Excellent rant from Kahndreia that came about because flamers/bullies turned what is supposed to be a fun hobby into a drag. Originally from this link which is no longer there.
October 2000 File: The Definition of Fan Fiction (or "How to Turn Friends and Total Strangers Into Enemies in Four Easy Steps")
🤦♀️Khandreia: Warning! Strong opinion alert! If you wish to continue, please read with an open mind. If you are unable to do that, please hit "Back" on your browser now. I will only laugh at and delete any flames I get on this. You have been warned.
As almost anyone who surfs the internet knows, the term "fan fiction" ("fanfic" or "fic" for short) refers to an original story someone writes based upon and using the characters from any given television show, movie, book, and so on. But that's not what I'm here to discuss; I wouldn't have devoted a whole rant to just that sentence. What I am here to discuss, however, are the key flaws to most of the fan fiction I've read over the last year or so. I can't really speak for a lot of people about other genres, but the two I am most familiar with and have read a lot of--Power Rangers and Gundam Wing--have made me a little concerned. I've also read some from Ronin Warriors/Samurai Troopers and a few from Sailor Moon, but since those don't raise quite as many concerns for me, I find little need to say much about them.
What is it that concerns me, you ask? Well, below is a short list of these common flaws and my viewpoints on them. And because some of those viewpoints have made some people hate me, that's the reason why I used that subtitle of this rant.
Fanfic Gripe #1: Romantic Fanfics--Enough Saccharine Sweetness to Give You Cavities!
It should probably come as no surprise that there are whole fanfic archives out there solely for romantic works. Ever hear of the PR fic page called The Command Center Archives? Within that is a sub-section of PR fics, called "Les Archives D'Amour" (or for those who are French-impaired, "The Love Archives"). There you will find basically every pairing imaginable, from the canon couples of Tommy and Kimberly (or Katherine, which I would prefer any day) and Andros and Ashley to couples that one would think would be completely impossible (Aisha and Goldar, anyone? *massive shudder*). There's even the infamous "Unwritten About" list that any visitor to the site's PR board knows about, which names off couples in which two names seem to be randomly drawn out of a hat and paired up with each other, never giving any consideration that these would most likely be impossible. I'll talk more about the "Unwritten About" list in a little while.
Gundam Wing is no exception to this either. Even though I refuse to read them, just look at the sheer number of yaoi and shounen-ai fics out here. (YAOI is actually a Japanese acronym which stands for yama-nashi, ochi-nashi, imi-nashi--"no mountain [climax], no point, no meaning," and refers to any written or artistic work that depicts a homosexual male relationship, usually very graphic in nature. A more common term used for such non-anime-related works is "slash." Shounen-ai, or "boy-love," is a much milder form of yaoi which focuses on the emotional side of the relationship rather than the sexual. The female equivalents to these are yuri and shoujo-ai; the relationship between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune on Sailor Moon is a good example of this.) I swear, there's mountains of them, because almost everywhere I turn in a GW site, there they are! Almost anyone in the fandom, regardless of their preferences, can easily tell you what such numerical codes as 1x2, 3x4, 13x5, 6x9, and so on refer to. (And if you didn't know, those stand for Heero/Duo, Trowa/Quatre, Treize/Wufei, and Zechs/Noin, the only male-female pairing that has this type of code.) And because of the constantly growing non-yaoi fandom (which I am a very strong supporter of) right now thanks to the dubbed version being on TV, there are also other similar codes that use characters' initials, such as HYxRP, DMxHS, QWxDC, WCxSP, ZMxLN, TKxLU, and so on. (For those who didn't know, those are Heero Yuy/Relena Peacecraft, Duo Maxwell/Hilde Schebeiker, Quatre Winner/Dorothy Catalonia, Wufei Chang/Sally Po, Zechs Merquise/Lucrezia Noin, and Treize Khushrenada/Lady Une.) Regardless of what type of fanfics you read, you're bound to find many of them labeled with one of these codes, simply because so many of them have some sort of romantic happenings or references stuck in them, some more blatantly obvious than others. You can't escape it; it's everywhere!
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: That's why I don't frequent fanfiction communities.
