Fanart Friday returns, refusing to make the "les get it on" joke. Last week, we continued June's "shipping" theme with a trip through the yaoi/shounen-ai fandom, but this week it's the other side of the coin, with yuri/shoujo-ai pairings!
Much like I explained last week with "yaoi" and "shounen-ai," there's really no catch-all word for titles that focus on female-exclusive couples. The more common "yuri" actually refers specifically on erotic work (not necessarily meaning hentai, like the excellent Maka Maka), while "shoujo-ai" describes more romantic stories. You'll find a few of those in this week's installment, including a few not-exactly-canon pairings, just like the last two Fanart Fridays! Now, let's get this show on the road!
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Back in By the Power of the Moon Edition, I brought up how Sailor Neptune and Sailor Uranus weren't romantically involved in the US version of Sailor Moon. NOOOOO, they were cousins. You know how hard it is not to make the same joke twice? But seriously, how close were DIC's localization team to their cousins? That bears further investigation.
Hey look, it's another sorta-pairing that gets a callback to another installment of Fanart Friday. Orihime and Tatsuki have one of the closest, strongest friendships in Bleach, but it's easy to construe their feelings as much, much more.
This one--from Puella Magi Madoka Magica--honestly kinda hurts. Aside from my obvious gut reaction (they're children! like, blatantly children!), Homura goes through Hell, back again, and then jumps right back into Hell, just to help a friend who's more important to her than life itself. Yeah, I can see Madoka and Homura being together.
Theeere we go. See, the first time I watched Read or Die's OAV, I didn't think the hilariously-named Miss Deep (we'll just call her Nancy from now on) had any real feelings for Yomiko, and it was just teasing. Turns out, Nancy's feelings seem to run a lot deeper than that, but your mileage may vary.
Tsunade and Shizune, on long road trips well before their appearance in Naruto, bored and drunk and with absolutely nothing to do. A quick Google search reveals far too many fanfics titled "Playing Doctor," and I'd wager a guess that at least half of them are Tsunade x Shizune. No, I'm not actually going to verify that.
FOR F**KING REAL, WHAT IS WITH ALL THE DFC THIS WEEK, THERE'S MORE FARTHER DOWN. Now, the kinda-sorta relationship between Misaka and Shirai is teased at a lot in A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Magical Railgun (moreso in Railgun), but damn is Shirai grabby. I'm impressed that Misaka has enough self-control not to drive her into the ground like a tent peg when she gets jumped like that.
There's about as many hints of girl-on-girl romance in Fairy Tail as there are of male/female romance, which is to say not much. But the fans have done their duty, and one of the most common Fairy Tail ships I see is of Lucy and Erza.
There's always at least one of these per week, and this time, the series I know nothing about but was requested is Strawberry Panic! From what I see of this series, I love how beautiful the art is and how restrained the story sounds.
Y'know what needs to be in that upper right-hand quadrant? Kaorin barely able to contain her fangirl squeals as Sakaki makes eye contact with her. Azumanga Daioh didn't really try to have any F/F romance outside of Kaorin's innocent crush, but shippers just go nuts with a series like this. Every pairing is fair game! Except when you get Chiyo involved, that's just gross.
This is the real ending to Catherine. Or at least, there's a vocal fandom that likes to think it is.
Remember that stuff I was saying about Fairy Tail, about how romance isn't really factored into the plot? A lot of the same things apply to One Piece. I strictly see Nami and Robin's relationship more on the sisterly side of things, but y'know what? I'm not gonna argue with anyone who thinks otherwise. Can't argue with a half a terabyte of doujinshi the shipping community.
Utena and Anthy are--at least to me--one of the most interesting, tragic, and epically romantic lesbian couples I've ever seen in an anime. Revolutionary Girl Utena got pretty bonkers near the end, but Utena and Anthy's love for each other was a great driving force for this "female knight coming to rescue her princess" story.
I... don't have anything sarcastic to say about this. For once. Throughout Lucky Star, we see the cycle--Konata teases Kagami, Kagami gets flustered, Konata finds it funny or cute and continues to tease her so Kagami gets more flustered. Then, the fanart community handles the rest.
by pewternatural READER SUBMISSION!
So years ago, I'm following Bleach as it comes out, and I see the undertones between Orihime and Tatsuki, but that's kept pretty low-key and can easily be passed off as friendship. Then Yoruichi and Soi Fong (Soifon? Whatever, she has a Chinese name and she looks Chinese) have their brief-yet-awesome fight in the Soul Society arc, and poor Soi Fong's feelings are just laid bare, plain as day. On that note, I kinda wanna rewatch the Soul Society arc now...
Cloud and Tifa? Cloud and Aerith? To that I say "this guy are sick"--the correct answer is Tifa and Aerith. I was a little disappointed that Final Fantasy VII barely had any interaction between these two short of "oh, hey, it's you."
Ikkitousen makes no bones about what it is--pure fanservice, plain and simple. But I can see why an awful lot of female characters swoon over Kan'u--she's just as heroic as her historical namesake, Guan Yu! I'm just grateful she doesn't have his trademark beard.
ONE EPISODE into The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya and I saw this pairing coming. My only real concern about the Haruhi-Mikuru pairing is that it would be abusive as hell--do you see how Haruhi treats poor Mikuru?
Again with the "best friends, so they're bound to make out" thing. It happens with yaoi pairings, it happens with male-female pairings, and it definitely happens with yuri pairings--we've already seen several this week. But with Ino and Sakura, their friendship was fractured at the start of Naruto, and slowly grew into a real, caring bond.
JESUS, BISON-CUPID-THING. I mean, I know that Chun-li and Cammy spend a lot of time together (and get a really cool back-to-back badass moment in the opening movie of Super Street Fighter IV), but that's taking a little far... right? Not even a little?
And the award for "picture that made me laugh the loudest" this week goes to another female knight and her princess, Persona 4's Chie and Yukiko. They're actually kinda cute together!
And that's all for this week! With so many yuri couples (and so much yuri shipping) in so many series, there's no way I could have included everybody--sound off in the comments with your favorite pairings!
JUST A MINUTE ~ !
NATE, I LET YOU FINISH BUT.
KYOKO X SAYAKA IS ONE OF THE GREATEST SHIPS OF ALL TIME.
This unlikely pair started out as enemies and Kyoko was close on killing Sayaka, but as the story progressed it was Kyoko who took the first step to close their gap of distrust. Kyoko even went so far as to explain to Sayaka her painful past and to why she believes Sayaka is making a mistake with her life. Their opposing personalities make this ship something special, and as much as I love Homura and Madoka, this is my OTP to end all OTPs.
NOW BACK TO YOU NATE.
Like I say every week, your work is always welcome here on Fanart Friday, regardless of your skill level or experience. Just PM me a link to your work, and I'll make sure to include it in a future installment! Wanna get ready for next week? We'll be wrapping up June with JUST GET A ROOM, or simply put, ANTAGONISTIC ROMANCE! Anything's possible next week! Which couples do you think should show up?
Thanks again for coming to check out Fanart Friday! Have a great weekend, and we hope to see you next time!