Quality of the Moe

Moe discussion in anime fandom seems to ebb and flow, and whenever it turns into an argument, both sides tend to overreact greatly. Bikasuishin over at tsurupeta.info recently pointed out a trend among moe detractors who try to argue from a position of intellectual superiority, where they attempt to give a sense of scale, history, and purpose to their examination of moe but get a little too ambitious and fail in the process, an overreaction in the sense that they are overeager to show how moe hurts anime. I want to address what is in a sense the other side of this, the tendency for moe supporters to be overly defensive in protecting their cherished genre. I will not be using as amusingly sarcastic a tone as Bikasuishin, but will instead be offering what I think is a better solution for people who tend to take the defensive position, one of understanding and civility, rather than exacerbating an “Us” vs. “Them” mentality.

Before I get into the meat of things, I want to just clear the ground for the kind of “moe” I’m talking about. Now, I am of the strong belief that feelings of moe are a very personal thing and that you can get them in works that are not specifically designed to be moe. For the sake of simplicity and convenience though, I’m mainly going to focus on titles that are usually considered “moe” either by the desires of creators, marketers, and what have you, or by the fans themselves. In other words, “moe anime” as opposed to “anime that can be moe.”

Imagine a somewhat extreme and simplified argument against moe, such as “moe anime are terrible and devoid of any real value and is a sign of stunted emotional growth.” In such a situation, I often times see a defensive, albeit well-meaning response from moe fans, something along the lines of, “Leave us moe fans alone! We’re just enjoying ourselves.” That’s fair enough, but the problem here lies in the way the accusation was brought up. Nested inside that negative statement on moe is the following statement: “Prove me wrong.” There’s a discrepancy between the attack and the response, as if the two are on completely different wavelengths.

But even though defense is not the best defense, offense is an even worse option. If the counterargument essentially boils down to “No, you’re the man-children and your anime sucks compared to glorious moe,” that accomplishes nothing. This is because hidden inside the nested statement of “Prove me wrong” is another idea: “Moe fans have no standards.” So whether the moe fan has gone completely defensive and tries to trivialize the concept of “quality” or has instead decided to counterattack by showing how moe is “just as good as” or “even better than” other anime out there, to the detractor it seems as if the moe fan could not handle the implicit debate set forth.

Rather than turtling up or fighting fire with fire, my advice is to show that you do have standards… about moe. Show that you can point to one of two moe shows and say, “I think this is a better moe anime,” and be able to state your reasons why. They don’t have to be reasons based purely on logic and rationality and a devotion to a well-crafted story, nor do they have to be overly exacting standards where only .1% of moe is really okay. You can even include your feelings towards the titles in question in your explanation. In fact, I encourage it. The key here is to be able to say, “I find this moe anime personally valuable and here’s why,” perhaps even, “This what I feel moe positively brings to anime.” By doing so, you can show that you are discerning towards the very genre of which you’re a fan, and that the moe genre itself is not simply what happens when you take anime and make it inherently worse, as some might see it.

The goal is not to convert people to moe. Some people simply cannot be convinced, and even if you show your own value system towards the anime you like (or don’t), not all reasons are going to work for everybody. If you tell me you like Show A over Show B because Show A has ten girls and Show B only has nine, while you’re free to say that, I’m just as free to find that to be a terrible reason. But by showing that you have personal standards when it comes to moe, and can perhaps even point out a moe anime that a person who is not a fan of moe can enjoy, you can make your opinion known in a respectful manner, and if they decide they can’t agree, then there’s nothing more to do. You made your case, after all. The key to this “defense” is to not defend at all, but to let people know that moe is a genre that can be utilized effectively, one that can succeed or fail on its own terms, however you want to define the terms of success.

It’s pretty much impossible to defend every single title that falls under the banner of “moe anime,” just as it’s impossible to defend every single giant robot anime or every romantic comedy film, because not only is it highly unlikely that every single one will succeed in what they’ve set out to do, but it’s even more unlikely that a single person will enjoy every approach taken no matter what. However, defending all of moe is not the same as defending moe as a genre. One is defense in absence of personal discernment and the other is defense of the potential of a genre, with hopefully some real examples to support.

