Hello and welcome to our final post of Doki Doki Days! Today, as the last post of this season of love, I wanted to talk about something that we’ve learned a lot about as of late: soulmates. But, not soulmates in the way we think of them traditionally. No, we have learned about what soulmates can mean in Wuxia. Yes, might not be entirely in the realm of anime but is still in the general realm of what we love. And it is the season of love so…why not?
When I say soulmates to the average everyday English speaker, they are likely to think I’m talking about a romantic interest. You’re likely thinking that your soulmate is the one you are destined to be with as a significant other. We see epic love stories about soulmates all the time. But in comparison to what I’ve come to know about the term, our version of it seems lacking and even unrefined. Basic. Though of course, I don’t mean that as any kind of insult. There are a lot of different ways in which people interpret soulmates, it’s just that this is what I feel most people imagine for soulmates–a romantic connection.
In wuxia, the term soulmate is often used. We hear it a lot in the shows that we watch, and the meaning it holds is clearly deeper than a romantic connection (let alone many of the shows we watch that use this term are also BL that have been heavily sensored). The way that it is presented is being someone that you are deeply, deeply, in love with. But the term, and the kind of deep love surpasses that of even just plain romantic connection. The way it is used can be towards a friend or a lover but it is something more than what you would feel for a simple friend or basic lover. It’s so much deeper than that and much more special and precious. You’re not just in love with them, you’re passionate about them. You’re willing to fight for them, they understand you more than anyone (or have the potential or desire to). With a soulmate, you essentially transcend feelings of being alone in the world. You are complete, fufilled spiritually and emotionally. You are seen and understood truly. In a way, this level of relationship transcends feeling, and is often rumored to transcend time, as soulmates are often seen as someone who will be reincarnated with you, and who you will one day meet again.
One of my favorite depictions of soulmates so far, and really one that inspired Star and I to start doing more research into the concept of a soulmate, was in the live action drama Word of Honor. So first off–YES. I understand by mentioning live action shows, we are deviating from the normal anime content, but I think it’s super important to mention as it did inspire this post. So, the soulmates that I’d like to refer to in this show are nope–not the main characters–but rather a group of four soulmates that are mentioned. That’s right. FOUR. Because no one ever says you need only have one in your life. This sages of Anji are made up of an actual couple and then two men. They never display this quartet as some kind of polyamorous relationship, they simply make it clear that they all love each other and understand each other deeply and thoroughly. They live together in contendeness, being able to feel fufilled just being with one another. They really set the bar in the show with the though that it’d be nice to simply just live together until the end of their days. Which I think is really the true sentiment of a soulmate in wuxia–loving someone so deeply that you are content to just be next to them for as long as time allows you. And when you lose them, you’re devastated. And to tell someone they are your soulmate means more than a confession of love of any kind. This meaning of a soulmate — this is something I can get behind and understand. Something profound that is almost unexplainable and only best known between those who truly are soulmates. An innate way of knowing and being known truly.
Well, to be honest — this is all I really had on soulmates today. I know it wasn’t exactly anime themed but to stay in brand, here are some people I think could possibly be soulmates in anime: Chrono and Rosette, Chisato and Takina, Fuuka and Kukuru, Chiyuki and Ikuto, Digimon and their partners but specifically Patamon and TK, Ash and Pikachu, Kurama and Hiei, Kirito and Eugeo, Kagome and Inuyasha, Taki and Mitsuha, Yuki and Kyo, Baji and Chifuyu and Kazutora, Naruto and Sasuke, Ash and Eiji, Ed and Al, Tanjiro and Nezuko, Will and Menel, Light and L, Yuliy and Mikhail, Dororo and Hyakimaru, Violet and Captian, and the best example of soulmates in anime to my knowledge–Sakura and Syaoran. There are a variety of kinds of relationships within all these pairs, but they are soulmates all the same.
With that, I hope I was able to round it back to anime! And with that, I also want to wish every single one of you a wonderful Valentine’s Day! I hope you enjoyed this year’s Doki Doki Days!