Just How Far Can You Sail Your Ships?

… because there is such thing as 2D and 3D.

Victor x Yuri. Kageyama x Hinata. Subaru x Julius. Akashi x Kuroko.”

Google any of this and you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of fan fictions, fan arts and forums pairing these couples. Shipping is a fun thing to do after all.

Actually, it is my number one source of enjoyment should the anime fail to live the hype of its premise. Or when the show’s getting boring at a certain point. I do not know if I would have survived Re: Zero’s final arc (aka the resurrection of Sloth) without me shipping Julius and Subaru all the time.

Yet hey, this article is not about the fun of shipping your OTP. It is just me ranting the perils of shipping your favorites excessively. We do not even need to look outside anime to see its effects to be honest.

Let’s take a look on how excessive shipping affects your anime experience

Don’t mind me, I am just throwing salt to those who pair Subaru with Rem.

What can you say about Yuri on Ice aside from the gay elements? What did you enjoy more in Kuroko no Basuke? Is it the awesome visuals or the thought the Generation of Miracles players actually have unresolved sexual tension they release after the games? Are you still pairing Kumiko and Reina at this point while ignoring Sound! Euphonium’s layered drama?

Damn it.

You see, there is a good probability you will lose the essence of a show’s story if you ship characters too much. It is like having a tunnel vision where you focus on one thing then you ignore the rest. Trading the characters’ quirks for plot is one thing, yet I fail to see doing the other way around would do justice for the show.

To be fair, it is really fun hunting for any (I mean, ANY) moment that fuels your ship. The lovely Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun teased fans about this and it magnificently did its job while punching gags. Yuri on Ice has presented this nicely if we are talking about Victor and Yuri’s (not-so-straight) relationship. I swear to God I am grinning stupidly when I realized their ship is probably real (Episodes 7 and 9, kyaaaa!).

Now, for my complaints.

Let me use my precious child Jean Jacque Leroy (Yes, that character from Yuri on Ice) to explain my point. That dude has a fiance, and some fans went real berserk because he is meant to be shipped to Yurio. Scan Youtube or Tumblr and you will see a fair amount of users complaining why the dude has a girl. Well – Otabek has since appeared and he became friends with Yurio….

… but then, I see a lot of (seriously good) fan arts actually making them as a pair. Uhh…

I know Yuri on Ice is one of the rare shows where gay relationships are exquisitely handled but to impose your fantasies to the writers isn’t a nice gesture at all. Perhaps a part of me is overreacting since I have yet to hear news about conflicts between the fans and MAPPA regarding this matter.

The same can be said with the shipping wars in Re: Zero. I felt sad the show was somehow reduced to who is the best girl and who Subaru should pursue in the end. Folks, the salt was real in the finale where the dude confessed (with FEELS!) with Emilia and they somehow became a pair.

Uhh… Folks, one major move of the cult was just successfully quelled. Isn’t that more important than that debate?

Nonetheless, I also plead guilty in this case. I remember flooding my Twitter timeline with rants when I heard Merribit becomes the girlfriend of the mechanic in Iron Blooded Orphans (I thought she is for Orga?! Damn) Ugh.

Well, it also does not help that these shows teased us in the first place. It is not a bad thing per se and head-canon pairing is a fun thing to do. Moreover, these shows rely heavily on character dynamics so fans may sail those ships. Kuroko no Basuke will not work without Kuroko’s resolve to change the mentality of his former teammates.Or the way he took down their beliefs one by one. In a fujoshi’s language, he can be shipped to everyone else in the show (I heart KagaKuro, AoKuro and KiseKuro ). Ehem.

Hell, I even turned to a fudanshi because of Hetalia so I know what it feels like to fanboy when they present my OTP. Yet I always make sure I turn my meter off whenever the show tries to pull a joke, or presents its twisted take on World History.

What I am trying to say here is it is okay to have your pairing. Make it crack, do an MPREG fanfiction but make sure it does not get way to your enjoyment of the show’s main plot. Not liking a show just because your pairing did not work does not sound a good reason especially if this is not a romance to be honest.

Or maybe we have to look beyond 2D to amplify its implications.

Speaking of shipping wars/

I do not know if that has something to do with psychology but it is not a pretty picture when fans cannot perceive the boundary between 2D and 3D. The thing is, you will come across as creepy if you force your 2D fantasies in real life. Kiss Him, Not Me! in instance is a generally fun show, but can you imagine Kae’s antics (the 5×7 thing) as funny when you do this in school or in the office?

The Brokeback Mountain author also shared her disapproval of the numerous fan fictions published after the success of its film adaptation. She even went as far as regretting that she wrote the short novel.

[The film] is the source of constant irritation in my private life. There are countless people out there who think the story is open range to explore their fantasies and to correct what they see as an unbearably disappointing story.

Perhaps, we are facing similar scenarios in anime, don’t we? Yet her next statements rang so real it hurts..

They constantly send ghastly manuscripts and pornish rewrites of the story to me, expecting me to reply with praise and applause for “fixing” the story. They certainly don’t get the message that if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it. Most of these “fix-it” tales have the character Ennis finding a husky boyfriend and living happily ever after, or discovering the character Jack is not really dead after all, or having the two men’s children meet and marry, etc., etc.

Sure, write whatever alternative universe (AU) you want but to the extent of disturbing the author’s peace? Give me a break.

We have a tendency to envelop ourselves towards our head canon that we forget these are just our mere fantasies. As if that is already a bad sign, there are times we fail to respect the decisions of the original creator. Again – disagreement is a good thing, which means that we invested ourselves with the craft but we cannot go as far as forcing what we want.

Going back to anime, I am sure people had drawn such stereotyping to fans (especially those that involve ships!) of certain genre all thanks to those who caused troubles to the fandom. They might say the studio pushed them to do so (seriously, some events fuel the shiptease!) but the final decision still lies to the fans.

Random Thoughts

  • That said, please don’t screw JJ’s free skate routine in the finale of Yuri on Ice. Please.
  • I still ship Spain x South Italy and Germany x North Italy despite my rants. They are just… Frailties of a fudanshi, I guess. kyaaa ~~~~
  • Seriously, I enjoyed Kuroko no Basuke even without shipping. Hell – their ridiculous basketball skills are too much!
  • Speaking of fujoshi series, yeah.. they are winning this Fall 2016. Banzai!


4 thoughts on “Just How Far Can You Sail Your Ships?

  1. Nice points. It’s really easy to get carried away with your fav ships especially if they’re given much air time together. (As to JJ….he flunked in his SP. But let’s be optimistic for his FS program!)

    I haven’t watched Hetalia, but now I’m interested to check what you saw in this series that actually turned you into a fundanshi. I’ll definitely check it! Thanks for this wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That Yuri thing you talked about… is exactly the kind of thing that kept me away from anitumbler and anitwitter.

    Anyway, your TWGOK picture reminded me that it’s one of the rare cases where the author successfully convinced me that the endgame ship (*manga series) is indeed the best one in every possible way, even if I wasn’t hot to the idea at first. Raging fans will still be raging, though.

    Good post!


    1. Well, the third season of TWGOK seriously left me empty for all the good reasons. I read the spoilers, I agree with Keima’s final pairing.

      Well, you get some funny (and witty) screenshots and then a LOOOOT of fan arts in the two. I just ignore what I do not like but loathe things when they cross 2D to 3D.

      Thanks for the kind words.


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