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Old 2013-05-01, 11:01   Link #1941
Bri
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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
For me it's not so much the question of what moe is, but rather a question of what moe DOES, because apart from it being a feeling AND a marketing term AND a genre in some cases, the common denominator for all of these is a mindset that creates such works.
Kyoani understands both the essence of moe and their own target demographic :

Spoiler for scene from TSR, occasionally as funny and offensive as Fumoffu :
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Old 2013-05-01, 12:32   Link #1942
Kaisos Erranon
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this definition was stomped to the ground by new anime productions that preached moe is maids with guns and cat ears, if you can catch my drift.
What in the goddamn hell are you talking about? Just because a given production claims that its weird characters are "moe" does not change anything about the definition overall, because the definition is fairly nebulous to begin with. All it means is that viewers are supposed to find the characters "moe", regardless of what the characters are actually like.
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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
For me it's not so much the question of what moe is, but rather a question of what moe DOES, because apart from it being a feeling AND a marketing term AND a genre in some cases, the common denominator for all of these is a mindset that creates such works.
Just because Western fans have managed corrupted the term to essentially mean "cute things I hate" does not mean that the term's meaning has changed in any essential way over the years.
Moe doesn't really do anything (aside from provoke audience reactions) because it's not and has never been anything more than a word used to refer to the relationship between characters and audience.
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I don't like character writing when it unabashedly tries to manipulate with the audience. An example of that would be K-ON! and their "moe moe kyun~" stunt, which I'm sure everybody wishes it didn't happen at this point.
So because you have a character saying the word "moe", it means that the writers are trying to manipulate the audience. It means that the production is a "moe show".
Okay!
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The studios have other profit streams beside upfront production fees, such as in-house stores and event sales, to name two off the top of my head. With the amount of exposure Haruhi's had all over the world, I find this argument so laughable. It's an overextension of what's been said in Yuyucow's post.
Do you know of many anime studios with their own stores? Because there really aren't that many.
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Old 2013-05-01, 12:58   Link #1943
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To a discerning fan of KyoAni such as yourself, I won't argue that the differences look huge, then again this is subjective. But the fact that these differences need to be so illustratively pointed out to people is enough to say these differences are minuscule to more casual anime fans.
I'm not a very discerning Kyoto Animation fan, and the differences between K-On and Hyouka feel very large. In particular, the way the faces are drawn and the proportions of the hands and feet are all quite distinct. Personally, I find the K-On style quite ugly, while the Hyouka style looks really good.

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I think it's telling that it's very hard to mistake any anime coming from Kyoto Animation as anything but theirs.
That's because Kyoto Animation uses just a couple of character designers, Horiguchi and Nishiya. These character designers don't work for other companies, and so the connection between their works and Kyoto Animation is enhanced.
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Old 2013-05-01, 17:10   Link #1944
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
Just because Western fans have managed corrupted the term to essentially mean "cute things I hate" does not mean that the term's meaning has changed in any essential way over the years.
It has changed enough times over the years (and certainly not to "cute things I hate") that I don't give a fuck anymore. The "it's a feeling" sentiment has always been there, that much is true, but you were saying there's no such thing as a "moe genre", and I'm telling you that audiences in 2001 Japan and perhaps 2006 Murica would tell you otherwise, because the use of the word has been mainly associated with "moe elements" during those years.
Quote:
So because you have a character saying the word "moe", it means that the writers are trying to manipulate the audience. It means that the production is a "moe show".
No, but it's pretty obvious that it was an unabashedly manipulative scene, and she didn't need to say anything for it to come across that way.
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Do you know of many anime studios with their own stores? Because there really aren't that many.
GONZO has one. And, look at that. Feels good to be condescending for a change.

