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The 20 Greatest Interspecies Relationships in Anime History

Updated July 27, 2020 51.3k votes 9.3k voters 174.4k views20 items

List RulesVote up the interspecies couples that prove love knows no boundaries.

In the real world, hearing the term "inter-species relationship" would have most people calling up an animal abuse hotline. In the world of anime, there are plenty of non-human species that are perfectly sentient and therefore can enjoy relationships with other sentient species. Interspecies anime couples can be deeply romantic because they show that love knows no boundaries, but they can also present some serious problems, including communication issues, different expectations for relationships, and outside discrimination. 

Who are the greatest anime couples that are different species? There are plenty of loving pairs to choose from. Perhaps the most famous are Dragon Ball Z's Bulma and Vegeta; a human woman and a Saiyan prince. Their relationship has its problems, but the two combine their very different types of strength to make it work. More recently, there is The Ancient Magus' Bride, which features a human girl named Chise Hatori and her fiance Elias Ainsworth, an unidentified creature with a cow skull for a head. Their relationship, though complex and imperfect, is the backbone of the series.

Which interspecies relationship appeals to you? Vote up your favorites to let the world know how you feel.

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  • Kraft Lawrence & Holo - 'Spice & Wolf'
    Photo: Imagin

    Kraft Lawrence is a merchant who spends all of his time traveling from village to village trying to sell his wares and make money. Meanwhile, Holo is a harvest goddess with wolflike features who feels unappreciated by a village that no longer needs her blessings. She joins Lawrence on his travels by hopping into his cart. Though he sees her as an annoyance at first, the two eventually form a strong bond over the course of their travels. By the end of the light novels that the anime is based on, the two are married with children. 

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  • Chise Hatori & Elias Ainsworth - 'The Ancient Magus' Bride'
    Photo: Wit Studio

    No one is quite sure exactly what Elias Ainsworth is, but one thing is clear - he's not human. His typical form is a large, gangly black body with a cow skull for a head, though he's able to take on a humanlike appearance when he needs to blend in. Elias meets Chise Hatori, a human girl with incredible magical power, when he finds her for sale at a slave auction. He buys her, not with the intention of actually enslaving her, but with the intention of giving her the choice to learn magic from him - and, he hopes, eventually become his wife if she so chooses.

    Though their actual relationship is slow to develop thanks to the trauma Chise endured before meeting Elias, the two eventually do develop a real relationship. While Elias provides Chise with physical safety, magical instruction, and a sense of belonging, she teaches him how to understand the human heart. 

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  • When Chihiro is separated from her parents and whisked away to a magical world, she's forced to endure hard work in a bathhouse frequented by spirits. Exhausted and ill-equipped for the job, all Chihiro wants is to go home. She finds solace in Haku, a boy her age who she thinks is a fellow human, but who turns out to be the spirit of the Haku river whose natural form is a dragon. Despite their differences, the two still forge a beautiful bond that they'll always carry with them, even after Chihiro returns to her own world.

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  • Though Wolf Children primarily focuses on a single human mother named Hana struggling to raise her human/wolf hybrid children, the relationship that led to their births is also an important part of the story. Her former lover, the unnamed Wolf Man, had both a human and a wolf form. While in his human form, he attended the same university as Hana. The two fall in love, and begin building their family - but early in the children's lives, the Wolf Man passes away from unknown causes, leading Hana to manage the children on her own. 

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