You're Not Ready For This
Okay so Archie is the leader of Team Aqua and Maxie is the leader of Team Magma. Archie’s goal to expand the seas so that Pokemon will have more environments to live in and thrive, while Maxie wants to expand the land so that humans can further their own development.
First off, not only are those plans just stupid enough to work, they’re also the most altruistic of any Pokevillains goals. Like, Arch and Max are in Villian Anonymous meetings with a ruthless gangster, two genocidal masterminds, and a sociopath bent on taking over the world. They are the worst at trying to be evil (this is especially funny when you consider two of the aforementioned, Giovanni and Ghetsis, are utter SHIT fathers while Archie and Maxie are considered GREAT father figures).
And they totally live up to that expectation because it’s implied that a lot of Team Aqua/Magma members are just teens in need of support? Like one text post mentioned, Archie and Maxie were intending on building up their teams to be espionage experts but instead they got a bunch of kids from broken homes and they couldn’t turn them away at the door!! Those kids need them!! Plus the Grunts are undyingly loyal to Arch and Max (which is par for course, but for some reason it especially shows up here as “awww”-worthy.)
Not to mention the relationship they have with their Admins? The past few gens the Leader has always manipulated their immediate underlings to get their goals accomplished but not only do Matt and Shelley/Courtney and Tabitha believe and support their leaders THE LEADERS BELIEVE IN AND SUPPORT THEM BACK. You can tell they are all good, close friends. Matt, Archie’s underling, made him a work-out mix-tape labled “BRO MIX VOLUME 7.” MEANING THERE ARE AT LEAST SIX OTHER VOLUMES FLOATING AROUND.
Third of all, Archie treats the player character like a Worthy Opponent and continually gauges their abilities (he goes the whole game calling you “lil’ scamp” ARCHIE YOU’RE NOT EVEN TRYING TO BE THREATENING). And then when shit goes south and you need to save the day, Maxie is all intent on giving you advice and Archie reassures you not to be afraid. My heart, my heart, I can’t take this.
Plus you can tell that they (and Archie especially) really love and care for their Pokemon? They ADORE their Pokemon. And that matters.
AND THERE ARE HUGE GAPS IN THE CANON THAT JUST BEG FOR FAN SPECULATION LIKE:
- Archie and Maxie used to be on the same team (!!!)
- Maxie doesn’t even keep a bed in his room but he has a sailboat in there (coughgiftfromArchiecough)
- Archie met Jirachi, a super-secret legendary, when he was young (??!!?)
PLUS THEY ARE HUGE NERDS.
CONSIDER HOW THEY TAKE DEFEAT:
Archie is stunned at first, but then he looks so satisfied and PROUD he is so happy you kicked his butt you lil’ scamp!!
Meanwhile, Maxie has a mini-heart attack (dork).
And finally, Hardenshipping is the greatest Pokemon ship ever because counterparts/friends-turned-enemies-turned-‘I can’t hate you but I still think you’re a stupid bastard’ is my dynamic. The end.
They are hot.