Author: Alexis (lexarose)
Fanfiction Journal: dabbleindrabble
Fandom: Prince of Tennis
Pairing: Oishi Syuichirou/Kikumaru Eiji (a.k.a. the Golden Pair)
Spoilers: all of the anime (especially episodes 27, 36, 52, 56, 78-79, 121, and 162), as well as some of the manga (genius 203, 265, and 266).
Thank you to lelola for the screencaps from episodes 36, 52, 56, unending for sending me Genius 203, shizukanahikari for episodes 78-79, and cocacat for episode 121. Any other caps were found at Tsubame-Gaeshi, on golden_pair, or were taken by myself (I think that's it, at least *sweatdrop*). Any and all translations were done by caffeineaddict, whom I love muchly.
The memories that we touch, one by one, embrace all of them / and on this road that we walk down, one by one, I want to watch over you.
Oishi Syuichirou, Piece by Piece
Vice-captain of the tennis club, class representative for 3-2, Oishi is nothing if not the typical "good boy". He's responsible, involved, attractive. It's no wonder the poor guy has a huge fan following. In fact, other than Echizen Ryoma, the series' main character, he is the only one who is mentioned and shown proof of having a fan club. Unfortunately, poor Oishi doesn't know how to handle such things, and is completely flustered.
A bit of a worrier, Oishi takes on the role of 'mother' to the whole team, making sure people are taken care of, and looking after their well-being, be it physical or emotional. It seems that it takes a lot to anger him, but when he is angry, watch out. Apparently a very good swimmer, Oishi also has fish that he takes care of.
His best friend is Tezuka Kunimitsu, the stoic captain of the tennis club, and they've been close since freshman year, at the very least. Oishi has been seen as Tezuka's tagalong, but as the series goes on, he truly comes out into his own. When greeting Sanada Genichirou, the vice-captain of Rikkaidai Fuzoku Chuu, he declares that they are there to win, that Seigaku will not lose without a fight. This is when he is finally seen as the captain of the team, not a temporary stand-in while Tezuka is in rehabilitation for his shoulder.
Oishi's hair is a bafflement, though. He goes through many hair transitions throughout the years. Freshman year was the fluffy hair, junior year he had a buzz cut, and then now he has this slicked back thing with
There's just one certain thing / that I'm continuing to chase after with all of my strength. / In the end, surely, nobody can / lie to themselves, so be the one.
Kikumaru Eiji, ONE
Eiji is a hard character to hate. He's adorable, goofy, energetic and fun. He has an appealing look to him with his wide blue eyes and perfectly styled red hair, and there's the habitual white plaster that adorns his right cheek. He even speaks cutely, his speech patterns dotted with "hoi" and "nya" as well as catch-phrases like "zannen munnen mata raishuu" (too bad, so sad, see you next week).
But despite all these things that make him seem like a loveable idiot, there is much more to Kikumaru Eiji than meets the eye. Rarely does he take anything seriously, but when he does, he is near-unstoppable. Also, despite all of his confidence and bravado, he has almost crippling bouts of insecurity, which tend to be wrapped up in his doubles partner.
Like anyone else, he has his flaws. He has been insensitive at times, unthinking in regards to the feelings of others. It can be inferred that he's not a strong student in the fact that he is shown getting distracted in class, relying on his best friend, Fuji Syusuke, to propmt him on where they are. He and Fuji are also known as being pranksters, playing fun little tricks on the others.
There's also many child-like qualities to Eiji's character - such as his possession of a large teddy bear named Daigoro - which is very refreshing in a cast of middle schoolers who tend to look and sound much older than they are. This has to do with the fact that when Konomi Takeshi, the series' creator, first started the character designs, they were intended to be in high school. He also has a fixation on brushing his teeth, he even carries a toothbrush with him while at school, and gets very possessive over things like his favorite toothpaste.
The Golden Pair
I spread my arms and they become wings / When this feeling comes over me, will I be able to fly? / And then I'll take your hand / and we'll paint an arc in that sky.
Kikumaru Eiji, Tsubasa ni Natte
This pairing is one of those married couples that just make me sparkle with glee. You look at them and there's not really any way to deny their closeness. From the lingering high fives, to how close they stand to one another, they are just always together.
