Hello fellow slash fans! We are so excited to be here at the start of the second annual Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney! To honor this momentous occasion and to help you decide which couples to nominate, we have decided to come together and share some of our favorite slash ships that you might have forgotten. It’s actually a doubly special week for us because not only are we celebrating the beginning of this year’s Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney we are also introducing our brand new columnist/slash expert: Mike Cooper. He’s very enthusiastic and we already love him so we’re sure you will too.
Anyway without further ado, here are 12 pairings we would like you to consider nominating for the Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney.
For most of us Shipping News columnists, last year’s Ultimate Slash Madness Tournament was pretty much our superhero origin story. We’re back this year to defend and fight in the name of our favorite ships—assuming you nominate them. Here are the two pairings that I, Catherine, would love to see:
Haruka Nanase/Rin Matsuoka (Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club)
Spotlighted by Aja last week, the Free! anime debuted two weeks ago and sure made a splash (pun intended), particularly in the slash fandom. While the series’ protagonists are a shipping mix-and-match dream come true that might remind us of the Prince of Tennis cast, it’s the relationship between the quiet Haruka Nanase and the bitter Rin Matsuoka that gained the most attention. (Who could blame us? It’s a classic case of “rival shipping”, one of the most popular slash and shōnen-ai tropes.) To put things in perspective: Haru, who loves swimming to a point where it’s downright comical, quit practicing the sport competitively after he hurt his friend and former teammate Rin by beating him in a race. Rin subsequently went through a drastic change of personality to cope with his failure. Haru and Rin reunite years later, and together join the newly created swim club. While this endearing story is probably enough for any shipper to see great potential, the show seems very eager for us to put our slash goggles on: the opening is strangely focused on the pairing and the post-episode image still is…well, just see for yourselves. I give Haru/Rin two thumbs up, and would love to see the pairing represent the often forgotten anime/manga slash fandom this year.
Peter Rumancek/Roman Godfrey (Hemlock Grove)
I was pleasantly surprised by the positive comments you guys made about Hemlock Grove when I mentioned it earlier this year, so it’s only fair that I give this pairing an encouraging nudge towards an official spot on the slash madness tourney (and, consequently, more exposure). Hemlock Grove was Netflix’s first original horror series, and as of June 19 it was renewed for a second season. Directed and produced by Eli Roth, this adaptation of Brian McGreevy’s debut novel might take an unexpected turn next year, as the author decided he would not be writing any sequel, dropping his initial plan for a trilogy. The future of Peter Rumancek and Roman Godfrey therefore rests on Landon Liboiron and Bill Skarsgård’s shoulders. Does it look good for us shippers? Well, we’re not holding our breath—even though the hints are already there, blatant homoerotic tension between a show’s otherwise straight protagonists is not exactly common, and could even be a first in the mainstream horror genre. For the writers to go there would be interesting, to say the least. What better way to show how receptive we are to a werewolf/upyr romance than to nominate them as part of our annual slash tourney? If you need a little more incentive, be sure to visit the Fuck Yeah Romancek Tumblr to reminisce about the Peter/Roman highlights of the first season.
Since I’m all about giving new or recently acknowledged pairings a chance this year, I can’t resist mentioning Supernatural’s Dean/Benny and Marvel’s Spider-Man/Deadpool as well. Remember: if you like it, nominate it! We’re counting on you to make this year’s tournament a success. Will we see hobbits compete against corporate lawyers? It’s all up to you.
Hi guys, UndieGirl here to help celebrate the beginning of the second annual Ultimate Slash Madness Tournament. It’s kind of a special moment for us because we wouldn’t be here talking to you if it weren’t for the first tournament. Oh no I’m getting all sentimental, don’t worry once the competition begins my ruthlessness will return but until then lets get to the matter at hand… which two pairings have a chosen to put to you as possible contenders for this year’s Ultimate Slash Champion.
Finnick/Peeta (Catching Fire)
Catching Fire (the second film in The Hunger Games series) is realize this year and that means that fans finally get to see the charming Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) come to life. While Finnick is awesome in his own right it’s the prospect of seeing his interactions with sensitive baker Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). Because Katniss is too busy being awesome to have time for that romantic nonsense. Finnick is so flirtatious and Peeta is such a hopeless romantic, which for me makes the idea of a possible hook-up (even if it’s just for one night) extremely enticing.
Those that have read the book will know that there is one scene in particular to look forward to. It’s a moment I featured in the Valentine’s Day Special way back in February, you know the one, it involves a little mouth on mouth action. In fact Sam Claflin even said it was his favourite moment from the shoot: “I’d have to be giving Josh Hutcherson CPR. My mouth touching his was a beautiful moment, it will live with me for the rest of my life.” Finnick/Peeta is definitely worthy of your consideration.
