There is absolutely no avoiding the discussion of Ships.
I like to think of Fan Fiction as one massive boat. The famous and non-famous individual pairings are ships that that Fans hope will one day make it out to the vast sea and successfully sail off into the distance and avoid sinking. Depending on on how popular the Ship, the bigger or smaller your vessel is.
The importance of size will be revealed later in this post.
For those who don’t know what Shipping is – or are blissfully unaware Angels – Shipping is when you take your two favorite fictional characters – or celebrities – and want them to ultimately get together, usually romantically.
If you were once a part of the One Direction Fandom, then you may recall Larry Stylinson, the ship name for Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, is the most famous Ship in Fandom history. It’s also 90% of the reason they went from being best friends to basically strangers. The Ship, killed their friendship.
The Fandom was so strong, and made the Ship so popular that it took on a life of it’s own, to the point where Fans were telling the singers to get together directly in the form of YouTube videos, Fan Fictions, even going to their social medias declaring that, “Larry is real!”
One would think the Ship would have sank back when One Direction broke up in 2015, but was actually explicitly discussed and acted out in HBO’s 3rd episode in their show, Euphoria, in 2019.
Sadly, some Ships are so strong last the test of time and refuse to sink.
So of course, Ships exist in Kpop!
Because there are hundreds of Kpop groups, I’m going to stick with BTS to not just make it simpler, but for you as well.
You’ll thank me later.
So in BTS, the most popular ship out of them all, is Jikook. This involves the Maknae (youngest member) Jungkook and the third youngest, Jimin. Aka, these two dorks:
This gif isn’t really helping my point, but oh well.
Because they are both extremely close on and off camera, and because they are two of the more popular members of BTS, the Fandom is known to romantically Ship them together quite frequently in Fan Fiction and outside of it.
Which there is nothing wrong with having a Ship, or talking and writing Fics about it. It’s when it’s taken to the level of Larry Stylinson, that it becomes controversial. Like with Larry, A.R.M.Ys make YouTube videos “documenting” every Jikook moment they capture, and even going so far as to posting on the member’s Twitter that Jikook is real and encouraging it to happen.
This happens not just with popular Kpop groups, but also recently happened with a smaller Kpop group by the name of A.C.E.
Two members from A.C.E – Jun and Byeongkwan – were conducting a live stream video to interact with their fans, and they were reading some of the comments when a Fan commented, demanding that they kiss each other, because she shipped them together.
Now you’re probably wondering, do I Ship members?
Yes and no.
I Ship their friendships. I absolutely love, love, love, being able to see group members being so comfortable with each other that they can hug and joke around and so forth without even thinking about it. Sometimes I might read a Fic where the Ship is romantically involved, but for me it’s more plot based. So I Ship friendships and that’s it. Nothing wrong with that. I’m just not a fan of romantically Shipping people together.
But to go and comment on their live stream telling them to kiss, or going to their Twitter accounts and telling them that Jikook or Larry is real, so that they can see it, it’s a whole other ballpark that I can’t even wrap my head around.
Which is why Shipping is a very touchy feely subject even within Fandoms. Because when you have a small Ship, it’s easier to maintain and make sure other Fans go wild with it. But when your Ship is the most well known and popular Ships of all time, well, there’s always the wonder of if there will be a repeat of Larry Stylinson all over again.
God help you if you even tell a fellow extremist Fan – and they’re like insanely protective of the Ship – that you don’t like that one or even dare to think that another Ship is better, because Fans will defend their Ship even as it sinks to the bottom of the ocean floor.
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