I Wanna Write a Mikayuu Series Cont.
Well. Hello again.
Or hello if you're new here ;)
It's me again. And in case you have no clue who the hell I am or why you are reading this right now, here is the link to the first part of my I Wanna Write a Mikayuu Series in which I explain how I'm planning to write an official novel series inspired by Seraph of the End. It's very spicy: https://alison-anonymous.tumblr.com/post/647363264308723712/okay-so-um-if-youre-reading-this-hello-all
For a slight recap in what happened during that post, I touched a bit on my feelings about the strange Yuunoa vs Mikayuu thing going on and how I find it rather stupid. I also expressed how I have been a Mikayuu shipper from the beginning and took everyone through my rough outline of the plot for my series inspired by this show/manga. Dicentra (the name of my series, it means bleeding hearts lol) is going to have three main arcs: the prewar (what Mika and Yuu and the kids start out in), the war (where a majority of the anime and manga takes place), and the postwar (something made up entirely by me). My series will feature three main characters as they go throughout their lives: Amaris (my version of Yuichiro), Mikaela (I'm keeping his name for meaning purposes), and a brand new character, Epic. If you haven't met her yet, you can read more about her in the first part. Or you can just ask me to make another post about my characters and ideas and I will deliver ;)
But that isn't quite what this second part is going to be about...
I have seen quite a bit of rants going on around tumblr about the queerbaiting. I've also seen a lot of evidence for Mikayuu becoming canon (for those of you obsessing over "my Mika" RIGHTFULLY SO, I SUPPORT YOU) and TONS of very passionate Yuunoa shippers. So, before I begin, I'm going to tell you this now.
I am not creating this intending any harm to the creator of the series, the fans, the characters, gays, lesbians, asexuals, straights, ANYONE. The last thing I want is to spread any hate about this series whatsoever. I love Seraph of the End with all my heart, honestly! Hell, I wouldn't be planning on writing an entire book series inspired by it if I hated it. But... that being said, I am going to be sharing my own opinion from a fellow writer's perspective on this manga and anime as a whole. I'm not telling anyone how to feel, this is entirely my opinion. Take with it what you will, comment your thoughts below, and feel whatever way you want to feel about it. That is entirely your right.
These are the main points I plan to go over:
Inside Kagami's Head (what I think might be happening)
The Problem with Being Canon
Hearing from You (yes. You.)
So, if you are ready to fall down this rabbit hole with me, hello. My name is Alison. No, that is not my real name, but I will give it to you eventually :) I welcome you to take my hand just like fucking Willy Wonka and make sure you grab some popcorn. Get comfy on that sofa or floor of yours because... god damn.
You are in for a ride. This is not a rant. This is an analysis from someone who has had a lot of experience in creating a stories and me asking you, as consumers, what YOU want to see when it comes to representation.
Here we fucking go.
Before we start on this, please keep in mind that queerbaiting can be a very touchy and frankly annoying subject. Tons and tons of animes, TV shows, movies, and a bunch of other forms of media have been guilty of doing it time and time again. This isn’t anything new. Seraph of the End wouldn’t be the first to do this (if they were doing this, more on that later). Just some of the examples that I’ve found of other animes doing this are shows like Sound! Euphonium enforcing the idea that you grow out of loving other girls, Kaneki’s relationships with other men throughout Tokyo Ghoul being much stronger than his relationship is with Touka over time (no hate, this is strictly according to the site I found. I personally just love Kaneki in general and want that poor baby to be happy. Crowley also has the same voice actor as him in english dub and it. Is. Weird.). Hell, even Fruits Basket and Black Butler have pissed some people off for the blatant teases at LGBTQ+ representation and then don’t touch on it again.
It’s difficult. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. And it’s honestly just unfair.
But what exactly IS queerbaiting?
According to Urban Dictionary, queerbaiting is defined as “a marketing technique used to attract queer viewers that involves creating romantic or sexual tension between two same-sex characters but never making it canon or evolving on it.”
