The Rules of Love, Meditations on Fandom

[HorribleSubs] Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_17.43_[2010.11.13_10.16.31]
Forgive the presumptuous title. I don’t really think I can legislate love in the context of being a fan or just media appreciation in general. However I do think a good deal about these things (especially having read this), and I attempt to organize my thoughts here.

I’ve chosen to keep it raw, and not consult my library. I don’t suggest that the thoughts I put down here are original in any way, only that they are a product of mostly free thought (implying memory). I arrive at three questions.

  1. Why do we love what we love?
  2. Is there a wrong way to love?
  3. How long does it take, does time matter?

tumblr_laajggH0k31qdfs66o1_500
Why do we love what we love?

There must be an originating attraction, and within that attraction is a powerful curiosity. In my case I want to know more. There’s never enough material to fulfill my need to experience the work again and again. There’s a desire for the same, familiar, original feeling, but also there’s an appreciation of how it’s never really the same whenever I watch a show I’ve seen many times before, or read a book I’ve gone over many times.

I ask for and expect the same feelings and yet enjoy the new experience. It it is what you love, it is always new.

I suspect this is not the case for everyone, but I ask you to consider this, in your own experience. I know there are those who do not make a habit of going over the same material, despite claiming that they love it. They are not invalidated by my assertions – there’s more than one expression of love. However, rewatching is not an expression of love. It is rather selfish, a need to feel love as an experience.

Is there a wrong way to love?

Probably not, in absolute terms. However let us consider a phenomenon I often see when it comes to the appreciation of characters, and perhaps the support for character pairings. Character pairings produce rivalries within and beyond the narratives. Presumably there are fans who love one character pitted against another in a love rivalry.

There is nothing wrong or suspect in this. However, the rivalry extends to the fans of the respective characters and scathing name-calling occurs, and fans start fighting. While some may fight each other, the real object of the hatred is the rival character. Criticism becomes mean, for both the character and the fans who support her. Which brings us to what I personally consider the wrong way to love.

Defending beloved characters as if they are infallible (and the corollary of invalidating claims to good characteristics of the rival character, and assigning bad characteristics on the same).

sherylmonsoon
The Mary Sue accusation gets thrown about wildly, losing most of its meaning. The way it’s used in these arguments is “since you deny my  accusation that Misa is a whiny loser, she’s obviously perfect and a complete Mary Sue (and you fail for liking her)” …see here there is no real commitment to the accusation of Misa being a Mary Sue but it has more to do with characters being accused of faults, and the idea that if one acknowledges a fault, two things happen:

  1. Character is not worth loving/not deserving of love (fan-love)
  2. Fan is an idiot for loving irrationally

This is the trap. Acknowledge a character’s fault and you’re made to look foolish. Denying the fault implies the character is too good without inspiring universal love from the fandom, ergo the show is “trying too hard” to get fans to like her, ergo you’re a victim.

Ultimately your love for a character is your own business. I personally am sympathetic to the love as implied by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. It’s a contradictory kind of love, which describes itself as “patient and kind” and yet “does not tolerate evil.” This is why I am merely sympathetic to it, I don’t really buy it. It is, however a great place to start. My main idea:

macross frontier 24 giant ranka
Perfection does not require love. Evil is suffering. The lack of perfection is suffering. The lack of perfection is an evil, it describes the state of having faults. On the one hand, we can make a rule that says we must love that which is closest to perfection and forgive its few faults. I have no problem with this, but I think this is not a great love. It is an easy love.

Loving a flawed character, requires much acceptance, much forgiveness. It makes the lover suffer the experience of the subject’s flaws and imperfections more. It is the greater love. It requires much more effort, generosity, and suffering.

MACROSS 7 I LOVE YOU.

But I’m not the fountainhead of love, mind you.

I HATE MOBILE SUIT ZZ GUNDAM AND IT CAN GO TO HELL.

Am I clear? When your favorite character is being hated on (Ranka Lee, Lynn Minmay, Kozuki Kallen, etc.), often the criticisms are fair ones (immature, selfish, stupid – respectively), but these are things that make their characters interesting as narrative constructs! What you really object to, deep down is the hate thrown at them (the act of hating, often joyfully taken), and what you make it mean about yourself as a fan of a ‘faulty’ character.

How long does it take, does time matter?

