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We're past that, we're in the here and now
Sometimes a project gets announced and you know within your first minutes of looking at it that you're being sniped by a member or two of the cast.
Sometimes you have no fucking idea how right you are. Sometimes it's gonna be three years later and your brain has been completely consumed by a couple of perfect little hiss hiss meow meows who have never done anything wrong in their lives.
This is a shrine page dedicated to cozmez from Paradox Live, a unit consisting of Yatonokami Kanata and Yatonokami Nayuta! I'll be sharing a whole boatloat of canon information, my thoughts on them, and just generally loving on them as much as they absolutely deserve.
Please be aware that while I am not going to do any major plot summaries, this page contains some unmarked spoilers for the events of Part 1 of Paradox Live.
I also extremely obviously ship these two together, so like, that's all the warning you get, lol.
All jokes and shipper goggles aside, I really do love these two a lot. Paradox Live is responsible for some of the most fun I've ever had with a piece of media, and cozmez are the ones who grabbed me from day 1 and have refused to let go. They sniped me from the jump, and every single moment of canon has been as though plucked directly from my brain.
MC Name: KANATA
CV: Kobayashi Yuusuke
Blood Type: B
Birthday: December 24
Weakness: Bad at studying
Favorite Food: Ramen
(矢戸乃上 那由汰 )
MC Name: NAYUTA
CV: Toyonagaa Toshiyuki
Blood Type: B
Birthday: December 24
Weakness: Weak body, rain
Favorite Food: Gyoza
Introduction to cozmez
cozmez (and yes, the official styling of the name is lower-case so I have to do it because I'm a pedant) are a unit in the multimedia music franchise Paradox Live. The basic concept of the franchise is, A: there is a big hip hop competition, and B: everyone uses a special magic metal that creates cool stage effects at the cost of giving you a brand new form of PTSD. Fair trade-off!
The group consists of twin brothers Kanata and Nayuta, orphans from the slums who make downer trap-style hip hop. They're competing in the competition for the prize money of 10 billion yen so they can afford a place to live that isn't a one-room shithole and medical treatment for Nayuta, the younger twin who was born with a vague chronic illness.
Spoilers: good news, they won the first round, so I don't have to start killing!
Kanata, the older twin, is an aggressive person who has a very short fuse. He -- to quote canon text -- is the platonic ideal of a brocon, or person with a brother complex; his entire world revolves around Nayuta, and he can't sleep alone. He's passionate about music and hiphop, and though he's somewhat book-dumb and easy to bait, he acquires knowledge with incredible speed if it's something he cares about.
Unbeknownst to Nayuta, throughout part 1 he is working secret shady jobs stealing phantometal for another character.
Nayuta, the younger twin, is deadpan and dry. He rarely gets excited about anything that doesn't have to do with Kanata. He loves fashion and clothes and often spends what little extra money they have on fashion, but he's also resourceful and modifies clothes himself. Because he was born with a sick body, he tends to be sheltered and is used to being spoiled by Kanata.
Unbeknownst to Kanata, some time before the main story begins he began going out in secret and made a friend with another character.
Yatonokami Kanata and Nayuta were born in poverty to an unwed teenage mother living in the slums, and they do not know who their father was. Their mother relied on sex work to survive, and had a steady stream of revolving-door boyfriends all through Kanata and Nayuta's early childhood. She openly resented them for being born; in addition to being physically abusive, she would often say well within earshot that her life would be better if she had aborted them. At extremely early ages they were often chased out of the house whenever their mother had a suitor over, leaving them to fend for themselves with a pittance of pocket money, and even one cup of instant noodles shared between the two of them was a rare indulgent luxury.
At the age of four, they were made wards of the state and placed in an institution for orphaned children, but this was only the most nominal ugrade, as they were fed garbage and continued to face physical abuse at the hands of uncaring, indifferent adults. They lived this way for three years before making their escape at age seven, choosing to risk living on the streets.
Here, too, they struggled -- this should hardly be surprising. As they struggled to survive with just the two of them, they continued to face exploitation and abuse at the hands of adults who used them for shady work; it is implied, though not strictly canonical, that this involved drug running, that popular and wholesome childhood activity.
They began rapping at the age of ten, and entered in any competition and event with a cash prize. To the present they view hip hop as a tool they can use to rise out of the gutter, take control of their own fate, and to take revenge on a world that treated them poorly. They have a powerful sense of us against the world, separating everyone in the world into "us" and "not us", and it's only during the events of the series (and a little bit before) that leads to either of them opening up their worldview.
