The Anime Community has steadily been rising, with various shows capturing the hearts of people around the world. Be it the plot, the endearing characters, the world-building, the music or the animation, each fandom appreciates their show for unique reasons. The world of anime seems very bright and green but not everything is rosy.
“Can he beat Goku, though?”
“Oh! This is just like Naruto.”
Every anime fan would have come across these expressions at some point. Anime fandoms and the aura they give off are things that determine the future of the franchise.
Fandom toxicity has become commonplace amongst several communities and one could probably define it as the disheartening behaviour of certain people who strongly support a particular community or franchise. Although toxicity is in the name, what one perceives as bad might not seem so to another - it is a relative term.
One of the major advantages of a toxic fandom is that the franchise will find a lot of profit in terms of sales on different parameters; like games, clothing and other merchandise related to the franchise. This extra profit, aside from the manga and the anime, aids in the solid survival of a particular show. Consider Kimetsu no Yaiba as an example. The manga wasn’t all that popular until the anime was released. The show was loved by fans for its ethereal animation and blissful music. The story as such is very generic and the rushed ending of the manga disappointed many. Yet, the fandom is kept alive due to the hype created by the mass buying of the KnY merch like books, figurines, posters, clothes, and cosplay.
Continuing on with the concept of keeping a franchise alive, we can see several scenarios where the fandom has protected a particular manga from being eradicated completely. All companies which publish manga have polls regularly, to determine whether a particular story can continue or not. Many times, the large support of the fandom via online protests and social media posts have saved manga from getting extinct because of low editorial votes.
While bearing positives, toxic fandoms come with a fair share of negatives that might even outweigh the good in certain cases. The primary put-off from a toxic fandom is the overbearing insistence of its fans to watch that anime. The hype created around the story suffocates potential spectators and dissuades them from watching said show. The build-up sometimes goes overboard and what might have been an enjoyable story will end up as a rejected piece amongst many viewers.
The razzmatazz of a fandom over long periods of time overshadows other worthy stories released during the same period. This impacts the whole industry as several franchises may run at a loss despite producing laudable works.
Another major danger in certain toxic fandoms is the harm to life and property caused by the fans. A classic example is the Attack on Titan fandom that has sent death threats to the voice actors and has even spammed the anime director’s Twitter account just because they were displeased with certain things. With a complex story, even the mangaka had trouble with the loyal fanbase when the ending was published.
Some of the most unpleasant fandoms include Boku no Hero Academia, Hunter X Hunter, Dragon Ball and Attack on Titan. While many may love the show and many celebrate these fandoms, a large portion of the anime community also feels uncomfortable with the level of toxicity exuded by these franchises. Similarly, fandoms of franchises like Haikyuu, Gintama and One Piece have captured the hearts of many.
While I have listed the facts above, my intention clearly is not to start a fandom war. Everything in moderation is always accepted and despite the negatives and positives, it’s the ultimate truth that the anime community cannot thrive without its merry fans and controversial fandoms. May the anime community last forever!