If you want to see a more concrete sample of what I’m talking about, take a look at my review of Toradora! It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written, and looking back I think I’m a little too hard on the Kugimiya Rie-voiced tsundere character type, but I think it does a pretty good job of showing why I find Toradora! to be a remarkable moe show, and I don’t expect impeccable writing from every single person writing about what they like about moe. You can also see me defending the show after someone left a negative comment. I have to admit that I got a little too spirited in defending Toradora!, but that’s exactly the kind of experience which has me writing this very post.

27 thoughts on “Quality of the Moe

  1. I would say that it’s pointless to try to argue rationally with people who issue “prove me wrong” challenges on matters of personal opinion. This isn’t really about a genre of anime being “good” or “bad”, it’s about one’s personal values and the things someone enjoys in a show, and how people believe that the world would be better a better place (for all sorts of “objective reasons”) if it were more aligned to their own personal preferences. These sorts of “my opinion > your opinion” arguments are flamebait at heart, because they’re not actually judging the shows but rather the audience that enjoys them, and that is why they tend to turn out the way they do.

    Not to mention, most of these sorts of posts are typically “preaching to the choir”. Bloggers tend to attract a following of like-minded people, so it’s not really the right environment to try to prove them wrong. It’s like walking into a church service in progress and arguing aloud with the priest. No amount of rational arguments are going to convince anyone in that context.

    All that said, I sort of agree with the general concept that you may not be able to get people to like your opinion, but you may at least get them to concede that there are perfectly reasonable people who hold that opinion. For example, some of the people who dislike moe anime are particularly put-off by the over-exuberance of certain parts of the fanbase, who sometimes act in ways that they consider embarrassing (“it gives anime a bad name”). At least seeing that there are smart/reasonable people out there with that point of view can tone the rhetoric down a bit, and allow some form of civil discussion/debate. But ultimately again, this is a lot more about personal tastes and values, so people shouldn’t even approach it like an “intellectual debate” with a “right” and “wrong” opinion. It’s more about simply getting to know other people who see things differently. (But if everyone had an “understanding” approach, we wouldn’t have these sorts of “anti-fanbase” debates in the first place.)

    And yeah, you could say the same thing about pretty much any personal preference debate, moe is just our fanbase’s recent example.

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    • It’s true that people who are saying “prove me wrong” implicitly or explicitly generally don’t actually want to be proved wrong, but when I use that phrase I’m more referring to how they’ve built up their stance and argument internally. Sometimes it’s more logic-focused, sometimes it’s more based on emotion, but until you say something that makes sense to them, something that they can apply to their internal thought process, it’s almost like arguing in two different languages. This is why I specified describing how you discern between moe anime, because it provides an example of how you take what is given to you and apply yourself to it. Again, at that point, even if a disagreement still happens, at least there’s some shared wavelength.

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  2. Arguments about moe tend to be rather circular and somewhat pointless for a number of reasons:

    – It’s not very often that someone will bother to clearly and distinctly define what ‘moe’ is. This leads to everyone working of their own personal assumption of what ‘moe’ is which may well be different to everyone else’s.

    – Any argument on the internet has a tendency to disintegrate into incoherent ramblings because the internet provides anonymity which has an unfortunate tendency to bring out the worst in people.

    – The arguments have been had so often that everyone has already made up their mind.

    Although I certainly agree that everyone should take the time to consider how their position appears to others who hold different and directly conflicting opinions on the very same subject.

    I personally don’t think, for example, that it makes much sense to think of ‘moe’ as a genre. The feeling of ‘moe’ is an audience response that is created by a particular show/character/situation, intentionally or unintentionally.

    Certain shows clearly attempt to do that using specific and well honed methods. These methods are so versatile that “moe” can be the focus of a diverse body of works: comedy-moe, romance-moe, action-moe, supernatural-moe, drama-moe, sci-fi-moe, historical-moe and so forth. It’s really rather impressive.

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    • Both you, Jack, and RF above echo a sentiment at heart that invariably directly counters what SDS just tried to propose, and one I believe tsurupettan’s author captured very well: Sometimes, people say the things they say for ulterior reasons.

      In other words, I could very well be stuffing my nutbladder with moe cakes, and write about how moe is killing the industry, because I enjoy trolling (for example). In the same way, I believe tsurupettan’s author is doing the same kind of head trick with his post, just to highlight that perhaps one pretext of seemingly moe-bashing is out of the alignment of interests, the “my opinion > your opinion” sort of deal Jack mentioned. Or something else, maybe some kind of herd mentality, I don’t know.

