Time Enforcer Anubis here with more on moé!
No matter what your personal definition of moé is, I’m sure everyone can agree that the purpose of moé, generally speaking, is to make characters appeal to the viewer. It’s a group of strategies employed to endear characters to the viewer. According to the Anti-Moé Brigade, however, moé is killing anime. How is it that a simple group of tropes meant to make characters more compelling to viewers is what’s killing anime? As far as I see, moé can only be good for anime.
Moé’s been around for much longer than it’s had a name, and while “moé anime” is only a relatively recent development, the elements have been there for a very long time. Moé can be found in varying degrees in almost any kind of anime, and its effect on fans is easy to see. Fans of moé grow attached to characters. They care about them.
Making fans care about characters can be very powerful and can really make a story. Characters can also make the entire anime, particularly in titles where story isn’t much of a factor, such as K-ON! or Lucky Star. Moé manages to accomplish this. The moé element is very versatile and can be strategically applied to many different genres of anime.
At the same time, moé is the current driving force for anime in Japan. The moé otaku demographic is the current big buyer of anime and merchandise. Like it or not, moé is what’s currently keeping anime afloat, not what’s killing it. Even if moé wasn’t the big thing, it would still exist in anime, because it’s such a powerful element. Nothing about moé gives it the power to “kill anime,” especially when it has the potential to do so much good for anime as a whole.
Like it or not, as an easy way to create compelling characters, moé is here to stay. Even years down the line, when the moé craze has died down and the anime industry has found the next new thing to capitalize on, moé will remain a prevalent element in anime that want their viewers to care. It can’t kill anime. It’ll only make anime stronger.
‘Till next time!