Hello, everypony! GJ_6532 here with the first installment in what I hope to be an ongoing series titled Shipping Battles. This is where I take two particular shippings from MLP:FIM and put them against each other to see which one is the better matchup. For this first installment, I'm focusing on two shippings involving everypony's favorite fashionist, Rarity.
Without a doubt, Rarity is my favorite pony out of the Mane Six. That's mostly due to the fact that I can relate to her the most. Just like me, she's an artist, who's constantly striving for perfection in her work, and is even willing to sacrifice her time, energy, and even her health to come out with splendid end results. As a creator, I have to give her credit where credit is due. Many fans have criticized her for being selfish and constantly trying to get out of work, but I see this as one of her many flaws that, like the other five, she still needs to work on. Besides, that sounds exactly like what I do half the time as well!
I only found it fitting to make her the subject of my first Shipping Battles. And we're here to look at which male in my opinion is the right knight to win the heart of the darling damsel.
First up we have the most important stallion in all of Canterlot, Fancy Pants. This gentlecolt instantly became my favorite supporting character after watching "Sweet and Elite". He was depicted as very formal, but also kind and welcoming, something that you don't expect from the ideal member of high class society. Many fans have considered him to be rarity's perfect match, mostly because he's virtually everything that she wanted in Prince Blueblood. Compared to him, not only is Fancy friendly and modest, but he actually gives a crap about who Rarity is! And I'm not gonna lie, he does look pretty handsome, for somepony of high class. So clearly it only makes sense for them to be together, right?
Well…that is if you exclude Spike, our other half of today's matchup. Now ever since the beginning, Twilight's purple, green-scaled assistant has been crushing over the white unicorn. However, it was after the premiere of "Secret to My Excess" did the shipping fandom reach an overload. I must admit that when I saw that part with Rarity's gemstone turning Spike back to normal and then him trying to confess his crush to her, my heart melted like a popsicle. It's not hard to see why so many fans would desire for them to be together, and to this day, it's still one of the most, if not the most popular shipping in the fandom.
Both shippings have been very popular within the fandom, but which shipping seems to be the most rational? The overrated Sparity, or the underrated Fancity? Well before we dive in, it's only best if I clarify how this works. In order to figure out who's best, I'm splitting this battle into five rounds: chemistry, communication, commitment, compromise, and compatibility. In general, those are what I consider to be the five c's to maintaining a strong, healthy relationship, and today, they're gonna help determine if the gentlecolt or the dragon is more deserving of our leading mare.
Enough babbling. Let's finally get into this. This Shipping Battles: Fancity vs Sparity!
Round 1: Chemistry
Let's start off with the quality that everybody associates with relationships the most: chemistry. Now let's be honest with ourselves: a relationship can't spark unless there's some form of attraction. Now I must admit that this is the hardest aspect to cover, mainly because chemistry is very hard to comprehend. But still, which of these two has shown more of it with Rarity?
Well, both Spike and Fancy Pants have shown a keen interest in the fashion pony, but in different ways. Spike was attracted to her right from the get go, falling for her looks. As shown in episodes such as "A Dog and Pony Show" and "Secret of My Excess", he's easily drawn towards her sheer beauty, with those fluttering eyelashes, delightful blue eye shadow, and gorgeous dark blue orbs. In terms of physical attraction, Spike has expressed more fascination.
Fancy Pants on the other hand became attracted to her in a much different sense. When he first discovered Rarity to be staying at the Canterlot castle and that she was affiliated with the princess, he easily became more fascinated with her, even inviting her to the Wonderbolts Derby. He's not showing any sexual interest in her, but he's giving the notion that he wants to know more about the mare. However, the question still remains: who has more chemistry?
Well, one thing to keep in mind is that psychologically, chemistry in a relationship extends beyond just wanting to kiss or bone the other party. It also comes from non-physical characteristics, such as wealth, power, sense of humor, or gentleness, just to name a few. That's one major problem I have with Sparity. Beauty is the only aspect Spike really admires about Rarity. He doesn't care much for her other characteristics. And when he actually does, it almost feels like he's only doing it or the sake of impressing her. That doesn't sound like genuine attraction to me.
Fancy Pants actually shows an interest in who she is; what she does; what she's interested in. And he even shows respect for what she does. That sounds more sincere. Being fascinated in her to the point where he wants to meet up with her again. That better proves that he views her as an individual and not just a pretty face.
