So a while ago Pan wrote a post called A Brief Analysis on Shipping, where she explained how she went about pairing characters together and I thought I’d give her my answer in a post (like I did with the Armada/Husbando’s Post). Of course, it only took me 10 days to finally get back to her…>_> I blame life but it may also be some of my laziness kicking in, haha
To start, I don’t really have anything too special about how I ship characters, or I do it so subconsciously that I don’t even know what my mind does so bear with me as I try and figure things our myself 😛
I’ll start with this one since it’s the easier one to explain. These OTPs are usually the main characters, possibly the best friends of the main characters, or even some characters that are only introduced briefly and just never come back for whatever reason. If this is the case, there’s only one decision I have to make.
Do I like the two together?
The interaction is usually abundant so there’s not much thinking involved, such as with Keita and Kuro from Black God, Lawrence and Holo from Spice and Wolf, Fujimoto and Kobato from Kobato, and Armin and Sasha from Aot: Live Action Movies (you guys should totally go check out the In-Depth review Lyn and I did for the movies *hint hint*)
Sometimes these couples end up together with a ‘happily ever after’ and sometimes the authors like to play with our hearts and relish in our tears as these relationships never reach a definite conclusion (but it’s so apparent it doesn’t even need to happen for the readers/viewers to understand there’s a spark there).
So yes, how much do I like the individual characters and do I like their interaction. If I decide that I don’t like how the main couple is interacting with each other I may end up pairing them with others. If that’s the case, I will definitely find an excuse as to why the main couple should not be together (and I have to admit that sometimes my reasons aren’t all that reasonable).
This is usually not the case. If I’m watching a romance anime I’m usually on board with the main couple since their relationships are pretty solid. Still, there have been a few cases where I’m vehemently against two characters being together, be it romantically or platonically, but that’s another topic for another day 😉
The meant-to-be OTPs was an easy thing. Authors create characters, they like each other, they interact, viewer sees, and they either agree of disagree. The end, done, let’s move on.
Non-canon pairings, however, are more of an investment and if they’re M/M pairings then they’re usually double, because there’s not much yaoi anime out in the world (and this should be fixed, pronto!). A lot of imagination is necessary here and even some ‘detective work’ as once you pair two characters together it doesn’t just stop at the mind. It develops into other forms of art and eventually this obsession becomes a life source 😀
*Breathes in the MiSawa Love* Let’s start from the bottom: Am I attracted to the characters?
This attraction usually starts on a very basic level (are the guys handsome?) and once my interest is held I start to invest in the characters (what are they like? how do they interact with the other characters? are they being douches just to be a-holes or is there something else? what’s their background? etc).
There will also be times when I’ll find a character appealing and I’ll ship them with another character but they just don’t go all that great together. If that’s the case, chances are I wasn’t that invested in the pair and I drop it. I’ll still like the characters individually but I won’t go out of my way to give them a significant other.
Interaction with Characters: This is where imagination takes over. There will be shows where there are just so many hints and it’s hard not to go the yaoi route. One example of this (that I’ve had on my mind for a few hours now), is that scene in K where Kuroh pulls Yashiro towards him and Yashiro blushes~ Ah, that was such a beautiful moment…Just look at how his eyes sparkle as he looks up at Kuroh ♥♥
Or when Shion gives Nezumi a ‘goodnight kiss’ and all the fangirls squeal like crazy because who gives someone a kiss on the lips as a goodnight kiss?! Especially at their ages, and when Nezumi gives Shion a goodbye kiss at the end. I can totally see why people would consider that a yaoi anime (though I completely disagree with that assessment)
And then there will be moments like in Seraph of the End, where Yuu is all about rescuing Mika from the vampires because he’s ‘his family.’ And I put this in quotes because that’s my fujoshi side saying, yeah right, nice excuse. I mean, has anyone read the manga? Especially in the chapter 36 range? I’m not completely up to date but just those few chapters (like 2-3) sent my mind even deeper on the MikaYuu pair 😛
And let’s go into more vague areas (I call them vague because these cases are like shipping two friends, I know it’s not romantic but it can be, in different scenarios): Kuroko no Basket. Ace of Diamond. Haikyuu. Sports anime in general. I won’t name Free because I think that’s totally canon and nobody will convince me otherwise, especially not the MakoHaru. I swear, those two are just meant for each other.
