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28 September 2004 @ 09:33 am
An introduction--somewhat opinionated, hold onto your butts  
*waves* Hello all. I go by the handle Nabuca online usually. I'm both new and not new...I've been watching this community on and off before I decided to subscribe to it. Got into FMA sometime after Febraury, read both the manga as well as watch the anime. Big supporter of Ed and Winry, as well as Roy and Riza, because yes I must do the whole cliche "My favorite pairings are blah blah blah!!!1one"

Where someone to really ask me what my favorite pairings are, or if I'm a supporter of yaoi/shonen ai, or yuri/shoujo ai, you'd might as well ask me if I'm into romance novels or something. I really seem to lack what alot of fans have, and thats the understanding of the huge hype over same-sex pairings, more specifically same sex pairings between two males. It really makes me wonder if this is merely the result of the fact that current modern-day thought--to be more specific--the U.S. culture in general, is highly repressed. The U.S. in and of itself was founded on very strict Puritanical principles. Not only was homosexuality highly discouraged for a long time in history, or more specifically U.S. history, so has sexuality in general. Now that times are starting to change, I find people, mostly young females, latching onto the whole homosexual phenomenon like rebellious teens after a bottle of their father's booze. And I make this metaphor because, for example, in Europe drinking laws (and depending on where you are, NO drinking laws), are far more lax there than in the U.S. And yet still there are far-less alcohol-induced crimes there than in the U.S. I was raised by an Irish Roman Catholic household, the laws against me drinking where very lax within family circles, and yes although I've done my fair share stupid things under the influence, I've always taken responsibility afterwards, and I've never really seen alcohol as such a big deal as most kids around me did. By the same token, I myself am a transgendered bisexual male (FtoM). All of my decently-sized circle of friends I surround myself with are gay or lesbian, with the exception of one. All of us seem also to not grok the hype over same-sex pairings in anime fandoms, unless of course such pairing is already present, or hinted at such. I used to think that this was a thing mostly common with straight young females, but then I am also under the understanding that either a.) older, or b.) gay/lesbian females and males share this hype too, but as I understand it those numbers are a bit fewer. I've watched the pattern of same-sex pairing fans in the GWing fandom, and I'm noticing similar patterns in the growing FMA-fandom as well. Though personally...I am of the opinion that FMA as a whole really is NOT condusive to same-sex pairings. Then again I'm not a romance-novel type person either, just in general. I've written a small handful of shonen ai fics back in the day. I'm not sure if I pulled it off right, and I notice most people who do, don't seem to pull it off right either, but then again I'm really not one to judge that, so I generally avoid it altogether with a few exceptions. At any rate, it really seems to me like the whole "must pair the prettyboys together"-thing has gotten so out of hand in recent years. Its as if some people are desperate enough to pair someone with anyone or anything with a phallus...OMG EdxTree-stump!!!11

Now...understand that just because I don't agree to something or subscribe to a certain thought, does not mean that I don't respect other people's right to agree with a certian thing or subscribe to that thought. This rant is merely a musing over what I see as a common trend that has flared up over the past several years. It also expresses my wish to participate in some more refreshing lines of conversation...I found loyalwolf108's informative post a rather refreshing change from the usual talk and banter that goes on in fandom communities. For one thing, I've always had an invested interest and fascination with Hermetic Philosophy or alchemy (I found myself very intrigued when I first discovered FMA's exhistence), and it would be interesting to see more discussion on the alchemical symbolism in FMA or the poetic licensing that goes on in the series versus real-world alchemy and alchemical principles. This is assuming that not many conversations of like have gone on already, and I am merely too daft to have seen it, or merely too busy with stuff outside of the glowing computer monitor, as what tends to happen frequently.

At any rate, I'm done. I feel as if I've rambled like a homeless wino, and perhaps I have, though in all reality I'm merely just waking up and waiting for the caffeine in my coffee to slam my system. I will, therefore, go back to lurking, and nursing my skull. Somedays I feel like a flaming zeppelin fell down onto my head.



Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: Akeboshi - Wind
Cynthia: by arex_kuncsakuras on September 28th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure if this'll add much to the discussion, but I don't really MIND yaoi and shounen ai. I'm not a fan, but if that's what people like, then okay. Occasionally I'll read some fanfic or see fanart that I like, but mostly because of the characters, not because of the porn.
My view on pairings depends on the dynamics between characters. If there's potential, then it interests me in how it might turn out- how compatible their personalities are, obstacles, etc. I enjoy reading discussions where pairing potential is discussed in detail, because it gives so much insight into the characters themselves.
I remember the first time I found this community and was totally overwhelmed by the popularity of Ed/Roy. The first thought I had back then was: Where did that come from? Crazy fangirls. *shake head* And I still hold the opinion somewhat, but it's crack, and it's fun.
Though I would like to see more fanfiction that isn't pairing-oriented because frankly, there's a lot in this series that can be brought into more detail without moving into nonexistant relationships.
Also, I'm a Ed/Rose fan personally, but am sorta hesitant in following through by writing fanfiction because I'm afraid most people would snub it, perhaps because it's het or because it's such a minority. I mean, for a crack pairing, it has more evidence than most other crack pairings do, so I shouldn't be so worried, but like you said, the popularity of yaoi and such can be suffocating.
Just my opinion.
girl_starfishgirl_starfish on September 28th, 2004 03:51 pm (UTC)
I have to politely disagree, if only because I am a bisexual female, who was not born/raised in America or a country founded by Puritans (NZ never really got into the missionary thing although they tried hard). At 22, I don't know if I'd be considered young (young in fandom terms seems to me to mean the 15-18 age bracket -- that's just my opinion of course. I feel like I've been in fandom a while, at any rate) and I'm not particularly rebellious . . . and I still prefer yaoi/shounen-ai pairings generally speaking to het. There are het pairings I really like, and I've written and enjoyed fics that were het or het-centric, but I think I will always prefer shounen-ai. Your suggestion that the sudden 'craze' for shounen-ai/yaoi is a reaction to a conservative culture/act of teenage rebellion seems to me very . . . lacking.

The other point I want to make is regarding canon and fanfic. You seem to be trying to make the point that if something isn't in the series (such as you consider Roy/Liza, Ed/Winry) then it isn't as valid or deserving of support/ fanfic. Since when has fanfic been about what is canon? If you think about it, people tend to write what they *want* to see, not what *is*. I don't know if you're familiar with the Full Moon O Sagashite fandom; it's a pretty small, shoujo thing. My favourite pairing (and it is het) is Takuto/Mitsuki, and its *the* canon pairing. They have a great dynamic, they're funny, cute, great together -- and they get a happy ending in the manga and anime. Grand total of fanfics about them? 0. There is simply nothing to add. People write instead of Meroko or Izumi, the 'left out' characters. People will always support pairings/write fanfics regardless of how 'canon' they are, and objecting to them on that basis seems a little like objecting to the Lord of the Rings movies on the basis that Tolkien wasn't the director.

Incidentally, I completely agree with csakuras that the character dynamics for me, make the pairing -- which is why I like the shounen-ai FMA pairings over the het. That gets very subjective, so I won't go into it, except to say that with the series being very general in terms of pairings, there is at least as much potential for shounen-ai and shoujo-ai as there is het.

That's my two cents, thanks for listening. #^_^#
Kim: hughessumeragiskank on September 28th, 2004 03:59 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, I don't think I've ever quite understood the feeling that a fandom having boys love/yaoi in it diminishes it, and the phrase "______ is too good to slash" has always been a red flag for me that just pushes a lot of my annoyed buttons. It's fandom, nothing is too good for fandom. It's like, yes, Mary Sues tend to be terrible fics, but they're not the end of the world and last I knew, they didn't actually affect a series. Same thing with the multitude of yaoi fics out there. There are plenty of series I like that I do not slash, but those are the series I watch and do not participate in fandom for. To me, fandom is for the slash or the wacked out pairings that I want to see in the show or that really catch my attention and hook me and make me want to seek it out. It so happens that in FMA, I think all of the het pairings are beyond boring and none of the female characters really interest me. Hawkeye is very cool, but her and Roy don't jive in my mind romantically. There are, however, yaoi pairings in FMA that make me tingly and trip my imagination and engage me like none of the het pairings do. I personally don't like Roy/Ed very much, but I can understand why people do. It just doesn't fit with the way I see Roy Mustang. Not for the age gap/antagonistic aspects, as those are actually two of my kinks, but because to me, Roy is a control freak who needs to be tipped down over his desk and fucked, and frankly, I don't see Ed doing it. I just wait until someone posts devastating Hughes/Roy or the amusing Havoc/Roy, and I am happy.

I don't see the problem with with squealing fangirls, we were all squealing fangirls/fanboys at one point in time, and generally, people get over it in time. If they annoy me, I can ignore them and just play in my own sandbox, same thing I do with all the Roy/Riza stuff, I just move on and ignore it, even if it does make me go "ugh." I don't have to read or look at it. There are asshole yaoi fangirls, and there are asshole het fangirls. Either side makes me want to kick them upside the head if they start in on telling you are stupid for liking your particular 'ship or kink, or "My pairing is better because it's CANON," especially when it is NOT. As much as people want to go on, there are NO canon pairings in FMA, unless you count parents, since Ed and Al had to come from somewhere, or married couples and such. Ed/Winry and Roy/Riza, as popular as they are, are still subtext, and are not canon. If you love a crack pairing, embrace it as such. *waves her FuumaxKeiichi from X flag* Mmm pretty pretty CLAMP crack.

