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.
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?
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.
I’ve been accused in the past of being a negative element of the anime fandom, and that really baffles me, considering all the positive feedback I’ve gotten for Taskforce MOE, and all the personal “thank-you”s I’ve gotten from people who, through Taskforce MOE, I’ve helped to overcome their hang-ups about loving moé, especially considering that those hang-ups were caused by people committed to being derisive and hostile toward moé fans.
The “#EducateAnime” movement has popped up recently. It’s growing, but where it goes still remains to be seen. The premise is to encourage discussion and debate, and discourage blind hatred and negativity.
Longtime She’s Lost Control readers might recognize this as everything I’ve been on about since before this site launched, back when I was on Blogspot and writing for The Moé Coalition.
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.
When talking about otaku and moé, detractors tend to like bringing up terms like “database” and “checklist mentality” to describe the way moé fans consume their media. They see the proliferation of moé as an abandonment of narrative and a reduction of works to a database of traits.
Perhaps, however, this “database” is simply a different perspective of how we all consume media.
CNN ran an article pretty recently about the recent ban on the possession of child pornography in Japan, and how the anime and manga industries have managed to escape such a ban, despite the existence of lolicon manga.
You can read the article and watch the video they produced here. All in all, however, the entire thing is less of a news article, more of a moral outrage piece.