nike: Jack Frost holding a snowball and smirking (RotG Jack Frost)
I've updated my sticky post for fiction on DW to include my fiction over at AO3, which includes two one shots and a WIP I'm still updating regularly.

Which reminded me of something I wanted to rant about. Namely Jack Frost's age.

This is probably the only fandom I've ever been in where a big deal has been made about the age of a character. I'm not talking about chan/underage/shotacon/lolicon. We all know a fandom (or a story) with that going on. This is, however, related.

The big issue with Jack Frost is nobody can agree how old he is. William Joyce, who writes the Guardians of Childhood series, says Jack was 14 when he died and became what he now is. However, Jack hasn't appeared in the books yet although, also according to Joyce, he will appear in the one due out this fall. As a result, most of the fandom is turning to the movie Rise of the Guardians for information and characterization and Dreamworks? Doesn't agree with Mr. Joyce, even if their movie is based off his work.

"Official" movie-related merchandise claims Jack was 17 or 18 when he died, depending on where you look. This is backed by Jack being voiced by Chris Pine in the movie. Chris Pine did an awesome job, but he does not sound like a young teenager. The first time you hear the voice and realize it belongs to Jack is probably akin to how Barry White's mom felt when his voice changed.

Then you get the fact that while Jack died as a teenager, he's been around for several centuries. There is no indication he ages or is even capable of doing so. He is, however, capable of learning and anyone who's been around for at least 300 years has some serious life-experience behind them. So, despite his appearance and whatever age he died at, is he really still a teenager? He's older than most adults. He's stuck in a teenage body. Does that influence things like hormones or the way his brain's wired? Would dying have changed that? (Wow, he's pretty for a zombie.) And that's where the trouble begins.

Rise of the Guardians sits in an odd hub where several types of fandom collide. The Migratory Slash Fandom (aka, the big fandoms that end up oddly interconnected like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Merlin, and more recently The Hobbit, The Avengers, and Sherlock Holmes) has discovered it and joined in with all the energy it tends to bring. How? Likely a few adult fans took their kids to see it and fell in love because of its similarities to the Avengers. On the other hand, Migratory Slash Fandom is very aware of and very careful warning about what they view as underage. Some places in Migratory Slash Fandom won't even allow it.

In stark contrast, Rise of the Guardians also attracted the Anime and Western Animation fandoms, which admittedly have a some overlap while still being very separate entities. This type of movie is precisely the type of film these fandoms will give a chance and jump on if it's to their liking. And the Anime fandom? Is very much used to tropes that squick the Migratory Slash Fandom.

You see, Japan has a very young age of consent. Basically, anyone 13 or older is allowed to do what they want sexually with few restrictions, although tradition, which is very important, does add a level respect and protection you wouldn't see in the West. For example, extremely large age differences or having some form of power over the other (such as being their teacher or boss) is subtly discouraged with the implications that it is dishonorable. This doesn't change the fact that it's socially acceptable for, say, a college-aged guy to date a 14-year-old girl (which is actually the ages of the main couple in Sailor Moon).

Japan is also much freer in general with their depictions of sex and sexuality, including many kinks. It's not uncommon to see an anime feature some sort of kink in it. Some purposefully indulge kink, in fact. The biggest one most likely to freak out Migratory Slash Fandom is what TV Tropes calls Older Than They Look. Basically, an anime character is purposefully designed/drawn to look young, and by Japanese terms that means they look 12 at the oldest, while being legal to do pretty much anything (like old enough to drive, if not older). And chances are, they're going to be put in a situation that is either going to be sexual, where they turn out to be the biggest badass ever, or both. It's basically an attempt at adding in a cute character that the Lolicon/Shotacon crowd won't feel guilty about because they're not actually as young as they appear. Someone who's several centuries old but comes across as a teenager (especially one that comes across as being in their older teens)? The Anime crowd isn't even going to blink.

The Western Animation crowd, in the meantime, is not only used to some of the same tropes (the overlap with the Anime crowd in effect), but is also used to writing relationships between characters that aren't of age in their canon. The general view point among them is, if you know enough to be in the fandom then you know how old the characters generally are and what you're getting in to. This isn't true of all of them, of course, and it's not unusual to see some one aged up, but that doesn't happen as often as you might think, especially if the characters are canonically in their teens. This fandom's also where the vast majority of furries in fandom tend to reside, which is an entirely different squick to the Migratory Slash Fandom.

The end result? You've got a group of people who always warn about underage either freaking out or justifying their actions, a group of people who are willing to warn but don't really see why they have to, and group of people who really don't see why they have to and aren't going to warn at all. So far, most of the varying viewpoints are only showing up in Author's Notes and comments and very subtly in the fanfiction (I've never seen a Migratory Slash Fandom with so much Gen fiction before), but with the movie due out on BlueRay/DVD tomorrow as I'm writing this, that may very well change as people start convincing their friends to sit down and watch this movie at least once.


nike: Charlie Hunnam as my main muse Nibs (Default)

August 2016


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