      And as RF pointed out, this is a well-observed internet phenomenon. One that, I think, has very little merit on its face as a forum for discussion. Now someone can still benefit from such sort of discussion, but that would be an exercise in extraction of useful information in a sea of noise, and not an exercise in engaging a productive discussion to begin with. In such a case I think I am going to interpret SDS’s post as a per se example of teaching kids how to argue on the internets better.

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      • As I said in response to the other comment, it indeed can be applied to more than just moe, but I do think that a lot of moe fans who feel “under attack” by other anime fans tend to turtle, which is why I decided to address it in that direction.

        If I were to write something directed at people who are a little too eager to bash moe and declare it the harbinger of anime’s death, while the overall theme would be similar (understanding), I’d go for a different immediate message and approach.

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  3. What relentlessflame said.

    I don’t think someone who attacks people with lame taunts like “moe anime are terrible and devoid of any real value and is a sign of stunted emotional growth” is particularly deserving of a cogent and considerate answer. And they’re not really asking for one either, or they wouldn’t choose this sort of scornful and dismissive tone; so it’s probably no use even trying to reply in the manner you suggest. If someone wants to start a debate, let them state their case without cuss words and argumentum ad hominem first.

    Now I do agree on the other hand that, independently of the question of replying to attacks, there is a dearth of intelligent discourse from moe fans on the English blogosphere that could balance out a somewhat moe hostile(?) consensus, and “we” are certainly to blame for that.

    Writing favorably about specific shows is one thing (and then, you have to convince people that they are “moe shows” in whatever appropriate sense; even though a series like Madoka has Ume-tentei designs, lots of identifiable moe tropes and several covers of Megami devoted to it, I doubt many of its blogging fans would agree that it belongs to the “moe genre”), but what’s probably especially difficult to articulate is what makes the moe genre appealing in and of itself—i.e. the genre has potential because “we” like some of those shows for their moe qualities and not just in spite of them. That’s difficult to articulate on several counts:
    1/ the “moe genre” is a nebulous thing, and more so in anime than in manga, so it’s not easy to address as a whole;
    2/ the reasons that make it appealing to a fan may be deeply personal and uncomfortable to deal with, particularly for those not really keen on introspection;
    3/ some of those reasons, if spelled out, can also attract anger and ridicule, or appear difficult to relate to from an outsider’s viewpoint;
    4/ more generally, those exact same reasons can be a complete turn off to someone else. This is, of course, true of any genre (to the extent that genre is largely disconnected from any objective measure of quality), but there are cultural contingencies that make a certain type of negative reactions to moe particularly intense among Western fans.

    The upshot is that writing honestly about these issues is delicate, embarrassing, and will probably get you more flak than anything else. But I guess that’s not a reason not to.

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    • Certainly, there is the “troll” aspect, the comment whose sole purpose is to be condescending and get a rise out of people, and my post is mainly not for those people, but I do think it still works in such an instance.

      I feel that the key is to respond, but not to retaliate, and if they go for the “why are you taking this so seriously” route, then the response to that is simply that you’re clarifying where you’re coming from. I know it’s not necessarily easy to describe why you like something, and that my suggestion to bring in your emotions may actually make things more difficult, but I think that overall the effort is more important the final result. In that sense, I think using comparison as an exercise (without resorting a judgment of good vs. bad) is an easier step than trying to explain the essence of moe.

      The troll is left with their troll comment, while you have a fairly honest expression that doesn’t give them what they want. Ideally, anyway.

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    • #2 is why the central ad hominem argument (“moe anime are terrible and devoid of any real value and is a sign of stunted emotional growth”) is so easy to make and furthermore, so hard to argue against. It probably would get even more awkward to then deal with rebuttals (“Did you look for stories/characters that are similar to those in moe anime before you became an anime fan? Why weren’t non-Japanese interested in those kinds of stories/characters in general prior to anime introducing them?”)

      Also, let’s say that I made that ad hominem argument just now. I’d then follow it up with why I personally dislike the vast majority of moe anime. That reason is that the characters are completely uninteresting to me in every way to the point that any characters like that “in real life” would be completely invisible to me. (Or, that they would be completely invisible to me because they are children, or because they have the mental age of children.) Furthermore, after glimpsing what they are “really” like by watching a moe anime, I then see that my hunch that they are completely uninteresting as a correct one. Then I’d finish by mentioning that the few times when I have enjoyed a moe anime, it was because of the show’s non-moe elements, such as how I liked Ichigo Mashimaro because of the show’s funny sight gags and impeccable comic timing.

