It is uncommon of me to talk about nostalgia or the good old days. My initial exposure to the internet opened a world to me that perhaps was a little different than what others might have discovered.
For me, the stories are what fascinated me about the internet. Initially, it was Gargoyles Fanfiction (Back during the era when Gargoyles did not, in fact, suck). It opened my eyes to the potential of fan based fiction.
Afterwards, I was drawn to the Ranma 1/2 fiction community. To me, it seemed as if it was a golden age of fandom, and while I went neglected concerning some experiences (Such as anime conventions), I felt a connection with the fan community. Back then we were a tight knit sort, the Ranma 1/2 community, and on a whole it dominated the fan landscape.
Tenchi, Sailor Moon, Ranma, and a few others were my generations starter series. So very different from the series nowadays such as Bleach, FMA, and others. For the fan community, Ranma provided a wide open world of possibility. Takahashi had fleshed out the basic templates of her characters while leaving depth gracefully untouched on the whole.
Even so, Fans often took sides in the eternal battle of which Fiancee was the true one. The Worshippers of Shampoo (WOS), The Knights of the True Fiancee (KTF), and a number of other odd ball groups for the various girls in Ranma's life.
I, as my friends would put it, decided to go east with the subject. I had been fascinated with Richard Lawson's "Thy Outward Part" series, Nicholas Leifker's "Sunrise" and "Iris" stories, and Krista Perry's pseudo-once-epic Hearts of Ice.
I'd always been a fan of Onna-Ranma, and so my story would examine what the curse was to Ranma and what might happen if someone were to serve more as a genuine listening post and heartfelt friend to Ranma. I chose someone from the cast who had been more underdeveloped than even the main cast, allowing some amount of leeway and flexibility to the story.
And promptly got stuck two years after beginning the rather tremendous story I wanted to tell. Ten years later, I still struggle to continue the story, partly because ten years ago I fell into poor habits which consumed practically all of my time.
Nowadays, the Ranma fandom has dwindled and fragmented, and there is precious little holding it together. When once it was common to have thousands of hits on my page alone, and tens of thousands on others on a weekly basis... nowadays, there is hardly any traffic.
Perhaps it was all subsumed by Fanfiction.net, initially a well meaning website, now just a method to murder a true writers sanity (Due largely to their punishingly torturous submissions standards which edit out many commonly used characters to differentiate between thoughts, speech and other languages).
Perhaps people merely became bored of the series and moved onward to better things.
Perhaps they all grew up and realized that fandom didn't produce anything towards their own betterment...
Regardless, I will always miss those golden days of the internet, when all was shiny and new, and all seemed possible. While the world continues to change and advance, the energy which once permeated the heart of my adulation has seemingly gone out.
I hope, one day, it shall ignite again...
Watching: Da News
Drinking: Kiwi Strawberry Punch