For @lolakasa !! Simultaneously my first art trade ever (with my favorite artist ever ahh!!) and first ever Eremika fanart! Thank you so much Dani for encouraging me and my art, and for being such a great friend! This was super fun and I hope we can do it again sometime ❤ !
Why is EreKasa (Eren Jaeger x Mikasa Ackerman) such an unpopular ship? Ask EreKasa shippers and you might be hear a variety of answers.
Some feel that it is due to Mikasa being a girl–they feel that many fans are misogynists. Some think that if Mikasa was a boy, EreKasa would be one of the most popular ships out there. Other EreKasa shippers chalk it up to the fact that many in the SnK fandom perceive Eren and Mikasa as siblings, and dislike the ship “because incest”.
How much truth is there to these ideas? Why is EreKasa truly lacking in popularity?
First, let’s get a better understanding of how EreKasa compares to some other ships. Erekasa has a total of 405 works on the AO3. Eren and Mikasa are both main characters and protaganists, with Eren being THE main protagonist. So how does EreKasa compare to another main protaganist/main protaganist ship?
Let’s look at the also surprisingly underloved ship of Eremin. On the AO3, it dwarfs Erekasa, having a whopping 1117 works. According to my calculator, that’s 2.75x the amount of fics.
Surprising, and it lends credence to the theory that gender is involved–after all, what’s different between Armin and Mikasa, other than their gender? (And almost every trait in their personality–hm, we better look at some other ships).
Let’s take a trip off the beaten path and take a look at Springles–aka Sasha Blouse X Connie Springer. This is a het pairing of two side characters. We would expect it to be small (and it is) and we would expect it to be smaller than the het ship of two main characters. So, what are the numbers?
827 works in Sasha Blouse/Connie Springer on the AO3.
According to the ole calculator, that’s still double the amount of EreKasa fics. So, what is going on? Why is this other het ship, of minor character no less, so much more popular than EreKasa? A quick look at some other het ships, such as Levi/Hanji* (476), Levi/Petra (387), and Armin/Annie (335) show that 300’s and 400’s is not an uncommon range for Het Ships in SnK.
When pairing a main character and a side character, there’s usually only a couple hundred fics. But, you say, Eren and Mikasa are both main characters? Well then, let’s look at another main/main pairing: Armika.
Armika, a ship dear to my own heart, fares even more poorly than Eremika: it hasn’t even cracked 100 yet on the AO3. This dispels the idea that EreMika is under-shipped because people would rather pair Eren with a “male version of Mikasa” such as Levi. Armika coincides excellently with Ereri, and would be a natural side-pairing to fics about the juggernaut–and yet it’s numbers are still incredibly low.
So is Mikasa being a girl the problem in Eremika? Her ship is vastly undershipped** compared to the other main/main pairings. Yet other het ships are more popular–even when they only involve side characters. Clearly, the gender/het link is complex, and not as blatantly simple as “Eremika is disproportionately unpopular because fans only want guys to be with guys”. If that was true, the most popular Connie ship wouldn’t be with a girl.
Is incest the problem for EreMika? After all, even though Eren and Mikasa are not biological siblings, their relationship still pings many as being familial. I myself, was reminded of a protective big sis and her little brother. Lack of a biological relation, does not mean lack of a familial relation, after all. Some of our most closet family members are our step-parents and siblings, or adopted family members. So, is that why people don’t ship EreMika much? I don’t think so.
After all, Armin and Mikasa are both main characters, and apparently unrelated entirely, and yet they are one of the least shipped pairings in the entire fandom. It is safe to say that an incest squick is not the main reason for the low amount of support for EreMika in the SnK fandom. Although it obviously turns some people off the pairing, it is not the main problem.
So what is to blame? Stick around for part two, folks!
*Hanji is not a canonly female character, but is most commonly written as female in LeviHan fics.
**Using amount of AO3 fics as a gauge for popularity.
TG: kills or tortures its female characters, shoves them off screen when they’re no longer needed to further a man’s angst.
Snk: has a gender balanced cast…makes up for it by having people always bashing on the female side.
Don’t ask me which is better, they’re both infuriating in their own special fandom way.
But I guess what I’m saying here…
Is that God, do fandoms suck…in their own unique ways.
you know what makes me angry? the fact that Eren Jaeger has undergone so much suffering and loss in his fifteen years, held himself together only by his black/white/good/evil morality and strength of character, fueled his will to overcome his weaknesses, wanted more than anything to see the world and protect his friends, come to terms with a massively violent and destructive power in fewer than three months, experienced backbreaking betrayal, witnessed the deaths of his comrades a dozen times over, taken upon himself so much blame for things he could not control, accepted the weight of humanity onto his inexperienced and possibly physically incapable shoulders because everyone expects him to pull off the impossible and master a side he only just learned of himself, all while having no control over his circumstances and no idea why he of all people gets a second chance after being eaten by a titan–and yet still receives hate for being a “stupid” “ragemonster” “dull” “flat” main character