In defense of moe, anime in the Philippines and other stuff…

I was talking to a video game friend just the other day and he had this to say about anime…

“Anime nowadays is mostly moe, its nothing but cutesy. Heck, even Gundam nowadays has moe (pertaining to Gundam AGE)! Thank god there’s still Gundam Unicorn nowadays. Every anime nowadays is laden with fanservice, even Lupin the III has fanservice now! Where are the anime like Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Lain have gone to? Dai Sato is right, anime is dying.”

There are a lot of veteran anime fans who are really dissatisfied in the state of anime right now and these fans think that anime has too much fanservice nowadays and moe is killing and will be the death of anime.

Honestly, I beg to differ.

While I think that excessive fanservice is bad, I really don’t think moe is killing anime. In fact moe today along with gateway anime such as Naruto and Fairy Tail have helped widen the horizon of anime.

Back then in the 90’s, when I was in high school, I was the only kid in my batch that knew of anime that is not Voltes V and Dragon Ball Z, and while it felt very elite, it also felt kinda sad because the only person who I can talk to about how funny Golden Boy is or how epic Char’s Counterattack was is a single neighborhood kid… As much as I did enjoy the time when anime was for the elite nerds, I’m enjoying how much anime is well known by people nowadays.

In my opinion, anime in the Philippines is at its biggest boom right now, mainly because of mainstreaming of gateway anime and moe anime such as K-ON!! and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. Anime in the Philippines may not enjoy the current boom that its enjoying right now, if anime like Evangelion were to air instead of moe anime because it will be “too high minded” for the casual viewer and it will be massacred by censorship and deleted scenes because of the nature of the anime.

What moe did was that it made anime easier to get into and digest for the causal fan, which is pretty cool. If the casual fan wants to broaden his horizons in anime or get into the more serious side of anime, there are a lot of great anime to choose from to satisfy his taste.

Going back to the issue of anime is dying, I’ve said that moe is not to be blamed, if so what is to be blamed?

I think that the increasing consumerism that anime is currently going into is to be blamed. Nowadays, its all about the merchandise and cost cutting. Instead of making quality anime, anime merchandise is more prioritized for profit or quality of anime is sacrificed because of coast cutting. Fractale is an example of this, the anime has so much potential to be a great anime but it was forced into a 12 episode block that resulted the anime becoming the train wreck that many hated; if Fractal was placed in to a 24 episode block instead of a 12 episode block, it would have been so much better.

So yeah, moe isn’t all that bad. Just my opinion, though.

2 thoughts on “In defense of moe, anime in the Philippines and other stuff…

  1. I think the biggest problem with the whole “moe is a cancer killing the industry” thing is that it’s not actually *killing* the industry. People who make the argument almost seem to base it on the foundation that there are only bad shows coming out in current seasons (your friend may be an example of this). We still get plenty of good/well-made shows nowadays. Any number of shows from the current season or the past year (which saw Madoka and Steins;Gate, two favorites) show that good anime *is* still getting made. Moe isn’t detracting from this. For every moe show that gets made today, a poorly made harem or terribad show existed in the past. Moe has simply become another part of the industry; it hasn’t really affected it all that much. I guess what I question is whether or not anime is “dying” at all. There are still good shows out there getting made.

    People want things to stay the same. This is actually a bigger trend I’ve noticed, happening across all media forms. We want the anime today to be like the “classics” and video games to be like the (actually good :P) games from the 90s. But the anime and game industries (among others) are always changing. Rather than wanting what we had (though throw-backs and retro-style products are great), I say we should look for what we can *now* get. I feel like Mushishi is a good example of this. Heck, that show is post 2005, well after Bebop and the other “classics.” And yet, Mushishi is widely considered to be one of the greatest anime series of all time. It’s a decidedly “21st century show,” and it’s not really done in a retro style, and yet it’s good. It’s the kind of thing that *new* anime has to offer, and it’s great. Code Geass could be a more recent example of this.

    So, yeah, those are my thoughts. Very nice post (it got me much more involved than I expected to be!). Glad I found your blog.

    • I think understand the people who want things to stay the same, while they’re barely noticeable by audiences of this generation, the changes between then and now are big for the fans of anime back then. I think there is a big cultural gap for the fans of anime back then and the anime fans of this generation. Anime fans back the enjoyed the concepts that made them think while the current anime fans enjoy more on the visual aspect of the anime (fanservice, etc). I think this culture gap between veteran anime fans and current anime fans is what drives most veteran anime fans to want anime to be like the classics.

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