Fansplaining’s fanfiction survey

Fansplaining has a survey that will reveal your most intimate fanfiction desires!


With the winding down of Genshiken Nidaime, this blog can revert to its true form; a series of disjointed tracts from a sketchy fundamentalist cult based on vulgar readings of Dr. Saito Tamaki‘s theories on otaku subjectivity and desire. ‘Round these parts, when we ain’t doing snake-handlin’ and speakin’ in tongues (the way of pastor Hopkins), we perform the rituals of libidinised reading and appropriative secondary production; sometimes tarted up for the university heathens as “Transformative works”.crack-fanfaction-gospel-web

The most fearsome of these doin’s ‘o secondary production is to go into a trance and readeth, even maketh fic. As the Genshiken and Tamaki-dono hath decreed, so mote it be, even if it is best motied off-stage and out of view.

What amazing varieties and ways there be to partake in these spiritual exercises! Such love! Such devotion!

Wanna help us do a BIG analysis of fanfiction tropes and themes? Our official survey is live! Please take and share:

The Fansplaining Fic Preferences Survey:

The good folks at Fansplaining have been making and posting interesting podcasts on western fan practice (with a strong emphasis on slashy fandoms) for a while now. Notable is their commitment to posting transcripts of these, usually a week or so after the podcast.

see: and

c123p9-transactional-webThe Genshiken is all about rude doujin makin. Draw what you know, neh? Kio-gami is a mangaka, not a light novel writer. For those us us who skivved out on drawing classes, scribbling is easier than scratching. Plaisir de texte and all that..


If you have been so bitten by the bug, or are even a bit curious I commend to you the Fansplaining survey; so that you might opine (and gaze in awe!) on their introductory typology of western fic tropes. The survey biases towards slashy narratives, bien sur, because there just ain’t that many dudes writing long grinds about their epic FPS map clearing forays. The absence of sections on machine-generated crapfic and on trollfic are also telling. I am a bit saddened even as the omission is understandable.

That Halo troll-fic machinima ain’t got no schmex might be the most convincing proof of the existence of a merciful deity yet.

Behind my flippant tone is of course a small dumpster full of shame — hey, it’s a guy thing. But the fun of reading or trying one’s own hand at a short “what-if” with your fave charas is more than just a diversion. Nothing short of scanlation encourages such close reading as trying to jam your headcanon onto an existing property. You really, really begin to obsess over minutiae. Even a trash ship (one of those can’t exactly define it but you’ll know it when it sneaks up and bites you on the leg things) demands a serious and very detailed consideration of the original materials. The only risk is having your mind gripped by the unshakeable conviction that the author pulled their lame compromise resolution out of -ahem- the air and that the only possible way it could have gone (if the editors hadn’t spiked it) would have been a beach-front marriage in Hawaii.

Followed by a Saturday afternoon spent shopping for curtains.


113 pages of wooden dialogue between two very hungover idiots trying to wrap their aching heads around their predicament.


Oh my! So many possibilities. This woobie thing; maybe that’s a bit too squick?

Go forth and completeth the survey, and remember:


7 thoughts on “Fansplaining’s fanfiction survey

  1. Fan-fiction is fun, I remember in my 30s writing long explanations of Lord of the Rings trying to put it in archeological perspective. In the 2000s when I was in my 60s I enjoyed the Kimagure Orange Road so much that I searched out the scripts and the fan fictions which I very much enjoyed, Especially KOR College and the cross-over between KOR and Marmalade Boy.

    I type quite slowly though so never got into writing anything but the shortest reviews of manga and anime as well as Nihon Bunko I had watched or read.

    If you can stomach shounen-ai then take a look at “Gambare Nakamure-kun” by Syundei which is a very short work afaik, about a shy gay HS boy crushing on another HS student. It has fujoshi and a budding mangaka as well as a school play with a cross-dressing heroine. The art work is not modern at all but harkens back to the 1980s. Only 6 chapters presently online.