Okay. But… why would someone want to do this? Why would creators intentionally take two characters of the same sex, place them in very compromising positions, hell even have one of them say “I love you” to the other, and then have them end up with someone else of the opposite sex in the end that they had shown no signs of romantic feelings for?
Well, in most cases, it’s considered a marketing ploy.
A little wink and nudge to those in the LGBTQ+ audiences to show them that “hey, there might be something here. You should come check this out.” It can attract a wider audience while still keeping the interest of the original audience because it is full of EMPTY PROMISES. They bring out the compromising positions, maybe even toss in some intimate blood drinking scenes to attract your attention, and then don’t expand on it to keep the original audience happy. Sure, we do have a bunch of animes and TV shows and such that are shamelessly depicting these beautiful LGBTQ+ relationships, but this sort of thing is still happening.
It’s all about building more money and it sucks. It’s awful and in the end, it harms the consumers more than it helps them in my opinion. By brushing off all of these Mikayuu moments, for example, as “brotherly love” moments, it’s only making it harder for people who find themselves not being straight to come out. They might think that everything they feel for guys or girls or non binaries is nothing more than a sibling or friend love or something that they will grow out of.
I personally am pansexual. The way that I see it, you love whoever the hell you love. You don’t get to choose who you fall in love with, and so what if they’re a girl or a boy?
You love them.
So why is it okay for beautiful relationships like Mikayuu to be pranced around with for profit? For gathering up more audience members? Mikayuu is just an example I’m using for this since there are dozens of other examples, but think about it. Would we even have a problem with Mikayuu becoming canon if, say, Mikaela was a girl?
If Mikaela (as a woman) sacrificed himself to save Yuuichiro MULTIPLE TIMES, told him “I love you”, drank his blood, literally views him as his only reason for living, and survived this ENTIRE TIME just in order to save him from what he saw as a bad situation though it meant living through hell as a vampire, would we have a problem?
Would a female Mikaela and Yuichiro become canon?
Honestly, I don’t see why they wouldn’t. I don’t see why anyone would put up a fight against that. It would just become one of your classic dark fantasy romantic animes or stories or whatever. But it’s different.
Because Mikaela is a man. (A beautiful man, in my opinion. I love him so much.)
Now, before I get ahead of myself, we cannot technically say that Seraph of the End is queerbait yet. Yes, there are a lot of complicated paths to take on this, so I’m going to try to stay as respectful and peaceful as possible.
The series is not over yet. Therefore, we don’t know if Mikayuu or Yuunoa or whatever is going to be canon. So until we know for sure what the ending is going to be, we can’t say for sure if it’s queerbait yet.
But unfortunately, there is still a lot of doubt. Yeah, there’s been a hell of a lot of fluff and bonding moments. But Yuunoa becoming canon is a real possibility.
Can we call Mika and Yuu’s relationship strictly platonic? Honestly, no. At least I don’t think so. No, they have not kissed. But think about it. Yuu is constantly wanting to touch or hold Mika and he just casually admits that Mika is his main reason for living. On Mika’s side, literally everything that he does is for YUU. He doesn’t trust the other humans much. Mika wants to be with Yuu for as long as he can and he’s practically blushing in every frame with him, even when he GETS STABBED BY YUU HIMSELF. He fucking sacrificed himself for Yuu too, come on!
This isn’t “brotherly love” in my eyes. There’s no way. Would you seriously sacrifice your life for your brother, claim them as your only reason for living, blush at everything they do, and ultimately want to be with them (and pretty much only them) for all eternity?
Exactly. It’s become more common for authors and creators alike to not make pairings canon and it sucks. It really does. Having to rely on fanfiction is nice, but it hits different when it comes from the author themselves. Mikaela and Yuuichiro have a very strong bond, and some of it does stem from them going through a shared trauma together. They witnessed their family die together and they’re both willing to go to the ends of the earth to save each other.
