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Hey, Answerman! [2010-03-26]


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chrisb



Joined: 07 May 2006
Posts: 453
Location: TX, USA
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:11 am Reply with quote
Hm I never saw Rumbling Hearts as moe, is that how it's classified among most fans? Just curious because if it is I may have to change my belief that "all moe sucks."
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Panon



Joined: 07 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:18 am Reply with quote
If I recall correctly, the replacement of 5cm Per Second's dub was a decision made by the Japanese license owners who wanted a more faithful dub than the one ADV created, not a licensing issue.
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penguintruth



Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:25 am Reply with quote
I think I might have lost a little respect for you now that I know you like Rumbling Hearts, which is the worst kind of plotless h-game-based dreck.

Of course, I'm sure you're just weeping onto your keyboard reading that. Laughing

I don't really think the show qualifies as "moe" per se, though. I only noticed a couple of moe elements in the whole show. But then, my brain was trying to leap out of my skull to throttle me for even watching it, so I might have been too busy to notice.

That Cowboy Bebop AMV you linked to is amazing, though.

On the subject of anime with more than one English dub, Giant Robo has two dubs, both of which are conveniently included on the DVDs! And both, tragically, are subpar.
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eyeresist



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:52 am Reply with quote
Just when you've come to respect someone intellectually, you find out that they like Prince. And that dire soap opera Rumbling Hearts... Laughing

I too have largely avoided Dragon Ball, Naruto, Bleach etc. Not so much from snobbery (I saw a few episodes of Naruto and enjoyed them), more because I just can't face the massive investment of time and/or money these franchises involve. If I was rich and unemployed, I probably would be up on all the shows the kids love, but it was not to be...

Regarding that thing we call "moe", it can't be repeated too often that this element has been present in anime and manga for decades. It's just that it became the big otaku fetish a couple of years ago that suddenly we're debating it. When chinless weasel shows are the big thing in otaku-dom, we'll all be complaining about that, but moe will still be going on. For myself, I've seen enough lame mecha shows that a glut of lame moe shows seems like a nice change.

Props to Lianna for pointing out that, thanks to moe, there's less cringe-inducing T'n'A around, which is a good thing.


Last edited by eyeresist on Sun Mar 28, 2010 9:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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boredandlazy



Joined: 16 Nov 2009
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:18 am Reply with quote
The new dub for 5cm is available on DVD... If you live in Australia. Razz
Madman released it in R4 with the new dub mid last year.
As for the best AMV I have ever seen, this one for Kanon is easily my favourite(be careful, spoilers inside):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZGJqv-PtIs
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:42 am Reply with quote
Disclaimer: this post does not constitute an attack on moe as a whole. I've enjoyed Clannad, Azumanga Daioh, and probably a few other shows that would be considered moe.

Lianna wrote:
How cute the character is is generally more important than how sexy the character is.


I think you greatly underestimate the extent to which these traits often overlap in otaku culture, perhaps precisely because--as you yourself noted--you are "far away from that demographic" (though the only advantage I have over you is being male, admittedly). To claim that the intent of most moe shows--including the likes of Clannad, in my opinon--is to evoke emotions that completely exclude sexual desire is a little naive. I suggest you take a look at that article linked by Otaku Dan, specifically the section titled "Moe desire and sexuality".

Having said that, I'm not a fan of vapid tits and ass for the most part, either; but I know which one I consider preferable...

Add: Really liked that AMV by the way, Brian.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:15 am Reply with quote
Re: question one.
I came from a group that generally disparaged Dragonball (while simultaneously thinking Naruto and One Piece were awesome, go figure), but I decided at one point to check out the first five episodes or so for myself. And... it wasn't that bad. Yes, about 2 episodes worth of plot happened in those five episodes and I really hated the character designs, and what was up with having a woman with a high squeaky voice play adult Goku? But if I had more time on my hands (and wasn't 10 years older than the demographic) I'd probably love it.

And meanwhile, Naruto does suck. Massively. But I only know that because I was a big fan for a long time. And then it just nosedived.

Re: answerfans
The evolution of moe:
1) "moe"is a feeling of wanting to go "aw!" at how cute/innocent/sweet/vulnerable/adorable someone is. This is everywhere, and is subjective. Nor is there anything wrong with it.
2) "moe" became a descriptor for traits that inspire said feeling. There are many, many of these, and are also subjective. They tend (unfortunately) to often include passivity, youth, virginity, and the need to have someone else take care of you. Not always - this is subjective. What inspires moe in some doesn't in everyone.
3) "moe characters" describe those characters with many moe traits. The industry realizes that the merchandise for these characters sell like hot cakes, and so starts to create more and more of them, with cliches and stereotypes emerging.
4) "moe shows" arise, wherein almost all the characters (of the opposite sex of the viewer) are moe, and moe elements drive the entire show. These shows do ridiculously well, and the industry starts making more and more of them, flooding the market.
5) those who don't subjectively find these traits/characters/show to even be moe, who find them boring or saccharine or annoying, really hate that said shows are nearly all that's out there and decry the whole process as the end of anime as we know it.

