User:Force Fire/Shipping< User:Force Fire
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Shipping (short for "relationshipping"; カップリング Coupling in Japanese) is the belief that two characters are in a romantic relationship, or may have romantic feelings that could potentially lead to a relationship. The term "shipping" originated from the X-Files fan community. The term has since spread into multiple franchises and series, including Pokémon. A pairing is usually given a nickname that has the suffix "-shipping", with the prefix being a word that best describes the pairing.
Shipping in Pokémon
Shipping in the Pokémon fandom began in the late 90s, with Pokémon forums hosting their own shipping sections for fans to discuss their favorite ships. Two of the most popular ships at the time were PokéShipping'; the pairing of Ash and Misty, and RocketShipping; the pairing of Jessie and James. Other Pokémon sites would also have sections dedicated to shipping, having lists of hints and evidence of a romantic relationship that were mostly speculation.
Shipping is notorious for sparking heated debates and arguments over any given pairing and the evidence provided by fans. Many fans use dialogue and visual context for clues, while some will usually look very deeply into a very minor aspect of an episode. Shipping would sometimes go far and beyond the "norms", as fans would sometimes pair up characters with obvious age differences, characters of the same gender, Pokémon with other Pokémon, or even human characters with Pokémon. These pairings would often bring ire into the community, with many finding these kinds of pairing offensive.
Recently, shipping has seemingly died down, with conversations about them only occurring in small pockets of the community. Many fans seemingly condemn the idea of shipping, particularly the more offensive shippings. As such, the concept of shipping characters have mostly been abandoned.