Tags: fandom:general

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What the Harmonians got right -- and what that means for Hermione

Today, I realized something disturbing: The Harmonians may have gotten a few things right.

Let me head off some wank, first of all, by clarifying some terminology. The term "Harmonian" doesn't refer to every Harry/Hermione shipper. Readers who think the two have chemistry, are suited, would be great together -- fans who enjoy reading H/Hr fic -- even the folks who are diehard believers that the textual evidence supports this pairing -- these are not "Harmonians" to me. Harmonians are the few, the proudl, who either a) believe unequivocally that Book 7 WILL give us canon H/Hr and ALL textual and extratextual signs to the contrary are misdirection and misinterpretation, or b) believed until the release of HBP that H/Hr would be canon and have become bitter, angry assholes after having their ship sunk. In other words, Harmonians are the batshit. And I love them.

Now, since Ron/Hermione has been the dominant interpretation since GoF, and since JKR has pretty much told us H/Hr is never going to happen, fans have enjoyed the delightful sport of Harmonian-bashing at quidditch levels. Making it oh so easy to dismiss anything that comes out of their mouths. Could it be, then, that some of their arguments have merit?

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Japan's doujinshi industry and Harry Potter fandom

I have only recently gotten back into anime/manga fandom, and so I was quite surprised while I was searching for Fullmetal Alchemist and Death Note doujinshi to discover several devoted to HP (and I've since uncovered many more). I am not quite sure how I managed to spend six or so years in Harry Potter slash fandom without realizing there was a thriving HP dj market; maybe I'm too closeted away in my Snape pairings and in other corners of the fandom this is more well known? Or are there are a lot of Western HP fans who also have no idea of the existence of this part of their fandom?

For those entirely unfamiliar with what I'm talking about, doujinshi are self-published comics. Some of them contain original stories, but there are a lot of fan-made, derivative doujinshi. A lot of them are hentai (m/f porn) or yaoi (m/m) or yuri (f/f), but some are general. There are very dark djs and also a lot of parodies. The doujinshi industry is simply enormous in Japan and other Asian countries. Hundreds of thousands of djs are published every year and conventions are held which attract just as many attendees. The comics are even just a small portion of Asian fan culture -- there are also doujin soft, fan-made video games, like the Chinese yaoi (m/m) Fullmetal Alchemist game "Bluebird's Illusion".

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But when you start to get to doujinshi which deal with Western media, I really wonder what the result will be. I'm sure we all remember the uproar over the Chinese HP novel several years ago. I can only imagine what the WB and Bloomsbury/Scholastic's reaction to explicit Harry/Draco doujinshi would be. Furthermore, could it have an impact on Western HP fandom. Fanfiction and fanart, especially slash, has a pretty loose grip on legality as it is; our greatest defense is that no profit is being made and copyright infringement is not intended. Could the sale of HP doujinshi force a stronger negative reaction to "derivative" works of all sorts, though?

As a fan of anime, manga and doujinshi, I really want to embrace the whole concept of HP doujinshi because ... well, frankly, it's kind of cool. But I'm also very wary of doing this because of its potential legal ramifications.

For the curious, here are some scanlated (scanned, translated into English and then edited with the translation) HP doujinshi available for free download at Impending Doujinshi. And here is an HP doujinshi review site which also offers some DJs for sale.

ETA: ook commented below with a link to an article about a visit to a doujinshi convention with one floor devoted to HP doujinshi (not just any HP dj, but those devoted to uke (sub) Snape and Lupin). Absolutely my favorite part of it so far:

None of the doujinshi that I saw on the Snape side of the event depicted Angsty!Snape. Or Traumatized!Snape, or for that matter Unhappy!Snape. Instead, almost all of the books showed variations on the same thing: Cranky!Snape. He's got no reason to be a disagreeable bastard, he just is. If you must have a reason, it's because he's cute and funny that way. Or possibly because it's the best way to suggest he's not Getting Any---a problem which James, Sirius, and Harry would be happy to help him solve.

asdhakhdkas.

(no subject)

Greetings, all,

For your perusal, a Ranty McMeta about Nymphadora Tonks posted in my LJ: her personality attributes, the consistency of her characterisation in OotP and HBP, writing her as a character, and bemusement at the phenomenon of Tonks-hate in fandom.

The Deconstruction of Miss Nymphadora Tonks.

Enjoy,
Gun
maple

Abomination! A discussion of feminism in HP fandom post-HBP

There's been a fair amount of meta, banter and – let's face it – irate fandom hissy fits post-HBP about many of the female characters and how they are represented in canon. Many of the points argued aren't new: that gender roles in the Harry Potter series are stereotypical; or that hierarchies in the wizarding world are androcentric and perhaps surprisingly old-fashioned for an author writing in the 'enlightened' 21st century. However, there's been an increasing tendency to attack the characters directly. Hermione and Ginny, for example, have come in for more than their usual, pre-HBP share of criticism, but Tonks is the undisputed winner at the internets for Worst Fandom Reputation.

So how did the poor girl sink so low? I’m going to assess attitudes to female characters in general, and to Tonks in particular, focussing on the use and misuse of feminism and feminist philosophies in fandom.

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