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Old 2013-05-04, 21:25   Link #181
synaesthetic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyl View Post
In real life I don't expect to see orphan boys growing up into gritty crimefighters in silly costimes
Maybe that's why I don't get it. I've never been a fan of superheroes. My head is grounded too far in reality.

Maybe I'm just a bitter cynic.
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Old 2013-05-04, 21:25   Link #182
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Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
...People consider Kanon (2006) to be a mo anime? I'm genuinely surprised.
Some people consider Kanon (2006) to be one of the prototypical "mo anime", in fact, with its high emphasis on feeling sympathetic towards tragic, cute female characters. ...But I'm not judging whether that's right or wrong!
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Old 2013-05-04, 22:45   Link #183
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Just to throw my $.02, for what it's worth...

the most basic, bare-bones, cookie-cutter definition of moe, at least for me, seems to mean cute, usually applied by males towards female characters. It's the other end of the spectrum from the term GAR, which means, once again in a bare-bones cookie-cutter definition, manliness (though please note that every once in a while a female character does get the term GAR).

A big part of this debate going on here seems to be that moe seems to be a sort of "one size fits all" word... I personally break it down into two things: there are moe characters, and then there are moe shows. You can have moe characters in a non-moe show (I don't qualify Haruhi as a moe show, but it has moe characters and elements)... it's only when the entire focus of a show is on the moe characters and the cute things that they do that a show becomes a moe show. Hence why I always say that K-On is the poster child for this... there was moe before K-On, but K-On was the turning point that made moe go truly mainstream.
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Old 2013-05-04, 23:08   Link #184
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Don't have time to say much at the moment (installing a game on my computer for a multiplayer match), but I seem to remember Kanon 2006 being consider pretty much the quintessential moe anime back when it came out.

The show also included a teaser for Clannad with the last episode, and I seem to recall some people complaining that KyoAni was wasting their talents on moe anime rather than making more Haruhi and FMP.
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Old 2013-05-04, 23:50   Link #185
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Well, of course they were. They still are. These types of shows are cheaper to make than mecha or action or anything like that which requires lots of detailed and expensive animation. They also tend to have smaller casts, so the voice acting budget can be smaller.

The plethora of "moe shows" (I really don't like using this identifier, but what can I do) are a product of the studios realizing they can get more for less this way, by chasing down hardcore otaku rather than trying to pander to a more general audience.

It's a bit weird because usually you make something less niche to make more money, but I guess it works with anime.
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Old 2013-05-05, 00:31   Link #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magin View Post
there was moe before K-On, but K-On was the turning point that made moe go truly mainstream.
What do you mean by "mainstream"?
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Old 2013-05-05, 00:33   Link #187
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The point where studios figured out they could make gobs and gobs of money for minimal investment by making "cute girls do cute things" shows.
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Old 2013-05-05, 00:35   Link #188
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Well, of course they were. They still are.
You say "of course" but not everyone seems to consider that affirmation as self evident:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito Kinomoto View Post
...People consider Kanon (2006) to be a mo anime? I'm genuinely surprised.
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Old 2013-05-05, 01:02   Link #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
I'm hardly telling anyone what the definition of "moe" should be.

I'm merely saying the term has joined the ranks of "awesome," "epic," "fail" and "ermagherd" in that it has been overused to the point of meaninglessness.
For many of those who like moe, you're right, it has.

But for many of those who are critical of moe, they are using a much firmer and more consistent understanding of it. They are basically using it to mean "VN Adaptations and all-girls shows", as well as "characters like Yui Hirasawa and Kanon's Ayu".

Moe is broader than this, but this is actually a better and more accurate starting point for understanding moe than where many moe fans are at. I think many moe fans, and even anime fans in general, have fallen into one of the common traps of modern geek fandoms - Taking a widely-used popular fan-term, and basically using it as a synonym for "like", which is one of the surest ways to water down a term into nigh-meaninglessness.

This is indeed what has happened with "awesome", and "epic", and "win", which just serves to water down these terms in many conversations. Thankfully, though, these terms still maintain their firmer meanings.

"His awesome strength would inspire others to become stronger themselves, in order to be more like him."

