General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:45 pm

Zephyr wrote:
ABED wrote:It's your version of what you think the story should include.
Yes, it's your version of what you think should be canon to the story. Hence, head canon.
ABED wrote:Is head canon that much easier to say than "what I wish was"?
It's already the term to describe the concept. It already has a colloquial foothold within the fandom. Head canon is the term, "what I wish was canon" is the definition. Of course the term is easier to say in every day conversation than inserting the definition.
Not when, as this thread proves, a lot of people don't know what "canon" means. Lumping the two together makes no sense since they are basically opposites. Many people take head canon to mean what they wish happened in the story which isn't the same as "in my head, I wish they included these shows or video games..."
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:59 pm

ABED wrote:a lot of people don't know what "canon" means
I think that this thread, past ones on it, and Mike's own blog post about it, collectively point toward it being less of "not knowing" what canon means, and more to a lot people having "different interpretations of the concept".
ABED wrote:Lumping the two together makes no sense since they are basically opposites.
I've already explained in painstaking detail how lumping them together does make sense. I've explained their relationship to one another in a logical way. I don't see how sense isn't being made.
ABED wrote:Many people take head canon to mean what they wish happened in the story which isn't the same as "in my head, I wish they included these shows or video games..."
I don't see how having two distinct connotations which are clearly defined, explained, and understood is supposed to support the notion that the concept doesn't make sense. You've just helped to illustrate how it can make sense in two different ways, rather than in zero ways.

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:07 pm

I've already explained in painstaking detail how lumping them together does make sense. I've explained their relationship to one another in a logical way. I don't see how sense isn't being made.
You have and I disagree.
I don't see how having two distinct connotations which are clearly defined, explained, and understood is supposed to support the notion that the concept doesn't make sense. You've just helped to illustrate how it can make sense in two different ways, rather than in zero ways.
It doesn't make sense BECAUSE you have two different ways of defining it. Instead of clarifying, it confuses things. A definition should make thinking and communication clearer. If you have to explain what you mean with your definition to someone then several things are going on:
- the definition could be a package deal or unclear
- or someone either using or hearing the word is unclear of its meaning.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:15 pm

Or the word has multiple connotations.

I think that saying a term "doesn't make sense" because it has more than one connotation is more than a little strict. After that point, I don't know what "doesn't make sense" is supposed to mean, or what weight that's supposed to have as a critique for the concept, since it can be applied to an overwhelming abundance of words.

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by MetaMoss » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:18 pm

Whelp, this is going absolutely nowhere. I'll throw my hat into the ring to see if I can't clear things up. The best definition I found for canon, as far as its usage in fandom goes, comes from Wiktionary:
Wiktionary wrote:Those sources, especially including literary works, which are generally considered authoritative regarding a given fictional universe.
This definition doesn't even specify that a canon even needs to be officially designated by the creators to be a canon, though the other definitions I found (mainly from Urban Dictionary) have the term as a synonym for "official story". In practice, if some official source deems something canon, it will be generally accepted by fans, fitting the above definition.

In Dragon Ball's case, we don't have any official canon to speak of, really. Shueisha and Toei just put out new stories as they deem fit, with little regard for how they all fit together. The one exception is that the new movies (or at least Battle of Gods, IIRC) were promoted as the "continuation to the official story of Dragon Ball", but that's the only time I can recall where we had anything close to an "official canon" being defined. Ultimately, the issue of canon is not on the radar of the producers of Dragon Ball. It's not something they see as useful for making money off the property.

