The Fandom of Media vs. The Cult of the Work

When I call myself an anime fan and a video game fan, it implies an open-ended fandom of the mediums in general. However, it’s something totally different when I call myself a My Little Pony fan, or a Dark Souls fan, or a Touhou fan, etc.

I think that every work has the potential to form a cult, but I don’t think that every work has such a cult, even if it gets a lot of attention within its medium. If you’re not sure what’s the difference, go find the Reddit board of an individual work, or an active forum or wiki, whether fan-made, or on a place like GameFAQs. Compare what you find there against what you find on a blog or site that covers a medium in more general terms.

The first time I felt the difference between being in a fandom and being in a cult following was when I got into Touhou. I didn’t love Touhou as an anime fan, because it has no anime; and I didn’t love it as a gamer, because while I do enjoy the games, I don’t like them nearly as much as any of my favorite games. My love for Touhou wasn’t bound to its being an exemplary piece of a medium which I was already a fan of—I was a fan of it as an individual being, apart from any one medium.

Touhou is too broad to make the implications of this obvious, but other works do a fine job.

If I look at My Little Pony or Homestuck—two things with huge cult followings that I’m a big fan of—I can really see the difference. While there are non-Japanese cartoons and webcomics which I love, I don’t consider myself a fan of either medium in general. MLP isn’t my “favorite cartoon,” nor is Homestuck my “favorite webcomic,” so much as I enjoy those works outside the context of their mediums.

Perhaps better than these as an example is Dark Souls, which is even more cult than the other things I mentioned, and continues to intrigue me as I interact with it more. Dark Souls is an amazing video game, and I certainly am ready to compare it with other games. However, I don’t play it or interact with it the way that I do other games, and simply calling it my “favorite video game,” doesn’t do justice to the different way that I communicate with it.

Particularly interesting is that if I can split up the definition between being a video game fan and being a Dark Souls fan, then I can further split the definition wherever I can see that my appreciation of two subsets of a medium function differently.

Better than myself, I will use my friend Shinmaru as an example. Shinmaru has what I’d call a passion for terrible anime, and he’s tried, but never really broken ground at, explaining how his love of them is different from his love of great anime. I think the problem is that he, and everyone else, are grouping these things together because they happen to be a part of the same medium, when in reality, he views them in two completely different ways. I think rather than calling Shinmaru an anime fan who loves bad anime as well as good, he should be called an anime fan who’s also a fan of terrible anime, or a fan of good anime as well as a fan of bad anime.

This is the kind of thing that I’ve tried to capture in my Canon. You’ll notice that there’s a whole section just for My Little Pony, which is separate entirely from the Cartoons section. It’s because having MLP among a list of other cartoons that I like betrays the nature of my fandom of those different things. Likewise, there’s an anime section, which accounts for pretty much everything, because for the most part, I appreciate anime the same way—but there’s also a section for shows made by Bee Train, because I hate them in such a spectacular fashion which isn’t like the way I hate other anime.

I think it’s a good idea to break down and define things like this, because there’s such a difference in perspective between people who like something in the way of general fandom, and people who like something in the way of a cult fandom. I’ve read and seen a lot of opinions about Dark Souls, from people who loved it, hated it, appreciated it and didn’t like it, or didn’t understand it at all, and none of them reflects the way that people view it who are fans of the game in a big way.


Look, my room is already overwhelmed with notebooks full of shit like lists and more lists and story concepts and also the occasional list. But I was at Office Depot today, saw this notebook, and needed it. I think it was designed for me specifically.

Fuck me, the lines are numbered and list-like! They’re just long enough to fit a title. I don’t mind the margin thing because I found a use for it, as seen on this page. The numbers are perfect to be checked off. The title box is two lines long, which is really nice. The last notebook I was using for lists had a title line, but it was fucking tiny and I could never fit any titles on it. There’s also a date box, which is nice, and even a name box, which is a little pointless, but nonetheless something I’ll probably fill in every time.

The upper-right box is what gets me, though. It’s a box for you to write in the page number. Why couldn’t they have just printed the page numbers on the pages? Maybe it’s so you can tear pages out and still continue, though if you write in pen you’ll make that useless rather quickly. I really don’t know, but I do know that in some of my notebooks I’ve made a habit of numbering all of the pages manually, and sometimes make a table of contents in the front of the book. It’s like the box knew.

It also has two covers. Don’t know why, but it’s pretty cool.

Okay I’m going to bed now.

My Entire Goddamn Collection (with notes)

Look, I’m a showboating otaku (if that wasn’t blatantly fucking obvious). Of course I love to see people’s otaku rooms, and I love to try and show off my own, even though it’s less of an otaku room than it used to be.

I used to have fuckloads of posters covering my walls—mostly stuff from Megami and other magazines, the majority of which were given to me by a friend. (He kept the stuff he liked and gave the rest to me. I was less discriminating because I wanted a room completely covered in anime posters.) I also had a bunch of posters that came with DVDs, and a number of DVD covers (the ones with a full image on the back) stuck to my walls. I took a ton of old Anime Insider magazines, tore out full-page images that I liked, and put those up. None of these remain.

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Some Hard Thinking After Five Years of Anime Blogging

I must’ve come to certain conclusions after doing this for as long as I have.

I’ve wanted to write this post forever—doubly so after ghostlightning did it. Being the extreme person that I am, I wanted to go all-out and make some ridiculous list of attractive anime characters which didn’t skimp on details—but I’ll never actually write it. Plus, doing so many characters washes out the impact of how hot they are.

A surprising (read: fucking huge) amount of deliberation went into picking the hottest female characters. Which girls have I found hot in the past? Do I still find them hot? How hot are they in comparison to my number one choice (the only one I was already sure of)? It actually helps that I’m doing this post after having majorly taken a step back from anime watching, because I can’t go on what I’ve watched recently, nor specific hot scenes that could cloud my judgement. I have to instead consider the character in a sort of void space—in my purest idea of them—and decide how much I want my dick in that.

Anyway here’s the three hottest female characters animated in the past five years.

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I Love My Pink Gay Elf

This is Chris Chiaki, my pink, canon gay, high elf archer. He’s one of my alt characters in the massive multiplayer RPG, Tera Online. He is fucking fabulous.

A lot has been said about the character designs in Tera Online—thankfully most of it positive. Reading complaints about the designs, I’ve never seen the word “sexist” used, which gives me hope that people do in fact know the difference.

Tera is a gigantic ball of smut. Characters are designed on the principle of maximum fanservice. Most of the females don’t usually wear pants, nor much of anything, especially at higher levels. Male Castanics look like Korean boy band members with their chests and abs always showing. High Elves are pretty as all fuck and get ultra-gay outfits. For guys who aren’t secure enough to RP a gay man or a woman, there’s also the Aman and Human males, who look more like what you’d expect male characters in games to look like (Devilman and Chris Redfield, respectively).

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Haro Is Useful! (Also Hi, I’m A New Writer)

Hello, I’m Conrad’s (Digiho’s?) younger brother, Iconclasm (AKA Victor). I’m finally being forced to do posts for his blog because I actually keep up with current anime while he’s busy snorting pony crack and doing… whatever it is he actually does. I’m a big mecha dork and I generally end up enjoying any show I sit down and watch. I’m not totally sure what kind of posts I’ll be making, but I will try to make them not suck.

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