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That's because Kyoto Animation uses just a couple of character designers, Horiguchi and Nishiya. These character designers don't work for other companies, and so the connection between their works and Kyoto Animation is enhanced.
I think my dislike of their recent works has got more to do with their overall feel. If they want to be the next Ghibli animation power house, by all means they should continue with this philosophy.
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Old 2013-05-01, 19:41   Link #1945
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...the fact that these differences need to be so illustratively pointed out to people is enough to say these differences are minuscule to more casual anime fans.
Well, yes, but I don't like the mindset here. If casual anime fans think their designs are all the same, it does not mean that they are. I wouldn't trust casual anime fans to be right on anything regarding the medium, to be honest.
It's like the discussion in animation circles where western animation enthusiasts/animators claim that Japanese animation is rough and unpolished, not understanding its genesis and philosophy. It takes huge texts explaining the cultural heritage of anime, and the way the animation is approached in Japan, for them to concede something. That doesn't make the claim that "japanese animation is ugly" any less ridiculous, it just means that some people don't know the difference.

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It's hard for me to say when this started, but the current way they approach animation reaches back as far as CLANNAD or Kanon perhaps. Lucky Star was a welcomed deviation from that, but then K-ON came and everything after it felt all the same to me.
What do you mean with "the current way they approach animation"? I'd say that the current way they approach animation starts exactly with Lucky Star, and gets honed to excellence in K-On!. Clannad falls in the middle and it's not so indicative of where Kyoani was heading at the time, but the works before Lucky Star feature a very different way of animating. The "soft" feeling their animation has comes from Horiguchi and the huge influence she has had in the entire studio since LS.

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...the overall feel of their shows triumphs these minor differences.
Perhaps this is what casual anime fans see in Kyoani works that makes them recognise these instantly and feel like they're all the same.
I won't claim that (recent) Kyoani has done extremely different works in tone. For me, the different viewing experience between, say, Chuu2 and Tamako Market, or Nichijou and Hyouka, is extremely pronounced, but that's me. There isn't a work that comes off as disruptive of the "mold", like you called it. While K-On! is happy and cozy, Nichijou is full of adrenaline, and Hyouka is subdued and bittersweet, they're all distinctly similar in some fundamental aspect of the presentation. For that, I'll refer to my original argument that Kyoani are a small group, and every single member influences the entirety of the studio all the time due to the nature of their workplace.
You won't find extremely different approaches to photography, or even direction (to give one example out of many, nobody in the studio storyboards in the style of Ikuhara), and especially the animation style remains very similar in their productions, character design differences notwithstanding.

But, for the same reason, they're constantly evolving and changing. The difference between Kanon and K-On! is staggering, for example, and that was only 3 years of difference.
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Old 2013-05-01, 21:20   Link #1946
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It has changed enough times over the years (and certainly not to "cute things I hate") that I don't give a fuck anymore. The "it's a feeling" sentiment has always been there, that much is true, but you were saying there's no such thing as a "moe genre", and I'm telling you that audiences in 2001 Japan and perhaps 2006 Murica would tell you otherwise, because the use of the word has been mainly associated with "moe elements" during those years.
A big part of the reason why I think there is such a thing as "moe shows" is because there are certain shows that are widely recognized as giving many anime fans that "moe feeling"... and I can't think of anything like those shows outside of Japan.

I mean, try to think of the American equivalent of K-On!, or Clannad, or Kanon. And I don't mean just animation, I mean live-action TV dramas/movies too. I can't think of any American (or Canadian, or British) show that's like K-On!, Clannad, or Kanon.

If moe was just a feeling, then why is it that no American TV show can capture it like KyoAni (and some other anime studios) can?

So no, I definitely think that moe is more than just a feeling. There's something a a bit more specific, a bit more distinctive, perhaps even a bit more cultural to 'moe' than just a 'warm' feeling or a 'protective' feeling.

I can't think of anybody like Kotomi Ichinose in the western entertainment world. I can't think of anybody like Yui Hirasawa in the western entertainment world. I can't even think of anybody quite like Eru Chitanda in the western entertainment world.

