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INTEREST: Under the Dog Producer Hiroaki Yura Also Talks Production Committees, Moe in Reddit's AMA


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Fedora-san



Joined: 12 Aug 2014
Posts: 351
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 1:34 pm Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
That's funny, because I do recognize a lot of the names on that list, enough that I started to question whether you had seen any of the series yourself, as well as the entire premise that it was some sort of "moe waifu" poll in the first place. And so I found the Newtype 2010 issue that features these names, and discovered that it was just a popular character ranking list for various decades (covering both male and female characters). Were you trying to intentionally twist your wording to bolster your point of view?

I mean really, "moe" detractors don't consider Gundam, Ranma 1/2 and Galaxy Express "moe" series, let alone Cutie Honey and Doronjo as "moe" characters. Even if you don't agree with the detractors' definition of 'moe', you should at least counter their beliefs based on what they perceive 'moe' shows to be --- that is, shows primarily composed of cute, doe-eyed school age girls designed specifically to appeal to the male otaku demographic.


Well, as Parse Error mentioned that's impossible. It's a moving goalpost that changes anytime you come close to reaching it. Shows they wish to praise will have the definition bended to suit their needs. I mean, in various other topics about character rankings there's mountains of criticism on how the "wrong" characters rank the top, like Asuna or the K-ON girls because of stupid, tasteless otaku voing for their waifus. Yet now that a character ranking is being used against their claims, suddenly character rankings are infallible and have nothing to do with otaku pandering and are purely innocent because no one would find a Gundam character waifuable. Unless it's a girl from SEED which is obviously bad and otaku pandering since it's current, or something.

enurtsol wrote:
That's part of it (but it's not all of one and none of the other - it's always a combination). Kinda how ethnocentrism also held Western gaming back in Japan ("yo-ge, kuso-ge"), so they missed out many good games (especially PC games) around the turn of the century.


Cultural preference has nothing to do with video games popularity. Japan airs tons of American movies and shows on TV just fine, and even offer them subtitled in the original American language as well. They're fairly well receiving on western culture, unlike we are of other cultures sadly. It's mainly an issue of the way the gaming mentality differs between Japan and America.

In Japan, gaming is focused on the games themselves. You have conventions, magazines, and character popularity polls dedicated to the series itself like Tales, or Persona. In the development process, there's an emphasis on molding and creating characters and worlds with the single-player in mind with multi-player, if it even exists, is an afterthought.

In the west gaming is focused on the players. Our gaming conventions are things like EVO or MLG which focuses on who the best player of those games are. Most games, especially the most popular ones, focus on a multi-player component, with single-player being an afterthought thing in a lot of cases like in shooters or sports games. In RPGs you generally make your own avatar character, which is suppose to be you rather than an actual character in the story. You could even throw in things like the focus on YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and even gaming journalists who get more focus than the games they cover, which doesn't really happen in Japan. In that regard, the American mentality of games clashes with the Japanese mentality of games, which leads to most of them not doing to hot in Japan.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13987
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 2:39 pm Reply with quote
Fedora-san wrote:

enurtsol wrote:
That's part of it (but it's not all of one and none of the other - it's always a combination). Kinda how ethnocentrism also held Western gaming back in Japan ("yo-ge, kuso-ge"), so they missed out many good games (especially PC games) around the turn of the century.

In the west gaming is focused on the players. Our gaming conventions are things like EVO or MLG which focuses on who the best player of those games are. Most games, especially the most popular ones, focus on a multi-player component, with single-player being an afterthought thing in a lot of cases like in shooters or sports games. In RPGs you generally make your own avatar character, which is suppose to be you rather than an actual character in the story. You could even throw in things like the focus on YouTubers, Twitch streamers, and even gaming journalists who get more focus than the games they cover, which doesn't really happen in Japan. In that regard, the American mentality of games clashes with the Japanese mentality of games, which leads to most of them not doing to hot in Japan.


Preference is one thing; that's understandable. But the worn mentality of "yo-ge, kuso-ge"** (which stands for "Western game, shit game" - go ahead do a web search) is another; that's outright dismissing a game without even knowing anything about it simply because where it came from. That's been going on for decades, even before shooters or MMOs are a thing or playthroughs or game journalism. That's caused them to miss out on good games over the years, and they've now been realizing it just recently.

