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Great Anime Couples
Okay, here goes. As many of you may be aware, it is currently Valentine's Day. And, as many of you will no doubt agree, this is one of the weakest days the year has to offer. That said, I can't really help but admit that, for better or worse, I'm really a hopeless romantic at heart. So, while I cynically denounce Valentine's Day as an excuse for people who have a significant other to go broke trying to lord it over the rest of us, that won't stop me from making myself comfortable and watching the final half-dozen episodes of Maison Ikkoku. And getting a bit misty-eyed at one of the most touching proposals in television HISTORY. So, now that I have my inspiration, I thought it would be fun to tally up a few of the greatest couples in anime.
Now, before I begin, I would offer a few disclaimers. First, I have endeavored to stick to couples who fit a few basic criteria. One: I have to have seen all or a significant portion of the anime that shows the couple's relationship. I cannot include, for example, Son Goku and Chichi (having seen only Dragon Ball), Naruto Uzumaki and Hinata Hyuuga (having seen only Naruto), or Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba (having seen only a tiny smattering of the Sailor Moon franchise). Two: It must be a relationship clarified within those anime. If a relationship is resolved in the manga, but left ambiguous in the anime (Fruits Basket, for example), I have skipped it. Three: They must be a COUPLE. There are a LOT of great pairs in anime that are not romantic in nature, and a lot of relationships that have romance but cannot really be whittled down to just two partners. Four: I have tried to stick to couples who truly give me something to root for. There is something about these couples that makes you want them to succeed (though at least one is tragically doomed), and these are generally characters of whom it can be said that I LIKE them as a couple. Finally: I tried to avoid couples whose relationships were too clouded in my memory. A lot of movies fall into this category. I want to know whereof I speak, you know?
One more disclaimer, and THIS IS BIG! THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD! Do be aware that a discussion of great anime couples is, by definition, a discussion of key plot points. If you see any couples listed here from a show you don't want spoiled, do tread carefully, nee?
Incidentally, any list worth its salt will have to make some exclusions. Though it was painful to do so, I decided to go with a top 20 list rather than a top 25, in the hopes that it would have more, shall we say, impact. For those who are curious, the following couples just missed the final cut: Gourry Gabriev and Lina Inverse from the Slayers franchise, Clain and Phryne/ Nessa from Fractale, Soul Eater Evans and Maka Albarn from Soul Eater, Kenji Koiso and Natsuki Shinohara from Summer Wars, and InuYasha and Kagome Higurashi from the InuYasha franchise. Anyway, without further ado, I give you...
THE 20 GREATEST COUPLES IN ANIME
20. MAES HUGHES and GRACIA HUGHES--the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise
In truth, I debated including these close friends of Alphonse and Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell, the former of which was Roy Mustang's boon companion and one of the two checks on his ambitions throughout the series. In the end, though Maes' time in the series was excessively brief, and the time shown of him with his loving wife even briefer, it cannot be denied that here is one of the greatest loves in all of anime. Maes' little girl Elicia may have stolen his wife's thunder by the time the events in Brotherhood have kicked off (if I recall correctly, she is not born until shortly after the start of the first series), but the extraordinary love and devotion between husband and wife still shines through, making Maes' untimely death all the more tragic. This is particularly true in Brotherhood, when Envy uses the image of Gracia to lower Maes' guard. This couple would have made a lovely ray of sunshine in an often gloomy series, though it could be argued that Maes' death helped give the series a sense of gravitas; even so, they drive home early the show's themes of family, devotion and sacrifice.
19. HOWL and SOPHIE--Howl's Moving Castle
Okay, I'm already breaking one of my rules, since this movie is fuzzy in my mind. That said, Howl and Sophie make a nice couple, and the story surrounding them is fairly touching. Also, it's a Studio Ghibli film, so you know that relationships are both important and handled with care and finesse.
18. Kenta Usui and Karin Maaka--Karin
I'm sure some of you are going, "WHAAAAAA'?" I like this show, dammit, and I like the couple at the center of it. While it is true that Karin is but a pale shadow of the manga off of which it is based, and the depth of the relationship between Kenta and Karin is considerably less in the anime, it is still a touching and heartwarming story. Karin and Kenta are both misfits, drawn to each other by forces both supernatural and perfectly ordinary, and the way they handle their budding romance is easily a cut above most shows I've seen. I cannot in good conscience give these two a particularly high rating, but they are easily worth a mention.
