Moe! Good God ya’ll! What is it good for?

Moe is this insidious cancer of the anime world. It started as the normal cells of princess characters and turned into to the festering monster that is moe. And like cancer it has slowly spread from the areas it originally infected to the whole body of anime. It’s also a wily cancer. It’s constantly changing itself to adapt, disguising itself in new forms, and always perpetuating itself. Will moe kill anime and then desecrate it’s once beautiful corpse?

Yes.

What was that again Ambassador Kosh, “Understanding is a three-edged sword?”

See the odd thing is, I don’t wholly hate the idea of moe I just hate the horrible machine it has become. Pretty princesses sometimes need saving. As I have already made clear in this blog, I like strong female characters but there are times a girl needs to be saved by her handsome protector. There is an undeniable romantic element to the white knight coming in to save a woman in her darkest hour. Women sometimes want to be swept off their feet and men want to play the role of protector. There is also a warmth that comes from being a chaste protector.

I’m not really opposed to the idea that is moe either. Heck, I like to save the princess and be the great big hero. But then again just saving the girl isn’t really the entire definition of moe. Plenty of girls have been saved that I would in no way put into the moe category.

Let’s define moe because it’s become a very nebulously defined term. In my opinion a “true” moe character is a vulnerable character that instills the viewers with a desire to protect and nurture that character. Tha,t in my mind, is the heart of the beast known as moe. Moe has started to mutate into this more amorphous term. For some reason moe has become this odd catch all for anything that is a turn on. You can be moe for girls with glasses, or moe for tsundere girls, or moe for trains, or moe for gosh darn ramen.

I only learned the term “moe” a few months ago but I am already tired of it. I don’t even acknowledge it anymore. Because as Hisui said, it’s now a blanket term to mean whatever the heck you want it to. In fact, by the way people use it, it means nothing. Because if someone uses it now, I have to ask “in what way” or “how do you mean?” I am sure there a different levels of moe as well but it seems to gotten out of hand. I don’t think the words moe and pathetic need go hand in hand but we are getting there. I don’t use the word, unless in jest.

I also hate the fact that it’s attached itself to some of the most reprehensible parts of anime fandom. The biggest moe fans seem to be the lolicon perverts and the “your virtual girlfriend is better than any real girl” people.

Wait…you mean that last part isn’t true?

I hear it on good authority that sometimes real girls can be fun and can have worthwhile relationships despite the fact that unlike moe girls they have flaws, that are not super cute, and human failings, that are not turn ons.

Both groups that seem to champion moe seem to be afraid of or reject mature, in-charge women. They seem to be the basement dwelling Hikikomori who are just plain afraid or distasteful of real girls. Moe girls seem to be popular because they are safe to these recluses. Since moe girls need a protector and moe otaku can be that protector. A moe girl is safe because she needs a protector like the moe otaku so she won’t reject the moe otaku.

It’s safe to say that saying a character is moe conjures a very different image than was originally intended. I also wonder how prevalent the word really is in the industry outside of moe-loving shows. Does a writer really say, “hum I’m gonna make this character moe,” or do they just write their characters. I feel like the word gets used on characters that is may never have been intended to be used on. And frankly, it’s annoying.

Moe defenders often state that moe is harmless because moe is not sexual. Moe is all about being a brotherly or chaste protector. Because the moe fan is a chaste protector they are not a creepy perv. But it turns out that most moe otaku may claim that they have a chaste interest in their moe obsessions but then they go and buy pornographic doujinshi and racy figures of their moe desire. Their actions often invalidate their speeches of innocent love.

I think a big difference is you are starting to see moe shows as opposed to moe characters. They used to just be a part of a cast with many others but now the crazy has grown so much that you entire series dedicated to those types of characters. So I guess you get your choice of all different looking moe girls in one show! How exhilarating! Moe is kind of just lumping itself in with hentai and dating games at this point. The characters don’t seem to be viably connected to any real story it is just about fan service.

Well the problem is with the flood of moe is that moe seems to be the hot thing in Japan so the Japanese are going to cater to these guys who keep spending good money on moe garbage.

