Posts Tagged ‘Hanebado’

Be Your All

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Anime is full of incredible couples. Destiny-bound, society-defying and whatever else comes to mind. And to top it all off, they are usually far more than each other’s love interests. If the anime involves fighting, for example, you can almost always expect your couple to fight side-by-side at some point, either directly or with one half of the couple powering up the other half.

I feel silly writing that I sometimes wish for something else. It is no accident those battle couples are so common – they are awesome. How much of SAO’s success stems from Kirito and Asuna tearing through the battlefield hand in hand? Even if you hate the show to bits, you know which parts were good and which bad – and I am quite sure the latter involves Asuna being removed from the front lines. The original Nanoha series ending involves the main characters facing endless armies of faceless drones, and still manages to be exciting. How? Well, it is the first time Nanoha and Fate fight together as allies – which is as sweet as pay-off gets.

But in real life, I have all those weird half-relationships. In the “battlefields” of my professional life, I often work together with some nasty people. Still, many of those jerks are highly competent and reliable. What you get is a weird relationship of mutual trust where both sides know they do not want anything to do with each other in their personal lives, yet are happy enough to join forces whenever necessary. Of course, both parties have people they actually love and come back to after the “battle” is done.

Again, I cannot blame anime for only rarely reaching for those mixed relationships. The most straight example I can think of is Re:Zero. And “I love Emilia” is one the most reviled lines in recent anime history. People saw Subaru and Rem facing the dreadful timelines together, and they wanted the two to share happiness much more then they wanted to see the sideline-princess Emilia involved. What about Hibike Euphonium? With the main characters linked by such a tremendous bond, yet having it clearly stated that the bond was not romantic in nature, both the yuri and non-yuri parts of the fandom were left perplexed at what to think about some of the scenes.

And why do I bring this up? Because of this season’s Hanebado. The Ayano x Elena pair might as well be joined at the hip. There is only one problem: Elena will never ever join Ayano on the battlefield of badminton. The third episode of the series shows how Elena feels uneasy about Ayano’s badminton connections, knowing that she will never truly be part of that circle, and yet is willing to push Ayano into the arms of a potentially dangerous rival in the person of Nagisa, as long as it is all for Ayano’s benefit. Will Hanebado be the rare anime where two spheres of a character’s personal live remain separate and equally important, or are there other developments in store? I nervously await the incoming episodes.

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