Oh, it's nothing complex; I just see a lot of people who give up and drop out halfway through their ambitions.
Yeah, I should have been more extensive in my description of the topic. I'm not looking for people who can latch onto what I'm doing in class (which I haven't even really described overall), but instead to see what people think of their likes and dislikes, and to say why they think it works/doesn't work for them. If you've come up with an explanation that wasn't brought up in our class, then power to you- that's also critical thinking.
The basic idea is, we go through the content, look at it and then go to the next thing. We're shoving an entire curriculum into a span of just under 2 months, so it's honestly rushed. Needless to say, many of us will have had more experience in certain aspects compared to others, and will have differing opinions. Clashing opinions is a good thing if taken well, and hey, it's all part of the learning process.
It's kind of funny because the topic was thrown into a "gender analysis" thread, which wasn't my original intention. It was probably my post, but that's all we'd really looked at to that point since it was the beginning. Needless to say we're already branching out to looking at historical analysis and other forms of media, but it can never really be a true summarization since it's all jammed into 2 months.
Thanks for the comment though, good to hear another perspective. I might make a post on the thread to try and spin the conversation into a more community-friendly tangent.
Not quite sure I get what you mean about the halfway analogy being ironic for university students.
Honestly though, I'm not surprised your class didn"t come up with my explanation. It's not something that you're going to think of unless you know there's a "cute daughter" character type to begin with. You're not going to figure that out from Gunslinger Girl alone, and to be honest you don't see it much in anime these days because so many shows have teenage protagonists and hence you tend to have little sisters instead. But I'm familiar with a couple older VNs with adult protagonists where a non-romancable girl see the main character as a father figure. And because I've seen a couple older moe fans who have made comments to the effect about certain characters.
(alternately, you can demphasize the girl-handler relationship as part of the appeal entirely and just say that lolis with guns is a big part of the appeal, which is why I didn't disagree with that part of your analysis that much (though I do agree with Don that this is a seinen appeal and that the ambiguous morality/plot is also extremely important).