Winter 2012 Season Shipping Report

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought I would once again make some themed posts for the holiday. While not the very-much-facetious-even though-some-people-thought-it-wasn’t harem finder service from last year, I’ve decided to pursue another romantic theme. Shipping. Many are the joys of deciding upon or instinctively taking to certain pairings of characters. The thrill of battle against other ships and their supporters, the ambrosia-like taste of victory and the lasting scars of defeat most cruel. Shipping is the sport of kings.

So to kick off this series of shipping posts leading up to Valentine’s Day, a post on my current shipping in this season’s shows. We’re getting around to the halfway point, so there’s still much that can go right, and go wrong. But whether it’s a ship that has a chance or appeared doomed from the start, I live by a simple motto: I’d ship it. So, in alphabetical order, the shows I’m watching and the shipping-related commentary.

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Amagami SS+

So, this first one isn’t exactly shipping in the classic sense. But with the advent of Amagami SS+ I can finally have some closure on what was my second favorite arc the first time around, Rihoko’s. And now that I’ve seen every girl get her respective GOOD END, I think I’ve come to like Rihoko’s the best, with Tsukasa falling back to a close second instead of leading the pack like she used to. Beyond my well known soft spot for childhood friend characters, I thought that Rihoko and Junichi coming together as a couple just had that extra element of sweetness that even Tsukasa didn’t quite have. That’s not to say that Tsukasa and her arc aren’t great, but Rihoko’s arc/afterstory was just so, so cute! It hit that part of my brain that just made me go aaaaaaawwwwww and squeal like a fangirl…in a manly fashion.

Ano Natsu de Matteru

Ano Natsu has turned out to be my main shipping show this season, though I’m currently of two minds about my ships. I instantly took to Kanna’s cause and started shipping her with Kaito, even though I knew from the first episode who the writer’s intended ship is. I stuck with my Kanna X Kaito ship through the increasingly common Kaito X Ichika scenes. And damn it!, the show has been making far too good a case for that ship! Ichika isn’t the usual ditzy, brainless magical/alien girlfriend character, and she and Kaito do seem to be really good for each other. This resulted in some shipping soul-searching, since I couldn’t ship Kanna with myself as Misa from Moretsu Pirates is Mai Waifu of the Season. But, Tetsurou has always been around, and I think that once Kanna goes through the certainly rough process of getting over Kaito, she’ll find that there’s a better match for her out there. Sucks to be Mio though, ooh ooh ooh!

Obligatory Kanna art. HHHHHHNNNNNNGGGGGG

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou/Daily Lives of High School Boys/Nichibros

 

One might think that a skit-based gag comedy wouldn’t have shipping in it. But the skilled shipper needs only a glance, a short scene, and instinct. There have been several scenes with the Literature Girl in them, trying to act cool on the riverbank. But the first one was the right one, as far as I’m concerned. Hidenori X Literature Girl, OTP. He seems the best match for her, in both the coincidence of reading on the riverbank and in general temperament once/if they finally drop their respective acts. There’s not much material in this show to ship, so I’m relying on that core skill of a shipper: instinct. The almost Newtype ability to see two character together and instantly and intuitively disregard, nay!, SURPASS logic and reason.

Oh, but once you both come to terms with her writing you can start hanging out more, when she can then begin shaping you to fit her storyline!

Gundam AGE

AGE-2 is still too new for me to say much, but I have plenty to talk about from AGE-1. I was initially suspicious of Yurin, since at first it wasn’t clear how different Gundam AGE would be from its UC predecessors. I was worried that the show would be too kiddy and/or a rehash of the same UC tropes in much the same way that most Gundam series have been since at least SEED. But the show has happily defied both of those pessimistic expectations of mine, and Yurin didn’t turn out to be just another Four or Stellar. Well, in most ways. I had built my Yurin and Flit ship and things were sailing along quite well. They got closer together, and Yurin was obviously on Flit’s mind all the time when they were separated. Emily didn’t have a chance, and surely this slightly more kiddyish Gundam wouldn’t pose a mortal threat to my ship. Or so I thought. While Gundam AGE rose to new heights when the bodies started dropping towards the end of AGE-1, my ship was collateral damage, sadly. I was literally yelling at the screen during that scene, first “no no no NO!” and then “KILL HIM! KIIILLLLLL HIIIIIMMMMM!” when Flit didn’t go for the cockpit shot to make certain that justice would be done. So now my ship has sunk, and in the time between AGE-1 and AGE-2, it seems that Emily was the victor by default. No wonder Flit spends so much time away from home, working in Federation HQ.

How it should have turned out.

Moretsu Pirates and Rinne no Lagrange

Bringing together two sci-fi ships in one image.

