comScore All of the OTPs That Kept Me Going in 2020 | The Mary Sue

Shout Out to All My Ships of 2020 as We Sail Into 2021

All hands on deck!

Cloud Aerith and Tifa together in FF7 remake

My friends. In this grimdark timeline we’ve been subjected to there’s been a beacon of light, a steady growth of will they won’t they across all forms of media. Since I’ve been home more than usual I’ve been able to engage in many fandoms, old and new, and have a wealth of ships to share with everyone.

The following series/games/manga are mentioned so potential spoiler warnings for:

  • Blood of Zeus
  • Harley Quinn
  • Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited
  • Moriarty the Patriot
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • My Hero Academia
  • Titans
  • Jujutsu Kaisen
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: Rhyme Anima
  • Arrow
  • Cardcaptor Sakura
  • Doom Eternal

Of course, some of these don’t have an overarching plot (Animal Crossing) but it was easier for me to list out everything I’m talking about so you know what to avoid if you don’t want to know anything about a certain franchise. Also, this is my list of ships, if you don’t see one on here it’s not necessarily because it’s one of my NOTPs, it’s probably because I haven’t gotten to that series yet (ie: She-Ra and Adventure Time, but major congratulations to the sapphics on that content this year).

That being said … let’s set sail!

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  • The ship we were robbed of: Apollo and his lovers

Apollo in bed with two other lovers in Blood of Zeus

Series: Blood of Zeus

Where to watch: Netflix

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: Yep, season 2 was announced

It’s a crime that we spent the entire series navigating through Zeus’ infidelity instead of taking more time to explore, well, anyone else, like Apollo here and this 2.5-millisecond scene of him with not one, but TWO lovers. Like … go back to that, please! I have no commentary beyond being a fangirl who wants to know the story behind this and who craves more good polyships.

Maybe in season 2?

  • The canon ship that got more canon: Harley and Ivy

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Series: Harley Quinn

Where to watch: HBO Max

How many seasons: 2

Will there be more: Yep, season 3 was announced

If you’re like me you’ve been BEGGING to see these two fully realized as a couple on any sort of screen. Season 2 of Harley Quinn delivered. Not only do these two share their first kiss, they literally drive off into the end credits of the season. I was so happy that Ivy’s hesitation had nothing to do with sexuality, but with the fact that 1) she was already engaged, and 2) giving your heart to someone like Harley Quinn isn’t necessarily sound advice. Yes, they were friends, but Ivy got to watch first hand how narrowminded Harley could be, especially when it came to the Joker. Harley had to prove to Ivy that she had room for her and wasn’t solely focused on besting Mistah J.

  • The friends interrupted ship: Kou and Mitsuba

Kou and Mitsuba from Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Series: Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun

Where to watch: FUNimation and Hulu

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: I dunno but there is more content in the manga!

The only thing that stops this ship from being completely tragic is because death isn’t really the end in a series where a school is constantly haunted by lingering spirits. Also, Mitsuba was already a ghost to begin with. It’s … complicated. Basically, Mitsuba’s been haunting the school lockers and Kou decides to help him so his spirit can rest. While trying to assist him, Kou remembers that Mitsuba was a boy in his class who he befriended, but eventually, like everyone else, no one noticed Mitsuba anymore. Insert discussions about longing for friendship and Kou surprises Mitsuba by saying that they can be friends even if Mitsuba’s a ghost.

Unfortunately, Mitsuba is turned into a gruesome creature thanks to (insert series antagonist) and is killed … kinda. He ends up becoming one of the Seven Wonders of the school but can’t remember Kou anymore. Kou vows that he’ll help Mitsuba remember their friendship.

  • The tragic ships of 2020: All the Bly Manor

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Series: The Haunting of Bly Manor

Where to watch: Netflix

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: Nope, it’s done!

That gif pretty much sums up my feelings on this series. Whereas the last haunted ship has the potential of working out, THIS SERIES went full-on tragedy. I was too busy being sad to be scared of the things that haunted Bly Manor.

