The “Nabu Tax” and Why It’s Taxing on the Winx Fandom
Posted On March 10, 2019
Imagine you’re reading a Winx Club next-generation fanfic. Lo-and-behold, Aisha is married to Nex! Hallelujah! Dreams come true!
But what’s this? A note next to the name of their child?
I loved Nabu, but she’s with Nex now, so that’s why they’re together in my story.
Um…okay. Thanks for the clarification. ?
I see disclaimers like this all the time. Winx fanfiction writers defend themselves when they keep Aisha and Nex together in their stories. They know the fandom expects them to break the couple up.
Some writers are dramatic about it. Here’s an actual example (going from memory):
I’ll ship Nabu and Aisha until the day I die! I liked them better! They were couple goals!
Geez! Why did they bother letting Aisha marry Nex if it pains them that much? ?
Also, notice the name order: “Nabu and Aisha”. I see that a lot, too. To me, it’s a sign the Winx fandom cares more about Nabu than they care about Aisha. That’s why they think of him first. He’s more important to them.
Poor girl, upstaged by her own love interest.
How The Nabu Tax Works
What is the Nabu Tax, as I call it? To put it in a way that’s easy to remember:
If you pay Aisha and Nex a compliment, you must also pay a compliment to Nabu (or Aisha and Nabu).
For example, you can’t say, “Aisha and Nex are a great couple” and leave it at that. Say this instead: “Aisha and Nabu were a great couple, but Aisha and Nex are great, too.” This format — “Nabu, but Nex” — is a common way to pay the Nabu Tax.
I see the opposite (“Nex, but Nabu”) sometimes, too. Take this “review” on my fanfic “The Storm”, for example.
I love Aisha and Nex! But I love Aisha and Nabu more…
Thanks…I think. Why did I need to know that? What does that have to do with my story? ?
The Nabu Tax isn’t just for compliments. Anytime you bring up Aisha and Nex, you must mention Nabu, too. Here are more examples I’ve seen over the years from Winx fanfiction:
- Aisha is dating, about to marry, or married to Nex, but the writer brings up Nabu so much, the story feels more about him. (Common example: she’s telling Nex about him.)
- Aisha and Nex are married, but they end up raising Nabu’s child (by birth, adoption, etc.).
- Aisha and Nex name their child Nabu. (I was guilty of this several years ago, but another fan helped me realize how awkward that would be for Nex.)
That’s not all. The tax affects everything, including posts, comments, fanart, videos, and edits. Nothing is safe.
What’s Wrong With The Nabu Tax
The Nabu Tax traps the fandom in a cycle of mourning — and that’s the purpose of it. As the saying goes, “Misery loves company.” The people who haven’t moved on from Nabu’s death want everyone else to stay upset, so they feel justified for not getting over it. They think if they let go of him, it’s the same as forgetting him.
That’s why I have a hard time believing anyone who claims to like (or even love) Aisha and Nex, but still pays the Nabu Tax. You can tell they’re conflicted. They wanna be happy for Aisha, but they can’t because they’re still attached to Nabu. You can’t get invested in a new relationship if you’re still invested in an old one.
Think of it this way. Imagine Nabu wasn’t Aisha’s ex-boyfriend. He was yours, and he passed away several years ago. Now you’re with someone else. You say you love him; you have similar interests you enjoy doing together, and you’re so happy together.
But at every date, you talk about Nabu. You think about him more than your new boyfriend. Every time your friends ask you how things are going, you say, “Oh, they’re great, but…I miss Nabu.”
Would anyone in their right mind believe you truly loved your new boyfriend? Or you were committed to this new relationship?
The Nabu Tax is one reason I’ve given up on the Winx fandom. As long as they keep paying, they’ll never be able to appreciate Aisha and Nex. This couple needs fans who can leave her past behind and cheer for them wholeheartedly. They’re the only canon couple who’s never gotten that kind of support and appreciation. They deserve it, too.