Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Single's Awareness Day! (Usertoothless's Favorite Ships)

So, it's that time of year again... a time where my dating friends all wind up spending tons of money, time, and thought to please and impress their significant other. I don't have that problem! So, I'm gonna steal a little time away from all of my lab work and actually post a list of my favorite couples from fiction. Some of these are more canon than others, but all of them are generally accepted in their fandoms, so I'm going for it!

So, I should hit Hiccstrid before I get to the others. Honestly... Hiccstrid probably comes in fourth place out of these. It's a great coupling, don't take me wrong, it's just that the way it is handled in the franchise is so... mixed. It's extremely inconsistent between the movies and the series, and that annoys me. I should also note that the Hiccstrid story arch was never what attracted me to HTTYD. Sure, I appreciate it. I appreciate that Astrid was Hiccup's first real human friend, that she stuck with him and encouraged him through the mental anguish of the first film. She's a GREAT character, and I love seeing them together in the second movie. It's just that I really come to HTTYD primary for Hiccup and Toothless. Their little self-contained story is extremely special, and I love it when it is just the two of them against the world. That's the story I relate to the most... and that's the kind of relationship I admire and want the most. After that, we have Hiccup and Stoick... another extremely relatable story arc. So, it's not that Hiccstrid is bad... it just suffers from the competition. I know a LOT of people in the fandom love it, so don't think I'm dissing it. After all, it made my list solidly ;)

In fifth place, we have "Soriel", or Sans and Toriel. These two are never really confirmed to be in a romantic pairing, but they are obviously close friends. Both characters are adorable when they are together, and they have strikingly dramatic and dynamic character arcs. Ok, so after this point UNDERTALE SPOILERS FOLLOW. Just skip this paragraph if you don't want a spoiler! I really like how Toriel is a sweet, doting, mother figure for the fallen human. But, at the same time, she's got a lot of fire (ha, literally), and she is willing to pack quite a punch when the situation calls for it. She also has suffered countless heartbreak, but unlike her ex-husband, she has not allowed the grief to blind her. So, she remains cooped up in the ruins... hiding from the world, trying to protect the children who keep on falling down. Then one day someone knocks on her door... just practicing knock-knock jokes by himself in the snow. She answers back, and soon the two are fast friends. She begins to compile lists of puns and jokes to tell her buddy. It's all she needs, a single happy ray shining into her dark world. And then we have the character on the other side of the door... a depressed older brother. He sees the timelines and is fully aware of the futility of everything, leading to him being lazy and apathetic. However, he holds onto only two things, his sense of gallows humor, and his dear younger brother. He finds someone to relate to, someone to laugh at him and to give him value even when he won't value himself. And boy... if you happen to kill this skeletons brother and joking pal, he shows just how truly terrifying his devotion can be. He is watching everything. Behind his goofy jokes and lazy demeanor, his eyes are locked steadily on what is happening. He goes from being the charming clown to the epic final hero of a tragic tale. You take everything from him, and even though he knows he cannot truly beat you, he tries to stop you, even if it means killing you over and over and over and over again. The fact is, both of these characters are extremely endearing. One is a mothering figure, and the other is quite a father like (in that he gives advice, goofs around, warns... and in the end judges). So, I like this pairing a lot... even if it isn't set in stone!

