viistar asked: I need an opinion - is keyshipping considered yaoi?

Mmmmmmmh…. depends on what your definition of “yaoi” is.

Let’s assume for a moment that it is canon because that makes my verb tenses easier.

If you’re asking if it is a homosexual relationship, then probably no. As far as we know, they are not the same sex or gender. We’re assuming (and maybe it’s bad to assume, but YGO has never really tried to challenge our assumptions re: gender) that Yuma is cis-male. Astral is a genderless being from another dimension. And though there can definitely be made an argument that Astral is some sort of male (male voice actor who doesn’t try to sound androgynous in tone, No. 96’s use of “ore” [which relies on assumptions about what 96 and Astral even are], probably other nuances of language that I don’t know about), I don’t think he’s ever defined himself as such. It’s also hard to assume what sort of sexuality exists in the Astral World (or if there is any at all), so it seems kinda unfair to cram him into Earth definitions.

Should I be using genderless pronouns for Astral? I’ve started using them for Yubel, and I feel kind of bad now for not using them for Astral.

But if you’re talking about the yaoi subgenre of literature, which is what I think of personally when the term “yaoi” is thrown around… well, that would depend on the fanwork in question. There’s a certain set of aesthetics and conventions typical to yaoi that I can’t get into without being even more teal deer than I am right now. Zexal itself is certainly not yaoi. And neither Astral nor Yuma fit well into the stereotypical roles of the genre (using a very loose definition of seme and uke - do people forget that Astral doesn’t have a digestive tract either?). Neither of them is an obvious stand-in for the female audience. And their personalities and relationship are influenced most by their red oni - blue oni dichotomy, rather than what position they would take in bed if Astral had human body parts. An author could take them and write them in either stereotyped yaoi role and they’d be equally ooc, which is a pretty telling clue that their relationship isn’t yaoi at all.

And now I want to go read some Yubel x Judai porn just to see how people approach it.