The journey is better, with one another.

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This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.

“Favorite anime couple?”

I’ve seen my fair share of romance animes over the years, from the hardcore romance of Scum’s Wish to rom-coms like My Little Monster. Yet there is always one thing that absolutely ticks me off about these shows.

They never end properly.

What I mean is we rarely get to see our favorite couples relationships past a certain point. Maybe they’re just stuck in a perpetual phase of never asking each other out all they way til the season finale. Hell, some never even make it to that point. But when we get to see the couples move beyond that stage into something far more intimate, it’s a treat like no other.

Which is exactly what Holo and Lawrence accomplish all through excellent dialogue.

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There are many ways to express intimacy; whether it be through cuddling, kissing, or the combination of the two. But intimacy can also be the smaller things – small talk, eating together, shopping. The little gestures that Lawrence shows to Holo despite trying to keep up his facade as a calculating merchant hit me harder than Koi to Uso’s make-out sessions ever could. Holo’s constant teasing and banter is always accompanied by reliable help when Lawrence is lost. Because of that, Lawrence is able to gain more confidence, taking bigger and riskier deals as the show goes on. All of this quickly portrays them as more than just a couple in a romance anime. They are partners; companions bound together by a single need and a goal.

Loneliness and a home.

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There isn’t enough shows where we get to see the influence of these relationships, how it changes the protagonist beyond the usual “I now have something to fight for!” Lawrence starts off his journey as a skilled merchant looking to profit in every deal. As the show goes on however, we see him become a little more lax with his wallet, spending a little here and there on better food or clothes, enjoying the little things in life other than hoarding money. Holo on the other hand has no such qualms with spending on top of being a prideful wolf deity (much to the chagrin of Lawrence).

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Yet they never seem to lose their individual personalities. Holo is still a prideful wise wolf with a sharp wit, always calling Lawrence out when he’s unsure or afraid and Lawrence doesn’t lose his business savvy when he’s around Holo, always keeping tabs on their spending without spoiling Holo too much. Where some may break character to woo the love interest, Lawrence stays true and sensible to his merchant way even if it makes him seem cheap. He doesn’t become a gungho badass, fighting through soldiers when Holo is captured, rather, he uses his business sense to have others rescue Holo (utterly destroying Holo’s damsel-in-distress fantasy when she expected him to burst through those doors, funny enough).

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Honestly? I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the back and forth banter between these two. Finished reading the light novel series a while back, and though I’m sad to see Lawrence’s story ending, I can’t wait for Hasekura Isuna’s (the author of Spice & Wolf) next work!

What’s your favorite couple in anime? And does it bother you when romance animes spend an entire season before the main couple confesses?

 

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