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Fanfiction Fandoms

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Nemrut, Feb 28, 2015.

  1. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    A week or so ago, was procrastinating and for some reason, I decided to look at the numbers of which fandom has the most fanfics to its names in the various sections. There were some surprises.

    So, apparently, the Percy Jackson fanfiction section on fanfiction.net is one of the largest on the site. It’s the third largest of the Books section, with over 60 000 stories, not counting those in the crossover section. I remember Ryuugi mentioning in 2013 that it had around 37-38 000 thousand stories, so, that's over 20 000 in nearly two years. Yet surprisingly, I can say I know a truly great story of this fandom, not like one of the numerous excellent stories in Naruto or HP or even Teen Titans or Bleach.

    As a comparison, numbers one and two are Harry Potter and Twilight, with HP having over 700 000 stories and Twilight having over 210 000 stories.

    Four and five are LotR, with 53 000 and Hunger Games, with 42 000. Number six is where it takes a big dive, with something called Warriors, which is 22 000.

    Things of interest to me, Worm has 167, which makes me cry, but then again, most of the Worm stories are found on Spacebattles. Still, hope that this number will rise, so that we get more stories than “Taylor gets power x”.

    Discworld has not even 2000 stories, which is unsurprising, seeing as Pratchett is Pratchett and it is hard to play in his sandbox.

    A Song of Ice and Fire has 5 600 stories. As a contrast, the TV-Series section has Game of Thrones with 2 800 stories. Not sure that, despite the differences, it really warrants entries in two different sections. Seems to me that most people who would write fanfiction would also be reading the books at some time.

    In the Anime and Manga section, Naruto reigns supreme with 377 000 stories, followed by Inu Yasha, 144 000 stories, and, surprisingly, Hetalia, 110 000 stories. Bleach has nearly 80 000, Yu-Gi-Oh has 65 000 and FMA, DBZ, Digimon, Gundam, Sailor Moon and Fairy Tail are all in the 40 000 range, in the order they are listed.

    It does not surprise me in the least that from the old Big Three (Naruto, Bleach and One Piece) that One Piece has, by a large margin, the least amount of fanfiction to its name, despite the fact that it has a lot better grasp on story telling. Still, with 30 000 stories, it has more than I initially assumed. The OP world and way of story telling just doesn’t lend itself well to fanfiction, not the way Naruto or even Bleach does.

    As a RWBY fan, it should be interesting to note that RWBY has only 6 600 stories to its name. Then again, RWBY is like 2 years old, compared to the decades that the big names are running by now. One can only hope that with RWBY having more success and getting more recognition as it will grow over the years, the amount of fanfiction writers flocking to it will also grow.

    Ranma has “only” 13 000 stories, even though it is one of the oldest fandoms on the internet. Guess most stories are on other sites, seeing that Ranma fanfiction pre-dates fanfiction.net, but still. Would have though there would be more. Same with Sailor Moon, tbh.

    Cartoons has ATLA (Avatar the Last Airbender) with nearly 40 000 stories, not counting Legend of Korra which has, interestingly enough, a separate entry with over 11 000 stories. Fun fact, the ATLA section has “Foaming Mouth Guy” as one of the characters selectable in the character section and there are seven stories about/with him. Huh.

    Next is Teen Titans, with nearly 38 000 stories and then Transformers Beast Wars with around 26 000, followed by MLP:FiM with ca. 23 400 stories, which is less than I assumed, but I guess most MLP stories are on Fimfiction.net.

    Young Justice has nearly 17 000, Kim Possible has around 9 000 and W.I.T.C.H. has around 1 800 stories, unfortunately. Really wish there were a lot more.

    Next section is interesting, as it is Comics and here, it takes a huge dive in numbers. Biggest is Homestuck, a web-comic/story with nearing 16 000 stories, and the next two are X-Men with 12 400 and Batman with 12 300 stories. Justice League has nearly 5 000, Spider-Man has 4 400 and Iron Man has 3 800.

    It does surprise me that there is hardly any comics fanfiction. Then again, I suppose with the nature of comics, that comics themselves are really fanfiction anyway, seeing that so many different writers tackle all the various characters and all of them having different levels of skill at it. So, I guess, a lot of mediocre comics, a lot of crappy comics, a few truly miserable comics and a few brilliant ones are pretty much the same experience in comics and fanfiction alike.

    In many ways, it’s worse than fanfiction, since fanfiction writers don’t have to consider the shit that a crappy author before them spewed out as canon.

