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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Wells | 1826 comments Mod
I've just been marvelling at fandom lately. I've belonged to a few but never really over thought why people get so engaged and immersed in fictional worlds and characters.

What about you guys? Do you belong to any fandoms? Are you passionate about them? Why do they generate the followings they do in your opinion?

Whatever insights and such :)

message 2: by Eva (new)

Eva Vanrell (evavanrell) | 318 comments I'm a shameless fangirl about a few things (usually cultural things or book/anime/manga characters), but I usually just share my passion for those things with one of my friends, so I can't speak as to hardcore fandom. That said, I can definitely say part of it is my personality (I can be a little obsessive about the things I like) and part of it is the fantasy of it all (cosplay is a good example of that - although I've never done it, I can see the appeal).

message 3: by Katheryn (new)

Katheryn Avila (katheryn_avila) I, too, shamelessly fangirl over too many things: Harry Potter (my first fandom), Sherlock, Welcome to Nightvale, The Walking Dead, Ouran High School Host Club....the list goes on and spans across genres and media.

I think what they all have in common, though, are good characterization - compelling people that we have no choice but to love, hate, love to hate or hate to love. It's never about the story for me, but about watching and experiencing the characters I love - their mannerisms, personalities, quirks, attitudes, etc.

I just like hanging out with those characters, and that's what makes it so terrible when these shows/books are over - the people are gone.

message 4: by Eva (new)

Eva Vanrell (evavanrell) | 318 comments I agree completely with Katheryn, and I couldn't have explained it better myself. Good characterization - living, breathing, feeling characters that you connect with and want to experience. You enjoy being in their world. (Also an Ouran fan!)

message 5: by Shari-amor (new)

Shari-amor | 1348 comments I feel the same as Katheryn and Eva. I tend to lovingly obsess over my fandoms. I tend to bond to the characters and worlds I read about in books or watch in shows/movies. I've been fangirling since I was a kid. I seriously wanted to be a Power Ranger or live in Gotham city.

message 6: by Maron (last edited Jul 29, 2014 11:37AM) (new)

Maron Anrow (maronanrow) | 117 comments I was super involved in the Star Wars fandom in the late 90s/early 00s, and then the Lord of the Rings one when the movies first came out. Around the same time, I also fangirled over Harry Potter and some anime/manga... And then I stopped fangirling for about a decade as graduate school and my career consumed me.

I definitely think personality has a lot to do with being in fandoms. Most people who are fans of one thing also participate in other fandoms. My stepdaughter has revealed herself as a fangirl (first of Percy Jackson, but she's picking up other obsessions). Observing the development of her fangirling (which I love, by the way!) definitely makes me think it's a personality thing. (Personality plus a genuinely well-written, engrossing, and multifaceted book/movie/whatever.)

Also, a good community helps. :) It was my Star Wars friends who first introduced me to many of my other fandoms. The community, friendship, and fun is a great aspect of it.

message 7: by Mark (new)

Mark Katheryn is right and it highlights the difference between a good book/movie/tv show and something that commands a fan base.

You can watch a movie or read a book and have a great experience because the story was great, but in order for a fan base to really connect with something the characters have to be the stars. Creating great characters is what makes fandom possible.

message 8: by Eva (new)

Eva Vanrell (evavanrell) | 318 comments I'm a certifiable Howl fangirl, and I turned my 7 year old niece into one as well ;) Nothing better than seeing children be fangirls/fanboys.

message 9: by Chloe (new)

Chloe Testa | 11 comments Ah fandoms, they can be such lovely places! I'm part of a variety of fandoms for shows and books (Teen Wolf, Supernatural, Sherlock, Harry Potter) and I'm very passionate about them. I'm a teacher so the moment I got to teach Harry Potter in one of my classes was possibly the happiest moment of my fairly new career!

