Picture It – Be scared, be very scared… of fanart. (Safe for Work)
In almost all the artist communities, the large majority of works each community holds will probably consist of fanart over original art. This is not only limited to animes or manga, but also fanart of movies, of books – basically anything.
Naturally, fanart often delves in character history, specific situations (either imagined or existing in the original story), relationships between certain characters (by which I undoubtedly also mean of a romantic nature), … ‘ecchi’ (perverted) images, and much, much more besides. Artists are unbelievably creative, and anything you can imagine, it will probably have been done, or someone is doing it.
In fact as you are probably aware, fanart and other fanworks can contribute hugely to the success of a series or even software, like the Vocaloid voice synthesiser program. With the rising popularity of the character mascot, Hatsune Miku, and eventually also the mascots of other versions of Vocaloid software (such as Kagamine Len, Kagamine Rin, Kaito, Megurine Luka, Gakupo and so on) this spawned a wealth of original songs and original art of the software mascots. Of course this means the original already holds some element which draws the fans in, but the fanworks bring people’s fantasies to life. An example you’ve probably come across is doujinshi.
Fanart can also bring unexpected ‘fame’ for an otherwise ‘minor character’. The example we will be drawing on today, is the example of Origami Cyclone in Tiger and Bunny. Even though he is classified as a ‘minor character’ who hardly ever is in the spotlight and always ‘in the background’, he has become a much loved character, and strangely (or perhaps not so strangely), a large amount of yaoi doujinshi has appeared for him in various pairings with other characters despite Origami always seeming to just vanish out of the picture.
Below are a couple of select fanarts of Origami, although he probably has much more in the way of doujinshi.
These are just some of the ways in which the fandom can bolster the series. Prints, doujinshi and other fanmade media are very popular at conventions and no doubt most of you have witnessed or even bought some of these very items.
For those aren’t so experienced in the ‘fandom side’ of things though – that is to say in the area of fanart, fanfiction, doujinshi and other types of creations – there is a huge amount of content out there. That is not to say you have to look into it, but you may enjoy what you find and not to mention you will meet a community of like minded people eager to share their creations and discuss their love of the series with you.
Once upon a time, when I was young and naive (or more young and naive), I thought there were few people I could share fanfiction and fanart with, and similarly few to be found. You are probably a lot further ahead than I was back then, but I’m glad to have discovered all these friendly people tirelessly contributing their creations and participating in such immense communities. And of course…
Our club itself can just be one of these hubs. :)
(If you know who to find…)