The conversation I will be referring to will be posted at the end. So, if anyone knows me well enough, they would recognize that I...eh...greatly dislike Renee (and her many names) on DeviantArt, not because of any of her views or opinions, but rather, because I feel like she behaves like a spoilt brat and throws a temper tantrum when anyone ever disagrees with her, even if they cite evidence and she is truly incorrect, but all that aside, this post is not about that. It has to do with her, but is not actually about her. And if you are still wondering what this post is about, then I ask you to raise your eyes a few inches and am wondering why you clicked on this post in the first place.
So, Renee posted a piece of artwork that depicted Sans and (adult) Frisk cuddling, but at the time I did not know that Frisk was intended to be an adult. I also did not realize that this was a chick that I had already had issues with in the past (because she created a new account, as she tends to). Still, the artwork was cute, so I complimented it, though I did give a side comment that I did not understand the pairing, because again, I did not realize this was an AU or whatever, because despite what Renee will say, I think there is enough evidence in the game to presume that at the oldest, Frisk is a teenager, but I will touch on that in a later post.
What this is really about, is the pairing. I know I don't do these types of posts a lot (or...ever, except on my Hetalia blog) I have actually seen a lot of artwork for this, and it surprised me quite a bit, to be honest. Personally, I don't usually pair anyone together; I'm just not one for shipping characters, but this one truly just baffled me.
So, a few things: Is this pairing wrong (as in, morally so)? and is it something that I believe is a possibility, canon wise. I could easily answer both of these questions right now with my opinions, but that's not how I work.
Is it morally wrong to ship Frisk and Sans? Honestly, my answer to this is: it depends. I will use ReneeIsDetermined as an example again. We don't know how old Sans is, but we can presume he is an adult and I will say why in a moment. But in her Alternate Universe, Frisk is also an adult. This means that there is no pedophilia or ephebophilia occurring, because they are both depicted as legally consenting adults. Can I say this is wrong? No. Can I say that Renee is a pedophile, or is supporting pedophilia through these pictures and her support of the pairing? No to that one, as well. And as much as I have complained about her in the past, I have never once accused her of such, and it is, in my perspective, wrong to do so. How is it pedophilia if they are both adults, and met when they were either, both children, or both adults? Saying that it is wrong in a moral sense because Frisk used to be a child, or because Frisk is a child in an Alternate Universe to the one which Renee draws, is stupid. The only way I could fathom this argument at all is if Sans was an adult when he met a child Frisk and when she grew up, then they became romantically involved, but that is not the case in this, and even then, it is debatable. Think of Hetalia (if you know the anime). Is it wrong to pair France and America together because France would have been an adult when America still would have been a child, physically? Probably not. So, since we don't know how old monsters can live to be, and when they are considered adults, how can we say the same is true for an adult Frisk and Sans, even if Sans knew the human when s/he was a child? Oh, speaking of...How do we know that Sans is an adult? Well, this is difficult because we don't know how similar the monster world is to the human world. All we can really do is speculate. But, I will prevent my evidence for why I believe he is a grown up. For one thing, he is the owner of the house that he and Papyrus live in, and this has been specifically stated by Papyrus. Sans owns the house and, provided they have bills, pays the mortgage, because Papyrus said he "pays for it". Not only does this mean he probably makes more money than we would initially think (which I believe was the point of this conversation in general), but it also tells us that, provided the underground world works similarly to ours, that he is legally an adult. So then we need to define that. We have no real way of knowing the legal age of majority in the Underground, but in many countries in modern times, it is eighteen years, while in some places it is as young as sixteen or as old as twenty. Now, I know Gaijin Goombah claims that a lot of the elements in the game and monsters are based on Irish culture and mythology, and he makes solid points with his evidence, I agree with MatPat (Game Theory) that Mt. Ebott is part of Eagleland from the Mother (Earthbound) series. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, please check out this theory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYdDUXyFocY Although I do not think this has ever actually been confirmed, it seems that Eagleland is based on America, and if mt. Ebott is part of that country, then I think we can more or less assume (you know what happens when you do that) that the age of majority in the monster world is eighteen, or at least, the monster equivalent of such. So how old is Frisk? Well, there's no real way of knowing. Sure, we are referred to as a child and a kid, but not only are we guessing the age of majority with very little evidence, we don't even know if that matters. Let's be real, people are not suddenly not called kids when they turn eighteen. My father has referred to a twenty FIVE year old as a "kid" before, so clearly that isn't the case. Still, presuming Frisk is actually a child by monster standards and the age of majority matches that of the United States, the oldest Frisk could be is seventeen and the youngest Sans could be is eighteen. That's not a problem, right? My boyfriend is a year older than me and no one accuses him of pedophilia even though he turned eighteen before me. Well, there is still an issue.
