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09 August 2007 @ 12:17 am
How to be A Happy and Successful Bleach Fan  
How to be a Happy and Successful Bleach Fan

A friend asked me, “If you could say anything to the Bleach fandom, what would it be?” If? Hey, I’ve got a comm and I’ve got a list!

Hey Bleach Fandom,

Every now and then my Finger-wagging Mother mode steps into my Guru of the Humanities mode and interbreeds with my inner Star Trekker. This entity will now address you.

1) Get out your comfort zone.

Adventuring rejuvenates an obsession.

Fic writers:
try new stuff. If you write vignettes go for a multi-part, if you write one pairing try another, write from the POV of a character you dislike, write a sex scene without any sex…. Fans: get out of your cliques. Answer the posts of people you don’t know on forums and LJ. If you’re a shipper, hang a bit with fanbois and talk about fights. Vice versa. De-lurk, ye lurkers. De-lurkization is always fun--every time I’ve done it’s been like prom night.

2) Stop blaming Shippers for ruining your fandom.

Shipping is a sport. Putting any blame upon it would be like blaming tail-gaters for destroying American football. The fandom is far from ruined by bickering shippers. What’s the worst your fandom suffers? People in other fandoms go “holy moly, I wouldn’t touch that fandom with a ten foot pole” but I seriously doubt that a distaste for ship wars causes anyone not to check out a manga if said manga appeals in any way.

Srsly. This is the internet. Deal with it. There are Crazies.

And while you’re at it, stop indicting shipping as a crazy fan behavior (I address myself here for having told you to “deal with the crazies”). Over-the-top fanning is part of the fun. If Renji were a Beatle, I’d mob his limo. I’d bust into the hotel where the Ishidas are staying and collect hairs off their combs (black hairs go in one baggie; silver hairs go in the other).

While there’s never any excuse for personal attacks, threats of violence against a fanfic writer (ahem), or pages of inebriated spam, let the people have their fun. Look--do you collect whale song DVDs? Glass slippers? Some people like to argue with other people about which cartoon couple will eventually have cartoon sex in Bleach. IT’S FUN. It’s exciting. Some people don’t do crystal meth. They haunt forums.

3) If you’re nodding off from the Hueco Mundo arc from sheer boredom, let a few chapters fly by and then read the chapters in a clump.

Kubo’s pacing is slow, but his story isn’t askance by any means. Stop complaining that HM is just re-heated SS and enjoy some of the funnier parallels (like in SS, Ishida swoops Orihime into his arms to save her; in HM, it’s Pesh). Play the Who’s the First Espada game. I remember thinking that Rukia would be rescued by the time I was in a retirement home. Patience, patience, Kubo hasn’t forgotten your favorite characters and his plot is deliberate and stately. Think Mahler symphony. The movements are grand in their predictability, and the delight is in the details. STARE AT PANELS. I swear, if I hated the story, I would read Bleach for the art alone. Each panel tells its own story--look again, I’ll bet you’ve missed something.

4) Stop Being Anonymous, ye Anonymous.

Not only is anonymous the sleaziest cloak donned by internet fools who you don’t want to be associated with, remember that your opinion matters, your writing matters, you matter. Why make yourself invisible. Stand up and claim your piece of the fandom. If you want to post anon to write kink, leave an honest review, or send an insulting email to a BNF, consider leaving your LJ name. Proclaiming one’s name gives one power, not anonymity. Even though an LJ name or fan name is just an emblem, it’s a stand-in for you like your actual birth name. My birth name brings up different stuff on Google than debbiechan but in both instances, you can make out a persona if you squint. You see the persona--not the real me. Posting more than once under any name gives anyone a recognizable identity. Every time a fan posts, he or she is adding crumbs to a cyber-trail and building a rep. You won’t stand anonymous before your G-D (Aizen), so don’t be anonymous among the fans.