    Like, one writer writes an excellent Wonder Woman story, next does a meh job, then comes a solid writer, then a really crappy writer, introducing stupid things or making a mess, then comes a meh writer, doing a passable thing, but doesn’t really fix things, so, what’s the next good writer to do, now that he or she has this on their hands?Going to be really hard to make a good thing out of the mess in their hands. Imagine if excellent fanfic writers such as SilverShine had to incorporate elements of bad smutfics into their stories.

    The Games section is lead by Pokemon, with nearly 80 000 stories, followed by Kingdom Hearts with 72 000 stories. Then it takes quite a dive in numbers as number three is Final Fantasy 7 with nearly 40 000 stories.

    Then, weirdly, Sonic the Hedgehog, with ca 35 000 stories, which is a lot more than I assumed. Would have thought if anything, its the cartoon that has the most stories, not the games, then again, only played it on the sega a few times at a friends when I was like 11, so, what do I know about Sonic games.

    Legend of Zelda has around 27 000 which is a lot lower than I would have thought. Is there another site with good LoZ stories out there that people flock to?

    Mass Effect has 16 000 and Dragon Age has 15 300. Again, a bit lower than I would have assumed, but both franchises are not “that” old yet. Besides, games are generally less accessible than series and books, so, makes sense that games have generally less fanfiction than those, unless it is one of the older franchises. Or one that also strikes into other media.

    Super Smash Brothers has around 10 000 stories, and, as some may know, the longest piece of fanfiction, and some say english piece of literature with The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest and its four million words. Not sure if that’s true though.

    Persona has around 5 000 stories, which is a pity.

    The Misc section is weird and the one that should be noted from there is probably the Wrestling part, with around 38 000 stories. Red vs Blue is also here, with around 1 500 stories.

    Next is Movies, with Star Wars having 33 400 stories, Avengers with 28 300 stories and Pirates of the Caribbean with nearly 20 000 stories. It’s impressive that the Avengers accumulated so many stories in such a relatively short time.

    I mean, Star Wars has been out for around 30 years by now and Avengers is going to overtake that in a year or two. Then again, with the new movies coming up, Star Wars may not fall back all that much. It’s also present in the games section, so, maybe that counts as well.

    Frozen has around 8 500 stories, and I guess there was some kind of purge a few days/weeks ago where the site deleted Elsanna incest stories, so, not sure how many there were or how many were deleted. Could be between a few to a few thousand. Would believe either one, with the popularity of that particular ship. Especially seeing how people try to circumvent the incest by making them not related in their stories, so, not sure how fanfiction.net handled those stories.

    Not sure why movies have, generally speaking, not counting the few franchises with over 20 k stories, not that much fanfiction. Most movies have fanfiction in the amount between 2 and 20. Given the amount of movies, only very few are in the thousands and more.

    Plays and Musicals is lead by something called Screenplays, with nearly 30 000 stories. I don’t know what that is, but a click on it has shown that most stories there are in Indonesian, so, something from there. No idea what it is about, but it is interesting that so much fanfiction is coming from there. Only 1 000 stories about this are in English.

    Rent is next with 7 000 and then Wicked with nearly 6 000. It takes another dive with Cats and Les Miserables with both around 3 300 stories. Shakespeare is the last one to break a thousand with 2 100 stories, as everything else is below 700.

    Last, but certainly not least, is the TV-Show section.

    Glee and Supernatural take the lead here with the former having 107 000 stories and the latter having 104 000 stories. Didn’t realize Glee had such a huge fanfiction fanbase.

    Doctor Who is next with 67 000 stories and is then followed by Sherlock, with around 51 000. Well, Superwholock is present, even in the right order, oddly enough. What of Sherlock warranted over 51 000 stories, I do not know. There are only so many romance stories one can write with two people.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is next, with 48 400 stories, which is also less than I assumed, but I know at least two other places solely dedicated to Buffy fanfiction, so, I guess a good amount of them are found there.

    To make a comparison with some of my favourite shows and shows that are popular at the moment:

    Once Upon A Time has 32 000,
    Castle has around 19 000 stories,
    Teen Wolf has 17 000,

    Walking Dead has 12 000,

    Veronica Mars has 4 000,

    Arrow and Agents of Shield are also in the 4 000 range,

    Game of Thrones has 2 800,

    How I Met Your Mother has 2 000,

    Scrubs has 1 700,

    Orphan Black has 1 200 and

    Orange is the New Black has 761 stories.

    Interesting, as I would have pegged that the last two would have a lot more stories. Teen Wolf has about as many as expected, Veronica Mars has criminally few, Walking Dead has shockingly few. I am not a big fan of it but damn, would have though it had a lot more fanfiction to its name.

