I Have Sent The Amphibia Fandom Into A Gay Spiral And I Regret Nothing

For the past week I’ve been having a blast covering Marcy’s Journal: A Guide To Amphibia. Aside from a handful of spoilers and amazing moments the fans can discover for themselves, show creator Matt Braly and publisher Tokyopop have given me relative freedom to explore the book however I like ahead of release. Because I am an absolute fruitcake, many of the pages I decided to share feature Marcy Wu, Anne Boonchuy, and Sasha Waybright as gals being pals.

As the journal draws closer, fans have been speculating on the language Marcy uses to describe the bond she has with Anne and Sasha and whether that platonic love may be hinting at something more romantic. I can hardly blame the fandom for latching onto this, hoping that a bright spot of queer representation might rear its head aside from Sasha’s bi identity in the final episode. To both throw aside any potential accusation of queerbaiting and to prevent inevitable disappointment – Marcy Wu does not come out in the journal, nor is her sexual identity brought up at any point. At least, not in a definitive manner that cements it in canon. You could assume she is being romantic or pining, but there’s no official confirmation (nor denial) of anything.

I spoke with Amphibia creator Matt Braly ahead of writing this article to reinforce something we talked about in an interview earlier this year – that shipping and the associated dynamics it brings to Marcy, Anne, and Sasha were an important consideration for writers on the show. Ever since its premiere, fans have conjured up pairings and taken the canon ideas so much further, whether it be through fics, art, or seeing themselves in potentially queer and neurodivergent characters finding their place in a new world. Even daring to make a single one of these romances canon, or even imply their existence, would betray the headcanons of fans and take away their potential, while Braly always intended Amphibia to be a journey of growth and platonic friendship. Love – at least the romantic kind – was never a factor.

The finale’s timeskip has the characters ageing up by ten years, split apart by the natural progression of fate as they go their separate ways to establish careers and mature as people. Things change, friends, leave, and life doesn’t stop for anybody, and the journal solidifies that tragic inevitability while allowing readers to interpret where exactly the trio’s relationship sits. They could still be friends, a romance might have evolved between two of them, or it might even be a polycule situation. Nothing is off the table, and handing over that power to the fandom was likely the only right move here. Don’t force queerness onto a lead like a necessary checkbox, even more so if the show doesn’t have the structure to reinforce that development in an authentic way. The creators could have brushed aside this queer aspect of the fandom, but it was embraced and actively explored instead.

In the wake of the final episode, we were inevitably going to carry these observations over to the journal and see if our assumptions hold any weight. Marcy is a very affectionate friend as she compliments Sasha’s cerulean eyes and conjures up potential hairstyles to match with Anne’s stylish new armour. She is relentless in her affection, using terms that one just might reserve for a romantic partner. But she’s also 13, and is still figuring out that part of herself that we don’t really have the right to interfere with. I’m of the opinion that she is currently seeking shelter in a closet made of painfully thin glass, and the sapphic connotations of her comments will come to light long after she has returned home and grown as a person.

Marcy’s queer identity remains a mystery, yet I can’t help but feel inspired by how much the journal has fans treating her as some sort of gay icon. Whether she wants to admit it or not, there is something very fruity going on with Marcy Wu that we’ve used as a foundation to create adorable art of her smooching to the tune of saying poggers, or hugging her friends tightly before a final farewell at the airport. Life might tear them apart, but they will always find a way back to each other whether they realise it or not. This eventual reunion ending in romance is up to us, and nothing can take that away.

Knowing those pages I had picked indirectly brought up a queer debate surrounding Marcy’s character, it only feels right to set the record straight before we move forward. I still think she’s fruitier than a bag of jelly beans, but as much as I wish the journal cemented that, it’s far from the end of the world that it doesn’t. Marcy Wu – I know what you are.

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