17. MIROKU and SANGO--InuYasha
Okay, I'm breaking my rule again. I've not seen InuYasha: The Final Act, nor have I read the manga. However, I have seen the entire first series, and I have read enough to know that these two end up happily married, with kids. So, I will include them. Incidentally, it was tempting to make a similar consideration for InuYasha and Kagome, but in the end I decided that the dynamic between Miroku and Sango worked better for me, and I felt more comfortable declaring them a quality couple.
16. ZELGADIS GREYWORDS and AMELIA WIL TESLA SEYRUUN--the Slayers franchise
This entry is, I admit, a slight bending of my rules. Zelgadis and Amelia aren't exactly "together," but in many ways they are a couple nonetheless. One could actually say the same about their friends and frequent travel companions, Gourry Gabriev and Lina Inverse. However, I give the edge to Zelgadis and Amelia since they, at least, are aware of their mutual attraction, and they show more growth in their relationship over the course of the various series. In the end, I had to include at least one Slayers couple more out of sentimentality than anything. That said, these are both amusing and likeable couples, and Amelia and Zelgadis, in particular, demand attention.
15. SETSUNA SAKURAZAKI and KONOKA KONOE--the Negima! franchise
Did you think a guy could make one of these lists without at least one yuri couple? Just kidding. Seriously, though, I adore Konoka, and Setsuna in particular is one of my favorite characters in a franchise that I enjoy immensely; the fact that they make such a cute couple just made their inclusion on this list almost a no-brainer. I must confess, however, that I am once again stretching my rules a bit. For one, the Negima! series is rather frustrating for the disconnected nature of its animated offerings. The first portion of the manga has been more or less faithfully rendered in two separate anime, but the later chapters which have been adapted have been so in a very disconnected manner. So, I've actually only seen bits and pieces of Konoka and Setsuna's relationship, and as far as I know their pactio agreement hasn't been animated. Also, I don't know if their becoming Negi Springfield's permanent partners nullified their own partnership, or if they still share a direct magical link to each other. At least their pact with Negi theoretically doesn't preclude a continued romance between them, one that I'm sure will continue to grow.
14. MIYU YAMAZAKI and YAMATO KOTOBUKI--Super GALS!
This may seem an out-of-left-field contender, given the shows listed thus far; there has been a heavy shounen component, and here is a DECIDEDLY shoujo series. Also, some Americans might find the idea of a twenty-something cop dating a high-schooler to be somewhat distasteful. But, they're such a CUUUUUTE couple. In fact, they're almost too cute, which is one reason why they don't rank higher on my list. When you get below the candy-gloss surface, however... Miyu has a dark past. She grew up neglected and angry, and in middle school became a dangerous gang leader. It was Yamato and his imperious "super gal" sister Ran who set Miyu straight; it is her devotion to each (her best friend and her ain true love) that keeps her on the straight and narrow. I like Miyu a lot; she and Ran are both classic characters, and though Yamato's a bit of a limp noodle he's a great foil for them. So, while they are not Top 10 material, Miyu and Yamato are certainly one classic couple.
13. SAE and HIRO--the Hidamari Sketch franchise
Oh, lookie here, another yuri couple. I swear I'm not being prejudiced--I just can't think of any appropriate yaoi couples that I've seen in anime. Sae and Hiro are a very adorable couple in a very adorable series. They are best friends, but also very clearly closer than most friends would be. Hidamari, indeed, could be called a show about the power of friendship, and a truly delightful one at that; the warmth and charm of such a show goes a long way towards getting its stars on a list such as this.
12. GOUTA MIDORIKAWA and SORA SUZUKI--Someday's Dreamers II: Sora
It had to happen sooner or later--a doomed couple. Again, I remind you to beware of spoilers. At the start of the second Someday's Dreamers series, Gouta is a taciturn, rather sullen individual deeply resentful of the expectations placed on him as a mage. Sora is a chipper, upbeat mage of tremendous natural talent. She works on Gouta, slowly rubbing away at his rougher edges, and before he knows what is going on, love is taking hold. Then, tragedy strikes. Though this is one of the shortest-lived couples among those listed here, I daresay it is also one of the most touching. Watching this series is not always easy, and you will cry, but I do believe that the relationship between Gouta and Sora is truly one of the greats.
