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The Psychology of Shipping

fujoshi4koma

Admit it, we’re all guilty of this…….. right?

Last week, I wrote about the creative process of writing fanfiction, which I think describes the actual writing and reading part of the hobby in an in-depth way. If you have even the remotest interest in literary theory, I think you should check that post out, but it’s definitely not necessary to understanding this post.

What I didn’t make reference to there is the fanfic culture, and if there’s one thing everyone knows fanfiction authors love to do (including me) it’s shipping. While it’s something that’s typically associated with teenage fangirls, it’s something that every viewer does at least to some degree, and it’s one of the easiest ways there is in engaging with a story on a personal level. Something as simple as deciding whether a fictional couple is well-written or not shows that you’re applying your understanding of real-world relationships to a fictional setting. It’s never possible to read a story as something completely divorced from your own reality, after all, and perhaps we’re better off not attempting it.

So shipping is necessary to being an active consumer and, I would argue, even important when it comes to things like literary interpretation. While most of us probably think of shipping as “wanting X and Y character to get together”, I don’t think its importance on how we read stories can be understood properly until we reason out why people would do that in the first place.

What is Shipping?

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Shipping is an emotional investment in a relationship between two fictional characters. The basic, fundamental reason for why people would ship is because we all see ourselves as emotionally deprived in some way and we want to see others attain happiness through companionship. It makes us feel better about our own prospects.

Or, on the other hand, you hate all people and you want everyone’s romances to fail. It still comes down to the same thing: you’re lonely.

Some of you might tell me: “I don’t ship characters at all. It’s just a story.” But believe me, if you’ve ever watched a painful attempt at romance and you wish the characters would jump off a cliff, you are shipping. You are appraising the worth of a romantic relationship and you are choosing not to support it. We’ll call this anti-shipping.

Hardcore shippers – stereotypically the fangirls – engage in shipping and anti-shipping on a regular basis and tend to constantly fluctuate between both extremes.

fairy_tail_shipping_meme_by_neptunedays-d63al9g

I don’t even… how do you keep TRACK of this?

While I would guess most of us don’t write up relationship charts, we do tend to form opinions of character relationships as we see them play out in a show. We immediately form judgments about two characters and whether they’re interesting or boring to watch when they interact. If we’re using a loose definition of shipping, that extends to how we perceive platonic relationships as well. Getting strongly invested in a character relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you ship them romantically. I would call all of this passive shipping, while the more self-aware, hardcore shipping like in the picture above is active shipping.

Now that you’re all hopefully aware of the ins-and-outs of shipping, let’s dig a little deeper into the psychology behind it.

What Makes You Approve Of One Pairing, But Not Another?

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Even the most romance-crazed shipper shows some selectiveness over what pairings they ship, after all.

Generally, we ship pairings based on whether or not they fit our preconceived notion of what an ideal romance should be like. That usually means “squicky” pairings like a young boy x his grandmother will never gain mainstream popularity. Cousincest and even brother x sister incest are a little more palatable, but one could also argue that an imouto incest story will always be crap. While a “forbidden love” angle will always have its appeal, you are more likely to ship a pairing that doesn’t strike you as morally reprehensible in a fundamental way.

Even given that, what defines an “acceptable” pairing? What sort of relationships do we consider “ideal romances”?

The answer really depends on the person. Our perception of what is romantic is influenced (I would even say distorted) by the media, but it’s also influenced by personal experience. There are no hard and fast categories, but people’s tastes tend to be consistent with their own values. Think about these questions for yourself:

  • Do I prefer a relationship to be overt or just subtext?
  • Do I prefer the main pairing or the beta couple?
  • Do I prefer homosexual relationships or heterosexual relationships?
  • In love triangles, do I get more irritated by the “nice” love interest or the “exotic” love interest? (i.e. The Betty and Veronica trope)

Depending on your choices, I could say a few things about you. People who prefer a “nice” love interest over an “exotic” one are typically more conservative and value emotional security over adventure. Maturer audiences tend to prefer subtext and beta couples over overt romance because it requires more active interpretation and is more intellectually fulfilling. Yaoi fangirls are generally very critical of their own gender (or at least how they’re portrayed in fiction) and are more forgiving of a male’s flaws.

What about my tastes? I have mentioned this already, but I am very conservative and family-bound. It should come as no surprise that I hate couples who prioritise their passionate love affair over their family and friends. This is going to sound slightly stupid, but the best way to win my approval would be if the main character is a siscon. Anyone who would rather rescue his little sister in a pinch than his girlfriend is a Bro in my book.

