#paralleled with canon couples yet again
“Or…you don’t know [Maddie] the way [Chim] does.”
This line…The way it emphasizes that romantic partners know each other differently than everyone else around them. And coming from Eddie? To Buck?
Hasn’t the whole crux of BuckandEddie since last season been the fact that they know each other better than anyone else? In 4x14, after Buck’s crane stunt, every single person scolded him for it and got his reason for doing it completely wrong (“reckless,” “crazy,” “invincible”). Not Eddie. Eddie was the only one who pushed deeper and understood why Buck said what he said/does what he does (“expendable”).
In 5x02, Buck is the only one who clocks Eddie’s panic attack. When Eddie’s entire (ex-)girlfriend is standing right there, it’s Buck who notices something is off with Eddie. And when they talk about it, he digs deeper into Eddie’s statement about sticking things out for Chris, and his “is that enough?” is already enough to make Eddie question himself, but then he also feels comfortable to say “I have been Ana” to emphasize that the relationship is unfair to Ana. He says it because he knows that Eddie knows how horrible his experience dating Abby was, and he knows that Eddie would never willingly do that to someone. And…it works.
So, yeah. “Or…you don’t know [Maddie] the way [Chim] does” gave me pause when I was watching last night. Because they’re romantic partners, they know each other intimately, and it’s a beautiful sentiment that they know each other that way. And because no one knows Eddie like how Buck knows him. And no one knows Buck like how Eddie knows him.
And doesn’t that just speak volumes?
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Highlights/best bits of 6x14:
- Lena at game night knowing when Kara would arrive. Ahem. Wifey shit.
- More SuperFriends bonding between Lena/Nia. Sweet, and really funny.
- The final Dansen scene with Esme made me misty. Love this for them!
- This William thing, shoehorning him in, is beyond out of control. They’re trying so hard to make him the ultimate “Nice Guy” with everyone so his death resonates with all the SuperFriends and the audience. And while they can control the SFs reception in the writing, they can’t with audience manipulation. People. Don’t. Care. It’s a waste of screen time, taking away from other beloved characters that actually have an organic role to play. So tiresome. And, obviously something they plan to continue to do. Sigh.
Overall observations, especially where Supercorp is concerned:
- Lena in the traditional love interest role of keeping the hero grounded and reminding them not to lose sight of their true self. Talking Kara down from acting on fear and advising her against what she herself had done in the past and learned from, aka balancing her? That’s partner/soulmate shit. Yet again.
- The last totem (courage) we had Lena helping Kara figure out her issue with it and why she failed, and propping up her courage by saying she’s the most courageous person she knows. Now in this episode we had Lena helping Kara maintain her humanity for the humanity totem. If this trend keeps up… what the hell happens with them and the love totem?
For that matter, it’s as if there’s a build up...
Last episode was Lena coming home and SC quickly opening up around each other and Lena building Kara up and them relaxing around each other. Now this episode was showing they can argue and have different perspectives and it be totally healthy and resolved with great communication, Lena can keep Kara’s head in check like a perfect partner, and once again, them relaxing and now even flirting with each other on more than one occasion.
As a reminder, Kara said in 6x08, “I don’t want to be alone anymore.” and she's not alone anymore. She has someone to end the day with/go home to every night now: Lena. They have made this so abundantly clear, even separating Alex and Kara, with each of them focused on their respective partners at the end of the day/night with these last two episodes in a row.
The only difference is one is canon lovers and one is... friendship? Please.
If this show doesn’t make it canon in these final episodes, the queerbaiting legacy will be off the charts. You can’t frame a pair’s interactions as romantic, have them openly flirting, passionately obsessed with each other, late night dinner dates, paralleled with other romantic couples, etc and think saying “friends” covers your ass on queerbaiting.
The only thing that covers your ass on queerbaiting? Delivering on a friends to lovers tale you’ve stretched out for nearly an entire series.
Let’s see which side of history the show chooses to fall on. I’m hoping the right one, by making Supercorp canon.
Alas, we shall see.
P.S. This shit?
"I won’t use my fingers.”
“I’m going to.”
“Oh, thats classy.”
“You know me.”
Jesus Christ. I cannot. Even.
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why do you ship chell and glados if glados is basically her mom
Okay this is actually a pretty common misconception in the fandom that unfortunately a lot of people have taken as canon, but I’m feeling nice so I’ll answer your question.
Basically, anon is referencing a theory from around 2012 that Caroline is Chell’s mom. The evidence for the theory is as follows:
- The turret opera calls Chell “bambina”, which means “little girl” in Italian
- Chell’s name can be found on a Bring Your Daughter To Work Day science project
- GLaDOS references the possibility of Chell being adopted multiple times
- GLaDOS is significantly nicer to Chell after discovering she’s Caroline
And, anon, you’re right, it does sound like a pretty good argument at first glance. The problem is that a lot of these points don’t actually hold up to scrutiny.
For example, although “bambina” literally translates to “little girl,” it’s often used in the same way “baby girl” is used in English - it can mean child, but contextually it’s usually a flirtatious term. (Source: Cambridge Dictionary)
For Chell’s science project, it doesn’t work as evidence for the theory because GLaDOS killed the scientists around 1998-ish, when Caroline had presumably been uploaded several years earlier and Cave was already dead. Also, Chell’s in her 20′s, and since we know from Lab Rat/Portal 2 that people don’t age in stasis, and that Doug put Chell at the top of the test subject list only weeks after the takeover, Chell was 28 at the time of the takeover. The science project is really only an Easter egg and doesn’t actually fit into the canon timeline let alone prove anything about Caroline and Cave.
GLaDOS talking about Chell being adopted is a pretty strong point, I’ll admit, but also it’s important to remember that maybe half of what GLaDOS says is true. And even if we take what she says at face value, she also says there’s a man and a woman in stasis with Chell’s last name, which could not have been Cave and Caroline because they were already dead at that point. And the official book Final Hours Of Portal 2 confirms Cave and Caroline were not married and could not have shared the same name anyway. It was also the 50′s, an an unmarried couple of two likely famous people having a child would’ve been scandalous, and yet we see no hint of something like this affecting their company.
Also, although GLaDOS is nicer to Chell after the Caroline reveal, that’s not necessarily indicative of a mother-daughter relationship, and neither is any of their interactions. It’s just. GLaDOS being friendlier.
Finally, when this theory was made (and let’s be honest - it still is happening) Chell was constantly whitewashed to hell and back.
Chell is Japanese-Brazilian, and Cave and Caroline are white, so it would be a near impossibility for her to be their biological child (and insisting otherwise is kinda. just. whitewashing). And although people will cry “adoption!”, based on what I’ve previously proven, that’s pretty much impossible. This theory that somehow she’s Cave and Caroline’s daughter erases an important part of her identity. [Disclaimer, I am white, but this is what I’ve heard from around the fandom]
With all that said, the idea that she’s the daughter of Cave and Caroline really doesn’t hold weight when you really analyze the canon. It’s surface level analysis that doesn’t hold up. And honestly? The idea kinda cheapens the story. It’s much more powerful that GLaDOS learns to care about Chell and becomes kinder than just. Oh, she remembered she’s related to Chell.
But to actually answer your ask.
Why do I ship them?
Well, they aren’t mother and daughter, I think that’s pretty obvious now. But if you actually look at a lot of subtext in Portal 2, without the lens of the mother theory, it’s actually pretty romantic!
I know that sounds ridiculous, but bear with me!
Now - it’s totally okay if you don’t ship them. I get it. Their interactions in Portal 1 and the first half of Portal 2 are toxic if not outright well. Y’know. Murderous. I completely understand why that turns people off from shipping them, and ultimately, shipping is a personal thing. To each his own.
But before you judge me, let me present my case.
Exhibit A: Portal
Portal is kinda gay. No, really. Chell and GLaDOS are enemies in this game, but the entire focus is on their relationship (good or not) and the power struggle between them. They are opposites, two sides of the same coin, different representations of opposite ideologies. People have analyzed Portal as a relationship metaphor, or as a metaphor about women’s role in society - either way, the heart of Portal is the complicated dynamic between Chell and GLaDOS.
That’s not necessarily enough to code a romance, but a lot of popular (and especially popular queer ones) ships begin with opposite ideologies, symbolic powers colliding. Portal cements their relationship as a toxic one, something on the verge of falling apart and hurting both parties in the end. The ending image, of Chell and GLaDOS side by side after the battle, reinforces the symbolic parallels between the two.
The companion cube is also pretty symbolically important to this interpretation. It’s literally a representation of someone’s heart, and you are told to protect it and preserve it under GLaDOS’ orders, and then you have to destroy it regardless of how you actually feel about doing that. You are destroying GLaDOS’ heart, so to speak.
There’s also the ending song, Still Alive. The lyrics speak for themselves.
They hint that GLaDOS’ feelings about Chell are more complicated than they may appear (if she’s not being sarcastic...) and she literally talks about Chell breaking her heart (also, think back to the companion cube. Yeah.). The entire song is structurally similar to many a breakup number, with the laments of “I’m glad it happened, but also leave.”
At the end, we also see that the long promised cake GLaDOS was supposedly lying about was real the whole time. Before Portal 2 came out, it was mostly interpreted as a stinger ending (along with the nicer lyrics of Still Alive) to make you question GLaDOS’ true motives and intentions.
She actually did have a real cake waiting for you. (Side note - not really evidence, but in Argentina, “torta” means cake in Spanish. It’s also a slang term for lesbians. So. Do with that what you will). The cake is what GLaDOS offers you to lull you into the sense that she cares about you, so discovering that “the cake is a lie” wakes you up to the realization that she doesn’t. Except then the idea is subverted one last time, at the very end, showing that the cake is real and at least some of what she said she meant.
You also see the companion cube. You know, GLaDOS’ symbolic heart?
Now, okay, you might be thinking I’m extrapolating a bit too much. And you might be right. But Portal is not the only game in the series, and if you’re asking me about Cave and Caroline you obviously know about Portal 2.
Exhibit B: Portal 2
If you thought Portal was gay, Portal 2 turns that up to 11.
Even before GLaDOS wakes up, you’re treated to some visual subtext. A few of Rattmann’s drawings representing the events of Portal 2 focus a lot on the relationship between GLaDOS and Chell, with more of the cake symbolism.
In this, you can see a face layered on top of GLaDOS. This could be foreshadowing about Caroline, and likely is, but also resembles his other drawing of Chell. It insists that Chell is a part of GLaDOS, or reinforces parallels between Chell and Caroline, hinting at something either way.
In this picture, we also see Chell standing on top of GLaDOS, in the same position where the overlay of the feminine face was, again referencing the parallel. It also presents them as opposites, fundamental parts of the same thing and both connected to the same basis, but on opposing sides.
When GLaDOS wakes up, she returns to her antagonistic role, but there are more hints to something deeper just like in Portal.
Here, in her awakening lines, she references Chell not unlike an estranged ex. Also worth noting that GLaDOS is pretty much the personification of testing (in a sense, she is testing since she can control all of Aperture like an extension of her body), and insinuates that Chell loves to test. And that she reciprocates that feeling.
In test chamber 10, she says this:
It’s supposed to be threatening, but it does read as almost... sentimental.
There’s also another chamber with companion cubes in Portal 2. I already talked about their symbolism in Portal, and the same pretty much applies to them here. However, GLaDOS says something interesting about them during this level:
Once again, meant to be intimidating, ends up coming off as “well, GLaDOS, why were you going to give Chell a heart shaped representation of yourself that says ‘I love you?’” And you might think I’m stretching the GLaDOS’ heart metaphor thing a little far here, and I might agree, if the companion cubes didn’t literally sing Cara Mia for you.
Cara Mia is the turret opera from the end of the game, which is all about how much GLaDOS cares about Chell. More on that later. But the companion cubes play a song called Love as A Construct, and when you get close to them, they sing a specific part of the song that has the tune of Cara Mia. These things literally exist to sing about GLaDOS’ feelings.
Which makes this line a lot more. For lack of a better term. Tsundere-ish.
Then, right before the escape, she starts talking about the confetti from her fake surprise.
I really don’t have to explain this one. What else does GLaDOS consider an inconvenience but might miss anyway? Or, more aptly, who else?
Then, during the escape, she teases a (fake) final test chamber in front of you, and forms the panels in the shape of a heart. No, really.
Up to this point, a lot of the points I’ve presented are interspersed with a fair amount of antagonization on GLaDOS’ behalf, more Foe Yay than anything actually hinting at something deeper than GLaDOS being conflicted about whether she loves or hates Chell. But things really ramp up after Wheatley’s betrayal, when the two of them are forced to team up. (I should also note here that “enemies to lovers” is a pretty classic queer romance trope.)
Here, GLaDOS is put on an equal level with Chell and they have to rely on each other if they want to survive. For the rest of the singleplayer campaign, GLaDOS becomes a lot nicer and even friendly to Chell. There comes a point where she starts referring to Chell as a teammate, calling them “we.” She begins to consider them one unit, two opposites unified. Here’s what she says after the lemon rant:
You can not only see her using we, but actively talking about how her and Chell are going to fight Wheatley together. There’s also that last line - “let’s explode with some dignity.” GLaDOS has fully accepted the very likely possibility that she and Chell might die together. That she might die on the same level, and the same team as Chell. And she seems... surprisingly okay with that, as long as she and Chell go together.
It’s during the Old Aperture levels that Chell and GLaDOS also discover that they have a lot in common. This is the part of the game where GLaDOS figures out she’s Caroline, that she’s human. Or, that she’s like Chell. And Chell discovers (from what we can tell anyway) that Caroline is kind, that she’s funny and smart and so many of these things she never noticed about GLaDOS before. Now also with the knowledge she is fighting alongside another human being.
You can also draw parallels between Chell and Caroline, both intelligent women ultimately betrayed by their seemingly innocuous male friends before being trapped in Aperture and forced to team up with one another in a way that will free both of them. We see that really, GLaDOS isn’t that different from Chell - she too has been imprisoned in this place against her will, but in a completely different way. Once again, the idea of two sides of the same coin applies here.
I’ve written another meta about this before, but I also think the whole idea of repressing a part of your identity and hating it, before bonding with another woman and then realizing that it’s okay to be like her and to be on her side. It’s okay to be yourself and meeting her is what helps you discover this new part of yourself. Is kinda inherently gay. GLaDOS’ discovery of her own humanity just fits so well into a queer realization narrative, to me at least.
Then, Chell and GLaDOS escape Old Aperture and have to get through Wheatley’s tests.
Here, GLaDOS isn’t just begrudgingly on Chell’s team. She’s actively helpful. She wants to help Chell solve tests, defends her from Wheatley’s insults, and makes jokes to lighten the mood. Things that can really only be explained by her caring about Chell, especially the part about the insults. See below.
After the two escape Wheatley’s testing track, right before the boss fight GLaDOS has a few other things to say.
GLaDOS is not going to betray Chell, because of some kind of conscience. But she could easily ignore that back in her body, and yet? Here she’s deciding not to, and for no good reason. She didn’t have to say that to Chell, but she did, because she cares and she wants Chell to live.
And then, moments before the fight:
The final lines imply that GLaDOS does not think of Chell as an enemy anymore, and that it doesn’t matter what Chell thinks because they are in this together and they are getting revenge together. It’s pretty heartwarming to be honest, to know that even in a fight that will almost certainly kill you, she is there rooting for you and caring about you, even if you don’t feel the same way about her. It no longer matters to GLaDOS whether you even reciprocate - you staying alive, you making it through is enough for her.
So Chell fights Wheatley and sends him into space, all well and good, and at this point, GLaDOS has the option to kill Chell. But not only does she not, she actively saves Chell, and holds her hand in the process. If you don’t believe me:
And not only that, but when Chell goes unconscious from her injuries, GLaDOS sits and waits for her to wake up. It’s also implied that GLaDOS carries her to the elevator, since it’s where she wakes up but not where she passed out. In the scene where Chell blacks out, you can also hear the part of Love As A Construct that sounds like Cara Mia. Yeah. Yeah.
If you think that this cannot possibly get any gayer, you are wrong again, because then GLaDOS makes her final speech. Which is really just a love confession, let’s be honest.
The “surge of emotion?” Do you mean love, GLaDOS? And the idea of GLaDOS considering Chell her best friend, despite everything these two have done to each other? The idea that GLaDOS, out of all people, forgives someone?
Except this isn’t even Chell’s final send-off. GLaDOS writes her an entire opera of turrets, that sing a literal love song. (Note what I said earlier about the use of the word “bambina”).
It really can’t get any more obvious than that. “My (affectionate romantic term here), my dear, I adore you.” How. Is. That. Heterosexual. In. Any. Way.
So Chell goes to the surface, set free by GLaDOS (think of the saying “if you love something, set it free), and you think that’s the end. Until GLaDOS gives you a companion cube so you aren’t alone on the journey, and from the burn marks, you know it’s your first companion cube. Her original heart, her first gift to you, a piece of her that she wants you to carry with you to remind you that she does care about you after everything. It also gives the lyrics to Still Alive a much more genuine meaning.
Portal 2 ends, and then the ending song, another GLaDOS number plays. Just like Still Alive, Want You Gone is structurally a break up song and very obviously about GLaDOS missing Chell and “counting on” (read: caring about/loving) Chell’s tendencies and quirks.
She’s accepted Chell completely, and yet also given Chell the one thing she wants most. Only wanting Chell gone can mean GLaDOS not wanting Chell in her life anymore, but can also mean she wants to give Chell the freedom she’s wanted for so, so long. It’s the best thing she can give.
In the co-op campaign, GLaDOS also references still caring about Chell.
And that’s the end of the Portal series. Except. Brace yourself. Despite the games being over, there is STILL more subtext somehow. It gets. Even gayer.
Exhibit C: Supplemental Evidence
Valve has made a lot of extra/cut content for the Portal series, and I’ll be looking at some of it below.
