Images included in this article may be explicit in nature.
Sexuality is perhaps one of the most hotly-contested aspects of moé. Some say it’s normal. Some say it’s creepy. Some are quick to deny that it’s even a part of moé.
Regardless of where we stand individually on the issue, the fact is, if we’re going to have the moé conversation, all of us will have to deal with opinions we disagree with, have conversations we might be uncomfortable with, and question our own beliefs, as well as the beliefs of others.
Where does sex fit into moé? Does sex fit into moé? What about fetishization? Is sex a part of moé love, or are they separate? Operation Shion Fujino seeks not to definitively answer these questions, but to start the discussion that will answer them.
Sexuality and moé often occur in the same places. Old erotic visual novels often brought sexuality into moé, usually as a culmination of a relationship between the protagonist (Through whom the player vicariously experiences the events of the game) and the player’s chosen heroine. Nowadays, the same is true for erotic VNs, but in addition, more straightforward eroge, ecchi anime, and even some full-on erotic anime use a moé aesthetic and a moé type of appeal.
Custom Maid 3D, an eroge by developer KISS, lets the player create a customized girl, complete with a costume and an archetype, and have all kinds of sex with her, ranging from everyday vanilla to S&M play and exhibitionism. The aesthetic is very much based in the common “moé” aesthetic, and the characters act true to moé archetypes. A tsundere will complain, call the player’s avatar an idiot, and generally be belligerent, despite actually enjoying herself. A little-sister type will, of course, call the player’s avatar “onii-chan.” The question is: Is this moé? And if it is, is the sex separated from it, or part of it?
For another example of where moé and sex intersect is in the erotic anime Hatsu Inu. Shion Fujino, the main heroine of the series, exhibits character traits quite similar to the “Quiet, emotionless girl” archetype championed by Rei Ayanami, but with the slight twist of her also being a nymphomaniac.
In places where sexuality and moé intersect, the question becomes: Do the elements of moé prevent any sexuality from being moé, and do the elements of sexuality prevent moé from being sexual?
What I mean by this is: When examining moé, especially in areas where it intersects sexuality, do we see the sexuality as part of the moé appeal, or is it completely removed and auxiliary to it? In addition, another good question to ask is: When we look at sexuality in anime and other Japanese media, particularly those meant to cater to otaku, and especially where that sexuality intersects with moé, do we see the moé appeal as occurring with the sex or as simply occurring in the same work as the sex?
What do you think?