Oh, look, another indie game! These things really know how to pull my heartstrings. This is Plague Knight and Mona. Ok, yet again I'll give a spoiler warning. If you plan to play Shovel Knight, don't read this paragraph! Anyway, in this strange litter medieval quest, we have a mischevious alchemist named Plague Knight. He plans to betray the wicked Order of No Quarter that has hired him, steal their magic, and use it to create the ultimate potion, a potion that will make him famous, powerful, and most of all... grant any wish. Accompanying him is his bright assistant, Mona. She too wishes for the fame and glory that the potion will grant... or at least that is what the story looks like from the outset. As things develop, we quickly see that Plague Knight is shy and awkward around Mona. This is odd, because he's a really sarcastic and quit witted character... if not a little manic. Then, he sees her dancing alone in the potions hall. He accidentally walks in on this, and is embarrassed that she caught him watching. She then says she loves dancing, but she has no one to do it with. Plague Knight awkwardly says he has two left feet, and then leaves on his next quest. However, he soon finds someone to teach him how to dance, and this actually changes the game's controls! The player can then hold a certain button, and Plague Knight will sweetly dance a solo ballroom dance in an attempt to practice. Later in the story, and enemy convinces Mona that Plague Knight intends to double cross her and has affections for someone else. He is too nervous to retort, and she leaves him alone to "clear her head". He continues his epic quest, but now his motivations for obtaining the potion are all too clear: he will use it to make himself worthy of her love. In the end, right before he is able to use it, Mona returns, and the two realize that they had what they wanted all along. They use the potion to obliterate an evil tower, earning them fame as alchemists, but instead of relishing in the cheering crowds, the two alchemists sneak back to the potions room. Under dim lights, they dance and extremely touching waltz, and the story comes to a close. 

If you've been on my blog for long, you'll know that I LOVE the legend of Zelda. While many of the games have some really sweet romantic pairings, Twilight Princess is my favorite. Aaaaand, I'll give you a spoiler warning again! These two never really get together. Link already has an established girlfriend, and at first, Midna is dismissive, manipulative, and even cruel to the young man. However, she begins to grow attached to him after seeing him stand up for her against an extremely overpowered foe. She is mortally wounded, and he carries her on his back in the rain to the one person who can heal her. Zelda sacrifices herself to purge Midna, and upon seeing that selflessness, Midna has a drastic change of heart. She no longer treats the world of light as if it was worthless, and she begins to show gratitude towards Link. She even shares some of her darker secrets with him. By the end of the game, I think it's pretty clear that she has a crush on him, but it is a one-way thing. She is selfless enough not to try and manipulate his feelings, and in the end she sacrifices any hope of ever seeing him again for the sake of protecting her people (and that's AFTER she teleported him out of harms way and went to confront an evil with the power of a god all on her own). She and he are so incredibly sweet together, and it's one of those sad stories where it doesn't end the way she wanted... but she is willing to bear it. Seriously, she is an awesome character... probably my favorite in the whole LoZ franchise. She's complex, not black and white like so many other characters. Her character actually evolves along the entirety of the game, to the point where she becomes the real heroine of the tale and the player almost has to take back seat!

Ah, this one is a new one for me, but an old one for many others! If you don't want to read potential FMAB spoilers, just skip this paragraph! So this is Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye.
Seriously, both of these characters are beyond cool. On top of that, they both have complex backstories and moral flaws. But what is so great about them is that they share those things and work to fix them. Roy has literally entrusted his life to Riza as his bodyguard, but not in a normal way. He is walking a treacherous path in an attempt to claim political power. He faces many enemies and many temptations to do the wrong thing. He has given Riza the order to shoot him in the back if he ever steps out of line with his ideals. Now that is what I call a relationship! I love the fact that he is humble enough to acknowledge his need of a check. He holds his morals and motives in a way that is almost naive, but he is still not willing to trust himself not to slip. Add that to the fact that the two characters have brilliant, wry senses of humor, and you have one heck of a charming couple. One of my favorite parts about these two is that they are extremely professional. They don't flirt, they don't even use their first names in conversation! They are so rigid and uptight... some people don't even call them a couple. And, yeah, they never kiss. I honestly LOVE that about them because it means that we get to read into even the smallest gestures of kindness. A tiny compliment screams when it comes from one of these two characters. Yeah, so I ADORE Riza, and Roy is my favorite character in the show. Plus, I have discovered that most people claim Roy is an INTJ (Meyer's Briggs), and that's what I got... so maybe one day I'll find a Riza.

Well, there you have it. That's my top five. Which "ships" are your favorites? Please let me know in the comments!

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