They share a connection that is near-psychic. With just a look, they can communicate so much. Add that to the absolute trust they have in one another, and you have not only a National-level doubles pair, but you have an amazing relationship that anyone would envy. But even while they're so very married, they're not perfect. They have their problems, they don't always get along, but they still keep coming back together. Within each of them is what the other needs. Sure, they could work with other people, but they work the best together. Oishi is the steady anchor that Eiji needs to fly (the kanji for Oishi's name - 大石 - literally means "big rock", so how appropriate is that?), and Eiji keeps Oishi from worrying himself into an early grave.
This pairing could be overlooked since it's so widely accepted, to the point where it's almost considered canon - I've even heard that it's widely accepted on Japanese and Chinese forums that Konomi implies the pairing on purpose - but instead it's one of the most popular pairings out there. A great percentage of the stories in the English fandom are devoted to them (the other majority being either Tezuka/Fuji or Inui/Kaidou for non-rival pairings), and it also has a very strong following in the Japanese fandom, though it's not nearly as popular as it is in the English fandom.
I feel like my heart isn't here / but if I make that sort of face, it'll start rumors.
Oishi Syuichirou, Honto no Kimochi
Don't make that sort of face and be so sad. / A chance should come again.
Kikumaru Eiji, Come Together
Oho! Where isn't there canon/subtext support for this pairing? There's so many instances, that it's truly hard to decide where to start. For example, in episode 27, Karupin's Adventure, Oishi, Tezuka, Momo, and Taka-san are on their way to return Ryoma's cat to him, which had been lost. On the way, they pass the tennis shop where Eiji is unfortunately short 80 yen for his new sneakers. When he runs out, distressed, Oishi spots him and calls his name. Eiji proceeds to beg Oishi to lend him the 80 yen he needs. There's no glance to the others with them, no asking the group as a whole. As soon as he spots Oishi, Eiji knows that he alone can be his savior in such a crisis.
I mentioned Eiji's insecurity earlier. In their match against St. Rudolph, they lose because of a trick done by the opposing team which caused Eiji's low stamina to run out. He seems to take that pretty hard, and after the match, he retires to a storage bin overlooking the city, reflecting on their loss. Of course, Oishi knows exactly where to find Eiji. This bin is their special spot, it's where they decided to play doubles together, where they go to reflect after a loss, where their first kiss took place...whoops, that was in a doujinshi, just kidding!
In episode 52, they go through one of the most severe tests on their partnership that they possibly can. The latest ranking matches have taken place and a junior, Momoshiro Takeshi, loses his spot on the regulars and is taking the defeat very hard. Oishi is being his normal worrying self, trying to find Momo and speak with him, to no avail, whereas Eiji is looking forward to making fun of Momo for not being able to wear his regulars uniform. It's one of the few times where the Golden Pair miss each other by a mile. When Oishi reprimands Eiji for being insensitive, Eiji comes back with laughing at Oishi for wearing his shirt inside-out. Snapping, Oishi hits Eiji, knocking him across the court. Immediately remorseful when he realizes what happened, Oishi tries to make amends, but Eiji will have none of it, declaring their partnership over. Yet the very next day when Momo returns to practice, all it takes is Eiji doing the natural thing by talking to Oishi, a significant look, each others' names in unison, and a shared laugh for it all to be forgotten.
We then reach the 'Eiji is so incredibly in love with Oishi' episode, a.k.a. episode 56, Doubles for Three. On the way to their match against Hyoutei Gakuen, Oishi sees a pregnant woman falling down the stairs, and rushes to catch her. He can't possibly make the match, as he's waiting for the woman's husband to show up at the hospital...and his right wrist was injured when the woman fell. Eiji is stricken by the news that Oishi will not be playing with him, that he will be playing with Momo instead. If that wasn't trying enough for Eiji, he's then confronted with another acrobatic tennis player, which throws him even more off his game. Things look bleak, Eiji can't pull himself together, can't play without Oishi there to support him....and then suddenly, there he is. He's not actually there yet, he's still on his way to the courts from the hospital, and yet Eiji sees him there on the court in front of him, giving him strength, telling him exactly what he needs to win, by giving up playing in front like he likes to support Momo instead. He even goes so far as to perform Oishi's signature move, the Moon Volley.