Where does that leave us fans who want a canon that's internally consistent? Left to our own devices. If we want a canon, we'll have to define it ourselves. With the very diverse set of opinions the fanbase encompasses, that leaves us in our current mess and the definition of headcanon. The Wiktionary entry gives headcanon's definition as:
Wiktionary wrote:Elements and interpretations of a fictional universe accepted by an individual fan, but not found within or supported by the official canon.
This definition involves the individual fan and their personal interpretation of official material. Adding in material they came up with independently or from unofficial sources would more properly be fanon. This definition doesn't consider a case where an official canon isn't defined at all, though. I would say since nothing is supported by the "official canon" (as none exists), we really only have headcanons. With the above definition of plain old canon, however, I could see a case where someone's headcanon becomes a "real" canon. I've seen that there are some "schools of thought" for Dragon Ball canon, with the most prominent in this community being the "Toriyama-only" canon. It might actually be "generally considered authoritative" by enough of the fandom to be a real canon (plenty of folks act under that assumption), but I'm not confident to really say one way or another. I only stay in this little corner of fandom, so I make no claim of being knowledgeable about the whole of Dragon Ball's fanbase. That, and there's a bit of ambiguity of the level of involvement Toriyama needs to have in order for a work to fit the bill.

So, the concept of headcanon, at least, is relatively simple, being a fan's personal interpretation of a fictional universe. Canon, in the case where none is officially defined, can a bit more messy.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Anime Kitten » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:22 pm

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:37 pm

Or the word has multiple connotations.

I think that saying a term "doesn't make sense" because it has more than one connotation is more than a little strict. After that point, I don't know what "doesn't make sense" is supposed to mean, or what weight that's supposed to have as a critique for the concept, since it can be applied to an overwhelming abundance of words.
And words that have multiple definitions are discernible through context. This isn't that. You literally have to explain which definition you mean. And I wouldn't call it a concept. It's two different concepts that some naïve person lumped together.
Where does that leave us fans who want a canon that's internally consistent? Left to our own devices. If we want a canon, we'll have to define it ourselves.
I think we need to differentiate between canon and continuity.
I would say since nothing is supported by the "official canon" (as none exists), we really only have headcanons.
Again, you don't need an explicit statement of what is canon for Dragon Ball.

And why are you using wikitionary? Even on that site, it says the definition is a slang term.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:47 pm

ABED wrote:words that have multiple definitions are discernible through context.
Not always. Words like "gay" and "racist" have a plethora of meanings and connotations that you can't know based solely on context. How does needing one extra step for clarification mean you aren't clarifying which connotation you're using?
ABED wrote:This isn't that. You literally have to explain which definition you mean.
And having a simple, single extra step needed for full clarification on the meaning of the term makes it "not make sense"?
ABED wrote:And I wouldn't call it a concept.
...and I think I'm done.

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:52 pm

Not always. Words like "gay" and "racist" have a plethora of meanings and connotations that you can't know based solely on context. How does needing one extra step for clarification mean you aren't clarifying which connotation you're using?
You will know if someone is using based on context. Could you give an example of how that's not true?
And having a simple, single extra step needed for full clarification on the meaning of the term makes it "not make sense"?
It doesn't make sense to put two unlike things together if you want to be clear.
...and I think I'm done.
Why? I'm not exactly great with communication, clearly. My point is that I think it's a completely stupid, silly term, made up by some dude on the net who was trying to have his cake and eat it too. It just reeks of someone going, "Fine, it's not canon, but it's my head canon, yeah that's the ticket head canon."
Last edited by ABED on Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by MetaMoss » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:53 pm

ABED wrote:
metamoss wrote:Where does that leave us fans who want a canon that's internally consistent? Left to our own devices. If we want a canon, we'll have to define it ourselves.
I think we need to differentiate between canon and continuity.
I'm all ears.
ABED wrote:
metamoss wrote:I would say since nothing is supported by the "official canon" (as none exists), we really only have headcanons.
Again, you don't need an explicit statement of what is canon for Dragon Ball.
Then how do we determine canon? I must have missed where you mentioned that.
ABED wrote:And why are you using wikitionary? Even on that site, it says the definition is a slang term.
It was the most "official" dictionary I could find with definitions for the usage of canon and headcanon in fandoms. Even "canon" used in the context of fictional universes is not really found anywhere else currently (Urban Dictionary notwithstanding). Both of those terms are relatively new in this specific context.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:57 pm

