Let’s Talk About OT3’s and Crack Pairings

Inspired by OG’s post about OT3s, I thought, why not talk about it myself? It’s a pretty interesting topic. However, let’s spice things up by adding crack pairings into the mix as well.

Though, first things first; What is an OT3? Well, if you’ve already heard about an OTP, which literally means “one true pairing”, you simply add another person, making it a 3 person relationship.

love live sunshineLove Live! does a great job at providing us with ample material, so let’s go with You x Riko x Chica [Love Live! Sunshine!!] and Kotori x Umi x Honoka [Love Live!] as examples.

As for crack pairings, it’s basically a romantic pairing that doesn’t make much sense, is just absurd, and possibly also just goes against the let’s say more mainstream pairings of the series.

love live maki nozomi

I tried to find a better one, but this might work as well – Nozomi x Maki [Love Live]

Feel free to disagree with me, but examples of crack pairings would be Maki x Kotori [Love Live!] or Kaga x Kongou [Kantai Collection], so, basically, something that’s hard to imagine would actually happen.

Now let’s start things off by stating what many people already know about me. When I start liking a pairing, it doesn’t take long for me to fall in love with it. And what that means is simply that it’s hard for me to either imagine this particular pairing with a third person or seeing them in a relationship with anyone else. Let’s take Eri and Nozomi here, since they make quite a nice example.

They get shipped with each other a lot, but they each have other characters they get shipped with as well. It’s not necessarily crack pairings that form around this couple, since I have to admit that even Eri x Umi or Nozomi x Nico work quite well, but since I “settled” with NozoEri, you could say I have my problems liking or even accepting others. In my mind, once I start liking a specific pairing, it’s like they’re married, to put it in exaggerated terms. Seeing doujinshi with other pairings, or even a third one added, just doesn’t feel right, and I often end up simply dismissing these kind of doujinshi without even giving them a chance.

There are actually quite a number of people making fun of me for exactly that. Rock The Vogt being the most malicious one of those, of course, always coming up with more absurd crack pairings to tease me with… . 😛

However, I do see where those people are coming from. In fact, if you refuse to read works about specific pairings that interfere with your OTP, be it a crack pairing, an OT3, or simply a different pairing that works well, too, you might be missing out on something amazing.

I found out about that right when I was more or less forced to read some Eri x Umi works that literally blew my mind. This weird feeling of betrayal still lingered in the back of my head, but seeing the quality of some works made me forget about it and simply enjoy the works for the great art, story, and yuri involved.

The same could be said about the OT3 You x Chica x Riko. I’m not a fan of these types of relationships, probably because I just can’t wrap my mind around how this would ever work out properly. Though, the internet proved me wrong again, as I started liking this OT3 in particular.  I agree that each of these three work quite well in pairs of two as well. However, I’m now even close to saying that I like them more in this bigger kind of relationship. I’m actually shocked to even admit that, though seeing that I’m easily influenced by great works, be it fanfiction or doujinshi, I can understand where this newfound acceptance for OT3s is coming from.

Crack pairings, however, are harder for me to enjoy, since they tend to almost always get in the way of my OTP of a series. As already stated, my attachment to specific pairings goes quite deep, so anything that goes against my top pairings, like Pharmercy, Akaga, or Mokokeine, is usually still not something I could enjoy. Especially since crack pairings involve ships that just don’t make much sense, I usually rather view them as fun reads to have some good laughs, instead of seeing it for what it might have been intended to be, like a romance, or even a drama, in some cases.

I just still can’t wrap my mind around how people come up with some pairings, though, seeing that they bring upon an even greater variation and even more great art or stories, I guess I can’t, or shouldn’t, complain too much. Of course, I’d like these artists to focus on works that I’d enjoy more, meaning pairings that I like, though that’s something really selfish to say, and seeing that so many people enjoy stories about crack pairings, I think I actually am happy to see them getting more popular lately.

For me, I guess it will take some time to warm up to them, but since I’m such a sucker for great art and great stories, there have already been, and there surely will be, many occasions in which I’ll go against my own rules and read and enjoy these stories too~

Now, what’s your opinion on OT3s and crack pairings?


