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Why is Flayn x Byleth such an underrepresented/contested pairing?

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11 hours ago, Loki Laufeyson said:

Shes 16 preskip. But yeah. I tend to like the older students/faculty myself. Hubert is like 20 when the game starts. Mercedes is 23 when the game starts. Ferdinand is about 19 etc. While i have romanced Edelgard and Claude on their respective routes, I vastly prefer other characters (despite me liking Byleth/Edelgard a lot). There are definitely characters i feel weird about romancing tho. 

Whether as female or male Byleth, I don't think romancing any of the student body is iffy. During the timeskip they all grow into adults without them, and certainly have the capacity to engage in a romance without the trappings of a master-pupil relationship. 

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16 hours ago, Quillmonger said:

So here is the thing, I get where this poster is coming from to a degree, especially when it comes to fandoms. It's easy to lump what you see on Reddit and Facebook into being how all fans are going to react to something when it was really bad. This forum is probably the best moderated forum that I've been on recently with the least instances of favoritism and BS. What happens on Reddit doesn't even make sense, yo. I got attacked for liking Princess Peach because someone said, and I quote, "she's a child". 

Peach is a grown woman, like clearly. This is just my way of saying "people are crazy". 

Reddit is a stupid place. 

Quote

Honestly the biggest *character name removed because I don't want to heat things up and it's not important*-haters are usually incels 

Supposedly if you dislike a character you are a incel. This is the level that they are at.

If you want to talk about FE there you can, just wouldn't recommend it for somewhat serious discussions anytime soon. So yeah, see where OP is coming from as well. 

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5 hours ago, NolanBaumgartner said:

Whether as female or male Byleth, I don't think romancing any of the student body is iffy. During the timeskip they all grow into adults without them, and certainly have the capacity to engage in a romance without the trappings of a master-pupil relationship. 

I don't see why so many people act abrasively about it.

Even before we find out Byleth's real age we know he's about the same age as a lot of the students, and that fact is acknowledged by the characters pretty early on, and is one of the reasons why Byleth's position as a professor is seen as an oddity.

 

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It's not about the age, it's about the power differential between student and teacher. Byleth is in a position of authority over them and it's off-putting for a teacher to romantically pursue a student -- just like it is when it happens in real life.

The dynamic changes after the timeskip... and I'm pretty sure that's why it exists lol

Edited by Crysta

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I could buy that but like you just said Byleth can't actually get romantically involved with any of them until the time skip when they're no longer students and in their 20's, and everyone shipping the characters knows this, so the student/teacher thing still doesn't make sense as a reason.

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I shipped Flayn with Claude so I share a similar sentiment with a lot of her ships being underrepresented. I wouldn’t throw her in the “loli” demographic either imo. Nowi’s appearance set the bar way too low for me. Even if Flayn’s rather inexperienced at all things social, at best she reminds me of a young woman.

Edited by Lord Ramble

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I also got a google dashboard notification to come join the Flayn kerfuffle, and I find some of the arguments to be rather peculiar. 

For some reason people are saying Flayn's fashion sense and conservative nature makes her feel more like a child. I wholeheartedly disagree, and it's odd that people assume less clothes and/or gaudy fashion choices make a character feel more mature.

Flayn's speech pattern is also "mature" to me (outside of the obvious RAWR moments), and I really enjoy speaking with the educated noble characters in general because, well, I like characters who take pride in the fact they learned how to speak eloquently.

All in all, she reads as a 17-19 year old princess/noble character; people just keep projecting anime archetypes onto the cast which is skewing the collective perspective. I have yet to S-support her since Marianne and Catherine come first, but she's always been massively appealing to me - a person who likes nobles.

She's not your 12-year-old fish-loving niece, but the fanbase has decided she is. 

 

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24 minutes ago, xanegang said:

I also got a google dashboard notification to come join the Flayn kerfuffle, and I find some of the arguments to be rather peculiar. 

For some reason people are saying Flayn's fashion sense and conservative nature makes her feel more like a child. I wholeheartedly disagree, and it's odd that people assume less clothes and/or gaudy fashion choices make a character feel more mature.