Then how do we determine canon? I must have missed where you mentioned that.
Did you really?
It was the most "official" dictionary I could find with definitions for the usage of canon and headcanon in fandoms. Even "canon" used in the context of fictional universes is not really found anywhere else currently (Urban Dictionary notwithstanding). Both of those terms are relatively new in this specific context.
Canon has been around for YEARS. And there's nothing remotely official about wikis, they can be posted by anyone.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Zephyr » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:11 pm

ABED wrote:You will know if someone is using based on context. Could you give an example of how that's not true?
With the word "gay": If someone said "that person walking down the street is gay", what do you think they're trying to say? Are they calling him happy? Are they calling him a homosexual? Are they using it pejoratively? Some combination of the three? If so, what specific combination?

With the word "racist": If someone said "that's racist!", what do you think they're trying to say? Are they saying that something happened that was characterized by a belief in one race's inherent superiority to another? Are they saying that something happened which serves to contribute ultimately to the systematic oppression of a specific racial group?

The fact that these two terms have several potential connotations doesn't mean that the terms "don't make sense". It means that they have a further layer of nuance that warrants further clarification.
ABED wrote:It doesn't make sense to put two unlike things together if you want to be clear.
ABED wrote:My point is that I think it's a completely stupid, silly term, made up by some dude on the net who was trying to have his cake and eat it too.
If you want to call the idea of a "head canon" silly, then fair enough. We can agree to disagree there. However, I think it's disingenuous and hyperbolic to say it outright "doesn't make sense" when it very clearly makes a lot of sense to a lot of people, and they've gone to great lengths to carefully explain the concept piece by piece.

"Fan wishes" and "official stances" may be very different beasts on their own, but they can still have a conceptual relationship with one another. Again, in the form of "what a fan wishes the official stance was".

Red and blue are very unlike each other, as colors. However, they can be brought together to create purple. Even hot and cold can be linked together...
[spoiler]Image[/spoiler]
Regardless, I think we should probably end the conversation and agree to disagree. It's veering deeper and deeper into increasingly obscure levels of pedantry, making it less and less on-topic. I also feel as if I'm repeating myself. Most importantly though, I doubt it's very fun for other people to have to read through/scroll past.

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by MetaMoss » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:20 pm

ABED wrote:
Then how do we determine canon? I must have missed where you mentioned that.
Did you really?
Yep.
ABED wrote:
It was the most "official" dictionary I could find with definitions for the usage of canon and headcanon in fandoms. Even "canon" used in the context of fictional universes is not really found anywhere else currently (Urban Dictionary notwithstanding). Both of those terms are relatively new in this specific context.
Canon has been around for YEARS.
Yet it's usage as defining the "truth" of a fictional universe seems to still be considered just as a slang of a term as headcanon. I couldn't find a definition that fit the bill from any of the "real" dictionaries (Webster, Dictionary.com, etc.), so I decided Wiktionary would be sufficient enough for this conversation. The alternative was Urban Dictionary, remember.
ABED wrote:And there's nothing remotely official about wikis, they can be posted by anyone.
I'll try to refrain from citing it in my papers, Mrs. Strickland.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:26 pm

With the word "gay": If someone said "that person walking down the street is gay", what do you think they're trying to say? Are they calling him happy? Are they calling him a homosexual? Are they using it pejoratively? Some combination of the three? If so, what specific combination?
Context includes things like inflection. You can easily tell if someone is using it as a pejorative based on the tone of their voice. That's one way to tell.
With the word "racist": If someone said "that's racist!", what do you think they're trying to say? Are they saying that something happened that was characterized by a belief in one race's inherent superiority to another? Are they saying that something happened which serves to contribute ultimately to the systematic oppression of a specific racial group?
In this example, there is no context because you haven't given any.
Red and blue are very unlike each other, as colors. However, they can be brought together to create purple. Even hot and cold can be linked together...
Red and blue are related as colors. Your examples aren't illustrative of the point you are trying to make.