Thinking back to my days of slashing literary characters in my head before I even had the internet when I was young, I don't think I ever did it for the "ooo this is naughty" aspect. I did it because dammit, Tom and Huck were slashy! Not to say that that is not the reason why people latch onto it, but I think to stick with it, they have to develop other reasons for liking it. There has to be an appeal to the yaoi couples beyond it being trendy to continue to do it, and for me, it's usually some aspect of the relationship, either explicitily shown in the series in question, or hypothetically extrapolated upon in my mind, that sparks my interest and keeps it.

I think I had a point in there somewhere, but I have undoubtedly lost it. I really want to know how attractive this tree stump is, if it's taller than Ed, and do they have any slashy moments before I declare it an OTP. I think at the moment I am leaning towards Armstrong/Ed for the sheer WTFit'ssparkly!!! aspect.
kuromitsu: Mittermeyerkuromitsu on September 28th, 2004 05:09 pm (UTC)
*standing ovation*

This is what I would've written if I had time and the ability to express myself coherently. ^^;;

Thinking back to my days of slashing literary characters in my head before I even had the internet when I was young

Oh, so I wasn't the only one who did that. :D I remember reading books and slashing (often subconsciously) characters like Sinfjotli and Helgi or Darcy and Bingley, before I even knew about slash or yaoi. Now that I think about it, it was because I found the relationships interesting and the charas seemed to be a good pair together... definitely not because I was being rebellious or anything.
reversing the polarity of the neutron flow: maes hughes. fma. [indangerment] x moishinraisei on September 28th, 2004 04:20 pm (UTC)
I prefer pairings that actually make sense and are hinted at in the series. (whether it be directly or indirectly seen)

I also dislike the whole "ZOMG MUST PAIR PRETTY BOY WITH OTHER PRITTY BOY" thing. Unless its a possibly and there are scenes to justify it then I'm like "ugh". And it becomes a problem when I look into a pairing that has been serviced before and I've just never noticed and all of a sudden I take a simple comment to mean something else. >_>;

I dislike Elricest though but I like seeing the two together as brothers just because I have an older brother whom I've known for a couple years and we get along swell and talk to each other and such but we rarely see each other since we never grew up together and the only sibling plot we ever did was get our dad to buy us 2 Starbursts at the drug store. So you could say the Elric brothers act as the childhood sibling relationship I never had ? ^^;...Uhm, yes XD; (He tries to make up for the lost years when he visits though o.o. He's pretty good at annoying me *nods* or taking me by surprise when I don't want to be taken by surprise)

Yay! We need more of these topics. (Deep discussion stuffs about scenes or phrases or symbols in FMA etc.)
reversing the polarity of the neutron flow: maes hughes. fma. [indangerment] x moishinraisei on September 28th, 2004 04:28 pm (UTC)
<--my life lacks brotherly love (I have 4 older brothers *cough* and 4 older sisters too)

Oh and I would like to add,

I like the crack pairings that when represented they're done in a humour-like fashion like the recent Ed x Envy topic where it was like "So canon it hurts" and just as I was looking through the images I was doubled over. If its a wierd pairing where the pair are shown in a "loving" manner then I wince and hide because it like, makes no sense at all. x_x;

BTW,......what's Canon? *blinks* '__';
Marikaitou_marina on September 28th, 2004 05:14 pm (UTC)
Canon - Anything established as fact as it was originally written by the author/director in books, movies, anime series, etc. It's the preestablished stuff.

Example: Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling = Canon in the Harry Potter 'verse.

Example: Harry/Draco fanfic by random fangirl #1938397592353 = not!canon
Jadealiyajadealiya on September 28th, 2004 09:08 pm (UTC)
While I hate to flood this with more responses, I can't help myself ^_^