[HorribleSubs] Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.54_[2010.11.13_08.55.38][HorribleSubs] Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_09.54_[2010.11.13_08.56.06]
Instantly, but only time and hindsight validates this. I’m writing this essay on November 12, 2010, and I’ve just finished watching Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt episode 07. I liked this show from the first episode. I started using the word love for it by the third episode (the jizz army securing a “beachhead”). I was in love with it after the fifth episode (with the art shift for the salaryman vignette). And now, I’m crazy about it.

The above paragraph describes my behavior, but question at pantygunpoint time: do I love this show? Yes. Is it a great love? Not yet, only time will validate this. It hasn’t really disappointed me yet. There’s nothing within it, or perhaps surrounding it (other fans, commentary) that inspires me to write about it, explore it in ways I’ve done so for other shows I have a great love for (e.g. Revolutionary Girl Utena). Nothing yet, aside from wild ravings on twitter, and the occasional comment on tumblr.

Time matters because there will be externalities that test the feeling: other shows, opinions of trusted others, further thought and exploration, etc. Also, it remains to be seen what output within the normal realm of behavior I make should measure to a degree, my own love for a show (I’ve often questioned my love for say, Ghibli films – which I regard very highly, because I never really talk about them, or am interested in doing so).

In this hobby, love is manifested in conversation – in the various media and for a I participate in. Other people consume (collect) as an expression. Others like myself create (discussion, content). But these activities play out over time, which is why I think it’s an important matter in thinking about love and fandom.

Here’s one rule I’m pretty high on: You can love more than one show, more than one character. I love Gundam almost as much as Macross (and I even esteem Gundam higher though my wild passion is obviously in the service of the former). I love Minmay but in real life I married someone who Misa would aspire to be. Being a Ranka fan doesn’t mean hating Sheryl or her fans.

In loving anime and anime characters, it’s actually great to be a harem lead.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in fanboy, how to remember love and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to The Rules of Love, Meditations on Fandom

  1. Ryan A says:

    I feel kinda terrible for not being able to get caught up into things like this… at least not unless it’s reality. I mean, there are characters I “love” or enjoy and feel fond of, but the issue is that the emotive forces within the realm of fiction are often dwarfed, to extreme extents, by those of my reality, my history, and my present…. there monstrous swells in my pond, and these feelings for fictional characters are but ripples.

    I fight to discover and feel them, but I know they are there… the specifics, I cannot worry about.

    • Well, I’ll feel stupid if I compared my love for Minmay to that of my love for my wife ya know, or my love for Bros like Basara to my real bros and bro-friends.

      Who does that?

      But in the realm of being a fan and in the realm of my hobby, I love these things as much as anyone.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    All this love talk was pretty lame until I started replacing love with rape. Example:

    Raping a flawed character, requires much acceptance, much forgiveness. It makes the rapist suffer the experience of the subject’s flaws and imperfections more. It is the greater rape. It requires much more effort, generosity, and suffering.

  3. I’m glad you’ve been teaching me shit like this for the past couple of years, and I finally feel like I’ve arrived at wherever you are mentally with regards to love (though perhaps a lot less powerfully in my youth.)

    You’d probably say that one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done was bash on Bakemonogatari, which I liked, just because I was jealous that you liked it instead of Canaan, and I’d agree it was up there on the ‘Digiboy’s stupid-ass moves’ list.

    • That was stupid indeed, but we learn shit and this isn’t even special. Learning is a necessary thing. We pat ourselves on the back anyway because we feel this too, is a necessary thing.

      I’m actually surprised how difficult it was for you to get here, since you really love so many shows, so many characters. Then again, it’s just a bigger appetite, which has nothing to do with attitude necessarily.

      It’s not like hate is a bad thing in absolute terms. Let’s just be clear when we’re hating on something and pretending we’re not (lol claiming objectivity when we’re not), that’s when we’re really being shitheads.

  4. I think I’ve experienced a love for characters and shows enough that I know the moment it happens. I also know the close calls, but I still have trouble describing why those things happen. Once I start listing those moments, I notice that they’re usually born out of a strong expression of love in a pivotal moment. I immortalized the moment I fell in love with Dragonball Z (& by extension anime) on my home page on MAL. Toradora it was the moment Ryuuji decided to run for Taiga. My love for Tomoya from (Clannad) was growing, but it didn’t really blossom until I saw him become a great dad. By that definition, I wouldn’t say I love Panty and Stocking just yet, but in my book it’s already a successful show. I might consider that awesome Transformers parody as a strong expression of love though. I guess in time I’ll know if that counts.