Probably why I approve of Okabe x Kurisu, since Mayuri is basically his little sister

Probably why I approve of Okabe x Kurisu, since Mayuri is basically his little sister

Beyond that, I don’t really care as long as the two characters aren’t annoying and spend ages pointlessly denying their attraction to each other.

Basically, that comes down to me thinking that friendship and companionship is the best foundation to build a long-term relationship on. You’ll have your own values which you might emphasise more, but I’ll hold steadfastly to mine.

Why Is Understanding Your Shipping Tastes Important?

Your values become the main interpretive lens through which you view a series.

If a depiction of a relationship doesn’t agree with you in a moral sense, that is a perfectly valid angle of criticism. Stories don’t exist in a vacuum. They are a reflection of the author’s social attitudes and expectations. You need to be very careful about thinking how and why an author portrayed a relationship in a certain way and how does this fit into the story’s themes. While it’s not the only framework you can use to approach writing criticism with, if you don’t have a clearly defined set of values to work with, your criticism will undoubtedly have holes in it and will come off as inconsistent.

I’m going to make a short digression here in order to prove my point. To me, there’s a difference between a romance and a love story. A romance is a story that builds its characterisation around idealising the concept of romantic love. A love story takes that characterisation and tries to say something more fundamental about human nature. This is why I consider Hana Yori Dango a romance and Kare Kano a love story.

According to my values system, I think a romance is fundamentally “cheaper” and has less artistic merit than a love story. There will always, always be cheap romance novels and media that sensationalise romantic love but will never truly capture what it is like because they never set out to do so.

anime-tonari-no-kaibutsu-kun_o_1646459

I like Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, but I don’t agree with its romance. I don’t think I ever will – it’s too problematic according to my ethics system. (I watched it because I shipped Sasayan x Natsume instead.)

So yes, understanding shipping and why some pairings are better to ship than others is the first step to working out one’s values, which hopefully paves the way towards understanding why some stories succeed in portraying good character interactions and others don’t. I personally take it as a sign of good writing that a series managed to get me actively shipping. It means it’s portrayed the interactions in a way that feels true enough to life that I can project my own experiences and expectations onto it.

So what kind of pairings do you approve of? What sort of values do you look for in a fictional – and real-life – relationship? Do you agree/disagree with anything I’ve written here?

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Posted on October 5, 2013, in Editorials, Pairings and Shipping and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I do not engage in active shipping primarily because relationships is just a small fraction of a story, unless the story is about relationships themselves and I think criticism of any storytelling medium should be holistic instead of focusing on a few of the storytelling elements. Even romantic/love relationships are just a type of relationship and other types exist. Most of the time, I just follow along how the relationships unfold and will accept them as long as they make sense in-universe. Perhaps this is because of my decision to not actively pursue romantic relationships myself. I do have fantasies about real life love relationship that have the woman taking good care of me like a big sister or a maid, though.

    However, I do examine how the relationships of characters evolve as the story moves on by determining is there any possible and legitimate (in-universe and out-universe) reasons why they happen that way regardless of the nature of the relationships (yes, this includes, friendship, rivalry, hatred etc). From that, I can examine whether the relationships are handled well, but bad relationship handling alone can’t make a storytelling medium totally bad without having other weaknesses.

    How much weight character relationship has bearing towards the writing depends on the genre and watching mindset. On romance series that I watch because I desire the romance that happens in them, it is outright vital and any slight errors in handling it would make be think that the series are bad.. On action series that I watch solely for the battles, battle choreography would be vital instead and character relationship would take a backseat. In proper reviewing, this would be unprofessional practice, though.

    Stories can’t exist in a vacuum indeed, but not all stories are born out of authors’ own social attitudes and values. It is theoretically possible that a story is made by reversing their own social attitudes and values, but most authors (me included) will not do that because that requires absurdly high levels of thinking and the willingness to self-criticize their own values. Of course, it is also theoretically possible to deliberately not letting their own social attitudes and values get in the way of writing, but in practice this is very hard to do.

    Phew, that’s quite a lot of things. Anyway, this post is really thought provoking and well written.

    • It is theoretically possible that a story is made by reversing their own social attitudes and values

      I can see what you’re trying to say here about authors subverting expectations, but if you ask me, a subversion can’t happen without there being something to subvert. It’s just physically impossible to write about something you’ve never given a thought about, and if you’ve thought about it, you’ve been influenced by some external factor.

