by Eternal SailorM

Disclaimers: I am not CLAMP, and therefore I have no rights towards X/1999. I make no profit off this essay. This essay is solely my opinion.
Archive: DarkMagick.net, MediaMiner.org, Sleepwalker. Everyone else, ask first.
Note: Title "Unforgiven" comes from the song "The Unforgiven" by Metallica.

I am a Subaru/Kamui shipper.

Saying it like that sounds like it's some kind of disease. Really, it's not. No matter what you may hear, it's not. So now, we get to the real meat of this newest essay. I'm not going to make one of those huge spiels about how perfect Subaru and Kamui are together. Even though I may think that, I don't want to go into that in this essay. This essay has less to do with my personal justifications and more to do with other people's.

I'm the moderator of Sleepwalker, a Subaru/Kamui community on Live Journal, and that has allowed me to come to a few conclusions and suppositions. I feel I should, in good conscience, begin with the suppositions.

My first supposition is that there is an entire contingent of X/1999, X the Movie, and X TV fans out there who are entirely too dedicated to their OTP (or "One True Pairing"). I have seen and heard entirely too much of people who are fans of one pairing ripping to shreds fans of another pairing. I've noticed this mostly in Seishirou/Subaru fans and, to a lesser extent, Fuuma/Kamui fans. If I were truly a heartless person, I could wonder if this means S/S and F/K fans are all that way, completely intolerant, but I know this cannot be. Furthermore, I refuse to marginalize all people who are fans of a pairing by the actions of some people.

My next supposition is that a lot of fans of these two pairings seem to have a huge problem with the Subaru/Kamui contingent. Again, note that I am not saying all S/S or all F/K fans, just a lot. I've watched members of my community try to defend their choice, only to have people starting going down their throats on why they would never get together because of reasons X, Y, Z, and Fruit Loops. Yeah, Fruit Loops. That's probably been a reason at one time or another. 

And my final supposition is that a lot of fans out there (Again, note that I did not say all fans) seem to think they are CLAMP and can completely dictate exactly what is canon for each character: what they think, what they feel, what they would or would not do. Just comments like "Subaru will never love anyone else again" or "Subaru will just use Kamui as a convenient lay" tend to turn my stomach, partially because I myself would consider this a gross case of character slaughter but also because this is a blatant case of trying to force your own interpretation on other fans.

Personally, I think CLAMP decided to leave pairings up to readers. There is as much proof for Subaru/Kamui as there is for Seishirou/Subaru or Fuuma/Kamui. X is a lot like GundamW in that aspect, where there are hints deliberately dropped towards any number of different choices for whatever your tastes may be. So what's the point of insulting someone's taste? I mean, it's just immature and rather childish. To me, it seems to showcase your own ignorance to do so. Not to say all Subaru/Kamui fans are paragons of virtue; indeed, far from it. We're just as human as anyone else, with the same foibles and vices, and we don't want other people treating us like idiots or pariahs for our enjoying a certain pairing.

Finally, my conclusion... I've been working with fanfiction in various fandoms since 1999 (amusingly enough). I don't claim to be an expert of any kind or anything like that, but honestly the pairing fan-wars in the X fandom are some of the worst ones I've ever seen, if not the worst. It almost feels like people entering this fandom check their emotions at the door. "Entering the X fandom? Yes, yes. Please leave your hat, coat, and emotion chip with the concierge."

So all in all, there is a more to this little essay. Tolerance is a wonderful thing. We could all stand to practice a bit more of it. And if you can't tolerate something, do everyone a favor: back up, duct-tape your mouth shut, and walk away.

:: The End ::

04 April 2004

How about that: 04-04-04? *amused*

I've been working on this for several days now. Sorry it's sort of short, but sometimes short and sweet does the trick.