🤦♀️Khandreia: Like I said, my main pet peeve about this is that no one seems to want to write about other topics in these genres. As a matter of fact, there's basically no romance to speak of in the GW storyline; it's all about the tragedies of war, the politics surrounding it, and heady psychological and philosophical stuff like that. The only blatant references even made about it in the show are when Noin tells Relena that she loves Zechs (though we never find out if he even has feelings for her in return), and in episode 28 when Treize refers to Lady Une as his love. That's it. Yet still, people have this mentality that "since the writers didn't put any romantic scenes in there, we'll just make up our own!" Or there are people, especially the yaoi fans, who are so convinced that the writers were purposely hinting at romantic relationships between certain characters that they always have to write about them being in a relationship, which, with the case of yaoi, is more often than not very physical. Sometimes there are so-called "fans" who start reading and writing the yaoi fics first before even seeing the show (or without even seeing it at all), which gives them this very one-sided mindset. (I'll get into that more later.) Non-yaoi fics don't have that problem as often, since those tend to focus more on the emotional aspects of a relationship and are often written by those who have seen basically the entire show. (That doesn't mean that they are better though; I've seen some pretty atrocious non-yaoi fics as well.)
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: The non-yogi fits that are atrocious are Mary Sue and/or other sorts of canon shipping.
🤦♀️Khandreia: Then there are the people who are like "well, we don't know how to write good battle scenes, but we can write romantic scenes no problem!" or "they say to write what we know, and since we know more about romance than crummy old politics, that's what we'll write about!" I don't know about you, but these so-called reasons are nothing more than shallow excuses to me. Not being able to write a battle scene can easily be remedied--you study the battles that take place on the show and take notes of the movements, attacks and so on! And if you know nothing about politics, war, or something else like that, go to the library and research it like you would for a paper in school! That's what professional authors do, right? Even if they're a so-called expert on something, they still need to research stuff. I wouldn't be surprised that when writing Gundam Wing, the writers had to do a lot of research on various real wars throughout history and in turn based it off of those. It can be done; you just have to work at it.
Getting back to the subject at hand . . . how can one necessarily say they know about romance? The majority of romantic fanfics written are usually by single females about 15-30 years old, give or take about five years, who have maybe been in no more than one or two relationships (or even none at all in some cases) themselves and thus claim to know everything about love and romance. In truth, they do not, especially if they say they know all about it from merely reading other fics and watching TV. As a female writer who falls into that age group and has never been on a date or had a boyfriend in her entire 20 years of existence (despite a couple of secret crushes here and there), I can most certainly not claim to know anything and everything about love. Sure, some of my fics have included some kind of romance, but I only write what feels natural and what comes from my heart, not stuff that's necessarily based on other works of fiction. If one should write romance at all, that is how I think one should go about it--following their heart. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what love is all about in the first place?
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Exactly.
🤦♀️Khandreia: But I just want to say this: This gripe does not mean I am against any and all romance fics. They're good . . . in moderation, of course. It's even better when it can take backseat to other plots in a story, such as what I've tried to do with my own. Love is a very powerful human emotion, but for me to really truly accept it in a fic, it has to be done in a believable manner with obstacles the partners must face before and during their relationship included as well.
Fanfic Gripe #2: Characterization . . . or Lack Thereof
This is the type of thing that bugs me the most about fan fiction as a whole. Authors warp the personalities of any given character and make them act in a way that just isn't true to who they really are. This is the real reason why I don't like yaoi fics--authors (who, going back to what I said above, are usually women) often act out their own sexual fantasies about their favorite character by altering the partner's personality to match their own, thus making it into a cleverly disguised self-insertion fic in which the author is paired with the favorite character. Sometimes it's the other way around--the author's favorite character is changed so that he or she is how the author themselves acts. Then there are even the people who hate a character with such a passion that they will completely alter their personality to make them look like a total jerk (Relena is often a victim of this and various other atrocities in many yaoi GW fics). Sure, I don't like some characters in some shows myself (Tanya and Tommy of PR especially come to mind here, but I already covered that in another rant . . .), but I try hard not to show it in what I write because I know that there are people out there who do like them, and they'd probably get on my case for doing that in my fics.