[** There've been infamous stories where young Japanese game developers would go to their boss and try to illustrate the tech advancements of Western gaming that they could follow, but instead outright dismissed by the oyaji boss before hearing about it. And so now they've only just been catching up on things like efficient game engines.]
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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 1204
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 5:32 pm Reply with quote
Parse Error wrote:
That's not possible with most of them because they play a shell game with their personal definition, moving the goalpost back, forth, and in endless self-contradictory circles to continuously exclude examples as they are mentioned.


For the goalpost to move, that would suggest the detractors' definition of moe is constantly changing/situational. But I think what you might be missing is that amongst detractors, the aesthetic of cute, doe-eyed schoolage girls designed for otaku entertainment is generally their core perception of the modern moe trend --- all the complaints you've listed aren't reflective of a changing 'definition' of what detractors think moe is, but rather the different problems they see (personally or broadly) as a result of moe having become so popular.

Moe probably meant more about being passionate in regards to anime characters back in the 90's, and later on more definitively as that 'protective' feeling it instills in otaku towards the object of their affection. But since then moe became more than a buzzword and turned into an industry trend that appears in lots of anime in the modern day. While in the past a 'moe' character may have seemed more as a studio's intended expression of a type of character they wanted to portray in a show's story, the proliferation of 'moe' as a trend has now blurred the lines of whether such characters exist in service of the art and story, or more in the service of fan tastes and studio's bottom lines.

I personally wouldn't consider Rei and Asuka as 'moe' because I don't think they were doe-eyed or cute (though I could see them as being forerunners to the trend). I realize people can feel 'moe' towards characters like Rei and Asuka, in the same way someone can feel 'moe' towards Nami from One Piece, or Fujiko Mine from Lupin III. But if we're having this discussion, it's better to lean in the direction of the word's usage that's actually being complained about (you could be literal about your word definitions and say that your favorite anime is "Adventure Time", but people aren't generally using the word 'anime' that broadly here in the West). Detractors are more specifically referring to 'moe' as a trend of cute, doe-eyed schoolage girls created for the tastes of otaku. If you argue about that definition, you'd probably have a better understanding for where all their complaints are stemming from.

Though I should be clear on my own perspective, in that I also don't think the saturation of moe is as big a problem now as it's been in years past. But all the same, I don't like the moe aesthetic --- I can do without all of the embarrassed-looking underage-girls perpetually blushing for their otaku fans.

Parse Error wrote:
That accurately describes about two shows on average, out of several dozen per season. It's hardly anything worth noticing, let alone "almost too big a bite" out of the industry as you stated earlier. Here is the shell game I described, already underway.

But that's just pointing out moe shows (like in this season, I think Locodol, Hanayamata and Sabagebu, and some OVAs came out recently for Girls und Panzer and Non Non Biyori). The moe aesthetic on the other hand, is everywhere, you can see it in shows like Majimoji Rurumo, Blade Dance, Invaders of the Rokujyōma, Jinsei, The Irregular at Magic High School, SAO, and the list goes on. An overwhelming amount of anime in the modern day has centered itself on middle-school/high school kids, and quite often the female characters reflect the modern moe sort of archetypes that otaku enjoy.

@Fedora-san: I think there's a generation gap between the mindsets of old-school and new-school anime fans. Many new school fans I've met are busy watching the current airing seasons to the point that they don't have as much time to go back and watch older works --- popular shows of yesteryear like Dominion Tank Police and Captain Tylor are relatively unknown in the modern scene. So it's understandable to assume that people voting on older polls either grew up with the classic works (and likely the old-school sensibilities) or vote because the characters are from shows that hold a degree of mainstream awareness (that a number of the characters on the Newtype list come from Studio Ghibli, Gundam and Rumiko Takahashi works isn't surprising in that respect).
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Sat Sep 06, 2014 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
For the goalpost to move, that would suggest the detractors' definition of moe is constantly changing/situational.

