To end this manifesto (until the next update), I’m going to insert a tumblr post (part two here) I made awhile back on why Gruvia is such an enjoyable pairing to ship. It’s literally copy-paste, so I apologize if you’ve read it before. It doesn’t hurt to re-read, right? ;)
Gray x Juvia: Why it’s so popular, and the aspects of the pairing.
Over the recent months, it’s no secret that Gruvia has gained enormous popularity. Not only is this pairing winning the official FT romance poll on Manga Fox, but Hiro Mashima’s twitter pic of the two has roughly 9,000 favorites. At first glance, this pairing could be taken as a joke. You know, girl obsessed with the cool (no pun intended) guy, a fangirl, tends to stalk at the beginning, and all the while the guy basically ignores her advances. However, the reason Gruvia is so popular is because there is much more to the pairing than just comedy. In fact, Gray x Juvia is the pairing in Fairy Tail that has it all.
Okay. Lets start with the most obvious theme/genre. Gruvia is known for being a silly pairing. It’s quite entertaining. Juvia, a girl who was alone all her life until she met Gray, become high spirited and bubbly. She no longer stalks Gray, but her fangirl side still shows once in awhile. Gray thinking she’s crazy adds to the humor theme. I don’t think I really need to go into details here. This pairing is supposed to be funny.
They believe in each other. Juvia is always cheering for Gray. She always believes in him. Likewise, Gray trusts deeply in Juvia and their team work together. He constantly stresses how well they work together. Remember, only those who have a good connection are able to perform a unison raid together.
If one of them is in trouble, the other comes to the rescue whenever they’re around. Gray has saved Juvia multiple times. He protects her. Juvia always wants to protect Gray as well, especially when his life is in danger (for example – when Meredy targeted Gray and wanted to kill him, Juvia show cased her true power in order to protect him).
Gray and Juvia share a close relationship, despite their humorous interactions. Whenever there’s a guild shot, they are almost always together, side by side. We see them interact a lot at the guild, simply getting along. Gray tries to teach Juvia how to eat caramade franks, Juvia cheers Gray on while he’s wine barrel surfing. They get along very well outside of battles, especially when Juvia is acting normal. When Juvia asks Gray to get lunch with her alone before the Grand Magic Games, and he basically says yes (before Lyon ruined it), it’s evident that the two don’t mind spending time together at all.
The couple with the most “humor” also received the “most intense” pairing moment in the series. Gray literally dies for Juvia. Her and only her. To save her life. There is no other reason. Mashima chose to use Gray and Juvia for a reason. It wouldn’t be as powerful if it was Gray and anyone else. Authors don’t tend to use these types of scenes for characters that will only remain friends forever.
When one is hurt, the other has no problem lending a hand, even without being asked. Gray ensures Juvia’s safety, meanwhile Juvia never lets Gray fall. Not only physically, but they help emotionally as well. Juvia is the only one who notices Gray isn’t happy during the celebration and wastes no time to make him smile again.
Of course… what’s a pairing without love? The main factor is Juvia’s love for Gray. Her fight with Meredy proves that her feelings are genuine. Moreover, Hiro Mashima labels the Gruvia bond as romantic himself; “Gray and Juvia’s synchronized attack of love”. Not just Juvia. Gray and Juvia. So despite what’s happened, it’s clear the bond is meant to be romantic by the author’s own text. As well as their intertwined fingers; holding hands much longer than needed.
Gray and Juvia have this “unspoken bond” as the manga refers to it as. We can see through their team work that they read each other so well that sometimes words are unneeded. Not only that, but Juvia seems to have a “Gray-sama” radar, where she can tell something is happening to him even if he’s not there. Likewise, in many instances Gray will also ‘magically’ appear to aid Juvia. Examples include him saving her from being killed by Ultear, pushing her out of the way in order to not be struck by a mini dragon (twice in chapter 334, the second time he actually dies for her), and shielding her from Silver’s ice attack. The Meredy vs Juvia fight (sensory link; connection between Gray and Juvia together was successful) and the Gray vs Silver/Juvia vs Keith fights show case their connection level very well. At this point, these two are incredibly entangled in each other’s lives.
They comfort, and are there for each other when needed. Actually, they don’t just need it; they want it. In many instances, Gray and Juvia seek comfort in each other. Whether that be Gray reassuring Juvia in the Grand Magic Games, or him grabbing her hand and reassuring her with kind words such as “I’m here with you”. The last chapter of the Tartaros arc clearly shows their desperation for comfort from each other.