Also what bugs me about GW yaoi fics is the age factor. Sometimes I wonder if the authors have forgotten that the five pilots are only 15 years old in the series (16 in Endless Waltz). Yes, you heard me right, they're fifteen--still minors in the eyes of our society. Maybe I'm just being a bit old-fashioned here and retaining some of the old Judeo-Christian ideals I'd been raised with, but isn't that just a bit too young for anyone, regardless of their or their partner's gender, to be sexually active? (And with Quatre . . . because of his Arabian heritage, they showed a hinting of Islamic beliefs in his saying that he wouldn't drink alcohol in the final episode, so wouldn't there probably also be something in there about chastity? I don't have much knowledge of the Islamic faith, so I was just wondering.) I see some of that as being out-of-character (OOC). Yes, I know they're all guys, and teenage guys do think about that kind of stuff a lot (let's face it, it's a universal thing ^_~), but I don't think that's as big a deal at 15 as it is at, say, 17 or 18, which, though still pushing it for my tastes, would make a little more sense.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: I really like your POV.
🤦♀️Khandreia: There are also the stereotypes that always show up, especially in GW fics--Heero threatening to kill everyone (complete with the infamous "Omae o korosu" bit), Duo being overly hyper, Trowa being a cold, silent jerk, Quatre being the whiny, girly wimp, and Wufei ranting endlessly about justice and women not knowing their places. To be honest, not once have I seen Duo acting hyper (sarcastic, yes, hyper, no) or Wufei constantly ranting about justice during the entire show. And last I checked, Trowa does have the ability to say more than 10 words in an episode. All of those, though good in parody fanfics, are very OOC in other types of serious fics.
I've even seen evidence of OOC-ness in some Power Rangers fanfics too. It was back in early 1998, I believe, when I'd first discovered the concept of fan fiction in general and was starting to read several different kinds in the PR genre. I'd come across this one fic (I forget the name of the story and the author) where the link to it stated "Rated R for violence." Seeing as how I was 17-going-on-18 at the time and mature enough to handle violence according to the movie rating guidelines, I clicked on it to see what it was all about. Talk about very false advertising. There was absolutely no R-rated violence to speak of; it was instead a very explicit X-rated story (now there's an oxymoron if I ever heard one) of my favorite Ranger and an original character (with the rather slutty, Mary Sue-ish name of "Alexius"--that much I remember) getting it on with each other. I wouldn't even be surprised if that "original character" was supposed to be the author herself. Even though I was mature enough mentally to handle it, this was one of those fics where you should've had restricted access to it. But as I'd read this, I was like, "Wait a minute . . . considering the era this takes place in, he wouldn't do something like that! That's just not his personality!" In short, I was utterly horrified by it and even a bit insulted as a fan of that particular character. There wasn't even any plot to speak of; the author twisted the Ranger's personality just to fulfill her ego and her X-rated fantasies about him. (Oh yeah, and did I mention that she even wrote a few more similar fics featuring a similar original character screwing some of the other Ranger boys?) Sure, a lot of us women have such fantasies about our favorite men every so often (I'm certainly no exception ^_~), but frankly, I'd rather keep those more explicit thoughts of mine either locked in my mind or kept in a private journal instead of sharing them with the whole world. This, my friends, is a prime example of extreme OOC-ness.
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: I have aa big problem with people taking kiddy lit/TV shows/movies/series and making porn trash out of them.
🤦♀️Khandreia: Another good example of OOC-ness goes back to my romance gripe--two people who don't know each other falling in love at the drop of a hat. Remember that "Unwritten About" list I mentioned earlier? That's the kind of thing I'm talking about here. With PR fics, the author takes one character from, say, the first MMPR season, and sticks them with another from a much more recent season, such as Lost Galaxy or Lightspeed Rescue, without taking into consideration the lengthy explanation of how these two would meet up in the first place or whether or not they're even compatible with each other. They've even gone so far as to pair up Rangers with villains, which makes no sense at all, since it more or less takes away the whole "good vs. evil" message of the show. I still cannot see the rationale of that; it would be very OOC for a Ranger to, for lack of a better phrase, "sleep with the enemy." (This is another reason why I don't get the concept of 13x5 in GW fics--Wufei just isn't one to associate with the opposing side from what I've noticed in the show, that and he and Treize hardly even seem to interact with each other.) Another one I don't understand is why they like to pair up the Rangers (mostly the female ones) with their mentors (like Zordon, the giant floating head). You know, I always thought mentors were almost supposed to be like second parents to the people they're mentoring over (in MMPR: The Movie, Kimberly even tells Zordon that he's "been like a father to us all"), so isn't that almost like incest? I'm sorry, but I just can't see the rationale behind that either.