Whatever you think of these characters, they seem to be pretty distinct to the otaku entertainment world. And KyoAni, to its credit, is one studio that throughout most of its history has been very good at capturing that "essence of Moe".
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Old 2013-05-01, 22:52   Link #1947
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If moe was just a feeling, then why is it that no American TV show can capture it like KyoAni (and some other anime studios) can?

So no, I definitely think that moe is more than just a feeling. There's something a a bit more specific, a bit more distinctive, perhaps even a bit more cultural to 'moe' than just a 'warm' feeling or a 'protective' feeling.

I can't think of anybody like Kotomi Ichinose in the western entertainment world. I can't think of anybody like Yui Hirasawa in the western entertainment world. I can't even think of anybody quite like Eru Chitanda in the western entertainment world.
I think the main thing is that, even if they did, you wouldn't necessarily call it that, and there isn't necessarily a clear widespread demand for that sort of feeling to be a theme in most Western entertainment.

I would argue pretty strongly that some (not all) Pixar movies capture and even revolve around "moe", but they do it in a way that sort of masks what they're doing and if you didn't actually know the terminology you wouldn't be able to identify it. It's in the context of a family movie, so the way that they pull on the heartstrings of the adults in the audience isn't always fully-considered.

What is certainly more uniquely Japanese is the focus on cute, young female characters (and the high school setting in general) that is more closely-associated with "moe" (and anime in general). There are very few Western shows aimed at adults that take place in high school, and far fewer would revolve so heavily around teenage girls (particularly emphasizing "cute" behaviour). The entire concept of "nostalgia for high school" is much less pronounced, along with the fascination (particularly among men) with "first love". If you somehow mesh all these concepts together, you get what some people call "moe anime" or the "moe genre", but it isn't really defined by anything in particular -- just a loose association of things that seem vaguely similar yet distinct from other styles of content. Each of these shows have known genres in their own right (comedy, romance, drama, etc.), but are tied together by a common emotional result that seems to be prompted by similar signs/mechanisms.

The main reason I don't like the "moe show" or "moe genre" label is because it's way too complicated and confusing to figure out what is and isn't included and where the lines are drawn, and how to distinguish it from the "real" literary genres. Most often it's just used by people who dislike "cute girls doing cute things" shows to loop a whole tonne of not-really-so-similar content together in one giant bundle of "suck", which Kyoto Animation often gets associated with by proxy since people (arguably erroneously) believe that all their content is "the same".
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Old 2013-05-01, 23:49   Link #1948
Kaisos Erranon
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GONZO has one. And, look at that. Feels good to be condescending for a change.
I was talking about KyoAni's shop though?
My point was that it's pretty damn rare for a studio to have a company shop like that.
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If moe was just a feeling, then why is it that no American TV show can capture it like KyoAni (and some other anime studios) can?
Powerpuff Girls.
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Old 2013-05-02, 00:17   Link #1949
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think the main thing is that, even if they did, you wouldn't necessarily call it that, and there isn't necessarily a clear widespread demand for that sort of feeling to be a theme in most Western entertainment.

I would argue pretty strongly that some (not all) Pixar movies capture and even revolve around "moe", but they do it in a way that sort of masks what they're doing and if you didn't actually know the terminology you wouldn't be able to identify it. It's in the context of a family movie, so the way that they pull on the heartstrings of the adults in the audience isn't always fully-considered.
I'm sure that Pixar has heartwarming D'Aawwww moments that closely approximate moe. Going by the "feeling" definition of moe, then those moments may well be moe.

But I think that moe is...


Quote:

What is certainly more uniquely Japanese is the focus on cute, young female characters (and the high school setting in general) that is more closely-associated with "moe" (and anime in general). There are very few Western shows aimed at adults that take place in high school, and far fewer would revolve so heavily around teenage girls (particularly emphasizing "cute" behaviour). The entire concept of "nostalgia for high school" is much less pronounced, along with the fascination (particularly among men) with "first love". If you somehow mesh all these concepts together, you get what some people call "moe anime" or the "moe genre", but it isn't really defined by anything in particular -- just a loose association of things that seem vaguely similar yet distinct from other styles of content. Each of these shows have known genres in their own right (comedy, romance, drama, etc.), but are tied together by a common emotional result that seems to be prompted by similar signs/mechanisms.
Very well-put. Here you've more or less captured what I think is "the essence of Moe". And admittedly, it isn't easy to do. It's very hard to fully pin down, which is why I can understand why some would rather just go with the "feeling" definition.