      Other than that, I do agree with everything you said. What an insightful comment you wrote – gave me food for thought and a new way of looking at things.

  2. Is it weird that I feel like I would need to explain my own morality to fully answer your question? I know that for some people morality is a big part of why they do or don’t like certain fictional relationships, but I have a hard time thinking like that. I don’t really care about the moral applicability of the characters hooking up in my anime beyond how it effects them in their own universe. If I find it gross then sure I’ll walk away, but it won’t be because I disapprove of the characters hooking up.(physically gross versus morally gross I guess) If anything I prefer things to be a bit morally questionable, it gives me something to think about.

    I think the simple answer is that I don’t really actively ship characters. For me it’s more about how much I like the characters and not who they are hooked up with. The story perspective is more important than who is hooking up with whom. If we have a perspective I like hooking up with a character I like then I guess I am shipping them at that point. Like for example when I play visual novels I am perfectly cool with shipping the main character with all of the heroines separately as long as I like both the protagonist and the heroines. As long as they are hooking up who cares? I’m doing it wrong, I know.

    Sure, when I watch anime I’ll have a favorite character or even a favorite romance, but not a favorite shipping. I’ll joke about that kind of thing for fun, but when it comes down to it that sort of thing isn’t very important to me. If I do have a favorite shipping it’s probably because I think that shipping fits the themes of the story best. If I am right about the theme of a story then that shipping is likely what the author had in mind anyway. Take Sakurasou for example. I loved Nanami, but I didn’t think a romance between her and the protagonist fit the themes of the story and I probably would have been disappointed if that had happened in earnest. On the flip side, I think she would have made a great girlfriend for Sorata. Maybe that is weird?

    If I have a weakness for a certain character type it would be for anyone with a strong sense of devotion. Devotion just makes for interesting storytelling, for me at least.(Golden Time’s heroine had me at “I removed the thorns”.) But I’m just as okay with watching those characters get crushed as I am seeing with seeing their devotion rewarded, it just depends on what the story calls for.

    Honestly I think I am actually more drawn to parings that might not work in the real world or might be considered wrong. Even if a story isn’t very good, if it’s full of morally conflicting ideas it will give me something to think about. In the end I probably like drama(and maybe what you call a “love story”) a lot more than I care about romance.

    • Hmmm, yes, I think I take a similar view on shipping in general. It needs to fit the themes of the story itself or else it just feels like I’m unfairly reading attitudes that have no relevance to what the story is trying to achieve. I never ship when I read books, for instance. It just feels weird. Anime is something I feel the creators encourage that sort of thing a lot more, though, so I guess I’m more okay with it in this medium? It is fun comparing tastes or at least just mentioning it in passing.

      Funny you mention Sakurasou, because how you felt about Nanami as a love interest is exactly how I felt. It would have been mildly irritated (if a little surprised) if she actually won, despite the fact that if I read my own values into the story, her relationship with Sorata seems the healthier one to me. Definitely the case where the values held in-universe are more important than my own feelings.

  3. Shipping is something that I find rather intriguing; I’m not sure if it’s something I’ve ever gotten into very much though. Perhaps that has to do with the sorts of stories I enjoy? It seems that when there is a romance plot (or subplot), there usually isn’t any question of who the characters will end up with, if only because a good story requires adequate setup for such a relationship to form. I see where things are going, and simply enjoy the story for what it is. And in the end, I’m generally just happy as long as the characters are happy. Over the years I think (or at least would like to think) I’ve become more accepting of the various forms that love can take, possibly in conjunction with learning to recognize the great variety in the types of love an individual can feel. Perhaps what engages me most though is the very concept of love, or the notion that people can build such fulfilling and satisfying friendships with one another. As you imply, the way people engage with a story, and in turn the way they interpret the various characters, will be largely influenced by their own life experiences.

    • If there’s one thing (well-written) fiction tells us about love, it is that it takes so many different forms, as you point out. I personally find stories that portray all types of love as inherently equal to be particularly inspired and truthful. It cheapens romantic love in particular to idealise it over the more platonic forms of love, but at the same time, if we never felt love of some sort, we would cease to feel human. I think the best stories are written by those who have a deep and unwavering love of the human race, even in the face of all of humanity’s flaws.

      Sorry for the ramble, your comment got me thinking!