It’s pretty much a choose your tragic outcome adventure.

Do you want the sapphic route where the lovers are able to be together for years before one becomes overwhelmed by the spirit that possesses her?

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Do you want the route with the two POC who never really get a chance to flourish because one of them dies and doesn’t realize that they’ve been dead this whole time?

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Or do you want the route where you feel for the cute Black girl because the man she loves is a whole ass mess that leads to her downfall?

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Thanks, I hate it.

  • The ship that put me back on my bullshit:  Sephiroth and Cloud  

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Game(s): Final Fantasy VII Remake and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Platforms: PS4 (FFVII Remake) and Nintendo Switch (Smash Bros.)

Folks really won’t let me forget how much I rocked with this toxic ass ship back in the day. Not only did we get Final Fantasy VII Remake, but Sephiroth was announced in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in a trailer where Cloud straight up looks like a guy who’s trying his best to get away from his ex-boyfriend.

It’s bad enough that the remake added way more Sephiroth content than we got in the original game, now the man can’t even hang out with Nintendo characters without this silver-haired menace showing up?

  • The poly ship I wasn’t aware of back in 1997: Team Avalanche

Game: Final Fantasy VII Remake 

Platform: PS4

I mean … WHY do I have to choose between Tifa and Aerith? 1997 me didn’t have a concept of poly, but 2020 me says that Cloud needs all the love he can get.

Also? Aerith and Tifa are clearly into each other. No more love triangles!

Aerith and Tifa in Final Fantasy VII Remake

Also, don’t forget Barret NEVER forget Barret. Just let everyone comfort each other ok?

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  • The buddy cop ship: Kato and Kambe

Kato and Kambe in the ending theme for Millionaire Detective

Series: The Millionaire Detective Balance: Unlimited

Where to watch: FUNimation

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: I dunno

If you like your buddy cop dynamics to have a dash of Bruce Wayne/Tony Stark levels of wealth then boy do I have a ship for you. Daisuke Kambe is so obscenely rich that he uses his money to pay for the collateral damage he knows he’s going to cause when going on a case. This greatly distresses his new partner, Kato, who, for maximum buddy cop vibes, is haunted by a case from his past. Kato assumes that Kambe’s a detective for the lulz and not for actual justice. Of course, there’s more to Kambe than his checkbook (if you can get past his asshole rich boy behavior), but before we get to the big reveal of the Kambe family there are hints throughout showing a more genuine side to him… before he quickly brushes it off like he’s afraid to be caught telling Kato that he trusts him.

(also the ending theme shows them handcuffed together and trapped in a box I REST MY CASE YOUR HONOR)

  • Speaking of detective ships: All the Moriarty

Series: Moriarty the Patriot

Where to watch: FUNimation

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: Yep, part 2 starts April 2021

I talked about this in great detail recently so you can check it out here but um… all the mens is sexy and available and shippable!

  • The but they were roommates ship: Flick and CJ

Game: Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Platform: Nintendo Switch

I’ve talked about them too but they are SO CUTE and SO CHILDHOOD FRIENDS and SO ROOMMATES!

  • The ship I’ve had for years that got a HUGE boost in their interactions: Bakugou and Deku

Bakugou and Deku in Heroes Rising

Series: My Hero Academia

Where to watch: FUNimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu

How many seasons: 4

Will there be more: Yep, season 5 starts March 27, 2021! There’s also a 3rd movie hitting Japan Summer 2021!

Where to read: Shonen Jump and Viz

I could write an entire thesis about this relationship (and probably will someday) but when I tell you that this ship got ALL the character stat boosts this year … like … PHEW!

First, there’s the movie Heroes Rising, which saw the two team up and SHARE Deku’s quirk One For All. They also basically adopted two kids together because children naturally gravitate toward Deku and Bakugou can’t stay out of Deku’s business, like, ever.

