Inspired by Sailor Moon, I set about making a list of my favorite ships and realized some surprising things:
- I’m not a big book shipper. Very few of my favorite couples come from novels.
- I don’t ship as often as I used to, especially when it comes to love triangles. I can’t make myself care anymore.
- I didn’t include ships I WOULD HAVE DIED FOR in my teens and early twenties. What is HAPPENING to me?
I wouldn’t call these my all-time favorite ships (see #3 on above list.)
However, if you were to ask me about a favorite pairing in a piece of media, I’d tell you about these.
(Some of these pairings involve SPOILERS, so read at your own risk.)
10. Amanda Brotzman x The Rowdy 3
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (TV show)
In some cases, a healthy, supportive friendship beats out a romantic pairing.
This is one such case.
Amanda meets a group of raucous, energy-sucking vampires called the Rowdy 3 and falls right into their antics.
The Rowdy 3 love having Amanda around and take her illness-induced hallucinations in stride.
I feel guilty when my mental health affects my friendships. Amanda’s illness causes her to freak out in public and the Rowdy 3 aren’t bothered.
In fact, they kind of love that she panics, as they feed off of negative energy. (You could argue that’s creepy and I wouldn’t object.)
I just love that they’re kind to her and defend her occasionally with baseball bats.
After sucking away all of Amanda’s fear during one of her episodes, one of the vampires tells her, “You’re not gonna have to worry about that shit anymore.”
Friends of the year, right here.
9. Momoko x Yosuke
Wedding Peach (manga)
I hate, hate, hated Wedding Peach.
It’s the HACKIEST manga with an even worse anime adaptation.
AND YET…the belligerent sexual tension between the two leads kept me reading the series.
I have conflicted feelings about Yosuke.
I should hate him for his athletic talent, stupid headband, and masculine bravado.
He’s so sweet to Momoko, even though they hate each other.
The series later reveals that Yosuke is the son of a devil, making him Momoko’s enemy.
BUT, because he and Momoko fell in love in a past life, their souls are eternally drawn together.
You mean this is a combination Enemies Turned Lovers/Belligerent Sexual Tension/Reincarnation Romance??
That’s not fair.
The lead-up to the characters admitting their feelings ends in a two-page spread of their first kiss.
It is an epic manga moment I’ve thought about for years.
8. Wonder Woman x Aquaman
Justice League (film)
I know this one will never happen, but I still want it.
Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s brief interactions in 2017’s terrible Justice League were the only part of the movie I enjoyed.
Aquaman appreciates Wonder Woman’s toughness, and, under the influence of Wonder Woman’s lasso, gushes about how cool he thinks she is.
This ship reminds me of a sweet, non-canon version of Brienne x Tormund, only in this case, one party isn’t disgusted by the other.
Compare Wonder Woman’s chemistry with Aquaman to her complete dearth of chemistry with implied love interest Batman.
Wonder Woman and Aquaman FOREVER.
7. Anastasia Romanov x Dimitri
If you think I ship this couple for the aesthetics…you’re not wrong.
You have to admit they look great together.
I love a good rescue romance.
He rescues her. She rescues him. He sings a bitter song about his chances. She abandons the throne.
They fall in love despite their differences.
This ship is Jasmine x Aladdin with better outfits.
6. Allison Heart x Connor
Heart’s Medicine (computer game)
I have very strong feelings about this pairing, though the back-and-forth is starting to exhaust me.
This series features a love triangle, and even though I said I DON’T CARE ABOUT LOVE TRIANGLES, I’ve picked a side.
Allison Heart, a medical intern, flits between Connor and Daniel.
In the game’s latest installment, a recently-dumped Connor admits he still has feelings for Allison.
Listen, Allison: Connor is the better option.
He has a dog.
He makes you laugh.
He stayed friends with you even after that whole Daniel fiasco.
He’s easy to be around.
He cares about your needs.
He’s NOT A DRUG ADDICT.
Meanwhile, Daniel depends on you to enable his drug habit. Be mad at him all you want – you lied to protect your boyfriend’s career and he later relapsed because of it.
I need this pairing to work out. Otherwise, I’ll have wasted my energy.
5. Ronan Lynch x Adam Parrish
The Raven Cycle (literature)
By the end of the series, this relationship is still pretty new.