      Or, even if I’m not trying to be a troll (such as by avoiding language to make me look superior or moe fans look inferior), it’s still really awkward to sound non-defensive if you want to mention liking moe after that. Saying that moe anime aren’t actually boring, or that being boring is why you like them still sounds like you’ve lost the argument, or at the very least shows that my superior position is indeed superior. And even more so if the reasons are kind of uncomfortable to think about/admit/realize.

      It’s pretty easy to come up with perfectly reasonable-sounding reasons for liking all kinds of different genres, but I really do have trouble coming up with ones for liking moe that aren’t easy to make fun of.

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      • I think often times moe does hit on a kind of private, emotional level, in a way that we can’t fully explain and that might be tied to something that a person might be embarrassed about. And I know that a person can feel threatened when the not-so-thinly veiled subtext is “you’re emotionally stunted,” because who wants to believe they’re emotionally stunted in the first place, let alone the fact that people learn life lessons differently. But what I would at least hope for is that by developing one’s own ability to not get pulled in by an ad hominem attack, by showing not merely a spine but a heart and brain as well, that it would discourage such attacks. I know that’s not going to always be the case though, and even I can’t defend every single self-proclaimed moe fan.

        But if the issue is the idea of immaturity as it often seems to be, I have to wonder about just the general stigma of watching something that is supposed to be “beneath” you or is not “smart” enough, though I don’t think it’s simply a matter of intelligence and that sort of elitism. Rather, it’s more the idea of what you like saying something about you, and having that image be a big deal. Personally speaking though, while there are times I want a show to challenge me and give me lots to chew on, there are also times where I want to welcome every cliche that comes my way, and of course it helps if I like those cliches in the first place. It’s comforting, and on some basic level, I think moe anime is about comfort, for better or worse. I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with that, but I do think there’s always room for disagreement on such matters once you get into specifics.

        Though of course there are moe shows that can get you to think. Perhaps this is the appeal of Shinbou?

        Just as I want to further the idea that there are perfectly good reasons to like moe anime, I also think it’s important to think that there are equally legitimate reasons to NOT like moe, or to only be okay with shows where it doesn’t factor in so much.

        I think you find that range with just about any genre. Hypothetically speaking, when someone who’s not so into giant robots says that giant robot shows all suck, you can try to figure out what exactly they mean by that, and if it’s something where you think there’s actually a show out there that can change their minds (based on how they approach entertainment mainly), then it’s worth a shot.

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  4. What about people who liked moe in the past but hate it now? I was on the verge of becoming such a fan myself, only to realize that I like certain aspects and hate certain aspects of moe shows. Does this make me a moe fan? No, but I used to be one. I can’t help but feel that I’ve grown out of liking certain tropes, which is why the idea of those moe fans who defend it to the bitter end being nothing but children without well-defined personal taste is grounds for debate. Seeing as I went through all of this and realized I used to defend the genre out of principle, I feel like it’s a topic worth further analysis. This is where blogs like Behind The Nihon Review come in. If you think Akira is anti-“moe”, you guys have another thing coming.

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    • If you no longer like moe as much or at all, that is totally cool. People’s tastes change over time for a variety of reasons, after all, and if you are able to talk about just why you fell out of love with moe, I see that as a plus.

      I do want you to think about something though. Do you think in five years you’ll feel like you’ve grown out of whatever you’re currently into? What about five years after that?

      As much as we change as we grow older, we don’t have to project our own shifting tastes to everyone else, too. In other words, don’t be so hard on the past you. Perhaps you made mistakes, but were you really so completely wrong then?

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      • I guess not, but that’s not all there is to this debate, right? That everything is relative? What we’re discussing here is our approaches to critique. If Zac Bertschy wants to hate moe anime, that’s his choice, there is nothing wrong with him stating his opinion. He has his own taste, yet the fanbase still gets riled up over his commentary. Why there is no end to the moe discussion is exactly because of relativity, different personal values, cultures, whatever. But there’s clearly a schism, maybe not a clear-cut one, but we have an anime industry that is clearly in favor of one side, yet there exist different audiences, some of which feel left out. Those are all reasons for debate.

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        • The answer to most of your questions, and on some level one of the fundamentals of the post I wrote is simply, it’s not just what you say, but how you say it.

