Also, what kind of sadist sells boxes of assorted chocolates without guides to what's inside? You go to hell, Russell Stover, you go to hell and you die.
Finally, the main purpose of this post: a pairings meme! Because I obviously haven't been talking about pointless fandom crap enough lately.
Five Pairings I Love
Okay, I admit it. At first I was only in this one because it was hot. It was obvious that Soi Fong was hot for kitten, but I didn't really see Yoruichi as returning her feelings. But then I reread their fight, and I started to notice the little things, like how Yoruichi went out of her way to protect Soi Fong, and how tenderly she looked at her. There was just so much depth there, and it was all so incredibly intense. Intensity is one of my buttons, and man, does this pairing push it.
This is one of those few pairings that completely clicked for me in a single instant. I actually didn't ship them from their fight--I just didn't see any romantic connection there. But when she rescued him from Tayuya, there was one moment where it all fell into place, and everything in the series since then has only supported that. They connect in a weird and wonderful way, even though they might like to deny it.
This pairing, on the other hand, took some time to grow on me. At first it seemed doomed to me. Sure, the angst was nice, but Sakura would probably wind up with Lee or something. But then I started getting into Sasuke, and I noticed how Sakura touched him. Then I started getting into Sakura, and I noticed how much of her character revolved around her love for Sasuke, and how much he'd made her grow, and how intense her feelings for him were. I didn't want to like this pairing--it seemed cliched and stupid in theory. But in practice, Kishimoto makes it work so beautifully that I can't help but love it and, more importantly, see how vital it is to the characters involved.
At first, I was baffled by the popularity of this pairing. Would they ever even meet? Besides, Miriallia was already involved with some lovable but forgettable other guy. (I should have seen he was doomed from the start.) But then I got to the later episodes, and I watched the two of them form a strange but intense bond--and that totally got me. I love it when pairings that seem like crack turn canon. Here were two people on opposite sides of a war, and they found themselves undeniably attracted to each other--and Dearka found something to protect in Miriallia. It was raw and touching and funny without being pointlessly fluffy, and I adored it.
I once read a post about how Edge/Rydia is, essentially, worse than rape because Rydia never shows the slightest interest in Edge, ever, and always completely means it whenever she shoots him down. Putting aside the stupidity of trying to read that kind of emotion into 16-bit pixels, this is flat-out wrong: at the end, she actually approaches him, and he is the one too awkward to reply to her. Sure, it's not much, but this was an era when side characters were lucky if they got five lines of dialogue. In that time, Edge and Rydia both somehow managed to be unusually fleshed out as characters--two potentially strong but immature people with a peculiar connection. I adore the thought of how a relationship would make them both grow. Plus, they're just so damn cute with each other, from what little we do see. They will always be my Final Fantasy OTP.
Five Pairings I Hate
Lee has feelings for Sakura, but they're not the kind that lead to the happy fluffy perfect relationship that LeeSaku fans are convinced the two are destined for. She's his goddess, his idol, his goal--and that's the way he wants it. Much of the reason he adores her so is that she won't ever return his feelings romantically. They are, however, good friends--the respect that's grown between the two of them is heartwarming. Trying to make it into romance ruins it, especially when no effort is made to develop Lee's feelings--which is the case in every single LeeSaku fic I've read. It is always about how perfect and true Lee's love is, and how Sakura grows to appreciate and return it. There are no words for how I hate this rape of both their characters.
It's been years since I first played Final Fantasy X, and this pairing is still stupid. Auron is as asexual as they come, and Rikku shows not even the remotest interest in him. At least Vincent/Yuffie, which comes from exactly the same moronic "let's pair up the leftover perky teenage girl who tweeny idiots identify with with the leftover brooding older guy who tweeny idiots crush on" urge, could work if authors put actual effort into it. Auron/Rikku is flat-out impossible.
Pairings involving Naruto and an adult always squick me, and KakaNaru is the worst of the popular ones (although IruNaru is pretty bad too). Kakashi is the closest thing Naruto has to a firm father figure, and Naruto is the least romantic character on Team 7. Sexualizing his relationship with his teacher squicks me in the worst ways.
