Top 10 Shonen Jump Anime Couples

Top 10 Shonen Jump Anime Couples

Warning: The first through fourth entries contain manga spoilers for Demon Slayer, Bleach, and Haikyuu!! 

It’s no secret that Shonen Jump anime tend to shy away from romantic relationships. There are often crushes, but they’re usually one-sided and rarely acted upon until the very end of the story. However, once in a blue moon there’s a real romantic relationship that shines.

Related: Shonen Jump Main Characters, Ranked by Intelligence

When looking at a Shonen Jump relationship, there are a few things that make the good ones stand out: if the characters get ample time as a real couple, if the relationship feels natural from both sides, and if the relationship helps both parties grow. What are the best relationships thus far?

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Tanaka and Kiyoko

Tanaka and Kiyoko

Tanaka was never the best player in Haikyuu!!, and one of his best scenes comes when he finally acknowledges that just before crushing a set-winning spike against Inarizaki. It’s a symbolic message of his straightforwardness in all things: including his crush on Kiyoko.

Eventually, manga readers come to find out that Tanaka and Kiyoko do end up together after high school. However, for a couple that spent almost their entire relationship as an obnoxious one-sided crush, the ending feels more like a payoff for Tanaka rather than something borne out of mutual affection.

Ichigo and Orihime

Ichigo and Orihime

Two of the most likable characters in Bleach had hints throughout the entire series about their feelings for one another, but it wasn’t until the epilogue that their relationship was revealed to the audience.

Orihime’s “fall in love five different times” monologue was the best romantic moment in Bleach, but there wasn’t much from Ichigo’s end to make the couple feel genuine and natural by the end of the series. They’re a pair that suffers from “romance epilogue syndrome,” where characters are never seen as a couple and just appear as married or dating at the end of the series.

Renji and Rukia

Renji and Rukia standing next to each other.

While many fans of Bleach preferred the pairing of Ichigo and Rukia, the end of the series saw the Soul Reaper end up with her childhood friend Renji. The two ended up married with a child in the end, just like Ichigo and Orihime.

Related: Jump Force’s 10 Best Characters, Ranked

The pair always had a similar relationship to the one Rukia had with Ichigo, full of lighthearted bickering and thrilling fights together. The two worked well together as friends, and the attraction was obviously there on Renji’s end, but like many Shonen Jump anime, the two never got many moments as an actual couple. While they may not learn much in their journey, the two certainly do bring out the best in one another.

Tanjiro and Kanao

Tanjiro and Kanao first met at the final selection but didn’t truly grow close until Kanao trained Tanjiro to better use total concentration breathing at the end of season 1.

Most Demon Slayer fans could have guessed that Tanjiro and Kanao would end up together by the end of the series, but viewers unfortunately only know they ended up married by seeing their descendants. Still, the blossoming of their romance can be seen early on and the development feels incredibly natural for both parties; Tanjiro admires and learns much from Kanao and in return teaches her that she can learn to make her own decisions.

Ed and Winry

Edward hugging Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist

The titular Fullmetal Alchemist himself and his childhood friend Winry let the series end on a perfect note with Edward’s awkward “Equivalent Exchange” proposal. Eventually, the two even settle down and start a family.

Ed and Winry’s relationship develops slowly throughout the entire story (and even before the events of the series). Like Tanjiro and Kanao,  even when the two aren’t a couple, they act as if they have feelings for one another, making it feel like their actual relationship lasts longer than it does.  Winry gives Ed a sense of home and someone as strong-willed as he is, while Ed gives Winry excitement and adventure.

Krillin and Android 18

Dragon Ball Krillin With Hair Android 18

Dragon Ball is full of villains turned good, and Krillin’s wife Android 18 is no exception. Initially a one-sided crush, Krillin’s kindness to Android 18, and his part in reviving her brother Android 17, eventually culminated in one of Dragon Ball’s best couples.

Aside from Android 18 starting off as an enemy, her relationship with Krillin in Super feels natural and well set up by previous events. The two are clearly good for one another, and their interactions are some of Super’s best slice-of-life moments. Fans got to see both the development of their relationship and what they’re actually like as a couple, a privilege not many Shonen Jump couples receive.

Asuna and Kirito

Asana and Kirito say a seemingly final farewell as they die in Sword Art Online.

The relationship between protagonists Kirito and Asuna is one of the central plotlines throughout almost all of Sword Art Online. The two are still romantically involved at this point in the franchise and are one of anime’s longest-lasting couples.

Asuna and Kirito are incredibly powerful, passionate, and strong-willed fighters in the video game world. While many of the best couples bring out one another’s strength, Asuna and Kirito are so great because they can bring out the other’s softer side. Both would be willing to sacrifice anything for the other and have helped save their partner on multiple occasions.

Shikamaru and Temari

Shikamaru and Temari stare at one another while sitting together to proctor the Chunin Exams in Naruto Shippuden

It’s rare for two supporting characters to have such a great focus on their relationship, but Shikamaru and Temari from Naruto have been connected since the Chunin Exam arc. Eventually, the two ended up as a couple by the end of Shippuden and were married with a child by Boruto.

Related: 20 Best Episodes of Naruto According To IMDb

Shikamaru and Temari make an interesting pair. Their conversational chemistry is fantastic throughout the series, but their personalities are pure comedy. Shikamaru’s gruff gloominess and Temari’s unabashed bluntness make them perhaps not the sweetest of couples, but they’re certainly entertaining and are great for one another.

Vegeta and Bulma

Vegeta and Bulma started off as enemies on opposing sides of a huge battle. After Bulma’s family nursed Vegeta back to health on Earth, the two began to develop feelings for one another and eventually ended up with a child: Trunks.

While most Shonen couples have their journey end with a child, Vegeta and Bulma’s relationship has continued to blossom even after the birth of Trunks. Vegeta has slowly learned to be a great husband, father, and person because of Bulma and Trunks. Bulma admittedly hasn’t had the same level of development, but it’s clear that she loves Vegeta and gets as much as she gives in the relationship (unlike Chichi and Goku).

Naruto and Hinata

Naruto kissing Hinata

Two of Naruto’s best characters are its titular protagonist and the Byakugan wielding Hinata. They both expressed their love for one another towards the end of Shippuden, and are happily married by the start of Boruto.

Part of what makes this couple so special is what the two went through for one another. Hinata’s confession of love for Naruto during the battle with Pain is one of the most chilling confessions in action anime, and likewise with Naruto’s eventual confession to Hinata. Hinata’s introverted nature and Naruto’s wildness make a good match, Hinata makes Naruto more caring and thoughtful while Naruto helps Hinata break out of her shell and build confidence.

Next: 10 Best Romances In Anime Not About Romance

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About The Author

Sam Sturgeon
(33 Articles Published)

Sam is a BFA acting major from Texas Christian University who specializes in both voice acting and freelance writing. After his articles are complete, Sam spends time writing an upcoming novel series and gaming with friends.

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