I actually had an oppotunity last semester to study homosexuality in japanese popular culture and international yaoi fandoms for my final paper for my gender in modern japan class - there are a lot of really interesting ideas behind why straight women are so interested in slash. It actually became "popular" in the 70s in America with K/S zines (fan works slashing Kirk and Spock from star trek and also where the term "slash" comes from ^_^) so it is not necessarily a new thing. Some of the more interesting ideas I've heard behind the "why" of slash revolve around questions about gender roles and a search for ideal expressions of love. If the idea is popularly held that women cannot be a part of "ideal" relationships either because they are "below" men or because of the physical risk of pregnancy ruining any idealism, then it becomes less desirable for female fans to look at female characters and try to see fantasy relationships taking place. It is much easier to take to male characters and create a couple - though it is not so much about the "gay" as the lack of gender and the lack of gender roles. Of course, there is also the idea that with male couples there is no character for a female reader to compare herself to and feel she has to compete with them - theres just the sexy seme and the uke who inspires sympathy and motherly feelings, and the idea that women like to write about and see gay men for the same reason men like to see lesbian porn - twice as much naked man, no naked women. And now, I definately see a bit of all these ideas with the addition of fad/popularity making this a desirable niche in fandoms. Sorry to rattle on like this, but I just wanted to put these theories out there and encourage any one who is interested in this to look for reasearch and scholarly articles. Its a really interesting subject ^_^ ((and for the record, I tend to be gender blind in picking my favorite relationships - yaoi, yuri, het - its all about the characters and how they interact))
《 √esse 》: My Ego // Luna_Rivierainnate on September 29th, 2004 03:12 am (UTC)
Much what I would have said if I wasn't dead tired. Basically what many people have said...smooshed together!

-takes the lazy way out-
《 √esse 》: Buh? // Luna_Rivierainnate on September 29th, 2004 12:18 am (UTC)
I'm a FtM. -blinks- No op...

Wow, nice to meet you! I hadn't seen anyone else in LJ like that until now.
《 √esse 》: Such A Drag // VanillaFireinnate on September 29th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC)
Oh yeah and your rant makes sense.

I'm great at paying attention to the main point. Not.

Anyway...yeah it makes sense. But it also comes off like you dislike boy's love or shoujo-ai shippers? You're probably not, my brain's just dead like whoa.

I admit, when it comes to anime and such? I am all about the gay. HOWEVER. Unless it's canon, like real canon, I do not put myself into dillusions and try to argue that it is.

Like Seishirou/Subaru from TB/X? Canon. Durr.

Roy/Ed? HAHAH no. Honestly I don't like ging out of my way to slash anybody in Hagaren. I enjoy it on it's own. I do still have to point out every gay-ish moment though, because there IS some. Just light making-fun-of-itself moments.

And Hughes/Roy shippers make me want to tear my hair out. MAYBE before Hughes met his wife...maybe. But after? The man was obsessed with his family. Now I am a shallow individual, VERY shallow, but I'd still never disrespect that that man is a loyal family man, and would sooner slit his own throat than cheat on his wife.

BLEH. Anyway..e.r... I still like many non same sex stuff. I'm just...intensely attracted to same sex stuff. This might be because I can't properly experience it myself? Not physically anyway. I'm not sure.

I'm also a shallow ass muncher.

But I prefer canon over anything. If it's not canon, I'll just point out stuff and make fun, but otherwise, I respect what's canon, and accept what isn't.

So...uh... I agree/disagree with you.
heliwood on September 29th, 2004 04:46 am (UTC)
Ahh, well nice to meet another TG person here *grin* And no, I'm far-from against same-sex pairings...if you look back to my original rant you'll see I've written a few of my own. Its mostly as you've said (as I am taking the lazy way out right now lol), and mostly my frustration that I feel its been overdone in some cases. Or something. Yes. Brain is dead. In fact, too dead to reply to all these responses...wow. Too early in the morning.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Wiccat: Pokewiccat on September 29th, 2004 01:37 am (UTC)
After reading all that, I was going to write a long and meaningful reply, but it's 1:30 in the morning and I think I just felt my brain shut off...

Either way, I also applaud your bravery to rant about this particular subject. I'm a straight female and a supporter of yaoi, but not het or yuri. I'm not sure if it's me personally or what, but my mentality is pretty much "I know what women look like and think like... let's explore the men".

Also, I've heard crack theories that if we can't have the pretty boys, we can at least watch the pretty boys have each other!
Kyra: WTF?reikah on September 29th, 2004 11:33 am (UTC)
It really makes me wonder if this is merely the result of the fact that current modern-day thought--to be more specific--the U.S. culture in general, is highly repressed. The U.S. in and of itself was founded on very strict Puritanical principles.

I'm British, apparently this means I should be covering table legs because they are OFFENSIVE TO MINE EYES! ...or clicking a pair of coconuts together as I race across the Scottish plains.

And also burning puritans for being _too_ protestant. And stuff.

Yeah. Having said that, we allow civil service unions now. We haven't got the entire "OMG GAY MARRIAGE" thing rampaging through US headlines, because while homophobia is a problem here, at the same time nobody really seems to care about whether you're gay or bi or straight. Not as much, anyway.

Me? I'm a Royai and Elricest fangirl in particular, but I enjoy most other pairings. (I make an exception for Gluttony, though.) I like yaoi and yuri and het, equally, and I think shipping wars are damn weird. *Shrugs* 's just me.