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Crack Pairing / Anime & Manga

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  • Inuyasha:
  • Naruto is the single most popular source material for anime fanfic on Given its Loads and Loads of Characters and plenty of hints towards potential romance but extremely rare actual commitment, it's been the source of a firestorm of shipping with many stories pairing ships in parallel fleets across the cast. While fandom seems to put its most strenuous support behind Naruto/Sasuke, Naruto/Hinata, Sasuke/Sakura, and Naruto/Sakura, several crackish pairs with little to no canon interaction have become somewhat popular:
    • People like to ship Naruto with Ino and Anko due to some similarities in character despite only minimal interaction in canon. An arranged, political marriage is often the device for shipping with Temari and Mei Terumi Naruto doesn't interact much with Tenten either, but people like to make up a shared background as orphans. There are also many fics with him and Tayuya, Hanabi, and Yugito despite never once saying a word to any of these characters. All of these pairings have 100+ or even 1000+ fics, but you can safely say that if a character is female, Naruto has been shipped with her. Or if not, we'll just make the character female, as with the Kyuubi or the androgynous Haku. Or we'll just make Naruto female and ship her with the guys. Or we'll keep him male and still ship him with Itachi of all people or Kakashi.
      • They even pair him with his mother Kushina or his father There's even one story that pairs Naruto with Sakura's mother.
      • To show you how much Naruto can be an Author Avatar for some writers, there are 30 fanfics featuring the minor character Samui on 26 of the 30 have her paired with Naruto.
      • And then there's all the fics in which Naruto is shipped with every single woman over 20 in the show, regardless of the fact that he's 12-16. Anko is obligatory, and members can reach up in age to even Tsunade.
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    • Sakura and Kakashi are almost a mainstream pair at this point despite no romantic tension in canon and a large age difference. This isn't helped by Kishimoto's drawing of panels like these (warning for manga spoilers). Sakura also gets a huge amount of villain-shipping. When she's not with all of Akatsuki, she's often with Itachi, Deidara, or Sasori. On the good guy side, Neji, Gaara, Shikamaru and Kiba are common ships as well as going yuri or threesome with Ino. In short, if a character is male, Sakura has been shipped with him. If a character is female and either her age or from Leaf Village, she's probably been shipped with her too.
    • Sasuke's signature, semi-popular crack ship is with Hinata, who he rarely speaks to (except for one or two occasions, such as the second Shippuden movie) and who is the only girl in his class that wasn't interested in him. This is often why he goes for her in the first place. It should be noted that Sasuke & Hinata as a couple have a reasonably large fanbase on deviantART, and Tumblr, with multiple pages supporting the pair.
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    • Kakashi gets shipped with Iruka very often despite them rarely speaking; they argue over whether it's too soon for his team to take part in the Chunin Exams, and Kakashi later saves Iruka from Pain. He also ends up with Anko a fair share as a secondary pair despite them never talking. (The latter is likely because, until recently, there were few females anywhere near his age in canon at all.)
    • When Gaara isn't paired off with Naruto or Sakura, he can be seen with Hinata for some strange reason.
    • Despite having an extremely close relationship with Choji in the manga, you are more likely to find Shikamaru in yaoi fics with Neji, Naruto, and Kiba.
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    • Choji and Karui would have been a great crack pairing until they somehow actually got married in canon.
    • This fic (warning, NSFW), includes Hinata/Kiba/Shino threesome, Genma/Shizune, Gaara/Neji, and Kankuro/Anko, as well as more common pairings like KakaIru and SasuNaru
  • From Haruhi Suzumiya, there's the curiously semi-popular Kyon/Asakura pairing. Asakura (a humanoid interface like Nagato) is deleted partway through the first novel, you see, after trying to kill Kyon to provoke a reaction in Haruhi. It gets better. In The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon winds up in an Alternate Universe where everything is "normal" and winds up getting stabbed by her again near the end, this time for trying to return the world to the way it was ("That was the reason why I was created."). Yandere-fandom, anyone?
    • Saving Kyon from Suou with a Big Damn Heroes moment, a knife-wielding arm over his shoulder and her mouth directly at the nape of his neck whispering "This human is my prey. If you mean to take him away from me, why, I'd rather do this" probably fuels this pairing quite a bit. It also makes her a lot creepier and Yandere.