Anyone paying attention can identify you, so anonymity doesn’t really guarantee we don’t know who you are. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to know that the recent poster going by “Manfan” at Bleach Asylum is Asam_Laksa who was banned on three Bleach forums. Alsooooo, I know who’s been sending me harassing nyah-nyah mail. Send enough notes, be a little active in the fandom, and your writing style is a thumbprint. We know who you are, so stop being anon; be courageous and maybe people won’t even CARE than you write S&m or hate Orihime. (Of course if you want to be anon because that’s your personal kink, well that’s fine, just don’t hurt people and there won’t be massive wishes sent out into the universe for you to drop dead from an aneurysm).

5) Trolls, no one is amused. Go stack blocks or watch t.v.

6) Someone start a good discussion at soul_society  ?
Really, how long has it been since someone started a good discussion there?

7) Anime-only fans are not fandom first-graders.
Some people just don’t download the manga is all. Some people just watch the dub *stifles gag* Doesn’t mean they’re subhuman. Johnny Bosch is a superb Ichigo--check him out if you haven’t.


I mean, really huge. It was even pretty big when I got aboard about 3 years ago and it’s huge now. So phrases like “the fandom thinks” or “the fandom grows weary” or “so and so is a big name (or a big thorn) in the fandom” carry no weight at all, because most of the people who watch or read Bleach don’t spend obsessive hours at the forums and spend more time studying for exams than reading fanfiction. Maybe. In addition to having real lives, they don’t know all of us. Maybe they’ve got the right idea by enjoying the source material instead of staying up nights wondering if Grimmjow is really dead.

9) Be kind to one another because life is short and cruel and all stories don’t have happy endings like in shounen.

Get over grudges. Reading peoples’ private journals to mock them is really low. Going to town on IM about this person or that person is frivolous--truly, the characters are more interesting than the people who disagreed with you on the latest chapter thread or the people who write those smut fics you have contempt for….

10) Kubo Tite, Perriot Studios, Viz Comics, etc. own Bleach but the fandom shares in the true profits.

No one fan or fandom sect has the exclusive rights to this or that character. I’m so guilty of holding onto my inner canon convictions that you’ll hear me on occasion say “RYUUKEN WOULD NEVER RAPE HIS SON.” Has Kubo given us enough information in those scant panels of Ryuuken to rule out his being a communist male escort who smokes hashish? Thing is, a good fanfic can sell you on a situation in which the unlikely can happen. Every sort of fanfic has an audience. Yaoi, by definition, is not OOC (although I think those “everyone in this story is gay” tales really stretch it…). OOC in itself too--can be fun. I’ve read wildly OOC stories--doesn’t mean they’re not enjoyable or well-done. They’re not original fiction; they’re still co-opted toys. Barbies and G.I. Joes shaved bald and covered in crayon.

You RP people who get possessive with their characters: realize other people interpret so and so differently and if someone wants to play Renji as a transvestite, write Hitsugaya as a boy prostitute or Yumchika as heterosexual, then hey, they’re fanning. (Fanning is excused--horrible OOC-ness in anime filler must never be forgiven). Forget being anal about the criteria of IC in fics. Fair Arguments can be made for what is in IC according to manga (or the anime--g-dhelpus for what was done to Ishida in the filler arc) or even as to what is IC according to KT himself (I’ve heard people complain that Chad was OOC in the first chapters of HM arc). Realize that people are going to write, RP, ship, predict manga events differently from you.

That said, not all opinions are valid. XD XD XD Some are just plain psycho, and real discourse (as in the true Cliff-and-Norm discussions about sitcoms on Cheers) does not occur when every lunatic is coddled. Please. Someone. Please throw tomatoes at whoever insisted that Aizen kissed Orihime off-panel. Behind the story in one’s imagination, fine, but not in-between two concurring panels…. *wrings hands*

Also, you fanbois who want to debate? Some of us aren’t here to debate and back up each of our statements with evidence. Some of us are here to go omgdidyouseeRenjiwithouthisshirtinthatcolorspread!!!