There are only a few times I can accept a character being OOC: if they're under a spell or affected by some sort of mind-altering drug, or if it's an all-out parody. And I'm sure you all love parodies as much as I do, since the main purpose is to exaggerate the characters' personalities to make the situation more humorous and for us to laugh at their expense. (If you want to read some good examples of Gundam Wing parodies, read just about anything by the team of Lady Orla and Jaelle. They're excellent!) When it's that kind of OOC, I don't mind one bit, but when it's someone being OOC in a dramatic story, that's what makes me turn away as fast as possible. And if OOC-ness is absolutely necessary for a character and it doesn't involve a spell, drugs, or a parody situation, please explain why the character is acting like that!
Fanfic Gripe #3: The "Mary Sue" and Self-Insertion Epidemic
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: Which is the cause and result of all this stuff touched on in the above.
🤦♀️Khandreia: Good Gods, if there's one thing that makes me scramble for the back button, it's those horribly written excuses for fics where the author blatantly inserts him or herself (it's usually girls who do this anyway) into it and get one of the characters to fall in love with them. This type of person, regardless of the genre, is called a "Mary Sue" character. (I think the male equivalent is called either a "Gary Stu" or "Marty Stu," which I find more annoying in that the first name is the same as my dad's.) I haven't seen it a lot in Gundam Wing fics yet (note the word "yet"), but it is very prominent in Power Rangers and Ronin Warriors, or basically anything else that features a sort of ensemble cast with a bunch of cute guys in it. In short, your typical Mary Sue is a female character who's perfect, drop-dead gorgeous, saves the day all the time, has guys falling over each other to get to her, has all sorts of cool powers, and always ends up romantically involved with the author's favorite guy (often times even making him act OOC just to get the two together). And it makes me sick. Nobody in this world is perfect, not even the canon characters themselves. Everyone has a major flaw.
A variant of the Mary Sue fic is the self-insertion fic, which can be either good or bad depending on the writer. Usually in really bad self-insertions (or SI, if you will), the Mary Sue-like character will have the same name as the author, will be a more beautiful version of the author, and have other Mary Sue qualities. And I've seen some horrible examples of these too, especially with Ronin Warriors (it's rarely ever the original Japanese Samurai Troopers that has this problem though, I've noticed). Luckily though, I have an online acquaintance who makes them bearable by MiST-ing (as in "Mystery Science Theater 3000") them and throwing in lots of shots at the author's work. I just know that I'd never have been able to read them otherwise.
One such example of really bad PR SI fics would have to be the (unfortunately) long-running "Brown Ranger" series. Oh, do I hate those. I used to know the guy who writes them, and he's got the biggest ego I've ever seen. He even tried to send me his stuff once, and I refused to post them on this site. In that series, a new Ranger emerges in the early MMPR era (guess what color the guy wears--geez, who'd wear such an ugly-colored Ranger suit?), changes powers with the rest of the team over time, and just plain won't go away, even into the Lost Galaxy era. (I wonder if the weirdo continued it into the Lightspeed Rescue era too . . . no, wait, I don't think I want to know. It would be basically impossible anyway considering the differences between LG and LR.) And he's got nearly all the qualities of a bad SI character--same first name as the author, saves the day nearly all the time, is almost always the most powerful of them all, is nearly always the center of attention, you name it. And top that off, there's horrible grammar (the guy is in his 30's yet writes like a 4th or 5th grader!), absolute lack of visible plot, and the biggest offender in all of fanfic-dom, constant plagiarism of episodes (just changing the eps to stick his character in and say some of the other Rangers' lines mostly). Talk about perfect MiST-ing fodder. (Someone please MiST that series, I beg you!) I remember the times last year when one of my online friends and I would constantly bash those fics on ICQ, ripping them to shreds (the main reason I still hate him is because of something he did to this friend and would still deny for a long time after that, and I cannot forgive him for it even now). I don't care if this author comes here and reads this (he unfortunately knows about this site from its early PR-oriented days in '99--I bet I'm just making him so sad by turning it into a more anime-oriented site *end sarcasm*); I'm just stating the truth.