  4. You’re point about romance and love stories is pretty interesting. So Love Lab would technically be a romance, but not a love story.

    Usually I just lump the two elements together; romance, love story, it’s all the same to me. So pretty cool opinion you stated. Never thought of it like that.

    And yeah, SasayanxNatsume <3

    To Hell with that older dude.

    • Love Lab’s an interesting case. I personally interpret it as a comedy first and foremost. Since I don’t think it was even interested in tying up the romantic loose ends but rather in making light of how girls perceive love, I wouldn’t even call it a romance.

      I like your taste in shipping.

  5. That was an interesting and well written post good sir. I would say that I anti-ship in fiction more than I ship.. But most of the time it’s because of badly written characters or the romance being non-existent before hand. I guess in the end it comes down a lot to ones values like you said. If there is romance in something I watch I want to see complicity before hand and I hate when it drags on or when the characters are clueless (maybe because of personal experiences hehe). IRL people see me has an asshole with girls often because I’m frank with them. If theres no complicity/connection I will tell them right away what I want from them and they often get mad (though sometimes they thank me and I can have my fun without the guilt!)… I even had one freak out and run crying.. it was quite an astonishing sight to be frank (she waited to be naked before freaking out :/ and I had told her a while before that.. ) . I dislike when people are together for shallow reasons (though I understand that people might find it hard to be alone).
    oh and right now I ship Pb and Marceline ahah.

    Also wheres your second picture from??

    • The second picture is from Fire Emblem: Awakening, an RPG which basically revolves itself around shipping. Actually pretty fun since you can choose who ends up together and you can use their kids in combat.

      Interesting anecdote, by the way :)

      • Fire Emblem is actually a great test to see what you ship. Did you pair the tsundere with the cheery one or the tsundere? Did you make couples based on how cute they’d be or how great they are in battle together (a more pragmatic approach I’ll admit but a more boring one)? And the most important question of all: can you actually get invested in a ship in just four conversations, three of which need to be completely innocent because they might be married to other people? If not, I guess there’s still Chrom x Your Avatar or Chrom x Sumia. It’ll probably be your only ship, though.

  6. This is certainly an interesting post. I’ve seen a lot of shipping wars on forums where users flame each other over their favorite shippings, but there also have been plenty of peaceful discussion on favorite pairings, where people just accept each other’s viewpoints and take the “may the author’s shipping win”. As in, they will just accept the author’s official pairing of the characters regardless of whether their favorites win or not. An example would be Mayo Chiki, where most people actually prefer Kinjirou with Kanade but he ended up with Subaru anyway.

    Often, the people would think the heroine (or hero) in their favorite shipping is the best girl (or guy) and will be disappointed if she (or he) didn’t win. That’s actually a reflection of real life, though. Not everybody will be happy with the outcome, and sometimes the people we feel deserve the main character’s love the most won’t necessarily win.

    Like it or hate it, there is no avoiding the fact that shipping discussions form a very significant portion of the whole discussion in anime talk. I would say the romance or shipping contributes to almost half (or maybe more) in light novels, especially those with harems. There’s no getting away from talking about shippings and stuff when the protagonist is surrounded by a crowd of beautiful, cute girls with sometimes unrealistic personalities (but hey, that’s why we love them). I mean, sometimes you think, “hey, I don’t understand why the guy just doesn’t marry the Yamato Nadeshiko heroine when she’s pretty loyal, caring, does pretty much everything for him” because he goes for the set-in-stone heroine, which is pretty unrealistic and ridiculous, but then again if the protagonist chooses the heroine so early in the story I doubt there will be anything to write about the romance and stuff.

    That’s why they are called harem. The heroine shouldn’t be set in stone until the end of the series. There will be some exceptions – Koyomi in the Monogatari series already has Hitagi as his girlfriend, but that doesn’t stop other heroines from falling for him (Tsubasa, Nadeko), and you can bet there will be shipping wars again where people call for Koyomi to break up with Hitagi to go with their favorite heroine, and fierce defenders who wish to protect Koyomi’s relationship with Hitagi at all costs. Bottom line: even if the protagonist does get a girlfriend early in the series, it doesn’t keep him safe from the shipping wars.

    As always, you write awesome articles! :D

    By the way, I’ve finished the first three volumes and posted the first two up. Will be posting the third later. You did tell me to inform you when I’m done. Heh.