For the most part, we tend to see a lot of Oishi supporting Eiji through his shortcomings - i.e. his lack of stamina - but there is very little of the other way around. For a true partnership to exist and thrive, it has to go both ways. If it was Oishi constantly the one to hold up Eiji, things would slowly fall apart, but it's not. We get a prime example while they are up against the Kiriyama/Oota pair of Jyousei Shounan (an anime-only school). Oishi's wrist is still injured, but he's forcing himself to play, intent on keeping his promise to Tezuka on making it to Nationals, and buried under the stress of taking over the team while Tezuka is away. As they continue playing, Oishi's injury becomes more apparent. Eiji knows Oishi is in pain, no matter how much of a good face Oishi tries to put on it, and is duly worried. They press on, in spite of Eiji's worry for his partner, at Oishi's insistence. But whenever Oishi falters, Eiji is right there at his side, filled with concern. Oishi's injury becomes obvious to their opponents, and as they start to target him, things get worse. Filled with guilt, Oishi apologizes to Eiji, who is all smiles, telling him not to worry, that he'll take care of everything. They then renew their promise to go on to nationals together, and look very cute and sappy in the process. With Eiji on the attack, and Oishi hanging back on defense, they are able to come up triumphant.
Eiji's insecurity comes back when they play against Rikkaidai Fuzoku Chuu, where a bad habit of his is exposed by the opposition, causing them to fall very far behind. At first, they can't get their act together, Eiji's frustration at himself for being the weak link in the chain once again translating to his game, making his shots erratic, with Oishi unable to cover for him, his own game affected by the strain on them both. Eiji finally is able to remember why they fought so hard to come so far, and they are finally able to play like who they are, like the Golden Pair, the pair that wowed everyone the year before at Nationals. Even so, they end up losing the match, and Eiji gives Oishi a heartfelt apology for being the reason for their loss. Oishi informs him that there's nothing to apologize for, since they did their best. With that, the strain between them is forgotten, as if it never happened.
The story of the Golden Pair coming to be differs in the manga and the anime. In the manga, they present us with the premise that Eiji only wants to play doubles with Oishi until he can defeat him, and has a very distinct dislike for Oishi in the beginning, looking down on his play style as boring, unlike his flashy acrobatics. Even so, Oishi is able to beat him every time they face off. In the anime this is slightly different. Oishi and Eiji meet at first by chance, with Eiji literally running into the other boy, and proceeding to act a bit like a girl with a crush throughout most of the episode. He goes through all the stages, from the lingering touches, to the getting upset about the rumors other members of the tennis club relayed to him about Oishi kissing the captain's butt and not really deserving his position practicing with the older students, and to asking him
The whole flashback in the anime was set off by Eiji's finding out the very upsetting news that their bin, their special place, was set to be removed. Both of them are understandably upset about such news. (Where would they go to snog now?!) After remembering how they started, Oishi tells Eiji that they no longer need to come to this place, which Eiji misinterprets as Oishi wanting to stop playing doubles with him, and is very visibly upset at the mere prospect of losing Oishi. Oishi reassures him by explaining that they don't need it because they won't lose anymore, so they don't need to return again (I guess they have somewhere else to snog after all).
The latest manga arc has been very interesting as well. In the first round of matches at Nationals, Eiji makes a surprising appearance as singles two. A little earlier, Tezuka returned from Kyushu (in the anime he went to Germany), and Oishi challenged him to a match to earn his spot back on the regulars. Oishi was defeated quite easily, Tezuka being in even better condition than when he left. When his opponent is shocked that Eiji's a doubles player, Eiji announces that he doesn't play doubles anymore. We then get lovely flashbacks to Oishi's match against Tezuka, where Eiji stands by watching in shock, feeling totally betrayed (and looking like he belongs in a K2 doujin). He can't understand why Oishi is doing this, effectively breaking their promise to go to Nationals together as doubles, and he gets very angry and upset. Then we get something that I certainly see as a declaration of love. Eiji states that, if it's not with Oishi, I won't play doubles anymore! This is such an about-face from Eiji's original stance on his and Oishi's doubles partnership (at least in the manga). It's no longer important for him to beat Oishi, that promise no longer holds water. The dream is now being the number one doubles pair in the nation, and it'll only do if Oishi is the one by his side. He even went under intense training to fix his low stamina that caused them so many problems against St. Rudolph. He does this because he doesn't want to be a burden on Oishi, for that's how he sees himself, the one always dragging Oishi down. Oishi himself feels the pangs of being a burden because of his still-weakened wrist, from the time of the Hyoutei matches. Can we hope for a happy resolution of all this angst? Within the next month off, Oishi's wrist should have time to heal and he can earn his spot back on the regulars...and hopefully Eiji will go back to playing doubles with him, so they can fulfill their dream together.