As we all know, Juvia constantly cheers Gray on. She always tries to lend a hand, even if she mistakes someone as a love rival. She supports his ambition to defeat E.N.D. very strongly, so much that she stands by his side no matter what the cost. The water mage also did as Silver asked which he made a point to say it was for Gray’s sake. She terminated his father against her own will because she believed it would benefit Gray. Likewise, Gray sees her has his support or else he would not seek her team work so often. The author continuously draws them near each other.
One of the major reasons why Juvia fell in love with Gray is because he took away the rain that plagued her throughout her entire life up until that point. That alone makes Juvia very appreciative of Gray and what he’s done for her. Gray himself has shown appreciation in regards to Juvia as well whether it’s accepting her homemade bread with his face on it, thanking her for reminding him to smile (chapter 340), or setting his dad free (chapter 416), he is incredibly grateful. Gifts are a way to show appreciation. In the 413 Days special, despite Juvia not knowing, Gray was thankful that her gesture with the scarf made him think of a happy memory with Ur; she made him feel better on a day when he usually feels lousy and down.
At first glance, what stands out about Gray and Juvia is their compatible magic. Ice and water. It’s that simple, right? But it actually goes beyond that. These two balance each other. Juvia can be very open, meanwhile Gray can be very closed up. She’s able to push his buttons; when he thinks he’s got her figured out she throws him off again. And that’s their dynamic.
Gray and Juvia are a great combination and couple, but that doesn't mean they are perfect. Juvia has a tendency to go overboard with her displays of affection, even making Gray uncomfortable at times. Gray himself can also be very distance and withhold feelings. There was also a “rejection” of Juvia along the way, but since then these two have become closer. Juvia has toned down her fangirl side, and Gray has become a bit more open. Furthermore, Gray’s “rejection” is not sticking and has not changed their relationship for the worst. They seem to be as strong as ever. But there will always be bumps in the road that Gray and Juvia will have to overcome. Because they aren't perfect is why it’s even more rewarding when they do get together.
They've come a long way. At the start, Gray obviously didn't see Juvia as a partner or think of her as one of, if not, his most important person. They were enemies in fact. But even afterwards, Gray and Juvia gradually grew closer and got to know each other. They spent time together at the guild, went on missions together (some even alone), worked together, protected each other, etc. They took small steps. They took big steps (Gray wearing Juvia’s scarf in 413 Days and their unison raid for instance). It all lead to the moment Gray finally broke down and show cased his vulnerable side to Juvia.
Another fun fact is that there are plenty of characters that have commented on Gray/Juvia romance. The list includes Alzack and Bisca (calling them “lovey-dovey”), Lucy (who says Juvia wants to be Gray’s partner), Erza (who tells Gray to make things clear with Juvia), Cheila Blendy (who calls the two “romantic/wonderful”), and even Lyon (who becomes jealous and calls Gray a bastard for being lovey and affectionate with Juvia in front of him). We can throw Meredy in there too while we are at it. She did understand Juvia in the end after their fight, and comments about the relationship right before the GMG. Although she says the relationship hasn’t gone anywhere… yet. Loke gives Gray “the look” when he asks about Juvia during the S-class exam, and he also gives Juvia “the look” on a color spread while she is next to Gray. I stress once more, the biggest comment we’ve had from someone in the manga is Hiro Mashima himself! He states, quote, "The story restarts from Gray and Juvia’s synchronized attack of love!" Out of all the big pairings, Gruvia definitely has the most “outside” comments from other characters. The author is also very blunt as well when he labels the bond romantic.
And personally, I really believe Juvia can make Gray happy and vice versa. Juvia has what Gray lacks, and Gray has what Juvia lacks. He’s closed up, and she isn’t. They balance each other out. Juvia has been rejected all her life, and Gray doesn’t have a very happy past either. With the author constantly building and throwing Juvia’s love for Gray in our faces; if her love for him was always going to be unrequited, there would be no point in developing it and show casing it as much as Mashima has. I’ll admit at first I thought the whole Gray and Juvia thing was a joke because Juvia was just so comedic. But once we started getting ample Gray -> Juvia and mutual Gray x Juvia scenes, that’s when the claim that it’s only for humor became void. Juvia’s love is no joke; it’s serious and genuine as shown in her fight with Meredy. Following that, we continue to receive moments that further entangle Gray and Juvia’s development as a couple. All this progression, and major hints from the author solidified them as a romantic pairing in my opinion. I can’t see anything but a happy ending for the two of them, even it if doesn’t happen until the last chapter of Fairy Tail.
Gray and Juvia have a bright future together ahead of them. I and many others look forward to seeing where it goes and what will happen next.