Ed and Al's brotherly relationship is the cornerstone of Fullmetal Alchemist, and even when it's kind of dysfunctional, it is the sanest and most normal thing in their life. Yet most Elricest writers insist that introducing sex into this relationship is natural, healthy, and even fluffy. NO. Save incest for relationships that aren't inherently healthy and familial.
Some mentor/mentored pairings are acceptable if done right. I'm quite fond of Kakashi/Sasuke, for instance. This one, though, is Just Plain Wrong. No. Mwu is the straightest major character in the whole series, and even if he wasn't, Kira is the last person he'd be involved with that way. AUGH NO.
Five Pairings I Used to Love
I admit, I fell in love with this pairing in the first chapter. There was just something about the way they connected that made me adore it. But the lack of canon support for any romance between the two of them, and Kubotite's obvious contempt for the pairing, have made me feel rather bad about actually shipping them. I still really like the idea, though, and I'm convinced that, KT's looming distaste aside, it can be done right in the hands of a good enough writer.
These two are still one of my few genuine OTPs--I can't see either of them with anyone else, ever. But my interest in FMA in general has waned a lot, and with it my passion for this pairing.
The way these two love each other still makes me wibble, but as things stand I find more canon support for Ichigo/Orihime and even Chizuru/Tatsuki, and seeing a pairing get demolished by canon is enough to turn me off to it, alas.
I still love Jiraiya. I still think he and Tsunade are each other's best chance for a lasting romance as things stand. My love for the pairing has just kind of fallen by the wayside. I don't even know why.
I love the potential that these two had, and I wish the game had developed it more, but I just can't conceive of them without Squall winding up in the mix as well. These days I'm more about the Seifer/Rinoa/Squall triangle.
Five Pairings I Used to Hate
My initial reaction to this pairing was OMG THEY'RE LIKE FAMILY EW. And I remain firm in my belief that they are like family to each other--their relationship is more like that of estranged siblings than that of cousins. Also, canon? Because he said she was cute when they were both little kids? Don't make me laugh. But it is technically feasible--while there is no explicit canon evidence that the Hyuuga inbreed, it is a reasonable conclusion to draw for the sake of fics, and Neji and Hinata's relationship is potentially quite complex and interesting even if it's not canonically romantic.
I just don't see it. Before, I was particularly repulsed by it--there's just no reason for Kakashi to wind up in a creepy pedophilic relationship with Sakura, thanks. But these days I can handle it if it's done right, although it rarely is. It generally needs to have Sakura being older and Naruto and Sasuke both being dead, though.
Again, just didn't see it. Still don't. There's nothing sexual there--Roy is not interested in little boys, and Ed has all the sexuality of a toaster. Possibly less. Still, some authors can spin something interesting out of it.
The sheer pointlessness of this pairing bothers me. The only reason it's so popular is because Kakashi and Iruka were the first attractive male adults introduced for some time--and people wanted them to start having cute, fluffy sex. Never mind that fluff ruins the whole point of Kakashi's character. But I've come to admit that there's nothing really inherently squicky about the pairing--they're both adults and they're not in a preexisting platonic relationship--and a good author can make it interesting.
Ugh. I admit, I still don't care for this pairing in and of itself, but as a part of the Seifer/Rinoa/Squall triangle, which I adore, it can be interesting. And so long as there's no Rinoa-bashing, which there usually is, I imagine a good author can do something interesting with this pairing. I just don't like seeing Rinoa chopped out of their lives, since she's so important to both of them.
Five Crack Pairings
I got the impression that Hanatarou has a bit of a crush on Rukia--he certainly admires her. More to the point, though, this would be freaking adorable. Come on, you know it would be.
I can't completely say why I like this pairing, but there's something intriguing about the idea of Havoc, in all his fake suaveness and total inability to make it with the ladies, having to deal with Lust of all people.
Oh, come on. Sure, it has no basis whatsoever in canon, but they are the biggest bitches in the entire series. It would be awesome. Plus, Rix has awesome arts of these two.
Well, besides the fact that they look good together...I do have a silly reason for liking this pairing. I like the idea of pairings rising out of the Sand Sibling Rescue Effort--TemaShika OTP, Gaara+Lee Platonic OTP, and KankuKiba Crack OTP.
I have no excuse for this, but it's two strong female characters who are both really hot. Plus they look pretty together. That is all.
I should get to working on my fanfic instead of sitting around rambling pointlessly. Oh well!