    • Some re-imaginings of the first incident involve her trying a different tactic. Haruhi nearly remade the world for catching Asahina playfully pushing against Kyon's back; one can hardly imagine what might happen if she caught him doing something more. It is the obvious, sane choice and likely the one she would've made if she'd only thought of it. You can easily imagine Kyon talking her into it out of self-preservation.
    • Taniguchi/Kuyou, anyone? The tenth book reveals that Kuyou is Taniguchi's ex-girlfriend from the fourth book.
  • Margrave Jeremiah Gottwald/Sayoko Shinozaki has lately become kinda popular in the 'Code Geass'' fandom. The pretty fanarts also help. It's "A FUCKING STORM OF LOYALTY".
    • Fanon is quite clear on how the Grand Finale plays out: Only Anya and Orange are shown in the ORANGE GROVE because of the "fact" that Sayoko is back at the house cooking for her dear husband and their adopted daughter. Or scaring off thieves and birds eating/stealing the fruits with her l33t Ninja Maid skillz and then joining her little family at home for a nice dinner.
    • NinaXTable-kun OTP. It even has some basis in canon
  • The Pokémon fandom made a sport of it, with Loads and Loads of Characters and fewer canon ships than you can count on one hand. Fans would spend plenty of time thinking up interesting pairings, giving them clever names, and adding them to a large list. ElderShipping (Ash's Mom/Professor Oak) was probably the most popular, until one wondered if they were hitting on each other in canon. And these ships were not just for humans - Pokémon were used frequently, too. At one point, there was even a subsection for shippings with inanimate objects.
  • Fairy Tail: Weaponized In-Universe in one arc, wherein partners Elfman and Evergreen get the drop on their opponent (Elfman's sister) by declaring that they're getting married. Up to this arc, their biggest interaction was Evergreen defeating Elfman and petrifying him during an arc where Evergreen was a villain.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Giorno/Jolyne, who not only have never met in canon, but are also blood related. There's even official artwork of this one.
    • CLAMP took the cake when they massively shipped Jotaro/Kakyoin with the creation of Jota: their son who hatched from an egg. It took off so well that what was arguably one of the most nonsensical couplings within Part 3's main cast went on to become one of the biggest Fan Preferred Couples for the whole series.
    • One of the official artbooks has a series of pictures showing the whole cast having a big dance party, and includes a number of pairings that range from the plausible (Trish/Mista, Dio/two of his female minions) to the unlikely (Avdol/Polnareff, Wham/ACDC) to the truly bizarre (Killer Queen/The World and Silver Chariot/Moody Blues).
  • Sailor Moon: A more far-fetched one about Minako has her paired with Broly. Admittedly, this one comes from a humoristic facebook group...
  • Death Note:
  • "My Jersey Boy." Carl from ATHF and Inuyasha. Yeah.
  • Bandit Keith X America X Stephen Colbert fanart.
  • Gunsmith Cats has possibly the first canon crack pairing ever with the latest volume of Gunsmith Cats Burst having Misty and Iron Goldie Musou end up together by the end. In a threesome with the maid, no less.
  • Thanks to the fact that the characters are all countries, even the canon pairings in Axis Powers Hetalia could qualify as crack. Then read the history of each nation and it's not too hard to come up with some reason for a romantic pairing for each and every single pairing:
  • In the Baccano!! visual novel, you can choose an option for Ladd and Claire to get married. Yes, Ladd and Claire. The 2 psycho for hires who hate each other can get married, despite (or even because, knowing these two) it's 1931 and gay marriage wouldn't become legal for close to a century.
  • In the Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- Italian fandom, Shaoron/Yuui (the twin brothers of two of the protagonists in the Alternate Universe omakes) started out as this. Then the pairing caught on (with the help of some very willing fanwriters and pretty Japanese fanart), and it's now considered on par with the series' main ships- in Italy, of course. We are waiting for the right time to export it and conquer the world.
    • A much more serious but still crack pairing is Syaoran/Kurogane which is heavily featured, deconstructed and popularized by Shatterheart by Tonight's The Night. Word of God is that the story had to be massively expanded in order for the relationship to develop naturally within the context of the story.
  • Hellsing: A series of Deviantart comics called Hellsing Bloopers pair off Incognito and Zorin Blitz. It even became a plot point in the comic Oblivion.
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
  • 'Kirby: Right Back at Ya!: Whispy Woods/Lovely. Yes. Note that they are, respectively, a talking apple tree and a flower. Also note that this is canon.
  • Durarara!!:
    • Izaya/Mikado/Anri/Kida. It exists.
