Bubbline Is Canon, Commence Freakout, Y’all

That’s right, folks, it’s for serious. Olivia Olsen, the voice actress for the Marceline, the babely bass-bearing Vampire Queen of Adventure Time, openly confirmed what we all knew deep in our little queer fandom hearts to be true at a book-signing in LA recently, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline totally had like, a romantical thing-thing. Yeah girl, you know what I’m talkin’ about.

Ever since that now-infamous episode where a clearly smitten and obviously scorned Marceline rips out a not-in-the-least-bit-hetero-or-subtle, vocally formidable, bare but sludgy, bitter-girl anthem for the target of her scorned affection, Bubblegum Princess, all of us gay girls (especially us over at Autostraddle) have eagerly wanted this ship to be outwardly confirmed by someone officially involved with the show and be stated as canon, most preferably through heavy gay bass riffs. Heck, I think even a lot of straight girls wanted it confirmed, too, just through like, heavy straight bass riffs (which I think we can all agree just doesn’t sound as cool). A ton of people in general have Picked Up The Not So Freakin’ Subtle Clues and have been rooting for Bubbline, bemoaning the unfortunate “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” attitude about the Ghost Ship we aren’t allowed to admit we see and instead must lesbionically dedicate ourselves to compiling involved “Bubbline Is Real U Guys” posts, writing questionable fanfic, and drawing amazing and Not-Merely-Suggestive-Just-Full-On-Freakin-Gay fan art to bide the time until this day, this wonderful, glorious day in which we are affirmed in our GayCanon Queer Day Dreams. And now that moment has come!

 

Drinking the red from pretty pink faces, yanno, second date things!

Drinking the red from pretty pink faces, yanno, second date things!

There’s no need to tell you just how important the confirmed and not merely implied visibility of queer characters in children’s and youth TV shows are. Queers are, at one point in time, believe it or not, kids, and queers even have, if you can possibly imagine, children themselves. Thus and therefore, these queer relationships and interactions in cartoons have potential to positively reflect our real lives and attractions to both affirm ourselves, reduce stigma, and give young kids the fluency in these identities early.

As a kid, I picked up on the queer subtext in my Most Favorite Show Of All Time, Sailor Moon. I UNDERSTOOD it DEEPLY even if there was a lot about it I didn’t understand. And so, it confused and secretly frustrated me that they made not-cousins Haruka and Michiru straight, when it was so clear Haruka was the surly soft androgynous butch to Michiru’s stoic and cool ocean-femme, meanwhile all the inner senshi had Haruka’s name shamelessly scribbled in their Lisa Frank diaries and on their Angelfire pages. As did so many of us fans. I remember being in my preteens and comparing notes with other sailor moon fans—yeah, this was totally homo, wasn’t it? These characters performed their gender and expressed themselves in ambiguous and non-conforming ways, huh? We totally know about Kunzite and Zoisite, right? Right. The piss-pour attempts to cover it through voice over choices and omitting of scenes wasn’t fooling anyone, no, not even kids.

I, a little embarrassed without fully understanding why but having a somewhat vague idea, would extensively image search and save art and photos of the Senshi onto floppy discs and felt EXTRA embarrassed when I came upon images of Haruka. How different would have things been for canon baby gay!Bri if the ship was allowed to sail here like it had been in Japan? Instead of wondering, let’s revel in this victory for gay animation representation via Bubbline, and look forward to even more progress in that front—queer characters who are not formerly but CURRENTLY dating (and are openly gay without their voice actors then having to recant or express how it isn’t explicitly allowed to be officially canon)? Trans and non-conforming characters who are not the butt-end of a joke? I mean, literally, the possibilities are endless, the stuff’s all made up.

feature image via adventure time wikia


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Briana Urena-Ravelo is a lippy 24 year old first gen Afro-Dominicana witchy angsty queer punk based in America's High-Five state. She is currently a freelance writer at Feminspire. Her interests are music, shows, Afro-Caribbean spirituality and culture, radical politics, fashion and clothes, cooking, body modifications, her calico Shampoo, eating candy, and making straight white boys cry. She really wants to hold hands with Lana Del Rey.

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27 Comments

  1. Their reasoning for being unable to explicitly state the relationship in the series is understandable but very saddening. Apparently if it weren’t illegal and severely punishable in several of the nations where Adventure Time is shown, they would. It’s also sad that it would inevitably cause so much fake controversy in the U.S. Regardless, I’m glad for the news since Bubblegum and Marceline were my two favorite characters even before the implication of their relationship–they’re both just too awesome 🙂

  2. What. What. WHAAAT?! This is so freaking awesome.

    I got to meet Pendleton Ward (Adventure Time creator) at the 2012 Emerald City Comic Con when he crashed Jhonen Vasquez’s panel. That was a magical moment. Now I wish I could travel back in time and thank Pendleton for this canon pairing.

    Just wow.

  3. Is anyone else sort of worried about this, though? I mean, it’s totally awesome that Olivia Olsen said that, but do y’all remember the webshow “Mathematical”? If not, I’ll refresh your memory: Mathematical was a show that came on the Frederator Studios’ YouTube channel (they’re the studio that makes Adventure Time.) The main premise of the show was the recap the latest episode of Adventure Time, while showing you some behind the scenes storyboard drawings, and asking fans questions while leaving a phone line up so they could leave their answers/comments on the show. It was super radical. Anyway, after the episode “What Was Missing” aired, Mathematical discussed how it seemed like Marceline and PB were “more than friends.” After that, Frederator took down all the Mathematical episodes, fired the writer of that episode of Mathematical, and issued an apology. Basically, the head of Frederator didn’t like that actual members of Frederator Studios publicly spoke out about the tinges of homosexuality in their show. So like, since Olivia Olsen said something about this, it’s seems kinda risky. I dunno. Sorry to rain on everyone’s happy parade, I just felt like this needed to be brought up.

  4. Man I love this after the episode with Marceline, and the song about BP and the episode where we found out that BP wears Marceline’s old band shirt as pajamas, I just started to freak out about them. We may never have it explicitly stated on the show but this means a lot.

  5. I KNOOOOOW!!! THIS IS THE BEST NEWS EVER!!

    Like you said, it’s this generation’s Haruka & Michiru! Unfortunately, we’re in the same dead end where uncensored or even hinted queer representation is impossible for the good of keeping said TV Show alive all over the world without upsetting or endangering anyone… BUT, I think, in this generation that’s so connected to everything that happens on the internet, it IS very important for ANYONE to admit it, I think. And have it spread like wildfire! The news will spread amongst the community anyways, methinks. And kids are not as prejudiced or naive as we think.

  6. It’s nice and all but I’d be way more interested if they were, you know, dating. Pendleton Ward saying “oh yeah they totes dated” is basically like J. K. Rowling telling us Dumbledore was gay. Pics or it didn’t happen, Pendleton.

  7. I don’t watch Adventure Time (but I’m happy about this for people who do), but the Sailor Moon stuff is reminding about how refreshing it is to watch the totally-gay uncensored version come out bit-by-bit on Hulu. It’s into the Sailor Jupiter/Rainbow Crystals arc now, which lots of Zoisite and Kunzite all over each other. I love it. And I love Usagi’s girl-crush on each new Senshi (especially Rei, her eyes were literally popping with hearts or something iirc).

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