Yet that is precisely what it is. If people were saying, "I have this specific issue with a lot of anime which is caused by moe, and I have this other specific issue with a few anime which is also a result of moe," then what you're describing would be valid. What they're doing instead is using a broad definition in order to classify the majority of anime as moe, then narrowing it to claim all those shows are something they know most of them are not. It is a deliberate deception meant to misrepresent the diversity of current anime.

Kikaioh wrote:
but rather the different problems they see (personally or broadly) as a result of moe having become so popular.

There are specific things that have arisen as a result of moe that are understandable for someone to have an issue with, in fact I occasionally mention a few myself. However, castigating moe in its entirety throws the baby out with the bathwater. People who do so are typically riding the bandwagon of trying to sound like cool "old school" fans, so there's no sense in trying to decipher any deeper meaning they may be somehow unable to articulate. Even if or when they do have a legitimate complaint, the onus is on them to identify what it's targeting.

Kikaioh wrote:
I personally wouldn't consider Rei and Asuka as 'moe' because I don't think they were doe-eyed or cute

But you see, for this specific moment, "doe-eyed or cute" is the major factor, rather than being drooled over by otaku. There are plenty of "doe-eyed or cute" characters in older anime, yet if I were to cite some examples, starting from that very instant being "doe-eyed or cute" would no longer matter. Even characters who could be considered "doe-eyed or cute" by normal standards and were indisputably "designed for otaku entertainment" exist in the self-produced shorts of the eighties, but of course now that I've mentioned that, an additional criterion will mysteriously appear for the purpose of ruling out anything prior to the recent past.

Kikaioh wrote:
it's better to lean in the direction of the word's usage that's actually being complained about

Yes, it is clearly my fault that other people choose to engage in underhanded tactics.

Kikaioh wrote:
The moe aesthetic on the other hand, is everywhere

Your description and examples of this "moe aesthetic" just look like the most recent evolutionary stage of designs influenced by the works of Osamu Tezuka, which were previously considered the "anime aesthetic." That is, aside from the predictable addition of "created for the tastes of otaku," the problems with which I laid out in my previous post.

The tail does not wag the dog though. These characters did not suddenly pop into existence because otaku spontaneously began insisting on them, they have always been popular with otaku due to their familiarity. Those "cute, doe-eyed schoolage girls" are what otaku have grown up on for decades, and their fondness for such characters becomes so intense during their youth that they retain it into adulthood. One could argue they're often tweaked to be shallower and less distinctive for the purpose of catering to otaku interests, but they're nevertheless just the most recent incarnations of something that's been there all along.

The "moe aesthetic" also can't account for any alleged lack of variety of genres, themes, or tone, nor does it restrict the potential audience to otaku as many moe detractors claim. For example, Madoka Magica has an undeniable "moe aesthetic," yet that didn't stop it from being worthy of critical acclaim and popular well outside of otakudom. Even these so-called "moe shows" have been attracting a more mainstream audience to their domestic broadcasts nowadays — for that matter, one of the current moe shows you listed is adapted from a manga aimed at girls 9-15 — while their foreign fans continue to increase in number as well. Obviously none of these things mean anyone has to like that particular aesthetic, but because people know "I don't like certain anime character designs" isn't a complaint anyone else will pay attention to, they blow it out of proportion and bundle it with unrelated or imaginary problems so they can start loudly proclaiming the demise of an artform.

Kikaioh wrote:
An overwhelming amount of anime in the modern day has centered itself on middle-school/high school kids

School-aged kids have always been the norm in anime. You're taking what could have been a reasonable albeit debatable statement, "an overwhelming amount of anime in the modern day has centered itself on female characters that reflect the modern moe sort of archetypes that otaku enjoy," but then attaching it as a minor aside to a criticism that's not even remotely defensible.

I find the simple, perpetually recycled archetypes to be beneficial due to the short length of most current late-night anime, but it is easy to understand why they displease many people. What I don't care for is how this grievance has expanded and escalated to condemnation of practically everything pertaining to modern anime. Where the complaints are supposedly coming from is irrelevant to me, it's where they've ended up and how people express or attempt to support them that matters.


Last edited by Parse Error on Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:27 am; edited 7 times in total
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Yause



Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 97
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:14 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:

[** There've been infamous stories where young Japanese game developers would go to their boss and try to illustrate the tech advancements of Western gaming that they could follow, but instead outright dismissed by the oyaji boss before hearing about it.