Casey/Severide (Chicago Fire)
Long ago in my first column I accidentally shipped a couple of angst-ridden firefighters from Chicago Fire. Then a couple of months later I revisited the pairing. I think I can safely say that at this stage you can’t really call it accidental anymore. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) and Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney) are both chock full of issues and although they might act like they dislike each other there is clearly a deep connection between the two men.
There’s fighting, and jealously and a whole lot of lingering looks. Casey/Severide has everything a slash pairing should. The series starts with the loss of a friend and sometimes it seems like the only ones that truly understand are Casey and Severide. While this pairing is still it’s early stages it’s growing and it definitely has the potential to be an epic slash romance. Plus you don’t even need firefighter AU’s because it already is one (and it’s a really good one, chock full of action and angst). That is why I present Chicago Fire’s Casey/Severide to you for your consideration.
This was SO HARD, and voting is going to be EVEN HARDER. You should probably give these a shot though. I’m not going to beg, but I am going to use my closing statements to remind you of a pairing that made last years list that I would love to see again: Community’s Troy/Abed. “Troy and Abed in Slash Madness”. Yes? Remember if you don’t nominate it won’t make this list… so what are you doing? Get to it already!
Hi, Backlotties! An OTP is a precious thing. Here at the Shipping News we love our OTPs and I know how much you all love yours. An OTP says true love conquers all, it says together forever even if the fates keep you apart, it says soulbond, right? So in that case, I’m happy to give you my two picks for this year’s slash tourney! (YOU’RE GOING TO KICK YOURSELF FOR NOT NOMINATING THEM LAST YEAR!)
John/Karkat: a match made in Heaven Scratch
(I know, right? How did this ship fail to get nominated last year? I’ll pause briefly to let you headdesk repeatedly before we continue.)
What’s more romantic than true love springing for true hate! Nothing if you’re a Homestuck troll who’s caught in the throes of kismesis—the wryest and most hate-filled of the four quadrants from which relationships blossom in this complex multi-linear multi-universe storyline that’s gripped Homestuck fans for the last three years.
This pretty much sums up their dynamic in a nutshell:
Karkat: ATTENTION WORTHLESS HUMAN. THIS IS YOUR GOD SPEAKING. IT IS A WRATHFUL GOD WHO DESPISES YOU MORE THAN YOU COULD HAVE POSSIBLY DARED TO FEAR.
John: hi karkat!
John/Karkat is a ship acknowledged by canon—sort of. Karkat’s been in hate-love with John ever since the first moment he laid eyes on the grubby little human, and can we blame him? John’s happy and hopeful where Karkat’s brusque and cynical, John’s naive and doofy where Karkat’s impatient and irate, and when Karkat “meets” John for the first time (sort of), he’s all spade-eyes:
Even though John awkwardly rejected Karkat’s advances, they’ve become best friends and each other’s most trusted frenemy through their adventures across multiple universes, past and future timelines, and back again.
But while Karkat’s manfully shoved his feelings for John aside in order to focus on saving the universe (all of them), Homestuck is a world where characters mature and relationships evolve, and the four quadrants of troll romance are as nebulous as romance is for humans. And it’s definitely not like John’s immune to the charms of trolls—i mean, we know about his huge undeniable crush on Nic Cage. And the harder Karkat curses John and all he stands for, the more John seems to like it :D
Hussie and all these great John/Karkat fics at the AO3 can’t be wrong! Oh and have I mentioned John/Karkat gave Homestuck fandom one of its most epic phenomena yet? Of course, of course, I’m referring to Promstuck.
So seriously, Homestucks, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Put JohnKat on the ballot already!
Harold & Kumar
I mean. Come on. This pairing argues itself. Do you even need me to say it? What’s a soulmate bond look like to you?
THIS. THIS IS WHAT A SOULMATE BOND LOOKS LIKE.
Harold & Kumar have stayed best friends through college, three movies, across time, space, and New Jersey, and their love has only gotten stronger. They’ve helped each other grow into (relatively) responsible adults, but they still keep each other grounded. And, yeah, okay, stoned, but seriously, when their dedication to weed is surpassed only by their dedication to each other, what more proof of an OTP do you need?
Not only have John Cho and Kal Penn built an entire franchise around combating racial stereotypes, but they’ve given us, in Harold & Kumar, an epic buddy saga to rival Butch & Sundance and Bill & Ted.