And the movie would’ve been enough for me, really, but then? The manga?? Decided to inject a massive amount of growth in Bakugou??? Who we see having an honest talk with All Might about his relationship with Deku and All Might figuring out that Bakugou wants to atone for the way he treated him???? Then Bakugou mirrors Deku’s “my body moved on its own” moment from WAY BACK IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SERIES by KNOCKING INTO DEKU TO SAVE HIM?????

Of course, Deku goes feral over Kacchan being hurt that’s no surprise but BAKUGOU HOLY SHIT!

And that was more than enough, but then, oh, BUT THEN! They revealed the manga cover for the upcoming volume (Volume 29).

The cover to the upcoming cover to volume 29 of My Hero Academia

Do. Not. TOUCH. ME!!!

The present-day Bakugou trying to accept Kid Deku’s hand? The hand he rejected so long ago? The hand he’s been rejecting for so many years but is now trying to protect?

Jesus Christ, Horikoshi.

  • The other ship I’ve had that got more content: EndHawks (Endeavor and Hawks)

Hawks and Endeavor on patrol

Series: My Hero Academia

Where to watch: FUNimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu

How many seasons: 4

Will there be more: Yep, season 5 starts March 27, 2021! There’s also a 3rd movie hitting Japan Summer 2021!

Where to read: Shonen Jump and Viz

Not only did these two finally interact in the anime (bless), but a lot happened in the manga with Hawks subtly leaving Endeavor clues about the giant storm that’s, well, here now (but the battle does seem to have come to an end). We’ve known that Hawks has a great amount of respect for Endeavor since the beginning, but now that his status as a double agent (and his actions because of it) has been brought to the surface (along with a TON of other big secrets, ESPECIALLY from Endeavor) 2021 is gonna be interesting for them.

Also shout out to the fans who also shipped Hawks with Dabi, because now that we know who Dabi really is that creates quite the … um … narrative for fanfics, lol.

It also begs the question, since Hawks was a double agent… did he know who Dabi was this whole time?

  • So many rare pairs: All the My Hero Academia

A new dynamic duo

Series: My Hero Academia

Where to watch: FUNimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu

How many seasons: 4

Will there be more: Yep, season 5 starts March 27, 2021! There’s also a 3rd movie hitting Japan Summer 2021!

Where to read: Shonen Jump and Viz

I’m sure these pairs were thriving before 2020 somewhere out there, but 2020 is what brought me over to them. I’m pretty much convinced that best bird Tokoyami is gonna go feral for anyone he cares about and this year we got that with Mina (the Heroes Rising movie) and Todoroki (the OVA episodes). Speaking of Todoroki, he and Kirishima worked wonderfully together in the movie, which reminded me of how they were the two who got the group together to rescue Bakugou back in season 3. I’m sorry, KiriTodo fans, for not realizing their potential sooner.

I also need to apologize to the SeroOcha shippers, I just realized their potential this year because of the movie, too.

Oh, frick, where are my manners, Horikoshi did this here sketch and introduced me to the potential of Mirko and Hawks. Is Hawks just… permanently shippable?

Hawks and Mirko sketch by Kohei Horikoshi

  • The series that ruined every ship I liked: Titans

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Series: Titans

Where to watch: HBO Max

How many seasons: 2

Will there be more: Yep, season 3 was announced

I know the second season ended in 2019, but I didn’t watch it until this year when it moved to HBO Max. I feel like I had a lot of ships with this series but since everyone has a problem with communicating with each other all the ships became tedious. The secrets and animosity between the team are so unnecessary and feels like it’s only there to create drama.

For example.

Hank (Hawk) has a problem with Dick Grayson in season one because Dick and Dawn (Dove) were together once upon a time. It’s kinda framed like they had an affair, but when you get to season two you find out that they had a relationship… that Hank fully supported. This was back with the original group of Titans (Hank, Dawn, Dick, Donna, and Garth), but when the Titans disbanded, Hank and Dawn got back together.

