Kyoto Animation recently announced Free!, which is the actual real anime of the commercial released a month ago. Like the commercial before it, the announcement caused quite an uproar in the anime community. Fans of all kinds are making varying levels of buzz about the news, but one group is conspicuously loud about it, and no, it isn’t the moé fandom this time.
Back when the commercial aired, there were a small number of moé fans expressing disdain for the prospect of KyoAni making an anime of the commercial. They had felt “betrayed” that KyoAni might make an anime to appeal to fujoshi, and lashed out at fujoshi as a result. That segment of the fandom, however, is conspicuously quiet this time around. Not all is calm, however, as the role of primary noisemaker has been taken up by the Anti-Moé Brigade, of all people.
A number of fans have come out in support of Free!, but their support is saturated in venom aimed at the moé fandom. They like Free! because it’s not moé, and because it’s supposedly disappointing otaku. They’re happy about Free! because they’re happy that otaku aren’t getting what they want. They’re happy about Free! because they think moé fans have enough anime that appeals to them. To them, one less anime for moé otaku is a small victory against the moé occupation of the anime fandom.
I’ll be very clear about this: This schadenfreude is absolutely disgusting and those who take part in it should be ashamed of themselves. It bothers me that people in the fandom are so far-gone that their reaction to this amounts to “HA HA HA, TAKE THAT, MOE OTAKU!” Just how far has their fandom sunk, that they’re excited for an anime not for its quality, or its premise, or its staff and cast, but because it’s not what certain fans want? This is childish, hypocritical behaviour, and it propagates animosity and negativity within the anime fandom, two things we could do with much less of.
I want the people who are enjoying this announcement only because it’s not otaku-pandering to re-evaluate why they’re still anime fans, because if that’s the reason they’re liking shows now, they need a new hobby. I want the moé fandom to maintain restraint, embrace fujoshi and fujoshi media, and keep the high ground this time around. I want those who, when the commercial aired, said they’d support KyoAni appealing to fujoshi for once to support the DVD release of Free!. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, I want people who profess to fight hostility within the anime community to speak out against this schadenfreude.