Two-Faced Anti-Moé Brigade Thinking

At the end of the day, we’re all anime fans. We’ve all got this one thing in common that we’ve formed a community around because it interests all of us. I think that’s amazing. It’s fantastic to have a community based around a common interest because that opens up infinite possibilities to share our personal interests with each other, and gain a perspective on the interests of other people. That’s what I love about fandom, and most people, like me, want fandom to grow and thrive.

It’s just that some of them have a funny way of showing it.

Hostility is a major issue within the anime fandom right now. People are legitimately nasty to other people because they like different cartoons. It always disappoints me, no matter if it’s the Anti-Moé Brigade of the moé fandom doing it. What disappoints me most, however, is the two-faced attitude some fans have toward this hostility.

Back when the swimming commercial was released, a lot of people (Some in very high places) spoke out against some moé fans’ hostility toward fujoshi. The outcry was justified, and even I spoke out about it, because hostility in the anime community is bad no matter who it’s coming from, and I’ll be the first to dissociate myself with the moé fandom if it were to suddenly base itself in hatred of fujoshi in a unilateral fashion (I realize this is basically impossible). When the Free! anime was announced, however, very few of those same people were speaking out against the Anti-Moé Brigade’s hostility toward moé fans. Suddenly, the zeal to “fight hostility within the fandom” vanished, and almost nobody who was hard-up on being anti-hostility when fujoshi were under fire wanted to come out and support the moé fandom. Out of one side of their mouth, they were saying, “I hate to see immaturity and hostility in the fandom,” and out of the other side of their mouth, they were saying, “Moé fans get anime they want all the time, so they’re privileged and deserve to be taken down a peg.”

I’m sorry, but this doesn’t work. These are diametrically opposed viewpoints. You cannot be “against immaturity and hostility in the fandom” but ignore the immaturity and hostility leveled against moé fans. No way. You can’t declare something negligible because you think it’s negligible. All these people prove about themselves is that, rather than being actually against hostility, they’re only against hostility toward segments of fandom that they like (Or, rather, segments of fandom they don’t hate). They only pay the issue lip service.

Bottom line: You can’t claim to fight against hostility in the anime fandom, but sit twiddling your thumbs while moé fans are being called pedophiles, sexists, misogynists, and deviants by the rest of the anime fandom, are constantly the butt of the joke within the fandom, and are basically treated as second-class citizens, while people play all of that off as, “Well, moé fans are privileged, so they don’t deserve to be treated with respect by the rest of the fandom.”

Fight hostility or don’t fight hostility, but when you fight some hostility, but support other hostilities, you are part of the problem, and none of us should have to tolerate that level of hypocrisy, especially from professionals within the community. When you sign on to fight hostility, you sign on to fight all hostility, even against people you don’t like, because hostility within fandom is toxic, no matter who it’s against.

Hostility is the only thing with the power to kill the fandom, and when people claim to be in the fight against hostility, animosity, and antagonism in the anime community, but implicitly (Or explicitly) support it against certain segments of fandom, they’re only adding to the problem and they should be ashamed of themselves.

See the hypocrisy in action for yourself: <- This is an episode of ANNCast recorded not long after the swimming commercial was released. At 33:52, Zac Bertschy comments on the reaction to the commercial, saying that he dislikes immaturity and hostility within the fandom tremendously and that “it makes him kind of depressed,” and that “fans should embrace each other. They shouldn’t try and draw all these stupid lines and insult and ostracize each other. It’s fuckin’ dumb.” <- This is a tweet from Zac Bertschy not long after Free! was announced.

I guess it’s only “immaturity” and “hostility” when it’s coming from the moé fandom.

So, what do we call it when it’s aimed at the moé fandom? Justice? Retribution? Comeuppance?

When it’s coming from people who would be defending any other segment of fandom from perceived slights by the moé fandom, we call it hypocrisy. We call it insincerity. We call it two-faced.


Stay frosty.


