A few days ago I got a spam email from an anime magazine I used to subscribe to many years ago. It had a link to their online magazine which republished the staff’s (mostly negative) views on moe from an article in the print edition from six years ago. The second article was quite scathing about the genre. It was as if the author considered it an existential threat to not only the industry, but bizarrely himself.
The problem I have with fandom, especially those who claim to be at the top of the pyramid (i.e. the ones who write for popular websites and the like), is that they are quite frankly a bunch of boring, glass jawed judgmental cunts who seem to think their opinions are the be all and end all of everything. Despite the fact in the modern world you can enjoy hobbies like anime without having to join clubs and explore and enjoy what you like, the self-appointed hierarchy still feel the need to put down anyone who doesn’t share the same viewpoints or is slightly out of what they consider mainstream.
Now seriously, what does it matter to anyone if people are into being furries, collect thousands of dollars’ worth of moe girl figures, are into kigurumi cosplay or collect sexually explicit doujin or any other niche hobby within the already niche fandom of anime? It’s not as if these people are threatening you, or doing it in a public place (or when they are they’re doing it thousands of miles away from you anyway). It’s highly ironic that these smug, morally superior twats who spew their venom and bile towards certain fans are themselves fans of niche aspects of anime fandom. And that usually means obscure robot shows from 30 years ago that practically no one outside their little circle jerk of friends remembers or cares about. Of course the general public views anyone over the age of 10 who watches robot cartoons (or any animation really) as loners who live in their mother’s basements. If this irony is lost on them, at times I honestly can’t tell.
On the flip side you have fans who consider criticism of their favourite shows a personal attack on themselves. All of this bullshit from the fandom community at large has made it pretty much impossible for me to reconnect with others in fandom. Express dissenting opinions, no matter how valid or politely said, you’ll soon find yourself on the outer. It’s even worse if you have difficulty expressing yourself. After a couple of bad experiences, mostly what should have been minor disagreements over what any normal person would think were extremely trivial matters, I resolved not to get involved in fandom ever again.
It can be quite easy to avoid a lot of this nonsense. 20 years ago it was difficult to get most anime. You had to join anime clubs and occasionally interact and negotiate with some really horrible people. Now you can pretty much watch anything free, legally too. There’s no need to deal with arseholes of the first water. However is this what we really want? People still want to make connections with others who share the same interests. I know there are some decent folk out there in the anime fandom community, but for me, personally, I’ve been burnt too many times. I really have had enough of the bullshit and have given up on the social side of this hobby. There are many other outlets for me socially, without the associated stress and nonsense. The problem is that the current mob's shitty attitudes force newcomers out of the hobby, not that those already inside the hobby seem to care.