Expanding My Horizons in an Easterly Direction

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Title: So You Want to Write a Successful Fannish Essay
Creator: Rana Eros
Date(s): October 30, 2005
Medium: online
Fandom: anime fandom, animanga
Topic: changing fandoms
External Links: Expanding My Horizons in an Easterly Direction, Archived version
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Expanding My Horizons in an Easterly Direction is an essay by Rana Eros.

It is part of the Fanfic Symposium series.


I'm the sort to get nauseated by certain visuals, and certain styles of animation have been known to make me queasy. This was another reason for me to avoid both anime and animation in general, and it's why certain fandoms that might otherwise draw me in (One Piece, Samurai Champloo) just don't exert that poll. But the animation for [Yami no Matsuei] is the sort that actually appeals to my preferred aesthetic. That, plus the angle of death gods working essentially like paranormal detectives in modern Japan, would have hooked me in to at least watching the rest. Then the character of Kurosaki Hisoka entered the picture, and I was smitten. Snarky, weapon-toting blonds are indeed My Thing.

I settled in happily to the YnM fandom and began to both read and write, but the lines between fandoms in animanga are on the fluid side, and my writerly friend was still acquiring fandoms, and so it wasn't long before I had a fair working knowledge of a few other fandoms, including Fullmetal Alchemist. The art took some getting used to on my part, but the story and characters sucked me right in. Snarky, weapon-toting blond, check, steampunkish urban fantastical world, check, alchemy as working magic system, double check. I didn't have enough of a feel for the characters to write them, and they didn't grab me as hard as the YnM characters and world, but I read them, and made more fannish contacts.

Then one of those contacts introduced me to Saiyuki.

Again, the art style took some getting used to (now I adore it to pieces). In fact, every new animanga fandom requires an adjustment period when it comes to the art, I'm finding. Maybe it stems from the same thing that creates the nausea at certain visuals. In any case, Saiyuki is a retelling of Journey to the West (aka Monkey); it features a snarky, gun-toting blond, an hermaphroditic goddess of mercy, demons, half-demons, and a really long quest with a really, really big sense of humor. It was, in short, guaranteed to be a hit with me. And so it is.

I've found my way into other animanga fandoms, and recently I realized the balance is more tipped toward animanga than live action anymore. Considering that I was in the habit of viewing animanga as Not My Thing, it was a bit of a revelation to see that it had become so and that, in fact, I now look to anime and manga to fill the yen for a new fandom before I look to live action. At this time when "reality TV" seems to be ruling the airwaves, I know anime is more likely to deliver what I'm looking for.

If you share my tastes, and my issues with what's currently on offer on your TV screen, anime might deliver what you're looking for, as well.oking for, as well.