Chris has now started posting these on the main site so let's see if I can actually do a few more (had to finish a couple of reviews, plus real life so a bit slower so let's see...)

NOTE: A lot of these ones combine both anime and manga if they are different or extended so spoilers ahead...



Gals has a lot of potential pairs in terms of friendship and romance that could have had a chance to make it on this list. But in terms of the one that is most solidified and strong, it has to be Miyu and Yamato. They are the one true couple that isn't either complex, silly, complicated or forceful, yet still manage to be headstrong and fun.

Like a lot of the pairs on this list, what makes them work is how much one needs the other and vice versa. The flashback story is a good way to showcase how they became a couple as they establish very early in episode one that they are a pair and in a small bit of exposition how they met. But when we get the episodes about Miyu's past you can see that there is a lot more to Miss Yamazaki than her bubbly nature suggests. Indeed, there were hints with the Harue mini-arc as well as the episode where one of her classmates stalks her (which is a good episode for Yamato as well as he has to be concerned with his duty over his affection over Miyu). Yamato himself is a much more interesting character than you may expect, because being Ran's brother combined with being a police officer and being 12 years older than Miyu, he has concerns over his relationship whilst still being genuinelly in love with her (the running joke of when to actually kiss her takes the entire first season before they share their first kiss, it's actually quite nice to see a guy being much more careful and not rushing in).

Miyu needs Yamato as the gel that brought her back on the straight and narrow - and also to keep her mind intact. Miyu's situation with her family is very lonely and only gets worse - thankfully Yamato is there for her and she gains a family with the Kotobukis (helped that her boyfriend's sister is her best friend) which brings their relationship even closer. The manga showcases a bit more how strong they are as a couple (usually winning any contest they are in over the competitve Ran/Tatsuki and Mami/Yuya pairings) and of course, right at the end their surprise wedding is a real heartwarmer.

These two seem kind of understated as a pair compared to the Rei/Tatsuki/Ran/Aya square that occurs, and for me showcases a sense of balance in this wacky series. Combined with some good backstory and a solid foundation they build up on, they are a solid pair that I adore.



Oh god, where do I begin with these two?

If the manga was ongoing (stopped due to unfortunate circumstances) I get the feeling these would be rated a lot higher. And it's really weird considering all the dysfunctional pairs in this show (Takumi and Hachi, Ren and Nana O, Reira and Shin, Reira and Takumi, etc) with the other few solid standings (Nana O and Yasu) that the one true pair that is the most solid is the one with the power opposites that just met on the train on the way to Tokyo.

Nana Osaki is a free spirit who is a bit of a punk, but with a good heart and caring towards her friends, but also has a stubborn streak and a bit selfish. Nana Komatsu (a.k.a Hachi) is a girl grew up in the country, always looking for love in the wrong places, a bit childish and a bit selfish as well. However, when they coincidentally meet each other again at an apartment they both want, for convience and money saving, they decide to share the place despite only knowing each other on the train for a few hours.

This pair rates really high because of how they develop. They have roomate squabbles not knowing much about each other at first but at the same time trust and like each other enough to go into each other's circle of friends. When Nana and the Black Stones start doing more gigs, Hachi is their number one/two fan (depending how you view Misato) as Nana O helps her out in terms of meeting Trapnest where Nana's boyfriend is from, which leads to her meeting her future husband Takumi. Unfortunately, both of the romantic relationships become either complicated or needy/selfish, (mostly due to Takumi) which is where Nana O's protective and wanting nature of Hachi becomes relevant. She would much prefer Hachi to be with her friend and bandmate Nobou, whilst Hachi basically travels Japan to find more info about Nana O's parents despite being the wife of a big music star - she practically sacrifices herself in front of the paparazzi so that Nana can be left alone.

Hachi does become far more mature as the series goes along and is a much stronger friend to Nana O than I think either of them realised. Nana O needs Hachi as someone to keep her mind in set, and the fact the two rarely (if at all) snap at each other is a compliment to each other as growing roomates, to friends, to near dependants. The future for the two is rather ambigious sadly which is why they aren't a bit higher but the complexity yet stability of these two in the mass of whirlwind emotions around them is a real testiment to how good friends they two become. They love and need each other but it was through genuine friendship and development despite their polar opposite nature.



This one is really interested, as like Sora/Layla, these two didn't start with bed and roses. In fact, it was even more hostile because whilst Layla begrudgingly had a respect level for Sora after her Golden Phoenix attempt, Fakir despises Duck (or anyone) who interferes with his 'mission' of guarding Myoto. With Duck's identity as Tutu, she in her human form is trying to interact with Myoto, which doesn't sit well with Fakir.

The complexity of this relationship is obvious. Outside of growing out of hatred, to respect, to trust, to possibly love - we have the issue of the fact that a) they are characters in a storybook being run by a dead author 2) one is a prince like character who is triggered by failure and 3) Duck is well...a duck...who turns into a human...who turns into a ballerina super heroine. But we get an indication early that Fakir is not as mean-spirited as he appears when he saved Duck when she is a duck, and later again as a duck when he breaks down about his apparent failure not to protect the ones he cares about. This comes to an intrigue when he discovers that Duck is Tutu, which again he's very mistrusting of her, but when he discovers she was also the little's for me the actually turning point as he gets embarrassed that she knew how vulnerable he can be. After the first season, this is where their relationship becomes more interesting.

