Fans and Entitlement

Hate to say it, dear Wanderers, but the topic of entitled fans has come up again around these Towers after viewing some fandom reactions that have happened since the last issue. Yes, that is a very short time period, but this is internet fandom we’re talking about, things change on an hourly basis if said fandom is active enough. Now, at the moment, we’re trying not to judge and point fingers, even if some of us here think that pointing fingers is really needed for this particular one. We’re not here to do that and even if we were, it’s not our place. Fandom Wanderers is, above all, just somewhere to look at the various aspects of fandom and media that has fandoms surrounding them.

Right, so here’s the thing. Say your fandom has been around for a long while now, and it’s been years since the original show aired. Getting said show on DVD is hard, getting it uncut is even harder, and if it’s an anime? Getting it as true to the original Japanese can be downright impossible for older shows. Then, fantastic news! Some company has gotten the rights and they are going to release all the episodes again, uncut, for fans to enjoy. In a situation like this, Wanderers, I am going to say something I never thought I would say in an article for this ‘zine: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Or, to put it another way, show some respect and say thank you.

Yes, there may be a section of the fandom out there who likes the edited version of the show, but this does not give them the right to moan because a company has decided it’s time that the show was seen the way it was originally intended to be. And yes, this does also include keeping the original names when dealing with anime that was localised for a non-Japanese audience. I know we often speak about this, but looking at some fandoms, it does bear repeating. Apart from credit for intelligence, the production companies technically do not owe you anything.

And before anyone cries ratings matter, I want to just point out one little thing – how many terrible shows with horrible ratings are still on television? Quite a lot, yeah? For many, it just comes down to what the network themselves like. Or what… executives thing that the people want and the idea has become so produced that we end up thinking that’s what we want, but that’s an argument for another time. Now believe me, I never thought I’d be arguing in favour of the companies that look to happily empty our wallets with DVD box sets or tie-in merchandise, but some of these reactions have just got to… Well, they’re actually kind of hilarious to read, but still, that doesn’t make them nice.

Entitlement is a thing that seems to pop up when a fandom has gotten too comfortable. Well, sometimes, there hasn’t been an exact study on it, and it would likely be a hard thing to examine should someone ever get the idea to do said study. The thing is though, it’s not really good to get so entitled as a fan. That feeling of of ‘deserving’ what you want just because you’re a fan… Okay, maybe that’s not the best way to explain it, but being smart people, you likely understand what is meant. I hope you do, anyway. It’s not that we’re judging people, but it’s that we want to encourage the use of good manners. That’s not a horrible thing, is it?

In the end, if we have to come to a conclusion, it comes down to manners again. Hoping for a particular outcome is cool, really, that’s fine. It’s just a hope and as long as no one gets their hopes up too much, no one will be too let down. But demanding something be a certain way because that’s what you want, and you happen to be a dedicated fan?

Not cool.

Z McAspurren (wonders if she will be more articulate in other articles)

This entry was posted in Issue Forty-Nine, Wildcards and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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