[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Okay, now as many people who either lurk or play this game are anime fans… or know something of anime, it's almost heinous for me not to address the *obvious* shounen-ai wave that tends to chase these two. It's not that we are pushing for it per say (well maybe some of you out there are…) but we will talk about why and how this even happened.

Shounen-ai, for you Japanese or anime impaired meaning Boy's (shounen) Love (Ai) or male/male relationships. This is an emotional based, romantic type of bond. It's absolutely NOT the same thing as Yaoi, which implies a more physical/sexual relationship, which the twins DON'T have!

Mostly anyone in the game can peg the start of this whole thing on Rizzen. Bishounen men tend to be followed very closely by shounen-ai whether they intend it or not. What's beautiful about AoA is that it does address the sexual orientation lines that many games are afraid to even talk about. It also impressively shows the maturity levels of the players to handle something like that. It varies from the obviously gay (shaysh) Casey to the bi-sexual Valan to everything in between. Rizzen being ridiculously high on the comeliness level, his gentle nature, long hair, and tendency to wear elaborate robes doomed him from the get-go for shounen-ai. Pretty boys like that can't help but draw attention. Interestingly enough, future players are warned that this can happen. On the join page it mentions a character that has women and men lusting after him. Well, we vets know that's Rizzen.

Dezaryn (Atrius) is considered as the "seme" or dominant one of the two. There is no question to his gender even though he is only 5 points lower than Rizzen. Dez is also very much a gorgeous bishounen but he's not the standard gender-bender. His is more of the wild, rogue type that drives people wild just because he's so damn cool. Tenshi tends to use the word "dynamic" to describe Dez and that's very true. He's the fire of the twins. Ever-changing and with a demanding, explosive personality. In fact, the image that was commissioned on the page seems to describe them excellently. Dezaryn standing and looking either ready to run off or something, Rizzen sitting down calmly with his legs crossed. Unlike some other shounen-ai pairings, this one CANNOT be switched around. It just would never work that way. Dez will never be dominated by anyone, least of all his own twin… he'd fight him first and we don't want that now do we?

Rizzen's rather feminine nature works very well for him though. In the world of hardened wizards and warriors, he's almost a welcome relief. He's bears a subtle and therefore powerful sensuality that doesn't try to overwhelm anyone. Rizzen is sexy, not because he's trying to be anything, he just plain IS. That's what's so incredible about him! He's not *doing* anything exactly but being his usual relaxed, lovely self. His mannerism is very dignified and dramatic. Even in his most bouncy happy times, he doesn't bounce. :D He'll just give off a devestating smile and we'll get visions of sparkles and flowing hair and yummy clothes and black feathered wings. ((*shivers in delight*))

Occasionally he drops the robes thing and goes for a more masculine look, which proves he is capable of switching back and forth. He's very flexible that way and it leaves open the fact that if another pairing ever occurred, say with Casey for example, Rizzen could and probably WOULD be the Seme. Still even in black leather and boots, he's definably Rizzen… still abnormally beautiful. Besides that, a starry-eyed Rizzen has on multiple occasions declared undying love for his twin. To which Dez's typical reaction is a major sweatdrop and the Ranma ½, Saotome School of Anything Goes Martial Arts ultimate attack. ((Ready? Set? Run AWAY!!))

Of course the biggest debate is the morality of all this. Not only are they both men (regardless of what Rizzen LOOKS like!) they are twin brothers. But the strongest argument in favor of the bond is that they are really a single soul. Both may be in different bodies whose minds have been conditioned due to various events, they are STILL in essence the same person! Rizzen's obsessive true love for his twin is debated as being his half eternally chasing the other half. It just so happens that they are both in male bodies! Side arguments are that it wouldn't matter if Rizzen really WAS a girl, they are family. Well… it's pretty evident that if you have a single soul that split up somehow into two bodies way before birth, even if they somehow got born from different mothers ((I would like to see how THAT happened!)), there's no way they could NOT be family! It's still the same SOUL, no matter what angle you push it to.

Therefore my personal opinion is that Dez's aversion is a mental thing, based upon how he has lived IN that body as well as Kalten's tampering and has nothing at all to do with the soul connection. It is noted that as Dez's blood regains its purity, he starts to feel that pull more and more. Rizzen who was never severed from the link, feels the pull in its purest form and accepts this as a fact of being. He decided to name it as love, but it's really more of a stretched rubber band effect. If Dez ever gets rid of the taint, he will know it exactly as Rizzen would… but the aversion would still be there because that's what his brain would say! As for Rizz's slowly developing physical desire of Dez (and who couldn't desire HIM?? ;) that's just his body reacting to his mind's need to be near his other half. That has nothing to do with the soul connection either. But then after 150 years, its evident his body would wake up at some point, right? :D It just naturally pulled first towards whatever his center of attention was… his own twin.

We who have watched this game for God's ever, think that eventually Rizzen will crest over that physical desire. He doesn't actually *need* that from his brother ((how many hundred others would readily run to him after all!? I sure as hell would!)) it's just a starting point. Once that foundation has been passed, he will let go of him in that respect. It will go back to the rubber band effect that it initially was.

Still… it's so adorable to see them together, no matter what they are doing exactly! ^_^ Rizzen's so… innocent and naïve and pretty! Dez is so awesome and strong and worldly. I mean damn, Dez is just the most patient and understanding brother! He puts up with so much and takes it all in stride. I honestly wish I had a brother that was as caring as he is. Even through his twin's obsession of him, he just kindly works with Rizzen through it, being supportive of him even as he gently discourages it. That's… just so heart-warming, you know? He even allows for those wonderful hugs which just makes you want to burst with how sweet that would look! Sorry, Dez just rocks in SO many ways!

Well... that's all my ramblings on this topic!