FUNimation has gotten into some hot water with fans recently, regarding their broadcast dub of Prison School. In a scene, one character accuses another of being “one of those dumbass GamerGate creepshows.”
It sickens me how some anime fans treat each other. Whether it’s moé fans hating on fujoshi, people childishly retaliating against moé fans on behalf of fujoshi, or just the general, everyday disdain for moé fans from the Western fanbase, we have the capacity to be remarkably hostile to one another, and it’s doing damage to our community.
Pathologization 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.
I’m acquainted with several gamers and anime fans who’ve described themselves as “apolitical,” which I’ve taken to mean less that they don’t have an opinion on political issues, and more that they simply don’t wish to discuss politics. Honestly, I don’t blame them, especially when it comes to politics in the anime and games they consume.
Not long ago, I saw a post questioning why people feel the need to share with others their pornographic preferences. While there’s certainly something to be said about keeping sexual preferences private simply due to their nature, there are many people in the anime fandom who are quite open about the kinds of fanservice, character designs, and even hentai they enjoy, and further, are eager to share that with others.
GamerGate is seven months old. It’s been seven months since gamers have revolted against the gaming press, who have been vilifying “gaming culture” for years, insisting that “gamers” are sexist, misogynist, racist, cis-het white men who are afraid of sexual, racial, and gender minorities in the gaming industry.
For three months, gamers have fought tooth and nail to restore integrity to gaming journalism and buck the “gamer” stereotype that’s being pushed by the gaming press.
How can this help the moé fandom?
These are criticisms that, though appearing insightful and reasoned on the surface, have more to do with the critic’s personal inclinations, preferences, and sensibilities than with the work itself.
Have you ever cried while watching an anime? Have you ever gotten angry at a character for doing something you find reprehensible? Have you ever pumped your fist in the air or jumped out of your seat in excitement when that mech you love does that really cool thing?
Congratulations: You’ve emotionally invested yourself in an anime.
A friend of mine recently directed me to a Youtube video about the use of the term “anime.” Something I’ve seen a lot is confusion over what “anime” is, and that’s somewhat perplexing to me, because, for a long time, I didn’t quite understand what the point of contention was.