These "similar signs/mechanisms" you allude to are key in my view. And I would argue that KyoAni is uniquely expert at these "similar signs/mechanisms", which is what I think contributes some (but certainly not all) to their popularity and success. I also think that P.A. Works is particularly strong at these "similar signs/mechanisms" which may well explain some of their recent success (with shows like HSI, and Tari Tari).

The way I see it, a show becomes more or less "moe" depending on how frequently these "similar signs/mechanisms" are present. If those signs/mechanisms are only there 20% or so of the time, then maybe that's just not enough to win over moe fans. Maybe they need to be there at least 40% of the time.

Let me be clear - I don't think that moe is a genre in the same vein that sci-fi or fantasy or romance is. But I think that moe is an element, like "action scenes" is. It's a specific thing that you can have more or less of. And many people want it, just like many people want "action scenes" (but of course, just as some people don't care much for flashy action scenes, some people don't care much for moe).

If a superhero movie lacks many action scenes, then that will displease some movie-goers. To this day, I think one of the main reasons Superman Returns didn't do as well as hoped is that Superman never threw a punch the entire movie. After what the Matrix trilogy provided in the way of flashy action scenes (with Neo even being explicitly compared to Superman), people expected an actual Superman movie to have much better action than this. And so Superman Returns ended up a commercial disappointment (whereas Man of Steel wisely has more Superman punches in its trailers than Superman Returns had in its entire movie ).

I think that some people likewise look for a certain degree of "moe" in anime. And KyoAni provides this like the better-selling superhero movies provide "action scenes".


Quote:
The main reason I don't like the "moe show" or "moe genre" label is because it's way too complicated and confusing to figure out what is and isn't included and where the lines are drawn, and how to distinguish it from the "real" literary genres. Most often it's just used by people who dislike "cute girls doing cute things" shows to loop a whole tonne of not-really-so-similar content together in one giant bundle of "suck", which Kyoto Animation often gets associated with by proxy since people (arguably erroneously) believe that all their content is "the same".
You're right that the critics and haters do this a lot more than moe fans do, but I wonder if moe fans sticking to the "feeling" definition means we don't understand what we love as well as we could.


Imagine, if you will, if the term "superhero" was never coined. Imagine if all superhero comics were just thought of as "Sci-Fi" (Fantastic Four, X-Men, Iron Man) or "Fantasy" (Thor, Dr. Strange) or "Action-Adventure" (Superman, Batman). Let's say people coined the term "Kal" for the feeling they get when a superpowered heroic character does impressively heroic/powerful feats. "Kal" becomes defined as "A feeling of awe and admiration at the sight of incredibly heroic deeds!"

So fans of comic books (listed under genres "sci-fi", "fantasy", "action-adventure", etc...) start to talk about how much they love "Kal". Or about how "Kal" certain characters are. There are IKL (International Kal League) competitions were people vote on which comic book characters are the most "Kal".

But then, there's also some people that hate "Kal", but nonetheless like comics.

"Why can't we get more comics like The Sandman? And Preacher!" they say.

"Yeah! Less of this Kalcrap that's a cancer on the comic industry!" they continue.


"Kal" essentially divides the comic book fandom against itself. Some "Kal" fans insist its just a feeling, and yet Kal fans keep coming back to comics involving muscular, heroic, superpowered men in flashy costumes.

"Boy Scouts being Goody-Two-Shoes!" is the new criticism that Kal-Haters take to criticizing the comics they hate.

"Kal" is increasingly getting defined by its haters, arguably since its fans aren't budging from the "feeling" definition, and some even refuse to think of themselves as "Kal fans".


