My Favorite Couples (Television and Video Games)

Alright here’s part two of my favorite couples in media. This one is focusing on television shows and video games. It may come as little surprise that this list will be a little more on the nerdy side. I’m also trying to narrow it down to five for each. I could probably make each list a little longer, but it would take a bit more time to do that.

Television

Most of these are going to show my lack of keeping up with television. Some are from live action television shows, while others are from animated.

Cory and Topanga

Cory Matthews and Topanga Lawrence (Boy Meets World) – I watched Boy Meets World regularly growing up, so this was like the ideal couple in my mind. Sure they had some rocky periods where they broke up, got back together again and everything, but those things tended to make them stronger in the end. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia of it, or the fact that I thought Topanga was cute, but even after watching the whole series again just a couple years ago, they’re still my favorite TV couple.

Cliff and Clair Huxtable (The Cosby Show) – While Cliff and Claire are often displayed as parents, their relationship is also the focus in a number of episodes. Seeing both sides and how funny they are as parents and a couple is why they’re one of my favorites.

Kira and Lacus

Kira Yamato and Lacus Kline (Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny) – The world of Gundam SEED is a fairly grim and war torn world where friends and family may and do wind up dead. In that setting this couple is definitely a bright spot. In fact it could even be said that this couple is the reason behind why both series end positively.

Keiichi Morisato and Belldandy (Ah! My Goddess!) – This couple is probably the most over the top of all my favorites. Belldandy is a goddess and Keiichi is well someone with impressive bad luck. Yet they’re together and love each other, but have a hard time being romantic, and they’re always something extra that happens when they try. They’re cute and maybe a little too saccharine, but I still like them.

Kirito and Asuna (Sword Art Online) – A relationship that is able to bring healing to a person filled with loneliness, guilt, and sorrow is one that I can get behind. This is the way it goes in this relationship. Add in that this relationship is built while they’re trapped in a video game world where virtual death would equal real death and it adds an interesting layer to the whole thing.

Video Games

Zidane and Garnet (Final Fantasy IX) – Zidane meets Princess Garnet on a mission to kidnap her, succeeds, and this leads to a grand adventure. Zidane is flirty and while at first nothing really develops, these two gain feelings for each other. Add in an ending that makes you want to cheer for the two and you have a good couple.

tidus_yunaYuna and Tidus (Final Fantasy X) – I admit, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Final Fantasy X. I found Tidus fairly annoying early on, but really what makes this relationship stand out is how much he changes as the story goes on. It’s not just that you see the two grow closer, you do, but it’s also how the more responsible Yuna rubs off on Tidus.

Sora and Kairi (Kingdom Hearts) – Probably the most standard of relationships of my list. Boy likes girl, their world gets destroyed, boy loses girl, boy goes on quest to rescue the girl he likes. Despite this rather standard fare, I still think they made for a nice couple. Plus add in that Kairi actually winds up saving Sora near the end, it makes for a bit of a shift.

Chrono and Marle (Chrono Trigger) – Now this one you could just imagine happening. Boy runs into girl at fair, they decide to stay together after that encounter, girl (who also winds up being your kingdom’s princess) gets sent through time due to your friend’s transporter malfunctioning… well okay maybe it’s not too believable. Still an enjoyable relationship though, even when your character doesn’t say anything.

Almaz and Sapphire

Almaz and Princess Sapphire (Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice) – A relationship that is both really out there, funny, and really sweet at the same time. Almaz is a guard for Sapphire who secretly has a crush on her and goes to defeat the evil Overlord before he can kidnap her. He doesn’t do so well at this, but winds up meeting the Princess who has come to defeat the Overlord herself, after he fails. This leads to her helping him become a real hero and becoming very close to one another. Personally, these two wind up upstaging the main character of the game for me.

So there we go. Those are some of my favorite couples from television and video games. You have any favorites from these mediums? Any that you think I missed? Feel free to add your own or comment on mine.

The April Lists: Movies/TV

Friday I posted a list of books that I read or started to read in the month of April. It led me to realize my trend in reading non-fiction, serious type works. As I look over my Movie/TV list, I realize that the majority is mostly family friendly fare or at least not things that most people would consider grown-up in the least.

