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In normal life, most people shy away from the term “interspecies couple” since it translates in most people’s minds to something like bestiality. After all, so far humans haven’t found any other life forms to couple with other than humans that are not animals, so “interspecies” doesn’t really have a lot of other options. So that’s why we turn to fiction! Now, interspecies can mean aliens, deities, supernatural creatures, and animals with human forms – and suddenly, an interspecies couple is a lot less of a creepy topic. Love across species is quite a common theme in anime, especially with the excessive number of cat girls, vampires, and robots there are across the genres.
It means that the competition to make it onto the list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples was steep. Here at Honey’s, we had to make some serious guidelines to decide just what couples were going to make the final list. First of all, clearly the two (and in one case, three) involved needed to be different species from one another (though one doesn’t necessarily need to be human, the just need to both be different!). Second, the romance between them either had to be very prominent and in the anime often, or it had to at least be very significant to the plotline and character development in the story. Thus, we were able to narrow down the list to the following ten interspecies couples, which includes some classic and well-known anime as well as some that might be new to you!
10. Tsukihiko and Azami from Mekakucity Actors
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr. 2014 – Jun. 2014
Mekakucity Actors is based on the popular music phenomenon known as Kagerou Project by using the same characters. However, instead of just being characters used for music, they have a unique story to tell in the anime. Mekakucity Actors is the story of a group of mysterious people all with strange powers related to their eyes. They have formed a group called the "Mekakushi Dan," and are trying to figure out where their powers came from. The anime goes into detail about each member's backstory and what brought them to the present where they are all together. By figuring out their past, can they find the secret that lies behind all of them?
One of the main characters in Mekakucity Actors is Marry, a quiet Lolita-style girl with an introverted personality. Her backstory doesn't only involve her, but also her grandparents, and they are our next interspecies anime couple. Marry's parents were a human named Tsukihiko and a medusa named Azami. Both were poorly treated by society, Tsukihiko for his unique looks and Azami for her magical powers, and ran away to start their lives together in a forest away from everyone else.
When they both grew up, they fell in love and started a family - but as Tsukihiko and their daughter Shion age, Azami realises that she isn't. Believing Shion would have a better life as a human without ties to a medusa, Azami leaves her forever - and Shion, of course, goes on to have Marry. Without giving away too much, Marry's Interspecies background is a major answer to the mystery of everyone's powers. Tsukihiko and Azami's story is a tragic love story of lovers brought together after the rest of society pushed them away, and it doesn't have a happy ending. A tragic, but important entry in our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Anime Couples to remind us that not every love story can be a fairy tale.
9. Kiba and Cheza from Wolf’s Rain
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Jan. 2003 – Jul. 2003
Wolf's Rain takes place in an apocalyptic future, where the only thing that gives anyone hope is a legend that when the world ends, a gateway to paradise will open. However, there is a complicated catch - the legend also says that only wolves will be able to find it. Thought to be extinct, wolves actually live amongst humans, taking on a human form, and Wolf's Rain revolves around one such wolf named Kiba. Finding other wolves in the same city as him, Kiba and his new pack set off together to try to find the gateway to this promised land.
Of course, this lone wolf, Kiba, needs to find some romance eventually, but if he found it from the other wolves in his pack we wouldn't be talking about it on our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples. Enter Cheza, a human created using alchemy from a "lunar flower." Without Cheza, the wolves would be unable to open the gateway, so they are forced to take her with them (it helps that she loves the wolves and had an ability to heal them). In the end, Kiba chooses Cheza over any of the wolves in his pack, much to their envy. Technically, no one in the relationship is actually a human, but they are not the same species as each other, either! And that gives Cheza and Kiba a unique place on our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples.
8. Fakir and Ahiru from Princess Tutu
- Episodes: 38
- Aired: Apr. 2002 – May 2003
Princess Tutu is an anime that feels like you're watching a fairy tale. In fact, it is a story within a story. The famous writer Drosselmeyer was not able to finish his final story before he died, and because the characters in his stories come to life, that was a serious problem for the characters invoked. The one that suffered the most was Prince Mythos, who in the end shattered his heart and lost his memories. Wanting to help him, Drosselmeyer gave a magical pendant to a duck named Ahiru that had fallen in love with Mythos, turning her into a human ballerina to try to find the pieces of his heart. But of course, things will never be easy!
Enter a third important character and the subject of this section - Fakir. Fakir was initially Prince Mythos' assistant, and he ends up trying to help Ahiru restore his heart. While doing so, the two become good friends, even after Fakir finds out the truth about who Ahiru is. Ahiru eventually gives up everything, including her pendant and human form, to save Mythos even though he loves someone else. Despite her now being trapped as a duck again forever, Fakir does not abandon her. They may never be able to have a "normal" relationship that others with compatible bodies have, but that doesn't make their love any less significant. Perhaps it actually makes it even more amazing, because it transcends their boundaries and is dependent purely on emotion! We couldn't have a list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples without them.