    • In canon, both Walker and Erika are total crack shippers. Pairings they've wrote include (but are no way limited to) Kadota/Chikage, Erika/Kadota (with BDSM), Shizuo/Izaya, Kadota/Walker (as butlers), Walker/Girls, Female!Kadota/Girls, Shizuo/Kadota/Izaya (you may be sensing a trend here), Fans/Trolls, CDs/DVDs...
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • Azumanga Daioh: Chiyo's dad (that... cat-potato thing) x Sakaki.
  • Considering the Loads and Loads of Characters, you'd think Mahou Sensei Negima! would have a lot more of this than it does. Tales of Yue's Harem, however, has a little snippet devoted to one that breaks the mind just to consider; Tsukuyomi/Paio.
    • And played with somewhat canon Chachazero and Chamo.
    • Another bizarre canon example occurs in the epilogue, where it's heavily implied that Hakase marries Kurt Godel, whom she'd never met in the main story.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica
    • Legions of Yuri Fans are fond of shipping Mami and Charlotte together, as hundreds of fan artists can attest. One of those yuri fans seems to be the series's character designer/creator, Ume Aoki. It's pretty cute, until you remember that Charlotte was the Witch that ate Mami alive. As of The Movie, this is practically Ascended Fanon. It turns out she has a pretty strong kinship with Mami in the right situation as well as a human form.
    • Mami is occasionally paired with the nameless Office Lady she helped save in Episode 2.
    • As of late, Sayaka and Homura are paired together frequently... which seems fine, except Homura attempted to kill Sayaka once and the two simply don't get along in canon. They have the most openly hostile relationship of the five main characters in the series, which ironically might have spurred this ship. Between their open clashes drawing fans' attention and the fact that this series is very tragic for everyone (which would inspire fans who want to see them have happier outcomes), this might be the ultimate "screw tragedy" pairing for the series - if they can make it work and anyone can make it work. It's a Crack Pairing because of its unlikelihood in the setting (i.e., Homura and Sayaka already have a far more obvious pairing with Madoka and Kyouko, respectively).
      • Related works set in previous timelines such as the Oriko manga have shown Sayaka can be friendly to Homura, and Homura does regret in Episode 5 that she let Sayaka make a contract (though chiefly because Sayaka's eventual downfall into a Witch would deeply sadden Madoka). Another occasion is in the first Drama CD set in the first timeline, where Sayaka actually helped Homura by stealing Hitomi's math note for her. justified that the event happened before Madoka making a contract for the first time.
    • Some fans have even gone ahead to pair up Sayaka Miki's love interest, Kyousuke Kamijou, with another male classmate, Nakazawa who has a grand total of four lines in the whole series. In a yuri dominated fanbase, the introduction of a boy/boy pairing is just as surprising as the big shock of episode three. A certain fan has even gone ahead to replicate the famous Kyouko/Sayaka art from the end of episode 9 with the two boys here.
    • Most ridiculous of all are the fanarts pairing one of the magical girls with Kyubey—who is an alien ferret, physically incapable of feeling affection, and a Satanic Archetype. Yes, this exists, in surprising quantities, and it's often pretty explicit.
  • While there are not too many crack-ships that are super popular from Dragon Ball Z, the writers from the DBZ kink meme seem to be trying their hardest to increase the popularity of crack-pairings. Some examples are:
    • Bulma/Yamcha/Vegeta: 1 2
    • Android 17/Yamcha: 1 2
    • Yamcha/Future Trunks 1
    • Marron/Maron (as in pairing up Krillin's daughter with Krillin's ex-girlfriend):1
    • Bulma/Future Bulma 1 (Note that Trunks/Future Trunks also exists, just not on that meme. 1)
    • There’s also the ever-popular Android 17/Krillin/Android 18 1 2 3
    • Actually, all of Dr. Gero's creations seem to like Krillin 1 2
    • It should be noted that most of these stories have parts that are not safe for work. Also, there are even more pairings on the meme that can be considered crack pairings.
    • Piccolo/ChiChi seems to be rather popular on FFnet for some reason (second entry NSFW). 1 2
    • Trunks/Pan is one of the most popular ones, despite their age gap.
    • Goku Black/Future Zamasu, which is especially disturbing considering they are actually the same person.
    • Zamasu/Cus, is fairly popular since with Cus being the only female deity from Universe 10.
    • In Dragon Ball Super a few tension-laden scenes and a few... ''questionable dialogue choices were enough to turn Goku/Frieza into an item. It doesn't help when they turn out to be surprisingly effective tag-team partners at the climax of the Tournament of Power.