But like I said, there are also good examples of self-insertion fics, few as they may be. This has often been said for my "A Rhyme and Reason" PR series, since it doesn't always look like a SI fic. Sure, I intended to have my original character, Andréa, look a lot like me and have a bit of the same personality and interests as me, but she isn't really me (especially not anymore). She has her own faults, she has her own background, and so on. And not only that, but I don't even focus on her all the time, unlike most Mary Sue and SI fics, where all the attention is focused on the new character as if the regular ones never existed. My intention with that series was never to make her the main focus in the first place, despite the subtitle of the series being called "The Purple Ranger Saga;" it was intended instead to be an Adam-centered series. I'm not trying to inflate my ego here by bragging about my writing; this type of thing really has been said about them in the past by other fellow authors. It can even be likened to Akiko's Purple Ranger series, which had been my primary inspiration and still remains one of my all-time favorite PR fic series. Also . . . I haven't found too many like this, nor do I know if it's supposed to even have SI qualities, but one of the best Gundam Wing fic series I've read that's had an original SI-like character in it has to be "War's Requiem" by Jupiterstar, an online acquaintance of mine. Though the character is important to the story and she seems to be connected with the author's favorite character (then again, who could ever ignore Trowa's devastatingly handsome looks? ^_~), attention is focused on all the pilots as well as her, and of what I've read so far, the possible relationship is being given a lot of time to develop and is hardly even all that obvious yet. And the plot has very little romance in it to speak of for once . . . hooray!
Fanfic Gripe #4: Taking Sides in the Fandom-Who's Right and Who's Wrong?
Going back to something I said a little earlier about some of the people who read and write yaoi fics for Gundam Wing, many of them are introduced to the story through this manner, then develop the very strong mindset that this is how the characters must be. Then much to their surprise and dismay when they finally get to watching any of the episodes, they find that it's not all about a bunch of gay boys having sex all the time and that there is no concrete evidence that these relationships are supposed to even exist in the first place. Sad, isn't it?
Of all the fandoms out there, there probably are none that are anywhere near as hostile as the one for Gundam Wing. You have the very vocal, very pro-yaoi fans who flaunt all their stuff in everyone's faces and refuse to accept any male/female pairings within the show, and the growing group of non-yaoi fans who don't believe the pilots are in love with each other. This latter group has been growing ever since the dubbed version started airing here in the US back in March, something that had brought me into the fandom too. The battles often start when a non-yaoi fan, usually a newbie to the fandom, calls the pro-yaoi fans perverted and sick, resulting in the pro-yaoi fans calling the non-yaoi fans (often mistaken for and grouped with the anti-yaoi) bigoted, homophobic, and closed-minded, claiming that there's heaps upon heaps of evidence for certain relationships, and they keep going back and forth until the bitter end. Sometime later, the battle starts all over again someplace else. It's like Mariemeia's statement that gave Endless Waltz its title: "History is an endless waltz, so to speak. The triple measure of war, peace, and revolution goes on and on." (There's something I bet some of those people I mentioned above probably wouldn't get . . .) I for one am not homophobic (I had a few friends out at college who were lesbians, and they were some of the nicest people I've ever known); I've just been watching the show and not seeing any of this "evidence" that the hardcore yaoi fans claim is in there for the boys being in love with each other.
