Joined by the gods of fortune
Midnight and high noon
Sharing the sky..."
The elemental forces of day and night have always been considered polar opposites. The day, ruled by the sun, is bright and inviting. The night, ruled by the moon, is dark and often considered mysterious. It's no surprise that when two characters have abilities or traits based on these forces, they form a duo of Foils.
Despite their inherent differences, these characters usually form a team rather than fight in opposition. After all, keeping the balance is necessary in works that believe in The Sacred Darkness and Dark Is Not Evil. As such, this duo typically works together, even if it's just an Enemy Mine.
However, any pairing of a sun character and moon character can fit this trope, so long as both characters have abilities and/or traits centered around their element. If the characters have powers, you can expect certain patterns.
Day-themed characters typically have fire or light-based powers and may be associated with holiness, purity, or mental discipline, such as:
- The Power of the Sun
- Shock and Awe, due to the electrical currents that move through the Sun's plasma
- Light 'em Up
- Playing with Fire, especially if the night/moon character has ice powers
- Holy Hand Grenade, holy or radiant damage, the power of "good"
- Healing Hands, whether healing wounds or purifying the body, mind, or spirit
Night characters will instead have powers based on darkness, cold, or their connection with the moon, controlling water and the tides:
- Casting a Shadow, or in exaggerated cases, The Power of the Void
- Making a Splash
- An Ice Person, especially if their day person controls fire
- Dream Walker or Dream Weaver powers, due to sleep being associated with night
Of course, a duo without powers may still apply. In addition, a pairing that merely has some of these powers isn't enough; they must be powers based on their association to day and night, rather than being incidental. A Red Oni, Blue Oni situation will generally have the red oni as day and the blue oni as night.
Sub-Trope of Solar and Lunar and Light/Darkness Juxtaposition. Compare Angel/Devil Shipping and Fire/Ice Duo, which may both overlap with this trope. See also Cosmic Motifs and Elemental Motifs. Yellow/Purple Contrast is not an uncommon Color Motif for them.
The examples on this page have been arranged alphabetically. Please place your example in its proper spot. Thanks!
- Cardcaptor Sakura:
- The Clow Cards fall under either 'sun' or 'moon' domains, and are "led" by Sakura's two magical companions: the fire-breathing lion Kerberos (sun) and the mysteriously beautiful humanoid Yue (moon). Their designs reflect this as well, with Kerberos being golden and Yue having a white and blue color scheme.
- In particular, there are the "Light" and "Dark" cards. Light wears a white dress with a sun tattoo, and Dark wears a black dress with a moon-and-stars motif. Light has curly hair and the prongs on her crown face outward, and Dark has straight hair, and the prongs on her crown face inward. Oh, and the two of them must be kept together, and request to be sealed together, while holding hands.
- Eriol created Spinel Sun (a stoic, dark-colored cat) and Ruby Moon (a cheery, excitable humanoid) as foils and counterparts to Kerberos and Yue.
- Destiny of the Shrine Maiden: Chikane is associated with the Moon, Himeko with the Sun. The symbolism is further explored when Himeko, who believes herself to be an utterly ordinary girl, wonders what the start student and school idol Chikane sees in her. Chikane then proceeds that, just like the Moon only shines with the reflected light of the Sun, so is Chikane inspired and motivated to "shine" in all things by her relationship with Himeko.
- Haikyuu!!: This motif is present in the contrast between Karasuno's two freshman middle blockers, Hinata note , who is friendly, vibrant, and warm, and Tsukishimanote , who is cold, aloof, and distant. It's even acknowledged in-series.
- Heart Catch Pretty Cure has Itsuki and Yuri, Cure Sunshine and Cure Moonlight respectively. Especially telling as their personalities contrast one another (Itsuki's more friendly and outgoing while Yuri's more quiet and reserved).
- In Kitsune No Yomeiri, Kyouka's relatives Hinata the Golden Fox and her brother Yoichi the Silver Fox are literally as different as night and day. Hinata is a hyperactive loli Kitsune who gains power from the sun and can manipulate emotions. Yoichi meanwhile is a spacy guy with no energy who becomes a ladies man at night when he draws power from the moon and can paralyze people by pinning their shadow.