    • You know when you’ve felt it, but it has to play out in reality I think. The moments are great to remember though, no doubt about it. It’s actually when you think and reflect about that moment for the first time… sometime after experiencing it, and then you really know. But as for the degree, that’ll take some time to really play out.

  5. >When you’re favorite character
    >you’re
    Kai su, ghost, kai su?

    I think you can sum it all up in “love it, but truth more”.

  6. Emperor J says:

    Love in this realm is an interesting thing indeed. I think one really has to define their own love for something before engaging in something like this. You’re reaction to the first part of that episode of Panty & Stocking is probably something I’ve experienced before and it can really validate a whole show even with loads of flaws. Giant Killing had plenty of these moments in the buildup to ETU goals which I celebrated sometimes as much as if a real team I supported had scored (though not as much as this). That said, I could definitely write something similar to this on the parts of Index that I love that many, many people will hate.

    • Yes.

      Oh god it seems so long ago but maaan when ETU scores a goal I leap out of my bed while watching. That was special.

      I can split hairs further:

      A show I love needn’t be a favorite. Giant Killing won’t be my favorite show at all, but I love it, and will remember my love for it and what it gave me that season.

      I revere Legend of the Galactic Heroes but I don’t love it as much as other shows… because I don’t feel it really needs it. It’s majestic in my mind and even the moments that move me so strongly don’t inspire love the same way I love shows of a lesser caliber. I am in awe of it, especially when it is at its best.

  7. Crusader says:

    Shipping wars can be fun once in a while and besides I cannot help but nail you for your choice of Macross heroines. Keeping the haet for Ranka and SDFM Minmay helps me remember love for Macross, and Misa, and Sheryl. 😛

    General rule when concerning protagonists in mecha without sideburns under the age of 17 = Marty Stu.

    I also tend to like guys that are unapologetic in their killing of Zekes and Zeke substitutes like the Great Yazan and Prince Ali. Also G Gundam is great there is no saying otherwise for Master Asia was the best pilot in all of Gundam with Schwartz being the bestest person and 2nd best Pilot in all of Gundam. You cannot argue with my logic, because Char and his clones suck, Harry Ord was cool but had terrible taste in pajamas, thus Schwartz Bruder is the best masked man Gundam has ever known.

    Seriously though love will make you blind, and it is as Liang Qi once said, Love will never die. Even if I cannot love as you do I am capable of respect and will always remember those characters whose courage, honor, skill, etc. I have saluted. My memory and love for posterity is such that I will never forget those moments that burned themselves into my memory banks.

    Still up to ep two of pantsuo but it is mashing my BURNING PASSION just yet, i had a good laugh here and there but where is mecha?

    • Your general lack of refinement in your “standards” (you only love the obvious; and conversely hate on the opposite) just makes me love you more.

      Respect isn’t love at all, but it too is a very good thing. I do think that for the most part, respect appears like it’s ‘given’ but actually one’s own ideals and standards does the decision for you, like the oxymoron ‘rational choice’ … but I digress.

      Respect is a good thing and it’s part of what makes you a good comrade (It’s not like I actually take the hating on what I love that you do personally LOL). Over here in WRL I am Sound Force One, when I’m not being Skull Leader. But when I’m with you I don’t mind being Diamond 3 <^_^

      As for Pansuto and mecha,

      Seriously though, the Bayformers and Transformers parody in ep 07 is brilliant. They nailed(LOL) it.

  8. BenDTU says:

    I hated Nekki Basara’s character, but I hated even more how the show seemed to think I should love him: I raged hardcore when Mylene rejected Gamlin because she “Loved Basara just as much” despite the fact he was pretty much a total bastard to her the whole series. Worse yet the ending pretty much said “Basara was right LOL”, with no real development of his character or redemption he needed to go through. On the other hand there are plenty of characters who are total bastards and are great though.

    I can think of plenty of shows that either assume or expect us to love a character before doing something tragic to them (Flay from Seed, anyone?) but really the show needs to give us a REASON to love a character.

    • BenDTU says:

      … Id’ better end that comment on a good note.

      Gai Daigoji from Nadesico was probably the one character who’s death will always have the largest impact on me: In the space of something like 3 episodes the show had gotten you to love him despite what a massive idiot he was. But hey, the guy had excellent tastes so it’s hard not to.

