Romance is widely used in anime. It can sometimes be the main genre, hence why there are romance anime, but it can also be a side genre like romantic comedy to add color to the story. Recently, we have noticed that anime couples somehow evolved, changing how romance is portrayed in anime.
We were used to specific gender roles that each pair should have, such as the male character being a gentleman and the female character being shy and ladylike.
Not only is this evident in society but also in various anime. There are a lot of well-known anime couples that embody this stereotype, and if we were to try and list them all down, it will probably take hours to finish.
So, we have decided to focus on two anime couples that show how anime couples evolved in 2022: Naruto-Hinata and Shikimori-Izumi.
Wanna find out how gender stereotypes changed between these couples? Read on to find out!
How Naruto and Hinata’s Relationship Was Portrayed in Naruto
Throughout their relationship, Naruto was portrayed as someone who would do everything to save Hinata. This was seen in The Last: Naruto the Movie.
But this isn’t the first time Naruto did this for Hinata as even when they were younger, he would cheer Hinata on and push her to be better.
On the other hand, Hinata is more of a quiet and reserved type who likes Naruto from afar.
She supports him in her own ways and stepped up when she needed to as seen in her encounter with Pain.
Some, if not all, anime contain this type of setup. Another popular example would be Kimi ni Todoke which also has that kind of relationship as shown by Sawako and Kazehaya.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with it, it just seemed that anime girls usually require saving from their male counterparts.
Female characters are often portrayed as weak and shy while male characters are strong and courageous.
This might be because even some couples in real life have these characteristics to determine their masculinity and femininity.
Not only are these evident in anime but also in other types of media like movies and TV shows.
Even society itself sometimes uses these stereotypes to determine if a couple is meant to be or not.
How Shikimori and Izumi’s Relationship Was Portrayed in Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie
Shikimori and Izumi’s roles are the total opposite of Hinata and Naruto’s.
Although Shikimori has her stereotypical female characteristics like being shy and conscious of her looks, she also takes on the role of protecting Izumi and saving him.
On the other hand, Izumi is portrayed as clumsy and prone to danger, thus he needs saving.
His gentle nature is more evident but he is also considered a gentleman because of how he treats Shikimori whenever they go on a date.
Another couple that broke gender stereotypes is Marin and Gojo from My Dress-Up Darling.
Although Marin does not literally save Gojo from anything, she possesses stereotypical male interests like lewd anime and games.
Gojo, on the other hand, takes on the role of sewing and creating her outfits.
Nowadays, anime couples break the stereotypical anime couple’s roles and even likes and interests.
The roles are not entirely reversed but they no longer follow the usual trope of a guy saving a girl or a girl that only likes feminine things.
More and more anime female characters are becoming stronger and more confident which is also evident in real-life couples nowadays.
Which Anime Couple Is Better: Naruto-Hinata or Shikimori-Izumi?
Choosing which pair is better will depend on the viewer. Both couples have their own interesting aspects and did a great job of showing how relationships should be in their own ways.
Hinata and Naruto supported each other even though their love story wasn’t perfectly written as compared to Izumi and Shikimori.
This might be because Naruto’s genre wasn’t focused on romance per se, unlike the other anime.
But still, a lot of anime viewers loved their pairing and even looked forward to seeing them as a married couple in Boruto.
On the other hand, Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie gave a refreshing approach to couples in modern times.
Seeing Shikimori protect Izumi made male viewers wish they had a cool girlfriend like her.
With the shift in couple and relationship portrayals, it is interesting how this will affect the romance genre too.