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So this evening I had the desire to pop in a disc of Veronica Mars and watch an ep or two. And I was thinking about Veronica, and how she has this knack for understanding people and how she uses it to manipulate them, and how she's got a talent for perfectly poker-faced lying, and how she's tough and has so many ways to get what she wants, and how she's also very cute, but when it comes to love, she's too tough, too slow to trust, and too determined to go for the jugular. And you know who she reminded me of?


So there's your random fandom comparison for the evening.

hymnia: (Default)
...for anyone who enjoys pondering the hows and whys of fan behavior. (I know I do!)

Since taking up a new fannish obsession with Avatar, my exploration of a new (to me) fandom has caused me to consider once again the mysterious (and often perplexing) ways of fen. This has brought to mind two rather old--but still apt--essays on two trends that I often see in internet fandom (though I think they clearly predate the internet). I thought I would share the links with you. They were written by [livejournal.com profile] angua9, so many of you who have her friended will have seen them before. But the last year or so, I've branched out enough from HP fandom that I believe I have quite a few friends who won't have seen them. And if meta about the behavior of fans interests you at all, you really should read them. I think you will find these two essays of interest even if you are not into the fandoms they mention specifically. The phenomena [livejournal.com profile] angua9 so eloquently describes are, to one degree or another, virtually universal to all fandoms.

"A Stubborn Romanticizing and Eroticizing Impulse"

"A Persistent Flattening and Polarizing Impulse"

The comments are also worth reading. (And unlike some of her other memorable entries, they do not number in the hundreds, so it would be reasonable to endeavor to read them all.)

hymnia: (Default)
Not long ago I posed the question: "Why do people like stories?" Maybe a better question would be, "Why are stories important to us?"

At a convention last spring, Vanessa and I were interviewed for a documentary on anime fans, and we were asked to explain what it is we like about anime. I answered right away, "Self-sacrifice." I sensed that seemed like a bizarre answer to the interviewer, so I attempted to explain further. Read more... )



Jul. 3rd, 2008 11:33 pm
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"When I come up with a story and shape it, and someone reads it and thinks it was good. When my voice reaches people. There is nothing better than that." ~ Natsuki Takaya

A few months ago I was on a long car trip, squished between two people I did not know well in the back seat. After a few moments of relative silence, I fished a novel out of my bag and began to read.

One of the people next to me noticed this and asked, "Why do people like stories?"

The person on the other side of me said, "Why do people like candy?"

That conversation has come to mind often since that day. I won't (yet) regale you with what I think are the answers to that question of why humankind's love of "stories" is nearly universal. Instead, I hope you will take a moment to ponder this question, and perhaps, if you don't mind, share your thoughts with me.


Meta rec

Jan. 21st, 2007 08:30 pm
hymnia: (Default)
I thought this was an interesting topic of discussion:

[livejournal.com profile] fernwithy ponders what makes something "fandomable" or "ficcable".

After doing a couple of posts on things my f-list isn't especially into (Warriors and Tom Sawyer), I got to thinking about the question--what is it that makes something "fandomable" and something else just popular? (I'm not talking about popular vs. unpopular; no accounting for that, sometimes, just kind of, what inspires these insanely talkative and creative fan communities, as opposed to being "the it book" or something along that line.)

Everything out there has some fandom somewhere, I'm quite convinced, but there's a difference. Harry Potter has 281,748 stories at the moment at The Pit, and will probably gain a couple hundred by the end of the week. Stephen King, who has arguably sold a comparable number of books, has 371. The ubiquitous Da Vinci Code has 190. John Grisham isn't even listed. The bizarrely popular Gossip Girl books rack up a total of 70, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants--movie and all--only gets to 203, and all of Georgia Nicholson's full-frontal snogging can only get her to 84, despite a lot of popularity when FFN was at its peak.

Go read the rest, including the comments, wherein I rank anime/manga series by number of fics at FFN and puzzle over why Furuba ranks as high as it does.

hymnia: (Default)
Have you ever been watching or reading a series, and really enjoying it, and then you got to the very end, and, for one reason or another, it just fell flat? Maybe something happened that you didn't like--like a beloved character dying in a way that didn't feel fitting, or two characters you wanted paired up being separated. Or maybe there was just something that didn't quite gel--a plot twist that seemed unbelievable or felt like "cheating" on the part of the writers. Or anything, really, that left you feeling like you were robbed of your enjoyment of the series?

Tonight I watched the last disc of Samurai 7, the anime adaptation of Kurusawa's Seven Samurai. The well-known Old West film The Magnificent Seven was also derived from the same storyline. Anyway, that's pretty much how I feel right now. It's so annoying. I was very much looking forward to enjoying the series' denoument when I got the disc in the mail from Netflix this week, and now, *poof*, all my pleasure in the series is gone.

Brief, vaguely spoiler-y explanation of why )

BTW, I don't always have to have happy endings, it's just that if there are unhappy endings they have to be fitting, and they have to be well-foreshadowed enough that I don't feel like the rug is pulled out from under me completely.



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