Do you see how this can cloud discussion? How this makes it very, very hard for different comic book fans to truly understand where their taste differences lie, or why they like what they like? Ah, if only the term "Superhero" had been coined. That would have cleared up so much misunderstanding...

Thankfully, in the real world, "Superhero" was coined. So at least there's an understanding between superhero fans and the sort of comic book fans that only like Vertigo comics. These two different types of comic book fans are largely at peace with each other, in spite of their taste differences, because they fully understand and acknowledge them. They "get" where the other side is coming from.


It would be nice if anime was the same way someday...
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Old 2013-05-02, 00:36   Link #1950
4Tran
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A big part of the reason why I think there is such a thing as "moe shows" is because there are certain shows that are widely recognized as giving many anime fans that "moe feeling"... and I can't think of anything like those shows outside of Japan.

I mean, try to think of the American equivalent of K-On!, or Clannad, or Kanon. And I don't mean just animation, I mean live-action TV dramas/movies too. I can't think of any American (or Canadian, or British) show that's like K-On!, Clannad, or Kanon.

If moe was just a feeling, then why is it that no American TV show can capture it like KyoAni (and some other anime studios) can?
I don't think that this has a whole lot to do with Kyoto Animation. It's mostly that moe shows are mainly designed to appeal to males ages 14 to 30, and shows made for this age group in North America don't feature young girls - they'd generally go for more blatant sex appeal instead. There's also a perception that shows and other entertainment for male teenagers/men have to star a largely male cast. Hence the strong desire for characters that can be identified with.

Also:
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Old 2013-05-02, 00:43   Link #1951
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Very well-put. Here you've more or less captured what I think is "the essence of Moe". And admittedly, it isn't easy to do. It's very hard to fully pin down, which is why I can understand why some would rather just go with the "feeling" definition.
The funny thing is I didn't really pin anything down. I just took concepts that were loosely associated with the shows you think of as moe, and very vaguely tied them together and said "people think they're alike".

And that's why your "superhero" analogy doesn't work for me, because "superhero" stories all have one thing: superheroes! A so-called "moe show" isn't really defined by any one thing. It "may" use or more of the elements I listed as part of a concoction that evokes a specific feeling. But a show doesn't actually need to use any of those elements to evoke that feeling, and there are way more exceptions than shows that fit the "rules" (which aren't really rules).

Even though you want to give it meaning for the sake of discussion, it's way too ill-defined to mean anything in particular, and its association with the existing "moe" term is way too complicated and messy. If we really must find a way to label these ostensibly-similar shows, I think we need a different word and a more precise definition.
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Old 2013-05-02, 00:56   Link #1952
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Let's say people coined the term "Kal" for the feeling they get when a superpowered heroic character does impressively heroic/powerful feats. "Kal" becomes defined as "A feeling of awe and admiration at the sight of incredibly heroic deeds!"
You mean something along the lines of GAR?

I think that "moe" is a reaction an individual gets to certain traits/characters.
But it's wrong to treat in in a vacuum, detaching it from its cultural baggage. Statistically, maids are more moe than superheroes. That's not to say some guy can't think superheroes are moe and maids aren't, but socially speaking, "moe" is not a feeling, it's a trend. A trend in the tastes of the people who buy these shows, but it's much more defined than a simple and vague feeling.
Someone here cited Hiroki Azuma, and I think Otaku's Database Animals does a good job of explaining how this relationship between buyers (Otaku) and companies works, taking into account moe elements and the infamous "checklist approach".

It seems that all the discussion around the term has clouded the original argument, since I can't even remember what it was. Something about Kyoani only making moeshit or what you might, maybe?
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Old 2013-05-02, 01:15   Link #1953
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It seems that all the discussion around the term has clouded the original argument, since I can't even remember what it was. Something about Kyoani only making moeshit or what you might, maybe?
That Kyoto Animation shows in general over the last decade or whatever have been perfecting this one common intangible element that (at least most of) their shows share, and that this element has become inescapably tied to their "brand" as a studio. Some call this element "moe".