11. SEIJI AMASAWA and SHIZUKU TSUKISHIMA--Whisper of the Heart
One of the only anime movies with a central couple that left a truly strong impression on me, Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart features a strong-willed and creative but aimless young lady who finally finds a measure of purpose when she falls in love. Unfortunately, she falls for a guy who's about to leave the country. This is definitely not your typical Studio Ghibli film, a bit darker and more adult than almost any other released by Disney in America. I was very touched by these two, and this bittersweet story definitely demanded a spot near the Top 10.
10. ROY MUSTANG and RIZA HAWKEYE--the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise
Damn, Fullmetal Alchemist sure handles relationships well, doesn't it? I can actually see why Brotherhood is second only to Steins;Gate and Clannad: After Story on Anime News Network's Top 500 list. One of the keys to that success (and indeed one of the keys to success for the first series) is the tremendous attention paid to the key relationship between the upwardly mobile Colonel Roy Mustang and his loyal right-hand lieutenant Riza Hawkeye. Not only do these two have years of looking out for each other already under their belts, but their story goes much deeper. Hawkeye is the chief and primary check on Mustang's more dangerous tendencies; he told her years ago to shoot him "if he ever strayed from the path," and she sincerely agreed. Though Ed and Scar helped, it was Hawkeye who kept Mustang from taking out on Envy his vengeance over Maes Hughes' murder. In essence, she spared his soul. For his part, Mustang gave Hawkeye someone to devote her efforts to; she is the sort who truly shines when she has someone to care for. Both are strong, independent people of deep integrity, and their relationship is one of the cornerstones of humanity in a series often threatened to be overwhelmed by inhuman monsters.
9. Tamahome and Miaka Yuuki--the Fushigi Yugi franchise
Ah, another tragic couple. Well, sort of. I am mostly serious when I say that Fushigi Yugi is the anime one would get by throwing Romeo and Juliet, the Book of Job, a fantasy RPG and a magical girl series into a blender, then trying to make it depressing. In some ways, I hesitate to place these two so high on my list, but the fact remains that I did root for these two. No matter how much CRAP got dumped on them as the series went on, these two kept finding each other, over and over. When they FINALLY beat their enemies and broke the rules of time and space to be together, the first two OVAs came along to say, "HAAAAAAAHAAAA!" And then... Eikoden happened. I can't quite say I hated Eikoden, but it IRRITATED THE HELL OUT OF ME! This was an ideal opportunity to, I don't know, show these two as a couple. To wit, at the start of Eikoden, Miaka is pregnant. If you've seen ANY of the show, you know what that means. The human eating machine, whose gluttony is a running joke throughout the series, is now pregnant. A full episode of jokes at her expense, right? Nope, not one! Also, hardly any time of the two as a couple. No, instead some bitch comes along and literally steals Miaka's unborn child as she travels back to ancient China and tries to also steal her status as the Priestess of Suzaku. WHAT A WASTED OPPORTUNITY! Anyway, I think one reason I put them so high on the list is the disappointment I feel at that series--I doubt I would have cared as much if this was a weak or forgettable couple.
8. KYOSUKE KASUGA and MADOKA AYUKAWA--Kimagure Orange Road
I'm sorry to say it, but my recollection of this particular couple is weaker than I would like. That said, they are a very likeable couple; Madoka in particular is one of the coolest female interests in all of anime. This series is also remarkable for its impressive blending of real-life issues and a family with secret paranormal powers whose oddity serves the plot rather than being the plot. In short, this is a great series, and I look forward to seeing it again; this couple may even rate higher once revisited.
7. KEIICHI MORISATO and BELLDANDY--the Ah! My Goddess franchise
One of the most enduring and sickly sweet couples in all of anime is the painfully cute pairing of kindhearted gearhead Keiichi Morisato and the infinitely patient and understanding deity Belldandy. Though their relationship begins on a whim inspired by an accident, and many consider the series a harem show, hardly any harem anime has so much focus on a central couple that none of the other "harem" choices seem at all valid. Admittedly, these two are a bit less fleshed out than most of the characters on this list; their sweetness and likeability are worth a lot of points, but I suspect that one of the reasons I love Belldandy's meddling half-sister Urd is because I feel her frustration--would these two just ACT already?
