12 (Nice) Moments of Anime 2011 No. 6 – Jinto x Lafiel Forever

The Crest/Banner of the Stars anime were some of the most thoroughly enjoyable series I watched this year due to their engaging characters, sharp wit and well-drawn drama. The relationship between Jinto and Lafiel wraps all three of those elements into one interesting, entertaining package, and it really shows how tepid and boring most romantic relationships in all media are, much less anime.

Perhaps the biggest reason why Jinto and Lafiel have such an electric relationship is that they’re allowed to be people with opinions and desires, and allowed the intelligence to express themselves in distinct ways. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at how many god damn robots there are in fiction who are programmed with only the most basic means of communication.

“I love you.”

“I also love you. Let us kiss and perhaps get under some covers and move around a bit so as to suggest sexual penetration.”

“That sounds like a pleasant, inoffensive and PG-13-worthy idea.”

Lafiel and Jinto don’t need any of that bullshit. Not once in any of the four series do I remember the words, “I love you” being uttered. Why? Because they never need to say it! It’s obvious how they feel about each other, and they don’t dance around it. They’re too busy alternately flirting and poking fun at each other to care that they haven’t yet had the perfect confession under the space cherry blossom tree.

Jinto and Lafiel are so much fun and so naturally in love with each other that I could never tire of watching them. Which sounds kind of creepy, but fuck it, I would gladly be a creeper for these two.

23 Responses to “12 (Nice) Moments of Anime 2011 No. 6 – Jinto x Lafiel Forever”

  1. I should get off my tuckus and watch this damn show already. Maybe i’ll rope emily into watching with me.

  2. Jinto x Lafiel is one of my absolute favourite parings in all of anime~

  3. Best couple, slightly edges out Hikaru x Minmay.

    Seriousness aside, you pretty much nailed it. They’re just so fun to watch together. Jinto knows his place, both in terms of his station and in Lafiel’s heart, but his own displacement affects his confidence… which isn’t much to begin with given his upbringing and circumstances.

    BUT, he’s no milquetoast. This show spares us the painful depictions of juvenile sexuality, despite the incredible suggestiveness of the production (this show flat out ABUSES male gaze).

    Most stories can’t handle couples who are already couples. This is a saga of couplehood, a love story set against a backdrop of great battles. As such, it is a lot better than Macross because the love story is richer and more fulfilling. But yeah Macross likes its triangles.

    • Yep, I wrote about it before, but part of what separates Jinto from the milquetoast protagonist is his self-awareness. His sarcasm and ability to defuse difficult situations gives him a spine that a lot of protagonists lack (even though things still often go to shit lol).

  4. This and Kare Kano early in my fandom ruined the romantic-anything genre for me. Why settle for a drawn-out, “Will they or won’t they?” faux-polygonal puppy love games when 1) It’s always a foregone conclusion and 2) The conflicts in the initial stage of mutual attraction are grains of sand compared to the boulders that are the workings of an evolving relationship.

    • I didn’t say this because I didn’t want to make this post too mean-spirited, but one relationship that came to mind as quite tepid basked in the light of stuff like Jinto x Lafiel is Sawako x Kazehaya in Kimi ni Todoke. When it focuses on the human element (i.e. Sawako opening up and becoming more social) it’s cool; when it focuses on “How can we make Kazehaya and Sawako getting together as painful as possible?” it’s dull.

  5. Pretty much nailed what I love about them. They don’t gotta say it, you just know. Shows a maturity in writing if you ask me, even if there are some serious faults elsewhere sometimes in Banner.

    • Yep, there are definitely faults, but the sensitivity that goes into writing Jinto and Lafiel’s relationship more than makes up for it.

  6. Ah, this series was very enjoyable way back when (TechTV). I really should watch Lafiel, Jinto, and the series again. It was definitely a good show.

    • Whoa, it was actually on American TV at one point? That’s cool. I knew it had a (horrible) dub, but I didn’t think it ever made it on TV.

  7. Yes!

    Lafiel and Jinto are very special characters, and I agree with otou-san on the maturity of writing. The depiction of their relationship is skillfully handled, and one of the things I enjoy is exactly what you mentioned; they don’t need to dance around their feeling. Maybe that’s somehow related to the characterization of the Abh, or just these two. It’s charming.

    I also wonder how it’s handled in the novel.

  8. I always go back to that scene where they first meet. The sheer joy on her face as she realizes that for the first time she could enter a relationship on her terms, and of course brilliantly declaring victory by telling him what she wants to be called. Why can’t there be more writing of this quality?

  9. Wonderful, wonderful couple. Their interactions are a joy to watch.

    Still, given the choice I’d much rather take the place of Admiral Spoor’s long-suffering Executive Officer. I deserve to be punished!

  10. This is such a great couple. I didn’t really care much for anything else that happened, because everything else was overshadowed by my joy in seeing the two interact in such a mature fashion.

    Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, Spice and Wolf is another series that handles a relationship between two people with this level of maturity. The show is defined by the interactions between the two leads, and thankfully, because of the skilled writing, the show is a very enjoyable watch. Oh, and leave your preconceptions at the door because it is not at all like the promotional art suggests.

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