This official valentine from Valve shows GLaDOS offering a romantic partner cake, which as we’ve established before, is very symbolic of GLaDOS’ feelings about and/or relationship with Chell.
There’s a lot of other concept art and official art that emphasizes their relationship too. See below.
There’s also some cut GLaDOS lines that are even gayer than the source material and again, sound like confessions or references to a breakup:
The idea of “discovering things about someone”... how much more obvious can it get?
The developers have even confirmed a lot of my commentary on Chell and GLaDOS’ relationship in The Final Hours Of Portal 2. See these quotes from the book/this post:
The devs literally describe it as a romance. They use terms like “cheating,” they wanted to write a romantic duet, JoCo purposefully wrote the endings like love songs. It is literally, blatantly said by the creators of the game that their relationship is interpreted romantically. By the creators of the game.
And if Word of God confirmation isn’t enough for you, have a song written for a cut alternate ending by GLaDOS’ voice actress, Ellen McClain. The song is literally nothing but GLaDOS talking about caring about Chell, about not wanting her to die/leave GLaDOS alone, about wanting to bake a cake with Chell, about waiting for Chell to wake her up. It’s so genuinely sweet and sad, and really, really romantic in the most heartwrenching way possible.
JoCo also came back for the Portal levels in Lego Dimensions, writing one final breakup song for GLaDOS to sing about Chell. It comes off as GLaDOS not wanting to admit she misses Chell even though she obviously does, trying to replace their relationship but failing, and even explicitly forgiving Chell/wanting her to come back.
Also, the “finally I understand,” as if only now GLaDOS understands just how deep her feelings for Chell are... What else can I say?
In Lego Dimensions, GLaDOS also outright rejects anyone who isn’t Chell.
Why do I ship Chell and GLaDOS?
Well, ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether I ship them.
Because I think it’s glaringly obvious Portal does.
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some follow-up thoughts on BnHA 306
mostly Deku angst, but also a little Baku angst (and some TodoBaku angst) mixed in for good measure. because there’s plenty of angst to go around.
1. “if I’d only been stronger...”
I’ll talk more about Deku later in this post as well, because there’s definitely plenty to talk about; this is the most character development he’s gotten in almost 200 chapters. but for starters, I want to discuss the possible parallels between Deku’s current character arc, and what is arguably the most iconic moment of angst/character development in the series.
remember how this kid, who up until this point had rarely seemed to give two fucks about the world around him, suddenly revealed that he blamed himself for being the downfall of All Might? remember how it came almost out of nowhere? how he’d been hiding it, and trying to suppress it? “but even if I try to forget... sometimes it all just comes rushing back.”
yeah. so anyway, I got to thinking -- if being the cause of one hero’s downfall could affect someone this badly, what about being responsible for the downfall of all heroes?
what if a boy who wanted nothing more than to keep people safe suddenly found himself at the epicenter of a disaster that killed hundreds, possibly even thousands of people?
now obviously, this is not the sole thing that’s troubling Deku right now; this kid has a whole array of traumas as of the War arc. like, you know it’s bad when Society As We Know It Coming To An End Partially Because Of You is the least of your problems. but still, I think this is worth bringing up, because the hero kids blaming themselves for things that aren’t their fault is hardly anything new. and yet, what with everything else that’s been going on -- all of the Todoroki drama, and Vestige revelations, and hospital antics, and political strife -- I feel like it’s easy to forget or overlook this little detail.
the fact is that AFO put this entire plan into motion solely in the hopes of finally obtaining OFA. every single thing that happened at Jakku -- Tomura powering up; Machia waking up and going on his rampage (after being ordered to do so by Tomura); and even Dabi/Touya choosing this moment to finally strike (because he knew this was when the reveal would do the maximum damage -- when people’s faith in heroes was already wavering) -- every last bit of it can ultimately be traced back to AFO’s desire to steal OFA. which, obviously, makes it AFO’s fault, not Deku’s. but then, Kamino wasn’t actually Katsuki’s fault either. it wasn’t his fault the villains went after him (but he blamed himself anyway), and it wasn’t his fault that people got hurt in the ensuing battle to save him (but he blamed himself anyway).
just. I think we’re underestimating just how strong of an impact all of this likely had on Deku. we haven’t really had the chance to see him process it yet. he’s been too busy, and there have been too many other things going on. but I’m telling you guys, that empty look in his eyes in the final page of the chapter? I can all but guarantee you that at least some of that emotional weight is coming from this.
sure would be nice if he had a friend who knew exactly what that was like, and could help him process the guilt and all of the other associated emotions, just like Deku once helped him. unfortunately I’m not so sure things will be that easy this time around. anyways though let’s move on to a couple of other thoughts and speculations.
2. “...and I bullied him.”
one of my least-favorite BnHA fanfic tropes is the one where the rest of class 1-A somehow finds out about Katsuki and Deku’s history -- i.e. that Katsuki bullied Deku throughout most of their childhood. mind you, it’s not the concept itself that I dislike; it’s mostly how it’s used. a lot of times it’s just an excuse to have all of the other kids turn on Katsuki and ostracize him; either because the author thinks that’s what he deserves, or else so that Deku can eventually come to his rescue and defend him and shame the rest of the class for not seeing how much he’s changed. either way, it’s usually pretty awkward to read, and more often than not the characters are pretty OOC (especially Ochako and Todoroki).
however! there’s a big difference between fanfic and canon, and just because I’m not a fan of this trope in the former doesn’t mean it couldn’t be executed well in the latter. and lately I’ve been thinking about this a lot. mainly for three reasons:
the recent (can we still call it recent?? well whatever) scene where Katsuki confessed to All Might that he used to bully Deku is now one of my favorite scenes in the entire series, and proof that this can be executed well.
both Todoroki and Deku have finally had their respective big secrets revealed to the rest of the class. so like, idk. feels like it just might be secret-revealing season now, you know?
and lastly, as a result of Deku’s secret about OFA finally being revealed, the rest of 1-A now either knows, or can extrapolate, that he used to be quirkless.
and from there, I feel like it’s not all that hard to put two and two together with how terrible Kacchan and Deku’s relationship was when they first started at UA. that’s not a terribly difficult puzzle to solve. so I feel like it might come out anyway, and if so, I’d prefer Bakugou telling them himself, and taking responsibility as part of his atonement process. because we know that he regrets it. we know their relationship has changed. we know that he has changed. and so I think I might like to see this.
alternately, if confessing to the entire class is too much, at the very least I could see him confessing to Shouto, because I’ve always felt like this was one of the big things that made Katsuki so resistant to letting Todoroki call him a friend. because I feel like there’s a part of Katsuki that saw the parallels between Endeavor’s abuse of Shouto and his own bullying of Deku, and thought, he wouldn’t be so quick to call me his friend if he actually knew the truth. and so there’s actually been this roadblock wedged between them this whole time that Shouto doesn’t even know about. because Shouto hates Endeavor. and so it’s not such a leap to assume he’d hate Katsuki too if he knew just how terrible he’d been to Deku when they were younger.
not that I think he actually would! actually I don’t think either of those things is actually true (because Shouto clearly doesn’t hate his father either, in spite of everything that’s happened). but the point isn’t what I think -- the point is what Katsuki thinks. and I really do think there’s a good chance he’s worried about Shouto hating him, and it’s one of the things that’s made him so reluctant to accept his friendship. anyway, so I’m really just rambling now, but you get my point. I don’t know if this is actually going to happen, but it’s a scene I would like to see if Horikoshi decides to indulge me.
3. “...so when you wake up, please give him my best.”
and now, as promised, back to Deku.
ngl guys, when I first saw this image, my immediate thought was that Gran must have died. because I mean, hello, leaving U.A.?? donning himself in his teacher’s old cape?? empty, exhausted look in his eyes?? what else were we supposed to think lol.
but maybe that was an overreaction. because when I think about it more, Gran’s death isn’t strictly necessary in order to push Deku over the edge. first of all, there’s already the whole “hero society is in ruins now because of you” thing I mentioned earlier. but also, there are just so many other things. like, let’s just list them here because omg. what a rough couple of days this kid had.
he was forced to battle TomurAFO and was terribly injured in the process (most of which was his own fault, but he wouldn’t have gone that far with OFA unless he felt like he had no choice)
and it wasn’t just him that was injured, either. in fact, even though he tried to act as bait to keep everyone else safe, he wasn’t able to stop three of the people closest to him from nearly being killed right before his eyes
and of course that last one was especially traumatic, because it was Kacchan, and because he had to watch Kacchan nearly die just to protect him. out of all the things that Deku witnessed in this arc, this might be the one that had the biggest impact on him
he was also basically helpless to do anything to protect Shouto and Endeavor when Dabi showed up. so again, we have this running theme of people he cares about being hurt and him not being able to save them
and he also got sucked into the OFA Interstellar Dream Vortex for a brief spell during the battle, during which he learned that AFO had possessed Tomura. more importantly, he learned that Tomura was Nana’s grandson, a fact which was only briefly touched on during that scene, but which I think wound up being the trigger to the whole avalanche that ended with Deku leaving UA. but more on that in a moment
anyway so just to wrap this all up, the battle eventually ended, Tomura got away despite all of their efforts, and then Deku wound up comatose in the hospital for two days. which brings us to the most recent chapters, during which
Deku learns that he will be the last wielder of OFA, whether he likes or not
Deku learns the identity of the last two mystery OFA users
and then at some point, he wakes up and presumably talks to Gran, and winds up with his cape
something happened during these last two scenes which helped to push Deku over the edge. I won’t delve into the matter of the Second or Third users for now, although most of you already know my suspicions regarding that, and I do think that would fit into the general pattern here (that is, the pattern of Deku feeling more and more strongly that he is putting the people around him in danger, and his fear of losing them becoming so overwhelming that it eventually pushes him to leave).
but that’s not what I want to talk about for now. what I want to talk about is Gran. specifically, what it is that Deku discussed with Gran. and this is where we come back to that reveal I mentioned earlier -- that Tomura is Nana’s grandchild.
basically, what I think happened is that Deku mentioned seeing Nana in the OFA Zany Psychedelic Spirit Void, which led to the topic of Tomura, and the fun fact Deku recently learned about him being related to Nana. this, in turn leads to Gran divulging his various regrets about everything that happened with him and Nana and Kotarou. his intent is to apologize to Deku for placing the burden of their failures on him. unfortunately, the part that Deku actually gets fixated on instead is this:
All for One hunted down and killed Nana’s son (and probably her husband as well), and stole her grandchild and psychologically tortured him into becoming a mass murderer, for no other reason than that Nana had once held OFA
in other words, AFO can and will hurt and kill anyone Deku is close to, anyone who has any kind of connection to him at all, without mercy, and regardless of whether it actually gives him any kind of tactical advantage or not. he’ll do it simply to hurt him. no other reason necessary.
I don’t know about you, but for me that would be a terrifying realization. and for Deku, I think it just might have been the tipping point.
so, let’s recap.
Deku learns that AFO is after him
AFO/Tomura very nearly kills several of Deku’s most important people, including Kacchan
and then he learns that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and realizes that all of their lives are still in danger and will continue to be as long as Deku is AFO’s target
and then add to all of this the misplaced guilt about society already being shambles, and the heroes already having more than enough to worry about. they’re barely holding things together as it is. and we already know how Deku feels about being a burden to them:
and so instead, he leaves. of course he does. in hindsight, I think this was inevitable.
the question is, did anyone else also put the pieces together in time to realize what Deku was planning before he actually left? specifically, did Katsuki, who understands Deku’s self-sacrificial nature better than anyone else, see the signs and put two and two together? like he did back at Jakku?
and if he did, would Deku have been willing to accept his help again?
somehow, I can’t help but think it might not be that easy this time.
anyway, so that was a lot of rambling, lol. sorry about that. I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS about all of this angsty shit. tired nomad Deku needs hugs and comfort and someone to reassure him that he doesn’t have to face this alone, and that everything is going to be all right. HE IS JUST A LITTLE BOY. this is too much, and I cannot handle any of these feels, and oh my god, somebody please help him.
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Why Elriel has the most realistic relationship in the ACOTAR series
Disclaimer: If you’re reading this, please take a step back from your personal preferences (ships, characters). This post lacks any subjectivity and focuses, instead, on the timeline (canon) of the ACOTAR series, and what this means for the development of Azriel and Elain’s relationship.
I’m always surprised when I read a post claiming that Elriel is not realistic, or that it came out of nowhere. While I will use scenes from the books as references, my biggest argument against Elriel not being realistic, or having come out of nowhere, is the passing of time (and compatibility).
These two characters have spent more time together than any other ACOTAR couple.
How, then, does it not make sense that they developed a mutual attraction/feelings for one another?
Remember: We have yet to read Elain’s POV, and have read very little about Azriel’s thoughts and feelings, but the little we do know is very telling.
Let’s start by looking at compatibility—something that Maas has focused on, again and again, since their first meeting.
Feyre draws constant parallels between them—how alike they are in temperament. How similar they are, both able to put others at ease without much difficulty. They’ve shared one scene together, interacted once, and Feyre can already picture it, picture them together.
Most importantly, however, Maas draws the reader’s attention to their ability to read one another. Remember—Azriel’s own family is unable to discern his thoughts/emotions and yet, Elain manages to do so during their first meeting.
This shows how perceptive they both are.
Their ability to read each other is addressed again in Azriel’s Bonus POV, but more on that later.
Then, in ACOWAR, the little hints about their compatibility increase tenfold. Do you think that it’s a coincidence that Elain interacts with Azriel moments after her first interaction with Lucien?
(It is also interesting to note the description in this passage. The image is poetic, and the meaning behind this moment (him carrying her in his arms through the front door - bridal-style? - even more so).
Do you think that it’s a coincidence that, after saying that no one truly sees her (or bothers to look), we see Azriel offering to show Elain the garden? He senses what she needs before anyone else does.
(It should also be noted that he offers to show it to her, something that no one asked him to do.)
Do you think that it’s a coincidence that Elain, who is viewed as the weakest of the Archeron sisters, is never afraid (or intimidated by) Azriel, who is often perceived as one of the (if not the) most feared member of the IC? Azriel, with his shadows and wings, with his cold eyes and expressionless face?
Do you think that it’s a coincidence that Feyre noticed the small moment between them, when Elain looked at his scars and called them beautiful? The scars on his hands are a reminder of the horrors he endured and yet, Elain calls them beautiful.
(It is almost as if she truly sees him, as well).
Finally, do you think that it’s a coincidence that Feyre, who witnessed both, Elain’s interaction with Lucien and Azriel, questions whether the Cauldron chose the right mate for Elain?
Again, we have the poetic description, and two contrasting images: brutal and lovely. And yet, Feyre looks at them and sees how compatible they truly are. She knows Lucien well—she considers him a friend—and yet, the chemistry between Azriel and Elain is so evident (and has been since ACOMAF), that she cannot help but wonder if the Cauldron made a mistake.
I would also like to draw your attention to the scene that Feyre witnesses between them. They are both sitting in silence and yet, they appear content. Do you know how rare it is to be in the same room with someone and not feel the need to fill the silence with conversation? I don’t know about you, but I’ve only ever experienced this feeling with the people I’m closest to.
Azriel understands Elain’s need for peace and quiet (a need that he shares and can relate to, as well), and he chooses to stay with her in the garden (again, no one asked him to). She is comfortable enough around him to not mind his presence. In fact, with Elain drinking her tea and Azriel reading his reports, they are the very picture of domesticity.
Then, Azriel continues to seek out her presence.
Any interactions between them take place behind the scenes, but again, notice how Azriel is the one offering to keep her company in the garden. Feyre was going to do it herself, but he stepped in. What can we conclude from this?
He enjoys her company.
So much so that, after the Ravens’ attack, when Nesta worries about Elain, Rhys informs her that Azriel was still at the house when the attack happened.
The scenes that follow are the most widely discussed, so I will only mention them briefly:
It is not a coincidence that it was Azriel (and not Lucien) who figured out that Elain is a seer (nor is it a coincidence that he was the only one who truly listened to her, instead of thinking that she’s gone mad, like everyone else).
It is not a coincidence that he was the only one who thought of her when the Cauldron lured her away. Why didn’t Nesta, the overprotective older sister? Or Feyre, who dreamed of it happening? Why did Maas have Azriel utter, “What about Elain?”
It is not a coincidence that he was the one who risked his life to save hers (and not Lucien).
I believe that, if Elain wasn’t already feeling some kind of pull towards Azriel, having him rescue her was the final push in that direction.
And it makes perfect sense.
She’s never seen by anyone (not even her sisters)—until she meets Azriel. Not only does he pay attention to what she needs, he keeps her company, and seemingly enjoys being in her presence.
Similarly, it makes perfect sense for Azriel to feel a pull towards Elain, as well.
Contrary to what a loud majority has been saying, Azriel does not need another Cassian or Mor in his life. He is quite obviously an introvert, who craves peace and quiet above all else. He is surrounded by extroverts and, if you’re an introvert, you know how draining it can be. It makes sense, then, that he gravitated towards Elain, whose temperament matches his.
Again, it all comes down to compatibility.
They understand each other.
He understands her need for peace and quiet, and she understands his.
They accept each other.
But, more importantly, they trust each other.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? That he risked his life without a second thought to save hers. By the time Elain gets taken, Azriel and Elain have spent time in each other’s company and have quite obviously formed a bond/connection—a companionship of sorts, built on mutual understanding and acceptance.
She trusts him. She feels safe with him. Something that I guarantee she hasn’t felt since being violated and changed into a Fae against her will.
Similarly, he trusts her.
Why does Azriel give Truth-Teller, his legendary blade, to Elain? He doesn’t just let her touch it; he actually lends it to her, and trusts her enough to know that she’ll return it to him when she’s ready to.
In 500+ years, he has never let another person touch that blade—not even Mor, the woman he loves—but he parts with it for Elain.
