Why were Fuu and Ferio the best couple of Magic Knight Rayearth?
I periodically re-watch some of my favourite animes and, currently, I’m in the middle of re-watching Magic Knight Rayearth. MKR is an anime that holds a very special place in my heart, being really the first anime series I watched from start to finish. And sure, the second season is pretty much the main reason to even see the anime, I still find it incredibly entertaining and moving. The story is top-notch (even if it took all of season one to really get going) and the characters are memorable and likable.
MKR was also clearly a series that seemed to be aimed primarily at girls, though I didn’t really mind, and as one would come to expect there were a myriad of potential romantic subplots scattered across the second season. They served as a nice extra spice to the series, though ultimately most of them never really became the focus of the series. It’s also interesting how these different love-stories were handled. Umi seemed to be getting cozy with the magical dwarf Cleff while being amorously pursued by the Summoner Ascott and Hikaru tragically falls in love with the brother of the first series’ villain. However, in the first season, only Fuu really had a steady romance going with the daring and somewhat obnoxious Ferio.
That said, Umi’s relationship status remained titillatingly unsettled through the whole series and Hikaru’s attraction to Lantis always kind of irked me (even if these two characters shared a few heart-warming moments). However, Fuu and Ferio were always by far my favourite couple of the show. This is going to be an extremely silly blog but here are essentially the reasons I think Fuu and Ferio are the only solid couple in all of MKR. Also warning: This blog contains spoilers!!
For one, they are the only couple who really understand each other. Fuu’s meek, bookish personality was used to great comedic effect on the show (especially whenever she stated things which were blatantly obvious: “I’m sorry, it seems I’ve suddenly started crying.”) but it also displayed an element of personality which was rather calculating. She could read character motives better than either Umi or Hikaru. This admittedly seems to give her the “magical” ability to read through Ferio’s bullshit when he meets the Magic Knights for the first time.
Much later in Season One, Ferio realises that he’s a burden on Fuu while she and the other girls are still on their quest to become full-fledged Magic Knights and leaves her even though he clearly doesn’t want to. When Fuu finds out at the start of Season 2 that Ferio is Princess Emeraude’s brother, she is overcome with guilt over having killed her but Ferio comforts her since she had no choice in the matter.
In all, Fuu and Ferio are the only ones who really know what’s best for each other and neither are motivated by a clingy need of the other one’s approval. As much as I love the different couples in MKR, this aspect is sadly prominent in many of them:
- Ascott has a guilt-boner for Umi (and he might just like getting slapped in the face)
- Umi maybe has a guilt-ridden lady-boner for Cleff over acting like a total bitch at the start of Season One.
- Hikaru has a big, throbbing guilt-boner for Lantis for having killed his brother.
- Alcyone is Zagato’s… you know what, Alcyone is just plain sad so let’s not even go there.
Secondly, both of them compliment each other in personality and skill. There are probably some out there who aren’t particularly keen on the “opposites attract” trope which is quite common in anime but I always feel that characters of rather versatile dispositions are always more interesting. Fuu and Ferio definitely fit the opposites attract trope to a T. Fuu is honest, bookish and a little awkward. Ferio is bold, self-assured and a scallywag (though he maybe drops some of these characteristics in the second season). Both are determined though which is a big part of the episode “Romance in the Desert”.
Fuu isn’t just a damsel in distress for Ferio to rescue nor vice versa (though ironically, it’s Ferio who seems to need rescuing more often). Even in situations where one is in danger, neither lets their own situation endanger the other. And even when they are captured, they still contribute to the battle in some manner. In fact, in season 2, when Ferio does come to bust Fuu out from the Dome of Fahren, she’s visibly upset that he would do something so reckless while the fate of the kingdom hangs in the balance.
Lastly, Ferio and Fuu are really the only couple who have any real history with each other. This is undoubtedly as a direct result of Ferio being a recurring character throughout the whole of Season 1, whereas other characters with potential romantic links appear very sporadically. Ascott literally encounters Umi only twice as a child, including the time when she gives him a massive bitch-slap which seals the deal for him. Considering the difference in time between Cephiro and the real world, Caldina and Lafarga’s blooming romance isn’t completely unbelievable but the point in the series where it’s revealed, it still kinda comes out of nowhere.
The importance of Fuu and Ferio growing to know each other can’t be under-estimated though and it’s the definitive reason for why their relationship makes the most sense.