If Moe is to Survive, Compromises Must be Made

Moe is associated with lolicon largely because Moe is about weakness, and little helpless girls are about the easiest way of conveying moe.  We’ve seen this trend before in American comics, only it was about gruff manliness and it was called 90s EXTREEEEEEME.  What better way to show that someone is a real man’s man than giving him 8 guns and arms the size of a buick with veins everywhere?  What better way to show a girl has her weak side than by making her weak physically AND emotionally?

When you take a girl and make her defining traits just her weak points, that becomes her whole character.  It is easy, yes, but I would dare call it lazy.  Why bother actually creating character flaws when you can just make someone pure and perfect and helpless?   As with 90s extreme, I feel moe, as it continues to exaggerate certain specific features, as more try to take advantage of it with half-hearted attempts, will receive a backlash.  Some might welcome the backlash, that’s okay.  But for those of you who do like moe, you’re going to have to accept that certain changes have to take place.   Rather than the moe character, we must have the character with moe traits.

We already have these characters among us.  They are the ones who we CAN see as competent, but as with all humans they are not perfect.  They have emotional problems, doubts, and fears.  I believe people like moe in the first place because it allows us to relate to a character on a very emotional level, that our feelings are understood by others, and manifested in characters.  I believe it is a common fear among otaku and dorks in general that those in normal society are “perfect” and never have to deal with the same issues that they themselves face constantly.  Moe characters if they are too extreme are too far-removed from reality, and thus lose their significant impact.  If instead a moe anime uses more “normal” characters, but show that they have the same issues that otaku face, then we have more than just a marketing tool, we have something that can motivate otaku to move forward, to come to a greater understanding of others.

5 thoughts on “If Moe is to Survive, Compromises Must be Made

  1. I think we’re already seeing a move towards less lazy moe. We’re getting less shows where characters are defined by bullet points and more shows where you require a psychology thesis to describe their personality. We’re always going to have the former in any comic medium, but (as I pointed out a while ago) I think the latter kind is having an effect on anime as a whole as well. When this generation’s otaku grow up and make shows spinning off themes in the 00s, it’ll be interesting.

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  2. Pingback: Just For ‘Fun’: A Condensed Theory of Moe « The Animanachronism

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