Flayn's speech pattern is also "mature" to me (outside of the obvious RAWR moments), and I really enjoy speaking with the educated noble characters in general because, well, I like characters who take pride in the fact they learned how to speak eloquently.

All in all, she reads as a 17-19 year old princess/noble character; people just keep projecting anime archetypes onto the cast which is skewing the collective perspective. I have yet to S-support her since Marianne and Catherine come first, but she's always been massively appealing to me - a person who likes nobles.

She's not your 12-year-old fish-loving niece, but the fanbase has decided she is. 

 

^ This. I guess people are still used the one note archetypes that FE largely consists of.

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10 hours ago, Flame Bearer said:

I don't see why so many people act abrasively about it.

Even before we find out Byleth's real age we know he's about the same age as a lot of the students, and that fact is acknowledged by the characters pretty early on, and is one of the reasons why Byleth's position as a professor is seen as an oddity.

 

Like so many other things in life, some people are uncomfortable with it, me included.  As this is a video game, I see this in the same light as just about every other opinion in the topic - if you have it, that's fine, but no need to get on other people's cases if you don't have the same views.

If you ship Byleth with a student?  Lovely.  If you don't?  Also lovely.

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Putting aside any edtails of this one specific pairing, I think it's worth noting that most pairings don't receive a whole lot of attention from fandom, simply because there are so many characters in a game like Three Houses. There are 40 different playable characters (not counting male and female Byleth as separate), which equates to 780 different pairings that can be made just from playable characters. If you add in just 10 of the most prominent NPCs, that gives 1225 possible pairings. But OK, you might be saying that a lot of those pairings wouldn't make a whole lot of sense and aren't supported by canon. Let's instead limit ourselves only to pairings where the two people involved have a support with each other. By my count there are 256 different pairings with supports (again, not counting male and female Byleth separately). While a few of these would be difficult to interpret romantically, it still works as a ballpark figure. We have somewhere around 250 potential pairings that people could be latching onto, but mostly aren't.

Instead, we have maybe two dozen pairings maximum that have gained any sort of traction within fandom, and that shouldn't surprise anyone. Partly that's just because some are more likely to interest people than others, for whatever reason, but it's also partly because pairings and ideas can gather momentum within fandom, leading to a reinforcing feedback loop. If someone wants to write fan fiction or draw fan art, then they're probably going to want toher people to read or view it. And the best way to do that is to pick a pairing or topic that you know other people are interested in. If people want to talk about their favourite pairing, they're more likely to speak up if they know there are other people interested.

It isn't really particularly meaningful to ask why any one particular pairing isn't popular: not being popular is the default state for the vast majority of pairings. You may as well ask why Ignatz/Mercedes isn't popular, or Leonie/Seteth, or any number of possible other pairings. Instead, I suspect it would be more useful to look at the few pairings that are popular and try to figure out what it is that makes them popular (even if there might be no answer deeper than "the random whims of fandom").

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1 hour ago, xanegang said:

For some reason people are saying Flayn's fashion sense and conservative nature makes her feel more like a child. I wholeheartedly disagree, and it's odd that people assume less clothes and/or gaudy fashion choices make a character feel more mature

Unless you're Nowi, in which case scant clothing also makes you a child.

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4 hours ago, Sir Wolfram of Vallora said:

Unless you're Nowi, in which case scant clothing also makes you a child.

Nowi reminds me of those girls who are in junior high and they think they're ready for older men and try to hit on high school boys, but they still look like their in fifth grade and it's embarrassing and you're kind of worried someone might take advantage of them... 

I think that Flayn really is different just because of her demeanor. She seems like an adult some of the time and speaks very maturely. 

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13 hours ago, Quillmonger said:

Nowi reminds me of those girls who are in junior high and they think they're ready for older men and try to hit on high school boys, but they still look like their in fifth grade and it's embarrassing and you're kind of worried someone might take advantage of them... 

I think that Flayn really is different just because of her demeanor. She seems like an adult some of the time and speaks very maturely. 

I agree to some point, as I always got the feeling it was more something she just put on to lift the spirits of Chrom's army, but that's beside the point. Flayn is definitely a more layered character.

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