Why? Because he knows that she cannot go into a battlefield unarmed, and understands that she, too, trusts him enough to accept it and use it if need be.
We, as readers, understand the importance of this moment. Maas draws our attention to Cassian’s shock, and includes the dialogue between Feyre and Rhys to underline, again and again, that something extremely significant is taking place.
So significant, in fact, that the scene was included in the coloring book and mentioned again in ACOFAS.
Maas is once again saying how rare this is. How different. How significant.
And what about the description? Like before, Maas uses poetic wording and contrasting imagery to describe Azriel and Elain.
The only bridge of connection—because what we are seeing, what we’ve been getting hints of, is two people who have slowly formed a connection.
Trust is earned.
Trust is built.
It does not happen overnight.
Remember—the majority of Azriel and Elain’s relationship takes place behind the scenes. We know that they are spending time together—and even have a description of some of their interactions—but we don’t really know what happens when it’s just the two of them.
This connection between them does not happen overnight.
ACOFAS takes place months after the war.
And what do we witness?
Azriel and Elain having grown even closer. In other words, we see progress and development.
He respects her, and cares about her. He makes everyone wait for her to be seated at the table, something he has never done before (similar to when he lended her Truth-Teller).
Again, that understanding.
And Azriel seeking out her company.
And Elain seeing him, paying attention to his needs.
Making him laugh like no one has ever had before.
And finally, them enjoying spending time in each other’s company. At 3 AM.
Azriel would rather sit and listen to Elain talk about her garden than go upstairs with the others.
Notice the pattern of understanding, trust, and connection that Maas has been coming back to (and increasing, strengthening) since ACOMAF.
Why, then, are readers surprised by their feelings?
More than two years have passed since their first meeting.
By the time we get a glimpse into Azriel’s thoughts and feelings, these two characters have been interacting and spending time with each other for years.
No, his feelings did not come out of nowhere.
No, their feelings are not cliché, or unrealistic.
No, he did not get over Mor after meeting Elain. In fact, we went from this in ACOMAF:
To this in ACOWAR:
And finally, to this, in ACOSF:
Again, remember: ACOSF takes place 1.5 years after ACOWAR, and almost 2 years after ACOMAF.
Azriel getting over Mor has been a gradual process. Same with Elain getting over Graysen.
Azriel does not see Elain as the third sister, one he is entitled to.
He actually sees Elain, something that Maas has been hinting at since ACOMAF.
The relationship (and feelings) between these two characters has been building for 2 years.
And 90% of it has taken place behind the scenes.
Azriel’s POV is proof of this:
What looks? What occasional brush of their fingers?
We’ve seen none of this.
And it makes sense.
We haven’t gotten their POVs yet.
Even Azriel’s POV is filled with the pattern that Maas has established for them since ACOMAF.
Understanding (and an ability to read each other without the use of words):
This is why their relationship is far more realistic (and healthy, but that’s a post for another time) than Feysand’s or Nessian’s. In a way, it reminds me of Kallias and Viviane’s (friends to lovers), who spent years developing a friendship, which then turned into romantic feelings.
Because they’ve had time.
Time to get to know each other, to connect with each other.
Time to develop a friendship which then slowly turned into romantic feelings and sexual desire.
This is also why I connect with and understand their relationship—more so than anyone else’s in the ACOTAR series.
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New Coke Reference (M!leven and Byler)
Recently, I’ve seen this amazing theory by @ghostgirlinsatin, about the New Coke reference and how it represents M!leven and Byler. (I recommend checking it out, it's amazing) I decided I will be expanding the post, explaining my own thoughts and ideas and how everything correlates.
As you all know, I’m working on my Byler proofs for season three, however I have a lot to say so I decided to make a separate post about this reference so it doesn’t take up too much space in my Byler analysis.
So, let’s get started shall we?
Season Three Episode Seven : The Bite
Before I begin talking about the New Coke reference, I’d like you all to take a moment to see where everyone is sitting. In my Byler pairings analysis, I noted that the scene looks very planned, as you can see in the photo below, all of the main couples of the series are sitting together. Byler, J*ncy, L*max, and El by herself, possibly foreshadowing the future relationships in the series.
I believe that this is 100% intentional. They did this on purpose, they wouldn't accidentally put Mike and Will that close to each other if they weren’t in a relationship.
Now, about the New Coke reference;
Lucas talks about the classic Coke, which is “the classic. No question about it.” which definitely relates to M!leven, in some way or another. It is the original relationship that we were introduced to.
“But the remake… Sweeter. Bolder. Better.”
Now, let’s break this down.
The remake is Byler of course. It still contains some of the main components of M!leven (Mike) just like New Coke containing some of the original components of the regular Coke. Lucas states that it’s sweeter, and sweeter can be interpreted two ways. 1) the taste of something, 2) a personality trait.
This means Byler is essentially sweeter (the personality trait) than M!leven, I may be biased when I agree with this, but I do think this makes sense because M!leven is interpreted as an unhealthy relationship all the time (by Hopper). Unhealthy is another trait which can be used for food and personalities.
So, both Byler and M!leven correlates with each other because they are both interpreted with traits that correlate with food.
Moving on, Lucas states that the New Coke is bolder, which 100% makes sense.
With Byler most likely being the endgame for the series, it is a risky move that the writers are going to make. It can turn away a lot of viewers, and making Byler canon is bolder for sure, since we have yet to see a LGBTQ+ couple in Stranger Things yet.
And then Lucas states that New Coke is better, confirming the path the writers decided to go. And- it may confirm that Lucas ships Byler.
Enough with that, let’s move on.
“So, you prefer the original thing?”
“What? No, I’m not talking about ‘the thing’ I’m talking about New Coke.”
Notice how they use the word ‘thing’.
Do you remember Mike saying “You’re the most important thing to me in the world” to Eleven? So, Eleven/M!leven represents ‘the thing’/original Coke.
And, Mike responds with ‘no’ when Lucas asks if he likes the original/M!leven.
In this whole conversation, Mike never says he doesn’t like New Coke. He just seems generally disgusted when Lucas decides to drink it.
My theory which might be just a little too crazy is that Mike actually likes New Coke (Byler), but pretends to not like it and like the original (M!leven), going with everyone else's perspective. (When Coke introduced their new formula, everyone hated it. So, Mike is just doing what is popular when he strongly disagrees. Similar to how majority of fans love M!leven and hate Byler.) This theory might be a bit too far fetched but I think the plausibility of it is quite large.
What have we learned so far;
Original Coke/’the thing’ represents Eleven and M!leven
New Coke represents Byler
Byler is sweeter, bolder, and better than M!leven
Byler is the endgame
But, we’re not done. There is still a lot to analyze.
Now, have a look at this;
Lucas thinks in the same concept as regular Coke, and some ways it is. For example, El and Will are paralleled to each other all the time, and with the route the writers are going Will might acquire powers like Eleven or have some connection to the Upside Down. And, Byler and M!leven are paralleled to each other all the time as well. Mike is in both relationships. So yes, it is the same concept in some ways except El and Will are switched.
This is where Mike argues and says it’s not the same concept. And yes, it isn’t the same concept, as it’s a gay relationship and a straight one. El and Will have different personalities, and Mike feels differently towards both Will and El.
They’re both right in a way, the concept are the same and different.
(Thought I’d point out the heart eyes and little glance Will gives Mike in the second photo, just thought it was cute)
Mike and Lucas argue, their fight continues.
To which El interrupts the conversation because she is the person coming between New Coke (Byler) and original Coke (M!leven).
The argument ends with Lucas saying that it is the same concept.
That is all I have to analyze for the New Coke scene, however there are multiple New Coke references in the season which correlates to M!leven and Byler.
For example, this shot of a New Coke in El’s room during one of the makeout scenes.
Season Three Episode One : Suzie, Do You Copy?
New Coke represents Byler, remember? So, Byler is present while Mike and El are in a relationship.
I don’t have much to analyze about this scene, however the make-out scene is very uncomfortable to watch, and if you notice when El puts her hands on Mike’s shoulder, Mike pulls them off, clearly uncomfortable too. And- there is a theory I have noticed popping around recently about how Mike might be imagining someone else while he kisses El. Since New Coke is in the room, this makes the theory that much more plausible. It is very likely he could be imagining Will while kissing El.
There are also other New Coke references in the show, which conclude Byler is the endgame and M!leven is not. For example, these scenes;
Season Three Episode Eight : The Battle of Starcourt
In the first scene, El tries to crush the New Coke container with her mind, but she obviously can’t because she doesn’t have her powers anymore.
In the next scene when El has a flashback to season one where she crushes an original Coke with her mind, she is able to do it.
Remember, New Coke is Byler, original Coke is M!leven.
El can’t crush the New Coke (Byler) container because it is the endgame, and is superior over M!leven. However, El can crush the regular Coke (M!leven) because it is not the endgame and is not the one which will continue as the series goes on.
Now, I’d like to discuss a Stranger Things commercial used to promote Coca Cola, which results with Steve going to the movies and meeting Dustin, as well as a ‘friend’ named Tracy. To me, this parallels very similarly with a certain relationship I know 👀
Please watch the full promotion, I recommend watching it right here. Right now, Steve is paralleled to Mike because Steve is the one that arrives at Starcourt, and Mike is the one to arrive at Starcourt in the actual show. Will is Tracy, obviously.
You can see the romantic tension between Tracy and Steve. It parallels very much to the scene in the movie theater with Will and Mike. But since Will and Mike are both boys, it is missed by almost the entire audience.
Steve mentions he’s just seeing a friend, which parallels to Byler because Byler are just ‘friends’. But, he obviously doesn’t mean it when he says he’s seeing a friend, once again paralleling to Byler who want to be more than friends. This is intentional foreshadowing of the romantic relationship between Mike and Will.
And if you still don’t believe that New Coke represents Mike and Will, well you’re just in luck, I have more proof for you.
There is one more New Coke reference in the movie theater scene, which is where I’ll leave the analysis off.
Do you see it? If not;
That’s right. NEW COKE in between MIKE AND WILL, proving that New Coke represents both of them and that they correlate to the New Coke scene in episode seven.
So in conclusion, be on the lookout if you see any Coke’s or New Coke’s in Stranger Things. They represent Byler and M!leven. Likes and reblogs appreciated, thank you!
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Why SaNa over other ships?
Now, this is not to hate on other ships or downplay them, because what shipping really comes down to is often simply preference. What characters or dynamics you enjoy and what reasons you might have for liking different things.
No, this is simply my own reasons for why I like SaNa and also why I think they could make sense and thirdly why it’s possible Oda could be setting it up to actually happen in canon. It’s all just my views and I apologize if I forget a moment or add something that is more head canon, but again, this is my reasons and they will always be partially biased. (And there are too many to remember them all properly, so if you want to add feel welcome to do so.)
I think Sanji and Nami is a lovely ship even based just on fan content and the community. But we also get some great moments in the manga, and I personally think there is potential for Oda to make an actual romance work between them.
1. Why I like Sanji and Nami
I personally fell in love with Sanji before I even started to watch or read One Piece, simply based on his voice actor (Hiroaki Hirata), his design and his fighting style. So obviously I already have a bias towards Sanji (SanjiAFsincedayone having a bias towards Sanji? Who knew?). I didn’t ship Sanji with Nami from the start and even now I am a multi shipper who enjoys fan content with Sanji as a main part of several pairs, most prominently ZoSan.
So, when did I fall for SaNa then? Well, I have talked about it in various posts before which you can find in my Masterpost - SanjiAFsincedayone, but for me shipping Sanji and Nami more seriously didn’t start until Thriller Bark.
Sanji took a knife in the back for her as she is dressed in a wedding dress, even this one scene is enough to explain why someone might like to ship them together.
I for sure saw many SaNa moments before that, and felt Nami seemed special to Sanji, but I didn’t think it would have a big chance of happening and I preferred other ships above it when consuming fan material. Again, shipping is after all mostly fantasy and wanting more of something in a romantic/sexual way. Thriller Bark was when Sanji and Nami’s interactions caught my attention properly and I started to look a bit closer and actually note the way Oda wrote them and their moments. Going back after and rereading I think there is a lot of interesting things even before that. But the wedding theme and bridal carry and how Oda showed them in Thriller Bark was just too on the nose to ignore.
What got me into shipping Sanji with Nami were mainly three things.
1. Their dynamics getting more interesting over time and Sanji and Nami being two of the most well written and interesting characters in One Piece.
2. Sanji consistently seeming to have a preference for Nami in combination with my belief that he is after true love and isn’t just a pervert forever doomed to be alone.
3. The manga showing the potential of it actually happening and them finally catching my attention in Thriller Bark. Basically there are moments to follow and look at in the actual story as well, which in turn also leads to more fan content and material for shippers.
So point 1 and 2 really is mostly about my preference and how much I enjoy watching them together and how well I imagine they would fit together. I think their personalities and desires overlap well with them being able to understand and compromise for each other while aslo being on a similar level of intelligence and communication. They also have their kindness and empathy as a highlighted shared theme for their characters.
Them talking about the Children in Punk Hazard or Sanji helping Nami turn in the argument between both Luffy and Vivi and Luffy and Usopp are some examples. Or Nami letting Sanji smoke in her body because she knows how hard it is for him. Small gestures like this show both understanding and a willingness to compromise.
I think they are fun and have a relationship that right now might need working on, but it’s clear how much they care for each other and how they actually appriciate each other a lot.
Simply put I think they are interesting together and I think they could work as a romantic couple in the future, where their dreams and family oriented views migh allign. Again, from how I view them as characters and interpret their wants and possible futures I think Sanji and Nami is a good match. They can have a restaurant either traveling the world or docked close to both Cocoyashi and Zeff, Nami can tend to her mikans together with Sanji and they can manage a restaurant for a living. I also think they are the most parental members in the crew and has shown some possible signs of wanting to settle down with families. This would also work well as a final contrast to their less than happy childhoods (You might also want to check out my post (Part 3) Sanji x Nami hints - Thematic parallels).
There is a lot of potential in their dynamics and how different they seem while they also seem willing to adapt and try to understand each other that make them interesting as characters of romantic plots. At the same time they have enough in common to relate to each other and work well together. Again, as a fictional ship within the fandom there is a lot of great artists, writers etc. that truly explore them and make Sanji and Nami a great and fun ship with an active fandom to engage with.
Of course there are more shallow reasons like them matching in age and being good-looking but really I could ship Sanji with almost any woman if it was only about the looks. I mean, Purin is basically made to be a perfect match for Sanji, but I personally find his dynamic with Nami much more interesting and his dedication to Nami is of course unpraralleled thanks to the time Oda has spent on them over many years.
I love Sanji and Nami as individual characters and with the amount of moments between them there is also a lot to explore and enjoy in the manga. It makes them interesting in a third aspect for me, which is of course analysis and the potential of them actually ending up together and looking closer at the way Oda writes them from a story perspective. For me what we have gotten from Oda in terms of Sanji x Nami moments is very interesting and I see potential there even though it would need more development to truly work for the current story.
But, again shipping doesn’t have to mean anything for the actual story... There are crack ships or slash ships that surely will never happen but that could still be great and fun to explore for the fans. Honestly, everyone is free to ship whatever they want. We all have different taste after all.
So, what about the manga then?
2. Why do I think they could make sense as a romantic couple even in canon?
First, my own view is that Sanji is someone who seeks true love, and as briefly shown with both Violet and Purin it seems like he would take an actual relationship seriously if given the chance. I also think it would make him happy and thus as Oda might want to create happy resolutions for the strawhats I think Sanji ending up with someone has quite a big chance of happening. This is combination with his preference for Nami and in turn Nami truly caring for him (though not yet in a romantic way) is something that makes me think it could happen. Other ships have potential too depending on how Oda decides to develop them, but considering how he keeps adding moments for SaNa in the way he does as of now I still think SaNa is the most likely ship for Sanji.
As I mentioned earlier I also think Nami has shown some possible inclinations for wanting a family (or at least being a great mother if we look at her with children in many arc, not the least Punk Hazard) and maybe even getting married eventually.
If she ends up with someone we will need to see a more obvious attraction and want for romance from her no matter what ship we might consider. She has at this point not shown a lot, but I do think the thematic parallels she shares with Sanji in combination with how their moments are written has the potential to grow into something more.
As a romantic pair I think Sanji and Nami would be happy, he would adore her and take care of her and both of them would probably find that ideal. In fact it’s already a big part of their dynamics and seem to make them both happy. They also seem to try to understand and show interest in knowing each other as seen with several scenes and general attention towards each other’s backstories. They also challange each other in different ways and we have seen them compromise a few times. I think compared to many other relationship in the manga Oda has shown more personal moments between them. So a romantic additional aspect is not too far off. Not that Oda would make it happen now, but that he would lay down the groundwork for it to work by the end of the series.
In short I think they would make each other happy, but also challange and grow thanks to the other. I think their dreams of traveling the world with Nami drawing her map and Sanji cooking on all the seas and finding All Blue and then settiling down together close to both their “homes” in East Blue with a restaurant and family seems to fit them both. It wouldn’t always be easy, but I think they would actually enjoy their dynamics with Nami bossing Sanji around most of the time.
Now this all sounds nice and all, but it’s of course just my imagination based on biased interpretations of the manga. So where do I get it from?
3. The way SaNa is portrayed by Oda
Now this is really the biggest point... Because again, I can ship whatever characters I want and it is just for fun. It doesn’t have to happen for me to enjoy it or I wouldn’t ship Sanji with Zoro. But with Sanji and Nami there are legit reasons in addition to my preference that makes me think it could happen in the manga.
It might take years to actually go through it all in order with my additional interpretations, but I will try to go through the basics themes and moments that to me could indicate SaNa over any other Sanji or Namji ship.
