I’m sure no matter which way this thing goes, whoever “wins” is gonna be really toxic about it and whoever “loses” is gonna be really toxic. Surely both fanbases can generate more than enough salt to supply a collection of angry posts of this caliber either way.
I’ve never had anything to do with Bleach so I can’t speak to how it compares to FF7, but I have made parallels to Naruto here before. Granted, I’d argue Cloud x Aerith had much more going for it than Naruto x Sakura ever did, but perhaps for that reason sinking Cloud x Aerith could be more devastating by comparison.
I think most reasonable Cloud x Aerith shippers would at least accept Cloud x Tifa as canon, while the fringes of both fanbases would still find reasons to argue. But the goal here for me is to make the LTD as obsolete as possible. Arguing for Naruto x Sakura is such a waste of time at this point that I don’t think there’s enough a strong contingent of shippers to keep the LTD as active as it was back in the day, so the argument itself becomes more and more a thing of the past as the fanbase grows after the LTD has ended.
Hardcore shippers will still be around, but the only people with any reason to argue after the LTD ends are the weirdos who’ve made their ship their whole identity, and I would hope that those people would become less relevant as more reasonable fans fall into the category of “I like this ship, but this is how the story goes” instead of being emboldened by the weirdos that try to manipulate the story into something it clearly isn’t.