Isaac Dian & Miria Harvent- Baccano!!
*WARNING – SPOILERS BELOW*
Baccano is a great show, which I rated Excellent. I recommend watching Baccano in a dub. Normally, I don’t like dubs. If I had to give a reason, it feels like the dubs are more about acting in a voice rather than becoming the characters. Isaac and Miria are different. Clearly, they enjoy playing their characters. They bring a spark of life and liveliness to their characters that I usually find missing from dubs.
Isaac and Miria are certifiably insane. They are also ridiculously successful criminals, but never mean ill by it. Heck, they robbed the mafia because that’s what you do – steal from bad guys. These guys walk into a speakeasy dressed as a priest and a nun. The best summation of the hilarious duo is the title to Episode 8 – “Isaac and Miria Spread Happiness Without Realizing It.” Actually, this couple is the glue that ties Baccano together, connecting everything. But they aren’t just glue, their antics really help shape the entire course of the anime – they are actually far more important than they (or the viewers) realize. And that’s the best part of Isaac and Miria – they don’t realize how important they are.
What’s fun about these guys is that they are made for each other. They completely trust and rely on each other, but also love every minute they spend together. Perhaps that’s the best part of the dynamic duo – they are seriously having fun as a couple. For them, life is like a perpetual highlight reel – they seem to always be looking on the bright side of things. And yet, they aren’t just complete jesters. They have a strong sense of duty and responsibility to help other people out, because that’s the kind of people they are.
The feeling you’re left with is that, of all the immortals, the ones most deserving of immortality is Isaac and Miria. They aren’t even aware they’re immortal – they only really get an inkling that something might be up in the early 2000s (they’re still stuck in the 1970s). They aren’t using the immortality to try to get ahead or even really use it. They are just living on, having fun together, and doing their very best to help other people.
Aki Tomoya & Katō Megumi – Saekano
*Warning – Spoilers Below*
Alright, here’s the thing…I love Isaac and Miria (Baccano!!), I love Shinra and Celty (Durarara!!), I love Okabe and Makise (Steins;Gate), but I have been very impressed by a very different sort of couple most recently. Perhaps one may point out that they are not officially a couple, but Aki Tomoya & Katō Megumi of Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend have a startlingly real relationship while still being far from boring.
Megumi was invisible. Even to the viewer, she was made invisible by camera angles, distracting elements, and so on. Yet this otaku boy, Aki, noticed her in a brief moment of flying sakura and sparkling sunlight…even if he couldn’t remember her actual face. But Megumi is more than a love-at-first-sight sort of girl. She is a stream of unrelenting gentleness spiced with sarcasm, and already by the end of this first season of Saekano, Aki can’t do without her. He calls her, he relies on her, he talks through his concerns with her, and she is always there for him.
Now, don’t get the impression that Megumi is that sweet pushover who will bear out anything that Aki does. Far from it! But nor is she the sort who is unreasonable, easy to offend, quick to be jealous, or even one to give the silent treatment without him knowing why. She hides her feelings when she knows it wouldn’t help him to display them (like when he leaves their date at the mall), and she makes very clear the issue she has with something that matters more (like the cousins thing). She is gentle and patient, but she is also firm and respectable, while trusting him and his crazy schemes more than anyone else does.
So, all this has been about Megumi, but it takes two to tango, right? What about Aki? What does he do for her? Does he deserve her? Aki has less to do with the relationship so far because he hasn’t quite figured it out yet. But that’s fine. The main thing is, everything that Megumi does for him is making him a better, stronger person…and he knows it. Her existence has slowly been seeping into his life until she becomes the person he trusts above all others, the person he looks to as the voice of reason and safety, and the person he loves to see slowly entering his otaku world, sarcastic comments and all. She is no longer invisible, bland, and boring to him, even if she’s not that quintessential heroine he’s always imagined.
Their smiles to each other are sweet and content. Their phone conversations convey a simple tenderness I haven’t seen in any other anime. And what is the backdrop to this wonderfully real love story? A gaggle of harem anime girls that, while each deep and interesting characters in their own right, serve mainly to slowly highlight just how good Megumi is to and for Aki, and how much he respects and cares for her in return.