With games, it's a bit of a complicated issue.

The stars of yesterday are the most dismissive of western games, and that's because of pride. They're being told by the western press that they now suck, and in turn, upper management at the companies (the corporate overlords take notice) grill them on why they lag behind western developers. Hearing it again from young, inexperienced subordinates (relatively speaking) just provokes an angry reaction.

Furthermore, they're too proud to study and adopt western methodologies because they were trailblazers during their heyday - free to create according to their own terms and with minimal external influences.

Note that not all of them are necessarily anti-west. Early on in their careers, many studied western PC games and played table top board games. However, as they became increasingly successful, they believed themselves to have surpassed everyone else.

Quote:
And so now they've only just been catching up on things like efficient game engines.


That's the corporate side stepping in, sometimes injecting foreign hires into R&D to fix things (controversial with many employees who are used to seniority dictating position). It's also worth noting that some of these stars are no longer at their companies, allowing someone else to call the shots.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3716
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:41 am Reply with quote
They're already having some fans turn against them. This is why pandering hard to the anti-otaku crowd was a bad idea. They're already complaining about the design of the figure, despite being so very tame with little skin showing. The prudes and the Omg-her-breats-Objectification!-zealots are still not satisfied. Although some people also share my opinion there.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1300298569/under-the-dog/posts/976808#comments

Quote:
Susan Lau about 4 hours ago

The only change i would make is the tank top extend past the zipper OR the zipper zipped up to the tank top so you don't see the odd triangle of skin between the tank and the zipper end. Everything else looks cool, i love the in pose and the gun and her I MEAN BUSINESS expression! The hair will look fantastic like that too Very Happy


Quote:
Draikin about 5 hours ago

Well, the figure is based on the new redesign, which I still think makes less sense functionally than the first one. Aside from that, while people can get really defensive about the fanservice in UtD, I also have to question why the zipper goes down that far. In fact I don't think I've seen it zipped up in any of the artwork, as if it's some sort of requirement for Anthea's character to wear her combat suit that way. Anthea's cleavage is shown in just about every action scene in the PV and pretty much all the artwork we've seen of her. This figure is just following that trend. I don't entirely agree with Jussi that this is a cultural difference that westerners have to "grin and bear". I know this kind of thing is sort of a given for anime these days, but isn't UtD meant to shake up the anime industry?


It'll probably be redesigned a bit more to fit with western--nay, American--tastes since they acknowledge accepting people's opinions on this and have redesigned once already. Glad I withdrew my $500 pledge for the figure and settled for a lower tier.

Where's the creative freedom people are talking about? So ironic and hypocritical. As I've mentioned, even Kickstarter has strings attached. This is an example of that.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13987
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:56 am Reply with quote
Yause wrote:
enurtsol wrote:

[** There've been infamous stories where young Japanese game developers would go to their boss and try to illustrate the tech advancements of Western gaming that they could follow, but instead outright dismissed by the oyaji boss before hearing about it.

With games, it's a bit of a complicated issue.

The stars of yesterday are the most dismissive of western games, and that's because of pride. They're being told by the western press that they now suck, and in turn, upper management at the companies (the corporate overlords take notice) grill them on why they lag behind western developers. Hearing it again from young, inexperienced subordinates (relatively speaking) just provokes an angry reaction.

Furthermore, they're too proud to study and adopt western methodologies because they were trailblazers during their heyday - free to create according to their own terms and with minimal external influences.

Note that not all of them are necessarily anti-west. Early on in their careers, many studied western PC games and played table top board games. However, as they became increasingly successful, they believed themselves to have surpassed everyone else.


Though nobody has to follow everything others do - just pick and choose what works better for the intended goal.


configspace wrote:

Where's the creative freedom people are talking about? So ironic and hypocritical. As I've mentioned, even Kickstarter has strings attached. This is an example of that.


Well, they're free to pick and choose whom they should listen to. Once they already have your monies, they can do whatever they want (legal) and ya can't take your money back (ya pretty much lose your leverage to influence).
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iloveturkey



Joined: 09 Jun 2014
Posts: 70
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 4:07 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:
Preference is one thing; that's understandable. But the worn mentality of "yo-ge, kuso-ge"** (which stands for "Western game, shit game" - go ahead do a web search) is another; that's outright dismissing a game without even knowing anything about it simply because where it came from. That's been going on for decades, even before shooters or MMOs are a thing or playthroughs or game journalism.