      • Nekki Basara >>>>> Gai Daigoji

        But that’s me.

        I value characters in narratives as much as anyone (most of my analyses in this blog feature characters), but I don’t value development as if it’s something necessary. It isn’t. The lack of development does not make a story impaired, nor does it make the character badly written.

        If Basara changed, then it wouldn’t be Basara. Kamina never changed. He died. Gai Daigoji didn’t change, he died sooner. Development is unnecessary for awesomeness, though good development contributes to awesomeness too.

        There was nothing for Basara to redeem himself for, He was awesome from start to finish (without saying he isn’t LOL — implying dumb, stupid, and moronic).

  9. animekritik says:

    “Rewatching is not an expression of love. It is rather selfish, a need to feel love as an experience.”

    Would you say the same for human relationships IRL? Is wanting to see the people you love again and again selfish? Or is this not applicable here?

    “But I’m not the fountainhead of love, mind you.”

    What do you mean by this? Why not?

    Ah, Corinthians. That’s a very nice passage. I think it’s great it happens to be a chapter 13 too!

    • Yes I would say it is selfish, but less so if the desire is mutual and therefore the collective experience is good.

      But it can still be selfish, if the time spent together is at the expense of others (who need you, have a responsibility for, etc.)

      A hyperbole; a pre-emptive statement to avoid accusations that I “love everything” (and therefore unreliable as a critical essayist, etc.) and nothing more. Otherwise I actually do have a great reservoir of love for people and things.

  10. vendredi says:

    “Instantly, but only time and hindsight validates this.”

    Actually, not sure if I can fully agree with this. Hindsight and context (both the context of new media and stylistic changes, and changes in personal circumstance and perception) I think deeply affect the way we pick favourites. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei was something I did not get into on my first viewing; mainly because at the time I thought (very, very erroneously) that it would be an oddball shoujo series (and how very, very wrong I was). Then again, I suppose there is a subtle difference in picking out shows or characters you love, versus shows or characters you consider favourites, although the heartless linguist in me screams that ‘favourite’ should be the only term that should apply when talking about fictional entities.

    • We are not in disagreement. I do not mean that it always happens instantly — I was not careful in how I put it. Obviously I am a good example in how I dropped 9 straight Gundam shows before turning into someone who wrote nearly 40 essays on Gundam in two years… and even when figuring out that I like Gundam, my Gateway was Gundam 00 which I don’t even love (though I’ll always have some fondness for it) and actually hate on every now and then.

      But it can happen instantly (Macross Frontier, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Neon Genesis Evangelion).

      Oh but favourite is limiting. It seems such a weak word to account for how much I put into advocating these shows I love. I use favorite to distinguish shows I love best, or esteem best (but the adjectives are not synonymous).

  11. Bonesy! says:

    I love Macross, but by the end of it I found myself wanting to punch Hikaru more frequently. I suppose it’s a tough love?

    In general, though, I find my love to be pretty wide and diverse. When I’m in my right mind, there are no shows I’ll bash, just shows I’m not interested in at the moment.

    I also love how I managed to put the way I usually watch anime (sporadically and usually not more than two episodes of anything in a row) to watch the Lantau Island and Devil Colony arcs of G Gundam in two days (one each day). It really helped me enjoy the end of the show more than I would’ve normally.

  12. gaguri says:

    lol@Crusader’s comment, “Keeping the haet for Ranka and SDFM Minmay helps me remember love for Macross, and Misa, and Sheryl.” I guess it’s similar to “watching bad anime helps me remember love for the good ones”, although it’s something I’ve never subscribed to myself.

    My way of differentiating great love from easy love is a little different. For me, easy love would be characters like Kana from Minami-ke or Yamada from Working!. They have flaws (like being useless, super manipulating and deceptive), but accepting and forgiving them is easy. I’m sure they would be a great pain in the ass IRL but they’re just so funny and adorable in how they’re portrayed in anime, so they’re very easy to love. But there is very little that I actually care about them as characters, as in, it doesn’t matter to me what happens to their life, I don’t care about the decisions they make. Easy love, easy go. Now, characters like Hachi from Planetes, Oze from Infinite Ryvius, Nabuca from NTHT, Reki from Haibane Renmei are the kind of flawed characters that I have higher affections for. They have no immediate attractive traits that instantly grabs you, they have flaws and some committed horrifying sins, but I care for them and feel for them enough to forgive that, as I cheer for good things to happen to them. As you say, there are some characters that I too think are ‘trying to hard’ to impress me, it’s upto how they are depicted in the anime.

