12 Days of Moe – Day 4: Yuri Subtext and Shipping
Ahh, yuri. Yuri, and especially yuri subtext is a pretty common thing in moe. Because moe anime emphasizes on light and cuteness, it can’t integrate too much drama in it. That means there will be no social commentary like the acceptance of LBGT community or other serious stuffs. Even if there’s romantic progression in moe anime, it’s mostly extremely subtle and takes yuri goggles sharpened to the keenest sense to catch it.
While you may argue because it can’t be overly serious and doesn’t go in such an obvious thematic direction, it may loses the potential to be something special. At the same time, this “vagueness” in the character’s’ affections with each other creates a very fun culture within the yuri fandom — shipping.
Applying that logic, I guess moe anime is to us fans akin to how some anime is to other people-there are fun things to do outside of the anime as well. Just like how we may ship a MC to another heroine, moe fans also ship a character with another in a show full of yuri subtext. And really, it also helps tremendously that there are great character dynamics in most of these shows, so shipping in moe anime can be pretty fun.
I assume yuri shipping started to become a thing because ironically, most moe anime doesn’t fully go down the rabbit hole and turn it into a canonical love. You can pretty much apply the Schrödinger’s cat theory-yuri exists in an ambiguous state where two possibilities constantly exist in superposition, one where the characters are in love with each other and the other where they are just friends, at least until further observations can be made.
At the same time, this vagueness makes yuri shipping so fun I really feel nothing but appreciation nonetheless. Throughout the years, yuri subtext and shipping has really become an established culture within the yuri fandom, and I wouldn’t take anything away from it in an attempt for something “special”.
To that end, and to repeat the post I wrote for OG, us yuri fans are sort of masochists, we get our hearts tricked, sullied, and played like fiddles with all these subtext, but at the same time, we love all these teases as it helps get our shipping to full throttle. Being a yuri connoisseur is suffering, and I love every second of it.