Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dear fandom,

What is *up* with all the gender-swap fics lately? And not the occasionally fun and amusing so-and-so gets turned into a girl (or a guy, though that's actually very uncommon) and wacky-hijinks ensue kind, but the 'so-and-so main character was born a girl' kind. I mean, the 'gets-turned-into' kind is usually either hilarious or a horrifying study in anti-feminism (because, clearly the first thing any guy is going to do upon becoming the opposite gender is to become the ultimate cliche girly-girl, acquire a new personality (or lack thereof), and either a new sexual preference or discover that their usual love-interest is a closeted lesbian). Very rarely is the gender-swap thing done in a way that is either believable or realistic (I've seen a few Stargate fics that actually are both, yay for cannon wacky Ancient tech insanity) and most of the time it's just an excuse to have a yaoi relationship without it technically being 'yaoi' by squemish newbie fangirls who think they're being clever.
This 'main character is *born* female' thing that seems to be all over fandom (I've seen it in Naruto, HP, DGM, and a few other places as well) appears to be both a 'lets have a yaoi couple without the gay' thing and a 'lets insert my oh-so-very-cool original character in the place of the main character, keep some of said characters background angst or give said character *more* angst because angst is the most attractive and fun to read thing ever and pair said character up with so-and-so male character because he's so awesome' thing, aka a not so very cleverly disguised Mary Sue. I mean, I *suppose* that it might be possible that one or two of these fics may be a valid AU whereupon said main character genuinely was born female and is still essentially the same character with minor differences (because realistically there would be some character differences if born a different gender, but not to the point where the character is completely unrecognizable and suspiciously is 'so-much-cooler' than cannon) but it's very unlikely except in the case of dimensional travel whereupon the MC travels to a universe where he was born female- because those ones are usually done well, or at least aren't Mary Sues.

Still, if you're going to write yaoi or a Mary Sue, then just do so- don't try to get around or hide it by destroying perfectly good cannon characters (though considering how OOC all the other characters usually are in said fics, maybe it's a mercy for said characters to be 'killed' and replaced by a defective wrong-gender quasi-clone (because usually appearance, name, and most defining characteristics are erased as well, other than a few physical points such as a scar or tattoo, or seal of some sort). If only people would stop spamming fandom with this new trend... if I want to read a fic staring Naruto, or Allen, or Harry, then I *don't* want to read a fic staring Naruko, Alanna, or Harietta - or Kelly, Melissa, and Chrysanthemum, because half the time they don't even bother to keep the 'new' names anything close to the old, and in the case of anime, the names are either mysteriously western or clearly borrowed form another popular anime (you can tell, because said names are usually uncommon or unique in Japanese to begin with). You aren't as clever as you think you are fangirls and boys.

I can has an update?

As for fandom, well I finally got around to the D.Grey-Man fandom a while back, and boy was I disappointed. Why was I disappointed? Well mostly because I sat down and read the entirety of the manga that has been published and found it to be *made* of awesome to the extent that I was really looking forward to seeing what fandom could have done with all that potential. However, what I found instead was a bazillion bad high school AUs, too many bad vampire AUs, a tonn of pointless and OOC pairing fics (mostly yaoi, which I wouldn't mind if not for the fact that the characters were almost never IC, actual plot was almost non-existent, and most of them were AUs to boot). I won't deny the existence of a few good one-shots, nor that there *was* a few good fics here and there, but there was *nothing* in the fandom that truly *shined* like the manga itself. Usually there is at least something in fandom that is as good as (or in some cases better than) the source material, but here I was disappointed. Thus, the manga was awesome, the fandom not so much (unless you're in it for the Pr0nz, because there *are* a few good fics in that category with some interesting psychological insights on certain characters).

After that fandom disappointment I've mostly been drifting in and out of old fandoms again, rereading old favorites, looking for updates, and occasionally finding a good new fic. I've also been playing Crisis Core and reading ahead in two of my classes. Occassionally, when I'm up to driving myself insane with frustration, I go and play Mario Kart Wii (my sister bought a Wii last month, and a few months prior to that we got an Xbox 360, so now all we need is the PS3 and then collectively our family will finally have all the latest game systems for the first time in years, instead of just one).

And that's about it for my life now.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Come to think of it, now I want an X/Stargate crossover where they realize just how pointless it would be to end the world since humanity exists throughout the whole damn universe and are not anywhere near as ultimately damaging as some of the other races. Or a fic where several years after humanity is 'wiped out' an Ancient device automatically repopulates the world, or people start coming back through the stargate (with the presumption that the apocolypse wasn't instantanious and that enough people knew the world was ending to evacuate). There: that's my new X/TB apoco-fic canon.


