Enemies to Lovers and Crackshipping

Hey, it’s been awhile. I know, I’m sorry, I was writing other stuff.

I decided to do another fandom post, why not?

Let’s talk about crack ships.

I’ve been on Wattpad a lot lately (uploading fan fiction) and I discovered that peopel acutally write whole fics that are just analyzing ships…and people actually read that.

Okay, to be honest, I read it too, but I thought I was the only one who cared why people ship things. Like, I like discussing pros and cons, but from what I see in fandoms it usually is just “It’s cute and sexy so I ship.”

I never ship stuff based off that alone, usually. But I enjoy cute and sexy as much at the next girl, I suppose.

(my version of sexy is probably pretty homeschooled, though.)

Anyway, in the mha fandom there’s been a ship since last year or so that’s gotten a following for being a crack ship, and it got me thinking why do people ship crack ships?

I always thought it was sexual addiction, honestly. I mean, I’ve shipped a crack ship maybe once or twice because of a fan fic I wrote where it kind of made sense, but I don’t take it seriously outside of that. So I never got it.

And I was a little judgy about it, to be honest.

But I really don’t care if people ship Jack Frost x Elsa, or whatever, if they want to do that. The crack ships I find disturbing are the ones between adults and kids, or siblings, or other inappropriate people.

You can ship whatever you want if it’s not creepy, I think, but don’t make it creepy, guys…

So the ship that got my attention on all of this was DustBunny, or ShigarakiXMirko.

I never heard of it till I clicked on this one video on YT, and I thought “this cannot be a thing…what?”

But then I watched it and it was funny, and I thought “okay, I see why people think it’s funny, but is are they serious?

And a lot of fans think shippers are crack heads, especially crack shippers, kind of goes with the name…

I’m here to say you all should just screw off if you’re going to seriously think that shipping is weirder than the stats arguments you other nerds get into over shows and movies and books.

I mean critisize me for shipping if you think it’s bizarre, but don’t act like it’s weirder than what the “intellectual” fans do, for crying out loud. I can’t stand hypocrisy.

Anyway, I’m not trying to start a fight, just saying people should stop acting like it’s better to be a weird fan for one thing than for another, it’s all the same, isn’t it?

Except people who consume content just to get sexual pleasure out of it…that’s weird.

Anyway, why should any of you care?

I assume you like ships if you’re reading this, so let’s ignore that part.

Is it worth it to analyze a crack ship, that’s the question I want to answer.

[I’m also going to talk about why this particular kind of Crack Ship is so popular, and why I think it matters in the second half of this post, so read to the end if you want the deep stuff.]

Firstly, I think it depends on what you mean by worth it.

Will it make it more likely to happen? No.

We all know crack ships will probably never happen, ever.

But is it worth it to ask why people like it? Sure.

There’s always people who are in it just for the sexual content, but there’s always some people who actually put real thought into it.

And if you can’t judge humanity by the person, I think you can’t judge shippers by them either.

I mean romance is something most people want, so why let the perverts out there stop you from appreciating it, that’s my attitude.

And whie you don’t have to ship Dustbunny to understand what I’m saying, I’m going to use it to illustrate what I mean:

First of all, a crack shp has to be between people who it doesn’t make a whole lot of canon sense for them to be together.

The reason is that it strongly appeals to some people to change canon.

Some are just perves, again, but for the more serious cases, I notice a trend.

Crack ships tend to pop up around characters people think are lacking something. Whether it’s that they are lonely, or perhaps morally bankrupt, or too arrogant, people use a ship as a vehicle to imagine character development within.

And whether the two halves of the ship even know each other is not really the point. The person is picked base on the trait the shipper thinks will help the other person the most.

Case in pont: In MHA, Shigakria and Mirko have never met…and may never meet, quite frankly.

But that just makes it better for a crackshipper, because there are no limitations that way.

They won’t look at facts, the look at possibilities.

I call it “what if” scenarios, (and that was before I found out that was a kind of fan fiction, btw)

And you may ask “if it’s not going to happen, then who cares?”