11. Oh, and before I forget---STOP scapegoating certain fans.

What did ileenka
ever do to you? Did she break into your savings account, elope with your underage son? At the worst she disagreed with you or forcefully expressed an opinion or was (!!) rude on the internet. Trust me, I've read far ruder things in fandom than what people (incorrectly) remember Ileenka saying during the Wikipaedia fiasco and other times.

Fans are all humans, y’know. With white and red corpuscles and families and pets. Interests outside of who’s boinking who in Bleach or whether or not Gin is polysexual or Ulquiorra is a secret woobie.

12. Buy a knock-off figurine on ebay, watch Byakuya dance in the Bleach musicals, learn to sew your own Urahara plushie, eat your pocky and remember that fandom is supposed to be fun.

I drew a picture. IchiIshi again. Two IchiIshis in fact. Fluffs.

A Shinigami's Piety illustrates

IchiIshi Morning
Manda: GIRLFIGHT - hime vs ulquiabandonreality on August 9th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
Oh Deb, bravo! *stands and claps* For number 1 especially...
semicolon abuse hotline: Ichigo's ASShallowd on August 9th, 2007 10:25 am (UTC)
*gives a standing ovation* God, I don't aspire to all of these, but one should try.
Qquaedam on August 9th, 2007 11:11 am (UTC)
Shipping is a sport. Putting any blame upon it would be like blaming tail-gaters for destroying American football. . .If Renji were a Beatle, I’d mob his limo. I’d bust into the hotel where the Ishidas are staying and collect hairs off their combs (black hairs go in one baggie; silver hairs go in the other).

*flings self at you* Oh god I lol'ed. XD Fabulous. ILU. ^^
Neko in Blue: pic#64505074neko_in_blue on August 9th, 2007 12:40 pm (UTC)

you´re killing me with the waiting.... *_*
_debbiechan_: who's your daddy?_debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 04:05 pm (UTC)

Just waiting to get it back from my beta, dear. It's a long story. Should get it soon and post. ^__^ Thanks for the prompt--I stretched my legs writing it.
Akuniakuni on August 9th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
Gotta agree with so much of that. IMO Fandom is supposed to be fun - people definitely need to lighten up sometimes! Though I suppose by that definition I have to accept that for some people, fun is drama. (Not for me, thx, but I'm still going to bitch quietly about people cutting and pasting chunks of dialogue from my fics in to theirs. *sigh*)

That was a good morning laugh, thanks. :) I think I'll go have a stick of Pocky for breakfast. *still snickering about polysexuality*
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)

Not for me, thx, but I'm still going to bitch quietly about people cutting and pasting chunks of dialogue from my fics in to theirs. *sigh*)

Oh how charming. <.< That's a new one. Outright plagarisms are laughable but sneaky shit like this is pretty low.

Fun is drama for most of the human race, I think--even as often as most of us claim to want peace. The species learns from drama and conflict. Wars, as they have for centuries, continue not because of differences in opinion (get two people who agree on 10 basic tenets and they'll be arguing with a day about them) but because the urge to conflict is inherent in the species.

That said, I just want to hold hands with other Bleach fans and sing kumbaya and admire Renji's tattooed back....
(no subject) - akuni on August 9th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - artemisms on August 10th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - akuni on August 10th, 2007 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
andrew_jpandrew_jp on August 9th, 2007 01:24 pm (UTC)
1. Good advice for fandom and life in general. Try new things, broaden your horizons!

2. Sometimes shippers can be annoying, but only if you let them, just like most crazy people who disagree with you on the Internet.

3. Heh, I'm not bored with the HM arc at all, but even if I was I don't think I'd have the patience to deliberately avoid chapters like that.

4. I'd just like to say that I posted anonymously on people's LJs for many years, but only because I was too lazy to get my own account.