So basically it went: Hank and Dawn, Dawn and Dick, Hank and Dawn again.

Why does there have to be tension between these three when all of these hookups were mutual and supported? And don’t get me started on the angst with … well … everyone.

I think the ONLY ship I ended up finding some joy in was Conner and Beast Boy.

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At the same time, I was frustrated because this series doesn’t have room for Superboy, it spends so much time focusing on Dick Grayson that it barely has room for the other Titans.

No ships. None. Get your shit together, Titans.

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  • The ship that’s complicated because the boy’s possessed by a curse: Itadori and Megumi

Itadori trying to look into Megumi's room

Series: Jujutsu Kaisen

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: Yep, part 2 starts on January 15, 2021

This would be a perfectly wholesome sunshine boy and kinda aloof (but obviously cares a great deal for the sunshine boy) ship if Itadori’s body wasn’t inhabited by a legendary evil curse. Sukuna is … problematic af … and preeeeetty much wants to spread chaos throughout the world (going so far as to delight in the number of women and children roaming about this day and age). Sukuna also doesn’t give a shit about anyone, not even Itadori, and at one point rips out the boy’s heart because Sukuna doesn’t need a heart to survive (even if he’s INSIDE Itadori’s body).

He does, however, care about Megumi.

Not in a compassionate way, lol, Sukuna doesn’t know the meaning of the word. The only thing he’s interested in is Megumi for what can only be terrible reasons. Is it an OT3 when it’s 2 people in one body? Do we WANT it to be an OT3 because Sukuna WILL ruin anything he touches, I promise you that.

  • The petty ship of my sapphic dreams: Nobara and Maki

Nobara reveals that she respects Maki

Series: Jujutsu Kaisen

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: Yep, part 2 starts on January 15, 2021

Listen. When Nobara, who’s been delightfully bitchy throughout her jujutsu sorcery adventures, said she liked Maki because Maki’s reasons for becoming a sorcerer are straight-up petty? Instant ship. Maki’s in it to prove her family wrong and both Nobara and I are here for it. I’m pretty much convinced that Nobara likes girls anyway as she reminisces about a girl from her village quite often, so her cheerfully following Maki just solidified all that.

  • The friends to enemies ship: Gojo and Geto

Gojo can't bring himself to kill Geto

Series: Jujutsu Kaisen

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: Yep, part 2 starts on January 15, 2021

Major spoilers if you haven’t read the manga, but I got clued in on this ship thanks to a slew of beautiful fanart between the two. I wondered why they kept getting paired together and, as I read the manga, I found out.

They used to be friends, y’all, and just… aaaaah one of my shipping weaknesses come to fruition.

  • All my 2020 Miles Morales ships

A spectacular selfie!

Game: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Platform(s): PS4 and PS5

I’ve briefly touched on this in my game headcanon right over here, but I would adore Miles and Ganke together. Ganke always has Miles’ back, no matter what, both in battle and about life in general. For a brief period of time in the game they were roommates and just … let the boys snuggle!

I’d also adore Miles and Hailey, who I also touched on in that same headcanon. Miles is SO ADORABLY BASHFUL around Hailey! I actually wanted more of her in the game and am kinda sad that she was just in side missions. I wore that scarf she gives you once you complete the mission for an embarrassingly long period of time, though. I don’t even think it did much stat-wise for the spider suit, I didn’t care, it was a gift from Hailey and I wanted Miles to keep it for always.

  • The other too cute for words ship: Hifumi and Doppo

Series: Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle: Rhyme Anima

Where to watch: FUNimation

How many seasons: 1

Will there be more: I dunno

If you’ve been keeping up with my Monday Anime Round-up you know that this is the ship I’ve clung to in these desperate times where you just wanna scream into a microphone and rap out your feelings. The two are always there for each other to offer support, and, well, Hifumi’s afraid of women, so naturally, he belongs with Doppo, right? Besides, Doppo needs constant reassurance and Hifumi doesn’t seem to mind giving it to him. D’awwwww!

