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Old 2013-05-02, 02:50   Link #1961
cyth
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
Tell me, what traits, physical or otherwise, alert you to the presence of moe characters?
The list is long and full of terrors.

Maybe it would help to give Azuma a read after all. He talks about concepts such as a moe database that help to understand why it's so easy for some of us to talk about moe in terms of elements.
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Old 2013-05-02, 02:53   Link #1962
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
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.
You're using "moe" to mean "cute girls". With that in mind, let's look at what you just said again:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Loads of people look for cute girls in anime. For a lot of anime fans, cute girls are one of the core appeals of the medium.
This is very true, you're quite correct. However, I would suggest that virtually none of these people would, if asked, claim that they are "looking for moe", or claim to be "moe fans".
Thinking otherwise is delusional.
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And if moe was just a feeling, why would anybody be a moe hater?
Because they have redefined the term to mean something along the lines of "anime resembling K-On, which KyoAni made instead of Haruhi/FMP/Little Busters, grr, I am so mad at KyoAni, fuck moe anime, it's bad".
People who consider themselves "moe haters" have applied the term "moe" to an ever-shifting construct of elements they dislike in anime, often with the additional notion that this construct is somehow "killing the industry".
These people are both wrong and stupid.
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
The "feeling" definition could conceivably apply to almost any character under the sun.
Exactly. Anything can be moe.
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Old 2013-05-02, 03:00   Link #1963
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
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.
Sorry, but your comparison of moe with superheroes is flawed. A better comparison would be "awesome". If I like a good superhero comic or film, I will usually call it awesome, because it invokes awesome feelings. But there's no "awesome" genre for obvious reasons, only specific genres (superhero, space opera, etc.) that usually are supposed to make the audience feel awesome. The same could be said for descriptions such as "sexy", "bittersweet", and "moe".
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Old 2013-05-02, 03:03   Link #1964
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
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.
Or, we could just leave "moe" alone, and try to come up with a different way of classifying things that is more clear and easily-understood. Because I guarantee that trying to give the existing term "some degree of specification" is an endless, hopeless battle. I mean, hell, how many times has this very conversation happened on this forum over the last ten years? (And how many people are reading this thread rolling their eyes thinking "here we go again..."?) Even people who think they know what it is (and believe on the surface to have the same "definition") can't agree on what should go in and outside the box. It's just futile. And no, I don't think the "trait database" is the answer either.


I say again, considering the design, storytelling, and character elements common to many of Kyoto Animation's recent shows, I see no reason why they can't apply all the same principles/sensibilities to their new work even though it centers around a group of guys. And, in that case, are they really abandoning their motif, or just extending it?
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Old 2013-05-02, 03:28   Link #1965
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
You're using "moe" to mean "cute girls".
It's a bit more specific than that, but this is the starting point, yes. Though I will admit that some male characters (traps especially) can capture "moe" fairly well.


Quote:
This is very true, you're quite correct. However, I would suggest that virtually none of these people would, if asked, claim that they are "looking for moe", or claim to be "moe fans".
Thinking otherwise is delusional.
I'm not sure why saying "I'm looking for moe" is any worse than saying "I'm looking for cute girls". I mean, presuming we're talking to highly knowledgeable anime fans with some understanding of "moe".

Speaking of which, this is a thread I put up on Suggestions quite some time ago. People didn't appear to have any problem getting what I meant by "moe character designs". That seems a bit odd to me if moe is just a feeling... (to be clear, my taste in anime has changed somewhat since I put that suggestion thread up)


Quote:

Because they have redefined the term to mean something along the lines of "anime resembling K-On, which KyoAni made instead of Haruhi/FMP/Little Busters, grr, I am so mad at KyoAni, fuck moe anime, it's bad".
People who consider themselves "moe haters" have applied the term "moe" to an ever-shifting construct of elements they dislike in anime, often with the additional notion that this construct is somehow "killing the industry".
These people are both wrong and stupid.
That may accurately capture some moe-haters, but it doesn't capture all of them.