    • In a deleted scene from the Dragon Ball Z Abridged version of Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks, Future Bulma has sex with Future Gohan. Team Four Star claimed that they were all glad that they didn't go in that direction.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: And then there's Kaworu/Asuka Yes, it really does exist, as mind-boggling as it sounds. Proof here, here, and here.
    • This Shinji/Kyoko fic takes arguably Up to Eleven. Why is that? Because it's Shinji with Asuka's mother, a Posthumous Character whose only scene was basically hanging herself in front of Asuka as child.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Higurashi When They Cry decided to play with some Crack Pairing of their own, and actually gave us Rena and Takano. You may reach for the Brain Bleach at any time.
    • An OVA teased Keiichi/Satoshi in a dream sequence. It's cracky because the two have never met outside of the game-only "true" ending. Satoshi went missing a year before Keiichi moved to town and is in a coma.
  • Tokyo Ghoul gives us Kanekicest, the tendency of fans to pair various incarnations of Kaneki with himself. Fueled by Kaneki's tendency to have disturbing conversations with himself during particularly surreal moments — particularly when he performs a Headbutt of Love to comfort himself during a surreal dream sequence. Suffice to say, it's quite a popular pairing since the poor kid has the most sexual tension with the voices in his head.
  • Aquarion EVOL gives us Kagura/Zessica, in a strange mix of Pairing the Spares and Crack Pairing. Zessica and Kagura have never interacted in the entirety of the show, and never cared about each other until the lasts minutes of the last episode, right after both were rejected by their respective love interests. Kagura spent most of the show trying to kill Zessica's love interest, and Zessica even attempted to kill Kagura to save Amata from him. Is even more cringe worthy when you remember Kagura's entire character had to be erased and rewritten at the last minute for him to take interest in Zessica and stop chasing Mikono. Likewise, Zessica had to magically forget that Kagura tried to kill Amata multiple times, sometimes in very painful ways and in front of her. Some fans don't care about this, though, and ship it because they don't want them to be heartbroken for the rest of eternity, while also admitting is pretty ridiculous.
  • Valvrave the Liberator has Shoko×L-Elf, despite both of them having two or three conversations throughout the entire show and both having their respective love interests. Let's not forget L-Elf has attempted to kill Shoko should she not act according to his plans, and that his main character motivation is to make a peaceful country where he can live with Lieselotte, Dorsia's Princess. On the other hand, Shoko never shows much interest in L-Elf, and spends most of the show worried over Haruto. Fans still ship it mostly because of Shoko's cheerful personality and L-Elf's stoic attitude.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Erwin x Bertolt is becoming a popular crack-ship (partly due to the Sesame Street name overlap), often with a dash of Dom/Sub for flavor. As for why it's a crack pairing, Bertolt is the "warrior" with the powers of the Colossus Titan, while Erwin is the commander of the Survey Corps, and his enemy. In the Return to Shiganshima arc, the protagonists had planned on turning the mortally wounded Erwin into a titan and letting him eat Bertolt to steal his powers and return to human form.
    • Also Rogue Titan x Female Titan, for obvious reasons.
  • Bakuten Shoot Beyblade has sometimes featured Mariam X Kai, two characters with an admittedly similar bad temper that barely interact, with most of said interactions being indirect and as enemies (Mariam does have some Ship Tease, but it is with Kai's friend Max). Gleefully Lampshaded in the remake of Battle Fantasia Project, where the reason they started to take interest in each other is a drunken one-night stand, in which Mariam, when she wakes up in Kai's bed, gets scared and runs away with Kai's Scarf of Asskicking instead of her bra, resulting in them making many failed attempts at meeting alone and giving back the misplaced clothing items until they succeeded...and found out they were in love (bonus points for explaining why Kai was scarfless in the second season of the anime).
  • Bloom Into You has Yuu/Sayaka. It's a less extreme case than most of these on here, since Incompatible Orientation is averted (Sayaka is a lesbian and Yuu falls in love with another girl), the two are only a year apart, and despite butting heads at a few points, they actually develop an understanding of sorts. That said, considering that most of Yuu and Sayaka's interactions revolve around their contrasting relationships with Touko, the girl they both love, there's virtually no chance of them getting together as long as Touko is around.
  • Girls und Panzer doesn't have much romantic subtext, let alone text. That said, a small but significant portion of the fanbase ships Miho with Erika, the girl who's nastiest to her.

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