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The Japanese fashion world doesn’t hold any stigmas against guys who enthusiastically accessorize. As such, it’s not uncommon for couples to buy what’re called “pair accessories,” usually rings or necklaces with similar designs, meant to evoke a sense of closeness even when the two lovers are apart.

Considering the recent boom in anime-inspired fashion and accessories, it’s not such a big shock that one jewelry maker has created a set of pair rings based on Evangelion, one of the most popular franchises in the history of Japanese animation. Nor is it surprising that the designers chose to model the rings after two characters who, even if they don’t directly show such feelings, are considered by many fans to be sweet on each other.

What is getting attention, though, is that the two character, Shinji and Kaworu, are both guys.

While on the surface Evangelion looks to be about a group of teenagers fighting in giant robots to save the earth from invading space monsters, that’s all just a vehicle to examine the psychological state of its protagonist, Shinji. Along with the lingering pain of his mother passing away and the pressure of a distant yet demanding father (whose demand is “Fight dangerous aliens now, son!”), Shinji grapples with the questions most 14-year-old boys face when going through puberty: What defines me as a person? Is the freedom of detachment worth the heartache of isolation? Is there any meaning in developing an individual identity if that identity is rejected by those around you? And why am I constantly horny?

▼ Shinji, about to get really turned on by a chick in a coma

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It’s not a big spoiler that the search for these answers is neither smooth nor painless for Shinji. As a matter of fact, in the entire series, there’s really only one person we see him hit it off with right away, and that’s Kaworu, a mysterious boy who shows up mid-way through the story as another Eva pilot. For the first time ever, Shinji feels immediately accepted, as his encounters with Kaoru repeatedly leave him with the impression that his thoughts and feeling are valid and understandable.

Some viewers assert there’s more to Shinji and Kaworu’s relationship than just relaxed, supportive friendship. Often their scenes together seem laced with a subtle subtext implying the two have a romantic or physical attraction to one another. It’s a theory embraced by a large chunk of the franchise’s fanbase, and something its creators have never made any overt effort to downplay or deny.

All of which brings us to these rings produced by jewelry maker The Kiss.

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The Unit 13 Crossing Silver Rings take their name from the robot jointly piloted by Shinji and Kaworu, plus the accessories’ design which makes each one look like two overlapping rings fused together. Embedded in the Shinji ring is a purple amethyst, while Kaoru’s contains a blue sapphire, the gems matching the characters’ respective image colors. Both rings also feature matching synthetic rubies and ship in a special box bearing the mark of NERV, the organization that builds and operates the Evangelions.

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The rings go on sale January 31 at select The Kiss stores, as well as the Evangelion Store in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro. In addition, preorders can be placed online now. The Kiss is offering the two rings as a 25,920-yen (US$216) set here, with shipping scheduled for January 29. Alternatively, they can be ordered separately from the Eva Store here for 12,960 yen ($109) each, just in case you haven’t found your own personal Shinji or Kaworu in real life yet.

Sources: Comic Natalie via Jin
Top image: The Kiss
Insert images: Free, The Kiss