Okay, this is the first of my talk about how the pairings (or shipping, if you prefer) of characters in Super Sentai. I'll talk about possible hypothetical pairings if I can, but since I'm very much a straight guy, I'll probably avoid talking about same-sex pairings.
This post is purely opinion. You may or may not agree. If you don't, then I hope you don't gun me down with an uzi as vengeance. So without further ado, let's begin with our first subject.
Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, being one of the more popular Sentai series, is obviously attracting a lot of shipping enthusiast. Now let's take a look at the pairings available here.
Early episodes showed possible pairs of Ryuunosuke and Mako. He is the first 'victim' of her hug, and also the first one we know to eat her horrid cooking. Unfortunately for Ryuunosuke, he's still in the phase of 'being annoying'. Yes, I know, there's such time for Ryuunosuke to be considered 'really irritating' to the audience. So, after Mako restored his spirit from 'depressed' to 'overdramatically annoying', Mako immediately shoved him off. So there goes the Ryuunosuke X Mako ship. Over time, Ryuunosuke develops and becomes less annoying, and Mako is at least more accepting to him. Still, the damage is pretty much done, and they usually keep their relationship in a professional way, rather than mending their romantic relationship. Personally, while I don't ship them together, I'd say it's quite a waste of potential, for Ryuunosuke to eventually realize why Mako dumped him way back then after he develops. But then again, if he ever tried to be serious on that, we might not be seeing the overacting, spiritful Ryuunosuke we always know and love. Still, an okay shipping.
Then after that, comes Takeru X Mako. Oh boy, this is probably the most preferred pairings in the Shinkenger shipping, especially after the wedding episode. It's just a fake wedding, but dang, you gotta admit that both looked really good on their respective wedding suit & dress. That goes beyond it as well, as episodes passed, Mako showed much concern to Takeru and tried to counterbalance his aloof attitude. No matter how Takeru tried to distance himself, Mako still tried to understand him more. End result...? Well, they pretty much didn't develop their relationship further, just limiting with Mako as the usual 'Big Sister' figure. Much to the chargin of lots of shippers (including me. I'm pretty miffed...). Still, if it's about Shinkenger shipping, this is pretty much my fave.
(apologies for the choice of picture since I can't find a high-quality picture of similar thing for Takeru X Kotoha, if we compare with the other pictures I had before)
And then after Mako; Takeru often gets shipped with Kotoha. This is mostly after the butler episode where Takeru pretends to be Kotoha's butler and helps out a bit about her self-esteem. This feeling is mostly one-sided by Kotoha, but it's a rather popular pairing too. It's an okay pairing to me, though I don't quite see the basis other than the butler episode, and Kotoha was just acting with utmost loyalty that she'd give, given her sweet girl personality. Don't kill me, shippers, for just stating my opinion.
If not being with Takeru, Kotoha's other option is Chiaki. We don't know how much Kotoha reciprocates Chiaki's actions to her, but it's clear that Chiaki DOES have feelings to her and does his best to protect and impress him. This is shown when he carried her home on his back after she was fatigued fighting an Ayakashi that attacks people with insults (she's unaffected). Way to go from being normally a jerk who's more concerned in being better than Takeru. They also make a great team when fighting the soul-switching Ayakashi. Though the biggest evidence for this is when Kotoha got her soul sucked by an Ayakashi, Chiaki was visibly pissed off and was the first to try and gamble his humanity by entering the Gedoushuu's realm, just so he can save Kotoha. I'd say this could be my best bet for Kotoha's shipping.
Okay, Sean Akizuki's post inspired me to do this new phenomenon of Genta X Kaoru. So, what can I say about these two's chemistry? Well, I think fans just take things out of proportion. When Kaoru defended Takeru and his vassals, Genta admits that she's a good girl and willingly offered his help. That's it. And fans think that they could make a good couple. A good battle couple, maybe. But lovey-dopey couple? It's like Genta would eventually say, "All right, Take-chan! Now you can call me 'Papa'!". To me, that's... awkward. But that's how shipping community goes, sometimes they take the littlest slight of interaction as a reason of "They're a good couple!". That's just how it works in this crazy little world of ours. Final words? I'm... slightly against this coupling, but I'll not attack those who supports it.
Well that'd be all from me about Shinkenger pairings. If I do find out on something to say about other pairs like Ryuunosuke X Kotoha, Chiaki X Mako.
(Images taken from Kandou Erik's Super Sentai Images blog and Supersentai Time Capsule. You guys rock, man)