Hello, Toonami faithful! People across the internet have been celebrating ever since the news broke, but if you haven’t heard, Cartoon Network’s groundbreaking cartoon block, Toonami, is back on the airwaves! Everyone’s hoping to see their favorite anime shows once again, but one thing that’s interesting to note is just how many of Toonami’s shows deal with romance, even though Toonami series are mostly associated with mecha, Super Saiyans and swordfights.
You can pretend you’re watching Toonami simply for the action, but romances are really at the heart of a lot of these series. These romances contribute more to their make-up than you might realize. The best cartoon couples have qualities that resemble real-life couples — they carry a special spark that makes viewers fall in love with them as well. However, there are those irritating couples that resemble the couples you hate in real life — they have nothing in common with each other, don’t understand each other at all, and suck all of the life out of a room (or, in this case, a cartoon show). Below are some of the best and worst romances in Toonami’s ouevre. Sometimes, there are couples you love to love, and then there are those you love to hate.
5) Sailor Moon and Sailor Star Fighter, Sailor Moon
Yes, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask are considered to be the One True Couple of Sailor Moon, but Sailor Moon could do better, to be honest. Enter Sailor Star Fighter. One can’t deny how exciting the possibilities are for these two; Sailor Star Fighter’s alter-ego, Seiya, is a singing superstar, handsome, and showers Usagi (Sailor Moon when not in her uniform) with complements and attention. In fact, one could argue the sexual tension is even better between them than it is between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. On the other hand, Tuxedo Mask’s alter ego, Mamoru, is more like a mysterious Ken doll — he’s bland and boring. The only sad part is that Sailor Moon’s heart already belonged to Tuxedo Mask. When Sailor Star Fighter says, “I wish I had met you sooner,” you wholeheartedly agree. Tuxedo Mask is just too boring.
4) Gene Starwind and Melfina, Outlaw Star
It’s weird to associate an anime about an intergalactic treasure hunt with Steve Harvey’s film, Think Like a Man, but if you’ve seen the movie and/or read the book the film’s based on, you’ll know that once a man believes he’s found a keeper, he will hopefully begin to act in a way to stay with her. Gene Starwind totally fits the mold of such a guy. Remember when Gene was chasing after that waitress in the bar? Do you also remember his dalliance with “Hot Ice” Hilda and the many looks he gave to some of the women they met along the way to the Galactic Leyline? Once Gene realized Melfina was a stable, constant figure in his life, all of his cavorting ended and he became a man in a committed relationship. Granted, Melfina’s an android, but still, the fact that she was able to make him grow from being a guy who had flings every hour to only wanting to protect her is quite cute to watch.
3) Bulma and Vegeta, Dragonball Z
You wouldn’t think of Vegeta being a lovable guy, but he and Bulma do make one of the best couples in Dragonball Z. They do have some personality similarities — both are vain, stubborn and easily angered. Before Bulma, Vegeta’s main mission in life was to destroy Earth and restore honor back to the Saiyan people by becoming the mightiest Saiyan in existence. However, after meeting Bulma (who refuses to not take much crap from him), he decides that being a husband might be a better idea than trying to kill Goku. In any case, his ability to settle down shows a lot more about his character than it does for Goku, who just can’t seem to get down with what marriage entails, but more on him later.
2) Kenshin and Kaoru, Rurouni Kenshin
In real life, you might not like the idea of a woman settling down with a man 11 years her senior, but in Rurouni Kenshin, it works. Kenshin, a former samurai looking to atone for his sins, settles down with Kaoru at the end of the manga and series and finally makes Kaoru’s dreams of being Kenshin’s wife come true. Just like your favorite romance novel, the drama that led up to the marriage was rife with angst — Kenshin’s bloody past made him think he didn’t deserve happiness, even though he had been working at becoming a better man ever since. Kaoru’s unwavering devotion and love for Kenshin helped him vanquish his demons once and for all. Sure, the age difference might freak some out a little, but as the saying goes, love knows no age.
1) Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus, Sailor Moon
Seriously, Sailors Uranus and Neptune make the best couple on Sailor Moon. They compliment each other ridiculously well; Uranus is steadfast, level-headed and warm, while Neptune is fashionable, sophisticated and emotionally cool. They are also a team, often working side-by-side against the nefarious forces of the universe. What’s really great about them, aside from their working partnership, is how much love there genuinely seems to be between the two. Their relationship always felt like one of the most realistic ones on the show because they weren’t ever declaring their love for each other in a bombastic, dramatic way. They were visibly comfortable with each other — in fact, they were so comfortable that they offered themselves up as surrogate parents to a reincarnated Sailor Saturn. It would seem that Sailor Moon’s creator, Naoko Takeuchi, was successful in her goal of making them “complimentary but opposite characters.”
