Chara/Asriel

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Pairing
Pairing: Chara/Asriel Dreemurr
Alternative name(s): Charasriel, Chasriel, Chariel
Gender category: Other (NB/male)
Fandom: Undertale
Canonical?: Ambiguous
Prevalence: Common (Western fandom), Popular (East Asian fandom)
Archives:
Other: See also Chara/Flowey
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Chara/Asriel is an Undertale pairing involving Chara and Asriel Dreemurr.

Canon

Chara and Asriel's relationship, and Asriel's grief for Chara, are the focus of one of the central plotlines of the game. When Chara fell into Mt. Ebott, implied to have been a suicide attempt, Asriel heard them call for help and came to rescue them, and after that Chara was fostered in the Dreemurr household. The two of them became very close, calling each other their best friends; unrelated monsters sometimes describe them as being as close as siblings. Their story ends in tragedy when Chara kills themself so that Asriel can take their soul, leave the mountain, and harvest souls from the village so that they can free the monsters; when they are attacked by humans Asriel refuses to fight back, and both of them are killed. Revived later as Flowey, Asriel is unable to cope with his and Chara's violent deaths and his guilt at having gotten Chara killed, and in a Pacifist route clings to the desperate belief that Frisk is actually Chara and tries to keep them in the Underground by force. He can only be stopped by being reminded of the love he felt for Chara via Chara's memories.

It is left ambiguous in-game as to whether Chara and Asriel were in love, simply had a very intense friendship, or considered one another to be family. Their extreme closeness is, however, brought to the attention of the player repeatedly. They gave each other lockets with "Best Friends Forever" engraved on the inside; Chara's serves as the ultimate defensive equipment whereas Asriel is shown wearing his in his final boss battle. They shared clothes, and are shown successfully pranking each other in the True Lab video tapes. In his boss battle Asriel says that Chara is the only one who really understands him and that he cares for them more than anyone; in his monologue in the No Mercy route Flowey says that he has lost interest in his plans for a murder spree on the surface in favor of just living together with Chara. While Chara's feelings for Asriel are portrayed less directly, the narration and flavor text (implied to be Chara) become notably distraught while fighting Asriel, and even at the end of the No Mercy route Chara hesitates to kill Flowey and must be forced into doing so by the player.

Fandom

Due to their obvious closeness and love for one another, many fans interpret their feelings for each other as romantic. However, the ship is the focus of a great deal of wank due to the prevalence of purity culture in modern fandom; anti-shippers target Chara/Asriel as Bad And Impure based on the characters being children, the rival interpretation that they are adopted siblings, and/or the implication that their relationship was unhealthy. Due to the severity of anti-shippers' bullying tactics, many fans who ship Chara and Asriel express reluctance to do so openly and post their fanwork in public, leading to the ship being less common in Western fandom than in the rest of the world. In Korea and Japan, Chara/Asriel is one of the most popular ships in the fandom, falling just below Sans/Frisk and Sans/Papyrus in terms of prevalence.

Common tropes in Chara/Asriel fics are AUs where Chara's pregame suicide is prevented and the two grow up together, both of them being restored to their proper bodies postcanon and coping with the various traumas they have gone through, or explorations of their precanon relationship. Fic writers and fanartists often draw attention to their canon codependency and the unhealthiness of their relationship, whether by portraying Chara as one-sidedly manipulative or by portraying Asriel as possessive and controlling vis a vis his behavior in his in-game boss battles.

Fanwork where their relationship is or becomes sexual usually ages them up to older teenagers or adults; extremely underage fic is almost always darkfic that portrays Chara as hypersexual due to past trauma.

Stories or art featuring fanmade children very often feature Asriel naming (or trying to name) the baby one of the ship name portmanteaus, as his father is widely headcanoned to have come up with his name the same way.

While this is a relationship between a nonbinary character and a male character, transphobic fans and fans who are ignorant about nonbinary identities treat Chara/Asriel as a het or slash pairing. This type of treatment is also the norm in countries like Korea or Japan where Chara's canon gender was lost in translation.

Example Fanworks

Fanfiction

Fanart

Links