I tried to pick one couple for this but I just couldn’t… so it’s a tie between FMAB’s Roy Mustang and Riza Hawkeye, and Fairy Tail’s Jellal Fernandes and Erza Scarlet. Both of these relationships have a sense of maturity and realism that I think a lot of other anime couples miss out on.
Although Roy and Riza aren’t officially a couple, there is a lot implied with the interactions between the two. I really like the unique role that Riza plays in Roy’s life… whilst she’s the one to watch and defend his back, she’s also the one solely responsible for acting as his conscience and shooting him in the back should he ever stray from the right path (which she gets very close to doing). She’s incredibly dedicated to Roy, protecting him both on the battlefield and in the office (by making sure he does his paperwork!). Roy is extremely protective of Riza, and when he compares his soldiers to chess-pieces, Riza is his “Queen” (Roy, of course, is the “King”). You can plainly see the pain on Roy’s face in the scene where [SPOILERS/] Riza’s throat is cut in an attempt to force Roy to perform human transmutation. My heart cried for Roy during that scene [\SPOILERS]. Flirty and teasing each other constantly, the two have a very deep and genuine relationship, and an interesting history together. Even if it isn’t official, I will continue to ship Royai like mad.
Jellal and Erza, on the other-hand, are much closer to being an ‘official’ couple; they’re feelings for each other have at least been confirmed, but situational circumstances keep them apart. [Note: spoilers ahead if you’re watching/reading Fairy Tail and haven’t got past the Tower of Heaven arc and the Oracion Seis arc yet] I completely ADORE the history of these two characters; from child slaves with a naturally occurring affinity for each other, through betrayal and being enemies, and finally as allies on different sides of the law. I think Jellal and Erza’s history is one of the best crafted aspects of Fairy Tail. Jellal, having been possessed by an evil spirit, has caused a lot of suffering to Erza (arguably, the suffering the defines her), but later, once freed from the possession, he is so racked with self-guilt, he has gone so far to attempt to destroy himself (fortunately he later moves in a more positive and repenting direction). It’s clear that he cares deeply for Erza, hoping to protect her and shameful of all that he’s done to her. Meanwhile, Erza, perhaps the most forgiving member of Fairy Tail, has long held onto the Jellal she knew as a child, believing in him even when he was at his worst, and incredibly saddened when confronted with the truth behind his change. You can’t help but feel sorry for the two and hope for a future where they will be together and have a chance to heal each other.