My answer to that is: You can’t go through life thinking of what seems like it’s possible, and expect to ever exceed very mediocre expectations.

I mean, everything looks impossible and unlikely to us until it happens. When you were a kid, driving a car, tying your shoe, or riding a bike seemed like it would never happen. It was a whole new world of rules and skills you did not have. When you didn’t know how to read, reading seemed out of reach. Books were a thing you didn’t get.

Then you learn those skills, and you can’t imagine not being able to do it anymore. When you really learn something it’s hard to forget it.

It’s called expanding our horizons.

Stranger things have happened in real life than it would take to make most crack ships happen, if you chose to take that route.

2. The second objection that might be made is that ships like this are creepy and weird, not becuase of age gaps or being related, but because they are built on nothing and are often between characters on opposite sides of the good-evil conflict.

That’s more likely because if they were on the same side, chances are they would interact, and it wouldn’t be 100% a crack ship then, there would be come canon material for it.

So a hero-vilia ship is usually a crack ship, I’ve seen a few canon ones from time to time. I actually usually enjoy them. You can’t beat stakes like that.

But mostly, it’s crack.

Sometimes they are creepy, I’ll give you that. And it’s probably always going to be weird.

But there are some objections I think miss the point.

One being: He or she is a villain.

Duh, that why people are shipping it, for the redemption arc part (more on that later)

Two: There’s a slight age gap.

An age gap of 5 years or so is not worth making a fuss over. Maybe after 8-10 years you could question it, but I think it’s only creepy if it’s between an adult than teenager/kid.

People will throw the age thing in there when it really shouldn’t mattter. Only dating people who are with 1 or 2 years of you is going to be pretty limiting, especially since people are at such different levels of maturity at any given age. I’m more mature at 22 than most of my older family members three times my age are. If I let age be the only factor I’d be in a tight spot.

Crack ships do often have bad age gaps though, but as I said those are the ones I do think are wrong.

The ones that are small, and that the only reason people are objecting…I just don’t get it. Pick a real reason, man.

Back to the moral question:

I think me and some other people wonder if it’s really okay to ship heroes and villains.

I mean, my whole objection to ship  Toga from MHA with anyone, hero or villain, is that she’s psychotic, kills whoever she likes, and shipping her with anyone is kind of like saying you want them to die. (Which makes me wonder if all the people who ship her with Bakugo have ulterior motives.)

I don’t find it cute, sorry.

I think that’s one other objection that is valid.

People contemplate that crack ships ignore very important parts of the characters. Like that they are killers, or abusive.

Sadly, canon ships also do that, as Naruto proves…but yes, fans do it more.

It’s very true. Toga is one example. But you could name a bunch more if you’ve been in any fandom for a certain length of time.

And I don’t support that. I think if to ship someone, you have to ignore part of who they are, a big part, because it’s just too repulsive otherwise, then you cannot ship them. Unless you intend to rewrite the character entirely.

But then…it’s not really them anymore.

When I was younger and less mature I used to think that approach made sense, but now I don’t. If I have to change a character to like them, I just should like them. I can be mature enough to admit that.

Like, could I like Toga if I ignored her psychotic tenacies? Sure…probably, I’m not immune to the weird cute act the author pushes with her (why doe anime do that?).

But I refuse to overlook part of character in order to like it. She may be cute-ish, but she’s psycho, and not in a joking way, in a legitimately will murder you type of way. That’s not okay with me. If I wouldn’t ship it in real life I won’t ship it in a show either.

But I don’t think Dustbunny and other ships like it are on the same playing field.

You have to look at the characters involved. Shigaraki is not like Toga. He’s crazy…ish. But we also have signs that he can be more human, self controlled, and mature than she’s ever going to be.

And then if you are caught up on his backstory, you have a reason to think he was not naturally the way he is. All For One has trained him to be sick and twisted. But if you can be trained one way, you can be trained another.

I was watching one video and some idiot commenter was saying that Shigaraki justifies his actions because of his trauma, which is just not okay, because characters who have it just as bad as him are still good.

