Fanart Friday returns, amazed that After Earth is holding steady at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes--I'm honestly kind of curious to see how bad it is. Last week, we finished up May's "tropes" theme with a bunch of backstabbing bastards, but for June, it's all love, all the time. (You'd think that would be in February, but hey.)
SHIPPING, cribbed from "relationship," is the act of pairing characters from a series together and rooting for a particular couple. I'm going to try and avoid official couples this month (for instance, Kirito and Asuna from Sword Art Online) and focus on male-female couples that aren't exactly canon--they may be hinted at, they may be teased, but these characters never actually get together.
Maybe that's what gets the flame wars going in forums and chat rooms. Just be prepared--this one's going to be pretty liberal with the spoilers. This is gonna be an intense month--strap in, and let's get started!
DISCLAIMER: None of the art presented is the property of myself or Crunchyroll. All characters and series are tm and © their respective creators and corporate owners. All art is the creative property of their respective artists. Any artists who wish to have their work removed from this article may contact me, and appropriate action will be immediately taken.
It was pretty clear from the beginning in Code Geass that Lelouch wouldn't be ending up with anyone--he walked a lonely road, with little chance of sailing off into the sunset. That didn't stop plenty of characters, like Kallen and C.C., from falling for him--or for fans to pick sides. Lelouch probably wouldn't pick sides, though--there's plenty of Zero to divvy up, baby.
Jeez, shippers, is nothing safe from you? In all my years of playing Pokémon, I never once thought this way about Red and Yellow, but the fandom sure thinks differently...
This one's been around for a long while. While Milly and Wolfwood get more screentime as an actual couple in Trigun, Vash and Meryl skirt around the issue. You know the feelings are there, but it was up to the fans to get these two together.
Kagura and Okita spend so much time trying to actually kill each other (or at the very least, they're plotting it) in Gintama that I just can't see the chemistry. And for that matter, Kagura's a child, mentally if nothing else. Oh, and just so all of you know--just because I don't get a pairing, that doesn't mean I think your favorite pairing is dumb.
EXCEPT FOR THIS ONE. Y'know what? Bleach identifies Ichigo as the most asexual hero in the history of shounen manga and anime. Rukia is his battle-buddy, and even Tite Kubo has shot down this pairing. Even Ichigo's English and Japanese voice actors have shot it down, both of them saying they prefer Orihime. And yet, IchiRuki fans are some of the most militant among all the shippers!
Sometimes, "canon" doesn't even factor into shipping when player choice is involved. Fire Emblem: Awakening is a great game through and through, but in addition to all that fierce, intelligent turn-based combat, you'll spend a lot of time building up characters' relationships, like how this female (maybe?) player character (default name Robin) is jumping poor Chrom.
At this point in Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji and Asuka's relationship is pretty unclear. While it was never made official in the original, the last few minutes of End of Evangelion (and technically the first few minutes... ew) all but guaranteed it.
Plenty of times in an action series, a fan-favorite pairing will start from a fight. Back during Naruto's Chuunin Exam, Shikamaru and Temari had an awesome battle of wits, and the fans took that as "they're perfect for each other!" Yeah, they actually kinda are. They teased us with it just after the timeskip started.
I could make threesome jokes all day about Ouran High School Host Club's twins, Hikaru and Kaoru, and their affections for Haruhi. The fans sure loved the twins, especially Hikaru, who seemed to like Haruhi more.
Color me baffled all over again. Eiichiro Oda has clearly stated multiple times that there's no actual romance at all in One Piece, and that there never will be any... but hey, it was up to the fans, and they came out swinging. Zoro and Nami were an early favorite pairing that keeps on going to this day, but I think they're slowly being overtaken by the Luffy and Nami fandom... and the Nami and Robin fandom. We'll deal with that later, though.
You can accuse me of using this as clickbait, and you'd be right--the Naruto/Hinata or "NaruHina" fandom is terrifying and mighty. It's also a pairing that I can see where fans are coming from--I remember how crazy things got after Hinata came clean with her feelings in Naruto Shippuden!
The whole point of Spider-Man's romance is that he's had two great loves in his life--Gwen Stacy (who died) and Mary Jane (who was kind of a step down, in my opinion). But there's always the Black Cat, the master thief who totally has the hots for him, and who fans think deserves a chance at the Webbed One. Hey, we know Spidey wouldn't be complaining.
I never realized Ishida's very subtle crush on Orihime until a friend mentioned it to me. Of course, fans love this pairing, but not nearly as much as the above-mentioned Ichigo/Rukia or Ichigo/Orihime fandoms.
by chibikeiichi READER SUBMISSION!
Aw, that's just hitting below the belt! While Tenten is often paired up with Lee, there's a hefty set of fans who think Neji is the right guy for her, as they're both the cool-headed members of the team who have to deal with a partner (and a teacher) afflicted with Kung Fu Aspergers.
My Little Monster is pretty plain about who the "official" couple is--this, to me, means that the most popular fan pairing will have just as much, if not more support! While Kenji's kind of a tool at the start of the series, he ends up spending a lot of time with Shizuku, and in my opinion actually has a lot more in common with her. Haru's still cooler.
I actually love the fact that this was drawn in a josei/office manga style, because it's so perfect for these two. While Hiromu Arakawa makes plenty of almost-pairs in Fullmetal Alchemist, she only officially seals the deal on one (Ed and Winry, and even then...). But Mustang and Hawkeye are in that weird place where there are strong feelings there, but neither one wants to take that extra step because there are more important things going on. Naturally, the fans eat that shit up.
You'll often see Chie paired with the player/Narukami, but a larger subset of Persona 4 fans--myself included--subscribe to the Chie/Yosuke pairing.
Okay, so we all know which side of this ship-to-ship battle won, but do any of you remember how badly the studio was teasing Zuko/Katara during the season 3 promos?
I've seen this pairing thrown around for a few years, and I still find it kinda weird. Robin is One Piece's resident archaeologist/designated "treasure" person, and Franky is their cyborg shipwright. Two older, smart people who had to go through hell together? Okay, I can kinda see it, but are there any stranger pairings in popular titles?
Gah, forget I asked. I don't even wanna think about it! Seriously, in Dragonball GT, just how big is the age difference between Trunks and Pan?
And that's all for this week! There's no way I could have included every fan-favorite not-exactly-canon pairing--who are some of your favorites?
Like I say every single time, your work is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Wanna have your work featured? Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! Now, for those of you wanting to get a head start for next week, I'll be doing something a little different this month--I'll be revealing the rest of June's schedule for Fanart Friday!
Next week, on June 14th, we're doing YAOI/SHOUNEN-AI PAIRINGS!
On June 21st, we'll be covering the other half with YURI/SHOUJO-AI PAIRINGS!
Finally, on June 28th, we're dealing with unbearable bickering and sexual tension with JUST GET A ROOM EDITION! You may see a few faces from previous installments in this one!
Want to show your support for your favorite pairing? Get to work!
Thanks again for coming to check out Fanart Friday! We hope you all have a great weekend, and we hope to see you here next week!