Oh, how could I possibly forget the fandisc, Band of Princes? They put out new fandiscs every so often, with different features of different characters. This one is an animated music video with the songs Birthday by Aozu (Oishi, Ryoma, Tezuka and Fuji) and Rock 54 by Cap to Bin (Eiji, Inui, Kaidou, Momo and Taka). In the first half of the video, it shows a bunch of different scenes (Tezuka returning from Germany, practicing in the recording studio, etc.), but one that stands out the most is the Golden Pair, standing in the rain. Oishi seems upset about something, and Eiji proceeds to cheer him up, as is the norm with the two of them, and they touch hands, another usual thing for them. The major difference is the fact that they're wearing matching rings. This is something we fangirls have been a-squee over, trying to figure out just what the significance of the rings are. If you're familiar with the manga, Only the Ring Finger Knows, perhaps the answer lies there. Two people with matching rings, a symbol of them being meant to be.
There are so many other things I could mention - the music franchise for one, and how well Oishi and Eiji's songs fit together and reference one another (i.e. Honto no Kimochi and Come Together, ONE and TWO, I~jyan and I~jyanai ka), and Billiards no Oujisama (episode 98) where Eiji clings to Oishi in fear of Inui's latest juice. The list truly goes on and on, but this is supposed to only be up to 5,000 words. So I will leave you with many, many fandom recs to check out if you feel like this is a couple you would like to ship!
In the sky, the shining new leaves are budding. / The light is shining on the path to our ecstacy / Sharing both hope and courage, we go towards a new season / Facing our two dreams.
Oishi Syuichirou, TWO
Counterpoint by Isis (cirnelle) - angst, fluff - Tezuka/Oishi, Oishi/Eiji
This is one of my absolute favorite fics out there. While the Golden Pair is my OTP, and I have a...bit of a hate/hate relationship with the Tezuka/Oishi pairing, there is nothing I like better than an angsty Tezuka/Oishi/Eiji triangle...granted that it comes out with the GP being together in the end. ^_~ Isis captured that perfectly, all the reasons why Oishi would have feelings for Tezuka, as well as all the reasons why he works so much better with Eiji. Kleenex are needed if you're a crier like me.
Splash by Aki (absenceofmind) - fluff, maybe a smidget of angst - Eiji/OFC, Oishi+Eiji
Nicely understated fic that talks a lot about Oishi and Eiji's friendship and how while they're very different, they still gravitate towards each other, as well as a bit of a romantic undertone as well.
Career by Aki (absenceofmind) - fluff, WAFF - Oishi/Eiji
Pure fluff, centered around a hot summer day, ice cubes and the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?".
Confession by Noel (joyeuxnoel/infinitys_tale) - drama - Tezuka/Oishi, Oishi/Eiji
Where something ends, something else begins. Another lovely peek into the triangle that is Tezuka/Oishi/Eiji.
Inadequate by Noel (joyeuxnoel/infinitys_tale) - drama - past Tezuka/Oishi, Oishi/Eiji
I especially like this because it gives some insight into Eiji's character, into the insecurity that is such a part of him, even though he tends to brazen his way through things and act like all is well. All of Noel's works are worth a read, to be honest. They're much love.
engagement by Ri-chan (caffeineaddict/moonsalute) - sap - Oishi/Eiji
So sappy and fluffy, it'll make your teeth hurt. This was a gift for me, so I guess I'm partial, but Ri just gets the GP, and her use of detail really brings the fic together for me.
