30 Day Anime Challenge - Day Eight: Your favorite anime couple
Togame & Shichika - Katanagatari
"I love you." "Yep. Love me as much as you want."
I tend to find a lot of heterosexual relationships in anime either boring or uncomfortable - the gender roles tend to be pretty weird and there’s usually an unequal power dynamic that I don’t like at all. Often when a previously strong lady falls in love with a dude, she loses all the traits that made her wonderful and is reduced to a less interesting character. Shichika and Togame’s relationship in Katanagatari is a beautiful exception to all of this.
Togame and Shichika are equals throughout their journey. In the first episode, she comes to Shichika’s island to hire him to be her “sword” while she sets about collecting legendary blades. Togame doesn’t fight - Shichika protects her and fights for her, but it doesn’t make Togame helpless at all. She’s a genius strategian, and uses her schemes to outwit their enemies and plan on reaching her own goals. In this way, the pair rely on each other - when Shichika falls, Togame is there to help him to his feet, and when Togame falls, Shichika is there to do the same. At the same time, the show is careful to give them both their own moments alone - Togame in particular has a really powerful episode where she overcomes a deeply personal conflict without Shichika’s direct help, just his emotional support and love.
The pair truly care about each other, and watching their relationship evolve and seeing their relationship make them realize new things about themselves was one of the best things I’ve ever seen in an anime. In the first episode, Shichika tells Togame he loves her by using “aishiteru”, probably the most powerful expression of love one can use in Japanese - most Japanese couples never even say it, not even married ones. While Shichika doesn’t understand the weight of what he’s saying and doesn’t truly feel that way about her right then, it’s watching them grow to love each other and seeing those feelings become true that’s amazing.
On a superficial level, holy fuck they’re adorable together. Shichika is constantly wrapping himself up in Togame’s long white hair whenever they’re alone, often snuggling into it or putting strands in his mouth absent-mindedly. When Togame wears out after walking all day, Shichika picks her up princess-style and carries her wherever they need to be. There’s so much more but oh my god, you guys, I do not have the words for how cute they are I think I’ve already written too much please watch Katanagatari