This was one of the key things that sparked my wanting to write this rant in the first place, as I have encountered people who think like this over at some of the message boards (specifically the GW-related one called Mission Logs) at the Angel Grove Youth Center/Dark Realm (or whatever the heck Miss High-and-Mighty Cynthia calls it now). All of a sudden, some of them stated that they were going to try writing Gundam Wing fanfics, specifically of the 1x2/2x1 and 3x4/4x3 nature, even though they had yet to see a single episode of it. Wait a minute . . . how are you going to know what the characters are really like if you've never seen the show? Most episode guides and character bios that you can find at many sites aren't all that worthwhile, since the author of them tends to throw in their own opinions of stuff, giving people the wrong impressions of what happens or what the character is like. Personally, I don't feel I'm qualified to write a fanfic about something until I've seen as much of the show (or the entire show in the case of many anime series) as I can, as I don't know everything about how the characters interact, nor do I know all the little nuances of the plots to get what all happens in it.
You want to know the real reason part of the title of this rant is "How to Make Friends and Total Strangers into Enemies in Four Easy Steps"? It's all because I had questioned their wanting to write GW fics in the first place. A similar conversation had been going on in the Non-Yaoi Sanctuary (NYS) mailing list that I'm on, and when I mentioned these fic writers, some of the people on the list were extremely offended by the fact that they hadn't taken the time or made the effort to see as much of the series as they could; one even said she was insulted as a fan because of this. I don't remember exactly what she had said in response to my post, but it was something along the lines of "They're not the ones driving several hours to find the model kits, they're not going out of their way to get all the episodes, and they don't even sit down and ponder all the little messages that are in Gundam Wing to begin with!" You know, I can't blame her for saying that, since I've done basically all the things she brought up (okay, I only had to drive an hour one-way to find some of the models, but you know what I mean). Sure, the plot is kinda confusing, but that's why I like to ponder it.
But when I told the writers at Mission Logs that this is how other people felt, they jumped on me for it, and I suddenly became Public Enemy #1 there. All I had said was that I thought for one to really be a fan of something, one should understand as much as possible about the show, which would include seeing as much of the series as possible before trying to write fanfics about it. It also didn't help that someone who I don't even know, who doesn't even know me, and who said she doesn't even watch GW, came out of nowhere and severely flamed me right there on the board for what I said. (I later found out from someone else, however, that it was someone I actually did know and was doing a damn good job of covering up her identity.) That was what really started the battle. People began taking sides on this: My friends from the Breeding Ground board at Swiftgold's RW fic page came over and defended me the best they could (I had been telling them about what was happening, and they were thoroughly incensed with the Mission Logs writers to begin with), only one other Mission Logs poster stood up for me, and all others seemed to take the flamer's side (though not very vocally; it just seemed that way). Then the so-called "Evil Pagemistress" of the site, the high-and-mighty, bow-down-and-worship-me-because-you're-not-worthy-and-because-I-write-ten-million-fics-a-month Cynthia (I, along with my Breeding Ground friends, have really come to hate her now because of this) started blasting the people who were sticking up for me, basically forcing them to apologize for what they did.
And instead of the original yaoi vs. non-yaoi and romantic fics vs. other fics issues I'd originally brought up that created the battles, it became an issue of what constitutes being someone's friend. Come to think of it, this "battle" had little to do with the yaoi vs. non-yaoi issue in the first place; it all just got blown out of proportion. But wait a minute . . . when was it so wrong to have friends who wanted to do the right thing and stick up for one of their friends? That's what happened there. It became such a clique-like atmosphere that people were being driven to do whatever the so-called "leader" (Cynthia in this case) was saying they should do without question. That's not a circle of friends; that's damn near close to Communism! Last I checked, we lived in a Democratic society, right? We're free to think whatever we want, to stand up for what we believe in! What was happening there by basically forcing them to renounce their defense of me was a breach of this freedom! I know this is getting a little off the topic, but that thoroughly angers me to no end.
And so, fed up with this hostile atmosphere and closed-mindedness, I decided to stop posting at Mission Logs. This was the post I had made to voice my final thoughts before leaving . . .
🧝♀️Ocean Elf: I'm glad to see people who dislike slash. It's a form of character mangling and has even less reason to exist than Mary Sue and is just plain gross.