I think the obvious thing to talk about first is simply how Sanji definitely has a romantic (and sexual) interest in Nami. No matter what other character you might see with either of them, this has been shown consistantly over the whole manga. You may argue that Sanji might be interested in others equally, and though I wouldn’t agree it’s a fair point. However from a story perspective it would still need to be resolved. It’s highly unlikely for Nami to end up with anyone unless Sanji ends up with someone else and gets a happy ending too.
As for Sanji’s interest in Nami I personally think Oda has paid a lot of attention to it in a way that makes it the most likely ship for Sanji. He might yet add moments between other ships and develop them (most notably San/Pu of course), but in my opinion the way Oda has added Nami in other potential romantic moments with Sanji it seems Nami is above every other woman so far.
Most importantly I think we have seen:
Sanji leave Violet who actually seemed to show interest in him to run off to save Nami (and the crew, but the point is that Oda chose to highlight and add this moment with focus on Nami to begin with).
Sanji being more focused on Nami even when Vivi and Robin has been on the ship or at the same place. Oda definitely puts Sanji with Nami above other women at least in amount of moments and involvment.
Sanji being very concerned with Nami in front of Purin and being shown happy with her (the bridal carry for example) and saying he loves her right in front of Purin.
Sanji having stronger reactions to Nami than other women. This could just be my way of seeing it, but I do think we have seen the strongest reactions from Sanji when it comes to Nami. Not the least with turning into a literal devil when he heard she was kidnapped by Absalom. For example compare Sanji rushing after Nami in both Skypiea and Thriller Bark even to him going after Robin. Or his reaction to Nami getting sick in Drum. We simply have a lot of strong reactions from Sanji towards Nami in different ways and more importantly Oda seeming to add focus on them.
We also have him reacting to things like “women’s tears” or calls but only indicating Nami might be calling him personally. For example Sanji hearing Tashigi cry or saying he trusts Violet or Robin even though they are lying but for Nami adding things like “I think I heard Nami call out for me” or moments like “I leave my Nami to you”. Basically the way Oda writes it there often seems to be added a more personal stake in Sanji’s reactions and moments with Nami compared to with other women.
So from Sanji’s point of view, and the way Oda has written them so far, I think he puts Nami above every other woman. But more importantly, Oda shows us moments between them that he doesn’t add for other ships as consistantly or in romantic looking ways. Keep in mind that both Nami and Sanji are main characters, but they are not Luffy. Oda choosing to not use Luffy (who will obviously have strong moments with all of his nakama, like how he had his own time with Sanji both in Baratie and WCI) for some of these moments but rather insert Sanji or Nami instead for each other’s stories makes it more relevant. Because it’s not an obvious choice in the same way. It’s a choice based on their characters and dynamics within the world, not because of their roles as main hero or heroine. Here are some examples.
1. Their first meeting. Sanji is for the first time seen in love cook mode and he basically seem ready to leave everything behind for Nami. Right away his reaction to Nami is stronger than what we have seen from him and it seems to hold true even with time.
2. SaNa having interest and plot relevance to each other’s back stories. Sanji getting involved with hearing Nami’s back story and saving his sister. Also, calling her “sister” which indicates a platonic familiarity where he puts Nami above Nojiko romantically (yes, despite flirting some with her). Nami in turn also getting involved and showing interest in Sanji’s backstory, pushing to go with Luffy to save Sanji and being the one to remind us of Sanji’s past and character traits.
3. Sanji getting personally tantalized by using Nami. This has happened several times, the first with Kuroobi in Arlong Park, but also with Mr. 2 in Alabasta, Absalom in Thriller Bark and then in Fishman Island (Zou too, but that wasn’t just Nami) and on Zou. You can check my post (thought not updated fully) Sanji and Nami – Fights and danger for a more detailed view. (Even in movies like Strong World Sanji has a direct talk with Shiki about Nami and it seems most people are aware of Sanji being extra sensitive to Nami.)
4. Sanji asking Nami if she is jealous or if she loves him, indicating again that he is interested to know is she is interested in him. Once even responding “I love you too”. In general Nami responding in these situations in a more “positive way” or Oda showing Sanji interpreting her actions as more romantic. For example the “proposal” or the hug in WCI.
5. Romantic looking moments or themes. Now this is of couse not something that has been done mutually between them and thus aren’t actually romantic scenes. But the tropes and common use for many of the things that Oda has chosen to use for Sanji and Nami are romantic in nature. Of course the two forced marriages are the strongest examples with them rescuing each other from getting married to someone else. But we also have the switch body trope, the slap and of course smaller gestures like the bridal carries or the way Oda drew the hug between them in WCI. I am not saying that SaNa is the only ship with romantic looking moments, because San/Pu And San/Violet obviously has some as well. However, considering the amount SaNa moments and the fact that he has left Violet and Purin in particular for Nami seems to make the SaNa moments trump any other ship. At least for me personally SaNa as it is now and as Oda has portrayed it in comparison to other Sanji ships gets in the way of Sanji ending up with someone else unless Oda starts to make some changes.
I want to make some emphasis on how Nami and Sanji seem to get some “bigger” moments between them in almost every arc. Again, compare this to Sanji with other women, or even Nami with other crew members.
Baratie - Their first meeting and Sanji’s reaction to Nami and interest gets focus.
Arlong Park - Sanji shows interest in Nami’s past and Kuroobi mocks Sanji by specfically mentioning Nami.
( Loguetown Arc, Reverse Mountain Arc, Whiskey Peak Arc and Little Garden mostly have small moments, like Sanji asking if Nami is jealous or Sanji giving Nami his jacket.)
Drum Island - Nami is sick and we see Sanji worry and care for her and in the end even sacrificing himself for her. Nami worries about him too.
Alabasta - Sanji fighting Mr. 2 looking like Nami and lots of small moments like Sanji asking Nami if she loves him.
Jaya - Nami showing interest in Sanji’s back story. Small things like Nami hiding for the bugs behind Sanji or Sanji.
Skypiea - Sanji being hell-bent of saving Nami and making the others look for her. Then him saving Nami and Usopp from Enel and Nami being worried in return. (Both times Sanji gets hit by Enel Nami is there and worries.) Then a lot of small moments like him giving her a flower and Nami pulling Sanji’s ear for flirting with Conis.
Long Ring Long Land - Nami encourage Sanji be the ball and win, but mostly small moments like Sanji getting annoyed with Aokiji for flirting with Nami or him sitting next to her and trying to kiss her.
Water 7 - Sanji leaving his love letter to Nami and Nami being worried for (and impressed with) Sanji.
Enies Lobby - Sanji losing against a woman, Nami being understanding and then stepping in to basically revenge him. Also Sanji hearing it as Nami loving him and then him showing up to save Nami and Usopp from Jyabura.
Post-Enies Lobby - Not much, but Sanji stepping in to make Nami and Zoro stop fighting and make Nami understand Zoro’s pov.
Thriller Bark - Sanji just being extremely focused on Nami and worried about her throughout the whole arc. Also him getting specifically selected by Luffy to save Nami. Of course the wedding theme with the bridal carry and Sanji’s reaction to Nami. Also Sanji’s Zombie protecting Nami (and later kicking Robin) and his “obsession with Nami” being mentioned.
Sabaody Archipelago - Another smaller arc, but we do get Nami worried about Sanji possibly drowning. And smaller moments like Sanji being angry for Nami being put in danger by the Fishman Riders or him telling Franky to take care of Nami as he runs to protect Zoro. When they return we of course also get the nosebleeds, and Sanji daydreaming about Nami’s development.
Fishman Island - Sanji’s reaction to Jinbei and Arlong. Also the fishmen pointing out that Nami might be their weakness due to Sanji’s “over reaction“ to her falling.
Punk Hazard - The body swtich, Sanji’s body saving Nami and Sanji being careful with not hurting her etc. Also them working together to save the children, Sanji listening to Nami’s request and saying he loves her more because of her kindness. Also small things like Sanji giving his jacket to Nami again.
Dressrosa - Sanji leaving Violet behind to save Nami, insisting that he should be the one to save her and then him getting attacked by Doflamingo and Nami getting worried and not wanting to leave him. Sanji basically tries to sacrifice himself for Nami for the 4th time (Drum, Skypiea x2, also maybe in Thriller Bark).
Zou - We get a lot of focus on Nami and Sanji together, and then of course when Sanji is gone Nami is the driving force for his plot. Once again Nami is also used to taunt Sanji (inside Capone). Then Nami is both the one to mention Sanji being from North Blue and to listen to Pekom’s talk about his family. Not to mention her insisting on going with Luffy to WCI and having a fight with Zoro as she defends Sanji.
Whole Cake Island - The way she pushes for them to find Sanji, her hapiness when they find him and her hurt and the slap. We even get something like Nami being tantalized with Sanji by both Purin and Brulee. The only strawhat besides Luffy who gets a personal story thread with Sanji and a personal resolution for their conflict is Nami. The tension seems personal and combined with Sanji having another love interest but choosing Nami above her it does seem like Nami is the more natural choice both for Sanji and for Oda.
There is also a distinct increase in romantic-looking moments between them, with them touching more than ever before.
Wano - Even after WCI it doesn’t seem like Oda is stopping the SaNa moments. Sanji manages to save and carry Nami three times in the beginning of Wano. On top of that we have the bath scene and of course a lot of small moments and mentions between them like Sanji asking Usopp to take care of “My Nami-san” or Sanji jumping in abobe Nami to save her from arrows.
How many times have we had Sanji be the one to go after Nami or save her? By his own choice, by being the one present or even by Luffy asking Sanji to go. Oda puts Sanji next to Nami a lot, and I think it’s possible he might be doing it for a reason.
Who knows what we might get, but the fact that we have as much as we do really seems to show Oda having a preference to put them together in various ways.
The point is they have a lot of time and moments dedicated to them from Oda despite them both being secondary characters. At this point it’s possible Sanji is the person Nami has moments with the most in the story besides Luffy (and perhaps Usopp) as they often end up together. Of course this is including them thinking about and talking about each other as well, and not just direct interacting. For example counting the body switch and Nami being worried and focused on Sanji while on Zou. Oda doesn’t have to, but he has chosen to write it like this. On top of that he adds romantic interest from Sanji and romantic looking moments between them.
I could go on, and there are plenty of moments and examples to find between Nami and Sanji that are interesting to look a bit deeper at. You can check out my Masterpost - SanjiAFsincedayone for some of them. But as it is now here are the main points for why I think SaNa at least has a bigger chance to happen than other ships with the two of them as it is now.
One-sided attraction and romantic interest from Sanji’s side that needs to be resolved in one way or another.
Nami seems special to Sanji. Even small things like only using -san for her and -chan for others is a detail that makes her stand out to him.
Great involvement in each other’s stories. Oda likes adding Sanji and Nami in moments together both for interaction and explenation about each other. For example Sanji is also often used to save Nami.
Interactions of understanding and changing dynamics between the two, like them compromising for each other or wanting to know about the other’s past. Matching personalities and a possible future.
Romantic themes and moments, mainly the weddings, but also the amount of times Sanji has saved Nami and things like the hug being drawn in a very romantic looking way with Nami being more focused on.
Tension and urgency. This is basically Sanji and Nami having a lot of focus on each other in dire situations and Oda showing it with specific mentions.
So, to summarize, I like Sanji and Nami both as indvidual characters and together. I enjoy them as a ship and to explore their dynamics in a romantic way no matter what they might end up as in the story. Anyone should be able to respect that people have different preferences. Additionally I think and speculate that they would work well and could happen in the manga as well. This is obviously a biased interpretation and opinion.
I might be wrong, but you should be able to respect that too as we have yet to get anything objectivly confirming any ship. We don’t know if any ship with end up canon at all. Maybe Sanji and Nami will remain a ship that never becomes canon, but even so they are a ship that is definitely worth enjoying.
I hope you found this post interesting and can enjoy your own ship and fandom while also seeing that it’s ok for others to like something different than you. Thanks for reading.
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I've come to terms with bb but I still want to know when it was decided to be endgame. I don't buy the "planned from the start" thing since everything in show points to the exact opposite. Maybe the volume commentary after the fact will finally put the matter to rest...or muddle things up further lol. given the likely possibility of them lying ) if it was planned from the start there should have been hints from the start they shouldnt have began hinting at bb halfway into the series ( and attempting to use bb being a same sex ship as a shield and claiming anyone who didnt see evidence just didnt see it because it was a w/w ship makes me roll my eyes "I recognize that BB is likely to become a canon ship. But given that it's a stupid-ass canon ship, I've elected to ignore it."
Have you ever gotten around to reading from start to finish the one giant post dedicated to you that goes into length about your harassment and it is now linked to in all my rwby post in the wordpress blogs, @megashadowdragon (yes, I am almost certain that is your actual real account even if my evidence is circumstancial)? Should I put a link to your tumblr profile too?
You've claimed to be in your late 20s, how the fuck can you be that old and still think it's acceptable to harass someone over a ship? and for months, no less. The only time you left me alone is when I had cut all means to do so. I shouldn’t have to do that. Have you been checking on my account every week for the last month to see when you could strike again? Get the fuck over it. BS sunk for good in early V6 (yes, the Renora/BB parallels are very clearly intentional and no, they didn’t change their minds mid-volume – that would have been likely impossible). V9 is starting in a couple of months.
If the writers told you every single hint they had to reveal BB, you would not believe them, so don’t bother feigning curiosity and pretending you’re open-minded. A person who thinks Adam attacked Yang and associated the word love without any planning on the writers' part is someone who could not care less about what the writers were trying to convey. A person who sees Yang getting associated with the ex and Sun getting associated with the unrequited love doesn’t think it says anything about story is naïve at best. And a person who keeps sending me to a goddamn post (that I’ve even quoted verbatim in one of my posts) that says “Like seriously if I was writing two characters that were only meant to be platonic, I would never write a scene like that. The implication of those words are too strong.” but tries to pretend this only applies to Renora and not BB is a deeply homophobic one. I have yet to understand how the hell you fail to see that that post makes actually a massive amazing argument for BB being planned from very early on.
Nothing can be applied to Renora without applying to BB too.
It wasn’t just the Renora scenes that were written by writers, the BB scenes also were, including the flirting and wink, the ship named Pride, the ex attacking and using the word love, yet classmate for Sun, Yang paralleling Pyrrha when they both helped the object of their affection in the dance arc, the Arkos/BB parallels in V3, etc. The writers decide everything. If they wanted Sun to fight the ex and not be associated with unrequited love, that would have happened. Don’t bother pointing Adam didn’t fight Sun when they were alone, that’s why he used the word classmate because the fight could have happened any way the writers wanted it to happen. If they wanted those 2 to fight (or with Blake) and use the word love, they would have.
The writers decide everything. If they wanted to associate Sun with the ex instead of the unrequited love or if they wanted to associate him with the word love instead of classmate, they would have.
Instead of writing a post responding to all your nonsense for the 124539th time,
let’s decide what to do with you.
I’m guessing reporting you to tumblr is worthless because you harassed me using several accounts that no longer exist (mysteriouslypaleenthusiast, reallydelicateturtle, red2sposts, ravenstarsblog, violetcloudsworld, pleasantbarbarianfire, makofan and now lightningemperorsworld). Let’s not forget the multiple anons and the firstname.lastname@example.org and the email@example.com. Still, reporting to tumblr and see if they have ways to check it’s you and see what they can do about it, not off the table.
Here’s my suggestion: you stop harassing the BB community (the entire community, not just me) and I let bygones be bygones.
Or maybe, I inform your community (yes, I have also saved the usernames of the people you are constantly asking to bring down our posts because you can’t do it yourself – to be fair, neither can they) and let them know what you’ve been up to and how you’ve been using them to harass us. Unless of course, they already know, but they’re garbage so they don’t care. I may be willing to take a shot and find out.
Oh, and you can stop with the nonsense of being offended because I called you out on your homophobia. You don’t want to be called out on it, then stop being homophobic. For starters, stop harassing real LGBTQ+ people because your fictional straight ship didn’t become canon.
If most saw it coming and you didn’t, then the writers didn’t fail, you did. Also, the hints didn’t begin mid-series, they have been there since the red fucking trailer. By the end of V3, a good chunk of the audience had called it. By the end of V6, almost no one thought BB wasn’t going to be endgame.
You are one of the few exceptions. If that doesn’t scream volumes to you about your lack of understanding of storytelling/how much you live in denial, then nothing will. Live in “I’m right and everyone else is wrong” for as long as you want, but don’t ever bother me or anyone else ever again.
For the sake of honesty, I will say that I do not know if @megashadowdragon is the one behind the harassment of several BBers. I know with almost certainty they are behind mine, but I cannot be sure they have other victims since the patterns aren’t the same (at least, not the victims I know of). This been said, add them to the list of suspects.
I suppose I thank you for not being a complete asshole to me for the last 2,5 years, when I actually wrote the post that has you screeching for months. And now I say fuck you for being a complete asshole to me for the last 4 months because of a goddamn ship. Yet you have the fucking gall to pretend we are the toxic ones.
TLDR: act your age (which you claimed is late 20s), and stop harassing people over a ship. No one owes it to you to pretend they did not see BB coming just because you didn’t. No one gives a shit about what you ship. Ship whatever you want as much as you want. Want to have an entire tumblr page just for BS? Go right ahead. What you cannot do is force your garbage ship down someone else’s throat.