Some of them recognize that certain characters and shows are more likely to be called "moe" than others are. And they simply don't like those characters and/or shows that are most likely to be called "moe" (by people who like moe).

That is the core of the disagreement. It is a real and legitimate taste difference - No different than a comic book fan that likes superheroes and a comic book fan who is more into darker/grittier Vertigo material.

But Vertigo fans, and superhero fans, typically aren't at each other's throats, because they understand and accept why the other side likes what they like.

I think that for those who like moe, such as the moe in Clannad, K-On!, and Kanon, it would be good to really explain what we like about this element, and how it plays out in these shows. Just like most superhero fans can describe in detail what they like about superheroes. That's part of the reason why superheroes are now a fully accepted part of western pop-culture, are on the big screen with millions upon millions of fans.


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Exactly. Anything can be moe.
I disagree. I don't think that anything can be moe.


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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Or, we could just leave "moe" alone, and try to come up with a different way of classifying things that is more clear and easily-understood. Because I guarantee that trying to give the existing term "some degree of specification" is an endless, hopeless battle.
If you liked something, would you rather see the term that defines it be rendered completely meaningless through an overly vague and constantly debated definition, or would you rather it mean something clear like "superhero"?


Quote:
I say again, considering the design, storytelling, and character elements common to many of Kyoto Animation's recent shows, I see no reason why they can't apply all the same principles/sensibilities to their new work even though it centers around a group of guys.
And yet, how many people who liked and bought K-On do you think are going to like and buy Free? Do you think that people who look for moe in anime are going to flock to Free?

Maybe, but I doubt it. I think Free will mostly appeal to a different demographic than what most other KyoAni properties appealed to. There's nothing wrong with that, of course.
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Old 2013-05-02, 03:35   Link #1966
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
And no, I don't think the "trait database" is the answer either.
Personally, I was still talking about the moe genre. If you're willing to say that there's no such thing, then why do authors and producers keep using moe traits from this metaphysical database? Doesn't this act of picking and choosing popular traits leave a production trail that eventually defined what many people like to call the moe genre?

Doesn't this also mean that when the trail is set and recognised as a genre, don't the haters have just as much a right to call moe shows crap as any other genre? I seriously haven't seen anyone over the years call a show moe crap when it didn't have any moe elements to begin with. The people who expressed dissatisfaction knew exactly what they were addressing, so why can't moe fans such as yourself do the same?
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Old 2013-05-02, 03:51   Link #1967
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Now I'm going to try to show how using the "moe is an element" approach is actually empowering to moe fans. I'm going to show that by using that approach while debating cyth.


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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
Personally, I was still talking about the moe genre. If you're willing to say that there's no such thing, then why do authors and producers keep using moe traits from this metaphysical database? Doesn't this act of picking and choosing popular traits leave a production trail that eventually defined what many people like to call the moe genre?

Doesn't this also mean that when the trail is set and recognised as a genre, don't the haters have just as much a right to call moe shows crap as any other genre? I seriously haven't seen anyone over the years call a show moe crap when it didn't have any moe elements to begin with. The people who expressed dissatisfaction knew exactly what they were addressing, so why can't moe fans such as yourself do the same?
Calling an entire genre "crap" is painting with a pretty wide brush, imo.


The moe element is found in a wide variety of shows, and I think even you might like how it plays out in some such shows.

Consider how the moe element is effectively used in Madoka Magica. Madoka Magica includes many moe archetypes, which I think adds to the likeability, and sense of innocence, to some of its characters. So when those characters are faced with turmoil and hardship, the emotional poignancy of it is that much stronger. It makes a compelling narrative that much richer, as it engages both intellectually and emotionally. If these characters were less endearing - if they were less "moe", and hence much more rough and abrasive as their real personalities - viewers may well not care about them as much, making Madoka Magica less effective as a story.

