Anime Decade: From Japan Cool to Cooling Off

Posted by MattAlt 
Hahahaha oh my god
the end of the article
with the SIGNATURE
Timeenforceranubis signs his name T.E. Anubis
hilarious

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
>Timeenforceranubis signs his name T.E. Anubis

Yeah, what about it?

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Signing your name to a blog post, with an image of your signature, as if it was a formal letter, is already phenomenally pretentious. People who write serious essays for academic publications don't do that. Public figures writing open letters published in newspapers or magazines don't do it. The only places I can ever think of seeing that online is in official statements released by corporate leaders or politicians, or in reproductions of famous letters. So it's already an absurdly highflown affectation. But to affect such a formality, not even with one's own name, but with one's username, abbreviating it as if it was an actual name? It comes off like comedy.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
The whole blog post is quite akin to a good nerd rage. But what really makes it a classic is the signature, indeed.

Just posted my post from last page in reply to that Blog, preceded by this:

Quote

Reposting this here, since Vince apparently likes to repost your article to our message board but then fails to reply to criticisms on the article (makes me wonder why he posts it in the first place, if not to discuss it):

I wonder how long it will take to get deleted.



Of course the blog is moderated. How surprising.

(Also, love the fact I get a male catboy icon)



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2012 02:06AM by thomas.
Attachments:
open | download - proof-of-moe-post.jpg (78.1 KB)
Ok, I'll discuss.

Many here who criticizes seem to think that those who watch moe are terrible people. I see nothing wrong for liking cute characters. The key is that my tastes are far ranging and I'm able to watch old and new anime. Some things I watch can even be devoid of any cuteness. I still refuse to watch LOTGH though.

The other notion is painting ALL moe shows the same when there's various ranges of quality. There are shows that I legitimately enjoy for their high production values and the synergy of all the elements of a good show (art, music, characters that I'm able to get attach to, premise, the studio behind the production).

Moe shows I legitimately love: K-ON!, Lucky Star, Kanamemo, Strike Witches, most things from Studio SHAFT like Hidamari Sketch and Bakemonogatari/Nisemonogatari.

Moe shows I enjoy for their stupidness: MM!, Milky Holmes

I see a lot of discussion about moe but not of actually watching it to understand it.

Again, I'm not forcing anyone to love moe, that not my goal here.

My goal is to make others at least understand me and other points of view without the usual "x is creepy. X is perverted" for liking it.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
mcfitch (Admin)
I don't feel that I need to watch more than 30 seconds of kiddie porn or period piueces to know thatI don't like them.
-Mason

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"
Vinnie, why do you care what anyone thinks? Watch what you want to fucking watch and just accept that you're not going to find many like minds on this board.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
>Vinnie, why do you care what anyone thinks? Watch what you want to fucking watch >and just accept that you're not going to find many like minds on this board.

Because when I see moe trashed for unfound reasons (like it being the sole reason for anime's declining popularity in the west), I feel the need to step in and defend it. Sorry, but I have to have my say.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
...

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2012 01:36PM by hillsy.
>...

Go ahead, give more timber for the fire that is me and TE Anubis.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
You continue to fight the good fight, Vincent...I'll continue to not give a fuck.



---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
Well, hey! perfect place for me to copypasta an article from Crunchyroll!

(poll in Japan about most OVERRATED anime)

Whatever the darn word means, an enormous pool of over 33,000 votes were cast for biglobe's Top 50 Grand Prix of the most overrated anime. From Evangelion's presence (despite an evident recency bias), to the fact that Shonen Jump series like Naruto and One Piece are on the list (but low on it), or the presence of series that never all that well-regarded in the first place, there is plenty of food for controversy and discussion on the list below.