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why I think isayama did itend to hint some romance between levi and hanji
this is kind of a ranty post because I am tired of being told to not ship levihan because apparently "it ruins their friendship"
ever since the beginning of aot isayama had shown us snippets of levi and hanji's closeness and how well they know each other. yes their bond that was portrayed in the earlier stages of the series does not necessarily have to mean that they have romantic feelings for one another. yes it is valid to interpret some of those interactions as romantic but they could also be just purely planotic. but this is where chapters 115, 126 and 132. those are the chapters that I think solidified the fact that levi and hanji. what happened in chapters 126 and 132 are things you cannot simply brush off as platonic.
one does not simply ask someone to run away and live with them. people would always counter this with "but hanji only said that because they are tired!", yes hanji is tired that is an undeniable fact given what hanji was put through in that month alone. but if isayama's only intented to show us that hanji is tired so they wanted to run away, why did he go for a dialogue that may have romantic implications? why did it have to be "maybe we should just live here together right levi?" and not hanji directly stating that they are tired and they want to run away? another thing to note is that this was not the first time isayama implemented this narrative. here is a compilation of the amount of times the living together plot was included in the story. also why would isayama bother drawing hanji blushing? yes hanji does blush a lot but the context of the scene is important. why did hanji blush this time? because levi heard what they said which sounds a lot like a proposal. again I would get countered by people claiming that levi rejected hanji. but did he though? levi wakes up to hanji already fixing a cart that can transport him, this is a strong implication that hanji was not going to stay in the forest. maybe for a brief moment they had really considered of just staying there with levi. hanji actually admits to mikasa and jean that they had thought of abandoning everything. but doing that would he very uncharacteristic of hanji. maybe hanji said that because for a moment they wanted to be selfish, to have something for themself. to be able to say something that they desire which is a life of peace and with levi safe by their side. but deep down hanji knows they couldn't abandon the people who need them and waste the sacrifices their comrades had made. that's why levi tells hanji that he knows them. levi knows that hanji wouldn't be able to bear the guilt of leaving everything and everyone behind. and to that hanji agrees with levi that yes they can't. so where is the rejection? all I see are two people who have decided to walk on the same path. to me, levi's words felt more like an assurance that he is on the same page as hanji and is affirming their decision. another thing is that when levi asks hanji where will running get them. that felt like an implication that they cannot run away yet not when they have responsibilities to bear. because by simply running away they cannot achieve true peace.
by now I am pretty sure that most of you by now are aware of levi's unrequited love dialogue in 132. I also discussed this in a separate post so check it out if you want. why would isayama insert something like this in the dialogue? levi implies that hanji's love for titans is unrequited but there is a mutual feeling with someone. I've seen people say names of other characters but that doesn't make much sense considering hanji just practically confessed to levi a few days ago in their universe. whose mutual feelings is levi going to naturally confirm them? wouldn't it make sense if it was with him?
and of course levi saying dedicate you heart for the very first time and he said it as a farewell for hanji. this isn't something you can simply brush off because levi has been in the survey corps for 10 years and this was the only time he says it. not only that but he couples it with the gesture of striking up his left fist over hanji's heart. why couldn't he just do a standard salute and hanji would salute back to him? why did it have to be something that looks so personal? and the focus on their eyes and hanji's quivering lips is just something so powerful.
then we even get isayama uploading a photo of that levi panel saying see you hanji in 132 but without his bandages so we could clearly see levi's sorrowful expression. for what reason did he upload this? and first of all he really had to take a photo of it because covering levi's face in bandages.
just recently, 138 was released and it practically confirms eremika as a canon ship. and the thing about that? there are numerous parallels with levihan with the dialogues and how some panels were drawn. also made another post on it so here is the link if you are interested.
so if isayama only intended for levi and hanji's bond to be seen as platonic then why would he bother inserting hints that are romantic in nature? like I said in the beginning, some can be taken as purely platonic in context but the other ones are blatantly romantic. and them having parallels with a ship that is strongly hinted to be canon is just something you can simply brush off.
this became a bit longer than I thought. if you made it until the end then thank you. there are some things about 115, 126 and 132 that I still did not say in this because I am planning to make separate posts about them when aot ends. so basically this concludes my rant on why I think isayama was indeed inserting romantic hints in levihan's dynamic.
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EREMIKA VS EREHISU: Which is more likely?
The new episode just dropped and the two portions of the fandom are arguing about it now. It is the most heatedly debated topic of the last 2.5 years in the AoT community. Which of the two girls Eren loves (i mean romantically)? Is it Mikasa or is it Historia? Now, if i really had to take sides here, i’d say that EreMika is more likely to happen than EreHisu. However, i’ll be doing something more interesting here. So,my short answer is: BOTH ARE EQUALLY LIKELY TO HAPPEN. And no, i don’t mean it is 50/50, but more like that both of them will happen.
Before i begin my masterful explanation, i will be making the assumption that Eren is in fact the father of Historia’s kid, because if he isn’t, then there is simply no EreHisu. Mind you, i’m not saying that Eren IS in fact the father of Historia’s kid nor that i wholeheartedly believe in the theory. However, for the sake of the topic (seeing as how the possibility is there) i will proceed by treating said theory as canon. Of course, if it turns out that Eren isn’t the daddy, then pay no attention to the EH part. Also, i feel obliged to warn you guys. This will be fucking long. And i swear, this isn’t shipping crap.
With that out the way, let’s talk about themes. Specifially the theme of LOVE in the AoT universe. Ever since Isayama gave us Kruger and more specifically this panel:
it became painfully obvious that love would play a major role in the end. Afterall, Kruger mentions that only love can put an end to this endless cycle of violence and create a new world. And boy, was he right.
What Isayama shows us in the final arc is that love saves people from this war and from this violent conflict. Nicolo’s love for Sasha is the first example we see:
And then we have Grisha who put his crappy Restorationist mission aside thanks to Ai no Chikara.
And then, lastly, we have our loli Founder Ymir, who never knew real love in her life. Quite the opposite actually. Her husband, King Fritz, viewed her as his slave, he was basically raping her, and used her as a breeding/killing machine. Even when she made the ultimate sacrifice, he still called her a slave. Now, what’s interesting with Ymir here is that it is highly implied that what she really needs is someone to show her that true love still exists. I mean, just look at how much emphasis Isayama puts on this panel:
Obviously this wasn’t by accident. It will play a major role in the end.
Now, as i said, the theme of love is very intricately connected to the whole breaking the cycle theme of the story. But what exactly does breaking the cycle mean? Well, it most certainly doesn’t mean genocide. Both Eren and Zeke (they haven’t felt real love) want to commit genocide and both of them actually think that their respective method is the best one to put an end to 2000 years of violence. Zeke wants to sterilize all the Subjects of Ymir, in order to stop the titan inheritance. Eren wants to murder the entire human race bar Paradis, without actually ending the titans, so that the island can survive.
Both of them are complete morons. The story calls them out on their stupidity multiple times, especially Eren as we can see below:
What will eventually happen, if Eren manages to accomplish his plan, is a new Great Titan War. The families who will have the titans will start fighting each other for power. The same mistakes repeated again.
Breaking the cycle means that the world comes together in peace. That understanding and love prevail. That no more curses, inhuman powers and racism rule the world.
Eren and Historia
Enter EreHisu. Part of the reason Eren wants to stomp the entire world is the fact that he doesn’t want Historia to be forced to become a breeding machine with her children having to eat her. So, Eren reveals to Historia his plan to commit genocide. Historia protests for a bit, until Eren reminds her that back in the Uprising arc she had chosen to save him, becoming an enemy of humanity in the process. So, Historia decides to take sides with Eren and proposes to have a child in order to save herself. Judging by the fact that Historia is giving birth right now, i’d say that Eren agreed with Historia’s plan.
Here, we have the first big red flag. Historia didn’t decide to have a child out of pure love. She did it, at least in part, to save herself. Out of a selfish desire to survive. Of course, many people support the idea that Historia’s union with Eren is the result of deep love. Let’s see how that holds up.
I have already established that the endgame of the series is the breaking of the cycle of hate and violence. It’s also a given that true love is the only way to break said cycle. True love saves people from war and tragedy. Well, EreHisu has failed miserably in pretty much all of the above. Eren, instead of stopping his genocidal plan, goes ahead with it and murders god knows how many people. And it has been made clear that his ways won’t ever put an end to the cycle of hate and violence. Quite the opposite in fact.
Furthermore, one would assume that if Eren’s love for Historia and their kid was so powerful, he would have done everything in his power to get back to them. But this is not what the series presents. In the last few chapters, it has been heavily hinted that Eren actually wished to be stopped.
Given how Isayama portrays the scenes between Eren and Reiner and how he draws parallels between the two of them all the time, i think it is safe to say that Reiner is correct in his assumption. Afterall, is was Eren who said “We are the same”.
For all the above reasons, Historia and Eren cannot be the represenation of love in the series. They go against evert major positive theme introduced. It is simply impossible for the idea of true love to be represented by two parents who agreed to the killing of 99% of the world’s families. Eren and Historia are a failed relationship, much like Dina and Grisha. I am not denying that there were feelings involved, but not strong enough to change the course of history. Historia, despite her early protests, easily gave in and instead of helping Eren, she gave us his worst version yet.
Eren and Mikasa
Here comes EreMika. Eren and Mikasa make an interesting couple, because of how they start in comparion to EreHisu and how they are both going to end. In the beginning, Eren is jealous of Mikasa’s strength and hates the fact that she always tries to protect him. This creates his inferiority complex that lasts up to chapter 72 (though Mikasa altered her behavior in chapter 50). The two of them are unable to communicate properly for a big part of the series. They were unable to understand each other and they couldn’t properly express their feelings. Mikasa was trying to stay close to Eren at the cost of her own independence, while Eren was always running somewhere on his own.
Historia, on the other hand starts her relationship with Eren by saving him when he was at his then lowest in the cave. However, from then on, the relationship becomes the catalyst for Eren’s atrocious actions, while his relationship with Mikasa will put an end to those actions. By that, i mean that Mikasa’s love for Eren and vice versa will stop the massacre, destroy the titans and the Paths.
Now, of course, one might say that this is a bit much. It may initially seem so, but remember Ymir the Founder. Ymir destroys the world, out of a lack of love. Had she seen that love from Eren or from his relationship with Historia, she wouldn’t have accepted Eren’s plan. She is still waiting. Ymir wants to be free of the Paths. She wants to die peacefully.
(Something important to note here, as long as the centipede exists, it will always try to attach itself to Eren’s head. This centipede is the source of the titan powers. It’s death means the destructiong of the titans and the end of the realm of Paths. It also means the death of Eren most likely, since he is just a head right now.)*
Now, back on track. The only member of the Shiganshina trio that hasn’t spent a significant time in the Paths is Mikasa. Seeing as how her regret of not confessing to him her true feelings and Eren’s promise of always wrapping the scarf around her are both shown in the trailer of the final volume, i’m sure she will pay Eren a visit there. That encounter, in the presence of Ymir no less, will seal the fate of the world.
But why is it that Mikasa’s feelings are so important? Are they not one-sided? No. Eren is also in love with Mikasa. Just a few days after supposedly impregnating Historia, Eren suffers a mental breakdown in Marley. And what does he do? He asks Mikasa this:
This line is in fact romantic in nature. We can’t say that Eren wanted to test the future, because he hasn’t seen this line in his memory shards. And if it is any other reason other than romantic love, why is he so bothered by their friends interrupting them?
And why is that her feelings for him continue to bother him for so many months after said moment?
Eren has left a pregnant woman behind. It doesn’t make sense for him to still be wondering about Mikasa’s feelings if he doesn’t share them. He obviously does.
Isayama himself puts a lot of emphasis on the scene. He has Mikasa theorizing that her answer might have been able to stop this destruction.
To be honest, i can’t imagine a scenario where Mikasa confesses to Eren that she is in love with him and then he wraps the scarf around her neck without reciprocating her feelings.
Going by what we know about love in the series, how it stopped Grisha from commiting a serious murder or saving Nicolo from war, Mikasa’s narration is extremely important. Her love for Eren would have stopped him right then and there.
Eren’s relationship with Mikasa, unlike his relationship with Historia, matches with all the positive themes presented in the series.
Love breaks the cycle of tragedy? Check.
Beauty in a cruel world? Check. (scarf and murder)
Mikasa is the beauty in this cruel world for Eren, which is also why he tries the hardest to push her away from him. He won’t be able to fulfill his mission with her by his side, just like his father failed initially with the Reiss family. Eren tries to throw away his most important connection to the world and his own humanity, symbolized by telling Louise to throw the scarf away.
Mikasa and Historia
Mikasa and Historia have been endlessly compared by Isayama in this final arc. They have so many things in common and yet they are so different. Actually, that is the very first thing Isayama shows us in the first chapter of the final arc. The parallels between the two of them. They are both royal blooded girls, heirs to the throne of their countries with a strong relationship with Eren.
They even share the pregnancy talk.
Both Historia and Mikasa realize that Eren’s actions are horrible. The difference between the two girls and ultimately the reason why only one of them can save Eren (and the world), while the other doomed him (and the world) is their PRIDE. Another theme that the two of them have in common.
Pride is also a notion with a lot of significance in the final arc. Chapter 126, where Mikasa decides to take back her scarf from Louise and fight against Eren, is called Pride. In the previous chapter, Floch, the only other person besides Historia who knew Eren’s real plan, gives an important speech.
Floch is a fascist and an antagonistic force to the main characters in the final segement of the story. So, it should be obvious that Floch represents the negative themes of the story. The themes of the losers. What Floch says is that pride is not worth dying for. Yet all the main characters chose their pride over survival. Historia was once a person who chose to live her life with pride.
Back in the Uprising arc, Historia was inspired by Ymir to live a life that she could be proud of. However, in the final arc Historia threw away her pride and put her connection with Eren first, because it would save her a lot of trouble. Historia’s situation was, admittedly, very hard, but that’s how it is in stories. The bold and daring people who take the hard road are the ones who are rewarded, not the ones who prefer the easy way out.
Mikasa on the other hand chose her pride. While Eren’s massacre would also save her, she put herself at risk, fighting against many enemies to stop him. Mikasa acknowledges that Eren has two sides. The first one is his violent side, represented by him killing her kidnappers and the second one is his kind side, represented by the scarf. While Mikasa chooses to stop Eren she accepts both sides of him and says that she is willing to help him shoulder the weight of his sins. She finally sees him for who he really is and accepts him.
Historia too understands that Eren is not wholly evil and that he also has a good side to him as well. However, when push came to shove, she chose the evil side, because it was the easy way out. Mikasa chose his good side, knowing very well that the road ahead would be hard. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Mikasa in the final arc has a character arc similar to that of Historia in the Uprising.
In the end, i think that Eren loves both girls and both girls love him as well. However, the story can only conclude in one way and that is the breaking of the cycle of violence and hate. Between Mikasa and Historia, it is only one of them whose love can help Eren destroy this cycle. With Historia, Eren became the enemy of humanity. With Mikasa, he can save it.
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Cinematic language to help you understand why Levihan is more canon than you think
First thing first, of course the plane was Hange. And the wood parallel is deeper than just hints of canon ship
If the birb is Eren then the plane is Hange. It’s called a ✨symbol✨ and a ✨parallel✨ , a narrative device and a visual cue means for readers to reflect on
a) things that happened related to the actual object (when have we seen this before and last time we see it what happened)
b) what it could represent in terms of symbolic meaning (travel, migration, meaning mobility and freedom and civilization and means and that Levi has a good life for example)
c) how it is positioned in relationships with other object/symbol that are similar to it visually, to draw some similarities and differences in terms of narrative (plane is a machine birb, scientific birb, Levi sees plane while Mikasa hanging out w birb, what do this mean???? Thinkkkkkk)
Some folks will find value in learning comp lit, to know how to read narrative work￼, including cinema.￼ AOT is visual but it is also deeply cinematic in the way Hajime Isayama draws the panel and the variety of shots he uses to depict the passive narration such as voice-over, time-lapse, flashbacks, time jump, etc.
Here’s an example of how AOT is structured by paralllels, symbols, and narrative devices through editing/cinematic techniques to tell the story. This is my favorite scene when Isayama uses a combination of cutaway and montage to use a character’s dialogue beyond the immediate moment (real time) to depict a larger theme of the story:
This scene is Levi and Kenny talking to each other in real time. There are many ways to depict a dialogue. If it is about each other, then characters are usually depict in “continuity editing” where the whole scene is about them talking to each other, shots will be opposite shots of their face, over-the-shoulder, giving audiences a feel that you are there with them in the convo, listening to them talk. But this scene “cutaway” in that it breaks up the “linear time” by showing audiences other images not realistically been seen by any character, to broaden the scope of the scene. Now you know it’s not just about the dialogue. However, cutaway usually is a thing that realistically in that scene, like cut to the tree while Kenny is still speaking, then go back to them.
In this “sequence,” what is shown is a montage of images that are not only “flashbacks” (memory of things the characters have seen/witnessed, since he couldn't have seen Kuchel) but compilation of new images that are “symbolic” to the lines Kenny is speaking. In other words, the author is drawing “parallels” from one instances to others, connecting separated people, scenes, stories, actions, decisions into one larger thing we call “theme”––Isayama’s making sure that audiences know exactly what to think by forcing separated images into one montage, and make sure you understand that this message needs to be understood beyond Kenny. So that’s the cinematic language readers should be aware that Isayama is using.
That’s why arguing events based on literal evidence is limited, because it is cannon itself that events, stories, people’s decisions and investments are meant to be interpreted and understood in juxtaposition.
Now let’s move on to juxtapositions and parallel in Levihan and Eremika:
I know people have use the wood parallel to talk about how Levihan is canon, but I think the wood is meant to show that Levihan are the adult version of Eremika, who also understand and rely on each other, but a lot more secured in their relationship and trust.
So, get this: for Eremika, Eren had to ask who he is to Mikasa (I know, dumbo) before they get the alternative living in the wood. That’s cuz their young love is shy and also full of insecurities and they are unsure of how to understand their affection for one another. The insecurity is especially pronounced when Mikasa, after having been asked that (”who am I to you”), still get so hurt when Eren said he had been hating her since they were kids. That means we can read that she took the question as “what do you want from me why are you clingy” instead of “pls tell me you like me.”
