by Ephemeral Dreamer.
Love is a strange thing, indeed. From the charming confessions to ginger kisses to steamy sex, love acts are widely varied and allows us to express our feelings in so many different ways. All these cute (or sexy) displays of affection tickle our hearts or make us go d’awww all over these interactions, rightly so. However, there seems to be one basic act that seems to have gone unnoticed and under-appreciated in anime: holding hands.
We all know those extremely cute doki-doki moments in anime when a girl is embarrassed wanting to hold hands with her boyfriend, or vice-versa. The same can be said for yuri and BL couples as well, though they are viewed differently compared to their heterosexual counterparts. A yuri couple holding hands in public would be seen as regular friends and as such, people would not cause a big fuss about this matter unless their relationship is clearly defined and shown. A BL couple holding hands would be seen rather differently, with some people just outright overreacting over this small act.
So why hold hands at all? As it turns out, there is some science involved with this simple act of love! It’s all due to the so-called “love hormone,” oxytocin. When one comes in contact with a loved one’s hand, the soothing touch actually calms down the parts of the brain that deal with stress and pain, acting along the same pathways that a pain killer would. In effect, this means that the body and the brain doesn’t have to work as hard, since just the comfort and warmth of a loved one’s or even a stranger’s hand can help ease one’s mind.
Another factor in wanting to hold hands is also the feeling of wanting to lead, comfort, or protect your loved one. This small act of intimacy shows a strong bond of trust between the lovers, and the lovers themselves can take solace in the knowledge that they are there for each other. For yuri and BL couples, by holding hands, they can take comfort in the knowledge that even if their world is against them, they know that their partners will be there for them.
This may be very common in manga, but for anime generally, it doesn’t seem like there are plenty of scenes with cute couples holding hands. They don’t always portray the small cute acts of physical affection, such as a character sleeping on another’s lap, cuddling, sneaking teasing glances, flirting, etc. It could be that in Japan, public displays of affection isn’t that common culturally, or maybe because we, the viewers, just want to get right to the heart of the romantic action with the couple overcoming their struggles in their relationship.
Well in any case, it’s amazing how one simple act of love can ease two people’s minds!
About the Guest Author:
Ephemeral Dreamer is a fellow anime blogger, who writes, with on a variety of topics, ranging from the smallest details to profound analysis. It is a delight to have Ephemeral Dreamer as a guest author to share a bit of those insights and keen sense for ideas that make Ephemeral Dreams such a wonderful read.