Now, to cite a KyoAni anime (to keep this more on-topic), lets consider how the moe element is used in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Mikuru is outright labelled "moe mascot", and her character is created to live up to that title. So when Haruhi abuses Mikuru, it's easier to identify with Kyon wanting to protect Mikuru than if Mikuru wasn't moe. Being able to identify with the feelings and decisions of the lead character definitely helps the overall strength of a narrative. Similarly, Yuki being a moe character makes The Disappearance movie that much more effective. Its easier to feel sorry for her, and to understand why she does what she does in that movie.


Now, if moe is just a feeling, then the arguments I made above are gibberish. I can't really use Madoka Magica or The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya as an example of the effective use of the moe element if moe is not, in fact, an element. But here I can show how moe helps lead to a feeling rather than just being a feeling, because I am defining moe as an element.
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Old 2013-05-02, 03:58   Link #1968
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And yet, how many people who liked and bought K-On do you think are going to like and buy Free? Do you think that people who look for moe in anime are going to flock to Free?

Maybe, but I doubt it. I think Free will mostly appeal to a different demographic than what most other KyoAni properties appealed to. There's nothing wrong with that, of course.
Just because Free will likely have a different core demographic doesn't mean the principles behind its appeal can't be the same as these "moe" shows you refer to.

Oh, and here's a newsflash: fujoshi, fudanshi, and bishounen fans in general are often "people who look for moe in anime." Don't group them as distinctly different from fans of K-On and Clannad.
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Old 2013-05-02, 04:08   Link #1969
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
If you liked something, would you rather see the term that defines it be rendered completely meaningless through an overly vague and constantly debated definition, or would you rather it mean something clear like "superhero"?
...Because you're going to succeed when the entire anime community has consistently failed to produce anything but arguments for years? This isn't about compromise or agreement -- it's a lost cause. Fundamentally, "moe" defines a feeling not a genre, and attempts to coerce into a genre while using that term are going to break down. I guarantee that if you start laying down the law of what is and isn't moe, no matter how reasonable you think you're being, it'll fall apart as you get to the details.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
And yet, how many people who liked and bought K-On do you think are going to like and buy Free? Do you think that people who look for moe in anime are going to flock to Free?

Maybe, but I doubt it. I think Free will mostly appeal to a different demographic than what most other KyoAni properties appealed to. There's nothing wrong with that, of course.
And maybe it will appeal to a different demographic (although, as an aside, K-On did have a good amount of female fans). But the demographic isn't necessarily tied to the genre. What I'm suggesting is that the elements of commonality may not be tied to the gender of either the characters or the target audience.


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Originally Posted by cyth View Post
Personally, I was still talking about the moe genre. If you're willing to say that there's no such thing, then why do authors and producers keep using moe traits from this metaphysical database? Doesn't this act of picking and choosing popular traits leave a production trail that eventually defined what many people like to call the moe genre?
No, it just leaves a trail of popular character traits. If you look at characters in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, there were also popular traits that you might say come from some sort of database too. They design characters with traits that appeal to the tastes of viewers at the time. As soon as you start drawing arbitrary lines, like "this particular trait is a moe trait" and "this particularly trait is not a moe trait", and start applying that to characters, you're left with a ton of asterisks and exceptions. Even if you did a poll to try to determine "the majority of the male otaku audience agrees this trait is moe to them" it's still nebulous and ill-defined.

(To put it another way, even the shows that are not "moe" pull their traits from a metaphysical database in that sense. This isn't something limited in any way to "moe".)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyth View Post
Doesn't this also mean that when the trail is set and recognised as a genre, don't the haters have just as much a right to call moe shows crap as any other genre? I seriously haven't seen anyone over the years call a show moe crap when it didn't have any moe elements to begin with. The people who expressed dissatisfaction knew exactly what they were addressing, so why can't moe fans such as yourself do the same?
This is the exactly the sort of vague all-encompassing definition that we're left with. A "moe element" is incredibly nebulous, and you think you know what it means. Any anime that contains enough "moe elements" (how many?) can be categorized as a "moe anime", and thus dismissed as "moe crap" if people don't like it and blame those elements. Oh and a show that is another "genre" but also contains "moe elements" can also have those "elements" dismissed as "moe crap". Sooner or later the definition of "moe" becomes so broad that you start finding "moe elements" in just about all modern anime, and it becomes (no surprise; this is what actually happens) this poison that is infecting and "killing" anime.