Codependency is the name of the game. There's a reason their official taglines are I don't care about anybody but Nayuta and Without Kanata, there's no point. From the temperature change in their attitudes between each other versus everyone else, or the fact that Kanata (as said earlier) still can't sleep alone-- even the canon promotional materials know that their selling point is their extreme codepdendency.
Since birth, Nayuta has had a weak constitution and been prone to illness. This has led to Kanata being extremely protective of him, and will go to any lengths to provide for and protect Nayuta, even at great personal risk and cost. He tends to be a little jealous about Nayuta's attention, pouting and sulking whenever Nayuta is paying attention to anyone but him.
Nayuta is used to being a little bit spoiled by Kanata and can be selfish, but also cares deeply for Kanata, and wants to support and help him in return, and wishes that he wouldn't take everything on himself like the big martyr dummy he is. This is the core emotional conflict at the heart of the cozmez chapter of Hidden Track: "MEMORY", and it makes me want to throw myself in front of a goddamn train.
Even when they start to accept other people into their lives, they remain primarily focused on each other-- it's like everyone else in their orbit are planets in their star system, but they're still twin stars circling each other at the heart of it.
When either of them has to face the idea of living without one another, suicide is quite canonically the only option either of them can conceptualize. They're simply too intertwined in each other, heart and soul, to be able to function, to the point that...
Well, you've either consumed the canon and you know what happens; or you haven't, and I don't want to spoil it for you.
Ship Nayukana Today
Honestly, writing a ship manifesto for cozmez is really difficult because... like... how am I supposed to tell you what their shippy moments are when it's every single moment they have in canon? When the canon has them refer to each other, internally, as "my other half"? When they have multiple exchanges where they talk about how the only thing they need in life is each other?
There's a reason that I've even people who aren't into incest ships admit that cozmez are on another, transcendent level.
I'm picky about my brother ships. It's not enough to just be brothers. They have to have an emotionally-claustrophobic closeness, a codependence that defies words, and a mutual two-way obsession. cozmez hits on every note with flying colors.
Okay, I have brother ships that don't hit on those notes, but this is my preferred flavor.
I wish I could show you the performance of This Is My Love from the stageplay's cozmez x Akan Yatsura live show, because it is the most.
But please, have a selection of my favorite moments.
Nayuta: Kanata... I feel the same way... I just want you to be happy... because you're the most important to me... I want you to be happy, even if it kills me...
It will never change, this is my love
I don't want to ever be apart, I don't ever want to be apart
"Yeah, it isn't," Kanata said. "But today's the day the most important thing in my life was born."
"It's not that big a deal. I just found it a thrift store and made some alterations myself, so it's not perfect..." Nayuta said. "... but today's the day the most important thing in my life was born, after all."
"Is something wrong, Kanata?"
"It's just," Kanata said, "I'm so happy, I don't even know how to express it-"
"So this is what you settled on?" Nayuta teased, but laughed and hugged Kanata back. All of the joy that Kanata was feeling was spilling out of his thin body, making him run as hot as if he had a fever. Nayuta slid his arms around Kanata and held him tightly as though an embrace would calm down his racing heart.
Kanata: ... mm.
Nayuta: You're my Kanata, after all.
Kanata: ... Nayuta...
Nayuta: I'm not going anywhere from here on out. I'll be at your side forever.
I think every day about how this "couple at senior prom" ass picture was their official art going into Road to Legend (part 2). God bless.
So for context: to activate a phantom illusion, the user has to kiss their phantometal. People joked when this was revealed to be canon, because cozmez's are their earrings. The manga gives me everything.
I'd say I think about this Christmas art a normal amount.
Official art from the 2nd anniversary by Kinako.
Kinako-sensei is a hero.
Official art from the 3rd anniversary by Kinako.
A hero, I tell you.
Trivia◎ One of the most consistent running jokes is that Kanata still believes in Santa Claus, where Nayuta knows he's not real. Nayuta goes extremely out of his way to protect Kanata's belief in Santa, to both humorous and devastating effect.
◎ Nayuta's official height is listed as "163cm", and Kanata's is listed as "165cm (Officially)". I choose to believe this means he's actually 1cm shorter than Nayuta and insecure about it. Prove me wrong.
◎ Their matching collars were Nayuta's idea. I just thought that was neat.
◎ Kinako-sensei (their character designer) remarked, very early on in the franchise's history, that Kanata was specifically designed to be bottom-heavy and Nayuta was designed to be top-heavy. I also just think that's neat.