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Our Favourite Ship Dynamics

Sunday, December 8, 2019 / No Comments

WARNING: ANIME AND MANGA SPOILERS AHEAD!


Hello everyone!

Gin and I were talking about our favourite ships across the shows that we watch, and realised that many of them share the same dynamic. So, we took it upon ourselves to sort our ships out and share some of our favourite ship dynamics and pairings.

Tsundere X Pushover


This ship dynamic consists of an outwardly cold and aloof person and their much nicer friend who is a literal ray of sunshine that puts up with their crap. The cutest thing is that the tsundere is usually only nice to their friend and an absolute asshole to everyone else.


Tsukkiyama

Tsukkiyama is the ship name for Tsukishima and Yamaguichi from the well-loved series Haikyuu. In essence, they are your typical stoic megane tsundere and overly-nice pushover ship, but that doesn’t make them any less loveable, especially given their history as childhood friends who stuck with each other through thick and thin all the way to high school (and possibly will beyond that). Tsukishima first intervened when Yamaguchi was being bullied in middle school, and in that moment, Yamaguchi developed a profound gratitude and respect for him, thinking that he was the “coolest” person he’s ever met.


Young Yamaguchi idolising his soon-to-be bestie

Yamaguchi thus joins volleyball with Tsukishima because it’s the only sport without “scary guys”, in his words. Their relationship consists of Tsukishima being his typical insensitive self and Yamaguchi patiently laughing off his attitude with a “sorry, Tsukki!” because he’s an angel that knows his friend doesn’t really mean it. (In fact, Yamaguchi is literally the only person Tsukishima is nice to; he literally lets him call him “Tsukki”.)


Yamaguchi calls Tsukishima “Tsukki” and still manages to escape with his life

In my opinion, their relationship is especially heart-warming as it nicely transitions from one that was undoubtedly imbalanced (since Yamaguchi had always put Tsukishima on a pedestal and relegated himself to the role of his yes-man) to one that is equal and built on mutual respect and affirmation. Yamaguchi no longer acts solely in Tsukishima’s shadow but becomes an equally fierce contender to be reckoned with on the court and even serves as the impetus for Tsukishima to change his nonchalant attitude towards volleyball when he delivers a powerful wake-up call to him during their intense training camp, telling him there was nothing more important than his pride when it came to volleyball. Tsukishima also finally acknowledges that his friend is just as cool as him, if not more, and in the recent manga chapters, they become known as Karasuno’s “shield and spear” together.

Pretty much sums it up


"I hate you, but I love you"


In this relationship, either one or both parties constantly insult and hate on each other. They are always seen bickering, and yet when it comes down to serious stuff, they always have each other’s backs and would give their life to save each other. They also usually know their partner better than anyone else and have complete faith in their ability to get things done.


Soukoku


Soukoku is the ship comprising Dazai Osamu and Nakahara Chuuya from Bungou Stray Dogs. Whenever they are together in a scene, they never fail to argue and scream about how much they hate each other.

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Dazai purposely annoying Chuuya
Chuuya even mentioned that on the day Dazai left the Port Mafia, he opened a bottle of his most expensive wine to celebrate his departure. However, their very first appearance in the anime as a duo was one of the most riveting scenes in the entire series. Together, their power is second to none, and they are feared and known under the name “Soukoku”, meaning Double Black. Considering how they’re at each other’s necks all the time, their abilities are a perfect match and they bring out the best in each other during combat. Chuuya’s most powerful form, Corruption, can only be activated safely when Dazai is around to nullify Chuuya’s ability after he has defeated the enemy. Without Dazai, Chuuya would continue to wreak havoc in his corrupted form until he eventually runs out of energy and dies. 


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Dazai saving and protecting Chuuya

The author of the manga, Asagiri, has also confirmed that Chuuya is the only person in the entire show who truly understands Dazai and his way of life. The two of them literally need each other to survive, which makes for an interesting dynamic to watch on screen.