37 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About OT3’s and Crack Pairings

  1. There are actually quite a number of people making fun of me for exactly that. Rock The Vogt being the most malicious one of those, of course, always coming up with more absurd crack pairings to tease me with… . 😛

    ^^ It took me forever to draw the hands… and they still suck. 😀

    But back on topic. Whaaat?! I haven’t done that in years, Curly Fries! I tease you for many reasons, but not that (anymore). 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I started not really liking OT3s or accepting them, but a couple shows pushed me more towards the idea with Sunshine probably being what tipped the scales for me. Still, there are few works where I would be unable to accept anything less than the OT3

    As for crack pairings: Yeah I don’t like them. I’ve read the works, and it just incenses me more. I don’t care about how “great” the story is, it just makes me upset seeing characters getting twisted so hard just to appeal to someone’s tastes. It’s partly, I guess, Because I do write, and I have respect for people who create these characters and stories, and don’t like seeing them get dragged across the ground. And that’s just how I see it. If that upsets people, that’s understandable, but it is who I am. I also realize that there are creators who don’t care, or even enjoy having their characters put into these “crack pairings”. I’m not sure what I’d do iif I ever actually published and someone made a crack pairing of my characters…I mean, I wouldn’t take any legal action of course, but it would probably hurt inside.

    I also get not so happy at pairings that go against my own ships, but all the same, if there’s something there, I can at least respect that. Still won’t read it/look at it though.

    I think this’d be less of a problem if I didn’t latch onto some really unpopular ships a lot of the time xD

    Liked by 2 people

    • to add on a tad, I especially dislike when people go for crack pairings when there are actual canon pairings, not just ships that I really like. Because then it’s like people can’t accept that those two’s love for each other is real, and it’s just frustrating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, I get that, it’s a common thing though, especially for bigger series like Love Live or also Kantai Collection.

        Though, yeah if you already go for the, let’s say less popular ones, I feel your pain 😀


    • Going on from the other add on, even if it’s not “Actual canon”, something else is when there’s so much overwhelming evidence that two girls like each other, and yet artists decide that a crack pairing is more suitable. Like the crackest of crack pairings: Faceless man/SI-kunxcharacter
      The worst “cracK’ in existence.


  3. I ship the Aqours girls into three OT3s by year. You x Chika x Riko, Ruby x Yohane x Hanamaru, and the most obvious and perfect OT3, Mari x Kanan x Dia.

    The first-year OT3 could be seen as a stretch, but the others make a ton of sense 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m pretty damn zealous with my OTPs, to be honest, I tend to see anything else as more or less a sin worthy of instant crucifixion (ancient roman style), a prime example would be PMMM, if I see anyone not shipping MadoMura, SayaKyo, or MamiBebe, (mostly MadoMura, since it’s literally the best ship in existence, you damned heretics) I get an insatiable urge to put a hole in my monitor and break out the pillory for a good round of public shaming.
    Crack Pairings are obviously a No-go for me, but there are pretty good OT3s out there, my favorite example being Yu x Yu x Yu (Yuyushiki, if it wasn’t obvious), and being the dashingly stoic romantic that I am, I think they can be quite beautiful if the characters have good chemistry or I could imagine them coming to a compromise on the relationship.
    I’ll concede that I’m a man of many ships (there’s probably around 200 ships that I support at this point), but when I ship it, it’s shipped, there’s no room for compromise, and if I see anything that attempts to ruin my precious ships, i’ll forever consider it to be borderline seditious material.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your way of seeing things, it’s a little more hardcore than how I feel about it, but I do so get it 😛

      Guess I wouldn’t kill anyone who goes against my OTPs…. but then again, irritation is still a pretty good word to describe it for me.


  5. I too started out not caring much for OT3s, as there weren’t that many stories/characters that would credibly make up a triple. Then LL Sunshine came along and that pretty much made OT3’s OK for me. It started with You x Chika x Riko, mostly because I couldn’t decide who Chika would like best…so why not both? Then I realized, much like snowb1rd mentions, that they triple up just fine by year.
    My favorite OT3 though came from a LL fanfiction called Triangles by FliryVorru.
    Also, it seems like LL Sunshine is everyone’s gateway into OT3s…

