I’ve categorised couples using two terms for years now. A couple is either fluffy, or smutty. Now, let me start by explaining what I mean by these terms…
A fluffy couple is just that, fluffy. Fluffy couples are generally accompanied by an armada of sparkles, bubbles and pink cherry blossom, no matter what the season may be.
I know the word ‘smut’ implies obscenity but, I use the term loosely to describe couples who don’t waste an entire series delicately skirting around one another, a couple that isn’t afraid of public displays of affections, a couple secure enough in one another’s presence to even go as far as to, wait for this- have fun! Smutty couples should have chemistry, like, under the right conditions, they’ll gladly rip off each other’s clothes. So, when you think about, these couples really are obscene, at least, in comparison to fluffy couples!
So why are smutty couples better? Fluffy couples often have whole series dedicated solely to their budding ‘relationship’; therefore if the pair’s reluctance hinders any progression whatsoever in their relationship the show becomes stale and difficult to sit through, very quickly. Not only do fluffy couples bore me, they also anger me! It’s so frustrating when two people who like one another can’t even look each other in the eyes without blushing! Since I brought it up previously, let me use Kimi Ni Todoke as an example once more. The show revolves around the relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya but, even after 25 episodes they’ve done little more than talk! Lelouch discovered and mastered the power of the Geass and lead a major rebellion that shaped the course of history in that time! Each and every one of their interactions was plagued by a pervading sense of awkwardness, something that I, personally, don’t find entertaining…
It is far more interesting to watch a couple with chemistry!
In a smutty couple, man and woman stand on equal grounds, both are confident and assertive, both know what they want and intend to get it- this often creates an interesting dynamic between the two. There is nothing more satisfying than when an individual takes their partner’s words, subverts them and retorts using an equally cutting remark! Whilst some interpret this as animosity, I disagree- the ability to poke fun at one another is extremely important in a relationship, as it means you’re secure and comfortable enough in one another’s presence to know whatever is said will never be taken to heart, it’s just banter! Shows with smutty couples usually have amazingly tight, well-thought out scripts all ‘round as the timing of the character’s jibes must be given much consideration for them to have any impact, therefore, over time, I’ve come to associate these couples with cleverer, more entertaining shows, making them, by far, the superior type of couple in my eyes.
Though, as I’ve become more experienced in regards to anime, it has become harder and harder to categorise couples. What about couples where one character possesses fluffy characteristics, whilst the other, smutty? And what about abusive, dysfunctional couples? Is it really fair of me to sort couples into just two categories? Am I really right in assuming that, after examining merely two types of couple, smutty couples are superior? Feel free to let me know your thoughts on the subject!
It never really crossed my mind to categorize couples like you did. I always just took a show as it was but I think you’re right in the way that they interact with each other. I never really managed to really get into Kimi ni Todoke. I always thought it was really boring but could never figure out why. You’ve shined some light on that and other similar situations for me!
My thoughts on some of your questions: I think if you get a couple where one character possesses one characteristic and the other has the other you usually just get a tsundere couple. That’s my experience at least.
It’s my job as a blogger to over-analyse things!
Well, like I said, as the whole show was about their relationship, lack of progression made it extremely tiresome! I’m glad I managed to shine some light on the matter!
I’d classify a tsundere as fitting into the fluff category as, whilst their demenour is prickly, they are, in actuality, big ol’ softies…
I would have thought you would pick Urahara and Yoruichi as your main couple… ; )
As much as I love Urahara and Yoruichi, (and think they should be happily married by the end of Bleach) Horo and Lawrence are more couple-y, so seemed the more logical option!
It’s interesting that these are two of my favourite couples and they’re so clearly different. I think that with me, the most important thing about a couple is that they need to be able to interact with each other on a roughly equal level. If one character acts shy and awkward while the other acts smutty, as you would call it, it wouldn’t be as interesting because one member will always seem dominant and in control. The pairing of two fluffy or two smutty characters works a lot better because they interact much better.
Lawrence and Horo are rather wonderful!
So, it doesn’t bother you when two people constantly act shy and awkward around one another? Why is that? Try as I might I can’t think of why people might prefer fluffy couples outside of “They’re cute!”
If the couple were never able to communicate properly at any point, then I agree that they would be annoying. But the thing about Sawako and Kazehaya is that for all their shyness, they do manage to get the words they want out when they try. It’s that effort that draws people to them, because while two people who can talk normally are interesting, two people who have to work for it can be endearing as well.
I definatley prefer Smutty but Kimi ni todoke is one of my favourite animes because of its fluffyness you cant say a bit of fluff once in a while is a bad thing
There is this to keep in mind: a LOT of people out there (myself included, the shame) who are really, really, awkward about relationships. I, for example (and I feel I can divulge this because it’s not really that big of a deal to me), have had a number of crushes before, and I’ve never gone anywhere with them. Love is freaking awkward (course, I also seem to have an uncanny talent for crushing on individuals who already have significant others…). That being the case, the “fluffy” couples definitely have something over “smutty” ones – a base in reality. Now that may seem weird, considering all the bubbles and stuff, but a character overcoming their awkwardness and confessing, holding hands, or whatever the hell else probably seems a heck of a lot more relatable for the audience than a couple that are all over each other. By contrast, a “smutty” couple probably seems more like a fantasy situation that is hard to relate to, perhaps similar to a harem in that way.
Of course, I don’t necessarily endorse this view myself, but I feel like that’s a perspective on the topic worth mentioning.
I suppose it would make sense that fluffy couples are more the norm if the large majority of anime viewers have fluffy tendencies themselves, makes identifying with the characters and the show a lot easier, something producers will definitely want to play on!
I guess, as with you, the reason I favour the types of couple I do is because I identify with them more- being the more forward, grab-‘em-by-the-balls kind of girl…