These two shows are sort of low-intensity shipping, at least to me. I definitely prefer Marika X Chiaki and Madoka X Ran to the other possible ships in these shows, but for the moment I’m mostly concentrating on the awesome hard science fiction space combat and seeing where the show is going, respectively. Marika X Chiaki has no real challengers at the moment, but even so, I doubt that there will be a better sci-fi yuri ship this season. Marika has a great way of roping the alternatingly tsundere and kuudere Chiaki into things when she’d rather try to play it cool, though Chiaki is the obvious one with feelings at this point. They’re a great pair and will make wonderful Pirate Queens of Tau Ceti. Madoka and Ran meanwhile is a bit different even with roughly similar character archetypes. Ran seems more held back by being naturally quiet and also feeling guilty about getting Madoka involved in things. But she’s also the one with clear feelings. But there will be rough seas ahead as my ship will have to fight off a boarding action by Muginami. But I have no love for Muginami or any ship between her and Madoka, for her ways are haughty and her love, false.

 

Nisemonogatari

This show is interesting for shipping in that it takes place in something like the shipping equivalent of a post-conflict environment. The war was waged between the only two real contenders during the last arc of Bakemonogatari, when Tsubasa arrived at the field of battle too late but fought bravely and well anyway. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like the relationship between Araragi and Senjyougahara in Bakemonogatari, it had an incredibly touching conclusion to it, a definite Great Moment in Anime. But I’ve always liked more and felt more towards Tsubasa. Her unrequited love for Araragi just seemed somehow deeper, like it went to the core of her being. Tsubasa X Araragi also had that ‘sweetness factor’ that I referred to above about Rihoko in Amagami. So, my ship had sunk before Nisemonogatari even began, and now I’m mostly watching how things play out from there, still wanting to cheer Tsubasa on but knowing that she’ll never have even the slim shot she once did. It kind of adds insult to injury that I really don’t care for her character redesign. Her old look was much better looking, in my opinion, and unfortunately she seems to have changed the most from the last ‘season.’ That said, I did enjoy watching her try and get back at Araragi, even a little, but laying out on his bed in various poses, as a way to punish him for making the wrong choice, haha!

 

This entry was posted in Amagami SS+, Ano Natsu, Assorted Anime Reviews, Gundam AGE, Moretsu Space Pirates, Nichibros, Nisemonogatari, Rinne no Lagrange and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

33 Comments

  1. Tzu
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Ano Matsu does made a complex relationship, uhm, pentagon, but I believe that what makes the series really good is how the writers are not afraid to make the situation increasingly complicated, Kaito’s (crappy) on-camera confession was totally unexpected since it was really early in the series, not to mention Tetsuro openly declaring Kanna’s feelings. I for my part am cheering for Mio/Tetsuro, but that sadly leaves Kanna pretty much alone.

    As for my favorite shipment…. definitely Senjougahara/Araragi. Sejougahara’s line: “Just so we are clear, I’m not such a coward that I’d hesitate because I’m facing a vampire; nor kind enough to hesitate because I’m facing my lover” won me over all again.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Ano Natsu is interesting because it seems like any old magical girlfriend show with some harem-like rivals, but it’s doing that kind of set up really well. It’s got better characters and writing than you’d expect from a fairly standard setting. It’s one of those cases where a show doesn’t have to be innovative to be good.

      Bakemonogatari/Nisemonogatari still has good Araragi and Senjyougahara moments. I don’t begrudge that ship for working, even if it’s not my preferred ship. Now, if he’d ended up with Nadeko, then I’d have problems, haha.

  2. Posted February 11, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m totally on the Literature Girl shipping with you. That first scene was very cute and romantic, even, nay!, ESPECIALLY, as a cynical subversion.

    It’s appeal comes from how in the end, it’s very *realistic*. I coudn’t imagine anyone in real life genuinely telling such a sappy monologue in the blowing wind, but it’s easy to imagine a real life boy and girl in such a situation fooling around with cliche parodies, and meanwhile getting closer to each other.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Definitely. The best part to me was that we hear everything going through Hidenori’s head as it’s going on, and then you’re let in on Literature Girl’s thoughts, in a way, after her manuscript gets found and read aloud. They’re both so similar, inside and out.

      • Bob from Accounting
        Posted February 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Incidentally, have you noticed that when Hidenori does an internal monologue, he turns into Kyon?

  3. Posted February 11, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I almost never “ship”, I think the only exception being when I got caught up in Mashiroiro Symphony (mind you, I wasn’t upset with the conclusion, but it wasn’t the ship I wanted…damn it!).