1. Madoka Magica

2. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai

3. K-on!

4. Bakemonogatari

5. Oreimo

6. IS <Infinite Stratos>

7. Certain Magical Index/Scientific Railgun

8. Fate/zero

9. Steins;Gate

10. Angel Beats!

11. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

12. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

13. Inu x Boku SS

14. Ben-to

15. The World God Only Knows

16. Macross F

17. (tie) Uta no Prince-sama

17. (tie) Mawaru-Penguindrum

19. Working!!

20. Persona 4 the ANIMATION

21. Bleach

22. Dog Days

23. Baka and Test

24. Ro-Kyu-Bu!

25. Hanasaku Iroha

26. Aria of the bullet Scarlet

27. One Piece

28. Tiger & Bunny

29. Daily Lives of High School Boys

30. Neon Genesis Evangelion

31. Gintama

32. Blue Exorcist

33. Naruto

34. Future Diary

35. Natsume Yuujinchou

36. No.6

37. Guitly Crown

38. gdgd Fairies

39. My Ordinary Life

40. Un-Go

41. Toriko

42. Squid Girl

43. Kimi to Boku

44. Sora no Manimani

45. Chihayafuru

46. Jewelpet

47. Usagi Drop

48. Nurarihyon no Mago

49. Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi

50. Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san

OK, end of line.


Now, I'm not that sure Macross F really belongs there (I found it overall...OK) and I know people lose their mud over Tiger & Bunny, but the rest? I don't even KNOW what most of those are! However, I greatly suspect there's a whole bunch of MOE there.

I note with surprise no Strike Witches, which I guess means that lives up to expectations. Whatever those may be.
>I don't even KNOW what most of those are!

Only #38 I don't recognize.

I never buy into these ranking lists because it could have been put in from anyone and doesn't really tell the reasoning for why they're considered overrated.

REDLINE should be #1 is I were to take that list seriously.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/29/2012 08:32AM by Vincent Z..
For what its worth the BiGlobe polls are almost always ludicrously skewed and usually flooded with votes by trolls, and are generally pretty worthless. Tabloid-style anime "news" sites a la Sankaku and Crunchy often will translate and repost them just to rile up fans to get more hits.

Not to mention how aribitrary the word "overrated" can be in this case. Basically anyone with an axe to grind with a given series could use it to vent or troll other fans. Nothing to see here, move along.

Though I'll note that I'd personally probably disagree with at least 45% of that list, lol. If anything, many were underrated, IMHO.
Vincent Z. Wrote:
>
> My goal is to make others at least understand me
> and other points of view without the usual "x is
> creepy. X is perverted" for liking it.

You get that Mr. T.E. Anubis's essay is absolutely the wrong way to do that, right? All he does is lash out at his critics, painting them as narrowminded, judgmental and irrational, without presenting any type of reasoned defense of the work he's ostensibly defending.


SteveH Wrote:
>
> (poll in Japan about most OVERRATED anime)

Dude, it's just basically a list of popular anime from the last three years or so.

Of course the most "overrated" anime is going to largely match up with the most popular recent anime. That's how it always works. Anything popular yields a substantial segment of viewers who think it's overrated, in Japan as in Hollywood or wherever else there's money to be made from entertainment media.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Vincent Z. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ok, I'll discuss.
>
> Many here who criticizes seem to think that those
> who watch moe are terrible people. I see nothing
> wrong for liking cute characters. The key is that
> my tastes are far ranging and I'm able to watch
> old and new anime. Some things I watch can even be
> devoid of any cuteness. I still refuse to watch
> LOTGH though.

Up to here I can follow your argument.
>
> The other notion is painting ALL moe shows the
> same when there's various ranges of quality. There
> are shows that I legitimately enjoy for their high
> production values and the synergy of all the
> elements of a good show (art, music, characters
> that I'm able to get attach to, premise, the
> studio behind the production).

However, here, Vincent, I have a problem with your argument, as what you are stating here basically applies to any show and any person who watches them. Of course people are going to watch a show that has "art, music, characters that I'm able to get attach to, premise, the studio behind the production" (or a majority of those points). Unless they're seriously masochistic, people won't watch what they don't like.

The issue here is that you don't say what you appreciate in those aspects of a show. What do you like about the art? What kind of music do you like? To what aspects of characters do you attach and why? What kind of premise do you like? What makes you like a certain studio more than the other?

<snip>

> I see a lot of discussion about moe but not of
> actually watching it to understand it.
>
Why can't you explain what you like in those shows to help us understand your point of view better?