  7. I wrote a post about shipping a while back, so you can check it out if you want to know the ships I support/have supported and what my preferences are: http://animeyume.com/blog/2010/12/06/thoughts-on-anime-shipping/

    To address the questions you posted, I think I could go with either overt or subtext – basically I like when the creator gives a lot of evidence that two characters could be in love, but still doesn’t make it a completely for-sure thing (like, they’re in a love triangle or one or both parties is too dense, scared, etc., to realize their feelings). I usually prefer main pairings and heterosexual relationships, though I don’t have any problem with beta or homosexual pairings as long as they’re well written enough for me to get invested in. The last question is interesting because, as I said in my post, the ships I get into are almost always canon pairings – the pairings I feel the original creator is striving for. I never understood how fans can get so obsessed with couples there’s absolutely no evidence for, like shipping characters who have never even met in the series, or putting characters who are obviously straight in a homosexual relationship (why not just use your own characters if you’re gonna change them so much?) So even though I tend to prefer the “exotic” love interest in terms of being a more interesting character, I’ll typically support whichever one I feel there’s more evidence for. Not sure if this makes me an oddball in terms of fans who like romance in anime =P

  8. Thanks for the article! This had me really thinking about patterns I could figure out in my shipping because my ships tend to fluctuate depending on the series…
    I actively ship in almost everything I watch. It’s rarer for me to not ship anything in a series. I think that the series needs to 1. have characters I like even a little bit (this could really just be “like their design”) and 2. address romance at one point where I could legitimately believe it is part of the world. Then I can ship anything in the series at all. Just because I started feeling the gayness in KuroBasu through Kise confessing to Kuroko doesn’t mean I still ship it or that it’s my favourite pairing in the series right now.
    For me, the thing that’s most important in a pairing is the balance of personalities, I think. Two tsunderes together does nothing for me, but a cheery person and a tsundere are adorable. They can even be a balance of themes in the story. Although if the story is a romance I really value the ability to get into the guy’s head as well as the girl’s. If I can see them both freaking out over the other, the pairing is instantly cuter.
    I have to wonder, though, what this sort of analysis says for people who began to ship things because of exposure through fanart (as I’ve been swayed before). Does it mean they value the community above all else? They value a secure amount of material to sustain their pairings? The fanart/fanfic allowed them to look at the characters in new ways and they liked what they saw because it became more in line with their values? The characters are only acting according to fanon personalities and it’s the only way the person’ll have that ship fit their values?
    Another point I have with shipping is related to a tumblr post that was going around a long time ago about how in shipping you typically want the characters to kiss and you want to watch and you probably want to kiss one of the characters. I think this is especially true in harem series where you develop a ‘best girl/guy’, however you can see it in ship wars (the most recent one I can think of was the fallout from the end of Free! with RinHaru and MakoHaru). Most of the time, there’ll be essays floating about about each of the characters with the main character, telling why they’re the bestest waifu/husbando but not the main character themselves (I’ve heard defences about Makoto, and then about how he’s ‘boring’ and Rin’s ‘interesting’, but outside of a shipping context I haven’t heard much about how Haru is best husbando in the series).
    I personally ship het or slash depending on the show. I’m going into KuroBasu 2 with distinctly different shipping expectations than I am going into White Album 2. I think it would be interesting to have a series where a harem protagonist falls in love with the ‘best friend’ type, but I’m definitely not expecting to ship them.
    While I could say at one point that I didn’t enjoy the portrayal of girls in anime, I’ve come to the point where girls are some of my favourite characters in the anime and kept the tendency to ship slash when in doubt. I’m wondering if it’s a maturing into fandom type of thing (I’m even watching my friend do this right now) …
    Final idle thought is about yuri fanboys. While yaoi fangirls can have feelings of disgust towards how their gender is portrayed, would that mean that guys feel that too? They can’t stand the “nice but weak” types anymore that are rampant in male-targeted romance?
    This turned into a long comment. Sorry about that.

    • Your comment brought up a lot of questions I’ve barely considered myself but are really important in understanding how shipping works. Nice.

      I have to wonder, though, what this sort of analysis says for people who began to ship things because of exposure through fanart (as I’ve been swayed before). Does it mean they value the community above all else?

      I would say this is definitely a factor. I’ve noticed that fans who are more vocal about their shipping tastes tend to be highly immersed in their own fan communities. Even if fanart/fanfic didn’t influence your tastes outright, they would definitely get you thinking about the romantic angle of a series in a way that just watching it alone wouldn’t do for you.

