The Anubis Perspective: Moe Moe Part 8: Mindless Fan-Service

This is an old post I originally wrote for the now-defunct Moé Coalition site. The site has since been taking down by the owner, but I’ve managed to salvage some of my posts. This is one of them.

 

Howdy!

Time Enforcer Anubis here with more talk about moe!

Moe anime and fanservice often go hand-in-hand. Not always, but often, and especially when the Anti-Moe Brigade’s talking about either.

Fanservice is a strange word nowadays. Fanservice used to encompass everything from drawn-out action scenes to elaborate transformation sequences to, of course, pantyshots. Anything that’s a service to fans, really. But lately, it’s been used exclusively to describe sexually-charged imagery, usually with the qualifier “Mindless” to make it sound worse than it is, which brings up a point about the Anti-Moe Brigade.

“Mindless fanservice” is used as a value judgement, as it’s become characteristic of the Anti-Moe Brigade to value “deep” or “thoughtful” anime over all else. It’s the reason they claim moe “enables bad storytelling” despite it having been proven time and time again that anime can exist without a story, but to them, story is everything, and pandering to the fanbase is only okay if that fanbase isn’t the moe fanbase.

It’s actually really convenient for the Anti-Moe Brigade that fanservice has taken on its narrower meaning. It means that they can never be accused of enjoying the “mindless fanservice” they claim is ruining anime. Gurren Lagann remains a great anime, even though it’s nothing but “mindless fanservice,” going by the old definition. However, even on the new definition, there’s a double-standard. How does moe fanservice end up “harmful” to the industry, but BL and yaoi get looked upon as some kind of necessary evil? The “I’m not into it, but I see it’s appeal” type of acceptance. Where is the line drawn? I’ve heard BL and yaoi equated to some sort of “moe for girls,” but there’s no stigma associated with it. Everyone who isn’t into it just accepts that it exists and disregards it like any other anime they’re not into. When something described as “moe for girls” gets accepted as legitimate, while “moe for boys” is something that must be destroyed, that’s called sexism. I really hope we’re not going back to sexism.

The phrase “Mindless Fanservice,” and the complaints put forth about fanservice by the Anti-Moe Brigade, are nothing more than just more swipes at moe, and it embodies multiple hypocrisies and double-standards present within the Anti-Moe Brigade’s rhetoric. While a lot of fanservice anime is indeed mindless, that alone doesn’t make it any better or worse than any other kind of anime.

‘Till next time!

Email: SLCmail.Anubis@gmail.com

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5 Responses to The Anubis Perspective: Moe Moe Part 8: Mindless Fan-Service

  1. wcsinn says:

    I’m afraid I disagree slightly with my friend Anubis, I don’t think this is about anything but value judgements. Value judgements made by people who, if they can be called anime fans at all, are certainly only fans of those genre, types and series of which they personally approve. They are simply put, bigots, who denigrate everything which they don’t like – or worse yet – disapprove of, finding them “morally” objectionable. There is no room for anything in their world which does not receive their personal stamp of approval. They don’t watch half the series the cry and wail about, and certainly don’t allow themselves to be swayed by facts, let alone contrary opinions.

    Unfortunately their numbers seem to proliferating, and the true fans are usually just to nice, to laid back or simply unaware of these idiots to make a serious rebuttal – not that it would slow them down a lick.

    • Value judgments are a big part of it, but the double-standard at play is also an important piece.

      You can’t ignore the fact that the Anti-Moé Brigade conveniently ignores BL/yaoi media and shows like Hetalia, which are pretty much moé aimed at girls. Because it’s aimed at girls, it’s okay, even though it’s thematically not much different than moé shows aimed at males.

      • wcsinn says:

        True, but then again – these anti types never have made much sense to me, nor have they been very consistent in their ravings. I have also seen them go on about how ecchi was destroying anime in one post and claim to be a big fan of fan service in the next post. Go figure :)

  2. redthreetimes says:

    There is indeed a double standard, and the anti moe crowd are hesitant to attack female fans. But there is also the fact that they don’t have the balls to pick a fight with fujoshi and BL fans . Seriously, those ladies can be vicious, and will defend their hobby ferociously.

    The BL influence will only grow with time, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens when moe can’t be used as a scapegoat for everything “wrong” with anime.

    • Oh, definitely. The yaoi/BL fanbase is notorious for being passionate about their preferred genres.

      It’s also probably a result of things like romance, relationships, and characters made to hit particular charm points being acceptable for women to be into, but not so much for men. I mean, whenever you hear about “sad fans” or whatever, it’s always men who buy doujinshi and dakimakura who get called creepy and whatnot, regardless of the fact that there are women who do the same thing, just with male characters.

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