🤦♀️Khandreia: I know you could care less, but I'm still telling you anyway. I've grown tired of the attitude I've gotten from everyone here, and since you apparently don't want me around ruining your little clique, I'm packing up and heading out of here. You can't handle the fact that I don't agree with all of you all the time? Fine then. You won't have me to kick around anymore. Don't be surprised if some people follow me out the door, because I know for a fact that a lot of the people at The Breeding Ground don't like you and your high-and-mighty, "queens of fanfic" attitudes. And if it gets bad enough, don't expect me to post anything at the AGYC board either, or I may even just decide to boycott the whole Dark Realm altogether. I've got better people to talk to, hang out with, and share my artwork and writing with. It's your loss, their gain.
Flame me all you want for this message, I don't care. I ain't coming back for a long, long time. You've earned your so-called "victory" in this battle. You might as well start celebrating and singing "Ding, dong, the wicked witch is gone."
Can't say it's been a blast posting here, because, well, it hasn't. See you around . . . maybe . . .
Khandreia, no longer your punching bag
It's scathing, I know, but it's the truth. And as expected, they didn't care (even though I'm sure they were "celebrating" through e-mails and instant messages to each other). As a result, only one person responded--the only one there who had really been sticking up for me since I'd first posted there (and the one who had been chastised the most for defending me). Her response to all the others: "Well, you've finally gotten what you wanted. Are you all happy now?" And from the looks of things, she seems to have followed me out of there too (I've been lurking there ever since, just to see what things are like there now, and it looks like they've gone back to their old clique-ish antics). Two of the posters, though fans of shounen-ai and had remained neutral in the battle, even defected over to the Breeding Ground and started posting there instead. And we all get along just fine despite our differing views on a number of things. In the end, it appears as if no one truly won--friends became bitter enemies, battle lines were drawn, feelings were hurt on many sides, people like me left, and very few seemed to learn a thing from it. As I said before, it's that whole "Endless Waltz" theory showing itself.
But for me, it's at least good to know that there are a few fans of yaoi who can accept that there are some of us out there who don't care for it. One such place is "Quatre's Fanclub" (no need to guess what it was about) within the Yahoo Clubs area. I mentioned to them my viewpoints when that kind of topic came up, along with this little war, and they said that what had taken place and the attitudes of those people were completely absurd. Not only that, but they agreed with me in that the whole thing should be nothing more than just fan speculation. That's what yaoi and yuri are supposed to be anyway, according to a few people I've talked to recently on the subject. That's right, there are yaoi fans who agree with something a non-yaoi fan said. Amazing that a few select people actually exist in this fandom, wouldn't you say?
Okay, this "gripe" was more about fandom than fanfics, but I felt it was necessary to include since it involved a number of fanfic writers, and because these disagreements are often sparked because of fanfics most of the time. I'm not trying to say that one thing is right and another is wrong, but I just think that one should be more accepting of other people's beliefs and ideals, regardless if it's about a TV show or whatever. It would make the world a much better place to live in.
Conclusion: The Aftermath
Well, this rant was first started back in August, and a lot has happened since then. I've started talking with the Dark Realm clique again (but about PR-related stuff mostly--I still avoid Mission Logs like the plague), the flamer (or rather, the identity of the person I already knew) from Mission Logs resurfaced at the AGYC board then disappeared when people were siding with me, I was able to reconcile with someone I hadn't liked for a long time, and so on. I've also found more people who are non-yaoi fans too, and I've found a place where both sides can get along with each other regardless of their preferences. However, I've also encountered more people who still think we non-yaoi fans are all homophobic (it's mostly just one or two people on a mailing list I'm on, and they seem to be pretty ignorant and hypocritical about a bunch of stuff anyway). For the most part, things have gotten better now. But that still doesn't change many of my opinions here. I still think that there should be more fics that don't always center around sappy romance, I still think anything OOC without a good explanation isn't worth my time, I still think that people who write blatantly bad Mary Sue/SI fics should be dragged out into the street and shot, and I still remain a strong non-yaoi-not-anti-yaoi supporter. There will always be people who can't agree on everything, but it would just be nice of the two sides could see eye-to-eye for once instead of forcing friends to become bitter enemies.
Just remember . . . though I may dislike yaoi/yuri in non-canon situations (like Gundam Wing), I am a strong supporter of the Haruka/Michiru and Kunzite/Zoisite (yes, Zoisite was male in the original Japanese version!) relationships in Sailor Moon, which are both canon. How could I be homophobic with an opinion like that?
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