          As for the “schism,” I think that moe fans vs. non-moe fans is merely the tip of that enormous iceberg. There you’ll find a complex web of trends and money flow and simply the perils of the market. A while back I was reading an article by the author of Mayoi Neko Overrun where he talked about how there was an increasing trend of light novel authors who were increasingly writing their stories in such a way so as to make it “ideal” for anime adaptation, as opposed to being strictly meant for prose, where normally, should an adaptation happen it would have to be, well, adapted. That’s evidence that something’s not quite right with how the industry is, but I don’t think you can chalk that up merely to “the peril of moe.”

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    • Oh, and while I don’t want to put words in mt-i/Bikasuishin’s mouth, I get the feeling that his reason for dissecting Akira’s post has less to do with “anti-moe” and more to do with his post method.

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  5. “mt-i”…the “moe genre” is a nebulous thing, and more so in anime than in manga, so it’s not easy to address as a whole…”

    I don’t even think this is necessarily true. There’s a research paper that seem to set up a definition which is fairly reasonable and easy to apply.

    “sdshamshel – “That’s evidence that something’s not quite right with how the industry is, but I don’t think you can chalk that up merely to “the peril of moe.”

    Discussing the industry is always a tricky thing, for a number of reasons. Even then, one can listen to podcasts, such as Anime3000’s ‘State of the Industry’ panel where people from Funimation talk about not wanting to bring out moe shows in America because the only appeal to a niche group, and that studio’s in Japan need to appeal to a wider audience. Such things can’t really be disputed.

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    • Incidentally, such things can (and should) be disputed, I would say, but now you’re into a whole other argument.

      Most of the anime that the (especially newer) English fanbase have known and loved in the last decade are part of the “niche” side of Japan’s anime industry — a side that’s about selling expensive “boutique” products to a small core fanbase. Japan actually does make a whole bunch of anime that “appeal to a wide audience” in Japan, but they’re family shows and kids shows. These shows pull in the ratings and sell ads/merchandise in Japan, but they’re not the sort of shows that Funimation can pitch to the “American Anime Fan”, nor to American TV networks. So when Funimation says that Japanese studios need to “appeal to a wider audience”, they really mean (unsurprisingly) “make more shows we (Funimation) can sell more broadly”.

      The core theory there seems to be that if x% of people who watch a show will buy some merchandise, then increasing the amount of people who will watch the show will increase the amount of merchandise sold — seems logical enough. But what is the impact on the “boutique” anime industry, and the audience it has built, if they start changing the anime industry’s output to be more suitable for foreign consumption? Not to mention the other important factor at play here: anecdotal evidence (such as con attendance, online discussion trends, streaming media views, etc.) seems to suggest that the amount of English anime viewers is higher than ever, but the amount of people buying product has clearly not grown in kind. If there is in fact a shift in people’s buying habits (perhaps related to digital media consumption…?), will “forcibly” expanding the market by making more “palatable” fare really provide a long-term solution, or will it kill the existing niche market in Japan (and elsewhere to the extent it exists) to chase inevitably diminishing returns in the West? The answer is, of course, unclear, and even all that’s only scratching the surface of the issue (and over-simplifying things to extreme levels).

      The main thing here likely isn’t that moe anime doesn’t actually have an audience (or even *so* much of a niche one), it’s that the American industry hasn’t found a way to sell as effectively to that audience. In other words, it’s a marketing problem. I suspect the reason for that is the same as what is often at the heart of most of the “anti-moe” posts the original topic is referring to: moe can seem a bit like emotional porn, and as with other forms of porn, discussing it openly makes some people uncomfortable. And more than anything else, companies like Funimation — still owned by a publicly-traded company at this point — don’t want to be in the “porn business”. They, as with many public anime critics, would benefit greatly from anime being seen as more mainstream and “acceptable”. As was discussed in some of the comments above, it can be difficult to explain or justify “the DVDs with the cute young girls on the cover” (or admitting to liking the same — and yes, I’m totally abusing the stereotype there for the sake of the argument), so potential solution: watch it in secret, but don’t buy it or admit to it. (That doesn’t even count those who truly don’t like it for whatever reason.) If Funimation can influence the anime industry’s output to have more of the “cool shows” that “normal people” will admit to liking, and thus presumably will be willing to have on their shelves, the argument is that everyone will win (“more products sold means more money for producers means more anime”). That’s exactly what the anti-moe crusaders are (generally) saying as well, just in a much more personal way, and so those who actually enjoy the material in question find their own fandom put at risk by these arguments.