  • The series I’m very late to and I can’t pick a ship for because my opinion keeps changing: Arrow

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Series: Arrow

Where to watch: Netflix

How many seasons: 8

Will there be more: Nope, it’s done!

I know I am extremely late in my viewing of the CW’s entire line of superhero shows. That’s my bad. But I’m here now and I … can’t decide what my ships are for this one. Mostly because every time I think I have one something happens to make me turn the other way.

For. Example.

In season 1 I thought Oliver, Laurel, and Tommy would be a cute OT3. I liked that Oliver didn’t have an issue with them being together (and was surprised because I seriously thought the series was gonna do the “how could you be with my girlfriend even if y’all thought I was dead” trope) and overtime he ended up having chemistry with BOTH of them. It would’ve been Team Childhood Friends and I was ready for it.

Except.

Tommy breaks up with Laurel because she’s still in love with Oliver, Oliver tells Tommy to go after her because he obviously still loves her (and Oliver isn’t going to pursue her), then Oliver… sleeps with Laurel… and Tommy sees them making out from outside since they’re doing it in front of her open window.

I call this “CW-ing,” which is when the network adds unnecessary drama. It happens A LOT in this series. Like, for a hot minute I thought Oliver and Diggle would make a fine ship, or Oliver and Felicity, or the three of them (because I stan OT3s) but Oliver hooked up with Sara, you know Laurel’s sister? The one Oliver cheated on Laurel with before he was thought to be dead? The one Laurel found out was sleeping with her boyfriend because they BOTH were on the boat that sank and BOTH reported as dead?

Just… um… Team Felicity and Diggle (though Felicity and Ray are cute too). I’m only on the 3rd season, though, so I’m expecting this to change at some point.

  • The other series I’m very late to and I can’t pick a ship for: Cardcaptor Sakura

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Series: Cardcaptor Sakura

Where to watch: Netflix, FUNimation, Crunchyroll

How many seasons: 3 seasons + 1 season of Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card 

Will there be more: I dunno

Unlike Arrow, this isn’t because I’m frustrated with certain characters, it’s because everyone just… likes each other? Even Li and his animosity toward Sakura is clearly leading to them getting closer to each other and reads more like a ten-year-old boy who doesn’t know how to people. I’m not that far in with the series (got distracted with everything else that’s on this list, lol) so I’ll probably form a proper opinion later. For now, um… Li and Sakura, but also Tomoyo and Sakura, which Li is just gonna have to… deal with because Tomoyo is never gonna leave Sakura’s side.

Oh! And Yukito and Touya. I know everyone’s crushing on Yukito but that boy is clearly with Touya. Just… at the house all hours of the night. I see you, sir.

  • The crack ship of 2020: Isabelle and Doom Guy

Game(s): Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal

Platform: Nintendo Switch (Animal Crossing) and PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Stadia (Doom Eternal)

According to this article from Polygon by Julia Lee, the developing feelings between a cute island pup and Doom Guy started back in 2019 thanks to an artist named Sheo, who was commissioned by Twitter user Agent Strange to draw the two together. Agent Strange tweeted their commission:

As you can see from that Nintendo Direct tweet I embedded before, people really took to the idea. So here we are! Guess you really can find love by flying strangers out onto an island.

  • The other crack ship of 2020: Peach and Sephiroth

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Game: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Smash Bros. is full of the ultimate fanfic crossover material and with the arrival of Sephiroth it’s gotten … peachier. Can we all agree that she tops, though?

_

And thus concludes all my 2020 ships (I think, I dunno, as I write this there’s still 2 more days left in the year anything can happen). Do we vibe over some of the same ships? What ships have kept you going this year? I’m always open to new challengers as my ship sails on into the new year.

(Image: Square Enix)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)