This decade has been hella long, and I’ve bounced around between dozens of fandoms in that time. But these five have ended up being my favorite fandoms over the past ten years. I wouldn’t be the same without them.
Fandoms are a cultural phenomenon that have existed ever since mass media became a thing. Groups of fans come together to enjoy content as a collective and engage with it on a different level through discussion, transformative works, and crafts. With the rise of Internet geek culture, fandom has taken on a new life and evolved into many wonderful communities, each with their own brand of humor, rules of engagement, memes, and events. Fandom culture has been a blessing for many of us, providing a social outlet and plenty of mental health benefits.
Of course, all fandoms have their problems. Even my favorites of the decade have deep dark corners that I do my best to avoid. But the five I’ve selected represent the best of the best in my decade long journey through online fan spaces. They’ve lifted me out of some seriously dark periods in my life, helped me develop my writing and public speaking skills, and offered the brightest and best spaces for me to engage with my fellow fans.
#5: Promare Fandom
The Promare fandom is an incredibly new one and, unlike the others on the list, it hasn’t had a chance to make huge impacts quite yet. It’s still finding its footing, absorbing new fans with each new screening event, and staking its claim in online fandom spaces.
So why is it on the list if it’s so darn new?
Because in the three months since it was released to the English language market (it’s been seven months since the Japanese release) the fandom has developed a tight-knit, highly supportive community that has provided an escape during incredibly difficult times in the world. Because let’s be real here – the world is super messy right now and it’s fun to sink into the bright and colorful world of Promare to forget about it for a while.
The amount of fanart, fanfiction, Discord servers, and DM groups that have sprung up in this incredibly short amount of time has been astounding. I’ve only really seen this type of consistent output with fandoms that have been around for a long time, so color me pleasantly surprised! New content is produced daily and discussion is happening basically around the clock everywhere I look.
The Promare fandom has also largely kept some of the dicey attitudes towards shipping out of their main gathering spaces (with a few exceptions), and retained a happy and welcoming shipping environment that’s thrived in the face of online fandom toxicity. The recent shift in shipping culture has been quite odd considering shippers were slowly gaining acceptance, and even gaining mainstream attention to both the excitement and concern of shippers everywhere. But this change is definitely a thing that’s happening. So I’m grateful that this shiny new fandom has created a solid and largely positive environment right off the bat.
Ship and let ship, as we used to say. And boy do we ship.
While the Promare fandom has only been active for three months of this decade, it’s been a delightful and memorable experience and I hope we charge into the next decade together with many other amazing things to come.
- Promare: The Colorful Queer Dystopian Action Drama We Needed
- Learn How To Make Promare’s “Inferno Volcano Margherita Mega Max Pizza”
#4: Misha’s Minions (Fans of Misha Collins & Associated Fandoms)
I stumbled into the fandom for Misha Collins near the start of the decade in mid to late 2011. I was looking for a new show to watch and had Supernatural recommended to me numerous times by friends. They said it would appeal to my interest in urban fantasy stories, as well as my propensity for being drawn into longer narratives that I can binge-watch over several weeks.
I watched the show and, while it was interesting, I didn’t fall completely in love with it until the angel Castiel walked on the screen in season four. That moment changed my life. And I’m not at all exaggerating. Things have not been the same since. Hell, this very website wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for this fandom.
It wasn’t long after I’d caught up on the show (it was halfway through season six at that point) that I decided to Google the actors and then, well, the rest was history.
How can someone so weird play a character that was introduced so seriously. Over the years the character did have some actor bleed through and adopted a rather odd brand type of humor himself, but in the beginning, it was a rather odd dichotomy.
I stopped watching Supernatural around 2015, but somehow I’ve still managed to stay in the very specific Misha Collins portion of the fandom that’s spread beyond the show. Between the charity Random Acts and his annual scavenger hunt GISH, we are constantly busy with new charitable, strange, unique, and entertaining side ventures that don’t require being up to date with Supernatural to truly enjoy.
To date, Misha’s minions have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and committed millions of individual acts of kindness around the world. And for that reason, despite no longer watching the show that led me to this delightful group of people, I will always be part of the Misha Collins fandom. Thank you for all that you do, Minions.
- ‘Supernatural’ Fandom Runs AMOK for Random Acts
- Misha Collins Wins a PCA: Fandom Explodes
- Misha’s Minions Want YOU to Buy Farm Animals for the Holidays
#3: San Diego Comic-Con Fandom
San Diego Comic-Con? As a fandom? Yep. It basically is. Former Geekiary contributor Yvonne summed it up perfectly in her piece ‘I Am Not Geek Chic’ and 10 Other Things I Learned During My First SDCC Experience‘:
Comic-Con is full of fans, but I already knew that going in. What I didn’t realize was that the biggest fandom represented at the convention was the SDCC fandom. These are people that live and breathe this convention. They feel about Comic-Con the way I feel about Harry Potter. This is not a judgement of these people – in fact there’s no way I would have been able to attend SDCC or have an enjoyable experience without them. It’s just not something I’ve experienced before. All of these people are fans of stuff like movies, TV shows, books, and of course comics, but their ultimate fandom is the Comic-Con fandom and they are the ones that know how to make the most of their SDCC experience.