Keep in mind that Yuu’s original goal had been to kill “every last one of them” (anyone get Attack on Titan vibes from that? No?), but then when Mika came in, he forgot about that.
So, like I had mentioned before, it is hard to classify this as queerbaiting when we don’t know how the series is going to end. Only when we get a concrete ending can we pick it apart and scream QUEERBAIT at the top of our lungs or cry and sob over our adorable Mikayuu pairing as they get the happy ending together that they fucking deserve.
But there is… another problem.
Shinoa loves Yuu. Yes. Okay. We get it. We accept it (mostly, lol, jk).
Kagami making Shinoa love and confess her love to Yuu is completely fine. But we cannot ignore that all of the signs are pointing that Yuu doesn’t love her back.
I don’t see any romantic chemistry here.
I don’t see a bond with her like he has with Mikaela.
Why would Kagami intentionally put Yuu with Mika for so many chapters in the manga, giving them more chemistry, only to have him end up with Shinoa in the end?
Why would so much time be dedicated to Mika and Yuu only to have Yuu randomly reciprocate Shinoa’s love? From an author’s standpoint, that doesn’t make any sense.
When you write something, you write it for a reason. It has a purpose. If it’s a priority, YOU MAKE IT A PRIORITY. If a bond needs to be made, you make that bond happen.
So if Yuu and Shinoa get together at this rate, it wouldn’t make any sense and would cause quite a bit of outcry (including from me). The way I see it, they have more of a brother-sister or even best friend relationship. Yes, Shinoa does have romantic feelings for Yuu. We get it. But think about it… in that third episode in the anime when the girl was giving him a love letter for saving him, he understood what it meant.
Hell, he even blushed at the idea of someone liking him like that.
So is he really so blind and naive that he could miss Shinoa’s feelings for him when they’ve spent so much time together? I don’t think Yuu is stupid. Is he reckless? Bold? Sometimes a little crazy and desperate? Yes.
But he’s not stupid. Not in the way I feel like a lot of people are portraying him.
No chemistry means no healthy relationship. They rarely spent any time one-on-one in the manga or even in the anime for that matter, and Yuu is way too dedicated and focused on Mika to acknowledge Shinoa at all.
I don’t have anything against Shinoa and I frankly find her personality to be a breath of fresh air. But realistically speaking, she should have seen by now how close Mika and Yuu are. I feel like she knows deep down that she might never be able to match up to Mika’s role in Yuu’s life.
I’m talking in the romantic sense, yes.
Like I said before, if a person is a priority to you, then you will make them a priority. Mika is clearly a priority to Yuu. Turning him human again, rescuing him from wherever the hell he is now, being with him.
But what goal is there with the relationship between Shinoa and Yuu? Do you see what I’m saying?
If I’m being honest, her love for Yuu is probably just a crush. You can’t love someone who you haven’t spent more than one or two scenes alone with. She hasn’t had the opportunity to connect on a deep level with him like Mika has. And like I said, he is hyper-focused on making sure to avenge his family’s death and bring Mika back to him.
He just wants Mika, is that so bad?
Is it honestly so crazy to just let a gay couple be canon?
According to profit, yes. And this is why I sadly won’t be surprised if Yuunoa does become canon even when they have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever.
It is very unfair that an anime girl can express her feelings and have them be explicitly acknowledged but when Mikaela does the exact same thing, it is put under the microscope.
Did NO ONE think that Shinoa could have meant it as a friend? Oh no. She’s a girl and she was blushing so obviously that means she loves Yuu as a romantic partner!
But when Mikaela said the exact same thing, when he was FUCKING DYING FOR YUU, his meaning is questioned.
THERE IS NO ROOM FOR QUESTION (in my opinion).
HE LOVES YUU. I don't see how that could have been meant in any other way! I’m sorry if that hurts anyone out there. But they are not brothers. We can all see the chemistry. Even my mother saw the chemistry when I showed her the gifs of the two of them.