Scrapbook by Ri-chan (caffeineaddict/moonsalute) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Another gift from Ri, and a nice use of the snapshot writing technique, showing us glimpses into three memories of the GP.
Cartography by Ri-chan (caffeineaddict/moonsalute) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Yet another gift from Ri, and a piece that makes you (or at least me) sit down and think about just what Oishi's life would be like if Eiji hadn't bounced his way in. We can just be grateful that he did.
One In Ten by Talya Firedancer (fyredancer.net) - angst, fluff - OMC/Eiji, Oishi/Youhei, Oishi/Eiji
Boy likes boy. Boy doesn't want to admit he likes boy. Boy loses chance with boy to other boy. Boy tries to date another boy. Boy and boy finally get together. Perhaps this has been overdone or not done enough, but this was absolutely perfect, IMO.
Truth or Dare by Talya Firedancer (fyredancer.net) - fluff, manipulative!Fuji - Oishi/Eiji
Oh Fuji, you are a tricksy little
The Most Important Thing by Talya Firedancer (fyredancer.net) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Floofiness for Eiji's birthday. Oishi's so sweet. *snoogles him*
Chocolate Kisses by Kuwabara no Miko (Kuwabara no Miko) - fluff, smut - Oishi/Eiji
Bwehehehe. Everyone needs some smut now and again, and Kuwabara no Miko does it so nicely. A nice treat written for Valentine's Day.
I Think I'm In Love by Cooro (amagoi/unending) fluff/sap - Oishi/Eiji
Now, I swear I'm not reccing this because she's my friend. This is one of the first fics I read when I got into the fandom, and I still think it's a wonderfully sweet and fluffy bit of GP goodness.
Dross by Aishuu (aishuu/quillofferings) - angst, fluff - Oishi/Eiji
What do you do when instead of doing great things, you have to fall back on the ordinary? How do things fall together when you all meet up years later? Can time and distance be bridged?
Jishin 1 2 3 Interlude 4 5 Omake by Monnie (tiamatv) - fluff, smut, smidget of angst - Oishi/Eiji
One of the first multiparts that I came across in the fandom, and still one of the best. A get-together fic at its finest, and just absolutely perfect. The characterization is flawless, and the scenes flow wonderfully. So much love.
Promises, Promises by Miko no Da (miko_no_da) - angst, fluff - Tezuka/Oishi, Oishi/Eiji
Oishi and his promises. What does he do when a promise gets in the way with how he feels in his heart? *squees quietly*
Learning to Fall by Suteishichic (suteishichic) - angst, fluff, smut - Oishi/Eiji (tiny bit of Tezuka/Fuji)
Don't read this fic unless you have a LOT of time on your hands, it's over 70 chapters. Not perfect grammatically, but still very well done, and lots of GP smuttiness, which is nice. Bit of an AU, since it's set in their second year. A sequel is being written, but it seems to focus more on other school pairings (a disappointment, since the beginning chapters set up some very interesting things for Seigaku).
Fission, Fusion by Suteishichic (suteishichic) - angst - Oishi/Eiji
This is a very interesting fic, very different from anything I've seen in the fandom before. Kind of a Twilight Zone-ish twist, but definitely worth a read.
Grounding by Shi-Lin (ayatsujik) - angst, fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Change is hard, but not all change is bad. That's a lesson that Eiji needs to learn.
Home by Shi-Lin (ayatsujik) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
A little snippet of the GP's life together, set in the heat of the summer. Part of a series of seasonal vignettes.
The Truth Would Be Too Much Prologue 1 2 3 4 Interlude 5 6 by Katty (_katty_) - angst, drama - Oishi/Eiji
A continuation of a wonderfully angsty one-shot (now the prologue), this fic completely drew me in and had me waiting on pins and needles for each update. Set in high school, a different take on the GP and how they get together romantically.
Wise Gifts by Katty (_katty_) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Set in the same timeline as The Truth Would Be Too Much, a cute Valentine's fic.
Spring Haze by Analine - heavy angst, fluff - Oishi/Eiji, OMC/Eiji
I was hoping this fic would finish in time for me to rec it on this list, and it did! College fic, where Eiji can't deal with the distance between them when Oishi goes away to London. What does he do to help cope with this, and can the Golden Pair overcome all the strain and distance?