    So, wanted to talk about Percy Jackson and its surprising lack of good, long fanfics and instead took a look an fanfiction in general. Maybe it is interesting to someone. Overall, Harry Potter has nearly as much fanfiction as a lot of the sections combined. It is the biggest fandom in terms of stories on ff.net by a large margin which should be surprising to exactly no one. Naruto is second, Twilight third.

    I get HP and Naruto. Both have a big cast and a very interesting setting which is easy to write in. Never read Twilight, so, while, to my knowledge, it has a decent cast in terms of numbers, I am not sure it has a setting with worldbuilding to match. So, interesting to see that despite all the critique and bashing Twilight got, it has such a huge presence in terms of fanfiction, that inspired so many people to write stories about the characters there.

    My biggest surprise was really Percy Jackson, having so many stories, yet I know of maybe 3 decent stories but no great ones. A few good one shots, granted, but nothing like Hammered Down, or Avatar, or the Girl From Whirlpool. Even My Little Pony has Fallout Equestria.

    So, yeah, maybe this is of interest to someone. Posted this on my tumblr and thought to share it here as well. Maybe there will be some discussion.
  2. fire

    fire Auror

    Dec 25, 2011
    I remember the days when the Percy Jackson section had less than a hundred stories. Ten years ago. Time flies?
  3. Newcomb

    Newcomb Headmaster

    Sep 28, 2013
    The Evergreen State
    The numbers of fanfiction are a really interesting topic for me. Not sure what this information actually means to me, but some of those sizes were pretty surprising.

    I'm pretty shocked that Worm has that few. Then again, from what I understand a lot of people don't cross-post their SB stories on FFN, which is a shame because I find SB to be pretty much unreadable. I guess the universe is also pretty intimidating; the scope gets to "multi-verse affecting" levels, and there are dozens of important characters and hundreds of secondary ones, most of them having unique powers that interact in specific and sometimes odd ways. A pretty cool sandbox, but one that has a steep learning curve.

    Sonic the Hedgehog - 35,000 stories. That's... strange? Seems like such a bland franchise, story and character-wise. I mean, fun to play I guess, but what is the draw of that world?
  4. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

    Jan 31, 2008
    Baile Átha Cliath
    Man, Inuyasha used to be the big fanfiction community. Crazy to see the comparison with the likes of HP now, lol.
  5. Steelbadger

    Steelbadger High Inquisitor

    Nov 9, 2013
    United Kingdom
    It's pretty interesting. I'd be very interested in comparing relative reader-writer populations as well. Which fandoms are most likely to review? Which are most likely to favourite?

    Because I always like to over analyse things I made a very simple scraper which (very slowly so as not to annoy FFN) scuttles through a fandom and collates a list of Title - Chapters - Words - Favs - Age and spits it out into an excel file for analysis.

    At the moment it's only done HP/LotR (cos I did a thing for it). Not much actual information from it. The only thing I do see from the graphs is that the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie prompted a spike of fanfictions. Oh, and ideal words per chapter if you want to pick up favourites falls somewhere in the 2500-10000 word range (much wow, such surprise).

    I perhaps should have included a value for how recently it updated so I could work out what update schedule whore favourites best.

    It's a pity only the author can see the number of views each fic has.
  6. Darth Disaster

    Darth Disaster The Waking Sith Prestige DLP Supporter

    Sep 10, 2011
    Two blocks from the beach.
    High Score:
    My old fandom, Neon Genesis Evangelion only has 7700 stories. But lots of the stories in that fandom predated FFNet and were hosted other places before the advent of a large hosting site.
  7. ChaosSora

    ChaosSora Second Year

    Sep 13, 2007
    It's worth noting with Neon Genies Evangelion in particular that the Japanese fanfiction community is a lot larger than the English community. I would say the Japanese EVa fanfiction community is comparable too the English Naruto fanfiction community, if not larger.

    There is also a lot more fanfiction for currently airing anime than in the english community, but that's to be expected.
  8. Mutton

    Mutton Unspeakable

    Feb 20, 2011
    I suspect some of the fandoms have heavier presences over at AO3; MCU and ASoIaF come to mind.
  9. mortalone

    mortalone Sixth Year

    May 18, 2013
    Ninjas are awesome, Naruverse has many possible story directions, and Kishimoto made so many mistake post-timeskip that Naruto is a gold mine for possibilities. Sadly, few of those authors ever really explored any of them.

    One Piece, despite being the best selling active manga in the world right now (and pretty soon perhaps the best selling all time) doesn't connect as well with western audiences, doesn't have many possible story directions, and is substantially better executed.