Wow, I haven't updated this in ages. Probably since everything started to look up since my last post and the only things I had left to whine about was my own laziness and tendency to procrastinate. That said, I have a month and a half to finish my three courses- I'm way behind schedule because I'm the laziest essay-writer ever and because the classes are so painfully easy that I could have finished them months ago if I'd really wanted to. I *so* need to stop being so lazy.

So- what have I been doing if not what I should be doing?

Yeah, I've been doing that obsessive compulsive fandom thing I do. Since January I've done the usual 'go back to old fandoms' and look for new fandoms thing I do, looking for a new shiny. I spent a great deal of time in the Naruto-fandom reading a lot of the fic that's been written since the last time I was there- I found a few good fics, one or two great fics, and a lot of average fic. The usual. After/during that I also poked into the Bleach fandom a bit, various other 'on-going' fandoms such as KH and FF, and read everything (nearly) there was to read in the KHR! fandom. There were probably a few others in there too, but my most recent 'obsession' was the Death Note fandom- which is weird, since its one of those fandoms where practically everyone ends up dead in cannon, and there are surprisingly few amount of AU fics where said characters survive. I still looked for them though.

Anyway, about a week or so ago I decided enough was enough. I'd read nearly everything that looked even a little bit interesting in the DN fandom and I was getting sick of the angst (and the badfic) so it was about time to find something new. This wasn't so much a conscious decision as something that just happened. I'd already been beginning to pull out, since the DN fandom isn't prolific enough to support me now that I've read all the good finished stuff, but I hadn't fully done so until I chanced upon the fact that the website of some of my old favorite authors had been updated.

And that's how I suddenly got all nostalgic for the TB/X/1999 fandom and decided to go on a quest to find some of my old favorite fics and see if anything new had been written in the years since I was so obsessed with it. Great way to get rid of the angst right? *L*

Interestingly enough there seem to have been something of a small revival of the fandom, and I'm not the only one who's been feeling nostalgic lately. Not only have a few old favorites been updated, but there are a few LJ communities and people who've been writing new fic lately- possibly because of the X/2009 challenge.

Said challenge was to show 'ten years later', either if the apocalypse had been diverted, it had happened and there were survivors (typical post-apocofic), or in one notable case if the apocalypse had been postponed ten years in order for Kamui to be able to make an 'informed decision' about the end of the world. It was this last fic that I just put aside, having realized that it was not going to end well at all. Essentially, by making the characters ten years older and putting them into 'now' things only got worse. Especially since several of the characters already had issues, and giving them more time to dwell on them with the knowledge that the world might still end wasn't a good one. Especially since ten years can change a person a lot, and if nothing gets resolved, if those ten years are just bidding time, or if the issues get worse, the decisions made my a cynical twenty-five year old, or someone in their thirties or forties, will be drastically different than those of a teenager or young adult.
The story itself is brilliant and chilling, and it *works* in the realistic context- but it isn't what I want to read at all- or think about. I had been hoping for something else when I found it. So even though the story is quite possibly one of the better pieces of fandom literature in any fandom, I don't think I'll be finishing it any time soon. I think that what bothers me the most about it is that it's written by a well-informed, academic type person who's realist views clash with my own hopeful views that things (and by things I mean life, the planet, society in general...) are not anywhere near as 'doomed' as people seem to think, and that we can and will fix things- even if we delay it until the last possible moment, it *is* going to be fixed. Or everything we see as needing to be fixed will fix itself and everything will balance out in the end. Or everything we think needs to be fixed doesn't and isn't as much of a long-term problem as we seem to think.

Anyway, my point is that my view of humanity isn't as cynical as hers and I hate apoco-fic in any fandom (though at least in the Stargate fandom the destruction of the Earth isn't necessarily the end of everything).

So *why* did I ever go back to the X/TB fandom?! Probably because I'd liked the characters and I love AUs where they either live happily ever after, sensibly decide to veto the apocalypse, or at least survive it. Actually, I'm kind of fond of fic where the characters get over their issues and realize that they don't *need* to follow destiny's path. Meh.

Well at least there's Tsubasa... though really, turning Kamui and Subaru into vampires... was it *absolutely* necessary? *L* Speaking of Tsubasa, I do believe that's my next fandom- even though CLAMP hands out angst by the buckets, and from what I've read of the plot there are are more twists and turns than you can shake a stick at... well at least its pretty.

And so, there I go.