In another world, she is her fierce self who lives only for her and Eren (like she used to back then, ready to fight the whole army to keep Eren alive but now she’s a soldier for humanity) and suggested that they runaway to live in the wood. In this scenario, Mikasa’s suggestion was implied, we never saw her do it, only told in Eren’s retelling, and even so, in his words (“thats what you said, Mikasa”).
This whole scene is continuity editing with flashbacks, purely from the perspective of Mikasa. You as the reader assumes her point of view, because the images depict Eren speaking, and Eren’s words dictate most of the information. So you, as a reader, is being told to, passively that this is what happened, and that whatever decision of how they get here, has been made prior to you. In other words, while the dialogue happening about them being together is real time, the dialogue of how they decided to do so, is not. That is meant for interpretation. The author does not let you know how it happened in real time. This intended foreclosing is meant to evoke a sense of confusion, unsatisfaction (because you do not get to know how decisions are made and why), so it is safe to assume that the intended feeling is also just that--bittersweet. You know the couple get to be together, but they were not entirely at peace. This life will weight heavily on them until the day Eren dies. This scene is in chapter 138, but in story’s time, it’s meant to be continue before the timeskip.
For Levihan, in chapter 126, the conversation between Levihan was playing out in real time itself, but the whole scene is an independent moment that preceded the real event (which was continued on from chapter 125, where Hange and Levi met with Pieck and Theo).
In this scene, readers can see that the suggestion was direct, and we were in on the act as it happens. Hange thought Levi was unconscious, so they were thinking out loud. “Maybe we should just live here together, right, Levi?” We see Hange contemplating about it, said it out loud, and sad that it might just be a wild thought.
Time cut. Now they’re doing something else, before the path appears, and they turned around to wake Levi up. Levi woke up at that same moment, immediately asking about what happened before he was unconscious, not letting Hange know that he heard the whole thing. He took time to catch up with what happened, gathering information and providing information. This means he is contemplating about Hange’s proposal.
“I let him get away again.” Hange responded to this sentence with “I’m sure you want revenge, but for now...” Levi moved on, seamlessly, without a beat, “If we keep running and hiding, what will that get us?” At first it seems like a continuation of the convo--as in Levi doesn’t want to keep hiding and want to go back to battle, but Hange understood immediately that he was referring to their talk: “So you heard me talking to myself.”
Here, Hange weren’t like “omg im sorry I didn’t know u were up i would have never,” because that would suggest that the relationship between them is unconfirmed and that Hange has yet to know what Levi thinks of them (as seen in Eremika’s nature of their relationship). But they were just like, ok, so you heard. Then Levi saw that Hange was making a thing to carry him, and concluded, “I know you. You’re not able to stay out of the action.” Hange admitted, “Yeah, that’s right, I can’t.”
If you look at the scene itself, you will see a lot of opposite shots (POV of the two characters who are talking to each other), many of them are close-up (right in their face). It is a short, but continuous, linear conversation where Hange and Levi got to talk about the possibility, discussed it together, before Levi pointed out that Hange could never just sit this one out, and Hange agreed. This scene is also meant for interpretation, because even though they talked about the possibility, they didn’t go “so what do you think, I think we should” but it was Hange’s wild thought that they fully intended not to go through, and Levi’s understanding that he was not meant to truly respond, because he saw that Hange already had a plan to keep it moving. (The next scene is Levi negotiating with Theo and Pieck, so it’s safe to assume that they spent the rest of their conversation discussing strategies.)
Levihan’s scene is short, but it was meant to read in juxtaposition with Eremika’s more elaborate life in the wood in 138 -- communicating the idea that if they had run away together, they would also suffer intensely survivor’s guilt. Which, as soldiers and commanders, they simply cannot choose. So, in a way, this is to depict Levi’s theme, “no regret,” even as they never had a future to be together at peace. The fact that they can have this extremely heavy conversation means that there were peaceful moments between them that they experienced, that would allow this scene to read like a final good bye.
So, as I have rambled more than I needed to, I’mma stop here. My point was pretty simple and meant to invite folks to read AOT very generously in terms of its couple/romantic/partnership, in that just because things are not fleshed out doesn’t mean it’s not real and that readers are supposed to read between the line, thematically, across storylines to get the full picture, but sternly in the way that you need to understand narrative devices and visual cues the ways they’re meant to be read. To go back to the plane controversy (apparently some people insist that planes are planes), of course planes are planes, that’s what they first and foremost need to be. No object would be included for the symbolic meaning only - it always need to be itself first and foremost, to create a normative sense of reality before it could go imaginative and interpretive.
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I've been wanting to make this comparison for a few weeks now, and here it finally is:
5x02 of course gave us the wonderful Buck and Eddie talk regarding Ana, but one interesting moment (especially after having watched 5x04 and seeing more comparisons drawn between Eddie and Maddie) that we haven't quite touched on yet is Hen and Chim's conversation which directly follows Buck and Eddie's. Their conversation goes as follows:
Chim: [Maddie] already feels like a failure because she's struggling so much. So other people knowing would just make it worse.
Hen: So you're hovering?
Chim: Maybe, a little. Probably a lot. I just don't know how to stop myself.
Hen: Chim, she's not your patient. She's your partner. She just needs you to love her and support her. So stop trying to fix her.
This conversation essentially describes the exact dynamic seen immediately beforehand between Buck and Eddie. If we're watching post-5x04, we know that Eddie and Maddie are being paralleled to one another, which sets up Buck to parallel Chim. And in this instance? Buck is hovering over Eddie, his partner, and he's the "guy who likes to fix things," the person who is always supporting and listening to Eddie. What Chim and Hen are describing is exactly what the audience has just seen happen between Buck and Eddie.
The show continues again and again to parallel Buck and Eddie to other canon couples. The parallels with Bobby and Athena have been apparent for a while, but the similarities to Maddie and Chim this season have amped up. For every pairing this season, there's a running theme of highlighting the difference between romantic partners and platonic partners, pushing for information versus letting someone come to you, talking things out versus repressing emotions...and it's all going to come to a head. As I've said before, Buck and Eddie are always a few steps behind Bobby and Athena, and I think that they'll be following behind Maddie and Chim this season as well. When Maddie and Chim get their reunion and talk things out and Maddie bares all to Chim....we should be on the lookout for a big Buck and Eddie talk around the same time.
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So, they actually had two solid episodes in a row!
My basic thoughts:
- Kara’s always got her swagger strut activated around Lena. It’s insane. This alien ain’t straight.
- Sweet Dansen moments. And them fighting together was a cool visual.
- Not a fan of them exploring Nyxly’s emotions and traumas so deeply, and even William’s of all people, while STILL neglecting to go deeper into Kara’s, but neglecting the title character like that is on brand at this point. Is what it is.
- When J’onn said “Hold that thought.” I CACKLED. So damn funny.
- KARA AND LENA ALONE IN KARA’S APARTMENT BEING SOFT AND DOMESTIC. KARA NOT YET REALIZING THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM IS HER BEING VULNERABLE AND OPEN WITH HER FEELINGS. OY.
- NYXLY FELT THAT KARA WAS HOPEFUL AND HAPPY -- WHILE SHE WAS SITTING THERE WITH LENA. LENA MAKES KARA HOPEFUL AND HAPPY CONFIRMED. EVEN IF THEY’RE NOT ROMANTIC CANON YET: THAT IS CANON. LENA MAKES KARA HAPPY. AFTER EVERYTHING KARA HAS GONE THROUGH AND HOW FORLORN AND TRAUMATIZED SHE’S BEEN ALL SEASON, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE’VE SEEN HER GENUINELY HAPPY. AND IT’S BECAUSE OF LENA. THAT IS LITERALLY CANON.
- Once again on the baity parallels front, we had final scenes jumping from one romantic couple (Dansen) on the couch at night in their place, to Supercorp on the couch at night together in Kara’s place. *deadpan into camera*
- We got soft Kara without glasses or a suit around Lena for the first time ever. YAY for that. Finally.
- I am in full clown mode, however far fetched it may seem. This is the first time we’ve had SC interact in real, in-depth, repeated, and wonderful ways in ages, and both their scenes and the overall circumstances of the episode and totem stuff was loaded with subtext, and we even got some main text confirmations about WHO makes Kara truly hopeful and truly happy. And that’s Lena. So yeah, hand me a red nose. Everyone else can feel however they want. But I’m going to be “hopeful and happy” for now, even if it’s all a big fat queerbaited let down in the end. I’m prepared either way, and you should be too.
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BnHA Chapter 303: And What, Pray Tell, Is a “One For All”
Previously on BnHA: The Todorokis (really just Enji) looked at their children and went “how can we screw up all four of them in uniquely different ways” and proceeded to do just that. Touya was all “just because practicing how to set myself on fire better hasn’t worked to win my dad’s affections YET doesn’t mean it will NEVER work”, because child logic. Turns out setting oneself on fire real hard isn’t so effective at winning affections, but is actually incredibly effective when it comes to burning oneself to death, so there’s that. Back in the present day, the Todorokis basked in their various misplaced (again, except for Enji) feelings of guilt, and were all “anyway but get over yourself already Enji, you still have to do something to stop this kid”, and Shouto was all “I’ll help too”, and Enji was all “(╥_╥)”, and Hawks and Jeanist were all “[surreptitiously listening in from outside the door]”, and that’s basically where we left off.
Today on BnHA: Hawks and Jeanist are all “mind if we join you on this family journey?” and proceed to stroll in uninvited with their puns and their perceptive insights. Hawks is all “so to sum everything up, we’re fucked, but at least you have us here to help you out! by the way, no clue why I’m the first person to ask this in three hundred chapters, but wtf is One For All.” We then cut to Deku, who’s still all “[(－－)]z”, and All Might, who is all “I’m just going to ignore the extremely loud racket going on right outside this room.” Which, btw, is happening on account of Bakugou, who is all “(╬◣Д◢)” as Satou, Tsuyu, and Mineta cart him away. Anyway so that’s a lot of antics, and also it looks like Hawks has gotten tired of the Todorokis refusing to put the pieces together on their own about OFA and so he is fast-tracking that shit. And meanwhile Deku is chatting it up with the Vestiges exactly like we all thought. And now we have to wait another whole week for updates on all of this. This really is not fair.
“our bad, we were kind of accidentally listening in on purpose.” like I said last week guys, no fuss. it’s a tradition
I am absolutely fucking floored. Hawks literally said that so casually that it’s impossible for me to rewrite it so as to be even more casual. that’s literally what I would write in the “today on bnha” section. in fact I probably will write that
(ETA: just for laughs I tried it and it really worked.)
a couple more things to point out about this panel:
“TOP 3” omg yes. more like “top only” at this point, honestly. interested to see how that goes
Hawks’s phone is freaking the fuck out about something, calm down there
I know this is a standard Jeanist hair-fixing gesture that he does all the time, but I can’t help but form hypotheses about this being a stress reaction because Hawks’s hair is making him internally freak out. Hawks, if this man tries to get you alone with him and some hairspray and a comb, please for the love of god do not listen to him. get out of there and call the authorities
omg Shouto’s face
okay confession, I wasn’t really sold on the whole “Shouto has a schoolboy crush on Hawks” thing until exactly now, when I became 100% sold on it. that is adorable
and heck with it, gotta show Enji and Rei’s reactions here as well because lol
“omg my son who’s not my son, and he just overheard everything about me being a terrible shitty father and person overall, oh and plus my actual-son set him on fire and called him out on a national broadcast. I’m just gonna stare at him baffledly.” versus Rei, who is all “hmm, who are these people”
so Hawks is all “I got released from the hospital after one day for some reason so I made Jeanist drive me around places while we talked about life” but uh, heyyyyy, what’s Rei doing
SO FUCKING FORMAL OMFG. “SORRY MY KID TRIED TO BURN YOU TO DEATH, APPARENTLY HE DOES THAT” REI NO IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT
HAWKS IS ALL “I’M JUST GONNA LAUGH SINCE THAT’S MY DEFAULT RESPONSE TO BEING PROFOUNDLY UNCOMFORTABLE”
let me tell you a secret Hawks, it’s my default response too. ahahahahahahaha oh thank god Jeanist is helping her up -- AND MAKING A JEANS PUN, OF COURSE. IT’S BEEN ALMOST THIRTY SECONDS. MY MAN WAS DYING
“WTF IS ILLEGAL DENIM” he’s talking ‘bout them counterfeit jeans, Rei. Antoine Bugleboy knows
THANK YOU JEANIST!! OUT HERE ASKING THE RELEVANT QUESTIONS
damn straight. we’re not gonna sit around waiting another 300 chapters for this information on this man’s watch
now Hawks is telling Endeavor he used to watch videos of him all the time, and calling him his “childhood obsession” I can’t
OH MY SWEET STARS AND MOONS
1000% CANON. “SO CLOSE...” ARE YOU SERIOUS. YOU REALLY PUT THAT THOUGHT BUBBLE THERE AND EVERYTHING. “GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, SO JUST IN CASE YOU WEREN’T ALREADY AWARE, TODOROKI SHOUTO IS NOT ACTUALLY STRAIGHT.” HORIKOSHI KOUHEI I AM LITERALLY DUMBFOUNDED. THIS IS AMAZING
and meanwhile that look on Hawks’s face while he casually-but-not-really-casually-at-all asks this question. that phone app better be using his actual voice. I’m not sure I could take this scene in the anime at this point if it was like Alexa talking or something
that look in his eyes is basically saying that so far, based on the information he has absorbed up until this point, Hawks is prepared to view his former childhood obsession as a flawed but changed man. however I get the distinct feeling that depending on Endeavor’s answer now, he would be willing to drastically shift some of his opinions on him
(ETA: this is maybe my favorite panel in the entire chapter. the fact that his question isn’t addressed to anyone in particular, but his eyes are zeroing on on Endeavor. and the way his leaning-on-Shouto pose manages to be simultaneously nonchalant and yet ever-so-slightly protective. there’s so much going on in this one question and gesture and I’m mildly obsessed with it.)
however, Rei is all “that was me” and ONCE AGAIN WITH THE FACES IN THIS CHAPTER holy shit
Hawks definitely did not see that one coming sob. it’s so fun watching him frantically recalculate his ideas about this family every two seconds
DAMN IT HORIKOSHI I UNDERSTOOD THE PARALLELS ALREADY, YOU REALLY DIDN’T HAVE TO DO THIS
yes, Hawks, you get it. it’s not exactly the same, but it’s close enough. though unlike your shitty parents, Rei and Enji are at least trying
OKAY I SERIOUSLY CANNOT WITH ALL OF THIS
fljkdlaskfjlwkjl okay we’re doing the bullet-points breakdown here
first of all, the fact that poor little Shouto’s heart is still thumping away at this proximity and all he can think is “CLOSE” all intelligently as he stares at him with that face omg
and meanwhile Horikoshi has these STRATEGIC BANDAGES WRAPPED AROUND HIS CHEEKS TO HIDE ALL OF HIS SHOUJO BLUSHING omfg. SENPAI NOTICED YOU SWEETIE!!!
HAWKS YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY ZERO OBLIGATION TO WASTE ANOTHER SECOND OF YOUR LIFE WORRYING ABOUT THESE TWO ASSHOLES WHO NEVER SPARED YOU THE SLIGHTEST BIT OF REGARD OR CONCERN IN THEIR ENTIRE LIVES. THE NICEST THING YOUR MOM EVER DID FOR YOU WAS BUY YOU A $2 ENDEAVOR PLUSH FROM THE DISCOUNT BIN TO KEEP YOU QUIET, AND YOU WERE SO AWED BY THAT ONE ACT OF SORTA KINDA APPROXIMATE KINDNESS THAT YOU SHAPED YOUR ENTIRE WORLDVIEW AROUND IT. PLEASE LET ME PICK YOU UP IN A BIG HUG FOR JUST A SEC, YOU DESERVE THE WORLD AND YOU WERE ONE THOUSAND PERCENT JUSTIFIED IN LEAVING THEM IN THE DUST THE SECOND THAT YOU COULD
but all that said, he immediately recognizes that Shouto would also have had cause to do the same in his situation, and yet hasn’t. and so he has that much more admiration for him all of a sudden, which is just super sweet, and fully appropriate. Shouto does deserve props. I’m choosing to take this as an “it takes a lot of strength to be able to forgive, and people who choose to do that even though they’re not obligated to are really amazing" type of thing, as opposed to “people who don’t forgive other people who severely wronged them are bad.” and if I’m wrong and Hawks’s line here is meant to be seen as actual failing on his part, well then fuck that, but we’ll move on
SO NOW, DOWN TO BUSINESS!