But if this is true, does it necessarily mean that their new show can't employ the very same "element" with an all-male cast? I'd suppose it probably can. After all, Hetalia (for example) is as much a "moe anime" as any other, if you want to call it that. In that sense, this may only be extending their so-called expertise in another direction.


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I think that "moe" is a reaction an individual gets to certain traits/characters.
But it's wrong to treat in in a vacuum, detaching it from its cultural baggage. Statistically, maids are more moe than superheroes. That's not to say some guy can't think superheroes are moe and maids aren't, but socially speaking, "moe" is not a feeling, it's a trend. A trend in the tastes of the people who buy these shows, but it's much more defined than a simple and vague feeling.
Someone here cited Hiroki Azuma, and I think Otaku's Database Animals does a good job of explaining how this relationship between buyers (Otaku) and companies works, taking into account moe elements and the infamous "checklist approach".
Personally, I think Azuma is way too cynical, and I can't really agree with all his views. But that aside, as far as trends go, you may as well just describe it as "trends in popular bishoujo archetypes" as far as that goes, which have been evolving for decades. It isn't really necessary to lump "moe" into it at all, if you ask me.
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Old 2013-05-02, 01:27   Link #1954
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
But if this is true, does it necessarily mean that their new show can't employ the very same "element" with an all-male cast? I'd suppose it probably can. After all, Hetalia (for example) is as much a "moe anime" as any other, if you want to call it that. In that sense, this may only be extending their so-called expertise in another direction.
Which is why I get annoyed by comments about KyoAni "abandoning moe for fujoshit", as if an anime being moe or appealing to fujoshi are mutually exclusive or something. Similar in a way to the erroneous "moe vs shounen" debates.
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Old 2013-05-02, 01:30   Link #1955
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That Kyoto Animation shows in general over the last decade or whatever have been perfecting this one common intangible element that (at least most of) their shows share, and that this element has become inescapably tied to their "brand" as a studio. Some call this element "moe".
I wonder why this "element" being present in all their shows is something so horrible and needs to be avoided, considering the diverse genres and tones said shows range in.
If anything, I would like for them to do something with no relation whatsoever to a high school setting, just to see what their visual departments can pull off in more fantastical, sci-fi, or less idealized real world settings.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Personally, I think Azuma is way too cynical, and I can't really agree with all his views. But that aside, as far as trends go, you may as well just describe it as "trends in popular bishoujo archetypes" as far as that goes, which have been evolving for decades. It isn't really necessary to lump "moe" into it at all, if you ask me.
I think it's more about trying to pin down a term that has (or at least had, in Japanese environments) widespread use without ever having a concrete definition besides some nebulous, intuitive "feeling" of what the term means. If fans started using "moe" to describe series and characters, there must be at least some perceived characteristic that is shared by these series and characters; there has to be a reason why people use(d) "moe" when describing their reaction to bishoujo-type characters, instead of simply "I enjoy it".
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Old 2013-05-02, 01:57   Link #1956
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The funny thing is I didn't really pin anything down. I just took concepts that were loosely associated with the shows you think of as moe, and very vaguely tied them together and said "people think they're alike".

And that's why your "superhero" analogy doesn't work for me, because "superhero" stories all have one thing: superheroes!
Yes, and I think "moe" shows all have one thing: moe girls!


Let me take some of what I wrote about "World where the term 'super-hero' was never coined" and translate that analogy for what it means in the world of anime.

I wrote... "Some "Kal" fans insist its just a feeling, and yet Kal fans keep coming back to comics involving muscular, heroic, superpowered men in flashy costumes."

Now, translated - Some moe fans insists its just a feeling, and yet moe fans keep coming back to anime shows involving cute, endearing teenage girls in student uniforms.

The student uniform has become just as prominent in anime as flashy costumes are in comic books.


Now, let me take my superhero/moe analogy a bit further...