5. I don't know, sometimes it can be fun to see them banned.

6. That place does seem pretty dead.

7. I'd just like to say that I enjoy the dub, that I think Derek Prince is at least as good as Ishida as Bosch is as Ichigo, and qualify that last by admitting that I was a huge Ken Ichijoji fan as a kid.

8. The majority of people that read and watch Bleach probably do not talk about it on the Internet. And the majority of Bleach fans that talk about it on the Internet are probably Japenese.

9. Don't hate, appreciate!

10. I get mildly annoyed when I see certain characters portrayed in ways that don't jive with my own views, but I don't make a big deal about it.

11. ileenka is totally insane, but in a nice, harmless way, and she doesn't deserve all the shit that gets sent her way.

12. No Paypal, poor motor skills, a preference for American snack foods...I guess I can try to find the Bleach musicals, though. One out of four ain't bad.
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)

6. That place does seem pretty dead.

That place used to be THE Bleach place. Links and downloads first. Good talk. Massively long posts. I really miss it.
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - andrew_jp on August 9th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sora_66 on August 9th, 2007 11:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
V to the A to the D-E-R (Vader!)jaina on August 9th, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC)
Seconding hallowd. Moving out of one's comfort zone can be really invigorating--might I suggest bleach_flashfic? It produced a fic I thought I'd never write that I now think is the best one I've written for the fandom. So you never know. And shipping, well, it's too participatory to be a spectator sport, but it should be the XFL either. Flag football, maybe?

Some people like to argue with other people about which cartoon couple will eventually have cartoon sex in Bleach. IT’S FUN.

Okay, have an internet. That cracked me up.
V to the A to the D-E-R (Vader!)jaina on August 9th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)
SHOULDN'T be the XFL. Sigh. I can type, really.
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - _debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 04:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Orin: Bleach - Ishida prettydork~orin on August 9th, 2007 02:01 pm (UTC)
'Every now and then my Finger-wagging Mother mode steps into my Guru of the Humanities mode and interbreeds with my inner Star Trekker. This entity will now address you.'
... best opening ever. =P

I have to second most of what you said, because you also said it better than I ever could. *_* Rawr on you. <3<3 (Also, I lovelove the Hueco Mundo Arc)
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)


Yey, Hueco Mundo arc lovers hold hands and dance around!
Alexandrine of Ravynstone Abbey: Bankai Baby (Renji)ravynstoneabbey on August 9th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
I linked this to my flist. Yes. Win. A lot of the things you bring up can be applied to ANY fandom, be it discussing the weird hairstyles of a character or whether or not giant robots have sex.

_debbiechan_: RENJI GLASSES_debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 03:57 pm (UTC)

omg, I've been looking for that icon--there it is again!

Cookies make good breakfast. Thank you. ^^
Paynesgrey: chadcolorpaynesgrey on August 9th, 2007 02:41 pm (UTC)
I'm not a very active Bleach fen, but this WINS on so many levels. I loved no. 10 and I wholeheartedly agree with you.
It could be applied to so many other fandoms too. Thanks for this!
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)

^__^ I lurk (for shame) in other fandoms, but yes, there's as much koo-koo stuff going on in them as well. Naruto, however, is its own special form of crazy.
I smell like a GENIUS!!!sublimeparadigm on August 9th, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
oh I don't know, I reserve my right to be bored-as-hell with the current arc. (I loved it at first though. Really!)

And in principle, I don't see anything wrong with being anonymous. I don't think an opinion is any less valid if the person chooses not to leave their name.
(That said, I got my first flame today (a personal one, not a fandom one. Figures.) and it made me glad for anonymity. I think I needed to know that I have the ability to make someone hate me. There's something very empowering about that. /random)

But I think I like everything else you're saying.

Has Kubo given us enough information in those scant panels of Ryuuken to rule out his being a communist male escort who smokes hashish?

I think someone needs to write that. /nod
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 9th, 2007 05:33 pm (UTC)

If someone hates you, you know you're doing something right. Disinterest is worse. But I hate being hated--I hate myself well enough that I don't need help, thanks. It always brings me down.

