Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rant: Why I Almost Left the Fandom.

Welcome to the scond Rant here on Blog of a Heretical Dub Lover. Revenge of anger it is, warm fuzzy it is not.



Oh. We're doing a Rant today?

I'll be your raging Minoru today, Richard J. Today's Rant is about anime fandom.

Maybe I'm a naive fool but shouldn't anime fans enjoy talking about anime? I mean, I know everyone isn't going to like everything but what the heck is up with people just hating on stuff ALL THE TIME?

I'm sure you've seen them too. The Troll in fan's clothing, the bitch-monger, Lord A-Hole the Insulter who thinks you're anime sucks and you suck for liking it. These people can't get enough of insulting you or your anime. If a thread starts, even one that has little if anything to do with their personal berserk button, they show up and start railing against whatever it is that they hate so much. (And don't you just LOVE how so many of them HAVEN'T WATCHED/READ THE THING THEY HATE SO MUCH?!?)

Typical targets are moe, lolicon, fanservice, Yaoi and Vic Mignogna. Even if I agree with the jerk's opinion (which isn't often since I tend to be a bit more sane), it's still unnecessary and damned repetitive. What, are you the anthropomorphic version of a broken record player? Are you being paid to constantly bitch about this? ARE YOU JUST THAT BORED?

Next in sheer "I can't stand them" levels is the elitist fans. Oh, I'm sorry, did I just watch that show English dubbed? Oh, excuse me for being a peasant my grand liege of subbiness! Pardon me!

Yeah, okay, I've ranted about this kind of jackass a little here and there before and you've surely seen them too. When someone insults you, calling you "illiterate" and "racist" for preferring an English dub to the Japanese, you are dealing with a sub-elitist, the bane of all English dub fans!

So what about dub-elitists? Personally, I've not really encountered this species of fan per-say but for the record, I hate all people who get in my face about what they think is so bloody right for me. Excuse me New York but if I want to eat salt I'm going to do it! If I want to watch my anime dubbed, I'm the one buying it so it's my choice! Maybe I'd feel more inclined to listen to you sub-elite if you weren't always insulting me. (And maybe I'd care more about what New Yorkers think of my dietary habits if they'd stop trying to use the police power of the state to change them.)

Last but not least, let's talk about fans who hate most anime and anime fans but feel they are part of a special group that stand above all others. The deal with this group is that they think anime is some sort of sacred art form through which enlightenment or something can be found. I don't know about the rest of you but I always kinda figured this was supposed to be FUN.

Not so to this fan-type. This person disects their video panel by panel for any animation errors, demands the absolute best animation and video quality, a unique (to them at least) plot and characters every time and most important of all, unless a whole damn lot of people agree it is all for nothing! That's right, this fan isn't even really talking about what they believe!

This is the fan who says that only Miyazaki movies are good or that Cowboy Bebop and Eva are the only truly great anime series. Yes, they are great but aren't there other series that are great but under-appreciated? Not to these fans. They hate it if it's not critically acclaimed by people whose opinion they think matters. (You know, real critics.)

Okay, sorry, I'm not sure why I should care about whether or not a Hollywood film critic thinks my favorite anime sucks.

But surely the worst type to run into is the political off-topic posters.

Oh, excuse me, I thought I was on an anime site! Why are you adding random political insults to your posts all the time? Is there a reason you want to make an anime forum politically polarized? Is that really necessary? Isn't the world screwed up enough because of politics?

I'm aware that my political views might not be the majority viewpoint on the Internet but for the love of lol cats can't I at least go to an ANIME forum and not have to read random political crap? Isn't that why there's an off-topic area, so regular posts can be devoid of this fecal matter?

Also, if you must give your political opinion, can you do it without insulting those who disagree with it? It would be nice to not be insulted and then feel that it was inappropriate to respond because THE POLITICS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE THREAD TOPIC TO BEGIN WITH!

I admit, I've posted this kind of crap too. When it's all one-sided, one party, you start to feel like you need to say something just to remind everyone that yes, there are other opinions out there and maybe, just maybe, people who hold those opinions are also on the same forum and perhaps their opinion is just as legitimate.

These kinds of people are the reason I almost left anime fandom. I just got so fed up with it all! For a while, I didn't want to post and was pretty much just forcing myself to keep going. I didn't even do anything with this blog for a while. (Apologies again.)

Then one day I thought: "if I give up, they win."

So, here I am. Back to fight the good fight and try to be the best otaku I can be.

That's it for this Rant. We now return to our regularly scheduled limited entertainment.


Well, now that I've gotten that mess off my chest, I feel better.

Thought I would mention here, I'm going to be getting the chance to do a guest review for ANN for Strike Witches!


I'm excited about the chance and have already started planning. I just hope my lazy procrastinating nature doesn't screw me up on this because I'd really like to give it my all.



  1. Wow, a review on ANN? Interesting. Can't wait to see that.

    I honestly just ignore most fandom because most of the time I disagree with them anyways, and this isn't just for anime, but television in general. I may think an episode of Chuck is epic awesomeness only to find out that 89% of the people who watched are bashing it up and down. So even before I got involved with anime I learned to just keep a fair distance from fandom. Sure, participation is key, but it should be limited in respect to some people I've seen on forums.