(The only time people don't dismiss a show as "moe crap" or its elements likewise is when it doesn't fall on their particular hate-list of things they commonly associate with moe, even if others do. And then they'll start arguing why it isn't moe just because they don't want to be associated with that word. In other words, you may not have heard people dismiss a show as "moe crap" when "moe elements" were not present, but I have certainly seen people downplay "moe elements" that others might dismiss because they enjoyed the show in question.)

At this point what do these supposed "moe fans" have in common? I mean there are a heck of a lot more shows with so-called "moe elements" that I have not watched/enjoyed than those that I have watched/enjoyed. The mere presence of "moe elements" is not enough to get me to watch/enjoy a show. I'm not just a consumption machine that looks for tropes in a database and enjoys shows accordingly (even though, as with everyone, there are still tropes and story elements I tend to enjoy).

Shows can clearly be criticized for their flaws, but I simply don't see what "moe" has to do with anything, and bringing that into the equation just adds confusion.
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Old 2013-05-02, 04:13   Link #1970
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Originally Posted by Tempester View Post
Just because Free will likely have a different core demographic doesn't mean the principles behind its appeal can't be the same as these "moe" shows you refer to.

Oh, and here's a newsflash: fujoshi, fudanshi, and bishounen fans in general are often "people who look for moe in anime." Don't group them as distinctly different from fans of K-On and Clannad.
Well, K-On clearly had some cross-gender appeal, so I don't doubt that some fujoshis may also be K-On fans. Some fujoshis may well like "cuteness" in general, and see some of that in K-On, and also see that in the male characters in Free.

I'm not sure how much cross-gender appeal Clannad had, so I'll skip that.
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Old 2013-05-02, 04:35   Link #1971
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Well, K-On clearly had some cross-gender appeal, so I don't doubt that some fujoshis may also be K-On fans. Some fujoshis may well like "cuteness" in general, and see some of that in K-On, and also see that in the male characters in Free.

I'm not sure how much cross-gender appeal Clannad had, so I'll skip that.
I'm not talking about cross-gender appeal. I'm saying that a lot of the appeal of Free to female watchers is equivalent to the appeal of K-On and other KyoAni shows to male watchers. And that appeal is moe.

I don't know if you've seen Ouran High School Host Club, but there's a scene where a group of girls scream "MOE!" over the interactions of two of the male characters. Ouran is an anime based off a shoujo manga that parodies the romance and school genres as commonly depicted in shoujo manga.

Your attempts to give "moe" a genre definition seem to be limited to anime heavily based around female characters.

Quote:
Do you think that people who look for moe in anime are going to flock to Free?
Note how you implied that the people who seek out moe in anime do not include the people who are interested in Free.
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Old 2013-05-02, 04:35   Link #1972
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I'm more comfortable with the idea of moe genres, plural than a "moe genre, singular. Iyashei-kei, all girls 4koma adaptations, and nakige/utsuge/moege (I am ABSOLUTELY NOT making that term up, BTW) come to mind as moe genres.

And there are moe traits, which is what cyth is getting at.

And there is moe itself, which is set of loosely defined feelings/reactions.

All three are used to designate certain characters and shows as "moe". And to be honest, I don't really see what the problem with just admitting there are three definitions. To me, the definitional stuff is a tool, nothing more. I'm more interested in showing a critic that K-On! isn't soulless and pandering than that K-On! isn't a moe show. The latter seems very pointless to me.