- My Bride is a Mermaid: Sun and Lunar tend to be associated with the sun and the moon for obvious reasons. Sun is an honorable woman and kind to everyone she meets while Lunar has a bit of a rotten side and is Sun's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.
- Downplayed in My Hero Academia. The bright, perky, powerful Mirio is likened by his childhood friend Tamaki to a sun, since he's strong and inspiring. By contrast, Tamaki sees himself as weak and uninspiring, which is why he gives himself the hero name of "Suneater", evoking the moon. They look very different as well; Mirio is blond, buff, and has a bright yellow costume; Tamaki is slender, dark-haired, and incorporates a hood in his purple costume.
- One Piece: Master Cat Viper and Duke Dogstorm are this on Zou, serving as the island's King of Night and Ruler of Day, respectively.
- The Zababa duo in Senki Zesshou Symphogear has this as one of their more prominent duality motifs. Kirika Akatsuki is an energetic girl with a last name that means "dawn," blonde hair, and a very physical fighting style involving various polearms; Shirabe Tsukiyomi is dark-haired, stoic, takes her last name from the Shinto moon god and uses a highly mechanized gear that can do most of her fighting automatically. To drive the point home, their respective battle songs in season four are titled "Dangerous Sunshine" and "Melodious Moonlight."
- In Boruto, Mitsuki and his older "brother" often refer to himself as a moon, meant to be illuminated by the light of his sun, Boruto.
- Michelangelo sculpted Anthropomorphic Personifications of Day and Night to adorn the tomb of Giuliano de' Medici. On the left, Night is shown, alongside its owl and sleep mask, holding its head up as her eyes close from exhaustion. On the right, Day is seen with his back towards the audience as he peaks his head over his muscular body to stare at the viewer.
- DC/Wildstorm's The Authority has founding members Apollo and Midnighter, a married couple. Apollo is a Superman Substitute whose Flying Brick/energy manipulation powers are fueled by solar energy, while Midnighter is an Awesome by Analysis cybernetic cowled vigilante. Yes, basically Superman and Batman if they were married. One alternate universe reversed this dualism: Apollo's counterpart was the darkness-powered Pluto, and Midnighter's was the white-clad Daylighter.
- Moon Knight has this dynamic with Sun King. Both are avatars used by the Gods of the Moon and Sun, Khonshu and Ra, who get their power respectively from the moon or sun. The two have been at war with each other for centuries, and to make it even better Ra is Khonshu's father.
- The World's Finest (the duo of Superman and Batman), as Superman gets his powers from the sun and Batman mostly works at night.
- The Emperor's New Groove has Yzma and Kuzco, who seem to represent a sun/moon relationship. During the production stage of the film, it went by the working title Emperor of the Sun with Kuzco being the titular emperor, who wears colors like red and yellow, bright and warm colors, while Yzma, the dark sorceress, wears mostly black and purple, dark and cold colors.
- The Pixar Short Day & Night stars the Anthropomorphic Personifications of day and night, respectively, as humanoid figures who have daytime and nighttime versions of the same scenes visible through their bodies. At first they are at odds with each other, but then they find common ground and become friends, and in the end they switch places as the sun sets on one and rises on the other.
- Mune: Guardian of the Moon takes place in a world where the sun and moon are carried by titans, who are guided by guardians. The society itself is divided between Children of the Day and Children of the Night, however both sides are at peace. More specifically, the protagonist Mune is chosen as the guardian of the moon, and he ends up having to ally with Sohone, guardian of the sun, to save the world from eternal night.
- Ladyhawke contains a literal example. Lovers Navarre and Isabeau were cursed so that Navarre is human during the day and a wolf at night while Isabeau is human at night and a hawk during the day.
- Twitches, and its sequel T*Witches Too, has main characters Alex and Cameryn, twin rulers of the fantasy world Coventry. Alex, the misfortunate Deadpan Snarker of the pair, is associated with the night, being active when the moon is up and owning a moon-shaped charm. Bubbly and lucky Cameryn, meanwhile, is represented by the sun. Their birth names are Artemis and Apolla, respectively.
