One interesting phenomenon that has sprouted out of seemingly nowhere over the past decade or so is the creation of very specific “fandoms”. Does liking something automatically enroll you in the associated fandom? Am I a part of the In Another World With My Smartphone fandom by default? Or is it the fantasy isekai fandom? Surely anime itself is too broad for a fandom these days, so I won’t even make the mistake of asking about that one.
I can’t help but feel like fandoms seem very specific and broad simultaneously. Within any given fandom I imagine there are seperate groups on Twitter, Reddit, TikTok, Facebook?, WordPress, even real life! Basically, anywhere people can talk about the things they like. So I guess the confusion here is really “what is the fandom?”, because the Reddit fandom for Tokyo Ghoul might have differing opinions from the TikTok Tokyo Ghoul fandom. And even within those platforms there will be differing ideas and opinions. Who truly speaks for the fandom?
Honestly, I almost feel like when people say “fandom” they are just imagining a large invisible group of people who all agree with the vocal minority. Like if someone started leaving scathing comments on my Akatsuki Records posts and then I decided to react by boldly claiming “The Akatsuki Records fandom is attacking me!”.
Is it really the fandom? Probably not.
You can also see this in other areas too, like video games where the newest game in a series completely fails to meet many fans expectations, causing some backlash and the fandom being branded as toxic, even though in reality the full fandom is probably very split with some enjoying the new game, others neutral, and others hating it. Can you really filter out only the negative comments and decide that they speak for the fandom?
Basically this is all a long winded way of saying that the term “fandom”, even for a very specific thing like a 12 episode anime series, is too broad to actually mean anything. Liking the same thing as someone else doesn’t create conformity, and the more people you add to the mix, the more variety in opinions and ideas you’ll have. I doubt anyone can truly speak for any fandom on any topic and get 100% agreeance from their fellow fans.
So getting to the question, can a fandom ruin an anime for me? Absolutely not, because I don’t even acknowledge the vocal opinions of individuals as the opinions of the entire fandom. The fandom is a vague entity that can’t really have a spokesperson.
Even if I did happen to acknowledge that the vast majority of a fandom held a certain opinion, they still couldn’t ruin an anime for me, because I don’t care what other people think about something like this. The Nekopara fandom could be littered with genocidal maniacs or other extreme personalities and it wouldn’t change a thing for me, who is just sitting here watching the anime on my own. I don’t watch anime and think “But what about the fandom…?”, I watch and either enjoy it or I don’t.
There is an argument to be made that a “fandom” could ruin an anime by spoiling content or something like that, but again I stick by my opinion that no individual can speak for the large vague collective of fans that happen to like the same thing. That’s not a fandom ruining the anime, that’s just one or a few people being inconsiderate.
Those are my thoughts on fandoms and this question, but I know that many others out there really dive into dialogue and discussion with others for their favourite things.
Which is why I’ll pass the question onto you: Can a fandom ruin an anime for you?
As always, I’d be very interested to read differing viewpoints on this!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.
4 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Can a fandom ruin an anime for you?”
Hmm, a fandom usually doesn’t deter me from anime that I might like, mostly because I tend to watch anime first and then wonder what other people thought of the anime and seek out reviews or blog posts or comments. Usually other anime viewers had the same thoughts I did (mostly positive) but sometimes the opinion of other anime fans do surprise me. Shipping characters that I saw no relationship to, forgiving a villain that shows no sign of feeling sorry for their actions (just because they are cool, doesn’t make their actions right) and having kind of extreme ideas on how to deal with “bully” characters.
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To me the purpose of a review is to give someone an idea of your opinion on the anime without actually spoiling it so they can enjoy it themselves. But I feel like with anime, most reviews are not like that, it’s more like reviews are for seeking out discussion with people who have already seen the anime.
But then I myself am more likely to click on a review for something I’ve seen out of curiosity of what the person thought of the anime haha.
I’ve seen some bad takes but I feel like they’re pretty uncommon, at least with the blogs around here. I imagine there are some really crazy takes on twitter, MAL, and other forums.
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No, the fandom has not effect on me, but the anime will. Take the Haruhi Suzumiya anime for instance; her bratty, selfish, annoying, and shitty attitude earned her a punch in the mouth, and ruined the show in particular, especially season 2. The show is better off with that absolute donkey. My apologies to all the Haruhi fans in WordPress, but I really dislike that organism. I guess the correct answer to your question is that if the director for that anime hasn’t f***ed up, then I guess the anime would be good, despite the annoying fandom surrounding it.
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Yeah well that’s a given I think, characters can be very polarizing. I think younger audiences probably don’t even realize how awful Haruhi is as a person.