(That said, I do like to promote the feelings definition from time to time, because that kind of moe is an experience, and I think one ought to have such experiences from time to time. They're... "enlightening".
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Old 2013-05-02, 04:38   Link #1973
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...Because you're going to succeed when the entire anime community has consistently failed to produce anything but arguments for years?
People may argue over the term, but it's very clear that some shows and characters are more likely to have the "moe" label attached to them then other shows and characters are. ISML alone makes this crystal clear. And the people voting in ISML are obviously people who like moe, or they wouldn't be voting in something called the International SaiMoe League. So it's not like it's only moe haters who apply the moe label to specific characters and shows.

Frankly, how do you even justify the very existence of ISML if moe is just a feeling that can apply to anything, as Kaisos argues? The very existence of ISML suggests to me that moe is more than just a feeling.

Is there an ISAL (International SaiAwesome League)? Is there an IGVL (International GoodVibes League)? Is there an IWFL (International Warm and Fuzzies League)?

These sound totally absurd, don't they? But ISML isn't absurd, because its based on something a bit more clear than just a feeling.


Quote:
Fundamentally, "moe" defines a feeling not a genre, and attempts to coerce into a genre while using that term are going to break down.
Moe is an element, imo.


Quote:
(To put it another way, even the shows that are not "moe" pull their traits from a metaphysical database in that sense. This isn't something limited in any way to "moe".)
I agree with you here. Moe shouldn't be blamed for when anime becomes overly trope-focused or "checklist based". That's it's own issue, as not all anime tropes go back to moe. Some do though.


Quote:

This is the exactly the sort of vague all-encompassing definition that we're left with. A "moe element" is incredibly nebulous, and you think you know what it means. Any anime that contains enough "moe elements" (how many?) can be categorized as a "moe anime",
It's not a question of number of moe elements, it's a question of what percentage of the show features moe as an element (regardless of how many ways it features it), imo.

If a show has 10% action scenes, would you call it "action-packed"? I wouldn't.

50% action scenes? Yeah, that's action-packed.


I see moe much the same way, insofar as applying it to shows.

If 10% of a show's scenes features "cute girls doing cute things" would I call that a moe or moe-centric show? No, I probably wouldn't.

50% or more? Yeah, that's a moe-centric show, imo.

There will of course be disagreement here on certain shows, but it's no different than what we see with long-standing genres like sci-fi.


Is there enough sci-fi in Madoka Magica to call it "sci fi"? Well, different people may well disagree on that.

If there enough sci-fi in Steins;Gate to call it "sci fi"? This people tend to agree on.


So it's a bit subjective, but not entirely so. Viewing moe as an element, or even as a genre, doesn't create any problems that long-standing genres don't already have.
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Old 2013-05-02, 04:49   Link #1974
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Frankly, how do you even justify the very existence of ISML if moe is just a feeling that can apply to anything, as Kaisos argues? The very existence of ISML suggests to me that moe is more than just a feeling.
Because the name doesn't matter. People just like to put their favourite characters through elimination tournaments to see who will be the victor. It's the same reason that nearly-all shounen romance anime involve shipping wars.

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So it's a bit subjective, but not entirely so. Viewing moe as an element, or even as a genre, doesn't create any problems that long-standing genres don't already have.
But all that still comes down to what you define as a "moe element", which I also addressed in that post. People sort of think they know what a "moe element" is in a vague sense, but get down to specifics and it always falls apart. Note already how your definition doesn't match with that of others, and how you exclude things that others would include (for example based on the gender of the characters). And these are the arguments that have been going on for years and years now. It isn't like "sci-fi" in that sense either.

That's why I'm imploring: just give it up -- "moe" as a definition of content is a lost cause. And in that spirit, I'm going to give up the argument as well.
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Old 2013-05-02, 05:01   Link #1975
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Well put, 0utf0xZer0, well put.