- In The Apprentice, the Student, and the Charlatan, since their mentors are the Solar and Lunar Princesses themselves, Nova Shine and Twilight Sparkle have this dynamic. It even extends to their personalities; Nova is colder and tries to stick to logic rather than let emotion in, where Twilight is much warmer and more readily embraces her emotions.
- Baboon legend in Bravelands tells of Sunrise Crownleaf and Moonlight Deeproot, two baboons that fell in love despite their huge rank difference. Sunrise was The Leader of the tribe and she fell for one of the lowest-ranking members. Their romance led to a civil war that ended in both dead. Ever since, inter-rank romances are strictly banned amongst baboons.
- Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: The third book has the paladin of a religion based around the sun, travelling with a priestess of a religion based around the moon. Both had powers that could only be used during the day or the night, respectively.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: The Dothraki believe that the sun and moon are married gods, with the sun being masculine and the moon being feminine. This is reflected in how Daenerys refers to Khal Drogo as "[her] sun and stars", while he refers to her as "moon of my life".
- Tailchaser's Song has bit characters Dayhunter and Nightcatcher. They're identical twin brothers with contrasting personalities. Dayhunter is very chatty and extroverted, while his mute brother Nightcatcher is more aloof and serious.
- The Julia Donaldson picture book Day Monkey, Night Monkey is about two monkeys, one diurnal and one nocturnal, who become friends even though they're baffled by how different the jungle looks when they're usually asleep.
- Kit Williams' Masquerade features Anthropomorphic Personifications of the Sun and the Moon. The Moon sends her servant Jack Hare to tell the Sun she loves him, which is where the plot starts.
- In Twitches, the protagonists are twins, with Alex (birth name: Artemis) born as the moon was setting and Cam (birth name: Apolla) born as the sun was rising; they likewise have magical necklaces depicting the moon and sun, respectively. Naturally Alex tends to be more reserved and brooding compared to the more outgoing and popular Cam, and some of their powers (like cold vs. heat) tend to match, too.
- The Fairy Oak books have twin protagonists Vanilla and Lavender, who have light and dark magic respectively. Vanilla is friendly, polite and patient; Lavender is moody, a bit aggressive and impatient. The latter was born at exactly midnight while the former was born twelve hours later. Also, Vanilla's powers only work during the day, and Lavender's only work at night.
- The Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Masks" features artifacts from a civilization that has two major deities: Masaka representing the sun and Korgano representing the moon. Only one can be in control at a time. Their powers are unknown, being embodied in Data and Picard respectively, but it appears that the mythology is based on them being balancing forces for each other.
- Mitski: Played with in "Your Best American Girl". The narrator compares her ex-lover to the sun, but then says "I'm not the moon", but still associates herself with the night.
- Classical Mythology:
- Artemis and Apollo are the twins who rule over night and day. Artemis is further associated with femininity and nature, while Apollo is masculine and associated with cultured pursuits like art and medicine.
- Before them came another set of twins, Helios and Selene, Titans of the sun and moon. They were believed to control the movement of the sun and moon with their chariots. Their Roman equivalents were Sol and Luna, and they had a third sibling, being Eos, the dawn.
- There is another set of contrasting gods before even Helios and Selene: Nyx and Hemera, who are literally personification of the concepts of night and day, respectively. It's said that they take turns presiding over the mortal world and The Underworld and meet only during sunrise and sunset. Unlike Artemis/Apollo and Helios/Selene, Nyx and Hemera are mother and daughter. Nyx and Hemera also have husbands who personify things related to them: Nyx is married to Erebus (darkness), while Hemera is married to Aether (light).
- In Filipino Mythology, the Tagalog god and goddess of the sun and moon — Apolaki and Mayari — are a brother/sister pair noted for their glowing eyes. After the death of their father Bathala, the siblings quarreled over who would rule. Apolaki wounded Mayari in the eye before their fight ended and they agreed to share duties, which is why the light of the moon is less bright than that of the sun.