    As for rewatching, I don’t think they’re necessarily selfish. Sometimes the way I perceive a show change after a rewatch. I certainly gained much higher appreciation for shows like Simoun, Princess Tutu and Kaiba after rewatch.

    Time definitely matters. IMO, the only genuine love for a show is the love you feel for watching the show. And your memory of those feelings and sensations begin to fade, only recollections remain. It’s like, say, I KNOW that skiing in the alps of Interlaken was one of the most exhilirating experience in my life (even as I laid in bed that very night after skiing I could perfectly visualise the snows and feel the wind running against me). But after 5 years I can’t say I can still feel those sensations, I still have photographs and vague recollections but that is it.

    • Yes I see the distinction. It’s on a different axis.

      My proposition is on the amount of things to account for, and yours is the intensity of feeling once things on my axis are accounted for (or something like this). Does this make sense?

      My statement on the selfishness of rewatching only operates on the idea that I do it for myself, and not sharing it with others (unless I’m rewatching something precisely because I’m sharing an experience with someone who hasn’t yet). So yeah I agree with you.

      If you intensely feel you want to ski on the Alps again, making trade-offs to make it happen, then you could say that you do intensely love it, and not something in the past-tense. Anime is much easier, you just rewatch the shows and you’re back.

  13. Sekou says:

    Good stuff Ghost.

    Personally, I’m a sucker for flawed characters. I’ve gotten into numerous debates with people in regards to some of favorite Gundam characters(Wufei, Duo, Yazan, Ali and Gato to name a few). While I acknowledge their flaws, defending them in arguments has often left me in love with the character even more.

    Fandom…it’s a wonderful thing.

    • Hehe, consider this: what you feel for these characters so flawed, and being persecuted for their flaws by the fans who do not give any credit for these characters’ qualities…

      …is moé.

      • Sekou says:

        You’re right.

        I think it started with Vegeta in DBZ and maybe even earlier with being a huge Batman fan and has spread to every series I watch.

  14. Teltel says:

    I agree with poster above; I tend to like the most flawed characters. And I don’t know why, maybe because they seem more human and endearing (?). That and they are fun to defend and discuss. Heck, I’ll admit my favourite character from MacF is Ranka, and part of my love for her comes from the fact that she’s one of the most realistic 16 years-old girls I have found in anime.

    • Hehe, you’ll find Minmay I think an even more plausible version of a teenager than Ranka (who gets tacked on with so many characteristics for moé appeal — clumsiness, shyness, ‘purity,’ looking like a 12-year old despite turning 16, etc), and is hated more!

      But see here, the fans of the ‘less-flawed’ characters don’t consider their idols perfect either. They’re flawed too, but in ways acceptable to them (their tastes and morality).

  15. raile says:

    I remember Misa. I remember love. ♥

  16. Huntsman says:

    “…often the criticisms are fair ones…”

    See, that’s where I have to make an objection, because this isn’t necessarily the case.

    The assumption that criticism tends to be fair and that those who “love” are merely blinded by emotion into defending their appreciation for a flawed character is incomplete without, at the very least, acknowledging that the opposite is also true.

    Those who “hate” usually seem to feel the need, which cannot be described as purely intellectual since emotions and guts are also involved, to lash out against a character who failed to be perfect or essentially didn’t do whatever the viewer wanted or expected him/her to do…whether or not being mistaken or taking the wrong path is consistent with the character’s emotional state, traits, background or even circumstances beyond their control.

    And, of course, there is also the matter of facts and events that are described or presented incorrectly or inaccurately, which definitely leaves the door open to a lot of debate in both directions.

  17. Chan says:

    I always found Ranka’s popularity amongst fans to be a point of interest.

    This is because if you’ve ever re-read some of the earlier blogs or posts back when MF was still airing on TV in Japan quite a few of the fans really loved Ranka. It was really only towards the middle and end where I started to see those same fans becoming frustrated with her personality and its placement in the setting, and then after her epic fail they started to criticize her, some ended up hating her character for it. Now what’s interesting about this is the fact that so many viewers started to do this, so much so that the actual haters started copying the criticism and used it for their own purposes, or people who recently became haters just let out the criticism about the character that they had been holding for a while. Its true even for that THAT anime blog – I mean look at some of Crusader’s earlier Macross Frontier posts. And because he’s not the only one (there are a lot of viewers that ended up having the same opinion) its really a point of interest for me.