> Again, I'm not forcing anyone to love moe, that
> not my goal here.
>
> My goal is to make others at least understand me
> and other points of view without the usual "x is
> creepy. X is perverted" for liking it.

Then explain yourself better. You cannot expect from other people that they'll watch dozens of episodes of an anime genre they don't particularly appreciate just to understand it.

If I look at my own tastes, I like science fiction/fantasy settings (or a mix), sports manga, and shojo comedy. The story must involve an element of mystery and/or ever increasing challenges. Bonus points if stories involve pretty guys getting in borderline homoerotic situations or subtext - someone will probably find that perverted, I don't care. I like it if there is some background explanation on settings, the physics and philosophies of the world, and the mechanics shown in the story. However, not everything should be explained - I am perfectly fine with a ambiguous ending (on the other hand, no ending...bleh).
Snarky and/or gloomy characters are appreciated. I rather dislike 'perfect' heroes and one-sided evil villains. Females may be cute, even "moe", but not the kind of "moe" as is present in most "moe" series. However, they should be intelligent and non-"let's flash my underwear and hump the hero"-fanservicy. Even if they are broken birds, they should be able to get back on their feet by themselves and not because of some 'intimate' healing. Males may also be cute and moe (a catboy is fine too!). Intelligent characters are my favourites, but stupid characters are also appreciated. They need not be charismatic, but some depth of character is a certain requirement.
Art-wise, I like pretty and detailed art. It shows that whoever made the series thought about how things should work. Character art-wise, I prefer girls and guys to have similar faces: if the girls have big eyes, the guys should too. If an adult look (small eyes, tall, etc.) is used to make a character look very serious, I prefer it if that kind of look is not limited to one gender.Backgrounds should change as the setting changes, even on mostly desert worlds. Cities should be diverse. Etc. And I couldn't care much about the studio as long as the art and animation is fairly good and detailed.
Music should both adhere to the general setting and tone of the series. Instrumentals are preferred, if voices are used the music and voices should really follow the action on screen perfectly well (see Macross F).
Thomas, the problem is Vince can't really say what he likes. There's no meat, no complexity to MOE.

Let me show what he can't do:


I like Mazinger Z. I wasn't that keen on it way back when I started this absurd hobby but as time went on I learned to appreciate it.

Mazinger Z is a simple show. Good guys are good guys, bad guys are pretty bad. There's not too much grey except once in a while with various guests. Mazinger Z is a very 'formula' show, you can tell it's constructed to specific beats. That makes sense as it was targeted at 8-year old Japanese boys.

So, do I enjoy it in a very hip 'deconstruction' way? Nope. Do I spark up some weed and trip on the fights and explosions? Oh hell no. I revel in it, letting my inner child out while my adult mind marvels on how hard they work on cost-cutting, the beauty of hand drawn and painted cels with those thick brush strokes and hand airbrushed effects.

One could say every episode is the same and on one level that's true. On the other hand the character interactions are just fun, with Dr. Hell and Baron Ashler (and later Count Brokken) are just endlessly at each others throats while Koji Kabuto reaches a kind of manic zen as each week he destroys yet another Mechanical Brute while trying to keep his girlfriend Sayaka content. OH, and for a kid's show there's a LOT of terrible, horrible death. Great Mazinger is even more fun as new lead Tetsuya turns out to be a total tool even while trying REALLY REALLY HARD to be Sonny Chiba. Near the end of the series, as they build up to Koji's return from America Tetsuya becomes a completely self-absorbed dick, whining to himself about "Koji this and Koji that, I'm sick of it!". It didn't help at all that while Great Mazinger was pretty cool, Tetsuya's costume was super lame.

And there's the kicker. Tetsuya isn't Koji with a boss leisure suit. He's his own person, with plenty of flaws. He's older but he's held to the standards of a high school teen. He's an expert of Karate and one gets the impression he's tapping his girlfriend on a pretty regular basis. It would have been easy to make Tetsuya a Koji clone, that's the safe thing to do, but they didn't.