"The Lord of the Rings is an epic tale that has proven to be very influential within the fantasy genre."

"Yugi is a winner. He tends to win a lot at children's card games."


So if you use the terms "awesome", "epic", and "win" in the older and firmer sense of the term, most people will still 'get it', in my experience.

So "moe" is currently in a worst place than even these terms are.


I accept that "slice of life" will probably never be saved from its current predicament.

But "moe" is particularly problematic because of what I said before - It's critics have a firmer understanding of it than what many of its fans do, which isn't a problem that "slice of life" has (at least not to the same degree).

Let's say you take a relatively neutral anime fan, somebody new to anime, and he's still trying to make sense of this 'moe' phenomena. On the one side, he sees people using it basically as a synonym for "like". On the other side, he sees people using it to denote particular sorts of characters, characteristics, narrative elements, and anime shows. Ultimately, I think that he will lean towards how "the other side" uses it, because its firmer and more willing to point to real and discernible patterns and trends in the modern anime industry.

Repeat all of this a few thousands times over, and the end result isn't good for moe fans.

One thing that honestly surprises me a bit is just how much of the modern anime fandom (particularly in the west) still includes moe critics making the same old arguments that they've been making for several years now. Old arguments slowly die off once they stop resonating with people, but that's not the case for those who bash moe. So clearly the arguments of moe-bashers continue to resonate with a lot of people. I don't think this will change until moe fans sort of "take back" the term, admit that it's more than just a synonym for "like", and start explaining what specific aspects of moe and/or moe characters that cause us to like it and them. Perhaps in time a clearer definition for moe will arise from this.
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Old 2013-05-05, 02:49   Link #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
One thing that honestly surprises me a bit is just how much of the modern anime fandom (particularly in the west) still includes moe critics making the same old arguments that they've been making for several years now. Old arguments slowly die off once they stop resonating with people, but that's not the case for those who bash moe. So clearly the arguments of moe-bashers continue to resonate with a lot of people. I don't think this will change until moe fans sort of "take back" the term, admit that it's more than just a synonym for "like", and start explaining what specific aspects of moe and/or moe characters that cause us to like it and them. Perhaps in time a clearer definition for moe will arise from this.
Let me re-focus you for a second here. What is actually the real issue you're getting at? It seems to me that it's not about "terminology" at all. It's the fact that some people don't like some trends they perceive in modern anime, and so they stereotype the whole lot of it under a quasi-related label.

Let's say you do "take back the term". What actually changes? People who want to dismiss modern anime in a broad stroke are just going to come up with another overly-simplistic way to dismiss it. "Moe" is just a Japanese loanword that conveniently fits the bill because, no matter how you want to define it, it's broad and probably does include -- in some way -- the things they're talking about. But the elements that people don't like aren't encapsulated in the word itself, they're encapsulated in the content and the "trends" they perceive. "Moe-bashers" will continue to exist. Maybe you'll just say "don't call it moe, call it <x> instead!" Do you think they care what it's called?

As was already discussed earlier, combating narrow stereotypes with broad informed opinions is always a good idea, but this can happen whether you define "moe" as a "feeling" or not. Because the key is to broaden their mind to different kinds of engagement with anime and different aspects to appreciate (or at least that the different ways other appreciate it are also valid), not just "and now you understand what the moe genre of anime really is". As it stands, the content manages to find its audience just fine whether people understand "the term" or not, and even reclaiming the word isn't going to get people who criticize the content (or the related "cultural trends") to stop.

So again, to me anyway, it's just a word and it already has a life of its own. Whether in Japan or elsewhere, there isn't a single, clear, precise definition anywhere to be found. So "reclaiming" what was never ours in the first place is probably a hopeless task. There are other words.
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Old 2013-05-05, 02:54   Link #191
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Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
The show also included a teaser for Clannad with the last episode, and I seem to recall some people complaining that KyoAni was wasting their talents on moe anime rather than making more Haruhi and FMP.
...People have been saying this for six years? God why.
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The point where studios figured out they could make gobs and gobs of money for minimal investment by making "cute girls do cute things" shows.
Not only are there not that many shows like that (harem anime are still far more common if you ask me, but I haven't really run the numbers) it's a trend that will probably pass eventually. You had a plethora of (bad) sci-fi OVAs in the 80s and 90s too, which were being sold exclusively to the hardcore otaku audience.
Actually, remember when OVAs were a thing? At all?
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Old 2013-05-05, 04:57   Link #192
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I'm starting to get the impression a lot of newer anime fans just don't consider tragic heroines stories moe. They expect a moe show to be light and fluffy. A friend and I were discussing it while I was driving him home and his opinion isthat K-On more or less redefined what people thing moe is.