7. Fuhrer King Bradley and Mrs. Bradley from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Apr. 2009 – Jul. 2010
Fullmetal Alchemist is one of the most watched anime of all time - its gripping plot, unforgettable characters, and a great balance between action and comedy land it on many people's favourites list. It takes place in a fantasy world full of alchemy, a magic that can transfigure and create just about everything if an equivalent cost is paid for it. The whole world hangs in the balance of this "equivalent exchange," and no one is beyond that rule. When the world finds itself unsettled by a group of homunculus, non-human creatures created through alchemy, named after the deadly sin that they emulate, the main heroes of the story have to do what they can to save the world. The homunculi are far from easy enemies, though, and some of them are quite difficult to even find in the first place because they appear human aside from a specific ouroboros symbol somewhere on their body.
One such homunculus is the subject of our interest on our Top 10 Interspecies Couples list. And he is a homunculus with power - Fuhrer King Bradley, the government leader. He is also known as Wrath and uses his position to help the other homunculus with their goal, as well as, to protect himself. So where is his other half? Bradley is married to a human woman, who is never given a name other than Mrs. Bradley by the show, but that doesn't make her any less significant.
Bradley says himself that marrying her is the only thing in his life that wasn't planned out, and he seems to genuinely care about her despite caring nothing for other humans. And Mrs. Bradley remains unaware of her husband's non-human status, instead talking positively about their marriage and romance. They even have an adopted son together (who also happens to be a homunculus but that's beside the point). Their Interspecies relationship is so terribly unlikely in how happy it is, we couldn't complete our list without it!
6. Rito, Lala and Run from To LOVE-Ru
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2008 – Sep. 2008
Rito Yuuki’s life is never the same again after the unexpected arrival of Lala Satalin Deviluke in To LOVE-Ru. Lala is a princess to an alien empire, and she wants to marry Rito to avoid a political marriage back on her home planet! Although, Rito is just an average and rather shy, teenage boy - can he really marry the princess of the most powerful empire in the galaxy? All he wants to do is confess his crush on his classmate Haruna! However, if Rito is unable to protect Lala from her many fiancées, her father is going to kill him and destroy the world. No pressure, right?
To LOVE-Ru is the most comedic and light-hearted of all the anime on our list of Top 10 Interspecies Couples. It's also the one with the most fan-service, being an ecchi. Rito spends most of the series in sexual situations with not only Lala, but another alien girl named Run, as well. The romance in To LOVE-Ru is not subtle or something that develops slowly throughout the course of the show like most of the other anime on this list - it's right there, in your face and obvious right from the first episode. That means we could hardly ignore Rito's relationship with not just one, but two alien girls when making our list.
If you're looking for a slowly developed and sentimental love story look elsewhere, but if you like Interspecies couples and want to see a lot of it without the wait, To LOVE-Ru is definitely perfect.
5. Lawrence and Holo from Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan. 2008 – Mar. 2008
Ookami to Koushinryou is an anime with two themes that are both important to the story and are not usually paired together - romance and economics. Don't worry, please hear us out. Lawrence is a traveling merchant with a dream of someday opening his own shop. Holo is an ancient wolf deity almost always in the form of a human girl who has proposed to be his business partner because she has become a little more than a folk tale in her hometown. There is little Holo fears more than loneliness. The two travel around the lands together exploring business opportunities, and things really start to look up with Lawrence's savvy business tactics and Holo's charisma. They might be able to open a shop someday after all! But traveling around together, it seems that being just partners in business might not be enough for them.
The romance between Lawrence and Holo comes unexpectedly to the characters, even if the viewers could see it coming (and were probably cheering for it). Ookami to Koushinryou is a story of self-discovery and finding one's place in the world, especially for Holo as her role changes with time and she is forced to change with it. Lawrence is luckily able to help her with that. While Holo's true form is a giant wolf, she usually maintains the appearance of a girl with wolf ears and a tail. Neither her unusual appearance nor her true form stops Lawrence from falling for her, and the two fight off their fear of loneliness together. While Holo's and Lawrence's lifespan are very different considering what they are, their romance has a beautiful, if fleeting, feeling to it.
4. Nishiki and Kimi from Tokyo Ghoul
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul. 2014 – Sep. 2014
Tokyo Ghoul's setting is a future Tokyo where humans live alongside creatures known as ghouls. They usually have a normal human appearance and live alongside humans for the most part without being noticed, but they have a very serious difference - they have to eat flesh to survive, and human food makes them very ill. While some ghouls have become predators and criminals, preying upon and hunting humans, some really are trying to coexist and hide their difference from the world while also hiding from a police force that wants to eliminate all ghouls.
In the world of Tokyo Ghoul, there are laws that prohibit humans from hiding ghouls away from the authorities knowingly. Romance and relations between humans and ghouls do happen, though - whether the human knows at the time who their lover is or not. One such case is between the ghoul Nishiki, a friend of the series' main character, and his long-term girlfriend Kimi. Nishiki tried to keep his secret from Kimi for a while but eventually she discovers the truth - and she loves him anyway.
