Romantic Vs. Platonic Shipping

Hey, guys. I finished watching all the Steven Universe! And how have you been these past couple days? 🙂

So, I have a friend in Australia who is, in his own words, a major shipper. I introduced him to MLP just some time ago and he had all the ships in his head after finishing season one.

We disagree on a lot of them, but I won’t get into it.

He also gave me some, uh, insights on what he thinks would be popular shippings in the Shadows series if it should grow a larger fan base. That was horrifying, to say the least, but… I accept it as an occupational hazard.

I’m not as much of a shipper as he is, but I don’t shy away from it either and personally, as much as it bothers me a little when directed at my characters, if only because of how much I connect with them, I am all for shipping. I mean, to me the most interesting part of any good story is the intricacies of character relationships, be them romantic or otherwise. And yeah, when I ship characters is not always necessarily a romantic ship, sometimes it just means that I feel the relationship between those two characters is not explored enough in canon, and I’d like to see more of it.

Some ships, I’ll admit, I like more on the romantic aspect, and I can be a bit close minded to other romantic ships involving the same characters (I’ll spare you mine and Aussie’s entire PikieDash Vs. FlutterDash debate), but a lot of them can be either romantic or platonic, and some I would actually rather they be strictly platonic.

An MLP ship I’m thoroughly obsessed with, for example, is Octavia and Vinyl Scratch. This is the most we’ve seen of them together in the show so far…

…but it was so freaking badass that I became in love with the idea of these two getting their own spinoff. I especially love the idea of Vinyl actually being mute (although I’m not sure if it’s true or she’s just… very quiet. ^.-). I mean, to me, she doesn’t have to talk, she’s very expressive without using words and she and Tavi seem to understand each other pretty damn well. The fan fiction and fan animations I’ve liked featuring them sometimes portray them as friends, other times as romantic partners, one person explored the possibility of them being sisters; although I find that unlikely, it was an interesting premise, and I was perfectly okay with all of that.

Likewise, Peridot and Lapis Lazuli, my OTP from Steven Universe… Can or not be a romantic ship. For what I’ve seen of fan arts and the like, people tend to go that route, but I’m perfectly content if they’d just become best buds and I’d be extremely happy to see them fuse at some point in the future seeing as Lapis’ one fusion so far was… Eh… Traumatic, let’s call it that, and Peridot’s response to Garnet offering to fuse was panicked and apprehensive. It’d be interesting, and it’d make sense, that if those two end up fusing in future episodes they do it together.

And if you’re not familiar with this show and you don’t know what I mean by ‘fusion’, well, eeh… Uhm… Well, gems they do this thing where they do a little dance and fuse together to become an entirely new entity. It’s treated as something of an intimate thing sometimes, however, I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be or if it’s just the impression we get from the main characters’ POV. Eh, that’s beside the point.

The point is I’d like to see more Lapis/Peridot interactions in the future, I’d like to see that relationship develop, either platonic or romantically. Because shipping to me is more about exploring fascinating possibilities in character relationships than going into romantic fluff… Or beyond that.

And I’ve done this with my own characters too. Luckas and Dastan have only interacted, I think, once in the RP’s run so far, but, in my head, I decided they’d be greatly compatible characters and will definitely become really great friends once they have a chance to interact on more of a regular basis. That led to me and Wifey joking around about the development of an ‘epic bromance’ between them in the future. We have since included that in flashforward scenes we’ve written together and I myself wrote a couple of future Dastan-Lukey interaction such as Luckas asking him for advice on certain personal matters. I named that scene “Boy Talk”, you can draw your own conclusions from that if you must. =P

I was very excited about this because, honestly, Luckas doesn’t have a lot of guy friends or male role models in his life. The first two people he put any level of trust in were Lena and Annie, then later Ess, Mageria, Crys… All ladies. His relationship with the majority of our male cast is either hostile or indifferent, but Dastan is not just someone who has a similar disposition towards silly and random antics as Luckas; heck, he even stole Luke’s gimmick by nicknaming him ‘Little Man’ in their first conversation, but he’s also overall a much more tolerant and patient character than most. In one of the little scenes I wrote with them, I even manage to have him give Luckas some fighting lessons, something that was a freaking challenge even for Ess to do and reassure him about some things I’m not allowed to discuss here because spoilers. This, needless to say, is a strictly platonic ship, despite all the suggestive dialogue options available to both characters and the fact Luckas will end up addressing Dastan almost strictly as Handsome; mostly because Ess does it.

With my characters it’s easy; anytime I go “well, that’s an interesting possibility” in my head I can explore it for myself and just up and make it canon if it turns out it makes perfect sense after all. With other people’s work, I’m forced to hope and wait, or turn to fan fiction, to see my ships realized. The fact that not all my shippings are romantic, though, makes fan fiction a risky alternative for me. Some things can’t be unread. Trust me on that one. >.>

B.B

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