Considering my loyalties lie with shows like EF and Iriya, maybe I need to start calling myself a fan of old school moe or some such. But then I remember that I love stuff like Hanasaku Iroha, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee and Mashiro-Iro Symphony. It's like I can't win.

This has implications for Triple_R, IMO: to make a newcomer understand "moe", you can't rely on a single definition. You need to explain a historical evolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Well, of course they were. They still are. These types of shows are cheaper to make than mecha or action or anything like that which requires lots of detailed and expensive animation. They also tend to have smaller casts, so the voice acting budget can be smaller.
From the perspective of sheer opportunity to flex animation muscle, yes. From a perspective of which show actually benefitted more from being made by KyoAni rather than another studio, I'd tend to say Clannad benefitted more than say, TSR.

In general, my favourite moe shows tend to be a bit like impressionist art: they may not capture the an exact reality, but they definitely capture a sensation. KyoAni get that: I'd rank Hyouka right next to EF as the pinnacle of shows that do this well, but K-On, Kanon, Clannad, etc. also do it very, very well. Whereas a lot of other studios are like "so I hear you like these tropes".

When I look at the tropes Clannad contained and think of another studio handling it, I shudder. The show is good in large part because of KyoAni. Whereas IMO, FMP was awesome even when Gonzo was making it.

While I'm at it, I'm going to cite the fact KyoAni uses this approach as one of the reasons the Key-KyoAni trilogy is so well respected. A good chunk of the complaints about moe involve overuse of tropes, which I'd expect to occur more often in companies that don't take the approach KyoAni does.

(For reference, I actually do watch moe shows of the "so I hear you like tropes" variety too. I am an enthusiastic seeker of sappiness and cute, after all, I enjoy the rough for the occassional diamond. But I have a much lower tolerance for them and be more likely to drop them mid-season.)

Quote:
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I'm sick of these flaws not being treated realistically. Think of one of the stereotypical "moe" tropes: the tsundere female character. How would a character like this, portrayed to this extreme, be treated in reality, by real, actual people?
I will admit the way tsundere traits are played up tempers my willingness to express enthusiasm for them somewhat. Especially since I'd say it's one of the moe archetypes that most easily becomes a negative stereotype when overplayed. (A over the top tsundere feels like it says women are hysterical. Whereas an over the top moeblob doesn't feel like it says much of anything about anyone.) On the other hand, I love characters like Hitagi Senjougahara, Rin Tohsaka, Tsugumi Komachi, Hazuki, Aisaka Taiga, and Ririchiyo Shiirakin, so I am required to express some enthusiasm.
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Old 2013-05-05, 08:52   Link #193
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So again, to me anyway, it's just a word and it already has a life of its own. Whether in Japan or elsewhere, there isn't a single, clear, precise definition anywhere to be found. So "reclaiming" what was never ours in the first place is probably a hopeless task. There are other words.
And this is why discussing what moe is and enforcing onto others what it truly means makes it to #2 of my top 10 blackhole anime discussions.

Sad truth that there's nothing that can be done to get it out of the stream. It will and continuously be used as such. I would say that even if the definition might have changed/evolved, it achieved it in not a good way.
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Old 2013-05-05, 09:08   Link #194
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I think Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai is a moe anime. Who's with me?
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Old 2013-05-05, 10:58   Link #195
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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I think Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai is a moe anime. Who's with me?
If by that you mean that Chuunibyou is an anime whose characters are purposely designed in a way to make the audience scream "moe" when watching them, then yes I agree.

But does that mean that Kyoani knows what "moe" means? They have a general idea of it, and their guess is as good as yours. All that is certain is that they want it to be a "moe" anime, but whether that objective is actually reached is debatable.
Perhaps people watch it just because the characters are extremely cute.