These shows were made to hold the attention of hyper-active 8-year olds long enough to sell them toys, school supplies and fish sausage. Given the big bank Bandai made back then I think by all objective measures they can be judged a success, :)
SteveH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thomas, the problem is Vince can't really say what
> he likes. There's no meat, no complexity to MOE.
>
> Let me show what he can't do:

Okay, let me try then! :D Mind you, I'm not trying to speak for Vince here, I just wanted to have some fun with this premise. So...


I like K-on. I wasn't that keen on it
back when I first realized it was about
a bunch of slacker high school girls
instead of the finer points of forming a band,
but I learned to appreciate it.

K-on is a simple show. The girls are a mix of
real flakes and earnest students. There's not too
much anxiety except when it's time for exams
or an upcoming concert. That makes sense as it was
targeted at otaku looking for light entertainment.

So, do I enjoy it in a very hip 'deconstruction'
way? Nope. Do I get out the onahole and dakimakura
and get off to it? Oh hell no. I revel in it,
letting my inner teen out while my adult mind
marvels at Kyoto Animation's great character animation, the
beauty of high frame rate, high definition digital cels with those
great backgrounds and clean quality checking.

One could say every episode is the same and on one
level that's true. On the other hand the character
interactions are just fun, making up most of the warm
humor of the series. Yui is a clutzy spaz, Ritsu a high-
spirited bonehead, Mio is the reserved, would-be responsible
type, Tsumugi is the poor little rich girl with "Yuri vision", and Azusa is
more or less the normal, "straight man" taking over this
role from Mio. Their club supervisor is a former punk rocker
and secretly something of a bad-ass. Oh, and for a moe show,
there's actually a pretty high female viewership, too. 30%
of Japanese fans are female and recently it has inspired some
schoolgirls to form their own pop-music band clubs at their
schools. I believe the ratio may be higher here, based on what
I've seen on message boards and from the cosplayers I've run into.
Now the series has been a huge success, the mangaka Kakifly has
returned with two sequel manga, one documenting the core characters'
experiences in college, the other focused on the new pop music club
membership now led by the former junior member Azusa and including
Yui's younger sister, Ui. It's pretty unusual to see one of these
4-panel manga series explore "the life after the initial premise"
and I am curious to see what develops.

And then there's the kicker. K-on is not some fan-
service-laden, harem-based, spineless male lead-centered
"pandering" series. It's a genuinely entertaining and well-
animated light comedy with a diverse group of fans, with a whimsical
take on what would otherwise be a boring "day in the
life" view of Japanese high school. It's a relaxing, upbeat
series that's just perfect to cap off a day after watching
more intense recent shows, like, say, Souten Kouro or Kaiji.

These shows were made to pique the interest of anime fans long enough
to sell them actual branded music instruments (they had the sponsorship
of the various instrument makers), figures, manga, Blu-Rays and movie tickets.
Given the big bank made by all involved, I think by all objective measures
they can be judged a success.
:)

Okay, this was a parody, but I could actually probably write a reasonable serious essay on the topic of moe', and I've seen some interesting papers written on the phenomenom, some I agree with, others I don't. For my part, I'd argue that "moe'" is a quality of anime (one of many) that first hooked me in the 80's, along with all the mecha stuff. I mean, outside of Yamato and Macross, my first big shows I followed raw in the 80's were Urusei Yatsura and Kimagure Orange Road. I also self-published a Project A-ko fanzine while still in high school for a year's run. If those shows were released today, they would totally be lumped in with the moe material (don't even start me on say, Tenchi Muyo or Aa My Goddess and the like later on). Now I'll be the first to argue that something like 90% of moe' type shows ARE crap (IMHO), but that's generally true for anime as a whole. There were a hell of a lot of really bad shows back in the day, and there still are today.

But this is all a total digression from the original intended topic, so I'll shut up. :)

Edit: also, there are plenty of series that are moe' in some's books but not in others. It would be easier for me to argue the merits of almost every other Kyoto Animation anime over K-on (except Lucky Star), but it then becomes a matter of whether you include things like Key naki-ge ("crying game") visual novel adaptations or Haruhi as moe' (arguably Haruhi is an SF comedy series that also spoofed moe' along the way, but falls victim to a variation of Poe's law, where a parody becomes difficult to distinguish from the real article). "Air" was even a series I'd consider art, really.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2012 02:50AM by microbry.
Up until you said this was a parody, you were generally spot on why K-On! is entertaining.