As a reader, I didn’t get to see much of the couple’s dating relationship.
I do know that Adam borrows his boyfriend’s car when he needs it.
This is a HUGE step for Adam, who once resented his friends’ acts of “charity.”
I love the role reversal of tough, sardonic Ronan completely undone by shy, demoralized Adam.
When Gansey finds out Adam and Ronan are dating, he demands Adam not break his best friend’s heart.
Again: Gansey charges ADAM, an abuse survivor, not to hurt RONAN, an aggressive alcoholic.
In one of my FAVORITE SCENES, Adam asks Gansey how to tell if he’s in love.
Gansey, in typical Gansey fashion, poetically describes love as a stillness.
Later, Adam ponders his relationship with Ronan.
Standing alone in a field, he feels “so still.”
What a beautiful, subtle moment.
4. Scarlet Benoit x Ze’ev “Wolf” Kesley
The Lunar Chronicles (literature)
At one point, I had all the Lunar Chronicles couples (minus Cress x Thorne) on my list.
This couple, though, is my favorite of the series.
They mirror each other in terms of mutual strength and depth of feeling.
He defends her. She protects him.
Separated by Lunars, they journey to find each other.
Their eventual wedding is BEAUTIFUL and inspires one of their friends to propose.
Due to my dislike of the art style, I swore to avoid Wire and Nerves until I saw THIS scene:
In my defense…I thought it would be an Iko-only adventure.
The inclusion of my favorite couple changes things.
3. Rey x Kylo Ren
Star Wars (film franchise)
If this couple doesn’t end up together, can they at least stay friends?
I LOVE their dynamic.
Like Wolf and Scarlet, Rey and Kylo’s similarities make them an interesting pair.
I love how their relationship evolves until they’re fighting with and for one another.
If they end the series together…
I don’t want to jinx it.
It could happen.
2. Kyo Sohma x Tohru Honda
Fruits Basket (manga)
IN A SURPRISE TWIST, my “forever ship” takes the NUMBER TWO SPOT!
WE’RE WITNESSING A MIGHTY UPSET, FOLKS.
After 6 years, I still love Kyo and Tohru.
I love their disparate personalities and mutual accommodation.
I love that they listen and support each other emotionally.
I love that they sacrifice for each other and respect each other’s chosen families.
They overcome so much trauma and insecurity to be together.
The pair finally work out their relationship in the manga’s final three volumes.
One summer, I read those volumes on loop, crying all the while.
Toward the end, the couple’s love story seems impossible, but they agree to make the best of it.
In ANOTHER SHOCKING TWIST, the curse breaks, allowing the two to be together unencumbered.
Joyful as this moment is, the couple takes a moment to grieve before moving on together.
I’m sorry, you two want to acknowledge the complex emotions of this sudden transition?
WELL, AREN’T YOU HEALTHY.
I want a relationship like theirs.
1. Sailor Moon x Tuxedo Mask
Sailor Moon (manga/anime)
I shipped several anime couples as a kid.
I accepted Pokemon‘s Ash x Misty late in the game while immediately jumping on Digimon‘s T.K. x Kari.
I also got involved with Dragonball Z, though I’m reluctant to admit my OTPs.
Of all my ships, Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask were my ultimate pairing.
I knew they were meant to be. They’d already been in love in a past life! This was destiny!
It’s no coincidence that my favorite couple is also one of the more aesthetically-pleasing of the bunch.
Naoko Takeuchi’s depictions of this couple are so, so lovely.
On a less superficial level, Tuxedo Mask’s belief in Sailor Moon inspires her to become a better heroine.
Additionally, Sailor Moon’s love for Tuxedo Mask transforms him into a team player.
The Sailor Moon series might have flaws, but I’ve never thought of this ship as one of them.
I buy it.
I believe in it.
If this ship spawned an entire list of ships, what other influences might it have had on my life?
Please tell me about some of your favorite ships!
Star Wars fans: Are you a secret Kylux shipper? Do you prefer Rey x Finn? Do you buy the possibility of Rey x Poe? (Just me?)
YA readers: What are some of the best YA pairings in recent memory?
MOST IMPORTANTLY: DOES ANYONE ACTUALLY LIKE WEDDING PEACH?