      As for whether reading a fanfic means you’re shipping a fanon depiction and not really the actual pairing… I think this is a case where fanfics and the canon have a dual relationship and influence each other. Reading fanfics filters how you interpret the canon and you start to notice more of the relationship subtext.

      This is off-topic, but I actually went into detail about this phenomenon on another post! (shameless plug): https://fantasticmemes.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/hyperreality-and-spheres-of-interpretation-or-why-fanfiction-is-sodeep/

      Another point I have with shipping is related to a tumblr post that was going around a long time ago about how in shipping you typically want the characters to kiss and you want to watch and you probably want to kiss one of the characters.

      Yes, I think one tends to ship particularly hard when you project yourself onto the character who is the same sex as you and idealise the opposite-gender character who you would want as a romantic partner. I must admit that’s something I do as well :’3

      I’ve come to the point where girls are some of my favourite characters in the anime and kept the tendency to ship slash when in doubt. I’m wondering if it’s a maturing into fandom type of thing (I’m even watching my friend do this right now) …

      I kind of interpret this as maturation in general. Maybe I’m generalising when I say this, but I think young girls when they hit puberty tend to dislike other girls and insist that boys are much more honest/not as bitchy/etc. But as girls get older, they realise that boys aren’t always as honest as they assumed and that other girls are human too.

      While yaoi fangirls can have feelings of disgust towards how their gender is portrayed, would that mean that guys feel that too?

      I don’t think the feeling is quite as prevalent among guys, really. Frustration against bland male MCs plays a part of yuri shipping, but not that big a part. It’s more of a “have your cake and eat it too” kind of mentality. Lesbians are cool, and it would be just as cool if they were hot over a guy as well. Well, that’s my personal view on the matter.

      Oh dear, this comment ended up getting long too.

  9. I remember my first true ship.

    I always liked Daikari better than Takari. I still do.

    There were WARS over this, man.

    I usually ship the traditional pairings but I also like to pair some crack. I do require some interaction though, I can’t just ship people because they look good together. But if two characters interact and I see that spark for even a second…I’m a goner.

    My current weird pairing is Persona 4’s Yosuke and Naoto. I adore it to pieces.

    • Yosuke x Naoto is a good pairing, but it needs more yaoi. ;D

      • We all know Yosuke would initially feel all awkward about dating her because it’d look ‘totally gay’ or something equally silly in his mind. I’m pretty sure I actually put something like that in a fanfic I wrote about them.

        But Naoto would probably use a strap-on on him because Yosuke never tops ever, so that’s kind of yaoi-ish? I dunno haha

  10. I personally like older woman and younger guy ships, and ships that have one of them basically swoop in and help the other heal from major mental scars.

    See that one P3xP4 fic I’ve yet to finish. :P

  11. This was definitely an interesting post! So how I actually got to this was because I was curious about why people engage in shipping. For me, I really don’t think I ship characters. I’m not sure if it’s totally fair to claim that “every” viewer does since shipping itself seems to imply an active component of actively wanting a certain pairing (whether they’re vocal about it or not) — this is just from my observations of friends and the Internet anime community. Personally I never really understood why people like doing it so much so I was curious, and this gave some very interesting insight into the psychology of shipping :) It definitely has way more substance than most of the other things I’ve found on this topic.

    To answer your questions, then, just for fun: like I said, I’m not really into shipping. I don’t really see relationships as a necessary part of every story, and I usually seek those stories out like Attack on Titan or Fullmetal Alchemist (both first anime and Brotherhood). While the fanbases of both love to ship certain characters, that’s not the main purpose of the series, so it can get really annoying when I see people post things like “so we know YmirXHistoria is totally canon” without any proof whatsoever and missing the entire point of the story (which is NOT about this at all). But anyway, to answer what kinds of ships I like, generally I just go with what the author does because I believe there’s a reason and purpose for it and (probably because of my personality) to me it’s more important to focus on what is factually present in a series to do it justice. It’s not to say that making theories and speculating about various parts of a series is bad by any means; I mean more of if things align with what the story is fundamentally about.

    Anyway, thanks for this! And yay anime!
    So just up clear the air, I am NOT bashing the concept shipping, just saying that I personally don’t really do it (or like it for myself), but want to understand it and I think this article helps with understanding some of the fundamental reasons why people do like it. :) I just want to present a response that may be different than the usual people who would normally respond to something like this; to present a different angle rather than either affirming shipping or being the idiot who calls it stupid on an article like this.

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