- Kuroko no Basket: Kuroko is Kagami’s light (boyfriends), Kuroko was Aomine’s light (ex-boyfriend), Kise and Aomine showdown (it was intense, what can I say?)
- Haikyuu: Hinata and Kageyama (opposites attract, Hinata’s been smitten with him since he lost!), Daichi and Sugawara (they’re the heads of the group, like Mom and Dad), Ukai and Takeda (did anyone catch the innuendos from Takeda
if it was just mistranslation awesome? The stalking?)
- Ace of Diamond: Sawamura and Miyuki (Eijun goes to Seido because he wants Miyuki to catch for him (practically), Miyuki calling Sawamura partner, catcher and pitcher, need I say more?), Ryosuke and Youichi (the trust they have and how well they work as a pair), and there’s more I can put here but I won’t because that goes into NOTP territory…haha
And then comes one of the worst scenarios where I totally ship two characters that you wouldn’t even think would be possible, kind of like Inaho and Slaine from Aldnoah Zero. These two only met like…two or three times throughout both seasons? I could be wrong but my point is they only met so many times but I ship them. I SHIP THEM.
How could you possibly even ship these two?! Good question. I don’t even know but I do. Reasons to not ship them
- They both seem to harbor affections towards the same girl, whether they’re romantic or not is up for debate
- Inaho shoots down Slaine after they worked together to defeat a common enemy because ‘you are my enemy’ HA
- Slaine shoots Inaho in the eye…ok, I wanted to strangle him too 😛
- Slaine can be a conniving bastard (Asseylum marriage, fighting against Earth, using Lemrina, etc), his reasons…well, that’s up for debate too
Reasons to ship them
- Main characters who happen to be male (M/M, pass)
- They are on opposite sides of the war (opposites attract, pass)
- They worked together on episode 8 (contact, pass)
- Inaho watches Slaine fight using his mechanical eye (obsessive, pass)
- Inaho alters his training robot (thing) so that he can survive the fall to Earth with Slaine (PASS)
- Slaine and Inaho had a battle at the end of the series (PASS)
- THEY HAVE PET NAMES FOR EACH OTHER (orange and bat, Pass x Infinity!)
Ok, time to move on…but as you can see the little details I pick out start to move farther and farther away from ‘reality’. At this point I’ve already dubbed the characters a pair and if I’m particularly excited about them I’ll call them my new OTP. But what comes next? If I met the characters in the manga, chances are I’ve also checked out the anime. If I met the characters in an anime, then the next step is to check out the manga. From there I continue to fall for these characters even more.
But what happens after I’ve consumed all of the original content that I can understand/the translated content?
I go for the fan created material (aka fanfiction and fanart), and I’ve got to say, this stuff is what gets me even more into the characters. At this point I don’t even know if I love the characters for who they are in the original content, who they are as the fans portray them, or if it’s a combination of them both. I like to think it’s a combination of both but I also admit that most of my fangirling happens in the fan-creation realm.
Sometimes I look around my room and try to do the math for all the junk that I own (I buy a lot of posters and I have a few doujin) and I’m just surprised at how deep I’ve fallen. I will also spend hours just reading fanfiction. I have work at 4am in the morning? Sorry, I’m not done with this story yet, one more chapter, just one more…and when I check the time it’s like 2am.
This part is also where I produce my own fanfiction and fanart (though it’s usually fanfiction).
Basically, this is a never ending cycle where the only way to escape is to enter another Hell. In other words, there is no escape! Right now I’m currently a resident in Daiya Hell (and it’s lovely)
Wow, this post got WAY longer than what I planned. And after so many words, it would be great to know what everyone else’s Cycles are like: Do you keep to the original content? Are your OTPs usually canon? If not, do you treat them differently from the ones that are canon? I know a few people mentioned that your favorite couples can only enter OTP status under special conditions. What are those conditions? What else can you tell me? Or do you have any questions for me?
As for NOTPs, they will have their own post so let’s not talk too much about them just yet 😛
Until next time~