And I think that last point bears repeating: moe is subjective. Those who hate "moe" often just don't feel moe about the stuff that's supposed to be moe. We're bored, annoyed, or nauseated by the maudlin drama.

Oh, and seriously, I never finished ef - a tale of melodies (though it looked quite good) but half of ef - a tale of memories (the love quadrangle) was total garbage. Please check out Paradise Kiss or Nana before you consider it "the greatest romantic drama" you've ever seen.
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Anime World Order



Joined: 05 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:54 am Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:

4) "moe shows" arise, wherein almost all the characters (of the opposite sex of the viewer) are moe, and moe elements drive the entire show. These shows do ridiculously well, and the industry starts making more and more of them, flooding the market.


Emphasis mine, as this argument is the one that demonstrates the short-sightedness of it all. Moe doesn't do "ridiculously" well. Moe does relatively well. It appeals to the devout, diehard group of fans--the types who would say, post about anime on the Internet--at the expense of general audiences. The tastes of this "otaku" demographic are not unified and becoming increasingly specific, and thus the overall size is gradually decreasing over time. That is why building an industry around the pursuit of a small group of dedicated people that are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on merchandise instead of a larger group of people that individually aren't willing to spend quite as much money is ultimately not sustainable. For a fine case study of this phenomenon that's already happened, look at DC Comics.

A point that was briefly mentioned but warrants greater emphasis is the fact that moe is in fact the core driving appeal of many of the most popular titles among the yaoi/fujoshi set. Indeed, the reasons often cited in response to "what's the appeal of yaoi, ladies?" are by and large identical to the reasons typically stated in response to "why do you like this moe stuff anyway, guys?" That's not a coincidence. Though the two groups would seem to be mortal enemies with one another, the moe-loving male otaku and the fujoshi are actually both out for the exact same thing in their entertainment. Combined, the two groups form a relatively large bloc of hardcore fanatics each willing to spend higher than average sums of cash on their interests. And since Japan in their short-sightedness would prefer 100 people spend $80 on an item than 400 people spend $20 on an item, they have given birth to the machine that rules the Japanese animation industry as we know it today:

The Moe-Fujoshi Industrial Complex.
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ParagonDoD



Joined: 20 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:08 am Reply with quote
If a show actually puts you to sleep, I'd say that's pretty relaxing. Wink
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:26 am Reply with quote
Anime World Order wrote:
Emphasis mine, as this argument is the one that demonstrates the short-sightedness of it all. Moe doesn't do "ridiculously" well. Moe does relatively well. It appeals to the devout, diehard group of fans--the types who would say, post about anime on the Internet--at the expense of general audiences. The tastes of this "otaku" demographic are not unified and becoming increasingly specific, and thus the overall size is gradually decreasing over time. That is why building an industry around the pursuit of a small group of dedicated people that are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on merchandise instead of a larger group of people that individually aren't willing to spend quite as much money is ultimately not sustainable. For a fine case study of this phenomenon that's already happened, look at DC Comics.

I wouldn't argue that. It's doing ridiculously well right now in terms of people buying gobs of merchandise, games, DVDs, etc. I seriously expect the bottom to drop out of it in the near future, simply because the market is supersaturated. When you had one or two moe shows a year, they could outstrip the competition with other shows; have 20, and now they're competing against each other and eventually won't make back the profit.

Quote:
A point that was briefly mentioned but warrants greater emphasis is the fact that moe is in fact the core driving appeal of many of the most popular titles among the yaoi/fujoshi set. Indeed, the reasons often cited in response to "what's the appeal of yaoi, ladies?" are by and large identical to the reasons typically stated in response to "why do you like this moe stuff anyway, guys?" That's not a coincidence. (etc. etc. etc.)

Notice how I never mentioned a gender in my reply? That's for precisely this reason! Anyone who's ever watched or read Ouran High School Host Club has seen the girls at the club, in chorus, squeal out "MOE~~~!!" over the little stage dramas that the boys put on, and nothing brings it out more than implied guy-on-guy action. For crying out loud, one of the most moe series out there is Hetalia! I always found it amusing that You-Know-Who would bash on moe while at the same time gushing praise for every generic, often quite moe yaoi/BL thing that crossed her path.

But again, moe is in the eye of the beholder. If the stories they tell are good, and the characters are well developed, then it doesn't matter if they also inspire a lot of moe. It's the production line aspect of the moe market that I find as disturbing as anything, the total streamlined commercialism of a feeling, prepackaged and contrived to do little more than inspire moe. It's so calculated and cynically exploitative of the otaku/fujoshi crowd.

Well, that and how it's become a fetish. Sorry folks, but there is something innately disturbing in thinking that your ideal mate (and these are often derived from games with heavy sexual content) is a dewy-eyed virginal 15-year-old who calls you nii-san and just need you to let her cry on your shoulder and take care of her. Especially when the audience is well into its 20s or even 30s (welcome to why I hate Koi Kaze, btw, creepiest show ever). I know, I know, far from everyone enjoys moe for that reason, but enough do that it's part of the problem the "anti-moe" camp has with its spread.
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RedTail



Joined: 25 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:12 am Reply with quote
Props for working the Sega Saturn into your column.

