Freaky Fandom

Every once and while I get linked to various news article or forum posts and then, to add fuel to the fire, MTV decided to subtly highlight how retarded people have become. Still, it isn’t her fault, computer geeks have been putting up with this rap for decades and only because technology has taken over our lives do regular people accept it and even look past it.

I’m not part of the “old boys/girls club” of anime. I started watching anime around 2001, so when I talk about this, I am likely to get responses from people talking about how anime fansubs used to be on VHS, or how costly it was to import laserdiscs (god they used that format? Still surprises me.) or how anime today is garbage compared to the classics. I attribute these arguments into the same category as “Original Series” Trekkies and “Original Trilogy” Star Wars, seriously guys, grow up. Video games were harder back then too compared to the spoon-fed shit we get now, World of Warcraft has been dumbed down for a 4 year old to play through, and really, trying to assert yourself as being better than today’s fans because you were an old fan puts you in a sadder category than them. No hard feelings, they see me trollan’!

That said, when the topic of how fansubbing and poor sales have all but destroyed the US anime industry, frankly, I am not shedding a goddamn tear. I’m aware how much anime costs in Japan and how they rape those people for profits, and honestly, they’re just as retarded for buying that shit. So am I really, I wish I could find a poor sucker to buy all the shit I’ve bought, and really, it’s not so much I regret buying it, because I enjoyed watching it, it’s more that the industry took a page out of George Lucas’ “Book of How to Fuck People Out of Money” and released all those single DVD’s into one low-priced box set. Let’s not forget the Super Edition, Platinum Edition, the This Won’t Give You a Blowjob, Sucker Edition, and the Super Ultra Mega EX24 Hyper BetterThanYourFuckingMother Edition, this of course covers pretty much Evangelion.

No, the common thought is the over-saturation of the market, which I can believe. Companies were so hard up to import just about everything from Glorious Nippon that they pretty much choked on their own dicks like Ames did acquiring too many bankrupt companies at once. After the excitement wore off and all you were left with it only the most dedicated hardcore suckers, one by one companies fell to not being able to peddle the latest Generic Moe Show #29388 that was being fired out of Japan. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good moe series here and there, but it’s become their idea of out Hollywood’s obsession with comic book adaptation movies or whatever popular idea of the week they have. Japan however is fully aware by now (or should be) that not only do they have near-control over their own domestic fanbase, but they have near-control over foreign fanbases as well, if they didn’t care, they would not directly send C&D letters to fansubbing groups.

Now let’s talk about fansubbng groups. They are a dime a dozen these days, but when you consider that the big companies were once these very same people, it’s almost like insult-to-injury when you see how much control the US industry tried to keep on fansubbers. Crunchy Roll is probably a good example of a platform for distribution that probably would have changed the face of fansubbing had it been done years ago, and really, when you consider the success of Hulu and other sites like it that stream episodes of American TV shows for free for a few weeks, it doesn’t seem that far off that a concept like that could be placed into anime. Watch the new episodes, retire them after a few weeks, and then the big companies who license the series can release complete sets at the end of the series run to those who want to buy the whole series. You don’t see American TV shows released in single volumes of a couple episodes, usually they are sold by seasons. Fansubbing has its place in this circle and it’d be foolish of the industry to ignore its potential for new ideas and growth.

As for fans, honestly, I generally dislike the fandom, not because I am elitist or anything, but mostly because I’m just not that type of fan. I enjoy watching anime, reading manga, drawing, and collecting figures and building models, but I find that I dislike things like cosplay, conventions, and the word “otaku”. I’m also a computer geek first and foremost, so I find myself regularly mocking the fandom for the fact that they generally poison the fandom as a whole on a regular basis. Things like signs asking for hugs and “glomps” at cons, those goddamn “yaoi” paddles, anime fandom is not far off from goths and indie music kids in the respect that they feel they need so much goddamn attention they are willing to practically whore themselves out for anyone, especially lonely geeks who are there to also garner attention from girls who unlike most girls would actually pay attention to them. The scene in that MTV link above, all that over a voice actor? Seriously? Maybe when they were first starting out they might’ve cared about their fans, but once their smug ass fame gets to them, they don’t even know who you are, you’re just another dollar sign to them. Isn’t that right, Fred Gallagher?

Case in point, I don’t need the rest of this fandom to enjoy what I like, and neither should you. I do staff a con each year (two next year probably) and I do enjoy meeting new people, but I’ll tell you one thing, I totally understand why my father bailed out of the “Parrothead” fandom years ago, it doesn’t get any better.

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