I’ve been seeing a resurgence of this kind of terminology recently, and that’s disappointing, because I had thought we had moved past this concept. Evidently, however, there are anime fans out there that still subscribe to this kind of thinking, and that bothers me, because the Type A/Type B dichotomy is flawed from the very start.
With Space Dandy on the horizon, and the hype around Kill la Kill going strong, I’m reminded of Kids on the Slope, The Flowers of Evil, and Redline. While those three shows might have little in common visually and thematically, they do share a particular relation that I’d like to touch on.
Part of the Anti-Moé Brigade’s agenda is to keep moé fans in a position of contempt with regards to the rest of the fandom. Indeed, moé is “sexist,” “creepy,” and “pedophilic,” so fans of moé must be sexist, creepy pedophiles. Nobody wants to associate themselves with sexist, creepy pedophiles. Sexist, creepy pedophiles belong outside the fandom. Moreover, they belong below the rest of the fandom. This is the Nerd Hierarchy.
A few weeks ago, Anime News Network Executive Editor Zac Bertschy was made aware of an article on SLC Anime that, in part, criticized the joke reviews he does for ANN’s Preview Guide each season.
He wasn’t happy.
Though, apart from calling me a bitch and claiming I’m being passive-aggressive, he said something particularly interesting that I’d like to touch on.
There’s a mindset that’s recently become pervasive within the anime community (Especially within the Anti-Moé Brigade) that irks me particularly, not only because it paints moé fans as mindless consumers, but because it shows an immense disrespect for the creators involved with the anime industry.
While the derailment of the ANNCast comment thread was quite disappointing and frustrating, it’s still somewhat valuable in that it’s provided a place from which I can mine a few new topics to write about.
At the end of the day, we’re all anime fans. We’ve all got this one thing in common that we’ve formed a community around because it interests all of us. I think that’s amazing. It’s fantastic to have a community based around a common interest because that opens up infinite possibilities to share our personal interests with each other, and gain a perspective on the interests of other people. That’s what I love about fandom, and most people, like me, want fandom to grow and thrive.
It’s just that some of them have a funny way of showing it.
Kyoto Animation recently announced Free!, which is the actual real anime of the commercial released a month ago. Like the commercial before it, the announcement caused quite an uproar in the anime community. Fans of all kinds are making varying levels of buzz about the news, but one group is conspicuously loud about it, and no, it isn’t the moé fandom this time.
To some, moé is an annoyance. It’s the thing preventing them from seeing the anime they want to see. It’s what Japanese fans want and that’s a problem to them because it forces anime production companies to make more moé.
To others, moé is a bogeyman. They fear that any anime could become moé at a moment’s notice, and any mention of moé anywhere close to the anime they like causes them to lash out, fighting desperately to protect their anime, like a cornered animal.
One thing that always struck me about the Anti-Moé Brigade is how they accuse the moé fandom of mindless consumerism. Moé fans will buy whatever “crap” the anime industry puts out, after all. I noticed something recently, however, and this flips the entire argument over onto its head in a way that’s a little bit funny.