I watched two episodes of this horrible show, Ookiku Furikabutte and I encountered a moe guy! Wow did I take a wrong turn. I have no qualms with shonen-ai but seriously, gimme a story. This was a thinly veiled, very thinly, show allegedly about baseball but between the crying pitcher, the hand holding, the speech about how teammates should sleep together, and the pillow fight, I remain unconvinced that this show has anything to do with sports.

Well, I am sure that has a lot to do with the rise of the Fujoshi. Horrible female otaku have to be catered to as much as horrible male otaku. Girls have their own home in Akihabara at Otome Road. Girls have their sections at Comiket. So they should get their own moe fan service characters. I assume moe will be less attractive to girls but I’m sure there are girls out there who want a vulnerable boy to protect and love.

Did you realized that using moe you can also spell emo. This cannot be a coincidence.

In the fact that they are both running gags on the internet.

The real question that I can’t really answer is, how long until moe will fade from it’s position as the hot thing in anime. I’m pretty sure moe has left enough of a mark that it will never go away completely but how much of an impact will it have on the medium as a whole.

Every once and a while, some new trend comes along and grips everyone’s attention. Then, all the animation studios rush in and try to make their own version of said trendy show. Sometimes the trends dies off and is basically forgotten. Other times they fade into the background but still get made every few seasons. I feel sci-fi anime is like this. Sci-fi anime was big back in the 80’s but you only see a few sci-fi shows now a days. Other times they change the genre and every season you see a show that revolves around it.

Well, has anything that was crazy popular ever not had an affect on the medium? Aren’t certain characters or shows always referenced? However, I agree I’m not sure in what ways it will be impactful. Has it changed the way people watch anime? I suppose in a way it has, but at the same time I don’t think its life changing. I didn’t encounter moe and think “wow, I never knew anime could be like that.” Atleast, not in a positive way.

Will there be a moe show every season for now until the end of time or will this whole craze die down and we can get back to shows filled with all types of horrible female characters not just horrible moe characters?

Narutaki Currently!
Watching City Hunter
Reading Berserk
Listening to Utada Hikaru

Brainwasher Detective (Hisui) Currently:
Watching Full Metal Panic

Reading Boogiepop Returns: Vs. Imaginator Part 2

Listening to Red Faction by MELL

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4 thoughts on “Moe! Good God ya’ll! What is it good for?

  1. phatbhuda says:

    It sounds like a portion of what you’re talking about as moe is harem style anime? Things like Tenchi Muyo and such?

    There also seems to be a variation of supposed ’strong female characters’ that need a lot of saving. Practically every female character in the more recent Gundam anime seem to be that way. Not to mention the main female character in Full Metal Panic that I see Hisui is watching.

    My whole point is, I don’t think it’s so much a craze as a long running and evolving archetype that has been around forever and will be. Just look at other longer standing forms of literature and entertainment. I’m sure if I thought about it, I could come up with examples of ‘moe’ in other places that have been around much longer than anime or manga.

  2. reversethieves says:

    >It sounds like a portion of what you’re talking about as moe is harem style anime? Things like Tenchi Muyo and such?There also seems to be a variation of supposed ’strong female characters’ that need a lot of saving. Practically every female character in the more recent Gundam anime seem to be that way. Not to mention the main female character in Full Metal Panic that I see Hisui is watching.My whole point is, I don’t think it’s so much a craze as a long running and evolving archetype that has been around forever and will be. Just look at other longer standing forms of literature and entertainment. I’m sure if I thought about it, I could come up with examples of ‘moe’ in other places that have been around much longer than anime or manga.<

    Oh you are clearly right it that respect. The problem is they gave moe a name and now it’s all over the place. The worst part is since a lot of the hardcore moe fans are also nasty kid touchers and lonely losers it taints the shows as they cater to the losers. It’s kind of how Final Fantasy has to have at least one angst filled emo bishonen in the cast since FF7. It’s not the existence of moe characters that’s the problem is the overabundance of the character type.

    -Hisui

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