Cut for Spoilers
THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT, TOO.
Well, whenever I wasn’t making constant comparisons to Lunar, thanks to characters throwing the term Dragonmaster around.
So we’re watching the newest Pokémon episode…
Him: She’s the bug-type Gym Leader, right? Their ship name should be WallcrawlerShipping.
Me: Their Pokéballs kissed, that means they’re married!
welkikitty answered: Or write about them? Yes!
Every time I do this, I come up with an entirely different story for them!
The worst is my old Pokémon OCs. I have a massive ensemble cast with like four or five different takes on the storyline. Only a scarce few ever interact with canon characters.
But man, I do this for every fandom, I think? I have historic OCs for Lunar, I have an original court case for Ace Attorney… I start thinking about a fandom, and next thing I know I’m coming up with all kinds of new ideas for it.
Shipping is complicated and I don’t recommend getting too deeply involved in it.
(Unfortunately, this is like advising someone “don’t get too deeply involved with that sinkhole rapidly opening up beneath your feet”, so I don’t expect a lot of people to heed this warning.)
See, you have “ships you support” and “ships you don’t support”. But this is simplifying things immensely, a simple pass-fail boolean to sort the values of “how much you support it”.
There’s a gradient between those points — the ships you adore, the ships you think are cute, the ships that you casually dislike, the ships that you hate with such a passion that it triggers a Hulk-like outburst of violence and rage.
However, even calling it a gradient is a simplification, because I’m sure everyone thought of a simple, black-to-white gradient, where the amount of white increases proportionate to x, and x is “how much you support it”. But that value is the end result of another equation, one with many different factors going into it. Such as:
Please note: This is far from an exhaustive list.
Generally speaking, the highest, OTP-end of the scale is going to be where most or all of these variables are near their max value, and the lowest, DNW-end of the scale is where they’re all at their lowest. But there’s a lot of different variant ships found in the intermediate ranges. For example:
Please note again: This is far from an exhaustive list.
It’s a bit of a mess! But still, you might be asking, what’s wrong with that? Shipping is an equation of feelings, and feelings are complicated, so it follows that shipping is complicated. So what?
The problem is that, at some point in your life, you will want to talk about your ships. Maybe another shipper asked you. Maybe you want to throw it out there, see who agrees and who disagrees with your perspective. Maybe you just have a bad case of FEEEELS for so many ships and have no idea what to do with it all, and discussing all of your ships one by one seems like the more productive option, rather than rolling around on your bed while latched onto a pillow because you needed something to muffle your screams.
Sooner or later, you might hit a seemingly innocuous question: “Which of these two pairings do you ship harder?”
For me, this is not always an easy question, since I
overthink everything prefer to be as accurate as possible… but comparing two ships can be like comparing apples and oranges. “Those two are so much cuter together, but I can’t help but feel more invested in the other ship, since half the plot is about how much they need each other. This one is incredibly silly, but I actually enjoy seeing it more than that sappy one that hits me with harder feels. These guys have such a rad bromance and I friendship them really hard, so I want to rank them higher than the regular romance-ships, but I need to add a few paragraphs explaining that it’s only as friends because I feel like adding a romance dynamic is misinterpreting what makes these two such beautiful BFFs…”
This only gets worse if you decide you’d like to make a list of your ships, since you then have to make this comparison for, essentially, every ship in your consciousness. Even if you decide to sort them “in no particular order”, you still have to make some sort of decision about how comprehensive you’d like that list to be, which mostly means stripping out a lot of intermediate and low-range ships.
The easiest solution is to just stick to your OTPs, and maybe your No-TPs if you’re in the mood for some arguments. But that still requires determining what the OTP range is. And while there’s some groups of consensus on what constitutes an OTP, and others have made their own successful rule of thumb… in the end, you’ll have to decide for yourself what feels like an OTP and what doesn’t, and then possibly define your metric so people know exactly how much you love those ships.
There have been several points in my life where I had the foolhardy idea that I was going to make a comprehensive list of my ships for all my fandoms, usually for a social media profile. Next thing I knew, I was spending more time on the list than the actual site… and still remembering old fandoms and my favorite ships from those, still adding more and adding more qualifiers and losing more semblance of order. Sometimes I’d throw in my favorite cross-canons and some ships with OCs, because that’s the kind of shipper I am.
Each time, I would go through numerous revisions before forgetting about it entirely. I can’t recall one time where I was confident I had completed that list. And it wasn’t even a particularly long list by the end. Merely difficult to assemble.
I want to tell myself that I just won’t make any more silly lists, but in the back of my mind, I can already feel my brain processing all this, wondering if there’s an easier way to keep track of all this. Like if someone could build a central website for cataloging all possible ships in all conceivable fandoms, and allow users to register and keep a personal running list of which ships they care about in any fashion. And then allow the users to rank them and write a summary about their feelings. And then there can be options for suggesting your friend share their thoughts on another ship, or for searching what other people like your favorite ship, or for viewing what the most popular ships in a fandom are.
And then I stop and think about it. What kind of stupid idea is that? Isn’t that a lot of work, just for something as silly as shipping?
I’m half-tempted to start building this in my free time.
undercityrezident replied to your post:I’m really bored and like tired-drunk so I’m going…So I watched the video referencing this sandwich… I think I need to try it. Minus the tomatoes. Cuz no.
BLESS YOU REZ YOU ALSO DON’T LIKE TOMATOES?
Do people even like tomatoes? I feel like they’re just put in sandwiches and burgers, not because it tastes good, but because it’s been institutionalized by blind tradition and we just kind of let it happen because no one can be fucked to ask their servers to hold the tomato.
THIS IS HIGHLY RELEVANT TO MY TASTEBUDS:
The problem, I feel, is that 99% of the time tomatoes are put on a sandwich, burger, or other handheld edible thing, they are added in raw. And it’s sort of nonsensical if you think about it: A raw tomato has a fruity sweetness to it. In fact, the first kind of ice cream ever made was tomato ice cream! You might as well be putting strawberries on your burger. (Actually, that could be delicious, depending on the rest of your topping choice. Vinegar seems like a must to me.)
But pasta sauce, pizza sauce, anything with sundried tomatoes, even ketchup… those are all wonderfully tasty, aren’t they? I also noticed that tomatoes seemed better to me when put on a warm burger than a cold sandwich. And that led me to figure out the secret to making it delicious: Heat that goddamn tomato up. I don’t understand the science behind it, really, but it reduces the sweet aspect and brings out the savory aspect.
I think salt might be part of it, too — I remember that the children’s book Harriet the Spy said that Harriet loved eating tomato sandwiches, and would put salt on the tomato slices. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine the effect is similar.
Now whenever I go to Subway, I make a special request of “put the tomato on before you toast it”. If they put it underneath the cheese, even better! And my god the sandwich tastes so much better that way, better than without the tomatoes and far better than with raw tomatoes.
Then again, I’m southern Italian, so I’m pretty sure I’m obligated to love tomatoes?