If you can’t see it, you’re lying.
INSIDE KAGAMI'S HEAD
Now, this section is going to be entirely my own bias, just like everything else. I cannot speak for Kagami in the slightest, but I can try to give it my best guess with the way the series is going.
We all know the manga is going downhill.
And it’s going downhill fast.
And I think I know part of the reason why. Think about it. Say that you had a really good idea for a story and you started making a manga for it. You originally thought that no one was really going to be interested in it, but you kept hope and kept making it and selling it. And then suddenly everything changes. You get an anime adaptation. More viewers begin watching. More fans. More merch. More shippers.
You don’t have any pressure when you’re a nobody. The writer has full control over their work and how it goes.
But when you have so many people watching you and expecting something, suddenly your vision gets a little wonky. Think of Five Nights at Freddy’s. We might not ever get to figure out the true meaning behind the lore because Scott’s original vision would never be satisfying enough for the consumers.
The original intent suddenly isn’t enough.
I think what is going on right now is a mix of a desire for profit and a lack of originality. I feel like Kagami is trying to make what he thinks his fans want versus what his actual vision was all so that he can keep making money.
It is not easy writing a story. Especially an extended series like this. Even I haven’t gotten past plotting out my prewar and I’ve been at it for several months, picking pieces of the lore and deciding what actions they take, characterizing, romanticizing.
But things get messy when you combine romance with difficult conflicts. Add on top of that the pressure of your fans to make a specific pairing get together, to make this person die, give this person a miraculous (kudos to those who get that reference).
“Give us the story WE want. Not the story YOU want.”
Attack on Titan’s original ending would have been for everyone to die. It honestly still might be with how it’s going right now, but the author’s ending changed when he realized how his FANS would react.
Who knows. Maybe Kagami had planned to get Mikayuu together in the end. Or maybe his goal had been for Yuunoa, but then all of these Mikayuu shippers came in at a mass and suddenly he realized how many people would be pissed if he made Yuunoa canon so he changed his ideals.
So I guess there’s the problem that lies with every creator that picks up a following.
Which means more to you?
Making money and making your fans happy or staying true to your original story?
THE PROBLEM WITH BEING CANON
The problem with making Mikayuu canon?
Would mean a lack of audience. A lack of profit. A lack of recognition by others because it has an official gay couple in it. And that reason alone is disgusting to prevent a relationship so pure and so developed from becoming canon.
I’d like to direct your attention to all of the official fanarts we’ve been given. Specifically to the Valentine’s Day ones.
Who do you see Yuu being paired with?
Is that Shinoa?
And who do we find Shinoa with in this one? Mitsuba.
Now why the hell would Kagami have Yuu and Mika illustrated together on FUCKING VALENTINE’S DAY OF ALL THINGS if there is no implication? You don’t do that. You just don’t fucking do that unless it’s for fanservice. Unless it’s to drag along all of these hopeful Mikayuu shippers only to let them down in the end because they were just a part of the audience.
It’s not okay to do this. Money shouldn’t come above toying with people’s feelings, queerbaiting, and a lack of representation. Like I’ve said before, this wouldn’t be a problem if - say it with me -
MIKAELA WAS A GIRL.
There would be no what if. This is just fanservice. An empty promise of what might be and I am so sick of so many things being left unaddressed in this entire series.
A bit off tangent, but a major one is Mika’s feelings. We understand that he’s had the most fucked up life out of all of them, but I feel like people fail to realize to what extent he’s suffered.
He had to watch his family die through a plan that he came up with from a map that HE stole from Ferid who HE allowed to drain him in order to make life better for his family. He then forced Yuu to run away so he could survive and got turned into the ONE THING HE HATES MOST with no real way to die without it being very messy. So he kept going because the one thing he had in mind was Yuu.