Iwaoi

This ship is slightly different from the other ships in this category. Instead of mutually hating each other, Oikawa is an insufferable prick who jumps at every chance to show off his terrible personality, and Iwaizumi is the only person who is able to look Oikawa in the eye without feeling any sort of fear, and call him out on his nonsense. 

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Oikawa being annoying
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Oikawa testing Iwaizumi's patience
Iwaizumi is often seen insulting and yelling at Oikawa, calling him names and the like. And yet, as much as he gets annoyed with Oikawa’s constant whining, he knows Oikawa like the back of his hand, and is the person who cares for Oikawa the most. Oikawa tends to overwork himself in pursuit of success, to the point of physical deterioration. Iwaizumi is always there watching him, stopping him from hurting himself, and knocking some sense into him when his determination becomes too extreme.

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Iwaizumi knocking some sense into Oikawa

The two of them have complete faith and trust in each other’s abilities in a match, which make them such a good team. In times of doubt, Oikawa has been shown to instinctively toss the ball to Iwaizumi, because of the years of trust that their friendship and training has been built on.

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Okikagu

This ship comprises Okita Sougo and Kagura from the anime Gintama. From the very beginning, these two have been established to “hate” each other and always engage in childish fighting whenever they meet. Their playful rivalry makes for some of the most amusing parts of the anime. 


Although they are the youngest of the main characters, Sougo being 18 and Kagura being 14, they are arguably the strongest in combat in their respective groups. Sougo is the most skilled swordsman in the Shinsengumi, while Kagura, being a Yato, possesses superhuman strength and lightning-quick reflexes. 


Sougo and Kagura trying to kill each other while defeating enemies
Perhaps it is because they are the only people who can compete neck-and-neck with each other that they are so hell-bent on defeating the other. Although it is not said, the two respect and acknowledge each other’s abilities and regard each other as worthy opponents/comrades.

Shin Soukoku

Atsushi and Akutagawa from Bungou Stray Dogs, more commonly known as Shin Soukoku, are perhaps the most textbook example of the enemies-to-lovers trope and we are here for it sis. They start off on opposing camps at the start of the series, with Atsushi working in the humble Armed Detective Agency while Akutagawa heads murderous missions on behalf of the Port Mafia – their initial encounters can only be described as disastrous.


Shin Soukoku ripping each other to shreds
Yet, as the anime progresses, they turn out to be more similar than they are different. Both are orphans without a reason to live, but while Atsushi is lucky enough to be adopted into the supportive family that is the ADA, Akutagawa gets the short end of the stick and is groomed to be a cold-blooded murderer, conditioned to believe that that is all his self-worth is contingent upon. Even so, both struggle with intense feelings of worthlessness, ironically envious of each other’s strengths that they are blind to themselves. The beauty of their relationship lies in how much they actually complement each other emotionally and how well they work together despite always threatening to kill each other. Before their fight against Fitzgerald at the end of Season 2, they share a rare moment of respite where they acknowledge and inadvertently affirm each other’s strengths, and their relationship only progresses further when they are forced to work together by Dazai in Season 3.



Their reactions to each others' confession of love

Shin Soukoku defeating Fitzgerald with the power of said love
Akutagawa pretending he is not happy to see Atsushi
Their combined abilities
Akutagawa spurs Atsushi on, if you know what I mean


"You're an idiot but I love you"


This is a versatile ship dynamic because it can be either angsty or fluffy or a mix of both, but either way, it’s still extremely fulfilling because no matter how much of an idiot either one of them is, the other person still chooses to see the best in them.


Inukag

I shipped Inuyasha and Kagome even before I knew what shipping was. And how can you not, when their relationship is the perfect balance of angst and comfort? Initially, the two don’t get along at all, because Kagome is a splitting image of Inuyasha’s past love Kikyo and he has been manipulated into believing that Kikyo had betrayed him in death. Even as their relationship starts to improve throughout countless battles fought together, Inuyasha appears to care for Kagome because she is Kikyo’s reincarnation, and worst of all, he still prioritises a revived (and vengeful) Kikyo over Kagome on multiple occasions, much to Kagome’s despair. But Kagome is not Kikyo, a fact that Kagome reiterates to Inuyasha time and again. Eventually, Inuyasha learns to see Kagome not as a mere extension or reincarnation of Kikyo but for her true, unique self, and that is the person that he grows to love in the end.



