The Love Hate Relationship of Fanbases

Featured images from TimelineArt (top eyes) and Lizalot (bottom eyes). Edited by me.

Fanbases. We’ve probably all heard of this word at one point in our lives. If you haven’t heard of this term; Fanbases, described by Dictionary.com, are a “body of admirers of a particular pop singer, football team, etc.”

What we probably don’t know about fanbases is how much they affect us. What do I mean by affect us? Well, whether we want it to or not, fanbases affect what we want to watch and want to like.

Are Fanbases Good or Bad?  

In a perfect world, fanbases would get along happily. Sadly, nothing can be perfect and things that are meant to make people feel welcome and happy, such as a fanbase, end up trashing the interests of others. Fanbases are meant for people who share the same interest to get together and talk about what they love. Some people are actually able to be in a fanbase and fangirl and or fanboy, over their favorite OTP (One True Pairing), but some have hard time understanding the concept of an opinion.

There are some people in a fanbase that get really offended when someone insults their favorite anime, team, celebrity crush, …etc.

In the anime community, there are what we call The Big Three. The Big Three are the three most popular animes ever. The three animes are Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto. The fanbases for these three animes are huge and, of course, like any other fanbase– constantly in conflict.

The TV Tropes: Fandom Rivalry article says ,“For over the past decade, the most popular shonen battle anime/manga (at present writing) are One Piece, Naruto and Bleach, generally referred as the Big 3. Since they’re all the same genre, they have a similar core story structure, so it’s entirely possible to enjoy more than one at the same time. However, it’s also because of those similarities that fans of all three are at a Mêlée à Trois[…].”           

Since Fairy Tail has come out into the Anime Community, the title has been replaced to the Big Four making the feuding of these animes even bigger.

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Photos left to right are from hcmason96, TheSnader, and luffylover97. Edited by me.

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Photo from Voltzix.

Some people aren’t being controlle by fanbases. Some people are open minded and don’t let the opinions of these fanbases affect what TV show they want to watch. Other closed minded people have the problem of letting people tell them what is trash and what is a pure work of art.

On an app called Anime Amino, a user named Pomfu commented on a blog called  Fanbases: Good or Bad? The comment was, “As a concept, fanbases are good for the obvious reasons, they create a sense of community and belonging for people who like certain things.” Pomfu also mentioned in the comment that the practice of some fanbases can be loud and obnoxious.

Are Fanbases Taken Too Far?

It’s not the fanbases that are taking it too far, it is the people in the fanbase that are taking it too far. The Vikings and the Packers are an example. You can’t set foot in WI wearing a Vikings jersey without having a Packers fan chuckle at you for supporting a team that has YET TO WIN A SUPER BOWL and you can’t set foot in MN wearing a Packers jersey without being glared at.

On the same app and same blog mentioned before, another user named Stretch-senpai commented, “I think fanbases are a good thing however they just like everything else [sic] is the best taken in moderation, I think having a fanbase that is too specific just leads to alienation of others. A fanbase should be used to bring like minded people together not create a sense of “us” and “them”

There is a line between debating and attacking. Some people are able to argue in an appropriate manner– appropriate meaning debating. Debating is an important skill to have, so when you see two fanbases debating, that’s okay. It’s not okay, however, when you start attacking the fanbase and the people in it.

In the article Top 5 Marvel vs DC Arguments Disapproved- Why We Should End the Feud by The Insightful Panda, five faulty arguments are listed. In the beginning of the article, the author starts off saying how people shouldn’t be picking which one is better, instead they should be enjoying both and how “the days when people felt shy about discussing Superheroes and Comics out in the open are over. In many ways, this is the Golden Age of the “Nerd” where more and more people are discovering [the] joy of comics and heroes.” A valid point has been made in the article that so many movies and video games are planning to be made in 2016, so why do people choose to argue whether if Marvel is better than  DC Comics or vise versa, instead of celebrating the exciting news?

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Photo from wiki commons

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photo from Cory Doctorow

Do Fanbases Affect What We Watch and Want to Like?

Does seeing an aggressive fanbase or seeing overly excited fanbases cause us not to watch or enjoy certain shows, books, or teams? Some people don’t watch certain shows or read certain books and or comics because of the fanbase.

Kawaii_Fangirl, a user on Anime Amino, commented on Fanbases: Good or Bad? saying, “[…] I refuse to watch One Piece or Naruto or any of the other big animes because of the huge fanbases and the fact that most of the people in the fanbases kind of force these animes down other people’s throats.” She is not the only one who feels this way.

Because fanbases are feuding over which one’s the best, they are causing people to steer clear and not enjoy what could be a very well created form of entertainment.

6 thoughts on “The Love Hate Relationship of Fanbases

  1. Wonderful insights! So right about the us and them thing as well, that doesn’t only relate to fandoms and can be focused on a lot of other things too which is cool

  2. Thanks for the citation. And fantastic article! The line between debate and fighting is sadly something a lot of people don’t understand. To “argue” means to debate two views by presenting evidence and trying to understand your opponents position while also trying to reconcile your own. Not yelling, name calling and threatening. Monty Python had a whole sketch about this haha

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