A Perfect Kiss by Analine - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
First kisses are wonderful, aren't they?
The Golden Bell by Toasted Marshmallow - fluff, sap - Oishi + Eiji
Not quite a get-together fic, but a lot of innuendo and dancing around the subject. Very cute and sweet.
Golden Moment by shy_hinata - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Fuji loves taking pictures, doesn't he? In them, he finds the truth of the Golden Pair's feelings for one another.
Standing Watch by Alley (alleyquat) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Because the idea of Eiji taking care of Oishi while he's sick instead of the other way around makes me wibble with glee.
String by Emily (chocolate_chip) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji
Kites need string to fly, right?
Eye of the Beholder by Emily (chocolate_chip) - fluff - Oishi/Eiji (perhaps a smidget of Momo/Ryoma?)
It's hard to deny the proof of something when it's staring you in the face.
Golden Pair Links (Japanese)
A pretty easily navigated site even for those who don't know japanese (like myself). Sites are linked with banners/buttons, so you have an idea of what you're looking at before you click.
Golden Pair Webring (Japanese)
Not so easy to navigate as the button site, since there's only links and not banners, but still worth a shot when looking for all things Golden Pair.
Little Portion (Japanese)
Wow, this is my favorite fanart site. The art is absolutely gorgeous, focusing on Eiji-centric pairings, but the majority of the pictures are Oishi/Eiji or Fuji/Eiji.
Strob Light (Japanese)
Very cutesy site, with loads of Golden Pair goodness.
Very pretty site, though not much content-wise. What is there is just gorgeous, though.
God, I adore this website. Their style is just so pretty and distinctive, and their coloring is just... *_________*
Guh. Akiyoshi's art is absolutely gorgeous. Her main pairing is Yuuta/Mizuki, but she has some gorgeous Golden Pair fanart on her general PoT site.
Though this site hasn't been updated in ages, it's still some of the best GP fanart around.
Jolly Guys (Japanese)
This site hasn't been updated in a long time, but it is still filled with lots of great Golden Pair fanart. They also have put out some doujinshi, which can be found on Yahoo!Japan sometimes. Style favors those long, very thin bodies, but still very pretty.
Oho! Here's a bit different from the norm. PLAINES features the very rare (with this pairing, at least) uke!Oishi. Yes, Oishi is bottom. Site features mostly Eiji/Oishi, Fuji/Oishi and Tezuka/Oishi, along with some others.
happy option (Japanese)
Lovely fanart, long, lean lines, and nice coloring. Site focuses on Oishi/Eiji and Momo/Ryoma.
An adorable fanart site, the style tends more towards a very cute - almost chibi - way of drawing, but very pretty.
Another of my favorite fanart sites. I check their oekaki board obsessively for new pictures. Another with very cutesy chibi-ish style of art, and they draw a series of pictures with the Golden Pair in kindergarten (along with the other third-years from Seigaku) which is absolutely adorable.
Though the site has much more than just fanart (the popular PoT Diaries, for example), it has gorgeous Golden Pair fanart by sarahofcroydon as well as silly stick figure fun, and there's already one short GP doujinshi up for download there, and she's working on another.
Golden Pair Doujinshi Event - 6/5/05 (Japanese)
I wish I could go... ;-;
A very popular circle, focused mainly on the Oishi/Eiji and Tezuka/Fuji pairings. Sometimes the storylines are a bit weak, but it's made up for with very pretty art.
K2 Company - Kodaka Kazuma (Japanese)
A wildly popular mangaka and doujinka, she's put out several PoT doujinshis, most of which are focused on the Golden Pair. Absolutely gorgeous art, with lots of emotion in the storylines and the smut.
golden_pair - the Golden Pair lj community, the largest community on livejournal for a single PoT pairing.
Golden - the Golden Pair fanlisting
Fleeting Fancies - a wonderful reccomendation site, which has more fics that I didn't list here, as well as a bunch of Japanese fanart sites.
FET - a great source for information on characters, as well as having scanlations of the manga.
Anime-Otakus - the fansubbers of the anime (there are a couple of others scattered around, but they're the best).