      Of course, it’s all sort of beside the point since the interest in moe anime has grown to this point despite this lack of mainstream appeal, so not getting the approval of some “high-minded” critics and certain licensing companies who need to keep the shareholders happy doesn’t really affect things all that much. The more out-of-sync the critics and companies are with the tastes of the current anime viewership, the less relevant they become to the same. By the same token, if building a market for moe anime is as hopeless as they say it is, then there’s nothing much to lose.

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      • I dunno. They’ve said how Shuffle, for example was a really big seller for them, and browsing their site just now they do have plenty of moe shows on DVD or streaming.

        Nor do the other licensors shy away from it either. The big moe titles do get licenses, and even some of the poo does as well (my guess being that the poo is part of package deals.)

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        • I guess it depends on what you call “moe”, then (which is part of the problem). Funimation would probably call Shuffle a fanservice show (that’s certainly how they marketed it, anyway), and that long preceded the moe trend. And I’ll also admit that my comment was based on the quote Jack mentioned in his comment, so I’m presuming (perhaps incorrectly) that that was their comment to start with. But I do also recall hearing/reading Funimation talk a number of times about their co-production initiatives and the way they’re trying to influence the industry, so it seems to fit their behaviour. The overall concept of “what’s good for the industry” seems to be at issue.

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  6. Excellent post. I wrote my thoughts about the moe debate not too long ago, but I failed to mention the good point you brought of up of making the distinction between good and bad moe shows to prove that fans of moe do indeed have standards.

    I don’t mean to shamelessly plug myself, but I did already discuss my thoughts about moe on my post here if you’re interested in taking a look: http://animeyume.com/blog/2010/11/27/1500-words-in-defense-of-moe/

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  7. I also think that people easily attach to whatever viewpoints sound similar to theirs, and once that’s reached, it’s hard for them to budge from them, much less consider that viewpoints differing from these might have some merit. What bugs me about the argument is how moe’s used as a scapegoat on both sides, really. But I’ve said too much about that in the past.

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  8. i don’t get this post. what was the point? i like blue, you like red. and tactics on how to defend your color? ppl who attack moe are bad? yes (just as red/blue attackers). so? WE understand stupidity. but we won’t cure it by a blog post. forums are a better playground for this kind of theme.
    and standards? i didn’t get that whole part. why would you think any person would not have standards? why is it relevant anyway? where are the quotes of actual conversations?

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  9. Found another blogger’s opinion about the quality of Moe, and whether there’s any merits that can be found in seeing cute girls doing cute things. The extreme end of the protests comes from people (rightly) declaring that its these girls having NO OTHER personality other than to be cute.
    http://catdemonspirits.blogspot.com/2011/02/debatable-have-we-gone-too-hard-on-moe.html

    Other than Yotsubato who’s handled Moe with a quality childlike charm, there’s also another review of a similar property that makes a better argument:
    http://catdemonspirits.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-shoulder-coffin-kuro-vols-1-2.html

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    • I think that brings up quite an interesting point.

      On the one hand, there is the idea that moe anime is about the cuteness of the girls in it, so therefore, the cuter the girls are, the better the moe anime will be.

      On the other hand, there is the idea that moe is all about cuteness is a problem, that such a show is lacking important elements. In that case, the better moe show is one that manages to incorporate elements outside of cuteness and incorporate them well. Of course, that’s if you can accept that kind of cuteness in the first place.

      Just from that, you can see how people’s opinions can diverge on the basic goals of just watching anime.

      I’d bet quite a bit to say that for someone who’s normally not into moe, the second type of show mentioned above has a much better chance of not being rejected.

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      • “I’d bet quite a bit to say that for someone who’s normally not into moe, the second type of show mentioned above has a much better chance of not being rejected.”

        Definitely. I’d guess that even a show that’s a paragon of the former, THE BEST MOE-KEI SHOW EVER, would seem at best invisible quality-wise and at worst completely alien to someone that’s not into moe.

        I used to think that moe was an emotion that really not that many people were capable of feeling, although in recent times I’ve realized that basically anyone is capable of feeling it. The problem is that most people are going to feel that way from watching a video of like, some newborn puppies waddling their blobby bodies around before falling over, and not from watching a 16 year old anime girl wobbling her blobby body around before falling over.

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