You know, for living in a society that generally disapproves of incest, there are a lot of incest pairings in nerddom. And incest between twins, or twincest, even more so. So this Saturday, I’m taking a look at a few different examples of twincest and whether or not these relationships are actually healthy. Buso Renkin, Game of Thrones, Saiyuki, and Ouran High School Host Club after the jump.
Buso Renkin is pretty messed up, character-wise. And the Hayasaka twins, Ouka and Shusui, are no exception.
The Hayasaka twins work for Dr. Butterfly, Papillion’s crazy great-great-grandfather Homonculus, as henchmen. They are working for him so that they can become immortal and can realize their dream of spending the rest of their lives together. This dream stems from their abduction as small children. Their abductor had made them reenact wedding ceremonies while in captivity, which made the two dependent on one another. They very much act like a husband and wife and it’s super creepy since they are only in high school.
While these two don’t have an explicit or shown sex scene, their physical and emotional dependency on one another is overwhelming. And I think the only reason there wasn’t anything more sexual was due to a younger target audience. But the fact that they are willing to cast aside their humanity in order to realize their childhood dream of getting married should say something, namely that they’re nuts. Nuts and in a very unhealthy relationship. Now how is this different than, let’s say Bella and Edward from Twilight? Well, I think it’s different simply because they are twins, and namely there’s a sort of forbidden love aspect of the relationship. Now, that’s been covered on this blog before (more specifically in fanfiction), but Edward and Bella, while unhealthy, isn’t wrong according to societal standards. Ouka and Shusui are trying to change who they are so that the societal norm of no twincest does not apply to them. That’s taking things a step farther than a non-familial relationship.
Karou and Hikaru play on twincest every single day in Ouran High School Host Club. They’re constantly flirting and flouting their need for one another to get the attention of the girls, their Host Club customers. But nothing explicity sexual happens. There is a scene where they are sleeping in the same bed, but both had their pajamas on and it was treated as an innocent, kawaii sort of thing. That may have something to do with the show having a younger target audience, like Buso Renkin. In both Ouran and Buso Renkin, we only get flirting, hand holding, and extreme emotional dependency. However, because the Hitachiin twins are central characters in Ouran, we see character growth from each twin in different directions. They learn to be independent. Buso Renkin doesn’t have that. Rather, by the end Ouka and Shusui are just as dependent on one another as they were at the start.
From what I’ve read of Saiyuki, Hakkai and his twin sister Kanan seemed to have a slightly more healthy relationship, but because their relationship occurred before the story started, it really wasn’t featured all that much. Hakkai and Kanan were twins who were separated at birth. After they’ve entered into a relationship, they realize that they’re twins, but continue the relationship. They seemed like a very happy couple. That happiness didn’t last, but that’s largely because Kanan gets kidnapped and raped by demons. Hakkai kills the entire demon clan just to get her back, but when he finds Kanan she kills herself in front of him because she’s pregnant with the demon rapist’s child. And then Hakkai becomes a demon because he’s killed the one-thousand necessary demons to become one himself. Other than that, they seemed like they were in a perfectly healthy and normal relationship. I guess you could say that they have an extremely unhealthy relationship because who would go to such extremes as they both do, but, on the other hand, both Hakkai and Kanan were put in very extreme circumstances, which is not the case for our other couples. So I’d say that it wasn’t all that unhealthy of a relationship overall. But like every other character in Saiyuki, I guess they had to have a sob-story ending.
The idea of twincest is something very well explored in A Song of Ice and Fire. Cersei and Jaime have a very sexual relationship; hell, they have kids together. However, they aren’t emotionally dependent on one another like the Hayasaka twins and the Hitachiin twins are. In a sense, the Lannister twins almost have a healthier relationship simply because they can function apart. They are a very normal couple if you exclude the fact that they are twins and that they have to keep their relationship a secret because of that. They do live in a society where brother-sister marriages are slightly more normalized, but are not really accepted. The Targaryens frequently intermarried, but we learn from Jaime Lannister that everyone outside of the family looked down on these relationships and attribute the intermarrying to the craziness and the fall of House Targaryen.
All in all, I think Jaime and Cersei have the healthiest relationship. Kaoru and Hikaru grow to have a much healthier relationship, but they did not start off that way, and Kanan and Hakkai are the opposite. And Buso Renkin continues to be a mess of strange characters. Wow, I never thought I’d have to say that a relationship in Game of Thrones was healthier than another relationship.
Now I don’t know what’s so attractive about twincest. I personally am not a fan, mainly because I’ve never seen it portrayed in a truly healthy way. Because we live in a society that doesn’t accept twincest, I think that norm rubs off in fiction and leads to these twincestual relationships to be portrayed in unhealthy ways. We, as a society, think twincest is bad, so it is portrayed as bad in mainstream (as opposed to fan) fiction. I think this also applies to incestuous relationships, but it’s much stronger for twincest. This is due to the supposed psychological closeness that comes from being a twin, as opposed to being just a sibling. If you’ve ever met a twin or twins, you can see this connection sometimes; I know I have. In my opinion, I would be fully supportive of an incestual or twincestual relationship if it was portrayed in a healthy way. If everyone was healthy (body and mind) and consenting, I see no reason why it wouldn’t work in fiction, or any reason that it should be considered worse than any other pairing. Now wouldn’t seeing that positive portrayal be nice?