    I think Ano Natsu de Matteru is great. It may be using a worn plot, but so far the writers are excelling at execution and showing how screwing with viewers’ expectations can make it fresh and interesting. I have no favorites, and to be honest since apparently all of the feelings are unrequited in the end I’d suggest all of the characters would be better off moving on.

    Moretsu Pirates – I will be deeply disappointed if Marika has any lover other than the ship she commands. In fact, I am declaring that I am shipping Marika X Bentenmaru (with a straight face, no less). Chiaki may or may not have feelings for Marika, but so far all I really see is a hesitating desire for friendship mixed with a little jealousy (regarding Marika’s considerable raw talent).

    Rinne no Lagrange – I just not looking for or expecting any kind of romance for Madoka, be it with a boy, girl or otherwise. On the other hand, it seems that Muginami’s Vox may have a prior claim to her, and thus may contest anyone getting close to her ;)

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Agreed on Ano Natsu, it reminds me of the first show I ever blogged, Sora no Manimani in that it’s not the most original premise but it doesn’t need to be because it’s really well done. Innovation is great and all, but sometimes it’s better to have something familiar made with a lot of thought, effort, and creativity behind it.

      Though I don’t see how the Marika X Chiaki ship isn’t on everyone’s minds, haha. I’m not seriously expecting any sort of actual romance in the show, just lots of blushing and insinuation. But that’s all that most of us get in shipping.

      In Rinne no Lagrange I have my preferred ship, but I’m mostly just sitting back and laughing about the competition.

  4. Posted February 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    ‘Tis a shame that you’re not watching Highschool DxD, EO. ‘Tis a darn shame. (゚∀゚)

    Also, I’m pretty much watching NichiBros for more Bungaku Shoujo anyway. It certainly helps that she’s a cute, if somewhat delusional, shipper herself.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I don’t even recall anything about that one, I just remember checking out the preview materials and thinking it definitely wasn’t my thing. But maybe (big maybe) I’ll take a look.

      And yes, Bungaku Shoujo <3

  5. Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I am saddened by the fact that you ship Madoka/Ran and yet excite for the battle ahead because I am raising you a Madoka/Muginami! I so want to start counting the moments that each ship gets per episode, after all we have a long way to go….

    I am all for Chiaki/Marika as well. Space romance is so awesome, at least that’s how I remember it from both Gunbuster and Diebuster!

    Other ships you didn’t mention that I drink for tea and now with a dose of macaroon, are Miku/Hibiki and BRS/Dead Master (aqur their human counterparts)

    • Bob from Accounting
      Posted February 12, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink

      *hires gang of thugs*

      Just stay right where you are, damn Muginami supporter! Those who swear by the name of that woman-stealing alpha bitch shall never again draw breath! Not that I’m getting too into that show or anything.

      • Posted February 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        *Gets a coven of vampires*

        Bring it on!

        Princesses are so medieval anyways. Bitches rules the world now!

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      We’ll see how it plays out. While I’m definitely supporting Ran, I’m mostly just sitting back and watching the fireworks with this show. Good times.

  6. Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    whether it’s a ship that has a chance or appeared doomed from the start, I live by a simple motto: I’d ship it.

    I’d expect nothing less from Mr. Suave.

    Lol at your Nichibros ship. Literature Girl is certainly a hoot, but I’m finding the other skits a bit hit and miss at the moment. Guess we’ll see if any key backstories are developed in particular, unless the show really is just a collection of daily boyish zaniness. Back to Lit. Girl, though; hopefully we’ll see more of her delightfuly purple prose again soon, as well as those accompanying riverbank-in-sunset shots… (Scenery porn FTW!)

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Haha, you know me too well! I’m thinking that Nichibros will probably not really go anywhere, exactly, that it’s just going to stay as almost a sketch comedy type of show, but you never know. Seitokai no Ichizon started like that but had a surprisingly touching last few episodes.

      But yeah, Literature Girl is awesome. It doesn’t hurt that I have a big soft spot for shipper girls/fujoshi.

  7. wingman32x
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Rihoko’s arc was indeed pretty awesome. The tension in the second episode was almost unbearable near the end, and the payoff was cute. Felt glad for Rihoko fans there.

    It was the best episode in the series for me until I watched episode 6. They FINALLY got the Ai/Junichi relationship right. No drama holding Ai back, no weird Junichi gimmicks, just a couple showing a level of chemistry that the other 5 have don’t have IMO. That was the biggest shipping moment in a long while for me.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Going to write that post shortly, but yeah, they really did a lot to redeem Ai and correct her arc with this most recent episode. It’s how it should have been from the start.

      Mind you, I still find her the least interesting girl in the show, but at least now it’s not down to bad writing, just my personal tastes in characters. I’m sure the Ai fans must be feeling relieved.

