When two characters in an anime have chemistry, they need to be together, if only in fanfic.
Some pairings just work, and just because the creators didn’t put them together doesn’t mean fans won’t. Plus, anime fans know that just because the creators made a pairing canon doesn’t mean we have to like it.
We put together some of the best and worst ships so you can get your ship fix—and maybe find something new to watch.
Can’t Stop These Feelings
Some couples are just meant to be, and fans know it – even if fate or destiny (or the show’s canon) keeps them apart. Here are some of our favorites that give us all the feels.
Tohru x Kyo
Kyo and Tohru were meant for each other since the original Fruits Basket anime aired in the early 2000s. If the 2019 reboot had you rooting for these two, you’re in good company.
Tohru and Kyo are the only logical end game for this feel-good show with a dark twist. It’s no secret the two of them are close, and the reboot’s three-season run gave us a lot more time to watch them work their way into each other’s hearts.
Midoriya x Uraraka
If friends to lovers is your vibe, you know Izuku and Ochaco are one of the cutest couples—not just in My Hero Academia, but in anime history.
They have the kind of chemistry you want to see in any ship. They’re not just a couple, even if you ship them as one.
They work together and believe in each other through the UA hero tests, defending their city against evildoers like Stain and the Villains Alliance, and they stand up for each other. In other words, they’re the kind of couple who stays friends, no matter how long they’ve been together.
Victor x Yuri
At the time the show aired, this Yuri!!! On Ice ship got as close to canon as a queer ship could, outside of explicitly stated yaoi and yuri genres.
And, if Victor’s arm hadn’t been in the way, we would’ve seen that kiss on the ice.
While Victor is initially far too forward for Yuuri’s comfort, Yuuri admired him before Victor knew he existed. Over the course of the show, we got to see their relationship blossom beyond the ice.
Their relationship was also a step closer to the present for anime, in terms of seeing LGBTQ+ identities on screen.
Roy x Riza
There’s nothing more romantic than two people who keep each other sane. Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood do everything to protect each other.
They’ve risked their lives for each other—and they’ve checked each other to keep them from making decisions they’d regret. Plus, the way they look at each other throughout the anime shows that their relationship goes beyond comrades or coworkers.
They’re the kind of pairing that doesn’t need to kiss in canon for us to know how much they mean to each other.
Utena x Anthy
This Revolutionary Girl Utena ship is one of the most iconic sapphic ships out there. But Utena and Anthy represent much more than a rare queer ship featuring women from the 90s.
This ship sticks it to the patriarchy and subverts gender expression and roles every step of the way. Think Utena’s the only hero here? Wrong!
Utena and Anthy break harmful cycles and show themselves as flawed characters who still end up having the most stable relationship in the anime.
Sometimes, even though canon forces couples together, fans know the pairing would never really work. Maybe the characters just lack that on-screen chemistry or the character development to make a ship feel believable.
Kirito x Asuna
Kirito was never that interesting, and yet, the girls in Sword Art Online fall all over him. Asuna could do better.
Neither character had the depth you want in a ship—or even as individual people. There’s nothing that makes you care about them as a couple, and while they level up in the Sword Art virtual reality game, their relationship doesn’t.
Sasuke x Sakura
You see this Naruto ship at the top of so many worst ship lists, and there’s a reason for that.
From the beginning, Sasuke and Sakura had nothing going for them, even when Sakura was a bratty twelve-year-old and Sasuke was a moody, revenge-obsessed tween.
While Sakura pined after Sasuke, he was too focused on vengeance to care about anyone else. It’s not exactly a recipe for romance, especially with almost zero development between them (romantic or not).
Light x Misa
Can you say “manipulation?” This ship in the Death Note anime was never built on love. In fact, can we even call this a ship?
Their relationship was based on agreement over attraction, and there’s no respect in it.
Light is only in it for personal gain, and it shows. He treats her like a means to an end, and while it’s hard not to indulge in unhealthy ship dynamics sometimes, this one goes too far.
Midoriya x Bakugo
Another enemies-to-lovers appeal for some shippers, this My Hero Academia pairing has some major problems.
Bakugo bullies Midoriya for most of their lives, and while Midoriya somehow still considers Bakugo his friend, it reads like a cheap and unhealthy foundation for their friendship.
Bakugo also doesn’t show much, if any, remorse for the way he’s treated Midoriya, who deserves better.
Which characters do you think have the best (or worst) relationship in anime? Let us know in the comments!