Imagine a comic book where The Joker is laughing maniacally over a fallen, battered Batman. A teenage girl, a girl the Joker kidnapped and tortured, is in tears at the sight. But she's freed herself, and The Joker was too busy fighting Batman to notice that. In a highly dramatic moment, she gathers up enough courage to fight back against her kidnapper/torturer. She charges the Joker from behind, and pummels him mercilessly. She actually knocks him out, saving herself and Batman!

"Wow, she was so Kal!" some comic book fans say.

Technically, they're not wrong. It's not hard to see how this scene could create "A feeling of awe and admiration at the sight of incredibly heroic deeds!" This was indeed an incredibly heroic deed. She defeated The Joker himself! And even after everything he put her through.

However, other Kal fans blink in complete amazement at she being called "Kal" like this. They object to it.

This is for two reasons:

1. They're use to "Kal" only being applied to muscular, superpowered characters in flashy costumes. So normal, non-muscular human girl in civilian clothes being "Kal" just does not compute to them.

2. Because "Kal" represents what they love about comic books. And while the "feeling" definition captures some of it, it doesn't capture all of it. To capture all of it, you have to get to the specifics - muscular, heroic, superpowered men in flashy costumes (i.e. superheroes).


Now, let's flip the analogy around again. I bring up this post.

Key Excerpt: I don't know how many times I had to facepalm now when I hear repeatedly things like "Oh come on, don't be ridiculous. How can Kaiji possibly be moe? What are you going to say next, trains can be moe? (insert that really stupid ANN condescending laughing emoticon)"


Kaiji being "moe" simply does not compute for many moe fans for the same reason that this girl being "kal" does not compute in my analogy above.

For good or for ill, I think you're going to have an extremely hard time divorcing "moe" from "cute, endearing teenage girls in student uniforms." So applying the term to an adult man in normal civilian attire is going to strike a lot of people as weird.

Why not be honest about this? Why don't we be honest about what "moe" really represents to most anime fans, both moe fans and moe haters alike?
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Old 2013-05-02, 02:13   Link #1957
cyth
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I think it's just a matter of animation literacy, how well can people point to characters that may evoke moe feelings in viewers. I don't have this problem, I can spot moe characters a mile away (EDIT: female OR male), and they don't need to evoke anything in me personally. But then I look on Twitter and the people I'm following are squealing over them. This is how you get to define a "genre", a "type" or whatever you want to call it. Moe is not a mystical force of wonder as long as you don't bury your head in the ground.
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Old 2013-05-02, 02:25   Link #1958
Kaisos Erranon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why not be honest about this? Why don't we be honest about what "moe" really represents to most anime fans, both moe fans and moe haters alike?
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not going to be "honest" about this because I don't believe that "moe fans" exist. I believe that they are a figment of your imagination.
Allow me to actually be condescending here for a minute, k?
It's easy to find people who like thigh-high socks or ponytails or tsunderes or dojikkos or what have you. It's easy to find people who like slow, laid-back shows that have girls being cute in them. It is going to be very difficult to find anybody who identifies as a "moe fan" more generally, aside from, perhaps, yourself. I'll leave it to you to figure out why this is.
Notably, however, it's very easy to find people who consider themselves "moe haters". (Just look in this very thread!) One has to wonder if the people who are mistaken about what a certain term "really represents" are, in fact, those inclined to generalize things they dislike into a single, easily-dismissed category.
Also, your analogy is terrible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
I don't have this problem, I can spot moe characters a mile away (EDIT: female OR male), and they don't need to evoke anything in me personally.
Tell me, what traits, physical or otherwise, alert you to the presence of moe characters?
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Old 2013-05-02, 02:25   Link #1959
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Why not be honest about this? Why don't we be honest about what "moe" really represents to most anime fans, both moe fans and moe haters alike?
I think it's not at all appropriate for you to insinuate that there's some sort of "dishonesty" involved here. I'm being perfectly honest when I say that I don't think it's a suitable definition because it's too broad and confusing, and encompasses an ill-defined range of content that may in fact have little to do with each other beyond featuring modern bishoujo character designs. Having witnessed far too many debates about this topic over the years, I recognize that the term as you're applying it basically means whatever people want it to mean, and people will selectively exclude whatever they want to exclude based on rules absolutely not agreed. A definition this vague, nebulous and poorly-constructed is useless for reaching common understanding.

