Favorite Anime and TV Pairings (of All Time and In No Particular Order)

So, this is in the same vein as my previous post about my favorite book pairings of all time. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to make a vid this time– cutting movie clips together in my video editor takes forever and an age, and I’ve been working/going to kickboxing/writing all week. My spare time has been devoted to finishing some of the books in my currently-reading stack, and answering correspondence, which really didn’t leave me six hours to edit a vid. I might still do one in the future, depending on how much time I have/what clips I can get my hands on.

That aside, I did gather some pretty pictures for you all, so I’ll just go right ahead with my list. 😀

Nate and Sophie, Leverage

The odd thing is, I don’t even like Nate on his own. I think he’s a whiny, manipulative drunk with power and control issues. However, he and Sophie have one of the most adorable romances currently running on TV, and Sophie brings out qualities in Nate that make him almost likable.

Dean and Castiel, Supernatural

Thing #1: Yes, that is a manip. Good one, no? Thing #2: Yes, I know, guys. Dean’s straight, Cas is asexual, and this pairing is NOT CANON. However, they did make it to the final round of eOnline’s TV Top Couples Tournament, and the writers/directors tend to toss out terms such as “long distance marriage”, “war widow”, and even the incredibly unsubtle and infamous “one in the trenchcoat” comment from season 6. So yeah. It basically boils down to that if Castiel had appeared in season 4 looking like this:

…. Dean would have been on that in three seconds flat, and all of the questionable UST that they already have would have become, well, resolved sexual tension.

(Needless to mention we might have had a girl on SPN who could survive sleeping with one of the bros.)

Alec Hardison and Parker, Leverage

There is one word that is perfectly apt to describe this pairing: cute. Sweet might also be applicable. Just watch this clip and let me know if your heart doesn’t melt.

Shunsui and Nanao, Bleach

These two were always my favorite couple/pairing/enemies from Bleach. There’s not really much overt romance going on between these two, but under all of the fighting and bickering there is a.) a man who cares for Nanao truly and deeply and b.) a girl who is very, very loyal and capable.

Ten and Rose, Doctor Who

They were fun. They had undeniable chemistry that Eccleston and Piper simply didn’t. And I do believe this is the closest that we have ever gotten– aside from perhaps Sarah Jane– to the Doctor having a canon romance.

Which can really be summarized in the following quote: “If I believe in one thing, just one thing, I believe in her.”

Amy Williams/Pond and Rory Pond/Williams, Doctor Who

Just when I thought DW was done giving us tragic and beautiful romances, they threw this one at me. These two love one another in ways that I was starting to think weren’t possible, and they’re also wonderfully fun together. And FYI? I would totally watch this show if it were real. 🙂

River Song and Eleven, Doctor Who

Way too much Doctor Who, I know. But I felt that this one needed mentioning. 🙂 I really do hope to see River back next season.

Buffy and Spike, BtVS

Despite the borderline abusive turn of their relationship later in the series, I identify Buffy and Spike as a couple by this moment, when Buffy is sitting on the steps angsting and the previously highly antagonistic Spike offers her a moment of absolute tenderness that harkens back to the bad, dorky poet he was before he was turned. Plus, they have more sexual chemistry than Buffy and Angel ever did.

 

Willow and Tara, BtVS

Willow and Tara, despite their difficulties, brought out the best in one another. I was profoundly sad when Tara died, because I feel like Tara was The One and The Only for Willow. Willow and Kennedy, Willow and that werewolf guy who’s name I can never remember, Willow and Xander– none of them had the same quality as Willow and Tara, two girls who loved one another so much that they were able to work past their issues with addiction and low self-esteem, and who, in the end, were willing to die and/or kill for one another.

ETA: For some reason, the picture I had for this pair completely disappeared at some point today while I was out running errands. So here’s a new one 🙂

So, who is YOUR favorite TV/Anime couple? Let me know in the comments!

