New to the snk fandom here :) I really like Rivamika but I feel bad for shipping it because of the age difference. I see a lot of things saying it's incest as well. Are they actually cousins? I want to ship it but it feels wrong to do that if you get what I mean?
Hello anon and welcome to the SnK fandom! It’s nice that you like RivaMika, but I see you’re having some of the problems that all of us had to (and still have to) go through.
Now it’s important, first, to understand where the discomfort is coming from: did you naturally feel uncomfortable because of the age difference? Or did that come from possibly seeing certain posts here and there calling out the ship for being “pedophilic”? If you haven’t run into those posts yet, you might at some point!
If the discomfort is caused by the fandom, I say pay no attention to it. People here are so passionate about shipping and self-righteous, they’d hold it against you simply for not shipping what they like, and they’d try to prove why your ship is so invalid. What better way to do that other than guilt-tripping you, by making you believe that it’s “problematic” and causing “damage” to people?
Now secondly, the term “pedophilia” isn’t what the fandom makes it be. Pedophilia is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult (or sometimes a teenager) is sexually attracted to children, and it goes as far as raping them/sexually assaulting them.
Does your version of RivaMika involve that? I suppose not.
That goes for if the fandom was the reason behind your discomfort. Now if it’s something that you, personally, see as troublesome, it could be stemming from a lot of things.
Is it the fact that Mikasa is fifteen, therefore, by the laws of your country, is a minor, and thus being in a relationship with someone 18 or older makes it illegal?
It’s important to keep in mind that people don’t randomly become adults at the age of 18. That’s just a standard age society put out there. The mental and emotional development of human beings is a far more complex process than a magical number. Meaning, it can take as long or as short as ever for the person to become mature, as long as it falls under the norms. That depends on biological factors, as well as environmental ones (culture, religion society… etc). There’s something called individual differences. You could be 16 and already mature. You could be in your twenties and still haven’t achieved maturity (
like myself, rip).
And 18 isn’t the age of consent everywhere on the world. It’s different from a country to another, depends on different factors. So for instance, some countries have 16 as the age of consent, others have it up to 20. Like I said, it depends.
Now if the age gap really is an issue to you, you could always ship RivaMika in AU’s, where Mikasa is older. And rest assured, almost all of the RivaMika fanfics/fanarts have Mikasa as a young adult!
Personally, the age gap was never a problem to me, because I come from a country where some people got married at the age of 16. Plus teen/adult relationships are just a guilty pleasure of mine in fiction.
That’s that for the age difference. Now jumping to the incest part, and that, dear, is a less complicated story than, again, what the fandom loves to make it be.
In short words: No. RivaMika is not incest. No, Levi and Mikasa are not cousins.
Recently Isayama shared this family tree and you can check out this post here which the lovely @suniuz gave a rough translation to so you can understand what it means. This family tree was one of the proofs that Levi and Mikasa don’t share a close blood relation.
And even more recently, there is this interview that @fuku-shuu is working on translating, and it has this line that says “You share the same surname as Captain Levi. Even though you are not closely related by blood…”
Isayama has been giving us hints here and there that Levi and Mikasa aren’t that closely related. But I guess some people (shippers or non-shippers) needed a verbal statement so we could use that as a solid proof.
Bear in mind that you’ll still run into people who use the “incest” argument, just for the mere fact of them having the same surname, even if they aren’t related by blood.
What is or isn’t considered incest is also different from one country to another, again, because of the factors I already mentioned. I believe, in America, a relationship between cousins is considered incest. Here in my country, it isn’t considered so. But Levi and Mikasa aren’t cousins, as it is officially stated.
But listen, that’s beyond the point. It doesn’t matter what people think of your ship. If your ship makes you happy, then to hell with the fandom. People ship different things, because we’re not drawn to the same things. We’re different, we grew up differently, we perceive things differently, what appeals to us may not appeal to others, and that’s totally alright. It doesn’t mean anyone is in the wrong or the right. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person because you ship something that other people consider problematic. As long as you keep fiction and real life separate, and have a basic understanding that what you ship in fiction doesn’t represent your beliefs in real life, you’re fine.
Lastly, some choose to hate on a ship, just because that’s their way of getting attention or because they find pleasure in putting other people down. And my advice to you is to ignore them. You might think it’s useless, but it isn’t.
Not responding to haters will eventually make them stop sending hate, because it doesn’t stimulate a response to begin with, let alone a response they expect to have. They’ll give in eventually and turn to someone else who gives them the attention they crave so much.
If receiving hate messages does make you feel bad, a better way to deal with it is by talking to fellow shippers. Ignore the hate, delete it, and find people who share the same interests as you, talk to them, let them remind you of the beauty of the ship, and the reasons you like it. Focus on the positive things, and there are many!
The RivaMika fandom has so many great people in it that will help you throughout your journey as a shipper! They’re all very kind, sweet, considerate and supportive, so welcome to the family, and I hope you’ll have a great time!
I hope this helped you feel a little bit better! And if you need to talk more, feel absolutely free to message me anytime, even off-anon if you wish! c: Have a lovely day/night!!