POLL: Should we do another fandom project like the Otaku Diaries?

When the Otaku Diaries experiment started coming to a close, we began to think about what the future might hold in terms of experiments and projects in the same realm. As noted in our final thoughts on the project, it was a bigger undertaking than we imagined at first. But at the same time, we found it incredibly rewarding. We got many comments over the course of the project and much interest and encouragement along the way.

So now we have a few ideas about where we like to take our next project, but we’d love some input. Two big things that jumped out at us were women in fandom and anti-fandom. The women in fandom one seems rather obvious, but when we thought about how few women we really got to survey in our Otaku Diaries (only 11), we felt like there wasn’t enough information about them coming to the surface. Then there is anti-fandom, the act of being devoted to the hardcore hatred of a series. This phenomenon of actively disliking a show and/or its fans has been ever present especially in anime fandom. But if someone else has an even more spectacular idea, we are all ears!

29 thoughts on “POLL: Should we do another fandom project like the Otaku Diaries?

  1. Tim Maughan says:

    I’d like to see a study of anime bloggers. I’m frequently confused at what some people’s motivations are when it comes to writing. To get their thoughts together and share? Or just to fit in somehow?

    Plus I think the anti-fandom thing is a red herring. Nothing p*sses me off right now more than the ‘HATERS GONNA HATE’ mentality. No, critics gonna critique. Some people don’t like things, have very good reasons for it, and it can often make for fascinating reading/debate. The anti-fandom tag is just something certain parts of the community are using because they can’t articulate an effective defense of their tastes.

    Yeah. That’s right. I said it.

    • reversethieves says:

      @Tim Maughan
      I think there is a valid project in anti-fandom. I know there is a distinct (and uncool) anti mecha fandom. Why does that exists? How does it effect the fans that express this sentiment, the fans of mecha, and fandom as a whole? When is it valid criticism and when is it blind hatred? When is it both?

      That being said your request for a meta experiment about anime blogs is a good idea and has been placed on the ever long list of things to write about and projects to do.

      -Hisui

    • omo says:

      There is some academic writing on anti-fandom, or why haters are gonna hate. Don’t get hung up on the label, it’s just what it’s called.

    • omo says:

      To address Tim’s comment more directly, I think the “haters gonna hate” mentality addresses not the critique, but why even critique in the first place; the ulterior purpose behind it. Anti-fandom studies looks at the difference between apathy and criticism, and why being hostile adds value to fandom versus simply ignoring what you don’t like.

      • Tim Maughan says:

        @omo Understood, and interesting.

        I guess my own experience of the ‘haters gonna hate’ has left me somewhat frustrated on the subject. To be honest I don’t have the time or passion to waste on hating things, so having what I hope to be reasoned critiques dismissed as such kind be kind of disheartening.

  2. Brack says:

    I voted no. I’d much rather read writing about anime itself, rather than anime fans. I already know anime fans, why would I want to read about them? I’d much rather see the same level of analysis applied to anime itself.

    • reversethieves says:

      @Brack
      I think we do little bits of each. I view the site as a container of Neapolitan ice cream. We have the vanilla ice cream of reviews and reports, the chocolate ice cream of anime and manga analysis and interviews, and and the strawberry ice cream of fandom. While I respect your dislike of the strawberry ice cream I think it’s popular enough (unless this polls shows otherwise) for us to continue to provide it. All I can say is I hope you continue to enjoy the vanilla and chocolate.

      But how can we improve the chocolate ice cream? What sort of articles about analysis would you like to see?

      – Hisui

  3. Janai says:

    Voted for anti-fandom. I still have yet to understand why people find it necessary to relentlessly attack a show, especially when it comes to attacking that show’s fans.

    Oh, and Tim: Haters Gonna Hate.
    Yeah. That’s right. I said it. =P

  4. Tim Maughan says:

    @Janai hooray for reducing debate to sloganering *waves tiny little flag labelled ‘despair’*

  5. Narutaki's Secret Admirer says:

    For scientific reasons, I need information pertaining to female fans.. particularly the littler kind. What kinds of things are they interested in? In what places can they be found? How easily are they manipulated? These questions and more keep me up at night and I need answers.

      • MikeyDPirate says:

        I don’t know. I thin there are but they just are not open out on the web. Two of my female friends have been into anime longer then I have which means most likely before the age of 16. If it helps DBZ was a favorite of one and the other it was Vampire Hunter D.

        Unless that was sarcastic which I am kind of bad at getting. haha

  6. Lothos says:

    Voted for anti-fandom. While I honestly am interested in both topics, I think anti-fandom will lead to some very interesting discussion.

  7. Mo Rocking says:

    Yes, I’d like to see one focused on former otaku.
    That’s what I said. I used to be a big otaku. Big time. But now things have changed a lot. And I know many people who are like me who, despite their best efforts, cannot get back into the fandom. I think it’d be interesting.

    Of course any of the others could be interesting to see as well. It’s all up to you guys!

    • reversethieves says:

      That is definitely a good idea I just wonder how easy it would be to implement. I am curious about why people seem to frequently drop out of anime fandom and how much it contributes to the decreasing average age of the overall fandom. The major problem is getting in contact with enough people who have fell out of fandom considering most of our methods of getting volunteers involves going through fandom. Also how many people who fell out of fandom would do a project involved in their old fandom?

      – Hisui

      • Mo Rocking says:

        Well definitely I can see a relation with that and anti-fandom, so maybe you could actually include that as part of the topic. Maybe some of the anti-fandom is composed of those who used to be in the fandom. I think that’s the case. There’s also the money aspect to consider. Lots of factors to consider if you take the “anti-fandom” route really, so that could be really interesting to see.

  8. 21stcenturydigitalboy says:

    anti-fandom is interesting, though I feel like ghotslightning and I have already been tackling that one a lot. You should contact both of us if you decide to do that series.

    I would like to see a series that studies the difference between a blogger’s perception of anime fandom, and any sort of other hardcore fans perception of fandom. I think it would be interesting to see how drastically different they can be.

    • Mo Rocking says:

      Do you have a link to your post about that? I would like to read it, personally. I also agree that looking at perceptions of the anime fandom would be quite interesting. That also would tie into anti-fandom a little bit.

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