The same goes for the like of Hidamari Sketch which is about artist girls in an art school. The art for the backgrounds and a nice minimalistic look which almost resemble an 8-bit video game. That the characters are crazy adorable (sorry, they just are). Studio SHAFT are Kyoani are the two best studios IMO right now, although Kyoani knows how to manage their productions much better than SHAFT which has the problem of taking on more than what they can deliver at one tim. AT least they're not J.C. Staff which makes five shows a season.

>Now I'll be the first to argue that something like 90% of moe' type shows ARE crap (IMHO), but that's generally true for anime as a whole.

Sturgeons Law is BS. "Crap" can be entertaining too. Bad to me is if your show is boring.

I know I'm climbing an uphill battle in explain why moe isn't bad, but I'm trying.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/2012 10:21AM by Vincent Z..
I think we've come to the crux of the issue.

I think Vince feels not just persecuted, but that thing that seems to really upset some, that he's being judged.

To wit: "Why is MOE bad"

MOE by itself isn't good or bad. It's a storytelling convention. Saying that, it's how it's used, and to a point WHY it's used that's the sticking point, at least to my eyes and I think to most.

Let's go back in time. Moom in Orguss is clearly and shamelessly MOE. She has all the touchpoints with the bonus of being a robot (OK, Android) so whatever 'you' do to her it doesn't matter because she's not a human being. I'm sure there were fans fapping madly to her just as creator Mikimoto likely was. BUT SHE WASN'T THE BE-ALL AND END-ALL FOCUS OF THE SHOW. (and yes, I'm more thinking Orguss should have a footnote about being a 'Harem' show as well) Moom was a character with a story arc, actually tragic. When the dimensions are re-split and separated we have a glimpse of a world where she's a real human...er..Eman girl(but still obviously and clearly underaged!!) and she's hooked up with Kei. So, MOE as story element.

The problem, the issue is that today MOE exists for the sake of MOE. Shows are crafted not about people but about visual stereotypes designed specifically for sexual fetish enjoyment. Clothing reaches a Mamoru Nagano level of detail (a fetish in itself) to make sure every ribbon, every bow, every stocking top is exactly right, all the layers of the Loli are there, all the pleats of the School uniform and let's never ever forget the Maid.

and I'm done. :)
>The problem, the issue is that today MOE exists for the sake of MOE. Shows are >crafted not about people but about visual stereotypes designed specifically for >sexual fetish enjoyment. Clothing reaches a Mamoru Nagano level of detail (a fetish >in itself) to make sure every ribbon, every bow, every stocking top is exactly >right, all the layers of the Loli are there, all the pleats of the School uniform >and let's never ever forget the Maid.

I see this as a good thing. Because entertainment is more saturated than ever, things have to focus on specific fanbases if they want money. Rather than trying to appeal to everyone (my problem with American entertainment, like the LA Transformers movies), I like the fact that anime is made with exactly what the fans want. Being that anime is SO expensive in Japan, titles like K-ON!, Bakemonogatari and Puella Magi Madoka Magica proves that the fans really want to own it.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
microbry Wrote:
> (arguably Haruhi is an SF comedy series
> that also spoofed moe' along the way, but falls
> victim to a variation of Poe's law, where a parody
> becomes difficult to distinguish from the real
> article).

I agree that Haruhi is intended as a parody. It's hard to see the main three female characters as anything other than purposely extreme extrapolations of certain anime stereotypes. Also, I feel like Kyon's narration is written to accentuate how ridiculous his relationships to the female characters are.

> "Air" was even a series I'd consider art, really.

Really?! I don't know if I'd ever be able to get past one of the worst character design styles in the history of anime. Horrible walleyed noseless neotenous monsters.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Vincent Z. Wrote:
>
> Sturgeons Law is BS. "Crap" can be entertaining
> too. Bad to me is if your show is boring.