Inuyasha and Kagome being cute in general
Kagome is the person that teaches Inuyasha to open his heart and learn to trust his comrades, a feat that Kikyo was not even able to accomplish in the time she was alive, resulting in him being able to form meaningful connections with people beyond Kagome, namely his travelling companions Miroku, Sango and Shippo. While Inuyasha harbours deep insecurities over his status as a mere half-demon, Kagome has no qualms about cherishing him for the power he already wields and believes that humanity is what is most valuable to him. Although Inuyasha is considered a feudal fairy-tale, the two depend on each other equally – Inuyasha does naturally come to rescue Kagome in pinches because she was not born to defend herself in a demon-infested feudal era, but Kagome also bails him out with her spiritual arrows time and again and valiantly risks her life to slap sense into him when he is hanging onto the last shreds of his sanity.



Inuyasha and Kagome being the OG couple


Kuroken


Kuroo and Kenma are childhood friends, and while Kenma is a reserved person who rarely takes the initiative to make friends, Kuroo has been a reliable pillar of support in his life. Kuroo is an energetic dork who is really passionate about volleyball, yet he cares deeply for Kenma and does not ever force him to do something that would make him uncomfortable. 

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Kuroo and Kenma being adorable babies
As insufferable and embarrassing as Kuroo is, Kenma still fondly puts up with him and trusts him more than anyone else. Kenma appears unathletic and unwilling to play volleyball at times, and Kenma almost quit volleyball in middle school. It was Kuroo who convinced him not to because he could see that Kenma’s skills were essential to the team, and that he is an execellent strategist. 




Although Kenma does not join in with Kuroo on his shenanigans with Bokuto, he is very comfortable around Kuroo because Kuroo respects him for who he is and loves him as a friend.



"You're an idiot but I love you" (ANGSTY VERSION)


This ship usually consists of a person with great emotional baggage who is almost on the verge of self-destruction, while the other person cares a great deal for them and does everything in their power to help them come back to their senses.


Leopika

Leopika (consisting of Leorio and Kurapika) is undoubtedly my favourite ship in the timeless Hunter x Hunter, which is still running although it has been on hiatus for an obscene amount of time (rip). As with most of my other ships, they get off to a rocky start, with Kurapika showing not a single ounce of respect for his “senior” and Leorio insulting Kurapika’s clan that had been wiped out in a cruel massacre. Although they end up travelling together, it almost appears to be out of obligation with Gon there to tie the group together.


Leorio being a tsundere
However, their relationship takes a turn during the very first phase of the hunter exam where Kurapika chooses to believe that Leorio’s apparent greed for money was not because he was genuinely money-minded. Sure enough, Leorio lets slip that the reason he wanted money was to take the doctor’s exam and become a doctor that would offer medical services for free to people who could not afford it, to which Kurapika smiles knowingly and wishes Leorio luck in accomplishing his goal.


Kurapika not being subtle at all
Throughout the series, Kurapika often flames Leorio affectionately while Leorio develops an undying protectiveness and concern towards Kurapika. Whenever Kurapika gets injured, Leorio would be seen in the next scene at his side, taking care of and guarding him.



Leorio finding excuses to touch Kurapika
Before Kurapika goes off the grid, Leorio personally appeals to Kurapika’s colleague, Melody, to keep an eye out for him because smart as Kurapika was, he tended to be impulsive when it came to his goal of revenge for his clan. Melody then tells Leorio that he has the most soothing and kind heartbeat she has ever heard. Even as Kurapika remains uncontactable for a long time, Leorio calls him every day without fail in hopes of reaching out to him.