As for Rarity herself (yeah, who she's attracted to still matters here), she doesn't seem to be all that interested in Spike or his characteristics. Don't get me wrong, she still genuinely cares about him, but not to the point where she would wanna date him. As for Fancy Pants, well…aside from being rich, charismatic, and dare I even say muscular, I think the photo at the end of "A Canterlot Wedding - Part 2" just about sums it up.
Point goes to Fancity.
Round 2: Compatibility
Now here's the next quality a good relationship must have: compatibility. Both parties of a relationship must have common interests, goals, characteristics, beliefs, and lifestyles. So that begs the question: who is Rarity more compatible with?
Well, I have to say that Fancy Pants beats Spike in this department by a landslide. His personality clashes flawlessly with Rarity's. They're both sophisticated; they're both lavish; they both enjoy luxury; they both enjoy socializing. In terms of having similar interests, how more full proof can you get with these two?
When it comes to Spike, however, the only thing he really has in common with Rarity is that they both love gems. But as you all know, he only likes them for eating, and she likes them for decorating. So clearly they have similar tastes but for different reasons.
I'm also familiar with the phrase "opposites attract", and personally, I feel like a few differences is what two partners need in order to maintain their relationship. Spike and Rarity couldn't be more different. His persona revolves around greed while hers revolves around generosity. Now that's a clever way to interpret their relationship. Gluttony clashing with charity. But even though it would be intriguing to see those personas mix, I have to say that they might be a little too different. Again, Spike and Rarity really don't have anything in common, and while seeing their opposite personalities meet would be interesting, I don't think it would really last.
Now while Fancy and Rarity do share similar characteristics, they share some different ones as well. Rarity seems to be more hectic and anxious, while Fancy is more calm and relaxing. I've always wondered what it would be like to see her nervousness and his serenity would mesh. And I think that's something we saw at the end of "Sweet and Elite" when he defended Rarity and the rest of the Mane Six: assuring her that there's nothing to worry about. While Fancy and Rarity do have a lot in common, they still contrast to a certain degree. And I think that's something you need if you're going to help each other grow in a relationship.
Point goes to Fancity.
Round 3: Communication
And now we've come to the round of communication. Showing interest in your partner's daily activities. Understanding each other's problems. Offering advice. Conveying your needs. These are just some of many components to have good communication with a partner. So which of these two can do it best with Rarity?
Well, I'm gonna have to go with Spike on this one. Him and Rarity have been shown to have excellent conversation. This is mostly evident in "Inspiration Manifestation". Spike and Rarity are able to work together to complete her puppet theater, and she even calls him her most supportive friend once they're finished. When she sobs about her work getting condemned, he acknowledges her distress and is quick to help her. Eventually Rarity goes power mad with the book that Spike gives, and after much hesitation, he tells her the truth of her getting carried away and she's able to acknowledge it. It's an episode that strongly shows how efficiently they can exchange information.
Fancy Pants would be able to communicate with Rarity as well, but not as strongly as Spike. Despite being a potential lover, I've always viewed Fancy as a wise mentor. He knows Canterlot and it's society from the back of his hoof, so he can easily offer guidance to Rarity if she ever gets her precision-obsessed head stuck in the clouds. As we've seen in a lot of Rarity's centric episodes, she not ashamed of expressing her problems to anypony, so she wouldn't have any problem with letting Fancy in on them.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean Fancy is more candid with her. Inspiration Manifestation proves how direct and honest Spike and Rarity can be with each other, how they can work together, and how much they listen to each other. So credit's due where it's due.
Point goes to Sparity.
Round 4: Compromise
Now we're getting to a big aspect to any good bond: the act of compromising. Clearly, you can't always get what you want in a relationship. More often than not, you'll have to make a few negotiations and put your partner's needs before your own. So which of these two would be willing to sacrifice more for Rarity?
Well let's go back to the contrast of Greed and Generosity. Selfishness is a very big trait of Spike's character. We've seen it in pretty much every single one of his centric episodes. Like I mentioned before, it makes perfect sense why fans would want to pair him up with the Element of Generosity. And honestly, I have to agree with them. Spike has been shown to struggle with his self-centered feelings, and he's been shown to not feel proud of them. Perhaps bonding with the most generous pony in Ponyville will help bring him around and battle his greedy ways.
