The Anti-Moé Brigade and The “Loser” Narrative

Icon-MOEPathologization of otaku is a thread that runs deep in Anti-Moé Brigade rhetoric. It makes sense: If you can convince people that only terrible people can conceivably like a thing, you’ll succeed in vilifying that thing. As a result, people who subscribe to Anti-Moé Brigade thinking often fixate upon the most egregious and weird examples of otaku they can find, pushing a narrative that all moe fans are like that and feeding off of a public perception that these people are deficient because of the way they carry themselves and enjoy things.

The Anti-Moé Brigade has a curious obsession with how others live their lives. They’re positively overflowing with concern about those poor, poor otaku who never leave their homes (Conflating “otaku” with “hikkikomori,” two different concepts) and have an unhealthy obsession with these anime characters. It’s a feint, however. They have a great deal less desire to actually understand these people and why they do what they do as they have to reinforce their narrative that “otaku” are losers, shut-ins, and pitiful individuals.

By othering moé fans, the Anti-Moé Brigade creates a split in the fandom and encourages animosity and antagonism. Moé fans suddenly become those people. Own a hug pillow? That’s creepy. Use an oppai mousepad? You’re a pervert. Like Yamato Nadeshiko characters? You’re playing into a “male power fantasy.”

Altogether, according to the Anti-Moé Brigade, the moé fandom is made up of sexist, misogynistic, conservative shut-ins. They try to associate all these concepts with moé, so when someone thinks about a moé fan, they immediately think of a conservative straight white man with regressive views on women who, as a result, has no girlfriend and owns a dakimakura to act as a surrogate for female companionship.

The fact is, however, that association doesn’t follow. If we take the set of all moé fans, the only common thread among them will be the enjoyment of moé appeal. Groups don’t exist in that way. It’s not reasonable to group individuals together by one shared trait and expect them to all share a number of unrelated traits as well.

This is why vilification, prejudice, and the use of outliers are necessary to push this narrative. With enough spin and hype, one otaku carrying his dakimakura around like a girlfriend will convince people that only losers with no social skills own dakimakura. With enough spin and hype, one otaku marrying Nene from Love Plus will convince people that only lonely shut-ins who can’t get a date to save their life play dating sims.

To the Anti-Moé Brigade, a person’s choice in entertainment does reflect on their personality. It must, at least when it comes to moé, because that’s the only way they can successfully demonize the moé fandom, a crucial step on their path to creating a stigma around moé so pervasive that those who openly enjoy moé are forced into the dark corners of the fandom, never to be seen or heard from again.

Never mind that these are probably people who would argue against the notion of videogames causing real life violence. Entertainment choices don’t reflect on people’s personalities in that respect, but they sure do when it comes to moé, dakimakura, dating sims, and lolicon.

What it comes down to is the fact that they don’t like these things, and are authoritarian, so they believe nobody should like them. Despite that, however, people end up liking these things, sometimes openly, which chews away at the Anti-Moé Brigade’s agenda.

In order to preserve the agenda, it’s necessary for the Anti-Moé Brigade to portray the people who like things they dislike as the dregs of society, in the process erasing all non-white, non-male, and non-straight moé fans revealing just how authoritarian (In addition to racist and sexist) they are.

Stay frosty.


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