    It reminded me of another excellent shounen-ai story, “The Flower of Youth” created by Fumi Yoshinaga which I greatly enjoyed about 10 years back. It was a short series that ran to 4 volumes. SFPL has it and maybe other libraries that bother to carry manga and graphic novels would have it as well.

    [/M: would that be Flower of Life - ?? Also]

    Yesterday with nothing better to do in a San Francisco heat wave I made sure I had “Spotted Flower” completely in storage. The reading of Genshiken, primary and Nidaime has brought me some precious moments with the characters so of course I want to be able to look for all the variations available.

    Libidinised readings of deconstructionist commentary on the interests of the interested. How jolly.

    If you don’t mind me talking about the subjects of those writings I will be back.

    • Pray continue, by all means. Though BL/shonen-ai works are not my thing, a theory moe hook (this is going to take some explanation) can get me to sample all manner of genres. Frnstance, a current folly: watched NEW GAME, was struck by complete hermetic female gamer fan + producer homosocial AKA the G-gater’s Apocalypse. However I questioned the touchy feely sempai-kouhai interaction. Service or convention? Needed a baseline. How much is Shoujo, how much is LFB retread for CGDCT moe-gasm? Plan: Watch and analyse Marimite. Unforeseen problem: Sampling error due to allergic reaction to appropriated Catholic imagery.

      Must not slag Marimite. It is too beloved. Yet I am gritting my teeth. My “soeurs” were Belushi-Blues Brothers style anti-vatican II hardliners escaping secular reforms in rural 1960’s Quebec. Run! The penguin’s got her stick with her! Not to mention the hockey school out west with the pint-of-rye-a-day Marian ecstatic visions founder who had a real bad grasp on the details of a food budget. Never any weird-that-way priests though, so call it a win.

      In any case, If I can make it through S1 of Marimite, I am pretty sure that I will find some slop-over between Shoujo (and Shoujou-ai) conventions and later LFB moe gaze conventions in the Cute Girls Doing Cute Things (CGDCT) genre. Perhaps even a 1:1 mapping!

      So let loose by all means. Oh lookie at this too! Can’t get half of it, but it is way kewl:

      • Add: Found both you rec’d. GANBARE! is drawn in a late 70’s early 80’s retro style even though it is circa 2015. That’s novel. Also Fumi Yoshinaga is the heavy hitter behind Ooku and Kinō Nani Tabeta? Ok, both worth a look !!!

        Even Later: Wow! Fumi Yoshinaga’s Flower of Life is sweet, funny and wise. The teacher is a Hoot! Many Thanks for the Rec !!!! Hard to find, but it popped up eventually.

        Still Later: Holy mother of pearl! Volume 4 (final) of Fumi Yoshinaga’s Flower of Life is rather difficult to track down. And don’t even think of buying it used… Yikes! Great rec! Vols 1-3 worth hunting down. Many Tanks

  2. I guess it was inevitable you’d get me to respond to a survey someday. Complete with a note.

    I feel like I responded ‘meh’ to a lot of things. I’ve read a lot. I’ve seen it all. Most things I don’t dislike on principle – even if I dislike how the majority fanworks tend to use the trope. I’m not even sure I really have defining preferences for specific ships anymore. There are certain things I particularly like, but I’m up for reading anything at this point – so long as it sparks some kind of thought or discussion or new interpretation of the original work.

    I don’t know – it’s weird. I inevitably end up searching for things to read on the basis of tropes and ships – but it’s really just because I /have/ to start somewhere (and ao3’s tag system makes it rather difficult to locate gen). But, with very few exceptions, I don’t think tropes or ships are a good measurement for whether or not I’ll enjoy something.


    Ubb~ Just gonna blab here. In other news, I’m severely behind on my thinking about Genshiken. MadaSue seems nice enough to me on principle, but I feel like their relationship ended up looking a little haphazardly thrown together – a shame. And my feelings about HatoMada have always been kind of mixed, but there is one specific incident I keep coming back to. The majority of HatoMada happened without any real validation from third parties, which I think helped keep it in a very fantastic realm, doomed by its inability to bridge with reality. There is only one exception. That moment with Angela, where she observed Madarame’s eyes pan over to Hato in embarrassment. It was such an organic moment, that Angela observed and reacted to with a perception that was almost vicious. The other HatoMada moments I see as completely in line with the series’ conclusion. But that moment with Angela – I’m really not sure what Kio was trying to communicate.

