The thing that kills me about Mulan and Shang is that they’re really still just kids. Mulan’s seventeen, Shang probably twenty or twenty-one. They’re both so headstrong and determined and they’ve likely had to grow up faster than they would have liked given the culture and circumstances of their time, but they’re still so young and geeky and a maybe little naive and they just want to make their dads proud.
Growing up is a pain in the ass and it can be just as hard to discover who you are and who you want to be as it is to live up to the expectations people have of you when you have an important role to play, and they both struggle with that in their own ways.
Both are burdened with a lot of responsibility and stress in a short time, and it was strike one for Mulan when she set the matchmaker’s ass on fire and she doesn’t want to fuck this up and Shang’s so awkward but he’s so eager to please his father and serve his country, so he has to play tough guy with his troops, and Mulan doesn’t know the first thing about being a guy much less a tough one, so when they meet at Wu Zhong after Mulan accidentally starts a huge fight, the awkward tension is palpable because Mulan has no idea what the hell she’s doing and is screaming internally, and while he’s a capable leader, Shang is nervous as all hell and doing the same thing.
So I guess my point here is that these two brave, geeky kids met during a time of conflict and hardship under false pretenses with good intentions and pretty much fell the fuck in love on the battlefield and that is why they are the cutest couple ever to me