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Re: Canon shipping by Nukara

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Well-known member
Jan 5, 2017
There was a fanfic i liked called the Flower Princess and the Alchemist. Its a Fullmetal alchemist/Bleach crossover that has a believable romance between Ed and Orihime. Its not a canon ship but it got me thinking about why Ichigo/Orihime never worked for me.

A lot of shounen manga don't really build romances in the present, often saving it for the past and the future. Which isn't too bad but unless you tackle it in the present, its not gonna come off as strong. Most stories are told in the present tense. So my issue with Ichigo/Orihime is that it never happened in the present. They started out as friend of a friend and stayed that way. Even in the Hueco mundo arc Orihime's feelings intensified but i never got the sense Ichigo's did. So it just became a rehash of the Soul society arc to me but less interesting.

Granted i could be wrong because i gave up bleach soon after and haven't really touched it since.

So my tip for shounens would be just to explore romance in the present or commit to not having it like One piece.

This was inspired by Nukura's thread and i didn't want to necro their's

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Silver Member
Nov 28, 2005
Digimon sticks out to me as the quintessential example of an anime failing to do romance right. Male lead & female lead don't hook up, instead the female lead marries the rival, & fans are butthurt about it even today. Not that it really matters when the show can't be bothered to actually develop the relationship of either pairing & instead doubles down on Hero/Rival to an insane degree. & then there's the heavily teased TK/Kari that ended up not happening while Ken/Yolei who exchanged like 2 sentences with each other does.


Well-known member
May 14, 2017
East Coast, USA
Or you've got Pokemon and the heavy reliance on inserting new girls each generation to erm, "keep the male's attention" and do nothing with that. Though I'm glad that they broke the trend in Gen 8.


Bronze Member
Dec 30, 2005
I saw Ichigo/Orihime coming a mile away. I saw Naruto/Hinata coming a mile away. I was on the fence with Sasuke/Sakura because I was hoping Sakura will grow up from him and the toxicity despite my better judgment, but that...got squandered. And I didn't even follow those series' too much, let alone shipped characters there (I got shoujo for that). I see things from a logical perspective. And the signs were there. Though Naruto could have definitely done better in developing it. Ichigo/Orihime was perfectly fine in my opinion.

Digimon, I didn't care about who ended up with who. They were kids and behaved around each other like kids. Crushes are just crushes and those kids move on and become adults. I actually praise whoever was behind the show for the endgame decision in terms of realism. Takeru/Kairi is one of those pairings where I feel they love each other deeply and have a strong bond, but it's not romantic. However, since they are of the opposite sex...no way they can be platonic, right?

And that's an issue.

Second issue:

I feel a lot of people tend to think main male and female leads automatically end up together despite evidence to the contrary just because they are leads. And while they often do, sometimes they don't. Harry/Hermione for instance. Even as an 11-12 year old I knew Ron/Hermione was going to be a thing based on what I read in the first book, and Chamber of Secrets as well for Harry/Ginny. You literally have this second installment play out like a fairy tale where the prince with a sword has to save the princess from a dragon/vile creature in a chamber...and somehow it flew over people's heads. Authors and directors don't make decisions like this just to have them there willy-nilly, to have them there just because. You even have to pay attention to hints in a meta sense as well as the allusions they are conveying. Not everything is going to be in your face, sometimes it's going to be subtle and symbolic.

However, this sort of method comes with the downside of the author thinking that it's all they have to do for people to get the point, and forego the development necessary for the ship itself to be viable. It comes with the whole "I dropped all this symbolism, implication, and meta to let them know they are going to end up together" and don't bother to put effort into the pairing because whatever, they are going to end up together and that's that.

Third issue:

The problem at times isn't really that the ship came "from nowhere", but rather those that oppose the ship and/or are in the other camp simply refuse to acknowledge what's being implied and ignore the hints because it doesn't fit their narrative. This is especially true of opposition ships.

Then you get all this in shounen where the demographic it's aimed at...more than likely don't care about some epic romance story and want to see plot, fighting, and action. Genre matters. Shoujo is there to see great interrelationships between the characters and the couple.

Tl:dr and advice:

1. Don't think that just because two members of the opposite sex come to care and love each other means that it's inherently romantic. There are all types of love that are powerful and affectionate and it doesn't have to be romantic. Hello Marvel's Cinematic Universe's Hawkeye/Black Widow as an example (people still shipped them too, despite the guy being happily married with kids because "men and women can't just be friends and care for one another like that without wanting to be together...preposterous!"). It's heteronormativity at its finest.

2. Similarly, don't think that just because you have [insert male lead] and [insert female lead] means they are automatically going to end up together. Look around for other implications otherwise. Which brings me to...

3. Keep track and accept the hints/implications of the opposing ship instead of actively denying and ignoring them. Most of them are valid from what I've noticed. Interestingly, most of the ships with the bigger followers (rather, the most vocal ones) are guilty of this the most. And then shit happens and...welp. You know.

And that's my hot take.
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