I spoke about this in my Monday RadiVLOG, but I figured I needed to take a little more time out for this issue that I encountered recently.
For those who didn’t see the video, I went to a local convention called ConBravo, a small gathering of people for various forms of media whether it may be voice acting, YouTube, artists and much more. I’ve got for three straight years now and it’s always a blast. This year was special for me, because I spent the majority of my time hanging around people and just talking, instead of going around trying to fanboy about the various guests at the convention. I ended up being a part of three panels, one for Final Fantasy, one for ERASED and one for the entire 2016 anime lineup thus far. All of those panels were a blast to be a part of, I loved being able to talk with like-minded people, fans of the same things I liked, it was fucking fantastic.
However not all was positive. Being a part of three panels means I’m open for scrutiny by those who took the time to sit down and listen to me talking when they could’ve been somewhere else. And I’m okay with that, I’m more than open for different opinions. But this year I got something a little different than “Nah, I think that sucked” or “How could you hate that?!”. While I still got a few of those as I always do, I also got something new this year, something I was dreading of running into. I ran into the “You don’t know as much as me, so you can’t be a bigger fan than me!” kind of guys. You know who I’m talking about, the people who give you those looks of disgust when you can’t recall that line from that particular episode, when you don’t own that specific figure, basically when you can’t remember a certain piece of information, whether it’s a character, moment, line, anything pertinent to something related to anything nerdy.
I do not understand these people, why is that such a big deal to them? Were we not outcasted for liking the things we liked? So why are certain people outcasting the very group of people they themselves were outcasted into? And for what? Because this “peasant” of a fan doesn’t recall parts from Episode 68 of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but claims to be a Star Trek fan? Because they don’t own some limited edition figure of Luke Skywalker, but claim to be a Star Wars fan? Because they didn’t 100% Final Fantasy VII, but claim to be a Final Fantasy fan? What fucking retardation is that shit?!
Here’s a piece of news to all the good folks out there. You don’t have to know everything about something to be a fan of it. I’m a huge fan of the Persona series, but I’ve still yet to play the second installment in the series, so does that make me not a Persona fan? Of course not! I’m a fan of the Dragon Ball series, but I can’t recall a lot of episodes and minor characters, so does that make me not a Dragon Ball fan? Again, of course not! So why are there people out there who think this to be true?!
I got approached after the 2016 Anime panel I did, really enjoyed it. I got roasted hard by YouTuber Glass Reflection and it was part hilarious and part a little uncomfortable, because admittedly I felt like I was being sort of looked down upon because I didn’t like certain shows, loved certain shows and hadn’t watched certain shows. But hey, I’ll take the shots with pride, I still enjoyed being a part of the panel and having new experiences. But after the panel was over and I was in the marketplace just looking around, some guy walks up to me and is all like “I saw your anime panel.”, to which I turned around and said “Hey, thanks so much for coming down, hope you enjoyed it.”, to which I got this response:
“The panel was okay, but I really didn’t like your thoughts. The stuff you like is shit and you’re not watching any of the good stuff. You shouldn’t have been on the panel, because clearly you don’t like anime that much.”
That sentence is about verbatim, given it’s been almost a full week since that happened now. My reaction was shock for a moment as it was just surprising to me that someone had the balls to say what essentially is a YouTube comment directly to my face. But after collecting my jaw off the floor, I laughed him off and simply said “Well the panel wouldn’t have existed if I hadn’t signed up for it, so you’re welcome.” and I walked off.
At the time I wasn’t that pissed off about it, because well I had other stuff going on to be happy about, I was still walking around the convention, meeting people, seeing cool stuff, I didn’t have time to let that moment cross my mind again. It was the bus ride home that I really started to let that line sink in and then I got really pissed off about it. And now that I’ve had time to cool off, here’s my official response to this douchebag:
Motherfucker, I’ve been watching anime since I was nine years old! Granted, I’ve been on and off and really haven’t been watching simulcasts up until two years ago. But since the beginning of this year I’ve been hammering out weekly anime reviews with each season having between 10-15 shows as a part of them and I currently have completed over 100 shows, but have probably watched double that, if not more over the years. I never claimed to be an expert on anime, my claim was that I’m a big fan of anime and I can confidently say that I’m not bullshitting. I’m sorry that I apparently don’t share your views on anime, that I don’t watch everything out there because I totally have the time to consume 1000 shows, including ones I don’t like, cause why would I finish shows I don’t like? What a novel concept! If you were disappointed by me being on the panel, well like I said before there would’ve been no 2016 Anime panel without me putting it on the list, so take it or leave it. Thank you, fuck you, bye!
This whole “You can’t be a fan if you don’t like this/know this.” bullshit needs to stop. Everyone who likes something is a fan of it, it doesn’t matter how much they like it. I could only have played a single Final Fantasy game, but if I love that specific game, I’m still a Final Fantasy fan just as much as the person who’s played every single one of them. This isn’t a dick-measuring contest in terms of fandom, stop being an idiot and just enjoy what you enjoy and leave those who don’t fall into your specific level of fandom alone, they’re just as much of a fan as you are. No one is a bigger fan of something than someone else, I don’t care how much time you’ve spent with the material over your entire life, I don’t care how many things you own related to that material, I don’t care how easily you can pull random facts about that material, you’re not a bigger fan than someone else.
We are all fans, we are all consumers of various material and enjoy it just the same. The only difference is some of us are willing to take that extra step, but that doesn’t make us bigger fans necessarily, it just makes us willing to put more time into that specific thing instead of something else.
So quit being a bunch of schmucks and just enjoy what you’re into! And to the asshole who pulled that shit on me at the convention: Fuck you! Go back to your little perfect world where you’re special and I’ll stay here in reality where I have actual friends because I’m not a complete douchebag to people I’ve never personally met.