    Plus, when I rarely post on other sites I'm afraid my post will be ripped up or down, taken out of context, or misunderstood. I just need some more experience (which might be the reason I comment on here so much).

  2. Fandom? More like Fandumb

    Jokes aside, I do agree, many anime fans these days are just really spoiled. You covered a large portion of those types of fans that surely put a damper on things you enjoy. It is indeed best to just try and ignore them.

    At times like that I wish friendship between otaku was more like how it was shown in Genshiken. (Genshiken showed the bad side of fandom at times as well, but the bonds between the main characters was simply wonderful).

    And wow, you're doing the Strike Witches review for ANN? That's great news! (and ensures that there will be no biased negative opinion in the review, lol). Looking forward to it!

  3. I agree with all of this. I'd also like to add that a majority of those high and mighty elitest sub fans still think all dubs are as butchered as Sailor Moon was...

  4. Yup, I can agree with a lot of those. I used to post on 4chan /a/ a lot, but now I can really only stand posting on the AnimeOnDVD forums, where it's much more mellow and less trollish.

    In regards to the "I hate all anime and will insult you for liking your favorite" types, I think there's a reason for why this is so common. In the normal cycle of production, people pay money for the things they like, and know that they're the audience for it. However, people who watch only fansubs are divorced from the normal financing/audience system. To them, they think they're the audience for every show, not just the ones they pay for. Normally, if a person doesn't like a show, he responds, "Well, it's not my kind of show, I'm not the audience for it. I just want buy it." They express their dislike with their money. People who watch all new airing anime via fansubs thinkg "Well, it's not my kind of show. Therefore it's a failure and I hate it." Also, they can't express dislike with their money, so all they can do is rant online.

    Just an undeveloped thought, but I think there's something to it. It's sort of like people becoming unhealthy because they sit at their computers all day: they've suddenly broken from an evolved, natural system (art via capitalism) and thus there's tension.

  5. Oh, and I wish you the best with that review!

  6. I definitely find the fandom in Anime, particularly surrounding dubs, quite frustrating to be around. I am the sort of person who loves watching dubs and has no axe to grind against any actor, whether it's by celebrities or unknowns (unless, of course, there are some that strike me as subpar, but even those are rare exceptions). And hearing people say that dubbing is a crime against all humanity and that people who like dubbed Anime are wrong and that they should ONLY watch the Japanese version and/or a pre-existing dub before a new one came along (a flawed argument, too, since the previous version may not be as good as these "fans" say) really gets under my skin. It's a very unfair, and untrue argument that I'd really like to see disappear.

  7. Thanks to everyone for their best wishes on the review. The offer totally blindsided me but I'm super excited. Who'd have imagined simply complaining about the biases of ANN's reviewers preemptively would get me the job? (I'd love to say it was just as planned but even Xanatos couldn't plan that one.)

    @ Jon Turner: I must admit that I am one of those dub fans that tends to reject new/recast dubs on instinct. Typically though, it's only when a show is completely recast without merit-able reasons (like the first dub was also censored, like One Piece or just plain awful.) My complaints usually amount to "well, I won't buy it" rather than "it's a crime against humanity" though.

  8. Yeah fandom of any kind can be good, but for the most part is ugly. Like the Simpsons, I think has one of the worst fandom out there.

    But yes, I agree anime fandom in the US is bad. I at least try to take a netrual side in anime fandom. It isn't always easy, but it makes me sad when people bash dubs just because they are horrible.

    I think people need to look at themselves more thought in any fandom. Instead of thinking about "me, me, me and I don't care about you" and start looking at it like "oh that is an interesting way of looking at it."

    By the way Congrats and best of luck on ANN review. I sort of stopped reading there reviews, but I will read yours. Its like Bal-kun said above, I'm sort of in the same boat as him. Which was part of the reason I started to do my own in a way.

    I'm running out of my lunch time, so I have to go. Sorry if it sounds rants or offends anyone, I wasn't trying to.

  9. Oh by the way I wasn't at work when I posted. I was at home, just at home during my lunch. Just thought I'd clear it up.

  10. This probably won't be a marathon comment, seeing as how I stumbled upon your fine blog by accident (looking for a place to vent my frustrations with Bandai for not dubbing Hayate).

    I really try my hardest to avoid fandoms of any kind. Ever since my experiences with the Phoenix Wright and Touhou communities, they tend to be the exact opposite of what a fan community should be, a group of people who share a common interest earnestly enjoying and talking about what it was that brought them together. It seems like nowadays, it's all reduced to shouting matches mixed in with contests to see who can make the best memetic mutation of some aspect of the series or game the community is based on.

    It especially gets hard for dub fans like myself and many others. Going back to Hayate, I was very upset to learn that there would be no dub, and while I know there were several others who felt the same way, it seems that there were several more who came just short of orgasming upon hearing this news. "Oh thank God," they'd say. "This show can't be dubbed," "Rie Kugimiya is the ONLY one who could ever voice Nagi," are other common responses.

    These people are apparently still living in 1995; Sailor Moon being the standard for the dubbing industry.

    Sometimes you start to feel like the only sane person in a world full of nutjobs when you spend enough time in the anime fandom.