I am so, so curious as to what kind of strategy Hawks has for this (if he even has any), so I’ll just be quiet now and read
so Hawks is summing up basically what we already knew -- that Tomura and his inner circle (curious that there’s no mention of AFO, because if Hawks doesn’t know about him, that implies almost no one does) are still on the lam with a few PLF stragglers and some High Ends; that a bunch of prisons have been “liberated” (I assume this means all of the inmates escaped, so if that’s the case then where’s Kurogiri??); that the HPSC is fucked; and that heroes are resigning all over the place, and so civilians are taking matters into their own hands
does this mean we’ll actually see some international heroes?? I will LOSE MY DAMN SHIT omg
(ETA: apparently people who paid more attention to the first BnHA movie than I did recognized the silhouettes as belonging to some background characters from Two Heroes. so maybe they were just cameos and they’re not actually new characters who are soon to join us lol. oh well.)
anyway so Hawks agrees with the other Todorokis that Endeavor has no choice but to fight
DON’T WORRY ENJI THEY’VE GOT YOUR BACK. WITH YOUR FLAMES, AND JEANIST’S PUNS, AND HAWKS’S BOYISHLY GOOD LOOKS, THE THREE OF YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MINDS TO
so Enji is very pertinently asking why they’re standing by him in spite of the... [gestures vaguely to everything]
oh my lordy lord
Shouto you had better do something to combat this soon, or this man will sneak past you on my favorite character ranking after all. his face. his cheeky lil finger gun. the fact that he sums it up so fucking simply. “if someone is trying to do the right thing, I want to support them.” exactly. exactly
(ETA: and one last thing I love but forgot to mention, which is the fact that Hawks calls it a team-up despite the fact that he is clearly in charge.)
meanwhile Jeanist is all “as for me, at this point I just straight up don’t give a fuck”
I can’t handle how fucking cool this chapter is you guys
so Hawks is all “you good?” at Enji. and Enji...
if anyone needs me, I will be building myself a discourse-proof fort made entirely out of problematic characters. I don’t even care. I will go on living my life very happily in here
lol at Natsu being all “BUT DON’T THINK THIS MAKES US FRIENDS”
I’m living for this weird and no-doubt entirely unintended implication that Natsu and them all are gonna join in the fight with the rest of them. I mean, they do presumably all have very powerful ice quirks. and Natsu has medical training on top of that, and Fuyu is skilled at getting eight-year-olds to behave which could be a useful talent for dealing with Tomura hahaha I kid, but I’M JUST SAYING. who needs hero licenses anyway
OH SHIT FINALLY SOME DISCUSSION OF AN ACTUAL STRATEGY. even if it’s just a PR strategy
and now for some reason we’re flashing back to Natsu and Fuyu’s attempts to navigate through the media crowd outside the hospital
well I guess this is why I’m not the mangaka. if I were writing this I would have done something trite and predictable like using that “One for All” line as an excuse to cut to Deku!! as opposed to this entirely unrelated scene!!
seriously though why do we need to see this lol
no one in this crowd has ever heard of Alexander Dumas huh. or even the popular 2007 Disney Channel original movie, High School Musical 2
so now there’s an entire page of Hawks saying they need to know what One for All is, and Endeavor having one of those patented Todoroki WHOOSH realizations lmao look at this
just wait until this man figures out that one of the scrappy new interns he took on three months ago was actually the main character all along
NOW IS PROBABLY A GOOD TIME TO ASK MYSELF WHY I CHOSE THIS CHARACTER WHO KEEPS DISAPPEARING FOR SIX OR TWELVE OR FORTY CHAPTERS AT A TIME TO BE MY FUCKING FAVORITE. WELCOME BACK SON PLEASE DON’T SCREAM YOURSELF TO DEATH YOU STILL HAVE A HOLE IN YOUR TORSO
(ETA: can we just take a moment to appreciate how Bakugou even got so close to Deku’s room in the first place though. in this giant hospital with no idea of where to even go. does he have Deku Radar or something.)
YOU SIX ARE OFFICIALLY ON MY HIT LIST!! SPARE ME YOUR GOOD INTENTIONS!! MY BAKUDEKU REUNION KEEPS GETTING POSTPONED WEEK AFTER WEEK!! YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE HEROES WHERE IS YOUR CONCEPT OF MERCY
(ETA: btw just to be clear, I’m not actually angry lol; it makes total sense that they don’t want this rampaging feral toddler who was still in his own coma all of fifteen minutes ago to come and start screaming at the other coma child until he tears all his stitches out. if there’s anything we Bakugou fans should be familiar with by now, it’s being patient.)
also, Tsuyu wrapping her tongue around Bakugou’s still-healing torso wound absolutely can’t be hygienic at all. also wait is that Inko??
(ETA: pretty sure it is her. she got all of one line smdh.)
Iida is all “thank god Great Explosion Murder God Dynamight pulled through, I thought for sure he was a goner back there”
for the record this is actually really sweet to see how relieved he is. he’s one of the few people who saw the original injury close up, back when he was still at the battlefield and unconscious, so I imagine it really did freak him out quite a bit
“sometimes I just like to stand here and tug on my imaginary suspenders, what of it”
how come you guys get to loiter around Deku’s room but Kacchan doesn’t. god fucking dammit. AND WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN
I BET KACCHAN COULD WAKE HIM UP FROM HIS COMA WITH THE POWER OF RIVAL INTENSITY!! BUT NOOOOOOOO, [is dragged away back to my fort]
OH MY GOD!?!
"this seems to be an entirely normal and above-board situation that we have just stumbled onto”
I see Jeanist comes from the Iida Tenya school of respectfully using people’s full names
Jeanist becoming one of the main characters is the best thing to ever happen to this series
EXCUSE YOU, IIDA
BUT I’M SURE HE’D MAKE AN EXCEPTION FOR KACCHAN THOUGH!! [elbowing my way back out of the fort] HAWKS, PLEASE --
DON’T GO ALL OMINIOUSLY PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER ALL ON YOUR OWN GODDAMMIT
“there’s absolutely no way this angry wriggling shoulder burrito kid here could answer literally all of my questions, so I’ll just ignore him”
OH MY GOD WE’RE FINALLY CUTTING BACK TO HIM BUT THE CHAPTER IS ENDING
[jumps up, throws a folding chair at Iida and the rest of the gang, and then runs]
oh my god. actually this chapter was awesome. but I’m so fucking mad at this cliffhanger though lol
at least we got a couple of answers! and some hints and teases! poor Deku looks so worn out even though he’s asleep dlwkjl my little green baby. and is it just me or is his quirk activated?? All Might’s all “I can feel it” as if it isn’t obvious just looking at him, why are you trying to be all mysterious dude
anyway! so at least we finally have confirmation and a date for those vestige antics at long last. looking forward to meeting Mister The Fourth next week so we can finally ask him “hey dude, what the fuck”
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An analysis on Isayama and why Rivamika might become canon/ with official interview links
Partly why Isayama got inspired for attack on titan was his past relationship with getting bullied for being a smaller and skinnier build guy by bigger folks. Hence the titans preying and eating smaller humans.
This is especially seen in Levi. Small guy who is looked down upon several times in the manga for being small. These are the examples I could find, but I remember there being plenty more.
Here we have Isayama sporting levi’s attire
Having levi’s hairstyle
Isayama has stated plenty of times that he doesn’t insert himself as one of the characters, but I still genuinely believe he might have this guilty pleasure of wanting to become this strong and fictional character who resembles himself both in build and the way he acts. Being small, but also humanity’s strongest and defying his real life bullies. Many times, when I watch his interviews, he has a similar behavior to Levi. A very calm and collected demeanor when speaking.
Mikasa’s inspiration (original link)
My dude literally admitted in an old Interview that Mikasa’s design was inspired by a cute girl he saw during his part time job. He even said he felt something when he saw her. Do we see parallels here or what?? Yes, Isayama has a wife now, but let’s look at how he acts when he’s around women. He’s perhaps a bit shy to approach them. Literally. the. same. as Levi. Levi is not as vocal with his love when he likes someone. WIth the billions of stares towards Mikasa and nothing more, like again. DO YOU SEE THE RESEMBLACE? I see you Isayama.
His Ideal self
All in all, we can high key see that Levi is someone he wants to be in real life in his own mind. Looking weaker, yet being super strong and heroic. In an interview he admitted that he sees himself more as Daz and as we all know, Daz is someone who’s passive and he wouldn’t be someone who is necessarily heroic. And at last, having the girl (or maybe the many beautiful girls in his life) he did not dare to approach when he was younger. It would make sense, that’s why he wrote Levi and Mikasa to have such an interesting yet subtle bond (more about this later). He wishes he could get those things in real life. He perhaps wished he walked up to that girl during his part time job, translated to his own fictional world: Levi might get Mikasa.
(let me add that there’s nothing wrong and shameful about him possibly self inserting himself as Levi, many authors do this and as long as the self insert is not a Mary Sue, which Levi is not!, everything is completely fine)
How Isayama depicts love in his story/ Why subtlety wins
For my feeling, Isayama is perhaps a shy guy in real life. I feel very similar to him when I write about love or envision it in my own head. He doesn’t like being upfront in his story when it comes to it.
Subtlety is key for him once again. He doesn’t enjoy hinting at love too directly, and if he does, it’s not the pairing you believe will become canon. Er*mika for example, they are the most obvious and direct ship in the series (no hate and shame to Er*mika shippers, but this is just my own opinion). In an interview he admitted that Mikasa is more like a mother figure to Eren and chapter 139 shows a one sided love between them. Sasha doesn’t end up with Connie as many believed, rather Niccolo fell in love with her. Jean liked Mikasa for a long time, but he doesn’t get her either, last example are Oruo x Petra and Hannah x Franz (Literally, the first couple shown in the series, died instantly afterwards)
I’m personally also a very subtle type of person, many times in my own stories, I want the not so obvious pairing to become canon. With these types of ships, you don’t see their love shoved in your face, but it is there, through subtlety. Levi always watching over Mikasa at the side of the panel, their minimum amounts of interactions, but it’s still there. Rivamika is not a crack pairing as many who fail to understand us believe. Their dynamics are SUBTLE and slowly build. It’s a slow burn that will blow us all away in the end perhaps in the last chapter.
Maybe I’m a clown for writing all this haha, but I believe in Isayama. It would be incredibly odd for him to waste all this potential, because for me everything fits like a perfect puzzle.
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Episode 11 breakdown
chayenzo has reached their bonnie & clyde peak in this episode and i’m living for it.
cha-young TORTURING and KILLING the three killers and vincenzo not holding her back
vincenzo letting her take the lead while ‘interrogating’ them... WHILE HOLDING HER COFFEE
at one point he looks worried when she ups the toxic smoke(?) flow (i think he doesn’t want her to lash out and regret what she did) but he doesn’t stop her.
he looks at her when they say they want to answer for their crimes in front of the law and she says “and who would that benefit?”
he’s letting her handle this all throughout the scene, and he’s seeing first hand what she’s capable of, what’s she comfortable with and how far she’s willing to go (which is all the way)
their dynamic has changed a lot from the previous episodes. they’ve truly become partners IN CRIME. (murder couple!!!!).
and as a good husband he tells her he’ll help her throw the people who killed her dad in the tiger’s cage when they’re done using them.
him telling her she belongs in the mafia!!!!!!!!!!! he fully recognised her as one of his own, someone who is capable of the same atrocities as he is and who he can rely on and trust as his equal.
her not reacting negatively when she finds out the extent of vincenzo’s mafia past / when shown the pictures of his killings. she even takes the picture of one of his murders out the prosecutor’s hand....
the HUG scene!!!!!!!!!!!! the chayenzo one, i should say. i think this is the most transparent vincenzo’s feelings have been made for cha-young and the audience to see (excluding the scene where he watches sleep).
first, he doesn’t want to stop drinking and uses the snacks as an excuse to continue drinking until 4 am. i think it’s important because so far vincenzo has done everything he’s said he would do. he does not lie or goes back on his words easily, EXCEPT WHEN CHA-YOUNG IS INVOLVED. the only time he does it for something else, it’s because he breaks the promise of not hurting others. although we’ve seen before how he lied about buying wine, it could just be because he was aware they were being followed and wanted to make sure nothing happened. but here, he clearly says they’ll only drink until 2 am, and when 3 am comes, HE’S THE ONE TO ASK HER TO DRINK UNTIL 4. he uses yet another excuse bc he doesn’t want to part ways with her yet.
then, she apologises for hugging him all of a sudden and he says there’s no need to say sorry, because she was worried. HE NOT ONLY DOESN’T MIND, HE’S TELLING HER IT’S A NORMAL REACTION. i truly think this says a lot bc all throughout the episode vincenzo is being hugged and he HATES it. he’s not a touchy person (except with cha-young ofc) and doesn’t like to be touched. but not only does he hug cha-young BACK, he’s saying she’s allowed to do that. They’re both testing their boundaries with each other.
also, when cha-young tells him she doesn’t know if her heart was beating bc of the situation or bc of her feelings for him, he looks like his own heart is beating really fast!! he swallows, looks away... vincenzo cassano, the mafia consigliere with no fear, is NERVOUS bc of hong cha-young 😭
finally, the HUG. when she says she’s testing to see if she has feelings for him, he smiles bc he finds her cute and he says he won’t move BC HE WANTS HER TO HUG HIM. he smiles as she’s hugging him bc he likes it UNTIL she hugs him harder and he feels nervous again (like he doesn’t want her to hear his fast heartbeat hahaha.) and his holding the chair bc he wants to hug her but he’s holding himself back. and then they look at each other and i just know he doesn’t know what to do hahaha.
meanwhile, cha-young looks at him intensely and i can just TELL that when she says “ah, i was wrong, it was because it was a dangerous situation” she’s LYING YOUR HONOR. she has the softest expression on her face, she’s definitely deeply in love with him lol.
then when she goes back to lie down, vincenzo literally doesn’t know what to do with himself. you can see he’s almost distraught!!! and the way he looks and smiles at her really softly just proves he knows she’s lying as well lol.
i think it’s interesting how the background music from chayenzo’s hug scene introduces his scene with his mom
in this episode vincenzo truly deepens his roots in South Korea, first with cha-young, then his mom, and finally the tenants
it’s also super symbolic that he picks up a thread and gives it back to her haha. it means that instead of serving their relationship, he’s ready to come back to her. he’s healing from the scar of being abandoned and he’s forgiving her.
also am i the only one who thinks the mom lowkey suspects/knows he’s her son? i really can’t tell if she can tell or not....
CHA-YOUNG BEING JEALOUS OF MIRI/POSSESSIVE OF VINCENZO IS SOMETHING I DIDN’T I NEEDED. the way she pushes her chair and hides her face hahahaha... and then she holds his arm!!!!!!
cha-young also puts her hand on his shoulder a lot this episode. they’re so naturally touchy with each other, and the contrast between how vincenzo handles physical touch from literally anyone but cha-young makes it even more domestic 😭
ALSO, vincenzo asking cha-young to come with him when he’s arrested... the parallels between him saying ‘let’s go, lawyer-nim’ when he protects her and ‘come with me, lawyer-nim’ when he’s in trouble...... PARTNERS IN CRIME
the tenants being not only understanding of his past, but PROUD and IMPRESSED???? they respect him much more now than before 😭
the whole Mr. An scene was soooo cool and satisfying!!!!!!
today’s episode was just ‘everyone wants to fuck vincenzo because he’s hot’ and where is the lie???
the tenants throwing him A LITERAL PARADE when he’s back. CHA-YOUNG ASKING IF IT’S A WEDDING HALL WHILE RESTING HER HAND ON HIS SHOULDER AND EVERYONE THROWING CONFETTI AT THEM????? they’re married in canon idc
she even tells him “with all the support that you have, why don’t you make your own family here?” YOU TELL HIM, HE CAN JUST SETTLE HERE WITH THE GEUMGA GANG BC THEY HAVE HIS BACK AND STAY WITH YOU
the tenants telling him about the gold was so funny... hopefully V finds a way to get the gold and they all divide the money equally or something
now the scene where he tortures the arms dealer..... THIS IS THE HOTTEST SCENE IN THE DRAMA IDC IDC IDC
playing the Russian Roulette himself and not blinking an eye i’m— “there’s no limit to fear” your honor i know he murdered countless people but have you seen him at work???? who wouldn’t forgive him
I’m so glad we’re getting darker!vincenzo... i want to see the ruthless consigliere everyone fears !!!! more vengeance and murder everyone !!!!
i’m thankful they didn’t drag on the “who’s babo” story line bc that would’ve been frustrating. when vincenzo called cha-young and told her who junwoo was WHILE SHE WAS WITH HIM!! AND SHE ACTED SO PERFECTLY!!!
also she didn’t doubt vincenzo for a second and she straight up asks him if he’ll stick to the plan (of killing him) without a beat
this episode just showed that everyone in this show is a morally grey villain and i don’t think they’re going to be like ‘the main couple went to jail for a few years to pay for their crimes and then lived happily ever after’. if we follow that logic everyone has to go to jail for something loool. i want them to win with no consequences, get away with everything they did and destroy Babel, idc!!!!!!
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Just a few things to talk about here: lengthy 😩
Levi being a 2 in teamwork meaning he never had chemistry while fighting alongside others, like ever. But then mikasa happened. As if isayama spelled it out for us that Levi and mikasa’s connection is so special, particularly to Levi, from the beginning. So now you realise that Levi has experiences with mikasa that he has NEVER had before with anyone, ever.
So you have seen this picture before but I’d like to take the time to dig deep into this. It’s from erens point of view and it most likely shows how he remembers these characters to be most of the time. Connie and admin being playful with each other, Sasha laughing at them, floch and marlo talking and hitch (?) just existing there because eren prolly never interacted with her.
Hanji in the background smiling at the group and Erwin giving them a soft smile. However there’s something particular about both Levi and jean isn’t it? Yeah you guessed it, both of them are looking at mikasa’s direction. ( I saw a post where they were trying so hard to refuse the FACT that Levi was looking at mikasa, even though they acknowledged that Jean was. 🤥🤥)
And lastly mikasa softly smiling at eren. You can clearly see Jean being glaring at that and the fact that isayama drew ALL of their eyes so crystal clear EXCEPT both Levi and Jean,,,, gets me. So you’re going to draw faces of people being themselves but what purpose does it serve you to draw both Levi’s and Jean’s( Jean who is a known mikasa simp) face looking at mikasa’s direction but not draw their eyes ( pupils ) clear? Was it forshadowing their mutual feelings towards her? Since “eyes are the window to the soul” and the drawing does not allow for us to get a clear view of their eyes was isayama implying that both Levi and Jean had hid their feelings for her?
Of course jeans face has a certain darkness to it because everybody is aware of his unrequited love and isayama does little to hide that. But notice how both Levi and his faces are tilted in a way. And the most obvious connection to both Jean and Levi are the way Levi is positioned almost in a line behind Jean, which creates a vector line from their eyes leading straight to mikasa.