I can hardly blame them, to be honest. I remember back in the NES/SNES days most American games were really bad licensed games. PCs at least had LucasArts adventure games and some RPGs. Nowadays things have shifted. All the big western games are for consoles, and PC is a hellhole. Forced DRM services like Origin, Steam, and UPlay. Tons of god-awful indie games, simulator games, and early-access paid alphas which half the time never finalize into a finished game and rip off tons of consumers.

One of the more common complaints I hear from Japan is the art direction in western games. I'm inclined to agree. Looking at the cast of Dragon Age 3 makes me not sure how the character designer at Bioware still has a job. All of them are really ugly. Sometimes I wish the Japanese weren't so polite. It'd be nice to see more Japanese developers call out American games like American gaming journalists and no-name indie developers who make a walking simulator or retro platformer and consider themselves the Leonardo da Vinci of gaming. Though I suppose there's something to be said of taking the high road and not doing that and simply doing your thing. I suppose that's why those journalists are writing about games and not making them.

Configspace wrote:
They're already having some fans turn against them. This is why pandering hard to the anti-otaku crowd was a bad idea. They're already complaining about the design of the figure, despite being so very tame with little skin showing. The prudes and the Omg-her-breats-Objectification!-zealots are still not satisfied.


People are arguing about fanservice in a show that doesn't even exist yet. It's simply amazing the brevity these kinds of people have at times. Perhaps if they throw her in a burqa now, they could also end it early as well.

configspace wrote:
Where's the creative freedom people are talking about?


Crowdfunding is essentially an Orwellian think-tank. It's sold on the idea of creative freedom, but it's actually just exchanging corporate investors for everyman investors. Everyman investors who do not have the experience or tact of corporate investors, I should add. "All backers are equal, but some backers are more equal than others", as they say. My most hated consequence of crowd-funding is the "get yourself in the project as a character/design a character" rewards tier. That's one of the most blatant immersion ruining things I see out of these kinds of Kickstarter projects.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3716
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 7:38 am Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
But that's just pointing out moe shows (like in this season, I think Locodol, Hanayamata and Sabagebu, and some OVAs came out recently for Girls und Panzer and Non Non Biyori). The moe aesthetic on the other hand, is everywhere, you can see it in shows like Majimoji Rurumo, Blade Dance, Invaders of the Rokujyōma, Jinsei, The Irregular at Magic High School, SAO, and the list goes on.

If people are going to start pointing out shows, then it would be dishonest to ignore all the others of different demographics. As I have pointed which got buried:
just for Summer 2014
- Lupin the IIIrd: Jigen Daisuke no Bohyou Movie
- Saint Seiya: Legend of Sanctuary Movie
- Barakamon
- Appleseed Alpha OVA
- Bakumatsu Rock
- Free! Eternal Summer
- Glasslip
- Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
- Tokyo Ghoul
- Shounen Hollywood
- Zankyou no Terror
- Aldnoah.Zero
- Sengoku Basara: Judge End
- Space Dandy 2
- Akame ga Kill!
- Dramatical Murder
- Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
- Ao Haru Ride
- Reply Hamatora
- Love Stage!!
- Sin Strange+
- K: Missing Kings Movie
- Nobunaga Concerto
- Tokyo ESP
- Mushibugyou (2014) OVAs
- Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers): Number Zero Movie
- Initial D the New Movie

And recent and ongoing sports shows:
- Ping Pong
- Yowamushi Pedal
- Haikyuu
- Baby Steps
- Ace of the Diamond
- Abarenbou Rikishi!! Matsutarou (the sumo wrestling show)

And
10,000 Anime Fans Pick Psycho-Pass 2 As The Most Anticipated Fall Anime
#1 - Psycho-Pass 2
#2 - Fate/Stay Night
#3 - Yowamushi Pedal GRANDE ROAD

If you're going to shift the goalpost and now focus on aesthetics then you'd also have to acknowledge that these have been around forever, and have also been pervasive in old school anime as well. Either way, the facts contradict the narrative.