    Crack pairs to me seem to be more of a personal thing, I’m pretty flexible so I don’t shrink away from what most consider crack. In LL I am a Honoka fan (don’t hurt me), and I don’t pair her up with anyone in particular, cause, well, I think she pairs up just fine with anyone in muse. Mostly this came about for me from reading the fanfictions by nobodD (and thanks Lena for getting me hooked on fanfiction!), who writes ALOT of Honoka. I initially started reading through them because I wanted to figure out if Honoka belonged with Kotori or Umi the most. And after finishing every variation of Honoka x everyone, I concluded I didn’t mind her with anyone.
    So for me, personally, there are no crack pairings in either of the Love Live shows. But anyone who has a vested interest in a particular pair is going to feel differently.
    I do like Ruby x Weiss as my current favorite OTP, so I do avoid any art or stories that don’t have them paired up. I guess any other pairings of them are crack for me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I’m very proud I got you interested in that~

      Also, in case of Honoka, I can totally see it. She actually really does go well with almost every other character. Well, she was the one who got most if not all girls in the group anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

    • One month late, but I just wanted to say thank you very much for the compliment about my story, Triangles. I’m really glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wow! Thanks for the reply, I didn’t expect that!

        Your words really brought their relationship alive to me.
        Yeah…just wonderful, seriously thank you for that story!


  6. I see i’m not the only one that can be… hemm…. overprotective around favorite pairing. So anything that diverge from my own preferences is -for me- more or less a crack pairing making it a no-no. I may still read it but only if the story has something that justify the effort.
    I have a hard time with OT3 because when it’s not forced (NanoFateHayate? horrible.) I tend to see them like a love triangle (bad) or a harem (less bad, but i’m not really a fan). As for now, the only OT3 that piqued my interest is Madoka-Lan-Muginami from Rinne No Lagrange. Why? Boh! Probably because it’s the show itself that ships them together, or maybe because i just like them.


      • Yeah, love triangles make that hard again, though OT3s are mostly seen as 3 people actually liking each other, rather than having a love triangle involved, though I do see where you’re coming from.

        Even for You x Riko x Chika I definitely see the problem here, as You and Riko are obviously into Chika, but what about her? And are they into each other as well? Yeah, it’s all still weird 😛


  7. I live off of crack pairings… Although I enjoy alot of canon parings… Hm. It’s either there’s four pieces of fanart or that’s all you can find XD

    Liked by 1 person

  8. When I ship, it’s because the characters work well together or could realistically become a couple. So for that reason, I have a very hard time liking crack pairings. Often it feels like they exist just because they’re pretty (looking at you, Jelsa…)

    OT3’s are a hard thing to get right, but I’ve seen some good examples – much like you mentioned, in Love Live, and recently I found one in Prisma Illya (Illya x Kuro x Miyu, ofc). Just like with any ship though, I have to find it believable that it could work like that. I personally don’t find monogamy necessarily any more romantic than polyamory, but I feel like most OT3-deniers probably have a problem with this.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Yuri Talk: OT3s | The Yuri Nation

  10. I seem to be the anomaly among this group here. I have very little attachment to particular pairings – but I don’t ship characters together myself. So the only pairings I’m not fond of are ones that include characters I dislike to begin with. And sure, some make more sense than others but I couldn’t care less about canon – I don’t like most of the shows that ships spring forth from anyway. Poly groupings(?) are fine with me too.

    I have a very lackadaisical approach to the whole thing – I’d go as far as to say that I wouldn’t even care if the characters weren’t from the same story.


    • ” I don’t like most of the shows that ships spring forth from anyway.”
      Sorry to be the one to inform but….pretty much every show ever this applies to so…


      • Well, yeah I guess you’re right. But I meant the big players, with pretty dedicated fans – Love Live, for example. I did like Madoka Magica, but other than that, for some reason I tend not to enjoy the ones that the community at large seems to love. Nor the really popular shows that spread across multiple fan-bases, like Attack on Titan. I have uhh, weird taste in media.


  11. Tbh, for me I kinda had already gathered this muh information about your thoughts on crack pairings etc: “chuckle” and I’ve seen many times, mostly ’cause I kept spamming you with them, your reactions to pairings like D.va x Mercy and KaguMoko, but your reasons are understandable, I have my own pairings whose dynamics I like most, but I still like to read about them being paired with other girls too, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that either.
    For me all pairings(has to be consensual etc.) are equal.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Fair thoughts right there lass. OT3s as I have mentioned at my own pad can only work if the right conditions are met. Otherwise it is a love triangle. So it’s not like OT3s pop up left and right.

    I’m not much of a fan of crack pairings even if some have great fanart and doujins. I much prefer pairings I have perceived as being more fitting, like yourself. Still, again like yourself if the art’s good, why look away or look down?

    Liked by 1 person

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