finally something canon and not as impossible as the others

Bubbline is canon (or as canon as it can be) and here’s why

 In November the eight-part miniseries called Stakes aired as part of season 7 of Adventure Time, The much anticipated episodes lived up to the expectations, the fans wanted some Marceline backstory along with a compelling and emotional stroyline and they got it. But more than that, Stakes offered even more of the relationship between Marceline and Princess Bubblegum, after the second epsiode of the season, Varmints saw them working together. Not only Bubblegum worked with Marceline and helped her just like the regular leads, Finn and Jake, but Stakes had the two females in more than suggesting situations. Meaning, the amount of ship tease was so big that I wouldn’t even call it that anymore, I’m fairly sure that the not so subtle signs were indicating something more than that. I believe that Stakes made Bubbline, the romantic relationship between Bubblegum and Marceline canon, or as canon as it can be for the time being. Here’s an almost 4k word long explanation.

 First let’s see the journey that led up to Stakes. A good portion of the Adventure Time fandom started shipping the so called Bubbline relationship back in 2011 when What Was Missing aired. In the season 3 episode there was clearly tension between the two of them, especially after Marceline sang her rock-ballad I’m Just Your Problem. The song heavily implied that the two had a history full of strong emotions and that they’ve known each other for much longer than anyone would’ve thought. The audience mostly saw the relationship from Marceline’s point of view, but at the end it was revealed that Bubblegum’s stolen possession was a shirt the vampire had given her. And so it didn’t take long before fans began speculating that the Vampire Queen and the Princess of the Candy Kingdom shared a romantic relationship before the start of the show. Since then more episodes have aired that referenced their shared past and emotions, Sky Witch and the above mentioned Varmints for example, not to mention the numerous comics that featured the two of them. If nothing else, the close friendship they had before something went wrong has definitely been established. But I’ve already written about their past and the way their relationship has been portrayed so far.

 But could it even be canon? In 2014, Marceline’s voice actress, the wonderfully talented Olivia Olson basically confirmed that they used to date and said that Pendleton Ward himself, the creator of the show told her so. Later she tweeted (and since then deleted) “I like to make things up at panels. Ya’ll take my stories way too seriously…” which caused even more controversy than the original statement.

Whether Ward or Olson were joking or something else was in the background, it is a fact that Bubbline couldn’t be explicitly canon then and still can’t be as of today. As Olson also said, in some countries where the show airs even being in a same-sex relationship is illegal, so the network couldn’t risk putting something like this in the show. And we don’t have to go too far, although marriage is finally legal for anyone in the United States, putting LGBT+ characters and showing their relationship on cartoons is still a process that has only just begun.

 Although confirming their past relationship (not to mention rekindling it) would face some difficulties, it wouldn’t be impossible to make Bubbline canon without upsetting Cartoon Network. The network’s other popular series, Steven Universe (created by Rebecca Sugar, the former Adventure Time storyboard artist who basically kickstarted Bubbline) caused some stir with its rather unambigously queer characters and relatonships. The show has at least three LGBT characters as listed on Wikipedia (although, based on Olson’s comment Marceline and Bubblegum are on the list as well) and it’s generally acknowledged as a groundbreaking cartoon from that perspective. And even before the episode that started all this, Jail Break aired in March, 2015, Nickelodeon also took its first steps towards representation. On the 19th of December, 2014, the finale of The Legend of Korra aired and it all ended with the titular character, Korra, and one of the other main characters, Asami entering a romantic relationship after years of being friends. The relationship wasn’t overly explicit but still rather unambigious, and the creators later confirmed it. As I said, we’re still at the beginning of this process, but kids’ television is starting to get there with LGBT representation, and considering that in a way Bubblegum and Marceline started it all back in 2011, it would be only fitting to give these two the opportunity as well.

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Less Hate, More Love Please

The fact that some KA shippers harassed and continue to harass queer makorra shippers and accused them of a) not actually being queer, b) being lesbophobic, c) catering to oppressive ships, d) catering to an oppressive society over a fictional ship, and e) sent hate mail and harassed individual shippers by going into their inboxes anonymously or not, f) told makorra shippers to kill themselves, g) made it impossible for queer makorra shippers or queer non-KA shippers to feel safe in the fandom, h) made the makorra tag so volatile by not tagging their hate as anti-makorra and spamming the tag with other anti or hateful sentiments that made it impossible to go in the tag, i) hounded a makorra shipper for over a year for a post they made as a joke and as something that happened before the b4 finale and before KA was made officially canon, j) used word of Bryan (Heterosexual-lenses comment) to tell queer makorra shippers that they live their lives by a heteronormative standard for not taking every single interaction between Korra and Asami post-b2 as inherently romantic, k) told makorra shippers they were lying about how they identify because they don’t ship a particular ship, l) told queer makorra shippers that they need to produce a “queer card” in order to show that they really are queer, m) accused makorra shippers of never being in a relationship, n) accused makorra shippers, some of whom have been in abusive relationships, of supporting abuse through shipping makorra, o) accused makorra shippers of not having healthy relationships, or not being able to have healthy relationships p) accused makorra shippers of being inherently “evil” people, q) wished makorra shippers would die the most painful of deaths, r) pretend that makorra never existed but then accuse makorra shippers of queer-erasure or of erasing Korra’s sexuality, s) tell makorra shippers that supporting their ship somehow takes legitimacy away from theirs, and that they’re homophobic for continuing to support their ship, t) continue to make fun of makorra shippers who have gotten hate and devolved into depression because of that, u) celebrate whenever the popping bottles post comes across their dash and continue to perpetuate the harassment that goes along with it, v) celebrate whenever a makorra-centric blog deletes their tumblr after receiving hate or just seeing all of the hate and deciding to leave for their own health, w) take legitimate criticisms makorra shipper might have for the way KA was written into the show that has nothing to do with Korra or Asami’s sexualities, but take that criticism over the writing as homophobic rhetoric, x) get offended when makorra shippers (some of whom are queer) start to defend themselves against defamation of character or unwarranted accusations of homophobia/biphobia/lesbophobic, y) started a makorra negativity project to counteract the makorra positivity project, created to protect makorra shippers and encourage them to remain strong, z) say that makorra was never canon even though their romantic relationship was incorporated into two seasons (and could have been healthily revived if Bryke wanted to write in a relationship) and their platonic relationship into four. To all the Korrasami shippers who have never done this, thank you and you are all wonderful and loving people. To anyone who did do this, I really have no words for you.