The List
7 Favorite Anime Duos of 2017

by Lynzee Loveridge,

You've got about 48 hours to cram in all the 2017 anime left in your queue before the new year's clock strikes to usher in a new wave of 30-odd shows. The winter season looks pretty promising with a bunch of popular sequels premiering and equally exciting original projects. I'm personally ready to cozy up with some cute fairy kids, travel to Antarctica, and enjoy some low-stakes camping adventures. If you're not sure what to watch from the last 12 months, check out our giant countdown feature for all of the staff's favorite shows, along with quite a few other superlative categories.

One list missing from that selection is some of this year's couples that warmed my stone-cold heart. Okay, actually I'm a giant sap, but I love a good dynamic, whether its two friends who complement each other extremely well or a blossoming romance between two gaming nerds.

Chise x Elias (The Ancient Magus' Bride) You can't help but root for these two magical kids. On the one hand, Elias is only pseudo-human, with expressions ranging from skull-faced stoicism to mouth-slightly opened playfulness. I assume he expresses emotion similar to a dog, if a dog didn't have any skin or muscles on its face. Anyway, the series starts off with a pretty questionable shōjo scenario of forced servitude, but it doesn't take long to see that both characters are learning from each other; Chise begins to master her own inner power through magical training and Elias has to acknowledge his human-like feelings of concern, loneliness, and even jealousy when it comes to Chise. The result is the start of a relationship that feels far more equal than when it started, where both characters are learning to support one another in a healthy (and magical) way.

Konatsu x Yotarō (Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju) The first season of Rakugo Shinjū was squarely focused on the compelling relationship between Kikuhiko and Sukeroku, but the later season shifted focus somewhat to his apprentice Yotarō and his adoptive daughter Konatsu. The pair's dynamic is initially abrasive. Yotarō is a well-meaning dunce and former criminal, and Konatsu was deprived of her childhood thanks to absentee parenting. It seemed like she'd never open up to Yotarō, much less cut him any kind of slack, but when most of the men stepped out of Konatsu's life, Yotarō stepped up over and over again. The two finally have a breakthrough under a sky of fireworks that got me more than a little misty-eyed.

Riko x Reg (Made in Abyss) Nothing forges a friendship quite like a descent into Hell itself. These two intrepid kids venture into the unknown hoping for little more than truth about their own origins. What they end up with is a relationship that forms the very core of their own survival. Reg touts some impressive abilities, but with little practical knowledge to back them up, while Riko is in the opposite boat, having to use her ingenuity and book-smarts to avoid trouble before it happens. Together, they lift one another up and prove that they always have each others' backs no matter how dire the circumstances.

Gabriel x Satanichia (Gabriel DropOut) Gabriel DropOut is an anime ensemble comedy. Which duo speaks to your funny bone most will vary, and it was actually tough for me to narrow it down between Gabriel or Raphael. Satanichia was a no-brainer. She's a giant GIF waiting to happen. But it's when she plays off Gabriel, or more accurately when Gabriel feeds into her chūni tendencies, we get great comedic moments like finding out Satania is "taste deaf" and can eat an unlimited amount of spice.

Kobayashi x Tohru (Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid) If I can have just one anime wish, it's that Kobayashi and Tohru can live happily ever after with their adorable dragon child in relative peace. Kobayashi and Tohru are all about making a family of your own when you can't find a place to belong. This is what Kobayashi means to Tohru, while Tohru helps Kobayashi rediscover the importance of connecting with people. Prior to her arrival, Kobayashi put very little into her personal relationships, including with her own parents. She thought she was satisfied just minding her own business and working day in and day out. Tohru shows her that there's more to life, making them much happier together than they ever were apart.

Princess Charlotte x Ange (Princess Principal) The world can be hard and complicated for kids regardless of the circumstances they're born into. This is how Princess Principal introduces its two doppelganger protagonists, Princess Charlotte and Ange. One has the world at her fingertips but all the pressure of being a perfect princess leaves little room to explore her true self, much less make any friends. The other is pushed into pick-pocketing and avoiding their abusive caregiver in the hopes of surviving. They find an escape from the world of adults in each other and forge a bond that lasts years beyond their childhoods. Ultimately, Charlotte and Ange both want to create a world where the other can thrive without fear and they can be together.

Moriko x Yūta (Recovery of an MMO Junkie) These two nerds' burgeoning love for one another might feel too real. Moriko is living as a NEET after her run as corporate peon sucked most of the joy out of her life. She lives off her savings and whittles away the hours on her new favorite MMO with all her guild mates, including Lily who's really played by a well-meaning guy named Yūta. Yūta doesn't know that Moriko is the one behind the character Hayashi. With Lily's help, Morioka could overcome her disaffected outlook and venture outside her shell again, but both characters have to figure out who they really are first! The whole show is the kind of nail-biting interpersonal drama that I love, and it doesn't hurt that both of these characters are such good people.

The new poll: With the recent success of Land of the Lustrous, what's your opinion on CG anime films and shows? ?

The old poll: Which current Weekly Shonen Jump title would you like to see adapted into an anime? I bet all of you that voted for Hinomaru-Zumou are pretty stoked. I can't believe an announcement was made during the same week this poll was running. The HALF of you that voted for The Promised Neverland will have to just keep waiting.

  1. The Promised Neverland
  2. Dr.STONE
  4. We Never Learn
  5. Kimetsu no Yaiba
  6. Hinomaru-Zumou
  7. Cross Account
  8. Golem Hearts
  9. Lycopene the Tomatoy Poodle
  10. Full Drive
  11. Spring Weapon No.01
  12. Shudan!

When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as the Managing Interest Editor for Anime News Network and posts pictures of her sons on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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