None of that matters. I know, I know, why am I lecturing you on stuff that I'm going t disqualify anyway? Well, I wanted to make a point. The age gap between Sans and Frisk may be very small, as seen in my comparison of possible ages. But we need to remember the difference between species as well, and gap in maturity. I said I am pretty positive Sans is an adult, and part of that is because, not only his owning of the house he resides in, but also his occupation. He is a sentry. This is a job that probably would not be given to a child, even in the world of monsters. And to be honest, he seems older than even just eighteen or nineteen to me, but that's just a personal opinion. However, what really matters here? Not even his maturity or age, but his perception. He works multiple jobs and own a house, he takes care of his little brother, and acts as a judge before we meet the King. Clearly, despite the jokes and pranks, he is in most senses of the word, "grown up" regardless of his age. But he also seems to see Frisk as a child, to some extent. Sans refers to Frisk as "kid" several times. I may call someone who is nineteen "just a kid", or tell my boyfriend that he's still a kid, but I would never greet my boyfriend as "kid" or "child". I feel like if one party is able to refer to the other as "kid", then they should not be in a romantic or sexual relationship together, because that tells me either, he is older than him/her by a good amount, or at the very least, he sees himself as older than Frisk, either physically or mentally, by a good amount. And in my opinion, if you see your partner as a kid, you should not be their partner. So, is it morally wrong? I would say this depends on a case by case basis. When you have Frisk portrayed as a little child, especially pre-pubescent and Sans is quite clearly an adult, then yes, I think the pairing is wrong on an ethical level, and I'm sure I will get hate for this if my blog ever becomes big enough for people to actually comment. If both parties are adults...I might not like the pairing, but I cannot say it is wrong, even if Sans knew the human as a kid or teenager. When Sans is an adult and Frisk is a teenager...eh, maybe. Again, case by case basis.
So now that we have that covered, What do I think of the pairing? In regards to opinion, I have already answered this above. I don't believe a character that is older enough to be calling Frisk "kid" and "kiddo" should be paired with the human unless it is an alternate universe, but that is my own thought. Canon-wise, I have a similar thought process, and a lot of my argument can be seen in the comments at the bottom of this post, but I will iterate it here as well. Personally, I don't feel like Sans is even your friend at first, in the game. He follows you, because he is either trying to fulfill his promise or because he is suspicious, in my mind. Sans protects you because he promised Toriel to protect ANY human that left the Ruins, and apparently if he had not made that promise, he would have killed you even in a pacifist run, unless his "You'd be dead where you stand" was all in good fun, but somehow I doubt it. I do believe he warms up to the player, but he still seems to see Frisk as a child, friends with him/her or not. Obviously, the only person who could really answer this is Toby Fox, and I just don't think he will say either way, because to be honest, it doesn't matter a whole lot for the purposes of character development or game play.
Still, my opinion aside, you do what you want. I don't own the characters so I can't complain. The only person who could have any real issue with it, in my opinion, is the creator.
Here is the conversation. I'm not good at screen shots, so I just copy and pasted it.