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Chicks on Anime [2008-09-09]


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einhorn303



Joined: 20 Nov 2006
Posts: 1180
PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:29 pm Reply with quote
Nice trollan.

You just want people to wear out their "f" and "w" keys, huh?


Last edited by einhorn303 on Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Fronzel



Joined: 11 Sep 2003
Posts: 1906
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:24 am Reply with quote
Misuzu from the TV version of Air is sympathetic because she acts like a really unhappy little girl...but I can't shake the impression that she comes off as a bit retarded. This is why I prefer the Air movie, where she's actually pretty awesome.

I feel I should defend Magikano, since you cite it as an example of sibling over-attachment, as the show is a parody.

Strawberry Marshmallow is an odd case, since the art style just screams moe (Barasui can't seem to draw anything other than a baby face) but its content is really too brassy to fit in the moe mold. In a small way, it feels like a parody because of this.
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larinon



Joined: 27 Jul 2003
Posts: 992
Location: Midland, TX
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:46 am Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
I feel I should defend Magikano, since you cite it as an example of sibling over-attachment, as the show is a parody.

Another example of sibling over-attachment that is not a parody is Myself ; Yourself. That series actually got a lot darker than I expected at the outset. It's kind of a harem show, certainly it has its moe characters, but it took things to some interesting (if not a little disturbing -> spoiler[attempted suicide(s)]) places.

Fronzel wrote:
Strawberry Marshmallow is an odd case, since the art style just screams moe (Barasui can't seem to draw anything other than a baby face) but its content is really too brassy to fit in the moe mold. In a small way, it feels like a parody because of this.

I felt more or less the same, that it's kind of a parody, mainly because when I was watching some of the scenes it was like "surely they can't seriously be doing this". Case in point: Miu recording each of the girls saying "it's so hot in here" and then making that Nobue's ringtone and calling her when she's in line at the store. I really liked Sara's description of Miu:
Sara wrote:
She's just this a**hole kid who is kind of amazing.

Very succinct and accurate. Now Matsuri is really the super-moe character in the series. Nobue really has a soft spot for her and their interaction, in particular Nobue's enthusiasm for dressing up Matsuri, is hilarious. This also applies to Ana to a slightly lesser extent.

I think the puppy analogy is interesting, just that whole "awww" feeling you get when you see something adorable and feel like you have to protect it. It's not perfect as you say, but it's the best one I've heard that reflects my own feelings on the matter. Certainly other people may take it more or less seriously.[/url]
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Kyogissun



Joined: 17 Aug 2007
Posts: 676
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:48 am Reply with quote
Fronzel wrote:
Misuzu from the TV version of Air is sympathetic because she acts like a really unhappy little girl...but I can't shake the impression that she comes off as a bit retarded. This is why I prefer the Air movie, where she's actually pretty awesome.


Well, that's a bit of a stretch, you have to factor in spoiler[the curse that makes her unable to be close to others without having an instant nervous breakdown, because she's 'forbidden' to be loved, PROBABLY caused her to just... Never really socially develop.]

But in the movie, I definitely agree, that was one thing I enjoyed, such an amazing alternative in character...

And above all, spoiler[while I LOATHED the art style, the whole factor of it being an alternate retelling was just fantastic, with both Misuzu and Kanna being much strong characters. Kanna's willingless to express her love to the fullest potential to Ryuuya even though it would only cause her pain in the end, it was... Really beautiful how devoted she was.]

But that's why we come to that stuff. I think, again, a lot of the Key 'moe' stands out from the others for specific reason. But again (Ugh, I use this word too much >.o) Bamboo, you hit the mark perfectly. The stories written within the games are done so to allow the characters to behave as such... Maybe the behavior of some of the girls of Clannad is a bit more out there, but that would pretty much strictly be for Ryou and Kyo... To a degree however, you need to sympathize with them, considering they realized in episode 18 that spoiler[ Tomoya had made a decision, in a way, of the girl he cared for and that sadly, it wasn't either of them.]


Back on the main topic however, I'd say that I'm probably one of those 'moe' fans who sees it purely as being amused by the level of cuteness.

I like moe, PURELY, for the level of adorableness and...

I have enough security in my gender to say I love the more girl geared cutesy shows. I loved Hamtaro, I enjoyed Snow Fairy Sugar quite a bit and many other fluff anime's from the mid 2000's.