Also, (like you need reminding), these two? together? YOWZA. If you don’t ship it at least a little bit, you’re lying.
You know what to do, Harold/Kumar fans. Peace out.
Thorin Oakenshield/Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit
From the epic fantasy series that gave us pairings like Frodo/Sam and Aragorn/Legolas comes another magnificent ship. Behold: Bagginshield!
I’m mostly focusing on the movie adaptation here since it has (sadly) been years since I read the book. But beneath all of the fancy CGI and breathtaking scenery employed by director Peter Jackson and crew, The Hobbit is about the growth and adventures of Bilbo Baggins. Especially in the movie, the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin Oakenshield becomes an important pillar of character development for both of them. Watching Thorin go from doubting Bilbo constantly to trusting him completely is an unexpected journey in and of itself, and a rewarding one. Even when Bilbo has yet to prove himself useful, Thorin’s sense of loyalty and devotion to his comrades sends him down a cliff to save Bilbo. And in return, Bilbo runs through flaming trees and faces down an angry orc/warg duo to protect Thorin.
There’s a lot I’m looking forward to in the upcoming Hobbit movies, and you can bet that seeing the Bilbo/Thorin relationship deepening is up near the top of my list.
Remus Lupin/Sirius Black, Harry Potter
While Drarry (Harry/Draco) has always been the megaship of Harry Potter slash, any slash fan would be remiss to ignore the perfection of Remus/Sirius. Whole archives of fanfiction and fanart exist solely for this pairing, and artists have published numerous manga-style fan comics. Some of the best works take place in the Marauder’s Era, exploring the lives of young Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs.
This pairing was actually one of my very first slash pairings and holds a special place in my heart. Many hours (read: days) of my life were spent perusing the now-defunct Azkaban’s Lair archive. The combination of angst and adorableness and sexual tension between these two devoted friends is heart-melting and, at times, completely heart-breaking. Add werewolves and wizards into the mix and the quiet bookworm + charismatic playboy trope at the heart of this pairing turns into a layered, complex, beautiful pairing that deserves another round of love from the slash fandom world.
Seriously, if you like Harry Potter and you haven’t taken a foray into the wonderful world of Remus/Sirius, do it now!
Hey everyone! I’m Mike, the newest slash expert around these parts. What better way to introduce myself than by sharing my personal favorites to be nominated in The Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney this year!
Scisaac, Scott/Isaac (Teen Wolf)
Teen Wolf is a hard show to pick a ship on, mainly because of the insanely good looking cast and the fact that it’s possible to ship basically anyone with anyone else on the show. Sterek is the biggest ship in this particular harbor and apparently it sails itself, but there are so many others too. Derek/ Scott, Derek/ Jackson, Derek/ (insert warm body), Stiles/ (again, warm body here). There are OTP’s and OT3’s; hell people have even taken to shipping the CARS on this show (Jeep/ Camaro is a thing, Jeep was very sad when Camaro was replaced with Toyota after the breakup). Teen Wolf is a shipper’s paradise. Today, however, let’s talk about Scisaac.
I have been on this ship since it was just a wee little kayak getting all emotional in a veterinarians office. Since then, however, there have been so many great Scisaac that (brace yourself) they have replaces Sterek for me as the pest pairing on the show. The emotional attachment, the soulful gazes, they’re just so perfect for each other. What I particularly like about this pairing is that, unlike many other ships born out of an ostensibly antagonistic relationship, or at least a mild dislike between the characters, Scott and Isaac genuinely and canonically care about and respect and trust (http://lonewolfed.tumblr.com/post/52760171703) one another. It really feels like the beginning of a sweet romance, and that’s without digging too deeply into subtext. Bonus, Scott is (for the moment) technically single. Also, they have both been really good for one another, and integral for their respective development as characters. Imagine if after the trauma of Derek throwing Isaac out into the rain, he hadn’t had Scott to be there for him. Scott too is literally learning how to be an alpha (maybe?) through his relationship with Isaac.
Aww, look how cute they are
Every scene with the pair of them is just so darn cute! Also, tragic (and yes they can both exist at the same time. Ask any shipper, your OTPs pain is absolutely adorable). Best of all for Scisaac shippers, season 3 thus far has baically been one big love fest for these two. From the first episode of the season when Isaac asks for Scott in the hospital and he comes running like a wolf-man possessed to his rescue, to more recently when Isaac beat the ever loving Sugar Honey Iced Tea out of Ethan after heating that Scott was injured after the big Alpha Pack showdown in the abandoned mall (was that what it was, I’m still not sure).
