What does it mean to be a fan of something? If you ask anybody on the street they would tell you it means that you have admiration for a famous person, a sports team, a music genre, or an entertainment medium that you like to indulge in. These days we’re all fans of something or someone, and when those fans gather together to support or celebrate that person or medium that they love and enjoy, it becomes a fanbase. When it comes to pop culture mediums like professional wrestling, music, and even anime, its actually considered a fandom. To the average joe with no idea what that means, let’s talk about it.
When you think of the word ‘fandom’ the first thing that comes to mind is anime. Anime is one of the most popular and influential mediums out there both nationally and internationally; so much so, that other fandoms (particularly wrestling and sports) are fans of the medium as well. Video games are up there too and work in tandem with anime, but that’s another post for another day. As for what a ‘fandom’ is exactly, we’ll tell you:
A Fandom is a subculture of fans of a hobby or a medium such as sports, movies, music, and even anime and video games.
That’s basically it; if you’re an anime fan in general or are a fan of a certain genre of anime, and you happen to join up with others who like the same type of anime genre you do (or anime in general), then you are in fact a part of a fandom. Anime fandoms are more than just being in the number of fans who are passionate about certain anime titles. Take the Attack On Titan fandom for example; not only are they passionate about the series as a whole, they have tons of fanart from artists who love the show, cosplay fanclubs who do massive photoshoots at conventions, fanfiction about the characters they want to ship, and panels detailing the overall mythology of the series.
One of the best parts about being in an anime fandom is that fact that you can connect with other fans of the series that you like. The size of the fandom is usually based on how popular the series is; Dragon Ball, Naruto, One Piece, and My Hero Academia come to mind when it comes to large fandoms.
There are some anime fans who aren’t very enthusiastic about anime fandoms, or even want to be a part of them for one particular reason; toxic fans. Every fandom has them, but its usually the mainstream anime titles that have the most concentrated amount of toxic fans. Why so toxic? It could be a number of things; they didn’t agree with a situation or ending to a point in the story, a character didn’t ‘get with’ the character that they wanted, they don’t like newcomer fans (noobs) who know nothing about the series or characters, or just maybe they just wanna be mean.
It’s one of the reasons why fandoms behind some of the biggest anime titles are the worst part about being a part of one, and sometimes the toxic fans are not the main problem behind why certain anime fandoms are bad; it could even be the fandom itself. There are many pros and cons when it comes to the decision of if you should jump into your favorite anime’s fandom or not, but if you’re an anime fan on the outside looking in, it gives you an opportunity to scope out whether or not you want to become invested in the fandom of the series you like; or just watch it with your friends – assuming they like anime.
Fandoms are a subculture of fans who like a particular hobby, medium, or a sport. The anime fandom as a whole contains subfandoms who like and are passionate about certain genres of anime titles. Sure, the part that sucks about them is the off chance you’ll encounter a toxic fan or fanboy online (cuz’ that’s the main place you’ll find them), but connecting with other fans of your favorite series is such an awesome feeling. Liking anime by yourself is fine, but talking about your favorite moments and gushing over your favorite characters with other fans is something that you can only experience in an anime fandom.
Until next post, stay nerdy my friends! 😉