    Though if you're looking to infer a formula, I suspect that fanfiction communities tend to grow exponentially, i.e., that the growth rate of an FFnet fandom is proportional to the size of the fandom.
  10. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

    Jan 6, 2009
    I'd guess that the majority of those are related to the SatAM cartoon from the early 90s. Those weren't based on the games so much as one of the Archie comics, in which Sonic was a freedom fighter in a dystopian world. Some of that shit was hardcore for a show aimed at the 9-12 demographic. It was one of my favorite cartoons to watch on Saturday morning when I was around 9-10 years old.
  11. Invictus

    Invictus Totally Sirius

    Mar 21, 2013
    Cidade Maravilhosa
    Elder Scrolls has quite the tiny number of fanfiction, and interestingly, Skyrim and FemSlash reigns supreme there. I guess people do like the sight of strong Nord women. Specially together.

    Not surprised at all with One Piece and Discworld small fandoms, both are excellent source material with an incredible world, but so very little can be improved or change how the story goes. Their magic is mostly lost on fics, their uniqueness I mean, and again the original material leaves very few unsatisfied.

    Evangelion japanes comunity is simply huge, doujinshi are numbered by the thousands, some are even better then the "canon" manga. Dozens of official fanfics, and more. By far the biggest active fandom I saw. And they hardly slowed down during all those years between the original series and Rebuild.

    Ranma 1/2 has so so so many crossovers, it's ridicolous. Even more when comparing to it's short number of 'pure' fics.

    RWBY numbers impress me, it's quite new, not widely distributed, doesn't have any marketing campaign behind it and still have that kind of numbers.

    Comics number are even higher then I thought. Someone that reads comics will certainly feel that something huge is missing when he is only reading about what is happening.

    Inuyasha was that big? Entered fanfic world when HP was already the Mammoth that dwarfed all other together and decades after Inuyasha ending, so...
  12. Sn0rkack

    Sn0rkack Professor

    Aug 24, 2011
    Long Island - 631
    Attack on Titan is blowing up pretty quickly as well sitting at 15.3K right now
  13. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    Was there really a purge recently? Besides /r9k/Elsa is Suffering I never really followed Frozen.

    I used to know an autistic kid who was obsessed with Sonic. I would guess people like him make up most of the fandom.
  14. funkytoad

    funkytoad Fourth Year

    Aug 18, 2008
    Speaking of, it actually has two entries for some odd reason. One as Attack on Titan and one as Shingeki no Kyojin.
  15. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    I really find this fascinating, which stories have huge fanbases and which don't.

    And yes, I agree, the scope can be intimidating, among other things but for some, it really is the question of how well known are they. Worm is very much an underground thing. It can't be found on shelves in bookstores, there is no game, no tv series, no movie, no advertising, so, it has hardly any exposure in the classical sense.

    Also, it is relatively new, around 3 years, one year since its completion. People who know about it really only do so either through word of mouth, either via friends or family members/blog posts/forum posts/tumblr what have you or if they are really into the whole web-series thing.

    And you can browse countless forums, blogs and tumblrs and never see a mention of Worm. So, it's easy to pass it by.

    RWBY, compared to Worm, has immense exposure. Roosterteeth is one of the more successful online groups and everyone who follows them knows of RWBY. And even RWBY has relatively speaking, not that much exposure. Only people who are into that niche have really heard of it.

    Then again, it is also held back by its short episodes and budget problems, being a more or less amateur show, with all sorts of flaws and shortcomings in story telling. It is also just two seasons in, and I have read somewhere that they want around 7-10 seasons of it, so, there is that. (I still love it to death, mind you.)

    Still, compare that to, let's say, Super Smash Brothers. It's format, a fighting game with almost zero story has nonetheless lend itself to a relatively huge fanfiction fanbase. Heck, that one fic means it has a lot more words under its banner than most fandoms on ff.net combined.

    I mean, yeah, it's basically a huge crossover, and it can be fun to write character X interact with character Y but it still seems like a weird concept to write long stories for. Let alone a story over 4 million words.
    (Then again, I can't talk, as I have gotten unreasonably fond of Samus/Zelda stories =P)

    Generally speaking, exposure seems to be the biggest limit. Games and Comics, on a whole, are less accessible to wider audiences. Not everyone has the specific game console or has read the necessary comics, whereas tons of people were able to watch the show or read the book. Teen Titans the animated show was a lot more watched than the comics were read, hence why there is so much fanfiction for the show.

