Operation Shion Fujino Phase 2: Moe in Ecchi

OPFUJINO2

Images included in this article may be explicit in nature.

Ecchi anime is often conflated with moé and vice-versa. While the two are not one in the same, it’s important to understand where moé and ecchi intersect and how the two interact with each other to understand how sexuality and moé compliment and detract from one another.

Moe&Ecchi2Ecchi anime has been around for quite some time, but with the rise moé as a marketing tool, as well as the rise of the contemporary “moé” aesthetic, it’s taken on a whole new look and feel.  Modern Ecchi anime, whether adapted from light novels, manga, eroge, or as original works, often employs not only a moé aesthetic, but moé character traits as well. The question is: Does the sexuality inherent in ecchi works compromise the moé present in the characters?

Moe&Ecchi3Ladies versus Butlers! is a 2010 ecchi romantic comedy about a school for aristocrats and their servants. The characters mostly fit moé archetypes, with characters like mouthy tsundere Selnia Flameheart and clumsy maid Sanae Shikikagami. Much of the humor and ecchi in the show is derived from the various female characters being put in compromising positions, usually with relation to the protagonist. Butts and breasts are in constant view of the show’s “camera,” but the characters maintain their moé, as, despite their constant exposure to the camera, most of them exhibit embarrassment.

Moe&Ecchi5The 2005 Heisei Democracy article on moé, entitled “The Moe Image” asserts as its first law of moé that “A moe character cannot be aware of her own appeal.” Referring to “maidenly virtue,” “modesty,” and “propriety,” the article asserts that a basis of moé appeal is that the moé character is not deliberately attempting to seduce the viewer or otherwise use her “feminine wiles,” so-to-speak, to manipulate the viewer. What happens, however, when this line is blurred?

Moe&ecchi6Kiss x Sis, another 2010 ecchi romantic comedy, while no doubt utilizing a moé aesthetic in its character designs, concerns a pair of twins aggressively trying to seduce their younger brother. Because it has a moé aesthetic and because the characters have moé character traits, it’s easy to indentify as moé, but the focus on the Suminoe twins’ seductive antics makes the series straddle the line between being moé and being too seductive and overtly sexual to fit Heisei Democracy’s definition of moé.

 

Next, we’ll look at moé as it occurs in erotic anime.

 

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Let’s discuss:

Can ecchi and moé coexist without one compromising the other?

Can seduction be moé?

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2 Responses to Operation Shion Fujino Phase 2: Moe in Ecchi

  1. Midonin says:

    On the subject of LvB, I’d love to comment on the DVD bonus specials. They do feature an active display of fanservice closer to the Kiss x Sis example, but are still able to maintain their cuteness. Ayse and Hedyeh’s is my favorite, with Ayse still maintaining her innocence (and Hedyeh her tsundereness) even under the circumstances.

  2. TsukuyomiMagi99 says:

    To answer your first question, yes I believe ecchi and moe can coexist with one another. On one side you have shows like Bincho-tan which is completely devoid of any erotic material and then you have the exact opposite with Strike Witches and Kodomo no Jikan that still keep their moe elements.

    I really can’t answer your second question.

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