One thing that always struck me about the Anti-Moé Brigade is how they accuse the moé fandom of mindless consumerism. Moé fans will buy whatever “crap” the anime industry puts out, after all. I noticed something recently, however, and this flips the entire argument over onto its head in a way that’s a little bit funny.
A friend recently sent me a picture of an article in UK anime magazine Neo. The article was a short couple paragraphs about recent new anime OniAi, and was largely just an overview of the story and how “disturbing” the premise is, however, one line in particular stood out to me. The very last sentence in the article reads: “Once again: Japan, please stop.”
This got me thinking: “Please stop? Please stop what? Making entertainment for your own consumers? Creating works that will be appreciated by those who the anime industry is dependent upon to support it monetarily?” Producing shows that will make money so they can continue making shows? You get the idea.
What isn’t said, however, is what they want Japan to start doing. That is to say, they want the anime industry to go “back” to making shows that appeal to their tastes. Why? So they can eat them up like the good little consumers they are (Or maybe not, since the Western fanbase has proven pretty spotty when it comes to supporting the anime industry, even when it comes to stuff with “Western appeal,” but that’s beside the point.).
Another thing stuck out to me about that article’s last sentence, however. The Anti-Moé Brigade is constantly begging Japan to stop making otaku material and make more shows with Western appeal, as if they need to watch anime. If you’re supporting a product, but that product is not giving you what you want out of it, the natural response is to support a product that does give you what you want, and if there exists no product that gives you what you want, then you create it, or support the people creating it.
This is where consumerism comes in with regards to the Anti-Moé Brigade. Rather than moving on and supporting other media that cater to them more often, or better yet, creating the types of things they want to consume, the Anti-Moé Brigade clings to anime, fruitlessly begging the anime industry to cater to them so they can be consumers (Or, again, maybe not), and coming up with poorly-thought-out reasons why the anime industry should abandon their core consumer-base and embrace an overseas market that’s proven to be fickle, spotty, and uncertain in the past.
I’m not trying to say consumerism is a bad thing (The Anti-Moé Brigade’s saying that). It’s telling, however, that the Anti-Moé Brigade wants to cut down the moé fandom for the terrible sin of consumerism when they themselves are the ones begging the anime industry to cater to them.