TV Review: Supernatural 7.14 ~ “Plucky Pennywhistle’s Magical Menagerie”

So, I’m going to be perfectly honest here; I did not have high hopes for this episode. Dabb and Loflin are my least favorite additions to the SPN writing team. Sure, they’ve avoided the trap of, say, “Mannequin 3”, and they have some pretty nifty, sharp ideas, but I feel like their style does not mesh well with the established styles of Gamble, Edlund, Singer, etc.

That said, “Plucky Pennywhistle’s” was a much more solid episode than “Season 7, Time For a Wedding!”. It did fall into the typical Dabb/Loflin trap of having WAY too much going on– tentacle monsters, killer unicorns, and land sharks are just a few of the beasties that feature in the ep– but the character execution and pacing was pretty spot on, compared with the woefully torturous “Wedding”. There were a few snappy dialogue scenes, and I’ll admit that the central theme of the episode was pretty neatly done. If Dabb and Loflin can pull off something like this–admittedly less adroitly than Edlund has done in the past– then I could see them having a place amongst the writers of Supernatural. Here’s hoping they improve even more with their next offering!

Pros

  • The dialogue was pretty nicely done. Plenty of Winchester snark 🙂
  • The way in which the passage of time in the episode was tracked, I believe, through Sam’s POV, which makes sense. He’d be the sort to count down seconds until the moment of absolute crisis (“Right Friggin’ Now”).
  • The Season 2 references. Robots with laser eyes? Unicorns shooting rainbows out of their asses? Makes me want to go rewatch season 2 right now 🙂

Cons

  • There was no exploration of the Case of Dean’s Vanishing Drink. At all. I am now convinced that this can only be Bobby– we can safely assume Cas is probably already re-embodied and wondering around without any idea of what’s going on.
  • The episode was visually a bit overwhelming, which I’m sure was what they were going for, but I’m not particularly fond of the Dabb/Loflin brand of sensory overload. At least there were less crappy special effects than we’ve seen in the last few.

Final Rating: B. Solid and amusing, but not something I’d rewatch more than once.

Coming Up Next: We are now easing into the “darkerepisodes of the season, the ones where all of us who have been SPN fans for awhile just now that the proverbial sh** is about to hit the fan. With the spoilers circulating about episode 17, we can safely assume that Sam’s descent into absolute madness begins here in  “Repo Man”. The trailer can be found here at Spoiler TV.

I’m actually really excited to see these next few episodes. So much of this season seems to have been focused on breaking Dean (and to some extent, Sam, but he’s already bonkers to begin with), but something tells me this next bit is going to be his true breaking point. You’re dumping his crazy-for-cocoa-puffs brother, his amnesiac angel best friend who he watched die and who he’s still pissed at over… well… the fact that he made Sam crazy to begin with, AND the Leviathan Problem into his lap. If he pulls out of it, it says something beautiful about his character, but something tells me he’s going to have his own pathos to struggle through before that happens.


TV Review: Supernatural 7.13 “The Slice Girls”

To be honest, the preview for this episode made me cringe for many reasons, but the most overwhelming one was that this seemed like a very “Breaking Dawn”-type premise to me. It wasn’t enough to make me not want to tune in– this is Supernatural, after all!– but it did make me a little nervous. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when the episode managed to avoid this trap in a way that shows that they still have some awesome writers on their staff.

The basic plotline of “The Slice Girls” is very simple. Dean breaks his long run of celibacy in a super-sexy/super-gory montage set to ACDC’s “You Shook Me”. Stuff happens. Dean forgets about it and goes back to investigating the case. Dean goes back for something and HELLO BABY. It could have easily been done very poorly, but I thought the execution was quite unique– I liked the incorporation of the Amazon myths– and as always, Dean in emotional turmoil over his “daughter” is both heartbreaking and sadistically hilarious. There was even some exploration of The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Drink, which I am firmly sticking to as a theory now, thankyouverymuch. Nothing is EVER a coincidence in the SPN universe, guys.