Fancy clearly loses this round because it doesn't seem like he has much to give up if he becomes romantically involved with her. I guess you can say that based on what we saw at the end of "Sweet and Elite", he would be sacrificing a portion of his reputation in Canterlot just to show his admiration for six charmingly rustic ponies (who just happen to be protectors of Equestria and bear the Elements of Harmony! Shouldn't they all be showing them a bit of admiration?! I digress, though).
Spike would definitely be put Rarity's needs before his own much more willingly. Not only does it prove him to be thoughtful, but it also shows him to be confronting his greed and overcoming it. And that would be a plus, because then we could get less rehashes of the same Spike plot! Yes, I'm looking directly at you, "Princess Spike".
Point goes to Sparity.
Round 5: Commitment
And so it all comes down to this. This is for all the marbles. Who can be more committed to Rarity? This one I have to admit is more complicated than chemistry. At first, I couldn't really decide on how one can express commitment. It seemed almost impossible to decode. Then it hit me: in my opinion, the most important aspect to a successful relationship is how much each party can help each other grow. Somewhere in the mix, both partners need to undergo some form of change. Why? Because relationships are able to expose areas that we need to work on. They can bring out our most inadequate flaws. They show our biggest fears, weaknesses, insecurities, etc. When you commit to a relationship, you commit to confronting your demons and fighting them. So that raises the question: who would commit to Rarity more?
Well, I've already talked about how Spike pairing up with Rarity would help him fight his greed and become more giving. So that one is pretty obvious.
But what about Fancy Pants? How would he undergo change through being romantically involved with the fashion pony? Well, as we saw in "Sweet and Elite", Fancy Pants was depicted as a high class pony who, while sophisticated, had a good heart and cared for other ponies. That's a quality that many of the Canterlot ponies overlooked. I mean, just look at how confused Jet Set and Upper Crust are! Perhaps if Rarity were to bond with Fancy, she could learn more a lot about his past and/or persona and get to know him as not just a luxurious celebrity, but also as a regular stallion. I've always enjoyed the idea of seeing celebrities as more than just billionaires and pretty faces, and that we forget most of the time that they're just as human as those who don't end up in the spotlight. And through the relationship, Fancy can let down his walls and be more open about himself with Rarity. Someone that close to him deserves to know who he truly is, and what he can fix about himself that would benefit him and her.
Now both of these gentlecolts, or gentledragons if you prefer, have great potential at developing through these pairings. But here's the big question that decides it all: How would Rarity develop through these pairings? How would being in either of these relationships would impact her? How would her character be affected?
Well, because Rarity is a histrionic, seeking perfection and approval represents a huge part of her character. In a lot of her episodes, she's constantly preoccupied with impressing others. As we saw in "Sweet and Elite" (I know, I'm just about sick of saying that as you are!), Rarity was frequently uneasy about disappointing the upper class ponies and giving herself a bad reputation. Yet, once Fancy came to her defense at the end, he assured her that she didn't need to constantly try to fabricate herself just for the sake of impressing others. What matters is who she is, not where she comes from. In fact, she should take pride in where she comes from, and even if it's not good enough for some ponies, just no that it will be for others. That's a big character moment for her right there. Knowing that she doesn't have to constantly seek approval or at least be worried about it.
As for her relationship with Spike, it doesn't exactly seem like she would change much due to it. Sure, Spike would be greatly impacted, bout what would there be for Rarity to take out of it all? I don't think Sparity should happen just because it would make Spike happy. There should be some sort of joy that both partners can feel. Both of them should be benefitted. Both should feel comfortable with what happens.
That's something I can easily see with Fancity. I can see how both of them would grow. How change would happen to either of them. How both would submit to developing and learning more about themselves. That's what I want to see in a relationship, something I've already highlighted in my Admirable Animation of "Grade School Confidential". So in the end, I have to give the final point to the plush pairing Fancity. Which means they are the winner!!
Now does this mean I 100% against Sparity? Of course not. In many respects, I think the relationship would do great. Spike and Rarity communicate to near perfection and their opposite traits would be more than captivating to witness clash. I just find Fancity to make a lot more sense. Both Fancy and Rarity have a lot in common, they have great chemistry, and there could be a lot of dysfunction they help repair within each other. If you pick Sparity over Fancity, that's absolutely fine. Just know that it's all opinion based and you can have any preference you want. Why?
Because Fancity may have won the battle, but it is still fighting the war!!!
Thank you all so much for reading. If you have any thoughts or questions, or even criticism to make, just be sure to leave it down below. Thank you all and I bit farewell for now!