The feared ship war. Ship wars are the scary and sometimes downright terrible side of shipping. They create unessecary drama, tears, and blood shed, and if you think I am over exaggerating you have not seen a real ship war before. Depending on the fandom the simple disagreement of a ship could be the tiny spark that sets off the giant explosion. Ranging from cussing to outright cyber bullying, ship wars are no doubt the source of a lot of sentiment in the anime community.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fangirl with several ships of her own, and I don’t think that there is anything wrong with having a fun little debate here and there about those ships. However, when death threats and messages telling another to “kill themself” because of something they ship begin to get thrown around, that is where the line must be drawn. There is a difference between a debate and a war, and I do not feel that that line is addressed enough.
Shipping is supposed to be fun, and honestly, shipping wars take all the fun out and replace it with negativity. A person shouldn’t be afraid to announce what their favorite ship is on the internet because they fear the angry mobs of fans that will hunt them down for it. Ships are not politics people; take a chill pill. Honestly, this shouldn’t even be a thing that needs to be addressed, but the internet being the place that it is, I guess it sadly does. I get that the internet is not a “happy, happy, fun-time, la la land” but if we can’t agree that cyber bullying someone for a ship is wrong and bad, then I genuinely fear what kinds of negativty will get thrown at people who disagree about bigger issues. Shipping itself is supposed to be a stress relief, not something to create more stress.
Here I will be discussing my top reasons as to why I think shipping wars should stop. Keep in mind however, this is all based on my personal experience and opinion, and I in no way, shape, or form represent the opinion of all anime fans or anyone else for that matter. Now with that out of the way, let’s begin!
1) They are Opinion Based
No matter how canon one ship may be, there will always be people who ship the unpopular ship, and this perfectly ok. You can argue that a ship is based on the facts of the canon material, and if you are one to ship the canon only things, that is completely fine. However, what shipping really boils down to is what the fan in question believes to be the cutest combination of characters.
Of course, if you are a person who is shipping something that clearly is not going to become canon (for example, Natsu X Lissanna in Fairy Tail) then don’t be shouting and complaining when it doesn’t become canon, but that’s not my point.
You know how in Elementary School we all learn about the difference between a fact and an opinion? Well ship wars just throw all that knowledge into the dumpster when people begin to think that a ship is a fact, not an opinion. By participating in ship wars you are basically telling the person you are attacking that their opinion is wrong. It is literally like someone telling you that your favorite color is orange when it’s actually blue.
As much as all of us fans like to think that our ship is the “right ship” and all other ships are “wrong”, that is not the case at all. Everyone is allowed to have an opinion about something, and that opinion belongs to them and only them. In no way, shape, or form are you at all allowed to decide another’s opinion for them. You can persuade them if you choose to, but outright telling them that their opinion is wrong then proceeding to push onto them your own opinion is not right.
2) It Accomplishes Nothing
I’m sorry to break it to you all, but no matter how much we cry, plead, or hurt each other, the editors and authors are the only ones that get to have a say in what happens to our beloved characters.
As a writer myself, I can tell you that most authors plan out their writing way in advance, and that includes who the characters end up with. As for the authors who do not plan their material out all the way through are still the sole person who knows their characters best. What I’m trying to get at is only the author and those who are directly working with the series really can make one ship canon or not. Even a million generations worth of shipping wars can’t change that.
Furthermore, if we take a series like Hetalia, where literally anyone can be shipped with anyone and no ship is going to become canon, ship wars are even more useless. Why do I say this about Hetalia? Well think about it, Hetalia is funny, random, little series where majority of the “plot” in it comes from the fandom. Furthermore, the entire “plot” comes from real events in history, because world politics is forever changing, there can really never be a true “canon ship”.
Really, the only thing that ship wars accomplish is making others feel bad, afraid of expressing their opinion, and stressed out.
3) All it Does is Spread Hate
As I have repetitively expressed throughout this blog post I strongly believe that the only thing that ship wars do effectively is spread a whole lot of negativity.
Ship wars justify yelling, insulting, and threatening people with the claim that they done out of good fun and with good intent. I’m sorry but that all sounds like a whole lot of lies if you ask me. As I have already stated, there is a clear difference between a debate and a ship war. It’s a simple switch, just have nice conversations and friendly debate when speaking of ships instead of hating on each other for their honest opinions.
The anime community is meant to be a fun place to escape the harshness of the real world. There is no need to add more fear, stress, and hate to this world. So can why don’t we all just take a chill pill and enjoy anime and all of it’s wonderful ships for what it is; fun stories and relationships.
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