Friday, May 25, 2012

The Five Worst Fandoms

I'll be curt: I hate fandoms.

Now, I don't hate fans, or even fanboys/girls.  Just fandoms.  And not all fandoms.  Some fandoms are actually pretty cool, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a part of one or two.  But let's be honest: fandoms can be scary, especially when they're trying to cram themselves down your throat.  And so, I've cooked up a list of the five scariest, most militant fandoms that I've encountered.

Honorable Mention 1: Any popular and/or long-running franchise

Doctor Who.  Pokemon.  Harry Potter.  These are cash cows that probably span multiple media, and while the fandoms themselves usually aren't terribly bad, the fact that you'll probably encounter them is.  You'll know fanboys or fangirls personally, and they will talk about the work they so love, and you will want them to just shut up about it.  Again, the fandoms themselves are usually fairly self-contained and are often very good as fandoms go.  They're just very prevalent and there is no escaping them, and a non-fan can easily find zirself on the outs.

Honorable Mention 2:  Any fandom that focuses largely on shipping

Sometimes you just want to talk about Avatar: The Last Airbender without having someone ask you whether you favor Kataang or Zutara.  And sometimes, you want to be able to mention a romantic relationship without being told that you are wrong for pairing one fictional character with another.  The fandom becomes about the shipping, not about the work, and it tends to get annoying to people who are just looking for normal discussion.

5: Star Wars

Star Wars is a juggernaut of a franchise, spanning movies, action figures, books, animated series, video games, a Lego line, video games (yes, more than one) based on the Lego line, TV specials based on the video games based on the Lego line, and countless more media.  Chances are, even if you're one of the zero people in the world who haven't seen Star Wars, you're at least familiar with it.  As a result, people are going to talk about it.  However, most fans of Star Wars are just casual fans.  When you run into a hardcore fan, you will know, because they will have a vast amount of knowledge about the Extended Universe that they will be more than willing to share with you any time you're wrong (i.e., not as well-informed) in as smug a manner as possible.  Yes, they will tell you you're wrong about a franchise that has more retcons and continuity errors than the Marvel and D.C. universes combined.  And again, because Star Wars is something that everyone knows about and any geek will talk about, these people are impossible to avoid.

4: Touhou Project

Touhou Project, or Touhou, is a series of games made almost entirely by one guy (known as ZUN, I believe).  They're part of the "bullet hell" genre, which is pretty much entirely about spamming attacks while dodging the attacks your enemy is spamming.  And apparently, around 80% or more of the information about the games is based in fandom.  That's right.  80%.  It's very possible to know more about the Touhou fandom than the Touhou games.  There are endless remixes and fanvids and whatnot.  Now, while I'm sure that the games are decent, it seems that the fandom is its own separate entity.  The fandom isn't about the games anymore, it's about the fandom.  In fact, this would probably be higher on the list if it weren't for the fact that I really don't know all that much about Touhou or its fandom.

3. Twilight

Ah, yes.  The only fandom that I know of where people have been attacked for not liking the books.  The Twilight fandom (consisting entirely of fangirls) are people who will defend their series to their dying breath and you are wrong for having an opinion that doesn't match theirs.  The shipping wars have actually managed to go mainstream with the "Team Edward" and "Team Jacob" merchandise.  It's a ravenous fandom consisting predominantly of mindless preteen girls.  Thankfully, due to the cash cow being down to its final drops of milk and the equally ravenous hatedom (who are probably even worse than the fandom), the Twilight obsession finally seems to be waning.

2. Homestuck

Homestuck's fandom is so fervent about the love for the story that one of their memes is "let me tell you about Homestuck."  Let me repeat that: one of their inside jokes is about how they're aggressive jackasses about Homestuck to non-fans.  Any fan of Homestuck will inevitably think that it is the Best Thing Ever of All Time (TM) and will instantly gush all over Tumblr or wherever about the latest update.  It's one of the more prolific fandoms (especially in terms of memes), and while it's probably not as prolific as Touhou or the number one spot on this list, the sheer militant intensity of the fandom's love for Homestuck and the fact that it's the one I personally hear the most about earns it the number two spot.

1. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic

Okay, let's be honest.  Who didn't see this one coming?  There's no way I'd be able to make a list of aggressive fandoms without mentioning bronies?  This is by far the most prolific fandom I've ever encountered.  And the thing is, I don't get it.  Yes, the show is entertaining.  By standards of kids' shows and merchandise-driven shows, it's very good.  In fact, I'd say that it's at least "good" by the standards of shows in general.  But when you really look at it, that's all it is.  It's a show aimed at children, so it's going to be simplistic.  The plots, the themes, and the humor are all very base (so as not to fly over the children's heads), but the fandom treats it like no greater show could possibly exist.  Again, it is a decent show, but there are so many fanvids, so many macros, so many remixes...and the fandom is fervent enough to go mainstream, all for a very simple and base show.  I just don't get it.

So that's my list of the top five worst fandoms you could encounter.  Again, this is nothing against any of the fans, or even the fanboys/fangirls.  Finally, your experiences may vary, and if you have anything to say, leave a comment.