5) Hiei and Mukuro, Yu Yu Hakusho
This one is going to sound like it should be in the “Best Couples” list because Hiei and Mukuro are actually quite similar. Both characters have been abused in their childhoods and have become ruthless killers in order to survive in the demon world. Both share special moments with each other — Mukuro shows Hiei her scarred face, a truly intimate act, and Hiei gives her his prized possession, his mother’s tear stone. She and Hiei even have similar sardonic personalities. So why is this couple on the “Worst Couples” list? Simply because as much as Mukuro loves Hiei, she can’t compete with Hiei’s partner-in-crime (and unofficial partner), Kurama. In fact, the only reason Kurama and Hiei aren’t included in the best couples list above is because they weren’t officially meant to be a couple in the original manga and anime. Compared to how well Hiei and Kurama get along, work together and support each other, Mukuro doesn’t stand a chance. Plus, Kurama’s prettier than she is.
4) Goku and Chi-Chi, Dragonball Z
Goku is an interesting character; he’s the epitome of a hero, but holy @#$% is he a bad husband. Let’s be real here: Goku was roped into getting married before he even knew what the word “marriage” meant. Goku and Chi-Chi’s relationship is highly dysfunctional because Goku doesn’t understand that being in a committed relationship means that you can’t keep running off to fight people. Yes, he saves the world, but you have to be around at least a little for your family. Even Vegeta, the murderous, conceited King of Sayians, is with his wife, Bulma, all of the time and helps her raise their son, Trunks. Piccolo, a Namek who became a surrogate father to Chi-Chi’s son Gohan, knows more about Gohan than Goku even does. It’s no wonder that Chi-Chi is screaming at him all the time — although it’s also one of the reasons he takes off to go fight evil aliens and androids and demons all the time. Shouldn’t the two have them at least pretended to get along, for Gohan’s sake?
3) Tenchi and Sakuya, Tenchi in Tokyo
Sakuya is probably second only to Relena Darlian as the most hated character in Toonami history. She’s weird, for starters; she’s an extension of Yugi, some crazy girl who simply wants friends. She’s even more obsessed with Tenchi than Tenchi’s housemates Ayeka and Ryoko are — she has pictures of Tenchi everywhere in her room! She should be a great character since she’s the savior of everyone, sacrificing herself in order to restore Tenchi’s world, but all of that fades into oblivion (much like Sakuya herself) at the thought of just how creepy she was. Also unfortunate is that she had the makings of being a very compatible girlfriend for Tenchi — all she wanted to do was make Tenchi happy. But there’s “making someone happy” in a loving way, then there’s “making someone happy” in a “kill your pets to show you I love you” way.
2) Tenchi and Ayeka/Ryoko, Tenchi Muyo
Even though Sakuya wasn’t the right girl for Tenchi, Ayeka and Ryoko aren’t either. Ayeka, an aristocratic, holier-than-thou type of girl, wants Tenchi to be her husband and future ruler of the planet Jurai, Ryoko, a sake-loving space pirate, wants Tenchi for… something. At the very least, Ryoko seems to actually be in love with Tenchi and lives to make him happy, but she could make him really happy by simply allowing Tenchi to do what he wants, which is to go to school and be groomed by his grandfather to be a Shinto priest. Most of all, he wants to be alone. However, if Tenchi has to be with any older woman, let it be Galaxy Police officer Kiyone; not only is she not caught up in the battle over Tenchi, she’s also the most normal of Tenchi’s gal pals and the only one with a level head on her shoulders.
1) Relena Darlian Peacecraft and Heero Yuy, Gundam Wing
It might be clich? to even bring these two up, but seriously, Relena and Heero aren’t meant for each other at all, mostly because they’re both totally insane. First, Relena: She says “Heero” way too much, is incredibly needy and whiny, and she’s a spoiled rich girl who has a posse of suck-ups and hangers-on who agree with everything she does simply because of her status. She doesn’t seem to know how the real world works, not to mention the war the colonies are in. As for Heero’s problems, he’s a brutal killer who was manipulated by Doctor J to pilot the Gundam. Heero was even trying to kill Relena for the first few episodes of Gundam Wing; that’s not really the good basis for a relationship, now is it? Look, if you ever invite anyone to your birthday party and they reply with, “I’ll kill you,” DO NOT START DATING THEM. EVER.