Movies:

¬†1. Alice in Wonderland – While this was not the first time I have ever watched Alice in Wonderland it had been a long time. I don’t think I had watched it since I was a little kid. I somewhat remembered it, but I also recalled that it creeped me out a little too.

The point of Alice in Wonderland, is a little lost on me. It simply seems that Alice longs for a world that is not all about being sensible and logical, but for a world that is full of nonsense. Then as she falls asleep she daydreams about such a world. A world where nonsense rules and logic doesn’t really seem to exist. This world is frustrating to Alice as she goes from one strange situation to another, perhaps teaching that there is a reason for the world being sensible. Maybe there is more to it than that, but that’s the best I’ve got. It could be that being familiar with the book would help, but I’m really not sure.

2. Cars – This is a movie that I have watched before, but our reason for watching it again was to introduce Ryan to it. He has recently really been into cars and when were home last Christmas he got a Lighting McQueen car from his Grandpa.

If you haven’t seen it, the movie is set in a world of anthropomorphic cars. If you can suspend disbelief about such a world, then it is really an enjoyable and funny movie. The movie centers around Lighting McQueen a rookie race car that is poised to become the first rookie to ever win the Piston Cup. However, McQueen is a bit of a pompous jerk. He only really believes in and relies on himself, which alienates others and leaves McQueen without anyone who he can really call a friend.

Due to unforeseen circumstances McQueen finds himself trapped in a small, declining town on Route 66. Despite his initial disdain for the town and its inhabitants it becomes clear that perhaps both McQueen and the town might need one another more than it first appears. It’s a pretty fun movie with some pretty good messages about pride, the importance of friends, and that there are some things that are more important than winning. You’ve probably seen this type of movie and messages before, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

TV Shows:

1. Boy Meets World – I’ve posted about this show a little already here, but this was one of my favorite shows when I was growing up. I remember watching it fondly when it was on TGIF during the 90s. During this month Kristen and I finished up the series and we enjoyed it quite a little bit. It really has aged fairly well. Certainly, it does show its age in some places, but Kristen and I both found it to be very enjoyable.

I remembered it for its humor and the lessons that it placed in many of the episodes, but I had forgot that the series gets pretty serious at times. It deals with topics like death, divorce, and relationships in some pretty serious ways. There aren’t too many series like Boy Meets World anymore, which is a shame in many ways, but if you enjoyed Boy Meets World when you were growing up, or simply like series like it, I recommend it.

2. Transformers – Talking about shows aging well, you always hope that your favorites age well. I’ve personally found that the Transformers haven’t aged quite as well as I would have liked them too. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy it quite thoroughly, but growing up mostly watching the movie, the TV show is pretty weak comparatively, at least so far. I’m only into season two as of right now, but it has all the hallmarks I remember from a number of 80s cartoons. Very convoluted villain plots, good guys who are noble to a fault, new characters that appear with little reason, warriors who can’t hit the broad side of a barn, and when people do get hit there is very little effect.

I guess when you compare it to the darker, more serious movie the series pales a little. Actions from the movie mattered and had a major impact that you felt. You just don’t get that from the series, which was probably why the movie made such a lasting impact on me. Things that would be shaken off in the series were serious in the movie. I still enjoy my Transformers (and Ryan enjoys them now too), but I must admit my memory of the Transformers was a bit better than the reality.

3. Ah My Goddess – Confession time; for those who don’t know Kristen and I like Japanese Anime. What you think of this is your business, but this is the simple fact of things. This is one of the anime series that we own. I’m not sure how many times we’ve watched it, but we are currently re-watching it.

The story focuses around a university student, Keiichi Morisato, who despite having terrible fortune, is a kind and upbeat person. This reality connects him to the Goddess Help Line, which grants one wish to the caller. Keiichi winds up wishing for the goddess on his “case,” Belldandy, to stay by his side forever. Surprisingly, this wish is granted, but instead of making Keiichi’s life easier, it brings more complications to his life.

