“If the emphasis in moe anime is on the female characters, where does that leave the male characters?”
I asked myself that question, and after some deliberation it turned into, “What do you look for in male characters in moe anime?” I want to turn the question to you the reader as well, provided you’re someone who has enjoyed moe anime in the past, even if you’re not necessarily a fan. Keep in mind that I don’t mean that the male characters themselves have to be “moe,” but just that they exist within those types of anime. If you want to extend the question to yuri shows as well, that is also okay.
For me, the first thing that popped into my head was Maria-sama ga Miteru, namely the all-male student council that exists outside of the all-girl school where Marimite primarily takes place. Marimite has a heavy emphasis on female characters, so when one of those male council members, Takada Megane, talks about how he loves to work out and eat meat all while flexing at the girls, it really stands out. It’s as if Takada and his muscles are inadvertently shattering the yuri-heavy atmosphere of Marimite, and the first time I saw him I thought, “Yes, you are the best male character in this show.” Applying that back to my own question, it makes me think that while I definitely enjoy Marimite for what it is (and own almost all of it on DVD), I like the idea that there exists something a little beyond the world of the girls, even if it’s not that far removed, and male characters who act kind of contrary to that setting actually serve to emphasize the feel of Marimite.
One concern I have is a possible philosophy that the male characters in such series don’t matter, as I feel that even if they’re out of the spotlight they can have a huge impact on the work itself.
So what do you think?