You know what the biggest tip off for me was that Jack and Ashi were going to be a thing? There face profiles are like puzzle pieces that fit together. His forehead protrudes slightly and leads right into his nose while Ashi's Jaw and nose protrude out past her forehead. Look when they get up in each other's faces when they're in the belly of the beast and he has the beard pointing down and her hair is sticking up. It's some yin-yang stuff going on right there.
Boy oh boy anon am I ever glad you brought this up! I apologize in advance, for I have a lot/too much to say so be prepared and please be patient with me!
This stuck out to me quite a bit in episode four as they were actually being forced to spend time with each other. I’m stuck on a mobile, but I’m sure we all remember when they were arguing and their faces got close to each other. They literally fit into each other like a puzzle piece just like yin and yang. Not to mention, as you also pointed out, the way they wear their hair also goes along with that. Jack used to have a beard and wore his hair down, while Ashi had worn her hair up. Later, we see Jack (unfortunately) lose his beard and he starts to wear his hair up again while Ashi is wearing her hair down. Let’s also not forget Jack’s gi is white whereas Ashi’s… um, burnt flesh was black. Literally their whole appearances contrast each other which, as you said, is some yin and yang shit going on.
BUT WAIT- THERE’S MORE!
When you think about it, just about everything they do is some sort of a parallel to each other. For starters, the reason why the two exist at all are for opposite reasons. Jack was born to continue the emperor’s bloodline which includes to complete the occasional task of defeating Aku until his usual inevitable reappearance. Ashi was born to do the exact opposite- to kill whoever fights against the demon she once worshipped, which of course means Jack. We have seen both characters go grow up in their respective environments. Despite being royalty, Jack had a good ‘normal’ upbringing. He had loving parents who treated him like a normal child and supported him. Ashi, on the other hand, had an abusive upbringing. Her mother was unsupportive and literally does not give a damn about the lives of her daughters. However, none of these stay perfectly in place. As seen in episode three of season five, Jack’s playtime is interrupted by several assassins looking to kill his father. Of course, his father stands up for himself and his family and fights. Jack rushes away from the safety of his mother’s arms to take a peek at the action, only to see nothing more but miserable violence followed by his face being splattered in one of the assassin’s blood therefore giving the poor boy a glimpse of the darkness the world holds. Later, as his father is cleaning him up, his father is giving him words of wisdom and comfort like any good parent would. Ashi, unfortunately, wasn’t this lucky. As seen in the first episode of season five, her mother doesn’t give her or her six sisters a normal upbringing. They’re forced to learn how to fight in a dark, depressing environment. Eventually, ‘Mother Dearest’ brings out a very large and brutish enemy to force her daughters to fight. Of course, they try but are too small and weak to do any damage. At one point, Ashi rushes away from the fight to get a glimpse of the outside world. It is then she sees the warmth and beauty of the world. For once in her miserable childhood, Ashi gets to see the light the world holds at times and she smiles. However, that doesn’t last long. The High Priestess coaxes her back out only to mercilessly grab her by the throat and fling her back into battle. Jack’s childhood was full of light and happiness except for the one unfortunate incident where he saw how messed up and cruel the world can be meanwhile, Ashi’s childhood was full of darkness and misery except for the one time she saw how beautiful and bright the world can be.
Hell, for those who remember Jack’s training montage in the very first episode, compare it to Ashi’s. Jack got to see the world and meet knew people and got to experience so much, whereas Ashi was trapped inside during most of her life and never got to know anything different.
For those who say “Jack and Ashi shouldn’t be together because Jack acts like an adult whereas Ashi acts like a child” there is a reason for this. Literally the short blurb I said above gives a lot of explanation. People who see or get to know the world and different people tend to gain a lot of experience and tend to act more mature. People who don’t do those things tend to have an ignorant viewpoint and do tend to act childish. However, have any of you actually noticed that Jack and Ashi have helped each other act like their own actual ages? Literally, throughout the course of the episodes Jack has slowly started to begin looking and acting like the 25 year old man he is. Ashi’s presence and companionship has helped him regain his youth. (For fucks’s sake Ashi helps Jack’s hallucinations decrease/go away). Jack does a similar thing for Ashi. Jack has pushed her into the right direction for her to understand things more on her own. Ashi has become much more mature than when Jack was forced to be with her in episode four. Thanks to that, she now actually acts like a real 18-21 year old (or however fucking old she is) adult. Ashi would have never made it this far without Jack and Jack wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for Ashi. Why is that? Because they are yin and yang! They are the missing puzzle piece to each other. They literally complete each other.
“BUT THERE WASN’T ENOUGH BUILDUP!”
It’s a ten episode continuation of a storyline that hasn’t been touched in 13 years, which by the way, was SUPPOSED to have a total of 13 episodes but Adult Swim was a greedy bastard, so we can only have ten. When you have a 13 episode plot planned out but are only given ten episodes, that’s not an easy squeeze. Approximately, he had to squeeze in about an extra 60 minutes worth of whatever was going to happen in the last three-ish episodes? (Tbh, episodes five-to-seven seemed just as rushed as episode eight but no one has complained about that.) So what can he really do? Drop the romance he has wanted to do for a really long time? Pfft, I wouldn’t want to do that! My guy, if I would make my intentional ship happen no matter what had to take in order for it to happen.
Also, about the amount of buildup, there was quite a bit:
- The buck and doe kissing
- Jack carrying Ashi bridal style in episode four
- “What did you expect, a hug and a kiss?”
- Witty/playful banter between the two
- The ladybug scene (although this can be debatable)
- The sea serpent scene (very Disney, lol)
- “Uh, I like your hair…. and your dress!”
- The way Jack held Ashi when he saw she passed out.
- The way Ashi looked at Jack when she regained consciousness.
- “Jack, you got your sword! And a little shave and a haircut…”
- The VAs teasing it on Twitter
- The entire (fairly obvious??) yin and yang point I made above
- All of episode eight LEADING UP to the kiss
Let’s also not forget that a lot of time goes by in these episodes and that it’s up to us, the viewers, to fill in the blanks ourselves. Of course as they’re traveling they’re going to grow closer! That’s just a thing that happens.
“EPISODE EIGHT WAS POINTLESS FILLER!”
…And? Literally every show I have seen NO MATTER THE LENGTH has at least ONE. Also, that argument isn’t completely true either. What if I told you that perhaps their relationship is important to the plot? I don’t know about you, but them developing a romantic relationship will deeply effect how Jack will feel about completing his mission. Ashi being this important in his life will effect and possibly reshape his goals. If that isn’t something any of you deem important to the plot, then I am at a loss of what to tell you at this point.
Jack and Ashi not only complete each other, but they make each other genuinely happy in a way that the two of them have either had very little experience with or no experience at all. They both understand the mental baggage the other carries and support each other. They are both consenting adults with an age gap AT LARGEST seven years apart (physical age and mental age are both things that go together and are hardly separate unless there’s some elaborate fantasy-novelesque reasoning for it) so it’s not like either of them are so out of loop to know what they’re doing. They both obviously care about each other, saved each others lives, and see each other as an equal. They capture just about all the aspects of what makes a healthy relationship (love, respect, trust, loyalty, etc.) and, again, they have been through so much both on their own and together. Don’t you think they deserve to be happy?
Anyway, this is just my “two cents” on the issue (although more like 50 bucks holy fuck do you see all this shit I wrote???)
I’M SO SORRY ANON THIS PROBABLY DROVE YOU CRAZY TO READ THROUGH!!❤️❤️❤️