The original work is clearly canon, in this case, the Dragon Ball manga. Canon is a concept that is about differentiating an official work from non-official
Yet it's usage as defining the "truth" of a fictional universe seems to still be considered just as a slang of a term as headcanon.
Huh? It's a different application of a term that has been used for years. It's in no way slang.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by MetaMoss » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:43 pm

So, ABED, I took the time to find what I presume is where you defined how you see canon. Can you clarify some things?
ABED wrote:No, because the whole point of canon is that some official body says, either explicitly or implicitly, "this happened in the story".
What is "implicitly" saying events happened? Is it just releasing a story depicting those events through official channels?

I assume official bodies means folks like Toriyama, Toei and Shueshia. Am I correct on that?
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by rereboy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 5:34 am

ABED wrote:
- Everything that the author does is not automatically canon because the author (or the official people) are free to do stuff that isn't canon (even if there's no inconsistencies), and only the author (or the official people) can declare what is canon and what isn't.
Yes, they can do alternate universe stories, but that's understood to not be in continuity.
It doesn't have to be an alternate universe story. It can be anything. If they don't say anything regarding the canon of that work, the fans can assume/guess that it's canon based on the non-existent inconsistencies and whatnot, but there's nothing stopping the author (or the official people) from saying at any given moment: "oh, btw, those chapters I did? They aren't really canon".

The author (or the official people) can even state that it's not canon and later change their mind and state that it is canon. All that really matters is their declaration of canon, they are the ones that define it and redefine it.
ABED wrote:Canon is by its nature what some official body says it is. Official canon is redundantly redundant.
"Head canon" or "personal canon" is a notion that has the term canon on it because it translates a personal preference regarding what the canon should be. Therefore, it includes the term canon to briefly and accurately transmit the idea of what the notion is referring to and in what terms.

There is no better or more efficient way to transmit that idea in a two-word notion or expression, and it transmits it accurately, without it being confused with actual canon. There's no problem with it and there's no need to complicate the issue.

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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Rebel_Yeh » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:20 pm

DBZGTKOSDH wrote:So, we don't have an official canon, but if you go by Toriyama's stories (from writing original draft stories to creating the whole thing), then DB, JSAT, Jaco, DBMinus, BoG, FnF, and Super seem to make up what's currently canon, while things like the old movies/OVAs, GT, and video games are currently ignored. But which version of these events is canon is unclear at this point.
I think it is clear.

Toriyama canon:
1. DB manga (tankobon, including Trunks side story)
2. JSAT anime
3. Jaco
4. DBMinus
5. BOG (theatrical cut)
6. FNF movie
7. Super (from U6 arc onward, because this is when Toriyama started writing Super's plot)
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:39 pm

"Head canon" or "personal canon" is a notion that has the term canon on it because it translates a personal preference regarding what the canon should be. Therefore, it includes the term canon to briefly and accurately transmit the idea of what the notion is referring to and in what terms.

There is no better or more efficient way to transmit that idea in a two-word notion or expression, and it transmits it accurately, without it being confused with actual canon. There's no problem with it and there's no need to complicate the issue.
What did people ever do before we had the term head canon? Sorry if that's sarcastic, but this isn't a phenomena that was in need of a more succinct term. It comes off as someone trying to have their cake and eat it too by combining the two. Head canon makes as much sense as saying, "In my mind, the official story is GT did occur."
What is "implicitly" saying events happened? Is it just releasing a story depicting those events through official channels?

I assume official bodies means folks like Toriyama, Toei and Shueshia. Am I correct on that?
You are correct, sir.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by Anime Kitten » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:43 pm

It's totally fine to have a head canon when there's no official canon stated. That's why we have these discussions.
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Re: General "Canon/Filler" Debate/Discussion

Post by ABED » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:47 pm

Anime Kitten wrote:It's totally fine to have a head canon when there's no official canon stated. That's why we have these discussions.
But do you need Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to say "this happened in my story" for you to agree the stories are canon?
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