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.
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 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.
You can listen after the jump.
You can listen after the jump.
It’s no secret that I hate the word “pandering” as it’s used by the Anti-Moé Brigade. Further than that, however, it’s often a poor word to use in the way it’s used due to its meaning and connotation. The way it’s used makes it really easy to obfuscate one’s meaning, or to say something that one doesn’t mean, and that’s harmful.
Let any given moé debate go on long enough and eventually, it’ll end up at a point where someone mentions how “hard to define” moé is, despite the fact that it had still been a debate about moé up to that point and past it. Interestingly enough, this point is almost always brought up by the anti-moé side of the debate, who evidently don’t understand what moé is, but certainly know enough about it to hate it.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica took the anime community by storm when it aired in the beginning on 2011. It was being compared to Evangelion, and, to a certain extent, the comparisons were valid. The two shows are quite different, but the one major similarity they share is that both were popular in both Japan and the Western market. Indeed, Madoka may be the first show since Eva to really hit it big and gain widespread acclaim in the anime fandoms on both sides of the Pacific.
Madoka’s success has raised an interesting question within the Western fanbase, however, and it ties into a common issue among the Anti-Moé Brigade.