    Well, there’s the question of Sandaime too.

    • Welcome back. That moment: the first time that Hato blew it at ‘Ket, or the time at the Nikko temple when she was was letting him go? I’m up to 5, perhaps 6 major themes/essay grinds that I want to do on Nidaime and just can’t get them to “gel”. That’s one more thing one can do with fanfiction; work through contradictions in a story to see where the ‘pressure points” lie. After SOU-UKE! Hato-as-kun and Mada got to talk how many times? Twice including the hotel?

      Surely thinking with a fic-mind too hard about simple popular manga can go down the rabbit hole really, really fast. Consider: Genshiken Nidaime’s MadaHatoMada as a palimpsest of the STOS episode (itself a restatement of a WWII destroyer X Uboat movie) “Balance of Terror”


      In any case, yeah, filled mine in too. Hope they don’t get cheesed at the flippant tone of this rec-post. Wonder what they will get in the way of results?

      • Nikko temple moment – where Angela pressed Madarame’s hand against her cheek, and watched his eyes slide away. ??? What were you thinking, Kio?

        Yeah, Hato-as-kun and Madarame didn’t talk that much. Off the top of my head, Hato-as-kun fell asleep on Mada’s bed that once and woke up to shrimp & tomato pasta. They talked during comiket, before Hato told Angela to back off, and it was very stilted before Hato put on his wig halfway through. And then at the hotel.
        But, then again, I think Hato-as-chan is Hato-as-Hato :p

        Gotta start watching Star Trek again. It is, of course, at the roots of a lot of modern fan culture. I have a hard time getting my insect brain to stay in one place to watch TV shows (reading and video games – much easier) but the couple of episodes I saw looked promising.

        I can’t imagine why they’d be cheesed~ It’s higher exposure. No reason to take any of it personally. We all make fun of the fans, but at the end of the day they’re writing and drawing and creating~ Seems like a good thing to me – even if most of it doesn’t end up being your cup of tea.
        Taking a look at their informal, preliminary results – probably we’ll see more of that ^^; There’s nothing on there that really surprises me, no matter how distasteful I find some of it. It’s the loss of agency stuff. Anything that frames relationships as ‘meant to be’ instead of ‘the thing we chose’… Would anybody be up for a fake relationship between two people who are /not/ going to end up together? Like, it’s just there to put a strain on the /actual/ relationship that’s getting shafted as these two people pretend for political/social/whatever reasons?
        Aha, my number one trope is trope subversion. There we have it 😉

        I’m starting to wish they’d gotten some other stats on the submitters though. Results probably vary significantly by age range, among other things. And while I think the space between western and anime fandoms had decreased significantly, it’s still another thing to consider. Don’t ask me about Supernatural. I know nothing, Jon Snow.

        • i keep telling myself that I should hitch a long-running survey to this thing. The yuri-theory post (Color of her hair) I did last year with V. Maser’s thesis – her study was amazing. Add the odd thing that the ONLY hard fudanshi research in the world is “owned” by a Japanese gay male fan who did it himself and published at Comiket. There is however ONE other big source of data but we won’t ever see it. An Interview with Viz publications Deb Aoki let slip how much the big publishers now use their traditional reader feedback channels as data mines. But those are publishers’ life&death top secret stash.

          It might be too far a stretch to draw parallels between Hato-as-kun and a cloaked Romulan bird of prey.

          Final thought on Madarame, the lucky “spineless” proper Japanese sarraryman who gets everything in the end by accepting and “performing” his “role”. If Spotted Flower merges into the canon, WHY DID SUE GET A RIDICULOUSLY EXCESSIVE BOOB JOB?

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