I think when you're defining your idea of what is "good" and "bad" in entertainment as something that defies the standards of the people you're talking to, you won't make much progress in convincing them that the stuff you like is good.

I mean, if what you consider "good" in anime doesn't even have break a certain threshold of originality or creative merit (as long as it's somehow entertaining), and that standard is what others are judging anime by, what's the point of trying to convince them that what you like is good?

Vincent Z. Wrote:
>
> > The problem, the issue is that today MOE exists
> > for the sake of MOE. Shows are crafted not about
> > people but about visual stereotypes designed
> > specifically for sexual fetish enjoyment.
>
> I see this as a good thing. Because entertainment
> is more saturated than ever, things have to focus
> on specific fanbases if they want money.

Wait, assuming you're accepting Steve's proposition about moe, you think it's a good thing that shows are focusing on pushing the viewer's fetish buttons instead of depicting genuinely human characters and crafting a story about them?

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Vincent Z. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Up until you said this was a parody, you were
> generally spot on why K-On! is entertaining.

You misunderstand me. Everything I wrote in that parody I agree with. But I was deliberately structuring it around Steve's post so it's not really an "orginal" post, but a derivative one, a parody.

I was not, however, trying to undermine my own points. Which included that I thought K-on was great. Same goes for Hidamari Sketch, which I think Shinbou and SHAFT did an excellent job with using mixed media to reflect the art school setting of the story.

> The same goes for the like of Hidamari Sketch
> which is about artist girls in an art school. The
> art for the backgrounds and a nice minimalistic
> look which almost resemble an 8-bit video game.
> That the characters are crazy adorable (sorry,
> they just are). Studio SHAFT are Kyoani are the
> two best studios IMO right now, although Kyoani
> knows how to manage their productions much better
> than SHAFT which has the problem of taking on more
> than what they can deliver at one tim. AT least
> they're not J.C. Staff which makes five shows a
> season.

I don't think I can disagree with any of that. I might argue that I've been quite impressed with the work of some other smaller studios such as White Fox (particularly on the retro stylings of Katanagatari, not unlike what Giant Robo did back in its day), David Production, Silver Link, and others. But Kyoto Animation and SHAFT stand out the most. Of course, Sunrise and Bones are pretty consistent in quality for the most part (and Gundam UC is beautiful!). JC Staff is more variable. To my own surprise, I'm enjoying Shana Final as quite the enormous battle royale theater, though I couldn't stand the second series, which wasted a season on a filler anime-original love triangle that had some of the laziest direction and writing I've seen for a high profile series in some time. Studio DEEN usually horribly disappoints me and other than with their original series Simoun, I kind of wish most of the series they have done had been licensed to a different studio.

>
> Sturgeons Law is BS. "Crap" can be entertaining
> too. Bad to me is if your show is boring.

I'll stick with Sturgeon here, though I also agree that there's plenty of "crap" shows that are still entertaining, and will readily admit to following some occassionally. And "crap" is completely subjective, of course. A lot of folks this season are singing the praises for Ano Natsu de Matteru, but it bored the hell out of me compared with the original two Onegai series.

> I know I'm climbing an uphill battle in explain
> why moe isn't bad, but I'm trying.

I support moe' myself. I remember when the term first became popularized, I was against it as it seemed to stand for the "boring" series I couldn't stand (such as J. Random Harem Anime). I've since come to embrace it though as it has since been applied more broadly and includes a pretty broad range of shows that I wouldn't originally have considered as falling into the category when the term was first being bandied about. I see moe as an extension of the bishoujo fandom of the 80's and 90's that was previously largely (but not entirely) centered around games (digital comics/visual novels) and popular shoujo anime of the era, which had its own impact on non-shoujo works (I personally believe Card Captor Sakura had a huge influence in particular on setting several new standards that would get adopted by moe' series later). The fandom was, as Steve mentions, a more a niche thing then which has since grown to a significant portion of the disc sales market.

