The Anti-Moé Brigade has an empathy problem. They have trouble seeing things from perspectives other than their own, and that causes them to be remarkably callous or hypocritical at times. This can often be seen in their assessments of moé fans, and often becomes a pervasive element in their arguments.
Let’s face it: To a certain extent, the popularity of moé among males, especially in Japan, is due to the attraction to an idealization of femininity as a substitute for a real relationship. Plenty of people enjoy moé for much simpler reasons, but the number of people who see it as a surrogate for real human romance is not insignificant.
This, by itself, isn’t a problem. Understanding that this is the case for some people is an important part of understanding the concept of moé and its popularity among otaku. The problem comes when people fail to even attempt to understand why this happens, instead insisting that something is wrong with these people because they feel the need to engage in so-called “2D relationships.”
Dating is a game where the goal is clear, but the rules, mechanics, and state of the game are all obfuscated. It’s like playing chess blindfolded without even knowing how the pieces move. In Japan, where the women are becoming increasingly independent, career-oriented, and picky about men, this is even truer.
By itself, women’s becoming more liberated and independent isn’t a problem, but compounded with other issues in Japanese society, it’s created an environment where many men and women aren’t interested in dating, and many men and women who would otherwise be interested in dating can’t find someone who lives up to their standards.
Let’s be real: When we’re talking about dating and love, a lot of it comes down to luck. It’s about meeting the right person at the right place at the right time in the right way. There are ways to increase one’s chances, certainly, but at the end of the day, it comes down to luck, fate, or what have you.
People who turn to 2D to fill their desire for companionship are pushed into their position. They’ve felt rejection from society for not being able to attract a mate. Why they can’t attract a mate doesn’t matter. Society expects every man to be able to do that, and if someone Is unable to, for whatever reason, they’re seen as deficient. They’re probably more than a bit bitter about that. They turn to moé as a coping mechanism, but then the Anti-Moé Brigade sees fit to insult, deride, and pathologize.
The Anti-Moé Brigade can’t understand what these people are going through and make no effort to do so. They’re quick to disregard the good that moé is capable of bringing to people’s lives, in favor of vilifying it and the people who enjoy it for supposedly taking the anime they like away from them. These are people who see a person’s ability to “get laid” as a measure of their worth, and if you own hug pillows with anime girls on them, you obviously won’t ever “get laid,” and those who can’t “get laid” are on the bottom of the totem pole.
They look at someone who’s in love with a moé girl and rather than being happy that person’s found a way to be happy, they can only see their own perspective.
They don’t do it themselves, so anyone who does do it must have something wrong with them. That’s the Anti-Moé Brigade’s mindset.
Moé helps people cope with loneliness.
It’s helped me out of depressive states on more than one occasion.
I’m willing to bet money that it’s saved people from suicide.
It’s compelling. It’s moving. It’s powerful.
It can legitimately affect people’s lives and people need to understand that before writing it off as just dumb, pandering entertainment.