Quote:
@Fedora-san: I think there's a generation gap between the mindsets of old-school and new-school anime fans. Many new school fans I've met are busy watching the current airing seasons to the point that they don't have as much time to go back and watch older works --- popular shows of yesteryear like Dominion Tank Police and Captain Tylor are relatively unknown in the modern scene. So it's understandable to assume that people voting on older polls either grew up with the classic works (and likely the old-school sensibilities) or vote because the characters are from shows that hold a degree of mainstream awareness (that a number of the characters on the Newtype list come from Studio Ghibli, Gundam and Rumiko Takahashi works isn't surprising in that respect).

That's a false dichotomy. I and I know several others here like walw6pK4Alo are watchers of both old and new school. It's ironic you point out Dominion Tank Police because that and the other Masamune Shirow shows were also otaku oriented too! I mean Catgirls? Fanservice?

Any generation gap is self-made. Basically old-school fans who look back through rose-tinted lenses have very selective memories and have always had very selective taste. I'm willing to bet you did not watch everything. I had Black Magic M-66 and Ninja Scroll and Baoh and Ranma 1/2 and Outlanders on VHS, Oh My Goddess on LaserDisc among my collection.

You know what I remember most about Outlanders? The horned alien girl who's in a crazy skimpy outfit to begin with, looses her bottom, and the guy trips and falls onto her, landing right in her crotch. Then he nosebleeds. And this is a 1986 show.

Do you not remember the nude and ecchi scenes and the perverted panty robbing gramps in Ranma 1/2?
Do you not remember:

Ah My Goddess!
Tenchi Muyou
Urusei Yatsura
Dirty Pair
Kimagure Orange Road (which features moe aesthetic big-time)
Key The Metal Idol (idol + moe together)
Plastic Little (sexy designs and still one of my favorite)
Cutie Honey
DNA^2
Project A-Ko series
Devil Hunter Yohko
Outlanders
Gunbuster

The old-schoolers of selective memory talk as if everything back then was all Captain Taylor, Ninja Scroll and Akira.

Quote:
An overwhelming amount of anime in the modern day has centered itself on middle-school/high school kids, and quite often the female characters reflect the modern moe sort of archetypes that otaku enjoy.

Uhh... hello?

Sailor Moon
Devil Hunter Yohko
Evangelion
Creami Mami
Minky Momo
Onii-Sama E
ALL of the CLAMP shows
Yawara!
Project A-Ko series
Devil Hunter Yohko
Even Cutie Honey is a schoolgirl herself!

edit:
I just remembered Gainax's Gunbuster, with its mecha + futuristic team of schoolgirls with bloomers....

And Gainax's Otaku no Video is reflection of otaku life back in 1991. It's a parody, but based on real life, including the founders.

This is just what I remember off hand. There are plenty more examples.


enurtsol wrote:
Well, they're free to pick and choose whom they should listen to. Once they already have your monies, they can do whatever they want (legal) and ya can't take your money back (ya pretty much lose your leverage to influence).

Technically that's true. Hell they don't even have to deliver anything. They can just take the money and run, which a few project have done and is perfectly legal.

But if they want to keep their reputation and their word about listening to feedback, then there is no way for both creators and supporters to avoid being hypocrites about creative freedom. Furthermore, they have already redesigned her and may do so again as they acknowledge taking in feedback in the comments about the figure.

Either you accept the pure, unadulterated vision of whatever they had in mind, whether you like it or not, or you start transforming into a production committee.

iloveturkey wrote:
Perhaps if they throw her in a burqa now, they could also end it early as well.

Hah, I am tempted to post that in the Kickstarter comments. But just her character design, not to mention most of the staff's backgrounds, already belies the pandering. If they really wanted show with western/US appeal, to go against the so-called anime trope grain, Anthea would be Anthony. And Anthony would look a character from JoJo instead.
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:13 am Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
Either way, the facts contradict the narrative.