6. EDWARD ELRIC and WINRY ROCKBELL--the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise
In contrast to the previous couple, few couples that I have seen in anime feel more real, more honest, than the Fullmetal Alchemist Edward Elric and his childhood friend and automail mechanic Winry Rockbell. As noted before, Fullmetal Alchemist is remarkable for its focus on relationships; the relationships between Winry and the Elric brothers are deeply touching, and I'm quite pleased with the resolution reached in Brotherhood between her and Ed. That said, they didn't show enough. Those who complain that these two barely qualify to be on this list since they are barely SHOWN as a couple are not entirely wrong; in the end, however, the evidence IS there, and I just like these two so much that I've gotta give them high marks.
5. KEITAROU URASHIMA and NARU NARUSEGAWA--the Love Hina franchise
Some would bristle at a harem anime making the Top 5 of a couples' list. And I must confess that, for most of the series, I would be hard-pressed to justify Keitarou and Naru as a proper couple. That ends, though, with the deeply romantic Christmas Special, Silent Eve--there is a reason that it is probably my single most-watched anime to date, and that is the wonderful moment when Keitarou and Naru finally get together. Say what you will, I had to have these two near the top.
4. RYUUJI TAKASU and TAIGA AISAKA--Toradora!
The delightful Toradora! is one the absolute greatest romantic dramedies in all of anime, and it is largely thanks to the intriguing, complex, and well-handled budding romance between two strangely loveable leads, imposing but kindhearted clean-freak Ryuuji and diminutive tsundere slob Taiga. In particular, the "palm-top Tiger" is utterly adorable despite her violent tendencies and quick temper, and one can't help but root for these two to each just forget about the people who would make a fair match for them and instead look at the one that would be perfect. They are "stupid in love" and don't even know it for the longest time. Admittedly, they only get together very near the end of the anime; this is a show that VERY NEARLY lost at least a half star, for it nearly ended too soon, and as it is I wish it had gone as far as the game apparently did. That said, watch Ryuuji and Taiga wend their way towards each other was a deeply fulfilling experience, and I look forward to seeing it again sometime.
3. TOMOYA OKAZAKI and NAGISA FURUKAWA--Clannad and Clannad: After Story
I love Clannad. Just wanted to get that out there. One of the reasons why I love Clannad is the central relationship, between downcast delinquent Tomoya Okazaki and the strange, sickly girl who becomes for him a light in the darkness and, eventually, his reason for living, Nagisa Furukawa. Admittedly, this could be called a harem series, and indeed alternate versions exist focusing on Tomoya's relationships with Tomoyo Sakagami and the Fujibayashi twins. That said, it is clear that Nagisa is his intended, that fate had decreed that they should get together. In fact, few shows have ever shown so blatantly, with such force, how destined for each other two people are. Some call the show manipulative, some deride the odd ending, for just exactly these reasons; I sit back and enjoy. Sure, Nagisa is weak and submissive, but there is a fire in her that burns brighter with Tomoya's help; just watch how determined she is to have her little girl Ushio, despite the SERIOUS risks involved. For his part, Tomoya is actually interesting, and feels much more fleshed-out than the typical male anime lead. Many of the show's most touching moments involve these two; for a list such as this, little more justification is really needed.
2. YUUSAKU GODAI and KYOKO OTONASHI--Maison Ikkoku
Maison Ikkoku is my favorite anime, bar none, and its central couple is a key reason why. I am frustrated as hell by Godai, a spineless, wishy-washy wimp who strings along sweet Kozue Nanao and fails to fend off advances both romantic (Ibuki Yagami) and rivalrous (Shun Mitaka) due to his weak, go-with-the-flow nature. I am similarly frustrated by Kyoko, who is jealous, demanding, and unforgiving, and who is almost as wishy-washy with Mitaka as Godai is with Kozue. That said, as the show goes on you learn a great deal about why these two are who they are, and all is mostly forgiven. Also, the fact remains that a 96-episode series that centers around a single budding relationship is rather an oddity, and these two deserve credit for, essentially, creating in my mind the very definition of what should go on this list. They also deserve credit for one of the most romantic proposals IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION, and though Kyoko's response was, honestly, unreasonable, damn if it don't get me a bit misty-eyed. This is one of my favorite couples in all of television, and it was number one until...