Her acceptance changes Nishiki himself, and he tries to become a ghoul that no longer hunts humans and instead fights for peace. Kimi ends up being used against him, captured by another character to try to defeat him, but Nishiki never gives up trying to save her at any cost - and she never gives up on him, either. Their strong relationship through horrific situations and despite everything stacked against them is what puts Nishiki and Kimi on our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples.
3. Renton and Eureka from Eureka Seven
- Episodes: 50
- Aired: Apr. 2005 – Apr. 2006
Eureka Seven is a science fiction anime centering on a mercenary group called the Gekkostate, who find themselves tangled up in trying to save their world from aliens known as scub coral. The scub coral are parasitic and has taken over the Earth, forcing humanity to move to another planet and settle there - only to have the scub coral now threatening them again. The story revolves mainly around Renton Thurston, an unlikely hero who ends up being swept up by the Gekkostate as a pilot for one of their giant robots called the Nirvash TypeZERO. Alongside a crew of other people, including the Nirvash's main pilot Eureka, Renton has to find a solution to the scub coral before it takes the planet.
Renton and Eureka spend a lot of time together in the series, and it doesn't take long for Renton to fall for her even though it takes quite a while for Eureka to return the same feelings. However, Eureka has a lot more to her than meets the eye. She's actually a Coralian, or a scub coral in human form. When other people find out the truth about her, she faces a lot of discrimination and hate, and Renton by extension faces it as well. But through everything, he stays with Eureka, even when he sees her far from human Coralian form - he loves her all the same. Their strong relationship proved pivotal for the climax of the series and its conclusion, making it a solid entry for the list of Top 10 Interspecies Couples.
2. Haku and Chihiro from Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away)
- Episodes: 1
- Aired: Jul. 2001
Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi is a film most anime fans have watched at least once, and is one of the internationally acclaimed Studio Ghibli's most successful films. It tells the story of a young girl named Chihiro who finds herself suddenly magicked away into a strange world without explanation. Alone and afraid, she takes work at a massive bathhouse for traditional Japanese spirits as the only human worker. While the odds seem constantly stacked against her and the work is hard, she makes a friend in Haku, a mysterious boy who helps her survive in the bathhouse's harsh world. All Chihiro wants to do is save her parents and get back to her life in the normal world, but is that even possible?
Chihiro is clearly a normal human girl, and her humanity is reconfirmed throughout the film because it is brought up more than once. Haku, on the other hand, is a different story. While he usually has the appearance of a human boy, eventually Chihiro sees his true form - a white dragon that can fly - and is willing to fight for her. It turns out that Haku is a spirit just like everyone else at the bathhouse; he is the embodiment of the Haku River, which is where his name comes from! Despite being different species, it doesn't stop a childhood romance from developing between the two (though without giving too much away, it started even before the film's story began!). Haku will risk everything to save Chihiro, and her anything to protect him, which earns Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi its high place on our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples.
1. Hideki and Chii from Chobits
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Apr. 2002 – Sep. 2002
Romance is right at the centre of the story in Chobits instead of just happening alongside the plot. The anime takes place in the future, where Persecoms, or personal computers in the form of humans, have become a part of society. High schooler Hideki Motosuwa is lucky enough to find an abandoned one in the form of a girl coming home one day, and while at first, she seems defective, eventually he is able to activate her. She comes to be known as Chii, the only word she is able to say for some time. Chii, however, isn't able to download new information from the database like other Persocoms, leaving Hideki to have to teach her everything himself. The longer he spends time with Chii, though, the more he wonders if she could possibly be a Chobit - an urban legend about some Persocoms having the emotions and feelings of actual humans and not machines!
Another part of the Chobit legend is that the Chobit will develop love towards their human owner. And of course, that is exactly what happens between Chii and Hideki! She may be a machine, but she does have the body of a cute girl and the emotional response of a human. The very plot of Chobits revolves around the question of whether it is possible to find love between a machine and a human. Chii and Hideki are the answer to that question, but you'll have to watch the anime to find out how it ends for them! Their relationship that is so central to the story makes Chii and Hideki a great part of our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples.
As always, anime lets us live out situations that would never be okay or even possible in real life – it gives us an escape and a way to let our imaginations roam free. For many of our couples on our list of the Top 10 Interspecies Couples, the fact that they are different species has never slowed them down from developing a significant romance. Real life can’t quite be the same as that, of course, but that’s why we have anime to let us lose ourselves in the possibility sometimes!
What about you? If it was possible to date an alien, or a god, or a robot, would you be willing to give it a try for love? How do you feel about interspecies couples in anime? Did we miss your favourite one and you want to give it some love, or do you want to talk about your favourite from our list? Please leave us a comment below, we would love to hear your opinions!