Throughout my geeky-infused childhood, I’ve had many “one true pairings.”
A “one true pairing” is defined as a fan’s favorite pairing in a specific fandom. It implies heavy devotion. Some fans may be devoted enough to only creating or consuming fan works for that pairing.
I’ve had many OTPs throughout my childhood. Many were in anime because I didn’t play as many games as I do now. I thought it would be fun to revisit these pairings and see what I feel about them now. So, enjoy!
Kingdom Hearts: Roxas & Naminé
My first public fanfiction was about Roxas and Naminé. At the time, I had just finished playing Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, and I became obsessed with this pairing. Why? I have no idea. I think I just thought they looked cute together, even though they didn’t really have any real interaction in the game as far as I remember.
What really drew me to this pairing was a very simple aspect: they were both nobodies of the “main pairing,” Sora and Kairi. I mean, Roxas and Naminé just went together, no matter how you look at it.
Roxas and Naminé were more interesting to me than Sora and Kairi. Naminé is a witch with control of people’s memories, and the game made me love Roxas’s character. So, the game had a lot of influence on why I love this pairing. Naminé was also more mysterious in 358/2 Days, and that really appealed to me.
I was obviously not alone. After a quick search on FF.net, I saw many people also writing for Roxas and Naminé. Side note: My favorite FF author for this pairing is idiotique. I was living for Shine, and We’re All Mad Here. Back in the day, I consumed fan works for this pairing like a drug.
This pairing is truly reminiscent of my high school days. I’ve also read a lot of fanfiction with this couple set in high school or some kind of coming-of-age setting. It’s really a pairing that takes me back.
Prince of Tennis: Ryoma & Sakuno
This one was a given. Everyone in the PoT fandom loves Ryoma and Sakuno. Maybe it was because there was a significant lack of girls in this anime, or it’s because they fit the stereotype.
PoT never focused on romance. It’s a sports anime that’s like all the other sports anime out there. But, there was something about this pairing that just… worked.
Sakuno is a quiet girl with an innocent crush on Ryoma. She’s always cheering him on and wants the best for him. On the other hand, Ryoma is just… oblivious. But there are many moments where he helped her. They really have a cute friendship that could easily blossom into something more if the author wanted to.
This was the formula for a romance anime if this anime was a shojo. I’ve also read fan fiction about this pairing, but none really resonated with me. But, I’ve seen a lot of cute artwork of them.
Even though the anime ended, I occasionally look up the manga to see where the story is now. I remember coming across one scene where Ryoma and Sakuno go on a “date.” At the time, Ryoma was in a bad place, and Sakuno happened to show up, so they ended up spending time together.
I could see my 6th-grade self fangirling.
When Ryoma also “saves” Sakuno from another tennis player later on in the manga, I thought: where were all these scenes way back then?! My younger self would’ve lived for it.
I don’t know where the author plans to take this pairing, but looking back, I would say it’s a nice progression if they do end up together. But, if they don’t, I wouldn’t complain about it either because that was never the focus anyway. Still, I wouldn’t complain if they don’t end up together.
Prince of Tennis: Kirihara & An
Back then, I jumped on the bandwagon for this one. Later, I realized how easy it is for people to make them a thing.
Kirihara injured An’s brother during a match. An hates him throughout the anime, but Kirihara “tries” to make up for his mistakes. He tries to change his violent ways.
During a tennis camp, An confronts Kirihara; she pretty much tells him not to injure anyone else here. She gets angry when Kirihara brings up her brother, and when trying to avoid her slap, he falls down the stairs.
However, Kirihara never mentions that it was her that “pushed” him down the stairs. He keeps it all a secret, technically protecting her.
If you read that and don’t think it’s such a common trope, I… don’t know what to say.
I’ve seen so many fanfictions of this couple, and I can easily see why people would put these two together. Back then, I really loved this pairing too because you could do so much with them. There were so many story possibilities that can stem from their canon chemistry or lack thereof.
These two were also much more interesting to write and read about than other people who’ve already established a solid friendship with An like Momoshiro and Kamio.
Now, I don’t really think of them as a pairing. They’re both just interesting characters with a lot of room for development. But the development should be done with tact.
Naruto: Neji & TenTen
I felt something when Neji died. I love Neji and TenTen as a couple for the entire Naruto series. They just… fit. I love their friendship, chemistry, and their characters. Side note: Team Gai will always be my favorite team.
These two were on the same team, went through the same shiz together, and pretty much grew up together. Plus, TenTen never had any chemistry with anyone else. The only other person would probably be Lee. But, I see them more like best friends than romantic partners.
I’m so confident that these two would’ve ended up together if Neji didn’t die. I don’t have much to say about this couple, only that NejiTen will forever live on in my heart.
Card Captor Sakura: Sakura & Syaoran
Do I need to say anything more about this pairing? They were meant to be. And clearly, the creators also think so. This pairing will always be iconic.
Kodocha: Akito & Sana
Kodocha is an old anime that centers around Sana, a child actress, and Akito, her classmate and a lone-wolf.
These two characters are complete opposites. Sana is extremely hyperactive, but she’s also very kind and considerate. Akito… has a lot of baggage, and he surprisingly develops a strong friendship with Sana.
I really like this couple because they can open up and confide in each other in their own ways. Their differences are what pulls them together.
This pairing is a given. If you didn’t root for then, there is no point in watching the anime. I haven’t watched this in a very long time, but this couple is the only one I still like against all the older animes I watched.
Resident Evil: Leon & Ada
I still love this couple to this day. They aren’t official, and I don’t think they will ever be. But, strangely, that’s one of the things I like about them.
Any RE fan out there would know that Leon and Ada were always in a cat-and-mouse chase. They have chemistry and sexual tension, but it’s never executed. It feels like the creators just continue baiting you on, and strangely, I’m OK with that.
I don’t know how this pairing would even maintain a relationship and how the story would develop if they did. It would be so strange that it would defeat the purpose of the story and their chemistry.
And… That’s It!
Let me know your thoughts on OTPs and if you have any.