The Shipping News: “Free!”, Drarry OTP and Wimbledon RPF

Hi folks, Aja here. I hope the Americans among us all had a great Fourth of July! I’m here to celebrate freedom in the best way I know how—with QUEER FANFIC.

Let’s kick it off with a roundup of what’s happening right now in slashy news! (Hint: there’s a lot happening right now, oh, baby!)


Anonymous asked us on Tumblr: “You guys should write about Free! a.k.a. “swimming anime”. The first episode was released this week and it was very homoerotic.”


In case you missed all the hubbub over the “swimming anime,” as it’s been called, Free! is literally a fan-created anime: a series that grew out of a 29-second promo spot for Kyoto Animation studio after fans saw the commercial and went wild over the blatant eye candy and even more blatant homoeroticism. And if you thought those 29 seconds were full of subtext, just wait til you see the first episode. It landed earlier this week on CrunchyRoll, and it can only be described as a homoerotic playground for fangirls and fanboys alike.


So far, the breakout pairing for Free! is Haru/Rin, a.k.a. the cuties in the middle:

Illustration by onsta

Already I want ALLLL THE FIC. Right now there’s only 20 fics on AO3! Let’s see if we can’t up that number, folks.

True Blood

Meanwhile, on everyone’s favorite vampy soap opera, our favorite adorably confused idiot redneck reformed evangelist may be having a sexual identity crisis.

Oh, Jason, SAY IT’S SO. I’ve wanted this since season one: not Jason/Ben, but a queer Jason grappling to come out of the closet. LOOK AT THOSE DOE EYES BEN’S GIVING HIM. Of course, if spoilers from last night are any indication, things are even hotter outside Jason’s wet dream:


But of course all is not quite what it seems in Benland. You know what that means: time for me to go back and catch up on one of my favorite summer indulgences.


Danny/Ethan Tonight on Teen Wolf!

I think I can safely say that here at The Shipping News, we’re Team Dethan. Really we’re just Team Danny/Happiness and a little bit of Danny/Meaningful Relationship. And on tonight’s long-awaited episode of Teen Wolf, Jeff Davis has promised to give us what we’ve been craving: some steamy Danny/Ethan scenes to ease our slash-deprived minds.

“Aja, darling,” wrote a member of the Shipping News team who shall remain nameless, “please stress how the hopes of this entire team are hanging on Dethan.” Consider this stressed. You guys, HOW HOT IS TONIGHT’S EP GOING TO BE? We’re hoping for greatness.



Nothing brings out my RPF shipper like Tennis RPF. Epic tennis rivalries are one of my favorite things, and when you add in all the rampant subtext of the fictional playground of RPF (Real Person Fic)-land, then things get even more fun. As a longtime fan of Agassi/Sampras, and later Federer/Nadal, I watched this year’s grass court tournament with total delight. In the end, did I ship Nole/Delpo, a.k.a. Novak Djokovic and Juan del Potro, the most?




 Or did I ship Andy Murray/Tennis?


 Decisions, decisions. Life is tough when you’re a tennis RPF fan, I tell you.

Photo: Getty

Seriously. The worst.

Meanwhile in Scrubs Land….

Yeah, that happened.

Harry/Draco: the Ultimate OTP

A few weeks back we received this Ask on Tumblr, and I begged to be allowed to field the question!

Hello, I was wondering if you could possibly feature some Drarry on The Shipping News. In particular, I was hoping you could highlight the various fests that take place in the H/D fandom because with the end of Harry Potter, I feel like we’re dropping off the radar. One of our biggest fests, HD Holidays, had it’s final year last year and that fest produced one of the best fics in any fandom, that I’ve ever read (We Are Young by Femmequixotic). So I would love it if you could feature our lovely fandom. Thank you.