I attended my first SDCC back in 2011 and I got a badge at that time by pure luck. They were having a resale of returned badges that year just a few weeks before the con (which is an event that has since been discontinued). I made the decision to try for one fairly last minute and somehow managed to snag one with the help of a friend. I had the time of my life, despite only having a Sunday badge that year, and knew I’d want to go back.
I tried to stay home in 2012 and do a road trip that summer instead, but felt like I was missing out on so much that I returned the next year. I haven’t missed a con since then. And I honestly don’t see myself missing one for as long as 1) I’m alive and 2) the con exists. I’m a lifer.
The people I’ve met because of SDCC have become some of my closest friends and my life would be dramatically different without them. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t talk to at least one of my SDCC fandom friends. Even when nothing is really happening regarding the con, we’re in touch with each other about our daily lives. Then when con season starts we’re all right back in it and ready to meet up at our event once more. We’ve got badges to try for, hotel rooms to swap, events and panels to keep an eye on, and meetups to plan. Things really kick into gear around June when news really starts ramping up. It’s not uncommon for me to have half a dozen SDCC related conversations every day for a solid two months of my life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My life is better because of SDCC. I look forward to another decade of amazing cons!
#2: Yuri on Ice Fandom
Yuri on Ice came at a perfect time. The tail end of 2016 was a mess for, uh, obvious reasons, and a lot of people needed an escape. And here comes this delightfully queer, musically unique, funny, interesting, and beautiful anime to satisfy our needs. Bless you, anime Gods! Thank you for this gift. The year 2016 would have been a complete waste of time without you.
It’s been three years since Yuri on Ice graced our television/laptop screens, but the fandom is still incredibly strong. Artists are churning out art. Fanficcers are churning out fic. And people like myself who like to talk a lot are still putting on fan panels at conventions. I’ve held three Yuri on Ice specific panels at my local anime con (KawaiiKon) since then, and will be folding it up in an LGBTQ+ anime panel this year along with #5 on this list, Promare, and a few other stand out anime shows and films.
While we all wait for the Yuri on Ice movie to finally get released (and we are totally patient with the Yuri on Ice movie delay because they are working really darn hard on this and we’re thankful), we’re kind of guiding each other around to other fandoms to pass the time and generally staying on each other’s radars. Once the movie hits theaters, it won’t be hard for us to jump right back into it all as if we’d never left. Because really, most of us haven’t. We’ve just added other stuff to fan about while we wait for it to come back.
- An Interview with Johnny Weir: His Thoughts on ‘Yuri on Ice’
- Kawaii Kon 2017 Panel: Let’s Celebrate Yuri!! On Ice
- ‘Yuri on Ice’ Skates into My Heart on Rainbow Glitter Skates
- Don’t Feel Guilty Seeking Comfort in Fandom
#1: Hannibal Fandom (Fannibals)
Coming in FIRST PLACE on my Top Five Fandoms of the Decade list is my beloved Fannibal Family.
Never in my life have I found a group of fans with such a dark sense humor but also a strangely positive, uplifting, and supportive sense of community. They are the ones that slapped a flower crown on a cannibal and made it their fandom symbol, after all. This is their thing.
Though Hannibal only aired for three seasons from 2013-2015, the efforts to bring it back for more continues to thrive in online spaces. It’s one of the strongest and longest enduring “Save Our Show” campaigns I’ve seen since Firefly. The actors and creators still get asked about it all the time, and their enthusiasm hasn’t really waned much over the years.
When I run across Fannibals in other fandoms nowadays, there tends to be an instant connection. Being a Fannibal is part of our overall fandom identity. Being part of this fandom was something we all went through together even if we didn’t directly interact. We were knee-deep in cannibal puns and flower crowns, and we all felt the rug pulled out from under us when it was canceled. And we still keep loudly proclaiming from every mountain top that we want a season four! We’re incredibly united behind these things and our bonds are strong.
I’ll be a Fannibal Forever. And so will many others.
- News from San Diego Comic-Con for #SaveHannibal
- Fannibals Call on Fellow Fandoms to Help Them Help Will Graham
- Hannibal Has Been Cancelled and Someone is Going to Get Eaten For it
- Hannibal Nerd HQ Pannibel – Flower Crowns!!!
- Surprise! The Hannibal Fandom is Here!
What are YOUR top fandoms of the decade?
I acknowledge that this list is very subjective! There are many fandoms I have not been part of that I’ve admired from afar that didn’t make the list because I have no direct experiences in them. So fill me in on your corner of the Internet!
What fandoms have impacted you this past decade? Why have they been particularly important to you? What’s been your most memorable experience in that fandom?
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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