Okay not really.
But I was reading the GW-related comments on someone’s blog earlier today and was really nailed by the comment (paraphrasing) “I don’t necessarily look for the same things in fanfics now at 31 that I did at 18”. Thirty-one, wow. Not digging the age, but 18 to 31 is a big jump, it represents a whole lot of life experience, and it really drove home something I haven’t thought about in a long time:
This show is officially old.
- Gundam Wing was created in 1995. (19 years ago. 19!)
- It was dubbed and aired on American television in 2000. (14 years! I was so young then, I barely understood what was going on.)
- Most of the fandom that we know and love sprang up at this time and burned brightly for the next several years. I didn’t arrive on the scene until much later, 2004 or 2005, by which time only the diehard still remained active. (10 years ago, which for me represents a significant portion of my life.)
- Sites started dropping like flies over the next 5 – 6 years. By 2011, nearly every one of the old, cherished fan sites from my youth had become defunct, domains expired, content and carefully constructed archives forever lost.
- In 2012, I decided it was the perfect time to start a new GW fan site!
- And in 2014, I was finally able to realize this goal. (At least, that’s what I’m hoping.)
Makes me realize that this isn’t really even.. a “fandom” anymore, for me. It’s more than that, I’ve internalized it somehow, made it into a regular part of my life that I carry with me always on some level. I’ve rarely cared about a show and its characters as much as I do this one, and never for as long. In a way it was my first love.
I guess I’m not good at letting go.
The fandom, as it stands
These days, where exactly does Gundam Wing live on? Here are the last few places that I know of:
- A few miscellaneous authors whose blogs/websites I check up on occasionally.
- FanFiction.net, where stories are posted rarely and updated even less.
- A few deviants (deviantart.com) who semi-regularly post GW artwork, and all the others who post one-off pieces here and there.
- The GWAddiction website & related mailing list.
- A few other scattered (though amazingly stalwart) archives.
- A few Tumblr accounts that post a lot of surprisingly great content – artwork, character analyses, Frozen Teardrop updates, etc. etc.
- A couple Gundam/anime type forums where occasional mention & discussion of the show crops up.
Gundam Wing really is one very, very small thing in our entertainment-driven culture, which in recent years is a veritable revolving door of new matieral… There’s always something new, fandoms flare up and fade just as quickly, and people bounce from one fixation to another, as casual as one night stands.
So I find myself wondering who these people are, what they’re like that they still have any interest at all in this one, particular, nearly 20-year-old show, why they feel compelled to discuss and create things based on its characters and premises.
Wingverse going forward
Wingverse will amount to something, that much is certain – even if I’m the only one left to appreciate it by the time it does. Currently I still lack the time and resources to give it the nurturing attention it needs to get off the ground, though I’m tentatively shooting for mid-2014 to begin working on it in earnest.
Until then, remember:
Those who lay eyes on a Gundam…