There was some anime called Risky Safety, I believe that was a sort of moe.

But I DEFINITELY cannot get into the crappy animes implying that the moe character could be sexually attractive or anything, it's just too... Beneath me to lead to such thoughts, or so I think. Leave promoting characters of sexual appeal for ecchi comedies, ya know? Let Rosario+Vampire, To-LOVE-Ru and the others handle that... Girls who actually look adult-like to some degree.

Great article once again, keep these up and if you need a reference source for a shut-in article, I'd gladly volunteer. Anime hyper
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darkhunter



Joined: 13 May 2004
Posts: 2992
Location: Los Angelas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:53 am Reply with quote
Good discussion all around. I think Sara's opinion though is probably the most logical.

I'm note a huge fan of moe. I feel that many of the behaviors can be very corny, force and unrealistic. This goes for maid shows as well. While I watch certain shows and think some of the moe characters are cute, I don't think I ever have an overwhelming feeling of having to "protect them". The funny thing with moe shows is that the story and pacing can be as crappy as hell, but yet it doesn't matter to most otaku as long as it's cute and adorable. Rolling Eyes
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 14548
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:34 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Generally speaking, although there is some overlap between moe and lolicon, the hardcore people who are real moe fans will tell you that moe is not sexualized and that it is pure love. It's not about sexual or physical love. Whether you believe that or not is under question, but that's the definition.


Seen that Ecchi Attack article yet? Wink NSFW, btw.

Quote:
Oh, I definitely think she is a very good example of a moe character. As I mentioned earlier, an adoring, protective impulse toward the small and vulnerable can be felt by women as easy as men, and moe has been appropriated by female creators.


But Hagu is not vulnerable. You seem to forget that point.

Quote:
Yet it seems that for some, even the sexual power of the lolicon character was too powerful, so we get moe, which neutralizes the threat of female sexuality entirely.


I'm guessing moe is to men what yaoi is to women-i.e. an externalization of each gender's inner sensitive sides in a way which makes them feel more confident than they are in real life.

Quote:
I've noticed at least in manga that moe manga has not exactly taken off the same way here in the United States as it has in Japan. For whatever that's worth. I'm not sure what the situation is with anime as a category separate from manga, but it may be possible that the market for moe manga in the U.S.—and the most important purchasing demographic for all categories of printed fiction in general is women anyway—just isn't big enough to sustain it as a niche genre. It just hasn't become the phenomenon, at least not yet, so all of the stuff we've been talking about is really only about the situation in Japan. Or maybe moe is a product of cultural or economic facts on the ground in Japan that do not apply here; they say that the phenomena of the shut-in is that way.


My take on the cultural divide is that moe reminds American fans of the cutesy Disney cartoons and their knock-offs which they watch anime to avoid, not experience in Japanese.

Quote:
I've heard a lot of people talk about the origins of lolicon as being a kind of reaction against things like Fist of the North Star, for example, or Crying Freeman, where you have these über masculine guys, which is hard to live up to if you're a real guy.


Well, considering even alpha male guys in relationships occasionally have lolita-esque fantasies with female partners [I.E. Catholic schoolgirl or cheerleader roles], I think the fetish has more to do with being able to open up sexually, and thus emotionally, rather than being a backlash against a social gender role. Furthermore, I'd imagine someone who acts the way you described is probably as repressed as Shinji from Evangelion.

Quote:
So instead of depictions of a hyper-masculinized culture everywhere, you start seeing depictions of a more feminine culture. It's also around the time you start to see more shojo manga-styled drawings in shonen manga. The creator of Oh My Goddess! was one of the pioneers of this. I do definitely think there may be amongst some Japanese men a desire to not be male because of the pressures of being male in a very patriarchal society.


I think the presence of shojo-esque shonen manga of the last 20 years or so has more to do with the desire of guys wanting to learn how to get along with women by understanding them better.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3765
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:49 am Reply with quote
Casey wrote:
I've heard a lot of people talk about the origins of lolicon as being a kind of reaction against things like Fist of the North Star, for example, or Crying Freeman, where you have these über masculine guys, which is hard to live up to if you're a real guy. So instead of depictions of a hyper-masculinized culture everywhere, you start seeing depictions of a more feminine culture.

