7 July is the date of ‘Tanabata’ (or ‘Star Festival’) on Japanese calendars. This festival celebrates the once-a-year meeting of deities Hikoboshi and Orihime (represented respectively by the constellations Vega and Altair), who according to folklore, are clandestine lovers separated by the Milky Way and can only reunite one day a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. In modern pop-cultural context, Tanabata is also seen a festival in celebration of couples/lovers.

© Reki Kawahara / ASCII Media Works / Aniplex / Sword Art Online Production Committee

Getting into the spirit of celebration for Tanabata, “Otamart” – a flea-market concept re-selling site/app launched a poll in June 2018 via their official twitter and LINE accounts, inviting fans/users to vote for the favourite 2D (i.e. 2-dimensional or fictional); and 3D (i.e. real-lives/real-persons) couples of their choices. Gender orientations of voted couples will not be a factor for concern (i.e. same-gender couples are also allowed). The results were compiled and duly announced on Tanabata weekend. Let’s take a look!

3,564 users casted their votes in the Best 2D Couple Segment, and the couple in 1st Place as seen by fans’ votes goes to Kirito & Asuna from the “Sword Art Online” series. 2nd and 3rd place couples both hailed from the “Detective Conan” series – with Shinichi Kudou & Ran Mouri taking 2nd place and Shuichi Akai & Tooru Amuro taking 3rd. Fans’ favourite couples from 4th to 20th places are as follows:

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• 4th – Sougo Okita & Kagura (from Gintama)
• 5th – Sakura Kinoshita & Shaoran (from Cardcaptor Sakura)
• 6th – Heiji Hattori & Kazuha Toyama (from Detective Conan)
• 7th – Osamu Dazai & Chuya Nakahara (from Bungou Stray Dogs)
• 8th – Tamaki Yotsuba & Sougo Ousaka (from IDOLiSH7)
• 9th – Gaku Yaotome & Tsumugi Takanashi (from IDOLiSH7)
• 10th – Victor Nikiforov & Yuri Katsuki (from Yuri!!! On ICE)
• 11th – Karamatsu Matsuno & Ichimatsu Matsuno (from Osomatsu-san)
• 12th – Banri Settsu & Itaru Chigasaki (from A3!)
• 13th – Atsushi Nakajima & Kyoka Izumi (from Bungou Stray Dogs)
• 14th – Toshizou Hijikata & Chizuru Yukimura (from Hakuouki)
• 15th – Jinpachi Todou & Yusuke Makishima (from Yowamushi Pedal)
• 16th – Tooru Amuro & Conan Edokawa (from Detective Conan)
• 17th – Katsumi Bakugo & Izuku Midoriya (from My Hero Academia)
• 18th – Izuku Midoriya & Ochako Uraraka (from My Hero Academia)
• 19th – Gintoki Sakata & Toshiro Hijikata (from Gintama)
• 20th – Makoto Tachibana & Haruka Nanase (from Free!)

1,942 users casted their votes in the Best 3D Couple Segment, and the couple in 1st Place as seen by fans’ votes goes to seiyuu couple Kenichi Suzumura & Maaya Sakamoto! 2nd, 3rd and 4th place couples by fans’ votes are also from the voice-acting industry – with Hiro Shimono & Yuki Kaji taking 2nd place, Tomokazu Sugita & Yuichi Nakamura taking 3rd place; and 4th place going to Hiroshi Kamiya & Daisuke Ono. Fans’ favourite real-live/persons couples from 5th to 20th places are as follows:

• 5th – Kei Tanaka & Kento Hayashi
• 6th – DAIGO & Keiko Kitakawa
• 7th – Kaito Ishikawa & Souma Saito
• 8th – Kensho Ono & Kana Hanazawa
• 9th – Yuuichiro Umehara & Koutaro Nishiyama
• 10th – Tomoaki Maeno & KENN
• 11th – Tatsuhisa Suzuki & Nobunaga Shimazaki
• 12th – Takuma Terashima & Satomi Sato
• 13th – Nobuhiko Okamoto & Ryohei Kimura
• 14th – Toshiki Masuda & Yusuke Shirai
• 15th – Yoshitsugu Matsuoka & Ai Kayano
• 16th – Peco & Ryuchell
• 17th – Takuya Eguchi & Koutaro Nishiyama
• 18th – Kishow Taniyama & Hiro Shimono
• 19th – Mamoru Miyano & Kishow Taniyama
• 20th – Yuma Uchida & Maaya Uchida

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So here we go – the results of Best 2D and 3D Couples Poll as voted by Japanese fans. What do our readers think? Are there any other couples of your choice that you think should be amongst the list of names on these charts? We wish everyone a happy Tanabata weekend!