There are two issues to consider. The first is that you need to understand what "moe" means. The second is that you need to understand what most people perceive as "moe".

For example in the Renaissance large asses were considered beautiful, now not so much. The concept of "beautiful" hasn't necessarily changed, but that which people commonly identify as complying with that concept did.

So an animation studio can say. Let's make an anime with a lot of cute girls with these specifics characteristics because that's what people consider "moe". That way you make a "moe anime". But you can do that all the same whether you know why people consider those things moe or not.

It wouldn't be wrong to say that right now "cute girls" are "moe", but "cute" isn't an inherent definition of "moe" as much as "large asses" aren't inherent in the definition of beautiful.


Or rather that's what I believe. Convincing people that this is the only way to make the concept of "moe" worthwhile is a lost cause. As of now, "cute" and "moe" are more or less interchangeable terms.
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Old 2013-05-05, 12:03   Link #196
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The over the top "tsundere" trait (not all tsunderes are raving loons either) has been around for many, many years, beyond what you'd typically call a moe anime.

But there may be a point, I have no desire to "protect" those characters. It's more like I have a desire to punch them.

Also, a series can have moe traits without having to dump the whole anime into the stereotype. How many people would refer to Madoka as sci-fi?
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Old 2013-05-05, 13:02   Link #197
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
The over the top "tsundere" trait (not all tsunderes are raving loons either) has been around for many, many years, beyond what you'd typically call a moe anime.

But there may be a point, I have no desire to "protect" those characters. It's more like I have a desire to punch them.
This is an interesting line of thought. Perhaps that's one reason why trends change. These days it's hard for me to get excited over a tsundere-type character, while I can get excited over a "majime"-type character. But I'm sure if the anime industry floods the airwaves with the latter, I'd start to hate majime types as well.

That's also one reason the critics find some moe characters dishonest, because they were designed to appeal to what's popular in the fandom.
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Old 2013-05-05, 17:24   Link #198
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That's also one reason the critics find some moe characters dishonest, because they were designed to appeal to what's popular in the fandom.
Well, to be fair, this is only a problem because "what's popular in the fandom" isn't what said critics like. I highly doubt that trying to create characters to appeal to popular trends is actually anything new. Of course, there are some critics who are just counter-culture in general, and anything that goes against the grain is praised for that reason alone. But a lot of the people you hear complaining really just wish they would focus on the same traits they did 10/20 years ago, rather than the modern ones. But this is like your point on the evolution of trends in general.

Even if we set "moe" aside, someone could probably write an interesting piece about "popular anime characters over the decades" and document the related trends of whatever was considered cute/appealing/attractive/desirable/whatever among anime fans at the time.
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Old 2013-05-05, 17:26   Link #199
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Tsundere love interests have been around since Mazinger Z in the 1970s, at minimum; there's probably even earlier examples in anime that I'm not familiar with. They're common in any sort of action series where the writers want a strong-willed female lead who can stand up to the main character, which includes a lot of mecha and shounen fighting series; I rarely watch harem/VN adaptations/other 'moe genres' but I can still recall dozens of tsundere leads from shows I've seen, many of which were produced before the term 'tsundere' was actually coined. Heck, the 80s Zelda cartoon had a tsundere Princess Zelda, and that wasn't even anime.

I'm dubious about any attempt to blame badly written tsunderes on the 2000s moe boom when you can find similar examples from filler episodes of a 90s show like Ranma. Sometimes bad writing is just bad writing.
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Old 2013-05-20, 06:10   Link #200
ices
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Don't know if this have been posted before,

Here is an academic paper with an analysis of the concept of Moe

Quote:
Abstract

This paper focuses on moe, a word used to describe a euphoric response to fantasy characters or representations of them. I combine theoretical perspectives from Japan and abroad with participant observation conducted in Tokyo from 2004 to 2009 among male and female fans of anime, manga and videogames. Considering the discourse on moe and its pragmatic uses, I argue fantasy characters offer virtual possibilities and affect that exist separately and in tandem with 'reality.' This allows for expanded expressive potential.
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