- Older Than Dirt: Hindu Mythology has the sisters Usha, goddess of the dawn, and Ratri, goddess of the stars and night, who share duties of protecting man from demons.
- In Japanese Mythology, siblings Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi are the solar and lunar deities, respectively. One legend goes that, after Tsukuyomi killed the goddess of food, Amaterasu was so offended by his violent act she demanded she never see him again. Thus, the sun and the moon rose separately.
- Norse Mythology: Sol (sun goddess) and her brother Mani (moon god) form a pair. Both of them emerged at the creation of the universe and ride across the sky on horse-drawn chariots in order to tell the days for man.
- Digimon World Dawn/Dusk has the two mascot Digimon Coronamon and Lunamon whose respective Mega Forms, Apollomon and Dianamon, are the Digimon representatives of the Roman Gods of the sun and moon.
- Done symbolically with Tidus and Yuna in Final Fantasy X. Both their names are derived from the Okinawan language, with Tidus coming from the word for "Sun" and Yuna is the word for "Night". Tidus is very tanned, has bleached blonde hair, and wears very bright clothing, Yuna is quite pale, has dark hair and wears a dark skirt with a pattern of stars on it. Furthermore to get Tidus' ultimate weapon you need to collect the Sun Crest and Sigil, while Yuna needs the Moon Crest and Sigil. Their powers and abilities don't really follow the theme, although their personalities do. (Tidus is brash and outgoing, Yuna is reserved, quiet, and demure.)
- The Kirby franchise has Dual Boss Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright, who first appeared in Kirby's Adventure and have since become a mainstay Recurring Boss. They take turns battling Kirby on the ground while the other floats in the sky — changing movesets and switching their boss stage between day and night whenever they swap. Mr. Shine is a Waddling Head in the shape of a crescent moon who pelts the ground with shooting stars, throws crescent-shaped boomerangs, and has a Rolling Attack; Mr. Bright is a floating ball Wreathed in Flames with disembodied hands who projects a heat beam at the ground, throws fireballs, and has a flaming charge attack.
- The King of Fighters: the protagonist Kyo has the image of the sun on the back of his jacket, and his rival Iori has the image of the moon on the back of his coat. Kyo is lively, confident, full of himself and has fire powers, while Iori is brooding, moody and has power of dark purplish fire. While they occasionally team up against bigger threats, more often than not they meet in the tournaments as opponents.
- Hellsinker has Sol and Luna. In the context of the game mechanics, Sol is collected over time or by picking up yellow chips, and is used to fire your Smart Bomb, while Luna is collected with purple chips and used to make your main weapon's shots more dense, decreasing the more you fire your main weapon.
- Brighton and Twila, your hosts in Mario Party 6, have a clear sun and moon motif, respectively. Brighton has a sun head and Twila a moon head, and they turn the board to either day or night, respectively, after three turns each time. They also get into an argument over which of them is more brilliant.
- Pokémon Gold and Silver introduced Espeon and Umbreon to show off the new day/night feature. Both evolve from an Eevee that has high happiness, but Espeon evolves during the day and Umbreon during the night. For further contrast, Espeon is a Psychic-Type, and Umbreon a Dark-Type.
- Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire: Lunatone and Solrock are, as their name implies, living stones based on the sun and the moon. They are believed to be meteorites, though this is unproven. Solrock is said to absorb energy from the sun while Lunatone is most powerful during the full moon. Finally, they are version counterparts, with Solrock being in Ruby and Lunatone in Sapphire.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has this in the names of the Big Bad and the heroic Champion. The former's name is "Cyrus", whose name relates to "sun", while the latter's name is "Cynthia", a name that relates to Artemis, Greek goddess of the moon.
- Fittingly for the games Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, their main legendaries are based on the sun and the moon. Both evolve from a nebula Pokemon called Cosmoem, with their final form based on the game. Sun/Ultra Sun has Solgaleo, a white sun-lion, while Moon/Ultra Moon has blue moon-bat Lunala.
- A theme in Sengoku Basara 3, where Ieyasu represents The Sun while Mitsunari represents the moon. The final battle in Sekigahara is represented by a solar eclipse.