1. AKIO FURUKAWA and SANAE FURUKAWA--Clannad and Clannad: After Story
What can I say, Clannad is one hell of a show. I LOVE the Furukawas, Nagisa's doting parents. Akio seems to have more than a couple screws loose; he is obsessed with baseball, casually insults his wife's baking before stuffing his face full of her bread and running after her to comfort her, and frequently drops hints to Tomoya to do things with his daughter, then threatens him not to go through with it. All in good fun, of course. For her part, Sanae is impossibly sweet, and more than a little kooky herself. And together, they ADORE Nagisa, and instantly accept Tomoya as a member of their family. It is indeed through them that Tomoya learns what a family is, and it is through the Furukawas that he finally finds meaning, and peace, in his life. And let's not forget the sacrifices they made along the way. No, when making a list of the greatest couples in all of anime, one cannot overlook Akio and Sanae. They are number one with a bullet!
So, there you have it. If you are still with me, thank you. I hope you enjoyed checking out my choices, whether or not you agree with them. Feel free to leave comments, as well as your own recommendations. I always enjoy seeing great new shows after all.
It's been a year today since I posted this article, and I have been truly astonished by the number of hits it's received. I've also been keeping an eye out for possible couples to add to the list, and I've seen a few potential candidates. Remember, there are spoilers here. Holo the Wise Wolf and Kraft Lawrence from Spice and Wolf caught my attention, though their relationship is one that necessarily has a bittersweet ending, given that Holo is a centuries-old wolf spirit and Lawrence is an ordinary human; that said, they love each other and do make a fine couple. Similarly, Shirou Emiya and Saber from Fate/stay night become a very definite pair by the end of the series; however, the nature of their relationship is such that they are doomed to part, leading to a bittersweet series ending where they stay in each other's hearts, but no more. A few other series had definite couples in them, but perhaps no series that I've seen in the past year is a better candidate for this list than the lovely, by turns action-packed and melancholy adventure series Allison & Lillia. This series, in fact, is a generational saga with three couples from which to choose. The secret prince Treize and his childhood friend Lilliane Acacia Corazon Whittington Schulz are a great pair, though they don't really become an official couple until the very end of the series; indeed, one of my chief complaints about the series was how open-ended their story was. However, their respective parents definitely deserve consideration. Treize's parents, international hero Carr Benedict and Crown Princess Francesca (aka Fiona) are the Keiichi and Belldandy of this series, a couple so sappy-sweet that reference is actually made more than once IN SERIES to how difficult it is to be in their presence. That Benedict was a notorious womanizer before being tamed by the quiet yet forceful Fiona helps make their story more interesting, and they do serve as a nice foil for the series' other primary couple--Lillia's parents, Allison Whittington and Wilhelm Schulz. In stark contrast to Benedict and Fiona, Allison and Will take forever to get together, and then are forced apart, though at some point they start to carry on their liaison secretly. Indeed, their parting irritated the hell out of me, and would have been a far greater irritation if it was not shown by the end of the same episode that they carried on their love in secret, with Will being Allison's "boyfriend" Major Travas. Truthfully, the fact that Will so fully prioritizes world peace over love is a minor annoyance for me, and the fact that EVERYONE hides his true relationship to Lillia from her, among other things (this never IS fixed during the series, and is my biggest gripe about the show), strikes me as an odd thing for them to do as parents; I would rate them higher otherwise. That said, Allison and Will would easily make this list, and Benedict and Fiona might probably do so; the other couples would likely get honorable mention. As before, I hope you find these choices fitting, and welcome any suggestions for further series to watch. Happy viewing.