Let's talk about this shall we? See how by placing the dark haired people on the front and centre has created a salient within this frame? Yeah the rest of the people in there are either blonde or light haired, Isayam placed each character there with a purpose. Now I'm not saying the 4 heads makes it look like a heart shape but that's excatly what I'm SEEING. maybe, just maybe this was a forshadowing of mikasa's choice, since she was placed in the middle of both Levi and Eren. Eren, whose face is not placed on the same level as Mikasa and Levi could possibly represent "dream" or a reality which would be hard for Mikasa to reach, therefore giving a hint of chapter 138 and mikasa's headache AU.
Whereas Levi, despite his height, face is on the same level as mikasa's. A form of equality, sameness, familiarity and most importantly symbolising reality.
Since he isn't hard to reach from where is Mikasa is placed. And lastly Gabi, we have all seen rivamika parental mode kicking in the recent chapters and here Gabi being in between Levi and her could possibly hint their parenthood, an option that will only be available if Mikasa choose reality: Levi. Therefore Gabi representing quiet simply Levi and mikasa's possible kid. Ackerbaby 👶
This panel, I'm dying to talk about this.most important question: is it Levi's tears that's falling?
I have stared at this for houRS, and I still don't have an unbiased answer. Although most would discard this as spit or sweat Levi probably has from yelling, I'm not fully convinced by it. Maybe it's my desparate rivamika mind that's refusing to let it go but how would spit or sweat end up where his bandage is?
On the too right corner we see multiple drops but why would anything but a tear be where you can see that single droplet of water on his bandages? It's literally so suspicious which is why isayama makes me mad, he teases so much and so subtly. He doesn't show Levi's eyes there, he could have, to emphasize on Levi's level of worry which could have been more effective when reading his expression and yet isayama chose to show his widened mouth to showcase Levi's anxiety.
I'm still debating on this however there's no mistaking it that Levi cares for Mikasa more than anyone.
Which brings me to this:
The similarities that I can not call parallels just yet, between erehisu and rivamika is really comforting as cruel it maybe to mikasa and historia. Levi is willing to have historia eat the beast titan without remorse, without thinking. Where as eren as we all know will do anything but sacrifice historia. Yes, anything. Even if it means putting mikasa ( and admin) on the boat as everyone else and letting them do whatever they want. In a way both of them are treating both mikasa and historia the same way.
Note Levi’s eyes while talking about historia almost looks psychotic which is unlike Levi and his eyes while looking at mikasa.
Eren who is pressed down to one single choice which might risk mikasa’s life but he won’t sacrifices historia. Protecting her.
Levi who decides to help mikasa has made a choice without any regret, relying on her.
And as for their respective person, both eren and Levi’s gesture and behaviour changes when they are around them. As eren said historia is the girl who saved him and the same way mikasa is the who may bring meaning into Levi’s life. I feel like these two couple has always developed together, take s3 aka rivamika season 🥵
The same way rivamika found trust and a way to bond, so did eren and historia. In their own way they. It’s funny because both of their development are so weirdly ignored by the aot general fandom, gee I wonder why 😒 anyway through these similarities or whatever you may call it you can really see who they each really care for and value over the other.
LMAO idk how much people considers pieck and Porco canon as potential lovers but this shot of porco really reminded me of Levi’s jealous look. Not to mention pieck resembled mikasa with that ponytail
Although I support jeanpiku I always had this feeling that porco and pieck might have been shipped together and they are, in this scene ( I haven’t watched the ep) I ASSUME porco is looking at her this way because of these men around looking at her and blushing, well it does resemble another grumpy old man. Anyway I’ll never shut up about that scene with both historia and Levi looking at their partners, jealous and shit 💆♀️💅💅💅
Okay I’m done talking for now, thank you again for reading as always idk what this post was tbh I didn’t have it planned at all I just really wanted to talk about these that’s been on mind to spark new conversations about them.
I just wanna say I wish i was part of this fandom sooner, not only does this fandom has the best theorists but also such amazing people. I hope our shitposting and analysis of rivamika will not end with chapter 139. Rivamika will always make me happy and this place will always feel like home, thank you for creating this community 😭💜💜💜💜
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Hey babe! Hope you're well and taking care of yourself xx
I recently saw a post of an E/riel saying that Gwyn is not Azriel's mate and that, and I quote, "that theory was canonically destroyed or it never had any foundations". Their evidence is the following:
(1) Azriel had met Gwyn under extremely stressful situations and that should have clicked the bond in place
(2) During the blood rite Azriel preferred to search for Eris and he was totally calm while Gwyn was in danger
(3) Azriel was going mad and running to save Elain at all costs from Hybern knowing it was certain death
I am quite new to your blog, so I understand if you have already addressed these points, if possible, if you don't want to explain it again, could please you link the posts? I would greatly appreciate that xx thanks for your time!!
I hope you're well too and welcome to my blog!🤍
"Canonically destroyed" that's wishful thinking🤣
Here is my Mating Bonds and Songs post (Musical references are made for each mated couple, supported by canon evidence)
Here is The mysterious nature of Mating Bonds and how they click under different circumstances
Here is my post on Azriel's reaction. Azriel reacting to Gwyn's name and in an EARLIER SCENE he suggested to Cassian that Amren could find some loophole in the Blood Rite to get Nesta out but Cassian REFUSES to save his mate because he knows she'll kick his ass and he WANTS to give her the chance to save herself. He reacts to her in canon but they like to dismiss that because it's nothing like how they reacted to "Elain". I'll remind you that he wasn't the first one to suggest to go and get her, it was Cassian that first said they'll get her back but Nesta told him he can't because he's injured.
And I remember an anon question where I explained why you see different reactions to Azriel when Elain was in Hybern and the Valkyries were in the Blood Rite. 1. Elain was in enemy territory ALONE, 2. Elain doesn't know how to defend herself and she's not trained, 3. King of Hybern will use Elain against the IC, 4. Azriel saves freaking everyone and it's known any harm that comes to any females around him triggers him (there is canon evidence to that but I'm too tired to dig in the books now). Gwyn wasn't alone in the Blood Rite, there are consequences for all of them and they'll have a price over their heads for the rest of their lives if they do interfere, even Cassian refuses to interfere when IT'S AZRIEL that told him Amren might find a loophole and that's his mate in the Blood Rite.
We find that mating bonds click under different circumstances. Mating bonds are veiled from individuals that are deeply traumatized which we know both Azriel and Gwyn are. Could one of them already sense it? Is that why Gwyn glances at him a lot? We don't know. Does him not rescuing her means they're not mates? That's a weak argument Lol. If they can't do anything about the Blood Rite what were they supposed to do? Sit their asses in Velaris or go and rescue Eris who would put them in a greater danger if Briallyn manages to break in through his mind. He didn't PREFER to rescue Eris over Gwyn and the Valkyries, they COULD NOT and CASSIAN REFUSES out of respect to Nesta. Does that make Cassian a shitty mate?
The mating bond for Azriel and Gwyn has foundations for it. You know what has no foundations for it? Azriel being Elain "second" or "true" mate.￼
Here are a few posts:
Feysand and Gwynriel parallel
Mates/glow in the chest
Endgame couples characteristics
How perfect Azriel and Gwyn are for each other
Azriel reacting to the Blood Rite drama
Azriel bonus chapter: emotions before vs after Gwyn's scenes
Lightsinger or... a mating bond?
If Azriel is Gwyn's mate why didn't he react like Cassian did?
Azriel when Elain was taken vs Azriel when Gwyn was taken
Favorite little reactions from Azriel's chapter
Why do Azriel's shadows fade around Mor and Elain yet stay around Gwyn and Nesta?
Happy reading dear anon💕
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Watching all the DC superhero shows is really eye opening to how romantically coded Supercorp is. As cute as Olicity, Westallen, and Avalance are, there’s something different about Supercorp. Felicity always calls Oliver out and puts him in his place. Barry always holds Iris accountable when she does something reckless. Ava always makes sure Sara and her team are doing things the right way. Regardless of how in love they are, they still hold their own with each other.
But Kara...boy that’s a different story. Kara can barley confront Lena and when she does she bursts into tears. The one time Kara finally ‘goes off’ she is once again teary eyed, and didn’t stay mad longer than a few more hours. She is literally the girl of steel who stands down for no one..and yet when she’s had to apologize to Lena in the past she’s like an awkward fidgety golden retriever with her tail tucked between her legs. Lena completely and totally disarms her. Kara doesn’t have the heart to stand up to Lena. She tried as Supergirl a few times (over kryptonite) and was immediately crushed when Lena reacted badly. Its like you can hear Kara’s heart physically break when she had to stand up to Lena, or when Lena is upset with her. And don’t even get me started on the whole parallel of “I won’t fight you Lena” to The Flash when Barry says it to Iris.
Kara lets her get away with everything. She stole Lex’s journal for her. She let her steal from the fortress of solitude (lets be real she could’ve stopped her if she wanted to). She brushed it over when Lena admitted to almost killing Edge. She never blamed her for Mon-El getting yeeted into space. She didn’t care she was working with a supervillain (i.e the ‘it’s not about Lex’ line). She didn’t even care that Lena was about to launch Myriad, her most loathed weapon; she was only concerned about her safety.
It’s like Lena can do no wrong in Kara’s eyes. She knows she’s good down to her core, and her actions will never change that. I don’t think there’s anything in this world that Lena could do that would make Kara stop loving and caring about her. I see that a bit in Avalance, but not really in any of the other couples. They all have lines and boundaries that, if crossed, could ghastly ruin things. But Supercorp has no boundaries with each other, and that has been said in canon. We also know in canon that Lena views romantic love as having no boundaries (i.e. the conversation she had with James). It’s really sweet, honestly. But it begs the question: how is that NOT supposed to be taken as romantic? Even Felicity has given up on her relationship with Oliver before. But Kara, not once, has ever fully given up on Lena and their relationship. Yet, it’s still supposed to be ‘platonic.’
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I disagree that if NS had become canon they would have need justification, for the vast majority of the series Naruto had a clear attraction which is referenced periodically. Starts pre graduation & goes on to last for years. It goes from wanting to impress her to wanting to spend time with her to the obvious blushing (blushing isn’t always a romance metric i actually find it cringe it always gets reduced to that but when it’s put into context, you can attribute it to romantic feelings) theres a time where he wants to peak at her at an onsen. There was a grey area for a long time as far as Sakura’s feelings are concerned; her reactions to certain things he did, third party observations (Yamato), the way she literally flirted with him a couple of times when they met after years/the feeding thingy. I have mixed feelings about the solidity of databook content for many reasons, but them shits were full of dubious material for NS. The fake confession scene which also paints grey on multiple points, arrives at a point where we’re literally 70% into the story, chapter 469 for 700 chapters in total, and the 700th being a deviation from the original story anyway. We do not actually see Naruto move on at any point because it’s literally not addressed whatsoever, he doesn’t reflect on his feelings because he doesn’t have the time for it, but around that time there’s actually further confirmation he’s into Sakura and it’s stated he can’t confess because he feels unworthy “can’t even keep a promise”. There’s war. Anything about moving on is pure headcanon because it’s factually not displayed, Kishi did not care to portray that, instead chose to add forced scenes to give nh a backbone; including a character death. By mid war arc Kishi makes it worse by mixing the clear nh orientation with NS/Minakushi parallels. NS was the main element as far as Naruto was concerned, and we see remnants of NS till the end. Especially form part 2 onwards — SS gets back burner despite a stellar part 1; while NS basically overrides NH like in the pain assault, although we’re still talking bare minimum for all couples. NS wouldn’t have needed a movie explanation if canon endgame because if canon endgame Kishi wouldn’t have made Sakura’s disposition revert to part one stuff in terms of Sasuke in the war arc and instead developing the grey points he wrote in. Besides that, it’s commonplace for the MC to end up with his crush anyway. Much less eyebrows would’ve been risen than what NH caused.
No, NS definitely would have needed a justification, and literally nothing you said disproves this. How can you say that it wouldn't have needed a justification when literally 7 chapters from the end, you had Sakura confessing her love for Sasuke again? At the very least Anon, Sakura switching from Sasuke to Naruto within the last 6 chapters (bearing in mind she had just reconfirmed how strong her love for Sasuke was), would very much have needed to be justified. So you wanna talk about the fake confession happening 70% into the story? Despite the fake confession actually harming NS more than anything else because all it really did was reiterate how much Sakura loves Sasuke - You have Sakura's real confession to Sasuke happening 99% into the story. So yeah, NS happening after that would have definitely needed some serious explaining.
Your wall of text primarily focuses on Naruto's feelings for Sakura prior to her fake confession, a confession which he was not moved by in the slightest, and actually caused him to get angry with her for lying to herself. If Naruto's feelings for her at that point were anywhere near as powerful as you think they were, he would have at least demonstrated some form of reaction to signify that this was the case, but he did no such thing. There was also nothing "grey" about the fake confession at all; it was made very clear by both Sai and Naruto himself, how much Sakura loved Sasuke, and that she wanted to free Naruto from his burden of the Promise of a Lifetime with the fake confession, and kill Sasuke herself, because she couldn't bear to see the one she loved fall further into darkness.
For the vast majority of the series Naruto had a clear attraction which is referenced periodically.
Well, Sakura's love for Sasuke (not attraction, her love), was not only referenced far more frequently than Naruto's attraction to Sakura, but it was also portrayed as being a lot deeper.
The few points you make with regards to Sakura's side prove nothing, such as "her reactions to certain things he did", which tells me nothing, so they don't help your case at all. Then you mention something like Yamato's comment, which he didn't even finish, nor did it indicate romantic feelings on Sakura's part. Besides, later developments proved that Sakura didn't have, nor did she ever have romantic feelings for Naruto, so it's a trivial point of contention anyway. People can only speculate on what they think Yamato was going to say; there are no facts there, which is why I was so surprised that you actually then went on to use the idea of a lack of factual evidence to support one of your points, but I'll get onto that later.
We do not actually see Naruto move on at any point because it’s literally not addressed whatsoever
The mere fact that Naruto responded to Sakura's fake confession with resentment, and then went on to share the scene in chapter 615 with Hinata, gave a clear enough indication of where his feelings were headed. We even saw him with Hinata as everyone was mourning their fallen comrades after the war, just in case it wasn't already clear enough where things were going.
You also mention Naruto's "can't even keep a promise" scene with Sai, and while that did indeed indicate his feelings for Sakura, that conversation happened long before the fake confession anyway, so there's no real point in me commenting on it because my point has always been that from the fake confession and beyond, Naruto was clearly moving on from Sakura.
Anything about moving on is pure headcanon because it’s factually not displayed
Ah, here it is. It's really funny you should say that when considering how many of your points had a glaring lack of factual romantic connotations, as you go from highlighting blushing, to certain non-explained "reactions", to third party observations, to Sakura feeding Naruto which you misconstrued as flirting, to what you openly acknowledged as "dubious" databook material. So you apparently have no qualms with using "headcanons" to support your assertions, but take issue when it goes against you.
Instead chose to add forced scenes to give nh a backbone; including a character death
What "forced scenes"? Now you're just making empty claims. You may as well say that the entire Pain arc was forced, just to give Sakura an excuse to hug Naruto. NH didn't need any additional scenes to give itself a backbone - It already had one since Pt.1.
Especially form part 2 onwards — SS gets back burner despite a stellar part 1; while NS basically overrides NH like in the pain assault
You think SS was on the back burner compared to NS? Anon, there were far more SS scenes during Pt.2 where there were explicit romantic undertones, than there were for NS. If you don't believe me, I will gladly prove it to you. It wouldn't be hard to do, because the vast majority of NS's development was platonic. Whereas the vast majority of SS's and NH's development was romantic. That's what separates them, and that's why I always say that SS and NH were on a romantic pedestal far above NS. You even demonstrate this point in your ask, with many of your points not demonstrating anything explicitly romantic, yet you needed to mention them because that incorporates the vast majority of NS material.
Furthermore Anon, you claim that NS overrides NH when it really didn't, especially not during the Pain arc. Or are you really gonna tell me that you think Sakura hugging Naruto at the end (yet another platonic scene) was more emotionally powerful than Hinata's confession of love to Naruto and subsequent sacrifice (which was a wholly romantic scene)?
NS wouldn’t have needed a movie explanation if canon endgame because if canon endgame Kishi wouldn’t have made Sakura’s disposition revert to part one stuff in terms of Sasuke in the war arc and instead developing the grey points he wrote in. Besides that, it’s commonplace for the MC to end up with his crush anyway. Much less eyebrows would’ve been risen than what NH caused.
So basically, you're another person who thinks that Kishi changing the story is a notion that supports your point? Because here you're basically saying that if Kishi had written Sakura differently with regards to Sasuke, then a NS endgame wouldn't have needed a justification, but that means nothing. Sakura loved Sasuke and never wavered from that love, that's canon, that's the story. An AU where Kishi wrote Sakura differently doesn't exist. Therefore...
Because Sakura was shown to love Sasuke from beginning to end, to the point where she confessed her love again 7 chapters before the end, NS would have needed a justification (on how Sakura switched from Sasuke to Naruto).
Because Hinata was shown to love Naruto from beginning to end, NS would have needed a justification (on how Hinata ultimately gave up on Naruto).
Because Naruto was definitely not shown to love Sakura from beginning to end (you may claim that his moving on was never factually stated, but in that case, neither was his continued feelings for her), NS would have needed a justification (on how his romantic feelings for her were rekindled).
Because the Promise of a Lifetime was literally Naruto promising to bring Sasuke back for Sakura because he knew that she loved him, NS would have needed a justification (on how Naruto swooped in and got with Sakura despite him bringing Sasuke back for the betterment of her love life with Sasuke).
Lastly Anon, your final point about the protagonists often ending up with their crushes once again means nothing. That wouldn't automatically serve as a justification for them getting with their crush, regardless of the journey to that point. Fact is, NH and SS had far more momentum heading into the manga's conclusion than NS did; they experienced more romantic development, therefore their romantic relationships were canonised. That only makes sense.
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