  8. Posted February 11, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Only shows I’m watching here are Nisen, AnoNatsu, and Amagami SS. For me, the most enjoyable arc so far was Tsukasa’s, since Rihoko basically had a crappy foundation to build on (despite them doing a great job towards the ending bit) and Ai just… made me sick. A little.

    Planning to watch Space Pirates later if it’s worth it as a marathon.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Rihoko’s was my favorite, the whole childhood friends thing was just too cute. Though Tsukasa’s arc was also great and made for good drama and comedy revealing her true personality as Junichi got closer to her.

      Moretsu Pirates is a lot of fun, and I think it would make for a good marathon or short-bursts series since you can watch the whole electronic warfare arc in one sitting without waiting between episodes, and I’m guessing later multi-episode arcs as well. It’s a great show if you like realistic space travel and combat, with some shipping and random fun thrown in to keep it a bit lighthearted.

  9. Posted February 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Sato has said that there will be no romance in Mouretsu Pirates.

    Which doesn’t mean you’re wrong, of course, about Chiaki and Marika.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Since when did lack of on-screen romance ever hinder a shipper?

  10. Kherubim
    Posted February 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Gundam AGE has so much shipping potential, especially with the second generation now showing because there’s that Asemu x Romary x Zeheart triangle or Asemu x Gundam or Zeheart x Gundam or the usual “shit that writes itself” Asemu x Zeheart ships. And the only viable ship in Mouretsu remains Marika x Chiaki for now.

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I’ve gotten behind on AGE since my Mass Effect addiction started a week ago, but I ought to be caught up to the most recent episode shortly. Looking forward to it since from the first AGE-2 episode the triangle was solidly established.

  11. Posted February 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Glad that I’m not the only one who does shipping for every shows I watch(ed). LOL

    Hidenori and Literature Girl is the ultimate OTP for me this Winter :)

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Every show that I can ship in, I will ship in.

      You may indeed be right. There’s so much to imagine there, maybe that’s what makes it so fun. There’s only a premise to go on, so each viewer fills in the blanks.

  12. Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Hmm… so you didn’t mention your shipping preferences for Aquarion, huh? Is that because you haven’t decided yet? Although I think we all know what the only answer is.

    • Posted February 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      The answer is obvious: Amata x Aquarion x Kagura. Reincarnation-cest!

      • Whatsht
        Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Trying to get characters from Aquarion Evol to ship is… difficult because you’re not sure who is who(literally)
        I support Mix and Andy though

    • Posted February 12, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Not watching Aquarion, actually. I know people have talked about the shipping potential in it, but I just can’t take the world and setting of the show. I’m not much for shows that try to be epic-serious (the whole church of mecha thing and forbidden joining and all) and completely not-serious and cheesy (orgasmic gattai) at the same time.

      That said, I did take to Zessica during the first episode, and hated the Ranka-esque girl that got stuck in the cockpit with protag-kun.

  13. Posted February 12, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Darn, that previous valentines post was only one year ago…it feels like forever…then again, one year is forever in internet time. How nostalgic! Back then, I wanted to make a comment, but I saw the post several days too late, so, I did not bother.

    ANYWAY! As for this whole shipping business, uhh, other than Nichibro and Pirates, I have not seen much anime this season. So, I cannot ship anyone :( I totally agree on the Marika X Chiaki ship, and the literature girl x HIdenori seems good to.

    Someday, when I get the chance, I am going to have to ask either you or CrazyDave to take me in as an apprentice, and teach me the age old art of shipping.

    • Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      You are welcome to join us on Skype SCCSAV watches. Currently we’re running a show Saturdays noon EST (Toradora), though we’ll be finishing that soon-ish. We also started informally having a session, which also includes Nazarielle and Crusader, on Mondays for Ano Natsu and Rinne no Lagrange. Ping one of us on Twitter some time if you want to join in (I’m @ExecutiveOtaku on there, btw.)

  14. jreding
    Posted February 14, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

    From the shows you discuss I’m “only” watching Amagami, AnoNatsu, Pirates and Nisemonogatari. My favourite pairings:

    - Miya x Sae (I’m still hoping for another season with Miya as the MC!)

    - Lemon x Ichika (I think it’s unfair that Lemon is completely left out!)

    - Kanna x Kaito (which works just fine w/ the other pairing above)

    - Hajikuchi x Araragi (Let true love prevail!)

    • Posted February 14, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      I was actually thinking last episode that Remon X Kaito kinda works. Ichika has to go back to where she came from, Kanna and Tetsurou fall for each other, and Remon, being the more mature one, kind of helps Kaito recover and he falls for her.

      Lol at the Hachikuji one though. She’s such a bro in this season though, much more interesting than last time.

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