Conquering adversity on the quest towards dreams and desires defines the idea of “hot-bloodedness.” This is obvious in fiction. Applied to life, it helps to redefine every fan as a shounen action hero.
The feeling of winning—or, more primally, surviving—modernized, surviving under the best possible circumstances, is the most satisfying of feelings. We define our victories ourselves, though our definitions are usually designated and then warped by culture. This makes a victory won against the tide of society feel all the more awesome.
This came to mind when I thought about Mega Man fans, whom, going by those I’ve met, tend to be incredibly hot-blooded and dedicated to the series. I’ve watched Egorapter’s “Sequelitis” video about Mega Man X several times, even though I’m not a fan of the franchise, because his passion makes it one of the most entertaining video game reviews ever made. What makes Mega Man fans so god damn adamant about it?
All this hot-bloodedness doesn’t line up with my vision of Mega Man—which for me was a kind-of-ugly game that I sucked hard at, and never got far in. But that’s the key—Mega Man is hard as FUCK. Beating those games takes devotion. You will not complete a Mega Man game without wanting to complete a Mega Man game. It becomes a desire, like a mini-dream—a flame—like an opponent in a shounen manga whose ass you just need to beat so that you can call him your best friend.
Hot-bloodedness as a fan doesn’t always come from the difficulty of completing the material, but it can in many different ways, under the guise of many different goals.
Sometimes, merely entering a fandom is a challenge. In my time with the My Little Pony fandom, I’ve literally read more “how I got into this fandom, overcoming X fear” stories than I have in eleven years of anime fandom. The mere act of going beyond what is socially acceptable and enjoying what you love just for yourself is a huge and liberating victory for a great deal of people. You’ll find those in every fandom. It’s why so many lolicons are so prideful about their loli love. (I used to be one of these myself).
A fan remains a fan and remains hot-blooded as long as he keeps setting up new challenges to overcome. A lifelong fan like ghostlightning has no need to break any social barriers, so he sets goals like “watch all of the Gundam anime,” growing a ridiculously huge beard in the process. I set my goals to indefinite heights, because I want it all, like Griffith from Berserk. I just can’t stop going and conquering every goal, so much that if I were immortal, I’d never accomplish everything that I set out to do.
Running out of things to do can really quell a fire. I had a big fire for My Little Pony recently, when I set out to do things like listen to every pony song ever (took me two months). I have fewer goals in the fandom, having fallen out of touch with it to an extent, and thus I am not as fiery about it as I was.
My indefinite set of goals in the anime fandom is precisely what keeps it burning so warm in my heart even when I watch as little of it as I have been. Everything I can possibly do in this fandom is moving me towards some goal or another.
I’m rambling at this point, and I think you get it. Anyway, vote for me in the ABT.