Okay. I’ve gone on and on about why I love VaniHopu so many times, it almost feels like overkill, but i’ll do it again, and include challenges for them, too.
The good: They both have the same sense of humor- the silly type. they make each other laugh, smile,
and blush. They genuinely have fun together. That’s invaluable for the long haul.
Also, they are mutually supportive of and accepting of each others flaws. Vanille got mad at him once for acting out, and very bluntly chastised him for it, but she continued to act in a supporting role for him because she understood how he was feeling then. Later on, after Hope realizes that Vanille lied to him and everyone else, not only does he not get angry with her for lying, he comforts her by telling her that he understands why she lied.
They’re not afraid to hash out an argument with each other. This may seem negligible to most people, but having the skills to compromise are vital to a lasting relationship. Vanille scolds him when he needs it. Hope does the same for her. When Hope refused to move after his mother died, her slap to his face snapped him back to his immediate surroundings. Hope called her out when she acted like she wasn’t taking the whole ‘we’re stuck in a pulse fal’cies domain, this is really really bad’ situation seriously. True, he shouldn’t have inferred that she was ignorant, but you know what her response was? She snapped right back at him with proof that she did understand the gravity of the situation. Again, this kind of open communication is very important, especially because they are very different personality-wise.
They are mentally compatible. they each have extremely curious, adaptable, and inquiring minds. It’s obvious that Hope is a genius. That is pretty much a given after XIII-2, but Vanille was the only person in the first game who could immediately follow his logic without needing further explanation. In fact, she was quite often the one who offered flashes of insight to the other characters to help them understand what Hope what trying to say- in way she was almost like his translator. Right from the off, she could practically read his mind, and say the things that he wasn’t able to say himself. She knew what he really needed, even when he himself did not.
Okay, obviously I could go on and on, but I’m gonna move onto the difficulties in their relationship:
They are opposites- or nearly opposites. Now opposites always attract in some form or another, but because they are opposite, they will always disagree about some things. They will have arguments because Hope is more conservative and logical and Vanille is more free spirited and emotional. It’s clear in canon that they both (Hope in particular) are very invested in their friendship with each other, and long to be reunited. They have shared goals and shared ideals, and, as opposites, that’s going to be the key to getting them through their disagreements, because there will be many of them.
Both characters need long leashes- and both live and breathe for the desire for freedom in one way or another. Hope needs to be free to follow his intellectual pursuits, and Vanille needs the freedom to follow her whims. Again, it’s all a matter of communication and compromise.
As long as Hope and Vanille are able to keep their channels of communication open, and are able to keep laughing together, then they will be able to have a long lasting relationship. They have the same ideals, and that will help keep them on track, as well.
^All of that is why I see their relationship as the most personally relatable and realistic in terms of a romantic partnership in this FFXIII series, because theirs is a relationship where we actually get to see so many of these very basic keys to maintaining relationships, like compromising and being able to honestly and openly disagree and then work things out from there. No relationship is perfect, but every relationship revolves around communication.
I LOVE THIS!
"Because ripples make waves!" Exactly.
Although sometimes I think’s Vanille’s insight only serves to confuse everybody even more XD incl. Hope haha (Though I guess Fang gets her because of long-term experience.) BUT Hope has been shown to understand her after a moment or an elaboration from Vanille herself.
Hehe I do love silly humour amongst FF couples, e.g. Tidus/Yuna, Squall/Rinoa, and I guess it’s this aspect that makes me really surprised that VaniHopu aren’t more popular (ignoring the other blatant/subtle hints).
Furthermore, Hope and Vanille are open to each other from the get go - maybe not literally and 100% laying all my cards/baring my soul - however, they do demonstrate an initial willingness via different forms of communication/body language. And gdi, EVERY VaniHopu shipper NEEDS to watch the Yascha Massif scene in Japanese. While the ENG version is much more eloquent and profound, Kaji Yuki’s Hope literally talks on a more personal and direct level to Vanille. He OPENS up to her about his own personal journey/arc with Lightning, basically informing her about his resolution which she wasn’t present for (in Gapra Whitewood + Palumpolum). Tell me it isn’t cute that Hope tells her he’s become a better person - he’s ‘overcome’ his issues and learnt from it and by telling his story, hopes that she may able to take something away e.g. comfort, reassurance, courage, knowledge that he understands, supports but doesn’t blame her.
I actually wouldn’t mind reading more arguments/disputes between Hope and Vanille in fanfics. Not everything’s sunshine and rainbows in a relationship and honestly, I believe smaller/low-key debates can be healthy (if only because I can’t imagine living with someone and everyday being conflict-free… plus small fights over dishes seem better than large rows over work/marriage/etc.). The important thing is Hope and Vanille are capable of resolving their conflicts properly and without much/any damage.
Yes, them being opposites both works for and against them. Vanille would keep Hope interested - on his toes and bemused - and of course, happy while Hope would suddenly do something to surprise and/or impress her. I do think they get a kick out of seeing the other’s reaction to what they say/do XD
Although with their differences, they would need reminders every now and again about/from the other person - just to make sure that they stay on the same page. Otherwise they might run too ahead, away from each other.
I guess I’ll leave it there but I absolutely agree with everything you said, Noelle! These two, to me, seem to be that couple that grows old with each other and still smile, laugh and pull romantic stunts together.