The Anti-Moé Brigade, for all their touted intellectualism, has, for the most part, been very resistant to any actual discussion about moé. They’ll certainly talk about how much it moé sucks and how horrible it is that we aren’t getting more REDLINEs and Cowboy Bebops, but when it comes to actually discussing moé, intellectualism seems to take a back seat to plain old anti-otakuism.
(Bonus content at the bottom, courtesy of the Anti-Moé Brigade)
The fact is, otaku are important to the moé dialogue. How can we talk about moé without the moé fans? It seems counter-intuitive. With how often the Anti-Moé Brigade talks about moé (however negatively) and with their heavy lean toward intellectualism, it seems like a step backward to vilify moé fans like they’re prone to doing, at least at first glance. Take a deeper look at how the Anti-Moé Brigade reacts when challenged and it’s easy to see that they aren’t interested in a genuine dialogue about moé at all. All they’re interested in is promoting their own agenda.
Under the guise of intellectualism, they’ve managed to shut out any earnest discussion about moé, painting it and its fans as anti-intellectual. They’re free to spout whatever anti-moé sentiment they want, because they’ve successfully convinced people that they are the intellectuals against the anti-intellectuals. They’ve ingrained a sense of “nerd hierarchy” into the fandom.
It’s become the norm among Western anime fans (especially the Anti-Moé Brigade) to vilify moé otaku. It’s easy to look at an otaku with his dakimakura and say “what a weirdo,” but it’s important to consider that moé otaku are the current majority market for anime. Like it or not, their input is important, especially in the current moé-dominated anime climate. In addition, being the dominant force in the anime market today, moé deserves earnest discussion, and the Anti-Moé Brigade has been instrumental in not only preventing this discourse from occurring, but also in driving the Western fanbase toward an anti-moé mindset.
It’s easy to see in the way the Anti-Moé Brigade approaches moé. Various negative connotations have been associated with moé by the Anti-Moé Brigade. Moé is “sexist.” It’s “manipulative,” and based around the concept of “weak, dependent women.” It’s “fetishistic,” “pedophilic,” and it “enables bad storytelling.” It’s “niche,” a “suicidal” business model. It’s somehow the cause of Japan’s declining birthrate (#1: Aren’t birthrates in developed countries supposed to be low? #2: How are moé otaku such a “niche” consumer base, but at the same time a large enough group to actually matter to Japan’s birthrate in a major way?). They spread biased misinformation about moé without bothering to get the real story from those who know best: The fans themselves.
However, when the moé fandom steps up to defend moé, the Anti-Moé Brigade accuses them of personalizing the issue. Somehow, the Anti-Moé Brigade is free from criticism because they’re insulting the shows, not the fans, oblivious to the fact that when they call a show sexist or pedophilic, it carries the implication that the show’s fans are sexists or pedophiles. Any attempt to argue moé’s merits is met with dismissal or hostility.
Moé otaku are ostracized from the anime discussion at large. Hug pillow owners need not apply. The moé “discussion” carries on without arguably the most important people to said discussion, the moé fans. It’s irresponsible and, ultimately, it hurts anime fandom discourse, as it prevents proper discussion about a major element of the anime medium. For all their touted intellectualism, the Anti-Moé Brigade is arguably engaging in the same anti-intellectualism they accuse the moé fandom of promoting. The active refusal to include moé fans in the moé discussion severely limits the understandings we can reach about the medium that both moé fans and the Anti-Moé Brigade share fandom of.
As long as the Anti-Moé Brigade continues to promote the image of otaku as the “others,” as long as they continue to pathologize otaku because of what they enjoy and how they enjoy it, there can be no genuine dialogue about moé. In the current fandom climate, moé fans are faced with a difficult choice: Either wall themselves off from the rest of the fandom, or face undue ridicule, simply because they’re moé fans. This helps nobody but the Anti-Moé Brigade.
If the so-called “intellectuals” refuse to level with the moé fandom to genuinely discuss moé, then it falls upon the moé fandom to push back and reclaim their rightful spot as equals in the anime fandom. Only then, when all parts of anime fandom can get together as equals, can we have a genuine, earnest dialogue about moé.
‘Till next time!
Edit: My point proven exactly -> http://toyboxdx.com/phorum/read.php?5,209575,242350#REPLY (Scroll up a bit to see the whole post)
Isn’t it funny how the Anti-Moé Brigade argues that they do want to earnestly discuss this stuff (And, of course, that it’s the moé fandom that refuses to level with them), but doesn’t bother to drop a comment to the guy who accuses them of being resistant to discussion, and instead chooses to dissent on their own forum, as if that’s going to bring about the kind of change they want to see in the fandom?
These guys are making this way too easy.