H/D was the first slash fandom I was ever in, and there’s nothing quite like it. It’s one of those epic ships that has spawned hundreds of thousands of fics over the years, and once you fall into the rabbit hole of the Harry/Draco pairing, you never have to emerge again :)


 That said, it has been a sad thing to see the fandom slow down since the final book in the HP series. As a former H/D Holidays participant, I’m also really sad to see that challenge go. Other fests that I love and miss include the H/D World Cup and the H/D Big Bang (2005-2008 and 2011).

But the good news is that you can’t kill this pairing–it’s too big and people love it too much! So of course there are plenty of other fics cropping up to take the place of the old guard! For instance, there’s H/D Erised, the H/D Smoochfest, the H/D Cliche Fest, the H/D Tropes Fest, and the H/D Kinkfest.

One thing I love about the H/D fandom is that while most other fandoms have fully transitioned to Tumblr, most of the core of H/D authors are still in the same community, writing fics on LiveJournal. So if you follow your favorite authors over there—femme, faithwood, melusinahp, just to name a few of the current authors who are still around and producing fics that I love—you’re bound to stay on top of the current trends in the fandom.

So, to all you H/D fans out there, YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE not to dive back into the fandom and check out the fics! What are you waiting for? :)



Pacific Rim and Mecha

So far, Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim seems to be stirring up lots of controversy. It’s not del Toro’s typical brand of horror/fantasy. It’s appropriative of Japanese culture. It’s too much like Neon Genesis Evangelion. It’s trying too hard to be edgy. Insert thing here.

But seriously, guys, I’m so excited for this film. Hello, IDRIS ELBA AS THE MAIN CHARACTER! not only do we have a black man as an action hero lead who’s not Denzel Washington or Will Smith, THAT MAN IS ARGUABLY THE HOTTEST THING TO HOT SINCE THE SUN. Not only that, but Pacific Rim boasts a diverse cast and the female characters look totally badass, but not in a tokenized “strong female character” way. The only thing it seems to be appropriating from Japan is the general “monster attacks an area of the Pacific” storyline, which has been pretty much trodden into the ground by now. And let’s be real, if the only qualification for being an Eva ripoff is “giant robot suits,” then everything from Gundam Wing to Iron Man to that horrible movie where Hugh Jackman beats up a bull qualifies. People—really awesome people like Kanye West and Hideo Kojima—are raving about this film. And the slash possibilities are frankly impressive—especially if you’re into mecha.

What’s mecha, you ask? That’s the giant robot suit thing. “Mecha” is short for “mechanized,” and it usually means that you interact with the robot in some way, either by controlling its movements or by piloting it from inside.


Probably the most famous mecha narrative we know is Gundam Wing, which is about a group of mech “pilots.” Lots of people have pointed out that Pacific Rim seems to have as much in common with Godzilla as it does with Gundam. But more for our purposes: damn those robots are sexy.

What’s that, you say? Robot sex isn’t a thing? Oh, no, my friends, I beg to differ. To get you in the mood, have some Iron Man robot sex: specifically, Tony/Jarvis, where “Jarvis” is, indeed, Tony Stark’s A.I. butler-cum-suit autopilot. (Who, remember, is voiced by Paul Bettany. Mmmmm.)

So Turn Around and I’ll Pick Up the Slack” by Sirona.

After thirty seconds have gone past and he hasn’t had his skull crushed by a part of the ceiling coming loose, he dares to look up–and jerks right back, landing himself on his elbows, knees coming up to push his feet off the floor and slide him backwards until he hits a piece of wall big enough that it won’t budge. The Iron Man armor is standing–well, kneeling over him, staring intently at his face through glowing eyes. The effect is–Tony had had no idea how eerie it was, to have Iron Man over you, larger than life and close enough to feel like he’s surrounding you, cutting you off from the world, keeping you safe. Because that’s what the armor is doing: it’s keeping him safe from the pieces of concrete still coming loose in places, one gauntlet fisted on the floor by his side, boxing him in.

Yeah, you know you’re clicking the link to read more right now. :)


Parting GIF

That’s all from me! And remember, only YOU can cancel the apocalypse by supporting diverse ensemble casts and promoting realistic depictions of humanity in your sci-fi/fantasy series!