I hear this a lot: “I used to like such and such, but the fans ruined it for me.” And it bugs me every time I hear it; after all, why should the fans have anything to do with the actual series or game or whatever else? If you like it, then you will like it — I don’t understand why so many people give power to the masses by letting them affect their opinion of something. A series is not its fans, and the fans do not make the series. Sure, sometimes it might be annoying hearing fangirls and boys fawn over the various bishounen and moeblobs from your series of choice, if the only reason you decide to dislike those bishounen and moeblobs is because of the fans, then you’re not thinking for yourself anymore.
Case in point, I love Kingdom Hearts — okay, it’s not an anime or manga, but I think it’s a good example because the fans are notoriously obnoxious. I think the first three games were excellent (I am sad that so many people forget about Chain of Memories), and I love the ending to KH2. I like almost all of the characters and enjoy what we do see of their in-game relationships. Does it annoy me that fangirls seem to like slashing every single male character in the entire fandom? (Regardless of whether they ever actually officially interact? lol@AxelxDemyx?) It used to a little, but really, I am a huge proponent of the “to each his own” ideal. I may not like what you like, but I will support to the death your right to like it. And since I’m active on deviantART and people like to bitch about various fandoms always getting frontpage attention: I may not like what you draw, but I will support to the death your right to draw it. And if it’s popular? Good for you!
I don’t really understand when people get disappointed that “overhyped” series aren’t as good as one may come to expect. It’s more of that giving power to the masses, which is kind of hilarious when you consider that most people would say that they don’t trust the masses. And it’s true — don’t trust them. Put your trust in people you actually know, then you can be legitimately disappointed when things aren’t as good as they’ve been described to you. I didn’t watch Haruhi Suzumiya because of its popularity; I watched it because several people whose opinions I care about recommended it to me. I was disappointed for those same reasons. Similarly, I didn’t start Naruto until two years after its debut and only because several bothersome friends kept suggesting it. I didn’t stop reading it last summer as any consequence of annoying fans; I stopped because I was tired of waiting for something to happen.
I also refuse to stop liking something because it’s popular or to be ashamed of getting into something because it got popular first. It annoys me to no end when people rag on Naruto for being popular or for its general fanbase being young and silly. Getting offended at kids being kids is stupid. Saying that they’re bringing down the image of anime in general is blaming them for the ignorance of the rest of the population (regardless of what is in the mainstream, people will use what’s popular as a stereotype for the rest of the community; I don’t really think anyone would be happier if the populace’s general impression of anime was crazy kids fighting giant robots in other giant robots or bounty hunters in space).
The moral of this post is to think for yourself! Who cares what everyone else thinks and does? If you like it, then like it. No shame, kids. No shame.