8 comments:

  1. wat. you hardly explained why you thought mlp was the worst fandom outside of how you dont see eye to eye with some of it's members and how it's a kid's show.

    if you ask me it's like this
    the show itself it nicely done because it's not a load of dick jokes and assorted poppycock and the fandom for the most part is actually very nice and supportive.

    it's seen as a great show because it is better than many of the other shows that exist today and doesnt need four letter words to do it.

    and in reality, the show's origonal creator, lauren faust, made the show as "all ages entertainment". lauren did work on other great shows like samurai jack and foster's, so it was predictable that a reboot of mlp (lauren being a big mlp fan herself too) would end well. and it did, especially with the fandom it made.

    the fandom imo is a huge part of it too, the people in it are nice and compassionate, and quite talented in the feilds of art and music and fanfiction, more so than any other fandom i've seen anywhere.

    by comparison, i was previously with sonic fans, and let me tell ya, sonic fans have the potential to be some of the nastier fans out there. they'd turn on eachother all the time and be overdramatic and unappealing, but i tagged along because i knew a few who were nice enough, but for the most part i was hated by the general fandom as they seemed to hate eachother jsut as readily.

    bronies are quite the opposite, even so some people say bronies can be annoying, i wont bs you, we can be, but in all honesty, if you were to go to a forum and find unsavory content, ponies are the least nasty of the unsavory content people can find online made by other fandoms.

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    1. Yes, it's a great show. In fact I like the show myself, but the fandom seems to be a churning mass that seeks to consume everything in the world into itself.

      In addition, they are some of the most change-intolerant people in the world. Any change will make them go RUINED FOREVER. Alicorn Twilight is proof.

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  2. Thanks for the response!

    To be fair, "five worst fandoms" is a bit of a misleading title. This is really just the five most fervent fandoms, and it's all my opinions from my own experiences. I've got nothing against bronies. Hell, I'm friends with bronies, as well as with people from most of the fandoms on this list.

    The thing that lands MLP: FiM on this list is the fact that it's kind of impossible to avoid. No one's allowed to just not give the show a chance. Now, everything should be given a chance, but most people just don't care enough to get into something. It's why I've never looked into, say, Lucky Star. It might have a huge fan following and it might be a good show. But I don't know, and there are things that I think I'd enjoy more that are higher on my priority list. Bronies tend to say "well yes, but you have to watch it before you're able to judge it. You have to watch a few episodes. You have to give it a chance." Basically, they're pestered into checking it out. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's what puts them at the top of this list for me.

    Terrible explanation, but my brain's kind of fried at the moment.

    -Andy

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  3. As a Homestuck fan, I can definitely see where you're coming from. A lot of other Homestuck fans I've encountered have been overbearing and assertive when it comes to talking about or interacting with non-fans, which I happened to be at the time. It would be no use to turn a blind eye and get defensive about it, because as much as I love Homestuck, it's just a webcomic at the end of the day and it's certainly no reason to start feuds over, though unfortunately, it's inevitable for every fandom.
    You seem to have covered the 'bad' side of the Homestuck fandom accurately, although I think that using the term 'jackass' was a little harsh.
    I think the bad side of the Homestuck fandom is the one that gets propagandized as to what it's truly made up of, when there are as many- if not more- Homestuck fans that are supportive, accepting people who don't shove their fandom in your face every two minutes.
    I also know from personal experience that the Hetalia fandom can actually be much nastier to non-fans and others in their fandom than Homestuck fans can be. It's why I bid the Hetalia fandom good riddance and became a Homestuck fan. But what else would there be to expect from a fandom mostly comprised of girls?
    Anyway, Homestuck undoubtedly has a dedicated fanbase, probably borderline cult if you ask me, but I still love it!
    Really accurate reviews, by the way :D
    -Maureen

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    1. Thanks for the response! Yeah, I'm aware that I'm probably being unfair to the good Homestuck fans, as well as the fans of anything I've mentioned here, and I've heard that the Hetalia fandom is pretty terrible. Probably the only reason it hasn't made the list is because I don't actually know any Hetalia fans, whereas I know a bunch of Homestucks both online and in real life.

      Anyway, glad that you stuck through my unfair jabs at the fandom(s) you love.

      -Andy

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  4. Believers and Sonic fandom should be here.
    Also the bro's, Pewdiepie's fandom.
    I absolutely disagree with number 5. You gave stupid reasons for them. More errors than Marvel and DC? You've got to be kidding me.
    They may be geeks, they may be nerds, but they don't insult or annoy anyone.
    They're pretty much grown up kids with nostalgia. Like the DBZ fandom.

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  5. So, would it be prudent for media to directly or indirectly address its fandom's actions toward outsides?

    For example, if MLP had an episode where the situation of liking something and sharing it with others is cast in the light of being over-assertive?

    Or if the media were to be more direct about it, one of the more self-absorbed Homestuck characters (if there are any, I don't know) looking out at the reader and saying, "Yeah I love it when people talk about me, but some of them can be real assholes about it. Those people should stop. It messes up my image."

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