Talking about Fandom: Is It Just a Phase?

Oxford dictionary has some definition of phase. The first definition is “a distinct period or stage in a process of change or forming part of something’s development”. That definition has more sub-definition (I don’t know what to call it): 1.1. a stage in a person’s psychological development, especially a period of temporary difficulty during adolescence or particular stage during childhood; 1.2. a stage in the life cycle or annual cycle of an animal.

When I was a kid, I read and watched Detective Conan a lot. My dad told me, “You won’t like Detective Conan anymore when you grow up.” I responded, “I will like Conan until I’m old.”

It turned out that my dad was right, partly. As I grew up, I became less obsessed with Conan but then a day came when my cousin let me read some Conan comics that she borrowed from her friend. I was obsessed with Conan again, for days, or weeks. I even considered naming my motorcycle Conan although I then put the idea at the back of my mind.

So my dad thought that my obsessive-fangirl-state is just a once-in-a-lifetime phase but it didn’t turn that way. My obsession is a part of a bigger cycle which I call a fan cycle. It happens this way: I discover something good -> I become curious -> I try to know more about it -> I like it more -> I’m obsessed for a period of time -> dormant period -> I discover another something good -> repeat cycle. That’s what happens to me. 

Fan cycle can vary to different people. Some people may stay in obessive phase forever. Some people exeperience multiple cycles at once, which means that they are into multiple fandoms with almost same amount of love and attention (or obsession). Some people don’t go further than the discovering phase.

One cycle of specific fan cycle can stop happening then occur again after a long time. It happens to me with Detective Conan, as I mention above. I also experienced my My-Chemical-Romance-fan-cycle again after years of not really thinking about them.

Why and how a long forgotten fan cycle can occur again in our head? That’s a topic for another post.

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