There’s a friending meme spreading around the Livejournal fangirl blogs where one lists down a series that she feel has a small fandom, and through the meme, eventually meets other like-minded individuals who also enjoy the anime/manga, thus making small fandom feel not-so small.
(Though, of course you have the one kid who puts down Code Geass as a “small fandom,” to the bemusement and confusion of all.)
Has this been important to you? Is it important to you that there are a lot of other people who also like the same series as you do?
Having a Livejournal vs. an anime blog, the online community dynamics are remarkably different. Through LJ, you can add a particular series on your “interests list” and discover other people who have put it down on their own profiles. That’s not the case with the anime blogosphere, where it can take many pages of reading through someone’s blog (or archives) to really figure out if you have things in common. It’s easier to feel alone in the otakusphere, especially if you’re blogging about a series or a topic that isn’t on the radar of the average blogger.
When I used to write-up episodic summaries, I did feel somewhat weird that I would be the only person writing up Show X, when everybody else was writing about Show Y. (Granted, there were far less anime blogs then, but there I am sounding like an old fogey again.) Was I so weird that my tastes only gravitated to shows that no one in their right mind would watch?
To be honest though, there’s a lot to be said for liking obscure things. Even this past Otakon, I met a couple of girls who were diehard Immortal Rain cosplayer/fans. When they realized that I had the only fansite devoted to the series, it was instant recognition. It definitely had the feeling of being in a secret club where you don’t even know who the other members are, but when you see each other, it’s almost like you’ve known each other forever. If you’re in a small fandom, you feel a greater solidarity with the other fans, who have probably felt just as isolated as you have, so knowing that you share this interest is the one way of reaching out.
So maybe it’s not so bad to admit that you like a series that only five people have read. I would even suggest writing and blogging so that you always end up as one of the first hits on any search engine, not just Google. Fans are created everyday, and what may have been a small fandom today may be tomorrow’s next big thing.