Ibuki admires Ultimate Imposter while they are impersonating as Byakuya Togami, thinking that they're very cool and reliable and she admires their leadership skills. They are sometimes a bit annoyed with her.
During chapter 2, after his death, she states that she misses "Byakuya" a lot. In addition, during chapter 5 when she and the other deceased characters show up, she greets him by oinking and explaining that she said “You're so cool” in pig talk.
While not apparent in the game, many manga adaptations portray Ibuki with some sort of crush on the imposter and she's often shown to be attracted to his heavy build. Though, it should be noted that the manga are non-canon.
- Imposter – “Believe that hope lies beyond this point! That is your leader's order!”
- Ibuki – “Oink! Oink oink, oink oink!”
- Imposter – “...What was that?”
- Ibuki – “I said "You're so cool!" in piggy-talk!”
- — Ibuki after Hiyoko told her "Byakuya" only understands piggy-talk, in Chapter 5 of Danganronpa 2.
The ship sailed mostly as a result of Ibuki telling the Ultimate Imposter that she finds him cool when the deceased students reappear at the end of Chapter 5. For fans who have also read manga adaptations, Ibuki's implied crush on the Imposter presented in them also helped. Their dynamics as the "quiet boy" and "energetic girl" have also helped. It can be also seen as a "Pair the Spares" type of ship, as the two can be left unpaired in some shipping scenarios, especially if Ibuki isn't paired with Mikan.
The ship used to be quite popular during Danganronpa 2 era, as the Ultimate Imposter lacked ships back then. However, with Danganronpa 3 giving Twomiki some ship tease, this ship has been abandoned for the new one by some fans. Some have also forgotten about the ship or never even knew about its existence.
For such a minor ship, it actually has a lot of fan fictions on Archive of Our Own. Furthermore, it is the most written ship for the Ultimate Imposter and the second most written ship for Ibuki. In their fan fictions, fans tend to make Ibuki have a visible attraction to the Imposter, making their relationship more similar to that of certain manga adaptations.
- Ibuki's relationship with the Ultimate Imposter on Danganronpa Wiki
- Ultimate Imposter's relationship with Ibuki on Danganronpa Wiki