Kurapika trolling his boyfriend


Mutsurie

This is perhaps quite a rare pair in the Tokyo Ghoul fandom, but I really ship Urie and Mutsuki. Urie comes across almost unlikeable at the start, extremely self-centered and ambitious, only caring about getting a promotion and extremely bitter over his father’s death in duty. Although he is the Quinx’s squad leader, it is solely due to his battle prowess and quick wits rather than any inherent leadership ability. However, during the auction raid, Urie starts to spiral out of control to the point of insanity, ending up punching a whole through Mutsuki’s chest in his deranged state. Mutsuki’s kagune activates for the first time but not to attack him; rather he embraces Urie and tells him that he understands how painful it must be to feel so alone, becoming the first character to extend his empathy to and understand Urie.


Mutsuki hugs Urie even after being stabbed
From there, Urie grows to care immensely for Mutsuki too, showing the most worry for him when he is abducted and is visibly relieved when Mutsuki appears before him, seemingly unharmed and safe.



Urie's gay panic
Urie also respects Mutsuki enough to keep his secret that he used to be a girl. When Mutsuki begins to descend into the depths of his dark past and commits uncharacteristic acts of violence in his state of mental instability, Urie still attempts to reach out to him, going to the extent of letting Mutsuki stab him instead of defending himself in a poetic parallel to the earlier scene. Urie reciprocates the same forgiveness that Mutsuki offered him before, and all he wants is for Mutsuki to come back home to them. (Side note: My favourite ship from TG might actually be Kaneki/Hide but there’s way less about Mutsurie on the internet so I’m offering them some representation here.)



Mutsuki attempts suicide but Urie stops him


Wholesome and Pure


The title is self-explanatory; this ship is just pure and innocent and wholesome in every way.


Tododeku

Tododeku, consisting of Todoroki and Midoriya from Boku no Hero Academia, is perhaps one of the most wholesome ships out there, especially with their mutually-supportive dynamic and how they are both huge dorks. Having suffered inexplicable psychological abuse at the hands of the number two hero, Endeavour throughout his childhood, Todoroki is cold (haha) and stoic, sometimes even rude in how straightforward he is. He looks down on Midoriya and fails to see what he has that he doesn’t, making it a goal to beat Midoriya in the UA sports festival. In their 1-v-1 match, Todoroki almost freezes his body as a result of only using his ice powers, much to Midoriya’s chagrin. In a bid to appeal to Todoroki, Midoriya tells him that his power is his own, and nobody else’s, not even his dad’s.

Midoriya being woke

Todoroki's gay awakening
Midoriya’s words are life-changing, and Todoroki’s outlook on life changes drastically from then on. Todoroki gains newfound respect for Midoriya and the two develop a close friendship where they constantly look out for each other (and get into trouble together). Midoriya’s friendship is especially significant to Todoroki who otherwise never truly had friends because of his traumatic upbringing that stunted his social skills. Over the course of the series, it is not simply Midoriya who offers solace to Todoroki; Todoroki also reaches out to Midoriya when he is down, telling him on one occasion that it is normal for heroes to cry and offering him half of his soba to cheer him up.



Domestic Tododeku


Momojiro

Momo and Jirou are a very wholesome ship. The two of them have been close friends since the beginning of school, and work well together to support each other during combat. It is very clear that the two of them greatly respect and are very supportive of each other and their abilities. 

Jirou getting shy because Momo causally complimented her
Whenever Momo gets made fun of or teased by the boys in class, Jirou never hesitates to put them in their place. She is also very protective of Momo as her quirk requires her to expose a lot of her skin, so Jirou is always around to prevent any wardrobe malfunctions or to prevent the boys in class from ogling. 

Jirou protecting Momo's dignity
Momo is also greatly appreciative of Jirou as a friend and the two of them are shown to be very good friends in class.