And I thought “When has Shigaraki ever justified anything he does because of trauma?” I can’t name a time. He claims he has the right to do it, because AFO taught him that, but he never says it’s good, or that it’s okay because of what happened to him. He does not really seem to think about what happened to him as unfair, he thinks he is just made to destroy (again, thanks to AFO).

Seriously, do we even watch the same show. Dabi justifies his actions because of his past, so does Twice, so does Spinner. All a bunch of victims, really. But Shigaraki doesn’t. He is brainwashed into thinking he should destroy by his ever helpful and despicable master. Talk about blaming the victim.

Unlike Toga, who actively seeks out twisted things as part of her whole schtick about doing what she wants.

Shigaraki is always referring to AFO teaching him to be this way, like he knows he didn’t come up with it himself.

That give the redemption arc fan a hope he might be made to see it’s all a lie.

Not much of a hope, perhaps. but there is some.

(And for the record, I’m still saying it’s going to happen, though not because of this ship, but I think if I’m trope savvy, that’s what’s coming. )

I guess this is kind of a hot take on Shigaraki’s character, as well as the ship.

The reason I need to talk about both is because people object to the ship because they think he’s a schmuck who cannot be redeemed.

And that’s hypocritical, because most people who complain about that will ship other stuff if they like it, regardless of how bad the person is, but whatever.

If that was true, I’d agree, it’s useless to ship. It’s like shipping Emperor Palpatine with someone, I’m sure people do, but decent people don’t talk about it.

But I actually like ships for villains who are more victims of other villains, because the ship is sort of a vehicle to introduce the idea of happiness to them. Something they would fight for, something they might defy their programming for.

I mean if you won’t do it for love, what will you change for?

I was watching a video about the enemies to lovers trope earlier today that basically summed up how I think of it.

It’s hard to reform villains in a way that makes sense in story. Either you do what Avatar did, and humble them through hardship and the truth about their past, but that is not going to work for every villain, obviously, if they already know their past and are evil because of that.

Your other option is for the villain to start to care about something.

(We’re gong to ignore the Naturo/shonen anime standard of beating them into submission and then they somehow have a change of heart. That never works irl.)

What would the villain carea bout?

Maybe there’s a vague good concept you could try, but most often, it has to be another person. What else can get past our defenses?

It can be their son or father, like in Star Wars, but family is always a gamble at the motivation for reforming. It might work, but then, if they cared about their family at all, why would they be evil?

MHA did this with Endeavor, but Endeavor also change because he realized getting what he wanted was not really what he wanted, and he didn’t get it the way he had wanted it anyway. That humbles him, and he starts looking to be a good dad as an alternative goal to outdoing All Might.

Very well done, but rare in real life. I would know.

So, what many authors do is use a romantic love interest. The reasons are simple.

A: Romantic feelings are some of the most powerful ones we experience, they can make people do both good and bad things, crazy things, or beautiful things, depending on what kind of person you are.

B: A Love interest is usually someone new, someone the villain cannot already resent the same way they would old friends or family. Someone who can surprise them and defy expectations.

Most redemption arcs turn on the idea of “new”

I mean, it’s biblical isn’t it? A new life, a new heart, a new spirit, that’s what we’re told. A new beginning.

You need the “new” Much more than the old to redeem someone, both in real life and in fiction.

Because it’s “new” You always run the risk of people rejecting it, but if they can accept it, that’s where real change comes in.

And that is why Enemies to Lovers is so popular. It allows both people to become new, and do new things, have new feelings. But still be themselves.

And, what no one talks about, but I think we should, it’s also most of the Bible, if not all of it.

God’s dialogues with the people of Israel, Judah, and then the Church, all read like they’re describing an enemies to lovers ship between a hero and villain.

God leaments the poor decisions His people make, and gets angry at them, but then He promises they will become new, and He would love them and heal them if they just come back to him.

We all crave that in the enemies to lovers story, and any other romance story.

Gd compares his relationship with us to a marriage for a reason.

Marriage captures something about God and us that no other relationshp can.

Friendship relies on the idea of being equal to each other.

Parent/child, relies on the idea of being unequal but still loving and giving to each other, even knowing it will never be an equivalent exchange.

