Do you like Guremahi?
That’s actually difficult. Their relationship is really difficult but I will try to explain what I mean.
First, what I repulse is portraying their relationship as romantic. Their realtionship in canon is abusive and toxic. They have been kind of cute in that one scene as kids but that doesn’t make for a healthy relationship. So I really can’t see them as a romantic couple.
But, and that’s the tricky one, I really enjoy their troubled relationship from a story perspective. It’s not romantic, it’s not cute and it’s definetly not healthy for both parties. But it has to be there for the story and it’s what makes the story interesting.
In their realtionship Guren has to bend to Mahiru’s wishes. She is the one in control, wanting to isolate him trying to break off his bonds to other people to have him for herself. I think one scene in book 6 is very nice to explain this. In Mahiru’s future vision Guren should be there to eat the parts of the fish she don’t like for her. It’s not about what Guren wants or how he can be happy. But about how she can be happy and in her mind Guren is necessary for that.
And Guren is driven my guilt. He feels guilty he couldn’t save her as kids and therefore always tries to comfort her. Even when he doesn’t reciprocate her feelings, he still wants her to feel good and Mahiru uses that. She never breaks the narrative of him being guilty that he couldn’t save her. She never redeems him. Because therefore he will stay close to her.
It’s fucked up and sadly a very good example of how toxic relationships work. She’s a threat to Guren and he knows it, but he can’t help it. And this makes her even more dangerous as the villainess of the story.
So. I don’t like GureMahi as a romantic ship. Because I can’t imagine Guren being happy in this relationship nor Mahiru of Guren doesn’t do what she wants him to do.
Because of that I also can’t imagine their realtionship to be healthy in a different world where all of this shit didn’t happen. It would still be Mahiru claiming Guren for her while Guren’s personal feelings are completely ignored.
But, I enjoy the hell out of Mahiru being the villainess that plays with his mind and be the enemy that Guren has to escape from and defeat to become happy and free some day.
Thank you for the question it was a really interesting one to think about ☺️