It sickens me how some anime fans treat each other. Whether it’s moé fans hating on fujoshi, people childishly retaliating against moé fans on behalf of fujoshi, or just the general, everyday disdain for moé fans from the Western fanbase, we have the capacity to be remarkably hostile to one another, and it’s doing damage to our community.
Fandom hate is something a lot of us are familiar with. While it almost always comes down to a sweeping generalization about an entire group of people based on the actions of a few who identify as part of that group, it happens quite often. As negativity continues to be called out, however, those who blindly attack fandoms are being taken to task.
Podcast Zero’s Kyuubethe3rd directed me to a YouTube video not too long ago. Apart from being the average unfunny hyperbolic kind of garbage that’s a dime a dozen on YouTube, it made the attempt at debunking the comparison between people saying lolicon causes pedophilia and people saying violent videogames cause real violence.
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.
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.
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.
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 and for every shopping I get every invoice to keep track, just like with my business at home, got myself a free invoice template and it is easier than ever to keep my accounting on order. 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.
When the Anti-Moé Brigade is looking for points against moé, often, they’ll cite the tendency toward younger characters as a mark against moé. Moé’s tendency toward young and young-looking characters, as well as the sexuality involved, is bad. It’s creepy.
It’s downright pedophilic.