Greetings, Kai of Deluscar here once again, and I’m here to talk a bit about yuri shipping.
Note from OG: To celebrate the fifth anniversary of Kai (and to avoid being added to the List of Kai) the king has graced us with a visit to share his toughts on being a yuri fan and the trials and tribulations of there being more subtext/soft yuri than canon yuri…yet still finding bliss from it. I personally am used to it and work with what I get but let us see what King Kai has to say about the subject.
Now, being a yuri fan is suffering, because of one thing, yuri subtext, but at the same time, it has become a sort of magic within the yuri anime culture.
If you’re familiar with yuri anime, or hell, “seemingly” yuri anime, yuri subtext is a huge thing in these shows. The problem with these anime is that they are always a huge tease, they will never show the couple actually hooking up, although the hints are clear to see-this is yuri subtext, signs that indicate two female characters may have a thing for each other, but is never shown canonically. I don’t know why but it just seems that the anime industry is really restrictive of showing bona fide lesbian couples, and ones that do are really few and far in between. Even Sakura Trick, the most explicit yuri anime of all, basically avoided this “confrontation” in the last episode (those who finished it would probably know what I mean).
In the end, viewers would have to ship, which has really become a major component within the yuri anime culture. Shippers would ship Character A X Character B in a yuri anime-between two female characters who never actually confessed, but exhibited obvious signs of loving each other. It’s pretty ironic too because at first, yuri shipping actually derived from the lack of canonical yuri pairings, but it had really evolved into a fun and endearing component of the yuri anime culture. After all, leaving things up to your imagination is a much exciting way than just hoping for things to happen in the anime.
At the same time, because yuri subtext is so subtle sometimes, we may see two female characters who have so much chemistry with each other that they could very believably ended up as a genuine couple-obviously, this couple would gain a tremendous amount of support and shipping from the yuri fandom (KumiRei *ahem*). See, this magic would be hard to replicate if we just show these two characters blatantly make out with each other for one season straight- repetitions would ruin the subtle magic. I always sing praises for Sakura Trick, but unfortunately, this may be the one problem I agree with, even though I’m fine since I luckily didn’t marathon it. This is why personally, I prefer consuming my yuri media sporadically, and not frequently.
Anyway, I digress. But what I wanted to point out from the above paragraph is the magic of “not blatantly pairing up your couples officially”. The vagueness, the teases and the hints, are all the ultimate whetstone in sharpening the ultimate weapon that is known as your imaginative mind-the mind where all sorts of wonderful, possible scenarios are all made possible. The vagueness let our minds run wild, but anime like Sakura Trick doesn’t leave much to the imagination, even though I do appreciate the blatant explicitness of it which is an extremely rare trait in the world of yuri anime.
As you can see, the yuri anime culture is one ironic ride. There are a lot of “restrictions” imposed at first-not having a canonical yuri couple, and just teasing us with subtext, but these turned into a fun shipping culture later on. In the end, us yuri fans suffer a lot, but admittedly it’s some “fun suffering”. Maybe us yuri fans are just masochists, at least, I feel like I’m, since I’m loving every single second of these teases.
Note from OG: KumiRei fans will attest to this man speaking truth.