I’m a purist. Big deal.
In entertainment, a purist is a person, gamer, or audience member who considers modifications to a particular entertainment item unnecessary or even offensive, vehemently so if against the specific wishes of the item’s creator. They also may make it a point to correct fanon, which they stereotypically detest.
- Anime purists tend to vocalize their distaste of dubbed animation, and the dialogue (and sometimes plot) modifications that the dubbing process introduces. They prefer subtitled anime in the original language to the dubbed version. Many of them also object to the availability of anime through mainstream channels such as the Cartoon Network or the Sci Fi Channel, as anime often has to be edited to remove violence or profanity, or to have other changes to meet American broadcast standards. In order to meet the 1980s daily syndicated minimum guideline of 65 episodes, for example, Robotech was created by merging three unrelated anime shows and their storylines rewritten so that they relate to each other. This resulted in possibly the best-known case of anime purist hostility as reportedly, death threats were issued against series creator Carl Macek.
- The Lord of the Rings purists are fans of J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings who dislike changes in New Line Cinema’s film trilogy adaptation. Again, the use of the term varies extremely widely; it may be used offensively, in a complimentary way, or neutrally. The term may be meant to connote more sophisticated appreciation than that of “fangirls.” The definition especially refers to those who adamantly detest the Peter Jackson-directed trilogy for deviating even in minor detail from the original text. As many of the book’s dedicated fans also enjoy these films, purists have been contrasted with “revisionists” who accept and like the changes.
- Harry Potter purists are fans that despise various alterations made in a Harry Potter book to film adaptation. They expect to see most details, scenes and chapters included in the film while not taking note of the cinematic form and context needed to create an adaptation. The purists have claimed that Potter directors, such as Alfonso Cuaron and David Yates, have ‘ruined’ the series due to their cinematic themes which have resulted in amounts of plot details cut from the novel. However, author J. K. Rowling has approved of all these changes and stated that it is “simply impossible” to include every single storyline in a film with time and budget constraints.
- Star Wars purists often decry what Lucasfilm has done to the Original Trilogy and the changes of the original films (such as the refilming of the Han Solo–Greedo shootout scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). Alternatively, a Star Wars fan who believes that only the films (with or without Lucasfilm’s changes) reflect George Lucas’s universe and that the spin-off novels, comic books and other stories are not continuous or worth consideration can also be called a purist. Often the preferred term for this type of purist is a Star Wars fundamentalist.