    That being said I personally hate Mary Sues which is why I hate Lacus, because she is a perfect character. In order for a character to even catch my attention they need to have some sort of flaw, and a personality (that certainly helps). Ranka meets those pre-requites and so she’s at least considered a character that I can look at in a fair light (unlike a certain other songstress). But I remember telling you this before that I considered you a real fan because you were able to like a character while acknowledging their failings and faults. I don’t think you can really consider yourself a real fan of something if you can’t at least acknowledge its weakness, and still like it despite that. Just liking a character while ignoring their faults doesn’t make you a fan but a fanboy/girl, and suggests you won’t be able to accept your “favorite” character if they weren’t perfect.

    • I don’t really like appeals to authenticity, but there are kinds of fans that insist on perfection, or purity, as silly as those things sound.

      I remember an anime character (Nagi from Kannagi) whose fans turned on her when it was insinuated that she wasn’t a virgin. This is highly absurd to me, but yes there are fans like that.

      Some of them simply can’t be with the idea that their idol is imperfect so they will deny any criticism.

      For my part, some imperfections are less acceptable than others. Sheryl’s haughtiness, being a sore-loser, being a tease, are endearing instead of annoying in the instance of MF. Her insecurity and incorrigibility at toughing out her sickness alone is stupid but endearing. Will this work for another character? Maybe not. Will this work if MF wasn’t a war story too? Maybe instead of being endearing these will be very annoying; while Ranka’s set of faults prove to be winsome. I can’t really predict.

      • Chan says:

        And I will never understand what’s so interesting about a character without any faults. Frankly characters without any faults are just boring.

        Whether or not Sheryl’s character would look better in another series, would depend solely on the narrative. However, there are some parts of her past which would be hard to make it hard to make her look unsympathetic no matter how matter how much the writer may try, trust me I’ve read many a shoujo where the writer gave the supposedly unsympathetic character a very sad back story which made it hard for one to think of them as complete antagonists (you know “don’t judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes”), and made the very same character more interesting than their own main female.

        But at the same time there are some narratives that actually would take Sheryl’s personality and just use it for its face value, the trade off is that Sheryl is no longer a well-rounded character (though in that case it may be somewhat intentional).

  18. Pterobat says:

    General thoughts:

    I am full of love. Love for many different characters, series, plots, media, and fandoms. Because I’m an analytical sort, I try to discern trends and tendencies within the great pile of different interests that I have, and I have emerged with some definite trends, but more and more I find that the “root” of love for a fictional thing is inscrutable.

    Why? Because while I might be able to predict if I would like something/someone or not, often these predictions fail. I don’t like *every* example of something I have a proven tendency to like, and may even find myself falling for a trope I normally loathe. Just like real life, we need plans and predictions to invite stability, but many of these fall apart if you look too closely.

    Or consider the issue of cliche: each iteration of the cliche might hold something special for a certain viewer, who is otherwise uninterested in other examples of the cliche, despite them supposedly all being “the same”.

    As to flaws, I always seek to find awareness of a work or character’s flaws and never to shy away from acknowledging them. There are times when I feel a certain character’s actions are indefensible, but I maintain a strong attachment to them despite never feeling the need to lift a finger against their detractors. Why do I do this? I don’t know, really, but it’s an essential part of me.

    I also believe that one should not only seek out the “best” of everything. To only search for perfection is to lead a cold, mechanical life. The way I go about it is that something hits you or it doesn’t–it doesn’t matter how good it is, to an extent. We are all human, and that means we are imperfect.

    Perhaps because I do not seek perfection, and think that different things can be equally enjoyable, I don’t have one Most Favourite Character or Most Favourite Fandom, and what exceptions there are to this general rule of rankless love have been a long time in establishing themselves as such.

    Finally, there is the issue of simple resonance–a thing that might have little value to others, but that you become attached to in a deeply personalized, idiosyncratic way that might make sense only to you, but makes a *tremendous* amount of sense regardless.

    Love is a wonderful thing.

  19. Pingback: Pterobat on Love and Fandom « The Ghosts of Discussions

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