Overall? This was a solid, entertaining episode that was well-written and well-executed, which I was starting to think was an impossible concept for season 7. Very nice work.

Pros

  • Dean naked + sexytimes. Set to “You Shook Me”. Hell to the yes.
  • Furthering the case of Dean’s vanishing drink, if a little ham-handedly.
  • The Amazons were actually pretty cool except for the getting killed with bullets thing.
  • Smug!Sam. Oh, how I’ve missed the Stanford-educated, wryly funny Sam. He tends to get lost amongst Brooding!Sam and Stupid!Sam.

Cons

  • I think the special effects are getting WORSE instead of better. The red-eye thing on the Amazons was terrible.

Final Rating: A. Overall, a very solid episode with quite a few intriguing little bits.

Coming Up Next: Sam gets cornered by a bunch of clowns, according to the trailer which can be found here at SpoilerTV. Seeing as this is going to be written by the “dream team” that made such a mess of the episode with Becky earlier this season, I don’t feel at all optimistic about it.*

*That said, this sneak peek was pretty awesome, so I might have to suck it up and ignore the fact that the last episode they wrote was AWFUL.

TV Review: Supernatural 7.12 “Time After Time After Time”

Confession time: I am a Superwhovian.

No, that does not mean I am a Super! Whovian (though… I kind of, am, actually). It means that I am a.) a fan of Doctor Who and b.) a fan of Supernatural and c.) a fan of Doctor Who and Supernatural together. Like, together together. This is my desktop background. I manipulate images. I have even been known to occasionally indulge in some reblogging of GIFS on occasion. I believe that the Impala is a TARDIS because c’mon. That trunk is WAY bigger on the inside.

Consequently, the time travel episodes of Supernatural are always high on my list of favorites, and “Time After Time After Time” certainly earned its place alongside  season 6’s “Frontierland” and 5’s “The Song Remains the Same”.

Pros

  • “So what, you’re strictly into Dick now?” I love the return of snarky-smart-and-funny!Sam. It takes me back to another time, when I actually liked Sam, seasons 1-3.
  • Jody and Sam as the new Batman and Robin. I love Jody, and this episode really gave her a couple of shining moments, and the dynamic between Jody and Sam is awesome and hilarious.
  • Dean communicating with Sam through a crack in the wall. Doctor Who flashbacks, anyone?
  • Non-angelic time travel, despite the fact that—to me—it was rather poorly explained. Whatever. At least people got bounced around in time without any angelic involvement.
  • Dean in 1940’s gear.  Ooh la la. I might have spent the majority of this episode salivating over Dean in a fedora. Maybe.

Cons

  • The last five minutes were laughably bad. I don’t know what exactly made them so bad—they just were. The acting on Chronos Guy’s part seemed very stilted, it took him forever and an age to die, and all he did was natter on about how the Leviathan are going to take over the world. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it all before.
  • I am sick to death of non-Impala cars. Dean needs his baby back, preferably accompanied by his angel and his father figure, and we as viewers need some car!porn. Really.

Stars: 4 out of 5. Was 4.5 before the last five minutes.

Final Grade: A-. Decent and amusing, loved the time travel element, ending kind of bombed.

Coming Up Next: The promo for the next episode, “The Slice Girls”, shows Dean having sex. Oh show, I guess you just realized that there’s been a pretty huge lack of such material recently. It also shows a vaguely Breaking Dawn-like situation that is either going to suck tremendously or be freaking hysterical. I’m holding out for the latter, and also some exploration of The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Drink*.

(I didn’t get around to watching The Fades, partially because I was feeling kind of icky and partially because of the brother’s desire to watch Westerns instead. I did record it, though, so I think I’ll combine ep 1 and ep 2 into one review next week. )

*Which, given this news, might come to fruition by episode 17.