As a male, I've always found this seemingly common sentiment to be rather puzzling, because my own aspirations run in the completely opposite direction. I've always looked to such super-masculine characters with a sense of admiration and respect. Lord knows I'm about as far away from that masculine ideal as your average out-of-shape nerd, but I think that makes me favor such characters all the more; they represent what I haven't achieved yet still desire. (As a point of reference, within a few minutes of first meeting Kamina in Gurren-Lagann, I fully agreed with every bit of praise that had ever been lumped on him.) That's why I've never had any desire to watch any title lumped in the "moe" category, nor have I been able to understand the lasting appeal of them. I mean, I'll fully agree that the characters are (sometimes overwhelmingly) cute, but the fact they're generally so unrealistically week-willed and servile destroys any sort of appeal factor they'd have for me. I generally like the sort of female characters who are innately confident, strong-willed, and just generally kickass; sure, they are probably almost as unrealistic as most of the moeblobs out there, but at least they manage to do so in a way that doesn't seem insulting to their entire gender.
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crilix



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:05 am Reply with quote
I was positively surprised by the tone of today's discussion, however, I want to say something about the Boys Love aspect that you briefly touched upon. It seems to me you were trying to separate Boys Love from moe, perhaps treating them as two different genre. The Japanese Boys Love fandom uses the term moe just as much, or evolved equivalents of it. Then you have the growing otome-kei fandom that is basically dealing with the same moe themes as the bishoujo/biyoujo fandom. While you've mentioned that moe can universally apply to a number of things, even puppies, the line of discussion branded it as male otaku territory. Which isn't true.

I believe the anti-moe crowd is simply in denial. They can't believe their cyberpunk, sci-fi, action-adventure anime are part of an escapist hobby.
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championferret



Joined: 15 Jan 2004
Posts: 765
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:27 am Reply with quote
I must admit, when moe was announced for the topic I was dreading this article so much. All the blatant, ill-informed moe bashing I keep running into makes me sad.
But this was a really nice surprise, and rather fun to read as well.
I was skeptical about this column at first, but now I've found myself looking forward to the next one.
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bleuster



Joined: 22 Sep 2005
Posts: 455
Location: Orange County
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 2:29 am Reply with quote
I've been been reading these "Chicks on Anime" segments and haven't replied since they wrap up nicely, but you guys, erm- ladies, made very fine and interesting points.

Really, all of you nailed it with the "false" representation of real life, detached relationships, pedophile accusations (I remember Zac said something crazy about why Azumanga fans really like the show and I'm like, "...what?"), and the shut-ins, or commonly know in the anime community as hikikomori, which I believe ties in to all of what you discussed today.
Not saying they're what started all these phenomenons and crazes, but I think they add another layer of how certain things, like character body-pillows, come about. It's really not that complex when you look at the whole picture, but much like there are different types of fans where you just ask, "well, how did this happen? What created this?", and then you see it intertwines with something else, then this simple picture turns into a big collage.

Since you guys kind of touched on lolicon and will probably discuss the shut-ins later, I'd really be interested in what you guys have to say about the woman's role in Japan's society. It was sort of hovering around in each of your topics, but maybe you can shed some light on the issue(s) since I think they play a vital part in all sorts of features in anime and it's fandom.
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Kenotic



Joined: 02 Mar 2007
Posts: 167
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:11 am Reply with quote
Wait - Azumanga is moe? Now I really am confused. None of the girls really give me a warm sense of "I must protect and admire this innocent, cute, sweet girl" sense. The littlest one is a genius, the oldest looking ones look like they could beat me up, one of them is incredibly annoying, and the teachers could drink me under the table.

I get the whole "non-threatening" girls thing -- even the Azumanga girls don't drool over the brooding hot guy, spread nasty rumors about the girl outside the clique, go crazy over the latest talentless boy band, go to the bathroom en masse, and tell you nothing is wrong while pure contempt is in their eyes. I'm sure the girls from Air, with all of their adorable pets and pondering while looking at the ocean, never do those things either.