But the idea of lovers is more than that.

Romance doesn’t even ask if you are equals (unless you want to kill it), it doesn’t ask who’s giving more. At the peak of romantic feelings, both people only care about seeing and drinking in the other person.

And so, it makes sense that for God, the absolute climax and epitome of closeness to us is where we’ve forgotten who’s more powerful, and who’s able to give more. We give all of ourselves, and God gives all Of Himself, and who cares which is more, none of us will think of it anymore. God never seems to think of it at all except to teach us humility.

The pinnacle of Love is to stop caring about measuring or defining it by anything, and to just do it, be it, really.

I now, a lot of us can’t imagine that. I’ts pretty much a forgotten idea, but I still find traces of it sometimes even in modern stories.

Now, a fiction trope can not begin to encomapps taht, but I would defend the Enemies to Lovers trope at one of the few that can even get a taste of it.

Relating all this back to Dustbunny, I won’t claim it’s quite what I’m talking about.

But my goal was to defend the legitimacy of shipping these kinds of ships. Even if it’s mostly for fun, we need the idea that people an be redeemed, especially by love, to stay alive.

I’m actually kind of concerned by how hard people find it to understand this simple idea, we want redemption.

We’re made to want it, and people who hate on fans who vie for it are…well, kind of pathetic. And it’s almost inhuman.

Hate on a ship for any other reason, but hating it because it requires redemption to work…I mean, do you know any healthy couples in real life?

The truth is, peeps, there is going to be an element of enemies to lovers in every real relationship you ever have. We are all the villain sometimes, and we can hope, we are all also the hero. I’ve been both, you have too.

And if we cannot, even in concept, agree with the idea that we will need redemption, and that it will come because of love, I don’t think we should be in a relationship at all.

If you cannot admit your’e the villain sometimes, but also rise up to being the hero, you are not ready for love. Even the more family affection type of love has elements like that in it. And deeper friendships do too, but superficial ones don’t.

That’s where it is people.

My opinion is, if you hate on enemies to lovers for the sole reason it’s that, you have issues, and are probably a narcissist. We all have to change, we all have to transform. Especially in marriage.

Someone else said that the beauty of Enemies to Lovers is that is is someone seeing all the worse parts of you first, and still being able to fall in love with you. We all hope to have enough good in s for someone to love us even if they see our bad.

I think that is so true.

And hot…just saying.

But even for me, who’s never dated (not for lack of wishing), I can see why it appeals to us.

We’re all insecure. It’s been popularized to just own it and like that you have flaws, but that’s bullcrap. If you like your flaw, it’s not a flaw, is it?

But the more honest among us now that, and we just want someone to look past it.

I was taught from birth on upward that my flaws were too big of an obstacle to love me. That my pain would make it impossible for me to be cared for, and that my boldness would drive everyone away.

I still struggle with believing anything different than that. I’ve met a lot of weak people who refuse to get close to me because of my edges.

I’m not a mean person, no one would tell you that, I just have a lot of fire and at times I may be harsh without knowing it. Working on that. But never with any real intent to be cruel. Some people get that about me, and others refuse to.

I have learned though, that people will back off from whoever they think is tougher than them.

So maybe I like that Enemies to Lovers trope for that reason. It happens in real life, people have attested to it, and I hope that there is someone who will treat me that way.

I like the idea that what repels some people about me would attract someone else, the right person. I just have to find them.

I think also, the loneliness factor is thing. Villains are lonely, so when the trope is hero-villain specifically, we can relate. Heroes can be lonely too.

As Shakespeare pointed out, we are the most like God when we show mercy, and that is what Enemies to Lover is about. having mercy, maybe on ourselves as well as the other person, since often there is a moment where one or both halves of the ship realize they were wrong and did some bad stuff.

It’s about hope, too.

Basically, it’s like God towards us, and I find that beautiful.

the Bible says “love covers a multitude of sins.”

It better, right? Or what would all of us do?

So with that really in depth take on this, I think I’ll end, and I’ll see you all next time–Natasha.