Whether or not you know about it, this past weekend has been precluded by two bad fandom events. One is the infamous Rick and Morty event based on the McDonald’s advertising a limited run of a certain sauce. This resulted in a lot of angry fans and a lot of police actions around the United States. I don’t get it, but that meme has been such a huge thing for some reason. (I never don’t understand why people have gotten into the show myself, but that’s just me). Then on a different kind of scale, if you can call this an incident, is Crunchyroll’s and Funimation’s server outage on Saturday night. It must have been because of Dragon Ball Super’s one hour special. This shows that the dragon ball fandom is still huge and likes seeing Saiyan forms for some reason, so blah. Anyway, I know that I was one of the people upset about it for reasons that seem dubious in nature now. Ideally, both situations could have been solved with proper preparation beforehand, but that’s not the direction I am going with this. These two incidents and some other in the past made me question my place in various fandoms in general.
Blogging has changed my general placement in the anime fandom a lot. Before it, I may have had a lot of friends that were also a part of the anime fandom and I have been to some conventions where I met great fans, but I was always on the fringes of it from a majority perspective. I never got involved in a lot of online forums and anime talk, I just stayed in my corner and just watched what I felt like without getting caught in any sort of discourse. It may have been a little lonely, but the toxicity of the anime community never got to me. Now that I am blogging for fun and putting my thoughts out in the void, I can’t do that anymore. With my little blog, I now have a small voice in the community as well. Almost two years on (it will be two years in January), that is still strange to me. I remember reading a post about blogging from Kat that had a quote that really stuck out to me. I don’t remember how it went exactly, but it’s along the lines of “as a blogger, you are no longer antisocial” and that is so, so true.
I have to say, the anime blog fandom and community has been great around here. Everyone freely shares their opinions and there have been a lot of great discussions about we all love and do not love about certain things and it gets better to. As I’ve discovered more and more bloggers, none of that has changed. Everybody has been so great and because of all of you, joining this blogosphere has been great and I have no regrets at all for doing so. Still, I know that this community doesn’t represent all the parts of this fandom or any other sort of fandom. There is the whole “loud minority, silent majority” thing that can be applied in a lot of places, but that loud minority can ruin it for everyone. It’s like grade school in some ways, you can only have some privileges until one kid does something stupid and it’s all taken away. Still, I am proud to be a part of this community. Even if there are some rotten apples, there is enough good happening that makes me want to stick around for a long time.
Ever since growing more and more in the anime fandom, I’m often worried that I am not doing enough to spread and support it. I don’t go to a lot of anime like events or conventions, nor do I like to cosplay (I’m probably too unfit for that anyway), don’t have a lot of anime merchandise besides dvds and blu-rays, nor do I have a large amount of t-shirts supporting various anime shows that I like. I do legally watch all my shows on one service or another, but that only somewhat helps the industry. I also don’t advertise that I watch a lot anime in public, unless I know for certain that other people watch anime too. Yes, I watch anime in public like at the gym or something, but not many are really interested in it all. Then there are always those fans that go above and beyond what I would, like Shoujo. After watching Yuri on Ice, I saw her start to learn Russian for some reason. She posted a lot of her learnings on twitter, which was really interesting to me. Even if I was completely obsessed about a series, I could never even think about going over the top like that. I need to do more to support this industry and spread the tales of why it’s good around, but I am don’t know how.
There is one event that I am going to tomorrow night that might start shifting me in the right direction. A friend and I are going to the special RWBY volume 5 premiere event at a local movie theater. It’s a small thing that the anime community enjoys, even if it’s not from a Japanese production studio, but I want to support rooster teeth and this project. Isn’t that strange? A couple months ago, I would have been able to say this because I was still in the “I watched a couple episodes of volume one and I didn’t like it” camp. I ended really loving it for a while. After this, I need to look up more local anime events in my area and go to them, within reason of course. I still have to do job things and school things, so there are limitations in what I can do, but joining a lot more social events will not only help my fandom life, but help to step out of this whole “social anxiety” and “introvert” thing that I have going on a little more. What better way is there then going to places where people have similar interests?
In closing thoughts, it’s truly sad that the worst part of a fandom ruins the perceptions of the whole in the eyes of the public. It’s always that “oh, you like that fandom? I can’t believe someone like you would be interested in that” kind of thing. I used to have that sort of thinking too, along with some other bad opinions about people liking shows that I don’t like. Separating a fandom and the show itself is still something that I have difficulty with, but I am getting better. One day I realized something. Fandoms are communities and a few rotten eggs that want to fight to death over things that don’t matter ruin the community as a hole. So what if that one person likes Sword Art Online and I don’t or I like My Hero Academia and that one person doesn’t? I still need to work on making this line of thinking constant in my head. I just hope that I can spread that message to other people.