Of course, the whole "non-threatening boys" thing has been a cottage-industry for decades in The States. Corey #152 would never leave you for a girl 20 pounds lighter and 3 years younger. He's got issues, but he'll change for you....
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crilix



Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Posts: 208
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:38 am Reply with quote
Kenotic wrote:
Wait - Azumanga is moe? Now I really am confused. None of the girls really give me a warm sense of "I must protect and admire this innocent, cute, sweet girl" sense. The littlest one is a genius, the oldest looking ones look like they could beat me up, one of them is incredibly annoying, and the teachers could drink me under the table.
See, this is what happens when you turn moe into a genre. In a broader sense, it's just a framework for fetishes to sprout about, but it's more of a personal feeling, and if I believe Chiyo-chan is moe, then she is moe, for me.
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Shadowrun20XX



Joined: 26 Nov 2007
Posts: 1910
Location: Vegas
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:46 am Reply with quote
Kenotic wrote:
Wait - Azumanga is moe?
They love to label everything,don't they.ahh,Azumanga Daioh,once know simply as an hilarious 4-panel manga,is now the horribly coined term"moe".Or was "moe".They are more than likely talking about the anime,where they can't see the borders of the 4 panel manga blending together.When the mainstream gets tired of the term "moe",are we going to be stuck with it? Sadly,I'd say yes. Surprised


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loka



Joined: 05 Nov 2006
Posts: 373
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:48 am Reply with quote
Bamboo wrote:
There does seem to always be a contrast between the cute moe girl and the scary woman he wants to avoid. I guess it's your typical foil between the douchey jock and the kind-hearted chess nerd who won't dump you after prom.


i think this is pretty accurate. you see it a lot in live-action shows for young teenagers. it's not that guys are "afraid of that female sexuality"; it's a choice between the shy, kind girl or the 'b*tch'.
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hentai4me



Joined: 25 Oct 2005
Posts: 1313
Location: England. Robin is so Cute!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 5:05 am Reply with quote
Quote:
I think you are right to point that out. Because in the example I just gave with the dog lover loving the puppy, it's actually different from an anime fan loving a moe character, in the sense that the moe character is a representation, and the puppy is presumably real. And so while a real-life puppy would be dependent upon its owner for food, water, shelter, etc., a moe character is really and truly an object for the consumer's adoration, exploitation, and objectification. Because the character has no feelings, fans feel no responsibility toward her, and they may manifest behaviour which, taken out of context or perhaps sinisterly transferred to a real young person by someone mentally unstable, can be distasteful or outright frightening.


Forgetting of course that if a guy had a calendar of pre-pubescent girls he would be in some serious trouble.

Also why is the 'reality' so important? Real = good happy feelings, Drawn = potentially sinister?

So...what's this then


Is this somehow potentially creepy because it is a drawing, solely for objectification...who knows what having that picture could lead someone to do!

All through this discussion I got the feel that you all link moe with loli and loli with paedophilia. None of you expressly state this but by often 'covering your bases' by saying you DON'T think moe ≈ loli you tell us you see a strong link for it, that you've definitely considered whether it could be.

Why must everything we do be sexualised in some way? Why can't I enjoy watching Kurau and Christmas be happy together? Why can't I smile when Nana (Elfen Lied) starts to fit in with the group and begins to enjoy herself? How is Rakka (Haibane) coming to grips with her new world and making new friends inciting sexual feelings?

Could it not be that I enjoy seeing people become happy and enjoy themselves?

I think that the 'scholarly' over analysis of things seems to assume a level of deep thought in everything from people that is simply not there. Not once have I thought about why watching Hiro (Hidamari Sketch) try and try to diet and still fail as she likes sweets too much makes me warm and fuzzy...until now.

It is discussions like this that ruin perfectly good shows. I found myself unable to watch 'Chi's Sweet Home' after a forum discussion on this kind of topic simply because through the 1st 2 eps the cat just wants to go back to its mother and the family wont let her...I thought about kidnap and imprisonment. Is that really the topic for that show wrapped in a fuzzy package?

Now I'm not going to say that those kinds of things DON'T play a role, but I will say that I personally like to watch shows that make me warm and fuzzy inside, I don't care how or why they do it I just want to come away from an episode or two happy, depressed or contemplative is not really my aim, I have my own mind and can think up plenty of things to think about without having to watch Texhnolyze or Habane Renmei and wonder as to the subtext and symbolism in it.

Sex for me in anime is nicely defined. I have anime or I have hentai or I have manga or doujinshi. Moe is moe, moe is not sex, moe is warm and fuzzy (though I'll admit the characters I feel moe for are often not the ones other people do.)
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