Tuesday, October 04, 2005

What happened to anime "shrines" on the web?

The topic of changes in fandom, as related to changes in technology used
by fandom, is something that I am trying to address in my dissertation
research. The question of how the anime community online has changed is
one that I asked on a web forum and the AMRC-L a few months ago, and I got some interesting responses. Specifically, I asked:

Are series-specific anime fansites a thing of the past?

I've been using the internet as an anime fan for over 10 years now, and
I've noticed a trend that maybe some of you can comment upon. It seems to
me that fan-produced websites focusing on a single series are less common
than before. Sure, some of the older sites are still around (like mine),
but new sites about single shows seem to be less popular. On the other
hand, forums/communities, review sites, news sites, image boards, blogs,
and other more generalized websites seem to be bigger than ever.

Then again, maybe it's just me. Has anyone else noticed this trend? If so,
why do you think it happened? If not, what are some of the more
well-known/high-quality series-specific sites out there?

(Your comments here or by email are appreciated.)

Related followup post: Counteracting Sameness on the Internet


  1. I just put up a new shrine, mainly as a clever pun on the old ones:


    But yeah, in general, the interactive Web seems to have replaced static information sites. Generally, the large amount of information you can have about an anime is easier to find and manage with centralized, user-editable pages such as Wikipedia and AnimeNfo.

    The "centralized" bit is getting to be a problem, though. Eventually we might go back to decentralized sites with a standard metadata format.

  2. As far as newer series goes, I think this trend is due in part by the move of fansubs from videotape to digisub.

    As a series get digisubbed, one or many digisubber groups decide to work on it and they tend to put up the forum/community site where fans of the series go to discuss the show (and also to make sure they have the latest release).

    The need for a series specific site is lost until the series drops off the digisub radar (and thus, off their respective digisub group's forums).

  3. Web 2.0 has totally changed the way people contribute to the web. Old, simple HTML websites are being surpassed by glossy, script-loaded and professionally done content management systems that let us create without understanding the code behind what we do…

    for good or ill

  4. farhan, I agree. The bigger question is: how does the technology, the infrastructure, change people's behavior and, in this case, the content of what they put online?

  5. Good question! It makes it easier to contribute, so it's easier to maintain a good-looking blog or wiki but likewise easier to create some rubbish thing. I suppose in general, it lowers the formality of the web and improves sites' interconnectedness... Hmm. Hard to gauge the overall trend but I'd like to think it makes people more open, confident, creative and simply empowers them.

    Then again, the web is flooded with abandoned or low-quality blogs etc. which way prevent better river from gaining the exposure they deserve. Having said that, the web is much better linked and indexed now so I suppose you can't keep a good site down... people behave badly in groups over the Dunbar number. Easier to make communities, more large ones, more breakdowns? Hmm.

  6. sorry typing on N95 predictive text thingy hence weird typos

  7. I'm sorry but - "which way prevent better river" - doesn't even make sense. Could you please explain that part of your post?

    Just my opinion of course but...
    I see nothing wrong with interactive and "general" anime/other related-sites rather than a shrine to any one show or game or whatever. Usually the more interaction (things to see and do) the more fun a website is and this goes for anime fansites as well.

    But I do miss how people used to have specific shrines and such rather than generalized sites.

    The link
    doesn't even work BTW

    "Hard to gauge the overall trend but I'd like to think it makes people more open, confident, creative and simply empowers them."
    I agree.

    Yep, the larger or more popular a site is the higher chance it has of more drama. - k24601 aka Kara Ann Vortex, Queen Kara, and various other nicks

  8. I think I meant "may prevent better sites"

  9. Related followup: http://www.lainspotting.com/2006/03/counteracting-sameness-on-internet.html

  10. Valuable information. Maybe it's easier than taking care of the site of each anime you like. Pool Screen Installation North Port, FL