouko a purpose and someone to care about after losing her family, so it’s clear that they’re both important to one another. In Rebellion this becomes incredibly true, given that they now live together and spend almost all their time with one another. Hell, Sayaka goes so far as to say her one regret was leaving Kyouko behind. They work incredibly well with one another and I can only imagine that once the world of Madoka is finally put down for good they’ll be able to find happiness with one another. I particularly like their doujins by Momoya Chika/Pikachi.
HM: Homura x Madoka: This one doesn’t need all that much explanation. Homura is explicitly in love with Madoka to an absurd extent. She spent 12 years trying to save Madoka from her fate, distorting her feelings to the point that she couldn’t accept Madoka’s eventual sacrifice. At first glance, this would be a very unhealthy relationship, and at the end of Rebellion, that’s certainly true. But Madoka possesses a remarkable amount of kindness and forgiveness, and given that Homura’s acts were done out of a misplaced worry for Madoka, I think she’ll ultimately be forgiven. That’s definitely not something that’ll happen soon, but I like the ship enough to believe it’ll occur someday.
Spice and Wolf
Kraft x Holo: I might prefer Hyouka, but without a doubt, this is my favorite het ship in anime, and that comes down almost entirely to Holo being amazing and Kraft being cool. I tend to be pretty damn biased towards female characters, so a problem I often have with het ships is liking the female character a lot while disliking the male character. I certainly do love Holo; her sarcastic and haughty attitude is great, especially when we see her moments of vulnerability. But I also love Kraft, whose aloofness and pragmatism makes him quite likable. He’s attracted to Holo but he never gets creepy about it, and he clearly respects her as a person rather than seeing her as a mere romantic partner. The arc with Amarti does a great job showing how important they are to one another, something they’re usually simultaneously trying to hide. These two are just great.
Himawari x Sakurako: It’s hard to pick my favorite ship in a series with as many as Yuru Yuri, but I ultimately always return to Himawari and Sakurako. As I said before, I’m a huge fan of the double tsundere dynamic, and when you combine it with childhood friends as was done here it’s unbeatable. I think the moment that really sealed this ship for me was seeing the two of them sign a marriage form as kids. It was such a cute display of their affection for one another, an affection that hasn’t disappeared over time even if the two of them are often unwilling to admit it. I’m fairly certain that as soon as they reach high school or college they’ll start going out for real, and I’m pretty happy imagining that.
HM: Kyouko x Yui, Akari x Chinatsu: Kyouko x Yui isn’t that popular, and I understand why. Ayano is a really fun character, so it’s only natural that people want to see her succeed with Kyouko. That being said, everything about Kyouko x Yui is endearing to me. I love childhood friend romances, and their usual boke and tsukkomi routine is one of the best around. They clearly care a lot about one another and I can only imagine that their relationship would be really cute. Also, it’s pretty clear that Namori supports this when you see what she’s drawn. Akari and Chinatsu, on the other hand, have a lot supporting them and make more sense. Barring the sexual assault “kiss practice”, the two of them have a lot of natural chemistry. Chinatsu’s interest in Yui is little more than an obsession, one that’ll almost certainly pass with time. Her time with Akari, on the other hand, shows moments of genuine care; their date in season 3 especially. It’s sometimes a bit odd to ship Akari with others given that she’s the only main cast member not shown to be into girls, but I think it’s pretty obvious she’d reciprocate Chinatsu’s feelings if she were confessed to. The doujin that really sold me on this ship was “My True Feelings.”
The True OTP
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
Nanoha x Fate: These two are actually the platonic ideal of a perfect ship in my eyes. Absolutely nothing could possibly top them, other than a literal copy-paste that just went farther. Standing strong as anime’s best example of an open secret in terms of yuri relationships, Nanofate has everything I’m looking for in a ship. They start off as rivals or maybe even enemies, but even from their first encounter Nanoha is enchanted, taken in by Fate’s “beautiful but lonely eyes.” As they fight Nanoha only falls deeper for Fate, who is pretty quick to reciprocate once she breaks free from her mother’s control. From here on they’re together for life, clearly possessing great romantic feelings for one another from the start.
From here they only get better. Fate eventually moves to Nanoha’s town just so they can spend more time with one another, and that happens. After middle school, they leave with Hayate for Mid-Childa, but they hardly fall out of contact once becoming part of the TSAB. They spend tons of time with one another, even though they are limited by their jobs. They eventually start sharing a room during the JS Incident, and this culminates in them adopting Vivio together as their daughter. I seriously can’t emphasize enough how amazing it is that they have a daughter who calls both of them “mama”. As more time passes they eventually get their own house and are collectively referred to as the Takamachi family. These two are married, even if not legally, and no one can convince me otherwise. Their adoption of a child is really what seals the deal; platonic friends don’t do that. They have a million amazing doujins by Kohaku, Mekimeki Oukoku, Nanashiki, Tokoharu, Nagomi Kissa, KTR*Aihara and many other amazing artists. I legitimately can’t imagine how another ship could even come close.
HM: Vivio x Einhart, Rinne x Fuuka: This is already incredibly long and these two aren’t even near Nanofate but I’ll touch on them. Vivio is her mothers’ daughter, so it’s only natural that she’s gay as fuck. Her relationship with Einhart is, in a lot of ways, a mirror to Nanofate’s relationship, and that’s fine. I already like their relationship and given that Vivio takes a bit more after Nanoha it was only natural. FuuRin is also based on Nanofate a bit and once again that’s why I like them. They actually verbally confirm their love for one another though, something we’ve never even seen from Nanofate, and that was really nice to see.
While this series took quite a bit of time, coming in at around 6000 words, I really enjoyed doing it and would be glad to do make some more self-indulgent posts if anyone is interested. Hope you enjoyed this series and hope you stick around for other posts on my blog.
3 thoughts on “My Favorite Ships Part 3: The OTPs”
Reading about your favorite ships and your reasons for supporting said couples was a real treat.
I would be interested in reading more of your self-indulgent posts if you continue to enjoy writing them!
The other posts you write for your blog are great, too, and I look forward to them as always.
“The thing I care about most for ships is the sense that the relationship meaningfully improves the characters as people” Hear, hear! THIS, more than anything is something I try to stress when shipping characters.
This has been a glorious three-part exploration of indulgence, if I do say so myself. And it’s given me more cause to watch quite a few of the shows mentioned, particularly the Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series – if for any reason but to see the relationship play out.
It’s incredible to see so much amazing fanart and endearing stories about the ships we love (and maybe also the ones we don’t lol). They’re doing remarkable work and as much as I may sympathize with some ships remaining outside canon, I don’t see that as such a bad thing considering all the amazing art and stories made by fans out there. It’s a win-win in my book and one of the most awesome phenomenons in inspiring so many emotional realms of gratifying creations.
I would very much look forward to seeing more INDULGENT POSTS from you. Enjoyable stuff. Love it.
Well you’re the second person to support it so I suppose I will do more indulgent stuff, though I’ll wait till I land on a killer idea. And yeah, for a lot of these I’m fine with just shipping them even without confirmation. My personal policy for shopping tends to be that evidence is necessary but confirmation is not.
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