Fakir makes sure that Duck is always protected and makes sure no-one else knows who she is - they are much more talkative as friends and whilst Fakir is still snarky and Duck is still a klutz, it seems like Duck is the only person Fakir genuinelly talks to now. The friendship grows in a way that doesn't change either of their primary characteristics, but still makes them grow as characters. This leads to the heartache as Fakir is writing the story to finish Drosselmeyer's work, and forces himself to change it for Duck's sake. One of my favourite scenes ever in anime is the scene where for the last time Duck is a human, and the two metaphorically are dancing in the lake, is incredibly beautiful, romantic and tragic at the same time. And of course, the very last scene....

Ahiru/Fakir (I know I keep switching names, I'm sorry ^^) is one of those complex friendships that develops throughout the series whilst changing little about their personalities, yet is still fascinating to watch. You know it will end not in the way you want, but the fact that in the end in a weird way, they are still together and Fakir will always watch over her, it's heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, which is part of the reason why Tutu is my favourite series.



This one is really interesting and showcases that even series that are complete opposites can be worthwhile - Vampire Bund for example is rather...fanservicy in a way that can be a bit graphic or seemingly wrong, but the manga in particular actually is pretty gripping and a much more entertaining and fascinating story than I expected. And one of the main reasons is this very unique take of a master/servant pair with Akira and Mina.

What I love about this pair is just how it seems like it's another servant serving the queen of vampires, yet in reality, Mina needs Akira. Her loneliness is well documented despite her wealth and power, and her trouble to keep in her loli form to make sure her three suitors don't try to have sex with her is an issue with her stubborness. Until she became friends with Yuki (whose relationship with Mina is also a great one), Akira was really her one confidante. She meet him as a baby, and watched his grow, knowing he'll be the one to be her right hand man, whether as a werewolf warrior or as a potential romantic interest. This of course, lead to an almost Romeo x Juliet esque scenario with the master and servant, that a werewolf wouldn't never be considered a mate with the queen of all vampires. At times she does act a bit stalkerish to him and is a bit haughty, but the fact she does become much nicer (especially after being friends with Yuki), she is very loving and cares for her subjects deeply, but Akira is the glue that holds her together.

On Akira's side, at first it's almost subconsciously that he has to be with Mina - it was part of the reason he rejected Yuki at the start of the series/manga. However, you can tell it wasn't through just loyalty that he did that, it is through both friendship and love. Seeing some of the stuff he goes through to protect her (when the three Nobles send chosen warriors to kill him, Mina bets he will survive and he goes through hell and back to do so - hell, he actually befriends one of the assassins!) is insane, and the ideology of a werewolf/vampire relationship is considered taboo, but to the show's credit, that aspect is actually on hold most of the time. There is a scene later in the manga during the Mina imposter arc that Akira offers Mina some blood during a time when she is suffering. Basically if a werewolf is biten by a vampire, they could die, and yet he still does it, both for his love for her, and his trust in her that she could save both of them. This arc is a real testament to their care for each other considering the hell they both go through to meet each other, especially when Akira learns about the imposter and how they manage to fool her and her followers.

It is very difficult to really give them a master/servant vibe because Mina's love for her subjects and knights really seems like all of her army and servants are more friends than anything else. With Mina/Akira however, it's even more specialised and it's a real joy that this series (especially the manga) was a lot better than I was expecting, mainly thanks to these two's interactions.



Out of the Bee Train pairs, these two are easily my favourite, and when doing this list, I was initially surprised when I put them this high up. But then I realised that this is exactly a pair that develop well throughout the series. Hell, even in the first episode when they are technically a bounty and hunter, they are all smiles with each other - it is almost that there is a connection between the two that will border friendship, companions, lovers and soulmates all into one.

After the initial way they are put together (Nadie to turn her in for a bounty after Ellis returns to Winya Marker), the bounty issue is barely mentioned. In fact, it just feels more like a road trip between two old chums. The real strength of the relationship is how Nadie has to deal with Ellis' 'unique' skills in being a witch. Being a down to earth girl who is as tough as nails, this is definitely a new reality check for her and she deals with it actually quite well - sure, she has suspicions, but she understands Ellis for who she is - someone new to the ways of the world. She is her mentor, sempai and friend in that regard, as Ellis follows her like a puppy dog at times, but when we get to the L.A stalking combined with Lirio/Ricardo being their on-off buddies, the protection that Nadie has for Ellis is off the chart, which is strange because really it should be the other way round if Ellis knew how to use her powers. However, it is via genuine friendship - even jealousy maybe for both of them at times (Ellis is jealous when Ricardo and Nadie have a 'date' and Nadie protects Ellis from kissing someone without anyone knowing).

Ellis on the other hand sees Nadie as 'the one'. She is the one who can both guide her on her journey both on the road and in life, and the one to give her guidance and reel her in when she doesn't understand emotion. This is similar in one respect to fellow Bee Train girls Mirielle and Kirika from Noir, but the reason why Ellis/Nadie are here instead of them is the fact there is no secrets between the two and they can openly be friends, rather than be more mysterious and quiet than the Noir girls tend to be. By the end of the series, Nadie has a few choices to make which are all heartbreaking, and the two are able to turn it out and are practically a married couple by the end of the series (and yes, as a Bee Train series, you can interpret it that way). They do practically jokes, Ellis is like a child at times to Nadie (especially during her interactions with Lirio) which does lead to some financial frustration for poor Nadie, but the fact she always has a smile for Ellis is maybe enough for Nadie. In the end, it's about companionship, something both of these girls in the back of their minds needed. And this is one of the best examples out there in anime of that.