Also, I too love BoBoBo. I got about halfway through Cartoon Network's run of the show before starting a new job that caused me to miss the rest of it. I bought the first two Illumitoon DVDs, but we all know what happened there, lol...
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CCSYueh



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:00 pm Reply with quote
Bo-bo-bo! Yeah!
It's not really as insane as people make it out, but it is so much fun.
Someone rescue the title & throw out a box set please.
I have no love for FLCL, yet all these American fans love FLCL & seem to hate Bo-bo-bo when both are of the same insane humor mode. Dr. Slump is a bit more connected to earth, but it's also out there. I suppose the reason these titles work is we all work hard day in, day out so it's nice to watch a little insanity at the end of the day. Look at all the Monty Python fans out there. A lot of that stuff is as insane (or more so) then anything in Bo-bo-bo.

There are 2 sides on that popular thing. Yes, one should always try everything out for oneself, but on the other hand one also needs to learn one's taste in things, particularly these days when money's tight. I'm a sci-fi fan but I didn't see Avatar in the theater because what I've read suggest I'll hate it. My daughter will buy it (she saw it 4 times or so) & I'll watch it on tv & either kick myself for being wrong or feel confident in my ability to pick & choose movies based on a trailer or 3, word-of-mouth, & reviews. My daughter was all gung-ho about Naruto, but it faded fast in my house (I think I stopped at box 4 or 5). One Piece rocks-I was laughing at Season 2 Part 6 last night. (It does fall into the insanity side of Bo-bo-bo. Oda seems to reach pretty far to get some of these characters) It's ok to like what one likes & one's friends shouldn't think anything of it. No one should, for that matter. If you have nothing better to do than to worry about Narutards or InuYasha fangirls (Hetalia fangirls now?), you need to get another hobby because you have too much time on your hands.
That said, I do understand that the more mass appeal something is made to be, the more dull it can seem. Like Denny's or McDonald's-flavor & variety are often sacrificed to produce a somewhat bland product that can appeal to the masses. That isn't to say those places/things are bad, but that a more enjoyable experience will likely be had at a non-chain/smaller appeal title because they will push further to make the end product unique.
The bland title, on the other hand, has its time & place.
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Akukame



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 115
PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:28 pm Reply with quote
chrisb wrote:
Hm I never saw Rumbling Hearts as moe, is that how it's classified among most fans? Just curious because if it is I may have to change my belief that "all moe sucks."

Rumbling Hearts\Kiminozo was before the whole moe thing became popular. It deals with adults (not even high schoolers, people that are definately adults, and definately not virgins). So the majority of the characters aren't what you would consider "moe". With the exception of three very specific ones (Akane, Ayu, and Mayu).

With that said, even though its not moe, it was otaku pandering in the same way that moe shows are. Its based on eroge. It had characters specifically designed to appeal to otaku. It had tons of tie in merchandise and figures. People all over 2ch (and 4chan for that matter) obsessed about it. Basically everything you'd expect from a moe tv show now, only it was back in 2003.

With all that said though, the show does have its depth of characters. And although its low budget and lacks in real animation quality, its one of my all time favorite series.

------------------------------------------------------

As for watching popular series just because their popular. I have to admit that I do occasionally do this. I don't, and probably will not ever, watch Naruto, Bleach, etc. But I have been known to pick up a series I normally would not have watched because other people within my group are watching it. But this because I value having something to talk to them about.
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bcbenn



Joined: 04 May 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:23 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for providing the scholarly link, Brian!

And also, happy moving day!

I'm reading the posted discourse on moe and as both parent and grandparent I find it very interesting to compare the idealized response described as moe to real, true affection for actual flawed people.

Although the abstraction of moe may seem more intense and pure, because of the lack of distraction due to the inevitable conflicts with real people, I would assert from experience that one thing moe cannot provide is feedback from reciprocated affection.

The rise of daytime talk television here in America, exemplified by Oprah, may be our version of moe: focusing on your feelings when you hear a tragic tale and thinking better of yourself once you achieve catharsis, yet rarely lifting an actual finger to help those who are suffering. To me this seems ultimately sterile yet her enormous success suggests most people feel otherwise.

This is one reason I don't think the people of any culture can be collectively admired or despised, because the same kind of defective fantasies keep recurring in slightly varying guises...

IMHO
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Zin5ki
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:56 pm Reply with quote
vashfanatic wrote:

The evolution of moe:
1) "moe"is a feeling of wanting to go "aw!" at how cute/innocent/sweet/vulnerable/adorable someone is. This is everywhere, and is subjective. Nor is there anything wrong with it.
2) "moe" became a descriptor for traits that inspire said feeling. There are many, many of these, and are also subjective. They tend (unfortunately) to often include passivity, youth, virginity, and the need to have someone else take care of you. Not always - this is subjective. What inspires moe in some doesn't in everyone.

Having read the published article linked to in this week's column, this strongly echoes the view I came to adopt on the matter.

You personally find the commercial exploitation of moe sentiments disturbing, along with certain interpretations of its content. These contemplations do not disturb me so, but I am a somewhat ardent supporter of subjectivity for issues such as these.
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