I guess the main reason why people are so passionate about their fandoms is because they can really relate to the characters, plot, story, themes and so on. But I've often found that the fandoms I'm a part of seem to actually be a community, of sorts and I agree with Maron that this is a good thing about fandoms. Like it's one thing to absolutely love a show and be super passionate about it but there's something altogether more compelling about being able to share that passion with somebody who enjoys it just as much as you do. It's a kinship but also an ability to delve deeper into the world surrounding your fandom itself. It's a way to connect not only with the thing you're a fan of but also other people and I guess that's what also helps with developing your passion for it. I'm not sure. It is really fascinating though. I definitely think this helps build a strong fandom.
Of course there are always going to be those in fandom communities who can come across as negative and who can perhaps cause issues or not be altogether that nice, but you find that in every group of people, sadly.

message 10: by E.G. (new)

E.G. Manetti (thornraven) You all are so wholesome. My fandoms are Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Baker (vampires) and Merry Gentry (faery) novels. Also Patricia Briggs' werewolf novels, both Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega.

message 11: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Rutigliano | 83 comments I was a huge Star Wars and comics guy growing up, then anime in my later teens/early twenties. I haven't really gotten into fan communities since leaving the anime stage, though.

message 12: by BK (last edited Jul 30, 2014 07:45PM) (new)

BK Blue (paradoxically) | 33 comments There's just something about certain characters and the worlds they live in. I confess though, there are some things I am really into, but I am not even sure what qualifies as a fandom, and what makes me a member or not.

I am abnormally into:

- BBC's Sherlock
- Horror, especially the supernatural creature type, with werewolves in particular (movies and books, etc.)
- Saiyuki - I don't know any other Saiyuki fans. If you are one, I think we need to be friends! lol

- *edited to add* Cowboy Bebop (Shame on me for forgetting. Shame!)

message 13: by BK (last edited Jul 30, 2014 07:47PM) (new)

BK Blue (paradoxically) | 33 comments Sorry, Courtney. Realized I didn't really answer your questions! lol

Are you passionate about them?

I have been known to get in heated discussion over certain things from time to time. Like when people ship Sherlock x Molly. NOPE. That makes even less sense than Sheriarty or Johnlock.

Why do they generate the followings they do in your opinion?

Cowboy Bebop, Sherlock and Saiyuki have amazing characters and a fantastic story. I am especially a sucker for a good backstory, and all three deliver on that part. Also, now that I think about it, there's an awesome bromance in two of them.

As for horror, it's hard to explain. I don't really know exactly why I love the idea of werewolves and supernatural creatures so much. :P

message 14: by Eva (new)

Eva Vanrell (evavanrell) | 318 comments If you're talking about Saiyuki the manga/anime, I'm a fan!! I love Journey to the West, and I think the story a great take on it. I have quite a few on my anime/manga fandom list ;)

message 15: by BK (new)

BK Blue (paradoxically) | 33 comments Eva wrote: "If you're talking about Saiyuki the manga/anime, I'm a fan!! I love Journey to the West, and I think the story a great take on it. I have quite a few on my anime/manga fandom list ;)"

Yes. Well met!!! I love the series so much. I have a few scrolls and some Saiyuki pins too.

Is it cool if I add you? :D

message 16: by Eva (new)

Eva Vanrell (evavanrell) | 318 comments BK - sure thing!! Zanso's bromance with Goku is epic! The first season is the best one. Changing studios sort of killed the others.

message 17: by BK (new)

BK Blue (paradoxically) | 33 comments Eva wrote: "BK - sure thing!! Zanso's bromance with Goku is epic! The first season is the best one. Changing studios sort of killed the others."

Isn't it, though? And his bromance with Hakkai. And Hakkai's bromance with Goyjo. Well, okay. All the bromances. lol

The first season is definitely the best, although I surprisingly liked the Homura arc to an extent. But the change in animation and voice actors was not...well received by me. :P

message 18: by Eva (new)

Eva Vanrell (evavanrell) | 318 comments @BK - agreed. I sent ya a PM. We can geek out there ;)

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