    On the other hand, if a franchise has been around for long enough, it is able to compensate. Final Fantasy falls under that category, I imagine.

    Going back to RWBY and Worm, it is a lot easier to watch two seasons of RWBY, it's not even 4 hours, whereas reading the roughly 1.5 million words of Worm, while more than worth it, would take a lot longer. That's a few days doing literally nothing else or a few weeks. So, not everyone who discovers Worm some way or another is going to stick with it until the end. And even less are going to write fanfiction.
  16. Banta

    Banta The Chosen One DLP Supporter

    Jul 14, 2006
    I think this point has to be stressed. Worm is hard to find. It doesn't have much, if any, exposure outside of word-of-mouth. Unlike RWBY, which has a production studio behind it, Worm has one guy and its fans, who I don't think anyone would call an organized group.

    It also doesn't have a print version (yet) that people can pick up and read. Or an e-book that can be downloaded and read on a kindle/nook/smartphone/tablet/whatever. Instead you have a crappy blog that is a pain in the ass to navigate if you're trying to read the story.

    It isn't the density of the material, it's how much of a hurdle it is to even get it. I know the author has plans to release a book version of Worm, but until that happens, the fandom will remain tiny.
  17. Jarik

    Jarik Chief Warlock

    Feb 13, 2008
    I suppose the Super Smash Bros fandom is analogous to the Touhou or Kantai Collection fandoms. In Japan, these are fandoms that eclipse basically everything else, with the mammoth doujin convention Comiket being dominated by Touhou for a decade. And this is fandom is based on an amateur top scrolling video game.

    I guess in these cases, you're basically taking a blank slate and building a fandom universe that builds on each other. The more regular tropes in the fandom are almost considered canon, and the community really defines the content there.

    Hetalia initially seems surprising, but then you realize it's one of the fandoms that the yaoi community love. This is also what props up Fullmetal Alchemist (46k), Prince of Tennis (22k), Ouran Host club (21k), Shingeki no Kyojin and Kuroko's Basketball (15k). Brniging up the Japanese doujin community again, Comiket always features a shounen sports fandom within its top 5 biggest (at the moment it's Kuroko's Basketball).
  18. Scytale

    Scytale First Year

    Mar 20, 2012
    I remember when Buffy used to dominate the TV show listing on FFN, the fandom for that has really died though (makes sense because its no longer on the air). Similar thing happened to Stargate which used to be huge too.

    In the last year or two I've found Archive of Our Own tends to have a lot better quality stories and is easier to search etc thats my preferred spot to go for new stories these days.

    In my opinion a better metric to guage quality of fics would be average number of words per chapters for each fandom or similar.

    I know when I'm searching a site like FFN for something to read I prefer something lengthy that will hold my attention for a while I usually skip anything less than 10-20k words. Some fandoms are notorious for only having one shot stories or collections of one shots which I don't really care to read but seem hugely popular based on views and review counts.

    I've been really into Worm lately too and I agree Space Battles is terrible, I'd really like it if there was a better place which hosted a lot of the stories. I usually just click through the index in the first post and try to ignore all the comments but often the authors forget to update the index waiting through pages of crap (a lot of which is borderline off topic) to find the next chapter gets old pretty quickly. Sufficient velocity is much friendlier to use because of the threadmarks thing it added recently as far as I can tell the only difference between SV and SB other than threadmarks is you are allowed to necro threads on SV, a lot of the same stories seem to be hosted on both.

    Edit: Also if I were to write a Worm fic of my own where would be the best place to post it to? I'd probably have to bite the bullet and make a SB account for it I guess.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  19. Nemrut

    Nemrut The Black Mage Prestige

    Aug 9, 2009
    Department of Post-Mortem Communications
    High Score:
    AO3 does tend to have a lot more, well, let's say weird stories though. That is not bad in and on itself, especially seeing that ff.net can be a bit unreasonable at times, but then you have to question things when the Worm section on AO3 is full with Danny/Taylor pedo incest.

    The tags, while I do admit that it can make searches easier, also can get a bit weird. Although, to be fair, I think it's just one author named Axxor who is cluttering the worm section with weird fetish porn stories. Can't say it is indicative of every fandom or if Worm is just an outlier here but AO3 is a bit of a mixed blessing, I feel.

    As to where to post, wouldn't the best thing be to post it everywhere? I would post it on FF.net, AO3, DLP and Spacebattles. That way, you get the most input and not all people frequent all these sites.
  20. NuitTombee

    NuitTombee Dark Lord

    Feb 14, 2010
    The Peach State
    Yeah, that's Ack, the author of Security (Worm SI).