5 thoughts on “Two-Faced Anti-Moé Brigade Thinking”

  1. Western anime fandom in a nutshell folks.

    I’ve always wondered, do otaku in Japan do this? Having horribly petty arguments about moe? I seriously doubt it, because non fans would move to look elsewhere but somehow we have people here who rather delude themselves into thinking Japan wants to make anime for THEM and their tastes first (because apparently America is bigger and thus there would be more sales here, right?).

  2. Admittedly, I’m running out of things to say about Zac Bertschy and his cash of idiots over at ANN. I mean trying to have a legit, civil discussion about moe is like trying to talk to a brick wall. Nothing can really get to their planet-sized heads.

    I also wish those in the Strike Witches fandom would just enjoy what they like rather than bitch and complain about the fanservice ruining the series. I mean, if you like the light novels good. But don’t go rubbing your superiority in others faces. Calling fans, (or in most cases, the director of said anime) paedophiles is not civil. It’s just juvenile and dumb.

    Case in point, this site. A prime example of hostility in the realms of the SW fandom:

    Also, @VZMkII: I agree with what you said. Though, on threads on 2ch, I always see shit like どうして_失敗した?(or why is *insert anime title* a failure?) It might be trolling, correct me if I’m wrong; but I can’t be sure if that constitutes as having a petty argument about moe, or just anime in general.

  3. I will agree with VZ that this pretty much sums up the Western fanbase. I’m fine with people not liking certain types of show that is okay, but what I don’t like is people attacking others for liking said shows.

    It was stupid for people to get upset about the Free! commercial or the fact that it is getting made, but it is also stupid for people saying that fanboys are being immature and it is pointless for them to be so, but also happy to see them get knocked down a peg.

    I think some of the reason for the knocking down is not so much anti moe actions but just outright hatred of Otaku in general. I’m going to name names here because this dude is an ass but Chagen46 from the ANN forums, he pretty much hates Otaku. He says that all Otaku are too afraid of real women which is why they go after 2d women, that he also says that they are Herbivores (The second definition on Urban Dictionary). I think he gets off on seeing them get upset.

    It is the in fighting that really bothers me since it is pointless and does nothing to further the western fandom. It is this infighting that just about makes me ashamed to be anime fan at times. I’m pretty close to just saying I like anime but f*** the western fan base since they can’t agree to just accept that they both like cartoons but not all the same ones.

    1. “It is the in fighting that really bothers me since it is pointless and does nothing to further the western fandom. It is this infighting that just about makes me ashamed to be anime fan at times. I’m pretty close to just saying I like anime but f*** the western fan base since they can’t agree to just accept that they both like cartoons but not all the same ones.”

      This is almost how I feel except I’ve already given up on the western fanbase when it comes to anime, manga, and gaming. They can go fuck themselves for all I care.

  4. @VZMK2
    Every now and again, we’ll see a director, mangaka, writer, or someone like that lament on how moé is killing anime or something like that, but we don’t hear much “moé debate” from the Japanese side. Whether that’s because they don’t indulge in that kind of argument or because we simply don’t hear very much from the Japanese fandom in general is up for debate.

    As far as the Strike Witches fandom goes, I find it pretty laughable that there exists a group of people who go out of their way to deny the fanservice aspect of Strike Witches. These people really strike me as being insecure in their own fandom, and I really wonder why someone would approach a franchise as infamous for its fanservice as Strike Witches if they hate fanservice in the first place.

    Anti-otakuism is most definitely a driving element behind this kind of hypocritical hostility toward moé fans. Fact is, a lot of people within the Western fandom (especially those whose opinions are shaped by the likes of Zac Bertschy and Colony Drop) view otaku as a pathological force within the anime community, even despite the fact that otaku money is one of the major movers of the anime industry. People like Chagen46 represent a force within the anime community to actively deny otaku the privilege of fully participating in certain discussions.

    Personally, I’m not ready to give up on the Western fanbase yet. Certain people are a lost cause, but there are plenty of pretty cool people in the Western fanbase. The problem is that there’s an overrepresentation of one set of viewpoints (Moé is bad, etc.), and an underrepresentation of viewpoints that are alternative to that set of viepoints (Moé is not bad, etc.). That’s a solvable problem. It just takes some moé fans who are willing to step up and speak their minds.

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