Aeoli’s Iron Law of Anime:
0.1% of anime is sublime.
5% of anime is great.
The rest is absolute garbage.
As part of this initial foray, I’ll define “genre fixation” as a behavior where a person gets stuck in an entertainment rut, disproportionately consuming media from a single genre. This is qualitatively different from mere preference and is analogous to drug addiction and fetishism proper (as opposed to kinks). It seems likely that a similar neural rewiring phenomenon is occurring in the brains of fixated people. A person with such a fixation loses the ability over time to find enjoyment in the original aesthetic unless the fetish is included somehow (like how some people can’t enjoy a real-life social situation except as it pertains to later Facebook posts).
It’s also independent from having good or broad taste- a person with good taste in other genres can still get stuck in one of these ruts. The most obvious cases are pathological…making reference to my Iron Law of Anime above, an anime-fixated person will continue watching new anime series even if they are no longer enjoyable.
With respect to predicting fixations, I think it’s necessary to distinguish between personality types that are prone to fixations (like those on the autism spectrum, obviously) and genres that are more likely to produce fixation (like more addictive drugs). Here are some contenders for the latter:
Facebook (to the pathological exclusion of in-person socializing)
Internet (forums and chatrooms)
Sci-fi and fantasy
Comics, graphic novels
Metal, particularly with screamed lyrics
Spicy food (people who eat ghost peppers, that sort of thing)
Traits these have in common:
-Enjoying the thing produces a desire for more of it.
-There is a deep range of intensity levels so that enthusiasts can descend into greater and greater extremities that are increasingly mystifying to others.
-Enthusiasm morphs into self-identification (as with the stronger fetishes like homosexuality or transgenderism). A person doesn’t just enjoy metal, they are “a metalhead”.
-Enthusiasts often enjoy shocking the uninitiated by hinting at the extreme ranges.
For example of the latter, the theme of this Lamb of God music video is very common for metal videos. The “joke” (I guess?) is that the audience is not intended to enjoy the music, except for maybe one outsider who is then recruited into fandom. Another common “joke” is to surprise the audience with someone who appears uninitiated, who is actually a very deep fan of the genre.
Please note that this is distinct from getting in a rut with respect to entertainment sources like Netflix. Lots of people are addicted to watching Netflix dramas or comedies because it’s convenient and habitual.