When Good Fandoms Go Bad

To start this off, I owe everyone an apology. I promise my Le Chevalier D’Eon review is coming. I haven’t forgotten! I just…haven’t…actually finished Le Chevalier D’Eon yet. I have no excuse, and I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to make it a really good review when I do get it done, though. This is also why I haven’t updated in a few months. I’ve felt bad about not having that review around and thus kind of hid out for a while. But some recent news has pulled me out of hiding.

I’m sure by now most of the anime community has heard about the Anime Boston 2010 scandal. In case you haven’t, basically what happened was that some people who were cosplaying Germany and Prussia from Axis Powers Hetalia decided it would be a good idea to sieg heil while posing for a photo. The brouhaha this caused both within and outside of the fandom was far more than anyone involved had imagined, judging by their response to this. At this point, a lot of the fandom would prefer to just stop talking about this and pretend it didn’t happen, but by now most people have heard, and I for one don’t think trying to sweep it under the rug will do any good at this point. In fact, that will probably do even more damage.

The first question is where do I stand on this issue? I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m a Hetalia fan by now. I was completely horrified when I saw the post on the Hetalia Livejournal community about this. Most of you probably aren’t aware that I love Germany (the actual, real country) to the point of wanting to live there at least temporarily. Having people doing something like this is in bad taste regardless of the other details, and them being associated with my fandom while doing it made it even worse.

That said, I believe in forgiveness. At least one of the people involved has, in fact, apologized. These people were not Neo Nazis. They were not intending to disrespect. They just got caught up in the atmosphere of the con and did something stupid, which they now regret. At this point, we should accept their apology.

Unfortunately, people who hate Hetalia are now using this incident as ammo against the entire fandom. I know I have or at least have had readers that don’t like Hetalia. Please take this message to heart; we’re not all like this. We don’t all lose our heads at cons and do things like this. The people involved weren’t ignorant racist history revisionist Nazis in the first place, so please stop hurling these insults at the entire fanbase. Don’t start, either. Hetalia fans aren’t immoral people solely for liking a webcomic/anime.

On a more general note, all fandoms get to the point where they have total idiots in them. Hetalia fandom started off refreshing. When I first started reading it, there really weren’t any ship wars or internal fighting. The drama was mostly conflict between fans and non-fans. This isn’t the case anymore. Now we have ship wars, arguments about silly details, fans that are only into the series for slash fodder, etc. Sadly, all fandoms do this to some extent. I’ve seen Haibane Renmei fans with similar behavior, believe it or not. Don’t let the fanbase scare you away from any series. It’s hard, I know. I’ve been avoiding Durarara!! for a while now because of the fujoshi, but I’ve realized that’s silly and now I’m just waiting for a batch torrent.

If you’ve stayed with me this long, you deserve some sort of reward. That was some inane rambling there. This is a pathetic excuse for a reward, but here you go. I’ve gotten myself a formspring account. If you’ve got a question, ask it here.

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2 thoughts on “When Good Fandoms Go Bad

  1. I’m glad that you’ve returned. 🙂

    Everyone does stupid stuff. While it was unfortunate it happened, it’s easy to understand getting caught in the atmosphere of something and doing stupid stuff. Honestly, in a way with all the attention we’ve given Hitler and the Holocaust in pop culture, we as a society have kinda trivialized it. When people see examples of people doing a sieg hiel as a joke on tv or what not, well, it makes it harder to comprehend the weight of the action in real life. I strongly believe that none of the people involved supported Hitler actions, they just did something they thought would be funny, and didn’t think through their actions.

    I remember when Hetalia use to be like that. 😦 I was never involved, but I lurked until things change. Now I can’t stand a lot of the fans…I feel bad saying that.

    Also word on not letting a fanbase scare you away. And Durarara fandom…some of it is really good, but the crazy ShizuoxIzaya shippers are really annoying.

    • Thanks! I…really need to sit down, shut up, and watch Le Chevalier, though. I love it! But I’m really dragging my feet because I’m terrible at focusing on one show. Clearly starting a blog was a bad idea.

      Exactly. While I’m bothered by what happened, it’s also quite unfair of the people using this to call all Hetalia fans ignorant fangirls. The Third Reich is mocked all over the place, and there’s a pretty thin line between when it is and isn’t okay. In my opinion, the major issues here (aside from it being Passover and near a Holocaust memorial) were that 1. they were dressed as characters that were meant to be Germany. Not Nazis, not random German citizens, Germany itself. And 2. In the location that they were in, people could easily see them and have no idea why they were doing what they were doing. The reason why things like Family Guy can get away with including that as a joke is that, when you’re watching Family Guy or whatever, you can see plainly that it’s a joke. When you’re seeing real people doing this in public, you wouldn’t necessarily know that it was a joke, especially if you’re not familiar with Hetalia.

      Yeah, it’s like half the fandom is made up of the “yaoi” fangirls that could care less about history and culture and just want an excuse to imagine pretty boys doing each other up the ass that the haters have always complained about, and the other half is made up of pretentious snobs that think they know everything, and even go so far as to say that their interpretation is “better” than Himaruya’s for being “more historically accurate”. Um. Yeah.

      Yeah, the Shizuo/Izaya shippers terrified me at first, though from what I’ve heard from friends, there’s not really even that much support for the pairing. I’ll watch it as soon as someone releases a batch. Or at least I’ll download it as soon as someone releases a batch. I’m still watching spring 2009 shows. Sigh.

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