Basically, all I really have to say is this, “Dude, I love Mexican”
Warren/ Briggs (FBI Husbands?) (Graceland)
What is there to say about Mike Warren and Paul Briggs? Their relationship is a classic recipe for all sorts of slashy goodness, a recipe that USA network seems to have mastered (I’m looking at you Suits and White Collar). Its the good old sassy, cocky, veteran (insert profession here) gets his whole world turned on its head when he meets the cute whiz-kid rookie, blah, blah, blah. On paper there’s not much new ground to be tread here. The show, frankly, isn’t reinventing the wheel. That said there are two reasons why I find these two interesting and personally ship them with all the might in my little shippy heart.
a. Paul Briggs, played by the incredibly sexy Daniel Sunjata, is one of very few people of color to be part of what has the potential to be a super popular pairing (Teen Wolf is, as with many things the exception of course). That alone is enough to get me interested, however,
b. Je ne sais quoi. This ship shouldn’t sail. Logic tells me that this is likely a summer fling and will fade once the weather cools down and my Fall shows come back on. This show shouldn’t be good. Honestly it may not be any good. Perhaps they are just bashing me in the head every week with enough slashy subtext that I’ve lost my mind and am hallucinating or delusional. That said, I tune in every week just for these two.
I know I’m pretty alone here in Graceland, but it’s a new show, so we’ll have to see where it goes once the season 1 box set comes out. Seriously though, if you want a fun new pairing to follow, this is it. The “subtext” on this show is just barely that. A good 20-30 minutes of each episode is spent with either Mike or Briggs angsting about one another, or with them gazing into each others eyes by a campfire, or over some dirty dishes while Mike washes them or whatever. Just watch it, they’re cute and the rest of the cast is hilarious and smart and wonderful.
Some romantic bonfire bonding
Danny Mahealani and Stiles Stilinski, Teen Wolf
You guys, this is the ship of champions, let’s hear it for Stanny! A pair of human boys in a world of sexy shirtless werewolves; how could we not?
We love them individually, Stiles the show-stealer and the universally shippable boy is possibly the most pondered upon character in the fandom. One of the most important bits of fan speculation and theory, Stiles’s bisexuality is a thing all but confirmed and repeatedly hinted at through interactions with none other than Danny “Heavenly Moon” Mahealani (I kid you not, Jeff Davis does not do subtle with the name picking).
Every time Stiles’s sexuality has been brought up by himself (and on memorable occasion, with the Sheriff) Danny has been not distantly involved.
Canon hopes aside, Stanny is right up there with the big Teen Wolf ships with a strong following and lovely fanwork.
“Is Danny Attracted to Stiles?” Inquiring minds want to know. Going by his reaction to Stiles, his oversized condom faux pas, and generally adorable dorkiness, it looks like this ship will be sailing through Sterek winds and Dethan storms.
Sebastian Smythe and David Karofsky, Glee
This year I’m backing up the little ship that could. Though there is dim hope that either of these characters will be seen again on Glee, the Smythofsky tag is a lively and active place. The once tiny and still modest but passionate community of self-proclaimed Meercubs (we have an affection for Meercats and Bear Cubs that we won’t be ashamed of) keeps up consistent support and dreams of their ship.
With the tiny scraps of canon that we have to work off of, keeping the flame alive is no small feat.
What makes us ship it? The thought that their relationship can further redeem and give a full circle story to Dave and Sebastian; both previous antagonists who have been proven to, well, not be made of stone. Comparable to fluffy mammals, even.
In our homey fanon, theirs is a romance born of redemption, regret, and past tragedy (just the combination of angst that I constantly crave and love!). There is a lovely polarity to the fics produced for this ship, you either end up on the floor sobbing or curl up smiling like an idiot at the sweet fluff. There really is no middle ground with these two.
A Note in Memoriam:
Amidst our planning for fun and celebration we cannot do without this note to acknowledge a terrible event. We here at The Shipping News, just as hundreds and thousands in the Glee fandom and even those outside of it feel this week great sadness at the passing of beloved actor Cory Monteith. Friends and fans feel this loss deeply and remember him as not only talented but a presence of light and happiness in the lives of many. Our thoughts and love go out to his family, friends, cast mates, and to every fan that held him dear to their heart. May he rest in peace and his memory continue as a beacon of love to those he leaves behind.
We’re all a bit emotional at the moment about a lot of things. Especially considering this column was born out of last year’s Ultimate Slash Madness Tourney! And now it’s happening again… we’re not crying we just have an OTP in our eye.