And I may write that Ryuuken fic. In the meantime, I've started the IchiIshi A/U that you suggested a while back. Not exactly boarding school but somewhat...it's a challenge, but the boys are so damn cute (I'm going from them being 12 to 25, I think over the course of this long thing).
artemisms: Urahara loves youartemisms on August 10th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
7 -- Respect! Yeah, I don't read manga; never got into it. Yes, yes, I acknowledge that the manga is "way better" than the anime, blah blah blah. I am not worthy, etc. Frankly, the fandom itself is hella more interesting than the anime, but whatev XD

Fillers suck.

1 -- er, yes and no. I will write other OTPs... I will not break up MY OTP XDD Reading about it makes me throw up in my mouth. Just a lil bit. That said...

10 -- totally x 100. I "ship" RenBya and do not read ByaRen, but if someone says they adore ByaRen (or god help us, RenIchi), I do not track them down, fly across the country, and hit them over the head with my laptop. I just chuckle and wonder privately what brand of crack they're smoking.

Srsly, part of the reason I "hate" (not really) RenIchi is b/c a certain RenIchi fan (not on LJ) drives her OTP into everyone's skull whether they want it or not. After awhile, you get tired of saying "Yeah, I could see it, they'd make a cute couple" and just go with "F*ck you; what sort of twisted perverted fucktard could ever envision this pairing from hell?"

No offense, RenIchi fans who are normal and sane and generally friendly XDD
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 10th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)

LOL. I so love RenIchi sometimes and wonder what this fan is all about. People can get wacko about their OTPs. I know I am about mine and it drives people up a tree because I ship other (contradicting) pairings too. XD

Frankly, the fandom itself is hella more interesting than the anime, but whatev XD

I know what you mean. Fandom is its own creature and once you get into it, the source material seems to dwindle in importance. It's the social nature of the human animal, I suppose. In some sense, we are saying other real people DO matter more than fictional ones if we keep getting all huffy about what real people say instead of just talking about the characters.

Woah. That was just a real insight. I need to go write that down somewhere else. XD
(no subject) - baby_werewolf on August 21st, 2007 03:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - artemisms on August 21st, 2007 04:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
jazzovertoned on August 15th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC)
:O. I think you just won all the internets I have in store. Although "Yumchika" made me giggle [because I agreed]. Win at life, _debbiechan_!
baby_werewolf: uryuu is a geniuzbaby_werewolf on August 19th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
Re number twelve:
I've been trying to find a source of Pocky for the last year...
The Urahara plushie sounds like a good idea, though...little sister's Christmas present: sorted :D
And imho, watching Byakuya laugh his head off in the backstage video is even better than watching the dancing

And kudos for all the preceding 11 proposals too :) (I'll join you in all stalkerish activities mentioned!)
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 19th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)

If you don't have an Asian grocery near you:


Of course, the best way to get pocky is to walk into a grocery with your six yr old kid, buy everything but the pocky, have kid say "hey you forgot the pocky!" and then tell her you've already paid and its time to go and have the owner give you free pocky for your kid.

Strawberry. Just plain strawberry rocks.
baby_werewolfbaby_werewolf on August 19th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
That sounds like a very good way of doing it, if you happen to have a six-year-old kid handy :)

Hehe, several people have given me that kind of address and advice...and they're all American. If you can get it over here it's only in cities with...asian groceries. I get all my Chinesey/Japanesey food from the health food shop, and no pocky there :D

It's one of those htings I'll find sometime and try and be like..."oh, is that it?" after all the fuss I put into trying to find it.
_debbiechan__debbiechan_ on August 19th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)

Aw, it's tasty if you're into that sort of thing.

Send me your address. deb@debbiechan.com

Next time I go to the grocery I'll pick up a box for you. Who knows--you might like it! *knows no one who doesn''t like Pocky*