The narrative already contradicts itself. It was stated earlier that we should:
Quote:
counter their beliefs based on what they perceive 'moe' shows to be --- that is, shows primarily composed of cute, doe-eyed school age girls designed specifically to appeal to the male otaku demographic

Less than 24 hours later, moe can also include shoujo series — not that girls can't be otaku, but the target demographic is too young for watching animation to be considered unusual, even ignoring that the provided defintion specifies male otaku because it is one so prone to ex post facto amendments. The only consistent theme throughout all these fluctuations is that "moe" always refers to newer shows or characters that don't cater to the personal preferences of those who use the term as a pejoritive.
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Touma



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 2651
Location: Colorado, USA
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:47 am Reply with quote
Parse Error wrote:
The only consistent theme throughout all these fluctuations is that "moe" always refers to newer shows or characters that don't cater to the personal preferences of those who use the term as a pejoritive.

That is the way that I see it. People are just unhappy because there is not enough new anime that they like.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with complaining about that.

But what is the point in making up arguments about moe being a new thing that is ruining anime?
It seems to me that the only problem is that your (meaning the people who complain about moe) tastes are out of sync with the tastes of the majority right now.
That happens to all of us at times and it will almost certainly change.
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:12 am Reply with quote
Touma wrote:
But what is the point in making up arguments about moe being a new thing that is ruining anime?

Given how popular it has become to use "pretentious" and "overrated" in a similar manner, I would say it is because people want to retain the convenience of being able to criticize shows with no more effort than it takes to speak or type a single word.
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Kikaioh



Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Posts: 1204
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:26 am Reply with quote
@parse_error: I don't think dectractors consider a broad variety of anime being released in the modern day as "moe". I do think they see the moe aesthetic in a broad variety of anime being released though, which I agree with. Cute, doe-eyed school-age girls designed to be attractive to the otaku demographic are a big thing now, and I wouldn't be surprised if there might be some correlation with the increased popularity of child idol groups over the last decade.

Though you can argue stylistically the moe aesthetic may visually owe some credit to Osamu Tezuka's art, his works weren't predominantly focused on cute school-aged girls, so I doubt that thematically they can be considered a source for the moe trend.

I think the specific catch that moe is generally classified by detractors as being cute school-age girls "designed for otaku" is actually an important point. Back in the 80's and 90's there actually were quite a number of shojo shows featuring young girl characters that some people might retroactively point out as seeming to be 'moe'. But that otaku-centric catch is important in excluding shojo works, since their target demographic was almost always girls. What detractors usually essentially dislike about 'moe' is the creation of these young, doe-eyed girls specifically to evoke the 'moe feeling' out of otaku --- just because a girl is young and cute doesn't immediately make them a 'moe character' in the eyes of detractors unless they're specifically in a context where they were meant to be the object of affection for otaku (Card Captor Sakura, for example, was created by the all female team Clamp and is considered a quintessential shojo manga --- while the main character might look moe, and while some otaku might feel moe towards her, the intent wasn't inherently to make a 'moe' character to appeal for otaku --- and to detractors that makes a big difference). Perhaps to put it more specifically, to detractors a "moe character" and a "moe show" implies the character or show was designed to evoke the moe feeling, to follow the 'moe' aesthetic and to appeal to otaku tastes. This is largely why detractors aren't as willing to retrofit the term onto older series, because the sense of a manufactured archetype in service of otaku tastes isn't as readily applicable.

This has been a point I've brought up in the past, but not one I've necessarily been keen to revisit because it's so time-consuming to check. Back in the 80's and 90's, there actually seems to have been a more even balance in the character age groups on display in anime. It's been said that a generation of testosterone-fueled young adults emerged in the 80's whose youthful energy drove a lot of the context for the sorts of works that were born out of that era (like some of the schlocky horror, action and violence-centric OVAs that you don't often see in the modern day). I once took a random year out of the 90's (I think maybe 1991 or 1993) and checked to see what the ratio of shows featuring young children, middle/high school kids, and adult characters was (largely driven by internet discussion on this very topic) --- and the end result was fairly even, with each of the age groups garnering maybe 30% of the titles released that year. But then when I compared to a more recent year (maybe 2009 or 2010), I found that almost 80% of the shows being made in the modern era revolve around middle/high school kids, the remaining 20% involving young children or adults. Hayao Miyazaki once lamented in the mid-80's that he thought too much anime was aimed at either young kids or adults, with not enough in between for the middle school/high school demographic (which he thought ought to be the industry's target audience), so that may coincide with the saturations of age groups of characters in anime largely growing in favor of tweens and teens.