This is me excusing myself from the thread because Starcraft 2 WCS Korea is on. Go watch that, nerds!
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Old 2013-05-02, 05:01   Link #1976
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Because the name doesn't matter.
I disagree. The name does matter. ISML was started up as a way for moe fans throughout the entire world to express their appreciation for their favorite moe characters.

It's not their favorite anime characters period because there's plenty of well-beloved anime characters that don't participate in the ISML regular season.


Quote:
But all that still comes down to what you define as a "moe element", which I also addressed in that post. People sort of think they know what a "moe element" is in a vague sense, but get down to specifics and it always falls apart.
No, not always.

"Cute girls doing cute things" is a moe element. I doubt that anybody would seriously argue that "cute girls doing cute things" isn't moe.


So if 50% or more of a show's content involves "cute girls doing cute things" then that's a moe-centric show.

Instead of denying that, those of us who like moe would be better off explaining why we like watching "cute girls doing cute things", imo. That might actually change some critics' minds. Just saying "Moe is strictly a feeling" isn't going to change any critics' minds.


Now, in fairness, not all elements are as clear-cut as "cute girls doing cute things". Just like some elements are definitely sci-fi, while other elements (like, say, action scenes in VRO - is it magical girl or is it mecha/sci-fi?) are less clear-cut. So there will be debate on the edges, on the periphery.

But there also will be clear-cut moe-centric shows (K-On, Clannad, Kanon) just like there's clear-cut sci-fi (Star Trek, Andromeda, StarGate).


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That's why I'm imploring: just give it up -- "moe" as a definition of content is a lost cause.
No, it isn't. Actually, what I think is a lost cause, is people denying that it can legitimately serve as a definition of content.
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Old 2013-05-02, 05:29   Link #1977
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
"Cute girls doing cute things" is a moe element. I doubt that anybody would seriously argue that "cute girls doing cute things" isn't moe.
What about "cute boys doing cute things"? Do the characters have to look human-like (what about cute personified animals)? And what is "cute", anyway? What if the girl isn't cute, but still does something cute (is that "gap moe")? Are all cute girls doing cute things necessarily "moe", or is it just certain cute girls doing certain cute things? If a real life baby does something cute, is that moe? How is "moe" distinct from "cute" anyway in that case? What about anime from the 70s and 80s that featured cute girls doing cute things; were those moe too? Are shows aimed at young girls that feature cute girls doing cute things all moe anime?

I'm telling you, it's endless. (Those are rhetorical questions; please don't answer them.) What you think is so obvious is just opening pandora's box. If you really want to open that box, I recommend a new thread, because it'll just go on until people are bored of discussing it for the nth time. That's all...
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Last edited by relentlessflame; 2013-05-02 at 05:46.
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Old 2013-05-02, 08:59   Link #1978
CrowKenobi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I'm telling you, it's endless. (Those are rhetorical questions; please don't answer them.) What you think is so obvious is just opening pandora's box. If you really want to open that box, I recommend a new thread, because it'll just go on until people are bored of discussing it for the nth time. That's all...
So as not to make another redundant thread, please use this one: Okay what is moe?

(and try the tag search using moe to see what other threads got tagged with it)
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Old 2013-05-02, 12:51   Link #1979
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Originally Posted by Kaisos Erranon View Post
*cough*
Images
Sorry; dynamic content not loaded. Reload?
Gets me everytime.

Anyway... People still going on about the "K-ONified" designs?

Why not just say "Lucky Star'd" designs?

Lucky Star is the foundational basis of K-ON's design. Even some of Nichijou's aspects seems to be rooted from it. The only difference with K-ON and Lucky Star was the more cartoony approach by the latter.
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Old 2013-05-02, 14:46   Link #1980
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Originally Posted by rulfo View Post
Why not just say "Lucky Star'd" designs?
Because Lucky Star isn't "responsible for the decline of anime".
It sold less, was less popular overall, and is more distant in people's memories.
K-On is an easier target.
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