TV REVIEW: Supernatural – 7.11 “Adventures In Babysitting”

So. My favorite CW show about two ridiculously attractive monster-hunting brothers just came back from what we fans have termed the “hellatus”, a portmanteau  of “hell” and “hiatus” used to refer to the 4-6 week mid-season hiatus*. This season’s hellatus was particularly brutal, considering that Supernatural is apparently out to kill off every side character that ever existed in nasty and demoralizing ways. Yes, I am still a little sore about Cas and about Bobby at this point, even with Misha Collins confirmed to return to SPN later this season– but more on that later.

I have to say, my overall opinion of this episode was fairly low. I was more interested in minutiae then I was in the actual plot– or what plot there was, because at this point, the monster of the week plots are starting to get REALLY old. The first five minutes intrigued me with their depiction of the passage of time and the patented Winchester grieving process (no talk, work on case, drink alcohol, pace frantically) and the subplot with Dean and the kid was kind of cute, but there were a couple of really stupid moments in there as well that made me cringe, as well as some terrible special effects nightmares that I can only imagine are there to make up for the fact that AlienBaby!Cas existed.

Speaking of Cas…. didn’t anyone else think it was weird that Dean’s beer literally disappeared? I mean, he had it in his hand. It still had liquid in it, and then he set it down and turned around and BOOM. Gone. Almost like it drank itself. Hmm.**

Pros

  • Yes, I’m just going to admit it right now. Dean’s scenes with that kid were corny as all get out and yet cute in ways that shouldn’t be legal. I loved that she was almost a female version of Young!Dean. I love that Dean was all protective over her. And I love, love, LOVE that she saved their bacon instead of the other way around.
  • Kevin McNally as the paranoid computer geek extraordinaire. I loved him as Gibbs in POTC, and I love him in SPN as well. He’s a fantastic author and he lends a sense of utter believability to a character that might otherwise appear more like a caricature of the paranoid hacker stereotype.
  • The Week-By-Week Winchester Grieving Report. It was almost a little  sadistically funny and at the same time a good depiction of their feelings about losing Bobby, which I was really hoping that they would touch on a little more than, say, their feelings on losing Cas.
  • Frank’s advice to Dean and Dean attempting to follow it. Aww.

Cons

  • The Monster of the Week. I did not find the Vitala particularly intriguing or unique– they’re basically vampires with different teeth. I have not looked up the original Vitala legend for reference, but I’d bet my library that they could have given them a more unique spin.
  • The slow-motion scenes. They seemed unnecessary and broke the flow of the scene. Also, the special effects when the Vitala died, which are really no different from any other MOTW special effects we’ve seen before on the show.
  • When Dean and Frank were working on unraveling the Leviathan’s motives, the plot was awesome, with just enough hints for what’s to come and a couple of good looks at what Dean is going through emotionally and physically. The plot concerning Sam/the kid/the Vitala, however, was fairly flat and predictable, almost boring. I love the MOTW episodes just as much as I love the mythology heavy ones, but this one was just kind of… meh.

Final Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. MOTW plot was a little dull, but overall acting and the bits with the Leviathan were worth it. Would maybe rewatch.

Coming Up Next: Next week’s episode is entitled “Time After Time After Time” and looks to be the 1940’s time travel episode that we were promised. Here’s the promo over at SpoilerTV. I love that Dean gets so into these “period” episodes, and that he gets his understanding of these historical periods from classic movies. It’s cute on him.

Then again, pretty much everything is.***

*There’s also the BIG hellatus that goes on during the summer between seasons, but thankfully we’re not quite there yet.

**Why yes, I am completely attached to the idea of Cas, ghostly and unable to interact directly with the world, following the Winchesters around trying to get them to notice him. Which, since they are idiots sometimes, might be a lost cause.

**2 After taking a quick look at SpoilerTV, it seems like people are also considering Bobby as a suspect in The Case of Dean’s Vanishing Beer.

***GAH JENSEN ACKLES WHY ARE YOU SO PERFECT [/end fangirling]

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