Operation 21ST Phase Four: Moé As a Feeling

This article is part 4 of a 5-part series on moé as it appears in anime community discourse.

Have you ever encountered a character that just hit all the right spots? A character you felt a connection with on a personal level? A character whose smile made you smile? A character whose sadness made you sad? Have you ever encountered a character you fell in love with?

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Operation 21ST Phase Three: Moé As a Series of Tropes

This article is part 3 of a 5-part series on moé as it appears in anime community discourse.

Moé characters are often described archetypically. Taiga Aisaka is a “tsundere.” Belldandy is a “yamato nadeshiko.” C.C. is a “kuudere.” The archetype- and trope-driven nature of moé goes two ways in discussion. On one hand, the moé fandom can look at character archetypes as a way to easily describe a given character’s personality in a basic way. On the other hand, the Anti-Moé Brigade often looks at tropes and archetypes in moé as a negative thing, creating a rift between the two subsets of the anime community.

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Operation 21ST Phase Two: Moé As an Aesthetic

This article is part 2 of a 5-part series on moé as it appears in anime community discourse.

Probably one of the most recognizable aspects of moé is the aesthetic. Though different artists and character designers have different ways of representing it, the moé aesthetic can almost always be immediately identified.

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Operation 21ST Phase One: “Moé As a Genre”

This article is part 1 of a 5-part series on moé as it appears in anime community discourse.

In discussions among members of the anime fandom, “moé” is a term that is used to describe several different aspects and elements of anime. At times, this can be confusing at best, and at worst, derail legitimate discussions, turning them into superficial semantic arguments. This is where Operation 21ST comes in.  The objective of this operation is: To examine and discuss the various ways the word “moé” is used throughout anime discussion.

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Operation Apex in the Circle: Mission Briefing

I am of the opinion that no work of art or media is above or beneath scrutiny.

That is to say, all works deserve deliberate examination. There is nothing that isn’t worth analysis, and there is nothing that “defies criticism.” Closer examination of a work of media may reveal aspects of it that could change the way people think about it, both for old and new works. Countless such examinations exist for anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and, more recently, Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

This operation, however, will take on an anime that was pushed aside disgustedly like the broccoli in a child’s plate by many fans. Disliked, ignored, or outright hated, this series garnered little examination from the fandom at large and, while it’s not difficult to see why it was pushed aside, the elements that originally squicked the individuals who now hate the show aren’t the only elements at work.

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