I suppose I should pose the question again since you insist that the moe aesthetic has always been a popular trend --- you admitted there are works largely considered "moe" shows releasing every season in the modern day (like Non Non Biyori, Girls und Panzer and various idol shows like Locodol, Love Live, etc.). So wouldn't it stand to reason then that there would also be moe shows throughout the 80's and 90's? In that sense, I'm curious to know what shows from those eras you're thinking would fit into the 'moe show' category.

@configspace: We're discussing moe --- not ecchi, fanservice, and harem anime. I've repeated several times throughout the discussion that most detractors consider moe to involve cute, doe-eyed school-age girls created to the tastes of the otaku demographic. Who considers the Puma sisters "moe"? They're not school-girls, and they're hardly cute. Actually, almost every example you've mentioned doesn't meet those criteria. Sailor Moon is a Shojo manga created for girls, Outlanders, Tenchi and Plastic Little weren't 'cute' or had adult characters, and more generally, none of the series you mentioned would be considered 'moe' series. I know there's a desire to retrofit the word 'moe' onto past titles, but it might be better to start from a common definition first and see if what you're mentioning really fits or not (cherry-picking though it may be).
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Mr. sickVisionz



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 2100
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:35 am Reply with quote
It seems to have gone completely ignored, but this guy never said that moe is bad and should not exist. Nothing like that. In fact, the article that this thread pertains to actually has him saying lines like

Quote:
A little moe is ok, but this much moe is unbearable.


showing that he isn't calling for the total abolishing of all things moe but rather is simply saying some moderation would be nice and that not everything has to be moe.

People have taken the, "help save anime" thing as him saying, "moe must die". You're completely ignoring everything he mentions about modern production techniques, bypassing production committees, and everything else he mentions as being something that hurts anime.
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Parse Error



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
Posts: 590
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:06 pm Reply with quote
Kikaioh wrote:
his works weren't predominantly focused on cute school-aged girls

That could be read two different ways, one of which is patently false.

Kikaioh wrote:
I doubt that thematically they can be considered a source for the moe trend

I'm not sure what you mean by "thematically," but what I was talking about there was the visual aesthetic.

Kikaioh wrote:
But that otaku-centric catch is important in excluding shojo works, since their target demographic was almost always girls.

Their primary demographic was usually young girls, but were the pantyshots and nudity there for their benefit? Remember, with daytime/evening anime the goal is to draw the largest audience possible in order to be able to charge higher rates for advertising, so of course they were trying to attract males as well. The Magical Girl genre is still an otaku favorite to this very day as a result. It's interesting that you would be so eager to exclude such peskily inconvenient shows despite their obvious importance.

Kikaioh wrote:
just because a girl is young and cute doesn't immediately make them a 'moe character' in the eyes of detractors unless they're specifically in a context where they were meant to be the object of affection for otaku

If a young and cute character is not a problem when otaku aren't watching, the same character should be no problem when they are. Who's looking at something doesn't change what it is.

Kikaioh wrote:
I'm curious to know what shows from those eras you're thinking would fit into the 'moe show' category.

Your definition inherently excludes any, so that would be pointless.

The biggest issue though is that the idea of a moe genre is fundamentally different from a moe character. Whether it is how you choose to define the word or not, the original, intended meaning referred to a phenomenon involving characters that preexisted the term, which is why one was coined to begin with. The concept of "moe shows," however, came about later as a way to be dismissive toward shows with an apparent focus on moe characters.

So the problem is that if someone on the extreme end of moe-loathing was writing off a modern late-night Magical Girl show as "otaku-pandering moe crap killing the industry" based on the cuteness of the main character, then I might point to something older and say that it must be moe crap too and the industry was already dead. By default, I only describe something as a moe show if it is fair to say people who get nothing from moe appeal will not enjoy it, so because they are unable to sense moe appeal in older anime, there is no reason for me to retroactively label any of it moe except to counter to someone making a baseless complaint.


Last edited by Parse Error on Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:05 am; edited 8 times in total
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