Momo and Jirou being cute girlfriends


Kubokai

Although Kuboyasu is a transfer student in class, he and Kaidou are “sworn friends” and are the only boys in class who call each other by their given names. Their friendship is unique as they are very different people. Kuboyasu has violent tendencies and is trying to change his ways as a former gangster, while Kaidou is a cowardly, weak boy who tries to look tough by pretending that he is part of a cult. This makes their dynamic adorable, because Kaidou looks up to Kuboyasu as someone who is strong and brave, and Kuboyasu is very gentle and accepting of Kaidou’s personality, including his weird obsessions with the “Dark Reunion”. 

Kaidou and Kuboyasu up to some hijinks
He never makes fun of Kaidou for being physically weak and has even stood up to protect him once when he was cornered by gangsters. The two of them often walk home together and invite each other to things that they want to do. For example, they both went to get motorcycle licenses because Kuboyasu wanted one, and both built a treehouse together because Kaidou wanted a secret lair.

Kuboyasu congratulating Kaidou on finally lifting up his bike


Intimidating person who is only nice to their partner


This couple consists of one normal, friendly person and another person who is only willing to deal with their partner and no one else. The more closed-off person in the ship treats everyone with the same aloofness and disrespect, but tolerates and cares deeply (even if they don’t show it) ONLY for their partner.


Sourin

Sousuke and Rin are very good friends who have been swimming together from a young age. Although Rin has many friends of his own, Sousuke is more reserved and only has Rin as a close friend. He is very protective of Rin and always thinks in consideration for him. He confronted Haru about competing with Rin and told him to stay away, and also didn’t tell Rin about his shoulder injury because he knew that Rin would get worried and upset over it. 

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He rarely talks to anyone and gives off an intimidating air, but with Rin, he smiles softly and talks to Rin with genuine happiness.



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Sousuke smiling lovingly at Rin
It’s evident that he cares very much for Rin and is protective of him, even if Rin doesn’t really realise it. Not that Rin doesn’t care for Sousuke – he cherishes his friendship with Sousuke as much as he does Haru, and started crying when he found out about Sousuke’s injury. 

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Rin crying into Sousuke's chest
He is also the only person who is completely comfortable around Sousuke since they grew up together and Sousuke has a particularly soft spot for him.



Kiribaku

While Kirishima is a literal ray of sunshine that everybody loves and adores, Bakugo is a nasty gremlin who sneers and insults every single person in sight. Despite this, Kirishima doesn’t discriminate and treats Bakugo equally nicely, knowing that Bakugo is all bark and no bite. 


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Kirishima being completely accepting of Bakugo and his gremlin-ness
Bakugo is quite mean to everyone in class and doesn’t even bother remembering their names, but he respects Kirishima and sees him as an equal. 

Kirishima and Bakugo getting fired up
Yes, he still yells at Kirishima, but considerably less as compared to others in the class. He also actually bothers to remember Kirishima’s name. They are close friends in class and have been seen studying together for exams and going on hiking trips together. 

Bakugo aggresively helping Kirishima to study
Kirishima is also extremely protective of Bakugo. He blames himself for not being able to save Bakugo from being kidnapped by the League of Villains. During the Kamino Ward Arc, he also volunteered to go against the Aizawa's orders and sneak out to rescue Bakugo. 

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Kirishima and Bakugo showing concern for each other

Midoriya also pointed out that the only way for them to rescue Bakugo from the villains was for Kirishima himself to personally call out to Bakugo and reach out to him, because anyone else attempting to save Bakugo would just come across as condescending and humiliating to him, and he might not comply.

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Bakugo holding Kirishima's hand and fondly chiding him
It is clear as day that Kirishima and Bakugo have formed a strong bond in the time that they have known each other, and as much as Bakugo yells at him, we all know that he cherishes and respects Kirishima very much.

With that, we have come to the end of our very long list of our favourite ship dynamics. These examples and pairings are only a few of the many that fit into the various dynamics that we both love. Let us know your favourite ship dynamics and the characters your ship in the comments!


Written by gin and yin