Author's Update 2
Since my last update of this article, I have been astonished to realize that I forgot to include Genshiken, a series that does a fine job of portraying geek love, and thereby practically an essential piece in a list such as this. The first and perhaps most baffling of the three potential couples set forth by this series is that of otaku-hating Saki Kasukabe and her dyed-in-the-wool otaku boyfriend Makoto Kohsaka. This couple starts off doomed to failure, but for whatever reason Saki is so determined to be with Kohsaka that she actively changes for him, essentially becoming an otaku sympathizer, and even staying with him once he starts designing eroge (videogame porn, in essence). This may not be the healthiest relationship in anime, but one could argue that Saki's growth is mostly positive, and the fact that she initiates all that effort entirely on her own volition, as well as the fact that Kohsaka's really a pleasant and undemanding guy, make some of the more uncomfortable possibilities of such a relationship a fairly moot point. The second relationship I'll note from the series barely qualifies, since it is not fully resolved by the end of Genshiken 2 (however, perhaps Genshiken Second Season will clarify this one); this is the relationship between Kanji Sasahara and Chika Ogiue. They make a cute couple, though again they never fully get together within the part of the anime I've seen, despite the efforts of both Saki Kasukabe and Kanako Ohno. And, speaking of Ohno, there is her relationship with Souichiro Tanaka, with whom she bonded over a shared love of cosplay. Ohno and Tanaka may well be the best relationship on display in the series, and certainly they seem the most natural fit; I'd be tempted to put them in my top 20, with Saki and Kohsaka getting at least honorable mention, and Sasahara and Ogiue getting a tentative mention. Speaking of bending my rules to accommodate relationships not entirely explored within the anime, I feel compelled to revisit one of my original picks, Konoka Konoe and Setsuna Sakurazaki from the Mahou Sensei Negima! franchise. Having finally read the manga, I am even more convinced that the stalwart swordswoman Setsuna and her beloved Ojou-sama should be high on the list. Furthermore, I'd be tempted to include Natsumi Murakami and Kotarou Inugami, two characters barely included in the anime. Unfortunately, since all of the official ties in Konoka and Setsuna's relationship (their first attempted pactio, their actual pactio, and their wedding) have not yet been animated, and neither has a great deal of their development as a couple, I'd have to break the anime-only rule to put them higher; the fact that Natsumi and Kotarou both have minimal screentime in any of the anime, and only perhaps one significant scene together, makes them completely ineligible by this rule. I put the rule in place for a reason--I've read very little manga, and I didn't want people's expectations of what happens on the page to color their feelings about this list. That said, I REALLY got into Negima!, and am most frustrated to give these couples short shrift. At least I can say, however, that the question of whether Negi Springfield's pactio with all the girls of 3-A negated pre-existing pactios is a moot point for me now, since I prefer the manga ending to the movie. For one, it dials WAY DOWN the harem nature of the movie ending, making the inclusion of one of the series' couples more logical. Anyway, I just wanted to get that out there; adhering to my original rules, there would be no change on my list, but the inclusion of manga would bump Konoka and Setsuna up a couple spaces and make Natsumi and Kotarou contenders. As always, I appreciate your comments and suggestions, and look forward to finding more great anime couples. Happy viewing!
Author's Update 3
Hello again. Having just finished rewatching the classic series Cardcaptor Sakura, I have decided that three new couples can be mentioned here, at least one of which could clearly make my Top 20 (and is a threat for the Top 10), and one is my first yaoi couple. The first, which really is more of an honorable mention, is also the only one of the three where the couple was indisputably a couple during the course of the series: series protagonist Sakura Kinomoto's good friend Chiharu Mihara and her pathologically untruthful longtime friend Takashi Yamazaki. These two are a first-class comedy team, but there are also moments where you see that they work rather well as a couple. That said, they are not nearly as developed as characters, let alone as a couple, as the other two couples listed, which is why I give them honorable mention. The yaoi couple, which may be debatable but which seems to me to be pretty definite by the end of the series, is Sakura's older brother Toya and Yukito Tsukishiro, the guy that Sakura was crushing on for most of the series and the alternate form of her magical companion Yue. This couple was built up slowly over the course of some 60 episodes, and they really do complement each other well. When Yukito/ Yue is about to disappear, and Toya sacrifices his magical power to save his dear friend, it is a rather pivotal moment in the series; not only is the true nature of their friendship revealed, but Sakura also learns that her brother has known about her activities for some time, that he knows Yukito's true nature, and that he is kinder and more giving than she had ever suspected. In short, it's a great moment in their relationship as well; it also helps her be much more understanding when she finally admits her feelings for Yukito and he turns her down. Incidentally, this helps lead to my final pick from the series, and my top new couple for the list, Sakura Kinomoto and her dear friend and erstwhile rival Syaoran Li. Much like Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell, this is a relationship that is barely portrayed as a "couple" within the series, so some may argue that they shouldn't count; also much like Ed and Winry, enough evidence exists within the series for what a great couple these two will be that I can still list them. Put simply, these two kids spend the better part of 70 episodes growing from bitter rivals to inseperable best friends, and a great deal of the latter part of the series is spent on building toward the inexorable conclusion that these two will be together; that the series does this so well makes it an incredibly charming show, and I found myself rooting for these two quite a bit. Anyway, as always, I encourage you all to share any thoughts on additional couples I may have missed, and I wish you happy viewing!