A personal reflection about fandoms

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.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Merlin says:

    Experience with a friend of mine:
    He was a Marvel fanboy (of their cinematic universe) before I was. I had some reservations about some of their ideas, but then I went in and enjoyed everything, and he liked to say, “I told you so!” Then he didn’t like Iron Fist or Defenders, and he didn’t like Civil War, Doctor Strange, or Guardians 2 as much as everyone else, and he’s never watched the other TV shows, so now he’s practically hissing Marvel’s name and accusing me of blindly worshiping Marvel every time one of their heroes comes on screen.
    He’s hot and he’s cold, he’s yes and he’s no…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Wow, that’s just nuts. I’ve had dinner experiences like that too.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. DerekL says:

    Crunchy’s servers keeling over wasn’t just because of DBZ… That were just the most visible symptom. There was a ton of hotly anticipated premieres on Saturday too. Nor is this is the first time it’s happened. I think it was Spring of this year where Crunchy was practically unuseable every Saturday afternoon/evening (PST) for the entire season. A couple of years back, when SAO II was airing and again during the first season of Sailor Moon Crystal, the same thing happened. You could be browsing Crunchy’s website or forums and literally watch them grind to a halt within five minutes of an episode of SMC dropping.

    With the number of hot shows on Saturday this season, I’d be willing to bet a beer we haven’t seen the last of Crunchy’s weekend performance problems.

    So while I agree with your general point about toxic fandom… you’re mixing apples and oranges to some extent. The whole Rick & Morty affair was a PR stunt gone bad, further fueled by social media’s tendency to amplify events and anger. But in Crunchy’s case, there was (is) genuine anger fed by ongoing and repeated problems with their infrastructure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      You may be right after the crunchyroll thing, but I am just going to have to disagree on the Rick and Morty thing. Sure, McDonalds pulled off something bad, but that fandom community didn’t have to stay there and be bad people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DerekL says:

        We’re in 100% agreement on the fandom community in that respect! Bad behavior is bad behavior, no matter how you slice it. I never meant to imply otherwise.

        I just wanted to bring out the differences between the causes of two events.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        Fair enough!

        Like

  3. animesunday says:

    There will be jerks just about everywhere you go, and anime fans are no better. BUT, most people are happy to enjoy some intellectual discourse and camaraderie. It’s fun being with peers who share in the guilty pleasure that is anime!

    I was really sad to miss Anime Expo this year for the first time since me and all my buddies started going the Summer after graduating high school.

    It’s a great way to support the industry like you were saying and have a good time, plus yea, helps us that are a bit more introverted and uncomfortable with crowds get our feet wet.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Yes, it’s always a small amount of people that ruin the fun for other people.

      I haven’t been to an anime convention in a long while and I really want to eventually. Need to see all those anime objects and people and people and just have fun and things. Curse my introvertness and busy-ness.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. magicconan14 says:

    I hadn’t heard about the Rick and Morty scenario until now, and apparently it’s pretty extreme (people buy sauce packets off eBay (?)). I’m a few notches under Shoujo-level in that when I’m obsessed with a show, I try to theme my life + blog around it and go spoiler hunting, but I have certain thresholds I won’t pass (such as only using physical merch retailers). It’s finding boundaries you’re comfortable with that allows you to live life to the fullest, I think – boundaries differ between people and get exaggerated as people feed into each other’s fan-craziness.

    I think I’ve seen a few complaints about Crunchyroll servers for a while, like DerekL says. Anime News Network has been going down recently too, presumably thanks to the “Choose Your Fall Streaming Reviews” poll which only lasts a day or two (it’s a “too slow? we don’t care!” scenario).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      To be fair, Anime News Network has been hacked recently, so maybe they are being cautious or the hack is still affecting them.

      Like

  5. Kat Sade says:

    It totally sucks that there will always be people who want to bring something that should just be fun down. People are always going to have different opinions on shows and things like that so it’s no reason to set the world on fire! I’m glad you have been able to move past those types to find cool peeps to chill and chat with though XD Once you’re able to find people like that I feel like everything becomes so much more fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Some people, you know?

      Yes, you are right. It has been just a huge amount of fun 😁. Hanging around with you and other people has been great!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kat Sade says:

        Haha I’ve come across a few in my day lol but the amazing people I’ve met more than make up for it XD

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I was reading this post out of pure interest, and then I saw that you mentioned me, and I was so surprised! Lol; to clarify, I started learning Russian because I am obsessed YOI, but also because it sounds like an awesome language that I could both pronounce and auditorally differentiate with my moderate hearing loss. Plus, I’ve always had an interest in Russian history and culture, so YOI was a great catalyst. (In high school, I did say that I wanted to marry a Russian man, lol.) In case you wondered, I now have a Russian keyboard on my phone and I’ve passed through from Аа to Зз. 🙂
    Moving on from that, the bad reputation that anime has makes it hard to be super public about it sometimes. I mean, my online identify is private for a reason; I don’t go talking to my conservative coworkers about it even if I’m not ashamed and will wear my merch in public, etc. Anime is so great. But the nasty parts that most of us avoid are those noted that give it a bad rap. It is indeed a shame. I agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yeah, that says it all. You are just too cool for words in that regard and practical too. I’ve known some people that had a heavy interest in Russian history culture as well, so you would probably get along pretty well.

      At some point, I bet that public perception well change about anime, especially with creativity bankrupt Hollywood now using it’s influence to make movies.

      Like

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