Here we have Mercedes, the young and inexperienced queen of the fairies, and Ingway (also known as "Bad Idea Boy"), the embittered bastard prince of the lost kingdom of Valentine. Actually, during most of their time together, Ingway is a frog at whom Mercedes tsunderes furiously even as he provides her with wise advice and risks himself to help her. This is what makes it cute. Mercedes needs Ingway's help to realize her true potential as queen, and Ingway is more helpful and sincere as Mercedes's advisor than he is anywhere else (where he's usually cursing his sister's boyfriend or pursuing some kind of awful vengeance). He gives her the support and wisdom she gets from no one else, and she gives him a purpose that is, for once, not sinister or self-destructive. And they are just ridiculously cute.
But Mercedes is a fairy, and Ingway is a human. This in itself would be stumbling block enough, if it were their story alone. But it's not, so there are more problems. Specifically, Ingway's self-destructive set of complexes that lead him to turn himself into a monster. Yeah. Mercedes, as much as he wound up caring for her, wasn't enough to stop him on his stupid quest. She probably never would have been.
So I am left with fanon involving Mercedes becoming the mother goddess of the new world and making Ingway her consort. Oh, fanon. You are my comfort.
It's not technically incorrect to say that I adore this pairing. It's my only actual ship for the protagonist of Persona 3 (Minato from here on out). The way Aigis earnestly stalks him, clueless as to why it's not quite right, and Minato bemusedly puts up with it is so cute. It doesn't hurt that while I have trouble shipping Minato himself, I love Aigis--up to a point. I'm not a big fan of her development in December and January; I feel like it stripped her of personality. Having her achieve her dreams of becoming more human by getting some kind of technological humanity transplant is a little too easy, you know? I would have preferred that she simply learn that she was human enough as she was, while keeping the robot eccentricities that made her so cute. This is also part of why I haven't played the Answer--it seems to complete the process of taking away her personality. Dammit, she was so cute, colorful, and fun as a weird, socially-stunted robot who struggled with her purpose in life! She didn't need to Become A Real Girl any more than that.
But enough ranting about the things I dislike about Aigis's arc. As for the pairing itself, I pretty much like it the whole way through. Minato is at once Aigis's responsibility, her guilt, and her gateway into humanity. Aigis--as the being who made him what he is, and the only one who loves him with all her being regardless of whether he gives himself to her to solve her problems or not--is something a little bit special to Minato. So on some level, it works--a little.
The problem is, it doesn't work enough. Minato may have a few special feelings for Aigis, but they aren't enough to overwhelm his self-sacrificing feelings for everyone, for humanity as a whole. No matter what she does, he's still going to sacrifice himself for everyone else. And even if he didn't, even if they'd all somehow managed to save him, he'd still love humanity more than he loves her as an individual. So while I love the pairing as it is--Aigis stalking Minato and learning to be human through him, Minato being just that little bit more comfortable around her--I don't think it would ever work as a normal, functional relationship. It would come closer than others, though, because Aigis doesn't mind that Minato can't love her back the way she loves him. She just wants to be with him and protect him. The problem is...he wouldn't let her. He'd always be too ready to sacrifice himself.
Day 26 - A pairing that you hated and ended up loving?
There aren't really any pairings that fit this criterion, but there are a couple that come close. So I'll list those.
When I first played Final Fantasy VII, I didn't like any of the girls. Yuffie annoyed me, Aeris struck me as a Mary Sue, and Tifa was just too clingy and dependent on Cloud in all sorts of fucked-up ways. So I certainly didn't ship Cloud with any of them. Not that I shipped him with anyone else, either. I just didn't ship in that game.
But over the years, I've come to appreciate the messed-up, semi-familial relationship Cloud has with Tifa. The Compilation, for all its fail with some characters, also really helped Tifa for me. And now I kind of ship Cloud/Tifa as a matter of Cloud returning to family at the end of his angst. It's still not a particular favorite pairing of mine, but I'm amenable to it.
To me, Kaji is the great tragedy of Neon Genesis Evangelion as a narrative. Not because his story is any sadder than the others, but because he could have hit so many of my character pings--but I was initially turned off by how his lecherousness often manifested as "playful" sexual assault and how the series played that for laughs. In the case of Kaji/Misato in particular, I was particularly bothered by two things: the scene where he forcibly sexually assaulted her in the elevator (and again, it was played for laughs), and the fact that he pushed and pushed her to resume their relationship because he knew she really wanted him, and the show proved him right in this. So much squick and fail. Especially since I adored Misato.
But if I can squint and block out all the sexism, it makes sense as an aspect of his inability to relate to people. It doesn't make it okay, and it could have been portrayed a whole lot better--more people could have called Kaji on his sexual assault, for one--but at least there's some way to cope with it. And then there's what the two of them were like once they did get together. Kaji stopped pushing in creepy sexist ways, and it instead became about two fucked-up people both using and loving each other. And that's pretty fascinating.
So, I don't actually love the pairing, at least not yet. But I did hate it at first, and now I have mixed feelings on it.
Day 02 - What was your very first ship?
Day 03 - A pairing that needs to happen now?
Day 04 - The pairing with the most chemistry?
Day 05 - The pairing with the least chemistry?
Day 06 - The best kiss?
Day 07 - The most heartbreaking scene?
Day 08 - The pairing with the most baggage?
Day 09 - The most believable relationship?
Day 10 - Why aren't these two married in real life?
Day 11 - What is your dream pairing?
Day 12 - Who had the best wedding?
Day 13 - What is your favorite television pairing?
Day 14 - What is your favorite book pairing?
Day 15 - What is your favorite real life pairing?
Day 16 - What is the absolute worst pairing?
Day 17 - A pairing you thought would never work out, but did?
Day 18 - What is the cutest pairing?
Day 19 - A pairing you've rooted for since the beginning?
Day 20 - The "can't stand the sexual tension anymore" pairing?
Day 21 - A pairing you like and no one else understands why?
Day 22 - A pairing you hate and no one else understands why?
Day 23 - A crazy love triangle/quadrilateral that worked out great?
Day 24 - A crazy love triangle/quadrilateral that worked out badly?
Day 25 - A pairing that was/would-be adorable, but could never work out?
Day 26 - A pairing that you hated and ended up loving?
Day 27 - A pairing that you loved and ended up hating?
Day 28 - A pairing that you will never understand?
Day 29 - What ship had the best proposal?
Day 30 - Your favorite ship forever and ever and ever?