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Love, Future-Style

io9 includes some anime on their top 10 sci-fi romances list, we suggest an addendum


Science fiction and future trends blog io9 posted a list yesterday of their top 10 epic sci-fi romances and surprised me with not just one, but two nods to anime by including Spike and Julia from Cowboy Bebop and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time's Makoto and Chiaki. Good choices, particularly with The Girl Who Leapt Through Time--can't get much more epic than a romance that defies the laws of the universe. Looking at the wider picture here, I'm glad that anime is being viewed by the greater science fiction community as at least an equal to contemporary, "traditional" works in that genre.
 
Given more space to work with on that list I'd also have included the two feature films of Makoto Shinkai, Voices of a Distant Star and The Place Promised in Our Early Days, both of which feature romances that span time, space, and universes. These are, in my opinion, some of the most epic love stories in anime and, try as I might, I just can't stop that clenched feeling in my heart when watching them, no matter how much I try to kill it with beer.
 
But back to the two titles they did mention, are they deserving of being listed among the greatest sci-fi romances of all time? What would you have put in there, loverboy/girl? 
 
  
danielm staff on Feb. 11, 2010 at 3:47 p.m.
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time actually looks pretty good. May have to check that out.
OmegaMekixon Feb. 11, 2010 at 4:17 p.m.
@danielm said:
" The Girl Who Leapt Through Time actually looks pretty good. May have to check that out. "
The manga was decent, the ending was a little disappointing and some concepts may go over your head the first time but it is a nice read. I'm not sure if the movie will different, I doubt it.
giaon Feb. 11, 2010 at 4:36 p.m.
@danielm: It is a gorgeous film; I'd recommend it to anyone.
 
I'm not a huge Makoto Shinkai fan-- I'd rather watch Eureka Seven :)
Krison Feb. 11, 2010 at 8:04 p.m.
Julia and Spike definitely belong there.  Even though she's barely in the show, she has such a huge impact.  Julia is actually my favorite Cowboy Bebop character.  I've always held their relationship to be one of the best in anime.  It's seriously romantic.  
 
I do have to agree that Makoto Shinkai's Voices of a Distant Star is a major one as well.  Man that movie makes me cry every single time I watch it.  The manga adaptation is moving as well.
 
But I also think the relationship between the Major and Batou in Ghost in the Shell is a good one.  They're never really together, but the relationship between them is really sweet'; particularly Batou, who is so awkward and obvious.
Boddingtonon Feb. 11, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
@Kris: Yeah, GitS! Forgot about that one, thanks for bringing it up.
lanaswifton Feb. 11, 2010 at 11:37 p.m.

Blue Drop. It's a relatively light romance, but hey, it's also girl-on-girl.
John_Martoneon Feb. 12, 2010 at 12:16 p.m.
@Kris said:
" Julia and Spike definitely belong there.  Even though she's barely in the show, she has such a huge impact.  Julia is actually my favorite Cowboy Bebop character.  I've always held their relationship to be one of the best in anime.  It's seriously romantic.  
I want to agree with you, but I feel that the relationship is barely an undertone of the series as a whole. Like, I love the character as well, and I haven't seen the series in awhile, but I just remember it being such a relatively minimal component. Especially considering how Cowboy Bebop is not just the story of Spike, but of a multitude of a characters.
 
Though I am glad to see anime getting a nod and treated as a serious medium in that area.
giaon Feb. 12, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.
@John_Martone: What about Spike and Faye? Arguably more about sexual tension than "love" per se, but a bit more overt. I wouldn't categorize the anime itself as a romance, mind, but I would say the anime features a couple of romantic depictions.
Krison Feb. 12, 2010 at 4:40 p.m.
@John_Martone: I will have to disagree with your disagreement, good sir.  :)
Julia is the cause of at least 5 episodes in the series; 5 episodes that include some of the best the series has to offer (I'm talking about: Ballad of Fallen Angels, Jupiter Jazz 1 & 2, and Real Folk Blues 1 & 2).  She's why Spike is Spike; hell, she's the only reason he's even alive
.  She's the reason why Faye can't get a piece.  She's probably one of the reasons why Vicious is so, well, Vicious, particularly where Spike is concerned.  And she's definitely one of the major reasons why Spike goes after Vicious.  And that whole Spike/Vicious dynamic is the main plot of the series.  Whatever Jet has going on, whatever Faye or even Ed have going on...it all goes back to Spike and his fight with the Syndicate.  Which all goes back to Spike and Julia.
John_Martoneon Feb. 12, 2010 at 5:23 p.m.
@Kris: I'll concede that your argument is solid. She inspires so much, directly and indirectly, but I still don't think its the action that, on a frontal level, ties the whole package together.
 
Romance is just not one of the words I'd use to describe the series. It exists, but I wouldn't reshelf it in the romance section at blockbuster.
 
 
OH, I wanna nominate Kaiba as a wonderful Science Fiction romance Anime.
Krison Feb. 12, 2010 at 7:54 p.m.
@John_Martone:
I don't at all mean to say that Bebop is a romance, because it's not.  It's sci-fi action. 
But I do think that you and I got something different out of the series, and viewed it in different ways, which is cool.  When I watched the series, the relationship between Spike, Vicious, and Julia was the driving force to me.   I think it's a good sign when different people walk away with different views of a story; it means that there's plenty to reflect on. 

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