The heart of Ah My Goddess is the relationship between Belldandy and Keiichi. It is kind of an awkward relationship though. They both obviously love each other, yet their relationship remains at a level where neither party really feels comfortable sharing their feelings and those close to them say that their relationship is like that of elementary school kids. Despite this there is a clear dependance that goes on between the two of them. Both willing to sacrifice whatever to make the other happy. Which is quite a feat when you have all kinds of crazy actions going on due to human rivals, Belldandy’s two goddess sisters who come and stay with Keiichi and Belldandy, and the demons who want the goddesses to go back to the heavens.

All in all Ah My Goddess is a cute, funny, and enjoyable show. As it explores relationships and contains a good amount of attempts to get Keiichi and Belldandy’s relationship to be more physical, it may not be one for kids until they get older. While I say that word of warning it is funny that the larger message of Ah My Goddess appears to be the idea of a love that resists this kind of outward pressure, focuses on sacrifice and desire for the happiness of the other. One may say that it shows an unrealistic portrayal of relationships, to that I would say “so what?” No TV show, anime series, or movie shows a 100% realistic view of relationships, work, school, etc. The purpose of such shows is often presenting messages or at least entertaining scenarios regarding such settings and arenas.

4. Naruto Shippuden -This is one of the few shows that I am currently watching that are actually still ongoing. In part I tend to enjoy watching series that are finished so I can watch without being constrained to a weekly schedule. This series is actually a sequel series to the anime Naruto.

The story of this show focuses on an ostracized young ninja-in-training, Naruto, and his quest to become the greatest ninja around. Naruto is ostracized because he has a power sealed within him that once attacked the village he lives in. He has grown up with no parents or siblings and is widely despised by the villagers. Because of this he desires to get strong and win the acknowledgement of everyone around him. A major problem to this is that Naruto isn’t exactly the brightest or most disciplined student around.

This series has humor, action, and a good set of characters. I enjoy it, but there are things that are not for everyone. It has some really great story arcs, but then will slow way down and not progress in any meaningful way for many episodes. Some of the plot points are also a little annoying at times and don’t always seem like the fit in very well, but overall I’m able to enjoy it for what it is. I wouldn’t call it a series that is looking to be supremely deep.

Even though I wouldn’t call it deep or meaningful, it does touch on issues that are interesting. The main issue Naruto and Naruto Shippuden deals with the idea of power. How does one gain power, by giving into hatred and disregarding any bonds of friendship or by gaining power due to caring and developing friendships. Are we strong because we are able to do much on our own with nothing holding us down or back or are we strong because we are connected with others and can rely on them and also be relied upon ourselves. This is a major thread that seems to weave throughout the show. It may not be deep, but it is an interesting thing to think over.

So anyways these are the movies and shows that I’ve watched in April. Most are family movies or shows or are animated in nature which is a very narrow slice of this category. We’ll see if that will change in the next month.

Fun for the Weekend – Boy Meets World

I found something out earlier this year that made me pleasantly surprised. One of the shows that I grew up watching was finally being released on DVD. This show was Boy Meets World, one of the shows of ABC’s once hit TGIF lineup. I remember watching it regularly in late elementary to early high school.

The premise of the show is simple enough. It follows the life of a boy, Cory Matthews, starting with 6th grade all the way to graduating college. The show deals with various issues like family, friends, school, and dating in a lighthearted, humorous way while still having something serious to take away from the episode. Perhaps best yet is that they don’t typically deal with the “lesson” in a heavy handed¬† way that other shows like Full House became known for.

What is funny about watching them once again though is that growing up I would reflect on how things were handled on the part of the kid. Now, however, I find myself more reflecting on how the parents handled the situations that came up. Of course it’s not perfect and well some of the situations are a bit out there, but remember this is TV it is not real life. Overall though I’ve found that Boy Meets World has been very enjoyable to revisit. It has the humor and points hold up today to some degree, besides a vast difference in technology and other outdated pop culture references like NYPD Blue and Baywatch. I know I’m happy that the whole series is finally going to be available by the end of the year. Even if it is going into it with a heavy nostalgia factor, I’ve enjoyed it and even Kristen, who didn’t watch it at all previously, has enjoyed it. So if you’re one who grew up with the TGIF line up and want some nostalgia, here’s one show that is available to get on DVD.