P.S. I wish you would avoid these sorts of "appeals to false common ground". Just because you think your position is reasonable doesn't mean that other people aren't being "honest" in disagreeing with you.


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warm Mist View Post
I think it's more about trying to pin down a term that has (or at least had, in Japanese environments) widespread use without ever having a concrete definition besides some nebulous, intuitive "feeling" of what the term means. If fans started using "moe" to describe series and characters, there must be at least some perceived characteristic that is shared by these series and characters; there has to be a reason why people use(d) "moe" when describing their reaction to bishoujo-type characters, instead of simply "I enjoy it".
I suspect it was a confluence of events. A word was needed to describe the feeling that was being evoked (since words like "like" or "love" or "enjoy" or whatever didn't seem to cut it), and somehow people in the community stumbled across the word "moe". But other people, recognizing that there was a style of content gaining prominence that they didn't really like, and hearing this ill-defined word "moe" being brandished about, associated the word with that sort of content rather than with the feeling towards those characters (because they likely didn't experience that feeling anyway). And in a loose/broad sense, it seems trivial enough to connect apparently-like things together under this "common banner". The problem is when you start trying to get into specifics, because there's absolutely no consensus on what is and isn't inside the box. Perhaps you could do a "Moe or Not" poll and appeal to "majority rules" to try to establish some guidelines, but you have an endless amount of edge cases. I just think it causes more strife than its worth.

As I alluded to before, if Kyoto Animation's new show is similar in tone and style to some of their other recent work, but just features male characters instead of female characters, are we going to call it an entirely different thing just because it doesn't contain cute girls, or not? I throw my hands up at the futility.
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Old 2013-05-02, 02:41   Link #1960
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not going to be "honest" about this because I don't believe that "moe fans" exist. I believe that they are a figment of your imagination.
Balderdash. Loads of people look for "moe" in anime. For a lot of anime fans, "moe" is one of the core appeals of the medium.


Quote:
Notably, however, it's very easy to find people who consider themselves "moe haters". (Just look in this very thread!)
And if moe was just a feeling, why would anybody be a moe hater? Who hates "having feelings of warmth and protectiveness for a particular character"?

Moe is a particular element. It's an element that some people like, and some others don't. Just like how some people like flashy action scenes, and some other people don't. Just like how some people like superheroes, and some other people don't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I think it's not at all appropriate for you to insinuate that there's some sort of "dishonesty" involved here. I'm being perfectly honest when I say that I don't think it's a suitable definition because it's too broad and confusing, and encompasses an ill-defined range of content that may in fact have little to do with each other beyond featuring modern bishoujo character designs. Having witnessed far too many debates about this topic over the years, I recognize that the term as you're applying it basically means whatever people want it to mean, and people will selectively exclude whatever they want to exclude based on rules absolutely not agreed. A definition this vague, nebulous and poorly-constructed is useless for reaching common understanding.
Actually, that's the problem the term has with the "feeling" definition for moe (if we use it as the sole definition of "moe"). The "feeling" definition could conceivably apply to almost any character under the sun.

How can one possible say anything concrete about moe if it's that nebulous?

The anime fandom will never come to an mutual understanding over "moe" if it doesn't allow the term to gain at least some degree of specification.


Edit: Here's the thing, in my opinion. By strictly using a nebulous "feeling" definition, while moe-haters use a much more specific understanding, those who like moe are basically ceding ground to the moe-haters. We're letting moe-haters define it uncontested (since more specific understandings will typically triumph over more vague ones, at least in time). As someone who likes moe, I think this does a disservice to this element that there are legitimate reasons for liking and finding appealing.
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