Yuu was all he ever thought about.
It’s not okay. This uncomfortable silence is making me twitch and I am honestly scared to see what comes next in the following chapters. I hope that Mikayuu becomes canon with every fiber of my being, and even though there have been some new hopeful signs, I won’t be surprised if it goes belly up when everyone least expects it.
But we haven’t addressed that Mika thinks this is all his fault. And it’s somehow okay for us to ignore this like we ignore all of the so called “brotherly moments” between them? It’s somehow okay to allow Mika to carry all of these burdens that are not coming out in HORRIFIC ways that Asuramaru exploits?
Yuu thinks everything will be fine once Mika is turned into a human, but that only makes him even more scared. He deserves so much better. He is such a beautifully sculpted character and I hate how everyone is pretending like he has to keep a strong front to protect Yuu, like he’s not still 16 FUCKING YEARS OLD.
Mika deserves better. Yuu deserves better. Everyone fucking deserves better.
We don’t need the heteronormativity.
HEARING FROM YOU (yes. You)
God. Well, now is the time for me to hear from you.
Yes. I’m talking to the you who has stuck with me this entire time. Quite the champ you are!
I’m sorry you had to see me like this.
Like I said, we don’t know how this manga is going to end yet. But it is likely that it’s going to end up with Yuunoa or an open ended ending which makes me very, very sad…
Honestly, making Mikayuu canon would be groundbreaking, guys. For anyone who is still in the closet, it would give them hope that it’s alright to come out. That you will be fucking accepted.
You. Can’t. Choose. Who. You. Love.
I’m tired of us being greeted with the same door of lost potential. Guys, there is so much potential here if they would just use it! If money and pressure wouldn’t be such a huge issue. If people would get the stick out of their asses and accept that we’re different and love is fluid.
The one thing that sucks is how most of the relationships in the story often mean more than the plot itself. And that’s where I thought Seraph of the End would have potential with the whole vampires vs humans thing.
Even just having a female character, if she doesn’t have a love interest, she instantly gets no screen time whatsoever. She’s not important. Feminist movies have lower ratings than ever and the same goes for things like LGBTQ+ representation.
So… now is when we get to talk about Dicentra and where I’m coming to you for help.
I don’t give a shit what other people think.
I don’t give a shit if this ruins my reputation as a writer forever. Fuck it. I’ll use a different penname. But Dicentra is going to be MY story. My relationship I’m creating.
I’m not going to hide my LGBTQ+ characters in the closet because I’ll lose ratings or I won’t get enough profit because of it.
Representation means more than money. Teaching little kids to accept that it’s okay to love who you love means more than conformation. We need representation in this society, and they say to be the change you want to see in the world so fuck it. If no one else is going to do it, then I will. I’ll rewrite Seraph of the End. I’ll give Mikayuu the happy ending they deserve. I’ll create a plotline that actually makes sense.
Hell, I didn’t even plan on giving Epic a love interest in the second arc of Dicentra. Her main conflict isn’t romantic. Her main conflict is learning how to show others that she cares about them and accept that it’s not every man for themselves. But she’s Pansexual as well. So this is where my question to you comes in.
What do you guys want to see?
What makes a couple explicitly canon to you? Having Mikayuu kiss? Just having Yuu say I love you back? Does it need to explicitly stated?
WHAT SORT OF REPRESENTATION DO YOU NEED?
Because I will give it to you.
What sort of things do you wish to see from Mikayuu? Do you want it to be stated if they’re bi/pansexual/whatever?
Whatever you want. I want to rewrite this in a way that I can get behind - one of representation and not being afraid or restricted. And the only way I know how to do so is through writing.
Thank you for sticking with me through this all if you’ve made it this far. If you’re interested at all in Dicentra, please comment or message me your thoughts on the questions and if you want to see more of me. I might even leak my character designs ;)
Once again thank you.
I hope we can change some things ♡
♡ alison anonymous
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