Everybody’s Database

M134OpinionIcon-MOEWhen 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.

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On Archetypes and Heuristics

One of the major criticisms of moé is how common and endemic archetypes are to it. Anti-Moé Brigadiers argue that the prevalence of archetypes is shallow and that archetypical characters are built only to pander to otaku fetishes. Archetypes, however, might be a much more natural development than the self-proclaimed intellectuals of the Anti-Moé Brigade would have you believe. I’ll explain.

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Check Your List at the Door

A big strike against moé that the Anti-Moé Brigade pulls out is the “checklist mentality” of moé fans. They posit that moé fans operate on a mental checklist, and evaluate the quality of shows based on whether or not a show satisfies a shopping list of tropes they find enjoyable. That, actual show quality notwithstanding, moé fans will watch anything that includes enough of their favorite tropes.

The problem is, either checklist mentality is not at all congruent with how moé fans think, or it’s something that can be applied to more than just moé.

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