- Nine times out of ten, if a Super Robot Wars installment has Daitarn 3, the robot that uses The Power of the Sun, then its moon-based counterpart, Zambot 3 is more than likely to be right beside it. Especially telling is when their ultimate combination attack, the Combination Crash, starts out with them using their finishers, respectively the Sun Attack and Moon Attack.
- Two of the Three Fairies of Light are the bright and energetic Sunny Milk, who has the power to refract light and is powered up by sunlight, and the clumsy and pessimistic Luna Child, who has the power to silence sounds, and is powered up by moonlight.
- Two of the Prismriver Sisters are eldest sister Lunasa, who wears a hat with a moon decoration, and has the power to produce depressing sound with her violin, and second child Merlin, who wears a hat with a sun decoration, and has the power to produce uplifting sound with her trumpet.
- This also applies to Kaguya Houraisan and Fujiwara no Mokou, though more thematically than anything else. Kaguya is a fair Lunarian princess who was exiled after she drank the Hourai Elixir to obtain Complete Immortality, and Mokou is the tomboyish daughter of one of the noblemen that Kaguya humiliated in The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter who drank the Hourai Elixir in order to even the playingfield with her sworn nemesis, after which she took up fire magic with motifs based upon The Phoenix. Now, the two of them are locked in an unending Cycle of Revenge, likened to the cycle of the Sun and the Moon that fall and rise as the days come and go.
- Warframe has the Warframe Equinox that can freely switch between its Day Mode and its Night Mode, changing its active skills and physical appearance. You also need to build each individual Mode before you can build it, requiring double the resources and time than other Warframes.
- In Ensemble Stars!, the units of fine and Akatsuki have this dynamic - fine is associated with white, gold, and light blue, and deliberately invoke an angelic Light Is Good aesthetic. (Though in reality, they are actually the closest the story has to antagonists.) Akatsuki literally means 'scarlet moon' and have a much darker, more intimidating image. These parallels are explicitly drawn in Quarrel Fest when Keito (whose dark green hair and permanent scowl contrast fine leader Eichi's blonde hair and constant smile) states that Akatsuki was created solely to spotlight fine, just as the moon reflects the light of the sun. However, in this story the two units finally separate for good, as Akatsuki challenges fine for real and Keito declares that Akatsuki will bring about a new dawn (which in Japanese is written as, naturally, 'akatuski').
- Rean and Crow in The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel are such a pairing as both do have the same primary Time element yet have opposing secondary elements (with Rean having Fire and Crow having Water). They also end up working well together until Crow betrays Class VII. They still end up working together however during the finale of the main story of II where they have the only Combination Attack in the entire Erebonia arc while taking on the Vermillion Apocalypse.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: In the Treatise pictures, Annie and Kat are associated with the sun and moon, respectively. The former is obviously a reference to Annie's Playing with Fire powers, the latter might be a more subtle reference to Kat being a Gadgeteer Genius, due to the moon's association with the mind.
- Tangled: The Series has Rapunzel as the Sun Person and Cassandra, as of the Season 2 finale, as the Moon Person.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Princesses Celestia and Luna have domain over day and night, respectively. Celestia is white with a sun cutie-mark, a pastel mane and tail, and in addition to raising the sun, she has massive amounts of magical energy. Princess Luna is dark blue with a moon cutie-mark, a sparkly blue mane and tail, and in addition to raising the moon, she has Dream Walker abilities. This contrast is what led to the conflict in the pilot; Princess Luna, feeling underappreciated because ponies enjoyed the morning but slept through the night, became Nightmare Moon and attempted to take over the world with eternal night. After being banished to the moon for a thousand years and then defeated by the Mane Six, she and Celestia made up and agreed to rule together.
- The alien pets Sunspot and Moonbeam of Ready Jet Go! are associated with the sun and moon through their names and colors (Sunspot is orange, black, and white; Moonbeam is purplish-blue and white.)
- True and the Rainbow Kingdom has the Day Queen and the Night Queen, who raise the sun and moon respectively. However, unlike Celestia and Luna, they are very friendly with each other and rarely fight over whether the sun or moon should be up.