SteveH wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>The problem, the issue is that today MOE exists for the sake of MOE. Shows are crafted not about people but about visual stereotypes designed specifically for sexual fetish enjoyment. Clothing reaches a Mamoru Nagano level of detail (a fetish in itself) to make sure every ribbon, every bow, every stocking top is exactly right, all the layers of the Loli are there, all the pleats of the School uniform and let's never ever forget the Maid.<

There's certainly a percentage of moe' series that fit this description (although I'd argue about the clothing example--I think CLAMP's costume design in Code Geass was pretty exquisite, for one...or how about Gankutsuo? And let's not bring Nagano into a moe discussion given his own subservient "race" of essentially anorexic loli maid androids...though I should mention it was when I saw him at Baycon '89 that I first learned of the significance of shoujo manga in his and others' works of that time). From my own experience of watching a lot of moe' series I would argue that ones that detailed clothing as you describe are less common than you suggest. I do think that anime character designs across the board have gotten more detailed and precise due to being for HD broadcast and no longer restricted to "8 field" animation paper and cels. And if a show is adapting a visual novel's designs or going for a bishoujo look, then it's going to pay careful attention to the details. Are we going to criticize an anime for being better drawn than the old days? Part of what drew me to anime originally is that it was better drafted than most western stuff. I mean, moe' or not, I really appreciate those rare moments when character art or animation can take my breath away.

But what about series that follow the old model you described? Are we talking about the same thing when we say "moe'" series when we include that fetishy soft porn (let's say...Soft Tennis, which was an okay laugh, but clearly light smut through and through) as well as series that have little to zero fetishy stuff (other than perhaps being centered around female characters)? Series where the "moe'" comes second? Like are we also lumping in ARIA, for example? I think this is a problem, as it does become easy to dismiss all moe' shows as being the same when there are standout series which do not fit the same mold as you describe.

And for that matter, I would argue that not all of the fetishy stuff is moe, either. Ikkitousen? Agent Aika? Queens Blade? Seikon no Qwaser? Manyuu Hikenchou? These are all another genre of fairly misogynist seinen action anime that don't really fit the same category as the light fluffy moe stuff. Yet some of these shows fit your model even more.

In any case, moe' itself isn't the problem, it's the niche market life preserver for the industry right now (along with the perennial kiddie fare). There's still a good number of shows being made that aren't "moe'" by your definition, even if they aren't bringing in the bacon like they used to. We'll need another breakthrough on the mainstream front to get anime back to its former lofty heights, and it's not like they haven't tried (looking at Code Geass, Eden of the East, or even going further back, GITS, etc.) or aren't still trying. I think there are a number of other barriers to this, including finding suitable broadcast timeslots, network standards, a dwindled interest in toys among children over video games, digital distribution, the current economy and consumer confidence, etc.

If anything, moe' should be lauded for being one of the few surviving "sweet spots" for anime disc and product tie-in sales. Ironic, I know.
See? the crux of the issue. Story doesn't matter. It's only a bare framework for the visuals. Story can actually be a drag because it interferes with the fantasy relationship the viewer has with the visual image.

But what this does is slowly kill the viewership. There's no potential for growth because the ONLY thing that matters is the private world of the viewer and his relationship with his fetish image.

Think back to Otaku no Video, the 'interview' with the computer gamer. All he could say was "isn't Hiroko cute?", he couldn't really describe why the game he was playing was good. he couldn't even TALK about the game.

I'm sure Vince is crafting a long, convoluted explanation why I'm completely wrong. :)
Microbry explained it way better than even I could have.

BTW since Mamoru Nagano was brought up, Gothic Made (no not maid) should be coming soon. I'm excited.

Matt Alt could potentially see it when it comes out but I don't know if Five Star Stories is your thing.

>There's no potential for growth because the ONLY thing that matters is the private world of the viewer and his relationship with his fetish image.

Again, I don't see the problem. many shows are based on character's lives which thus is the plot.

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
Paul wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>Really?! I don't know if I'd ever be able to get past one of the worst character design styles in the history of anime. Horrible walleyed noseless neotenous monsters.<

Faithfully recreated from the Key character designs, with really nicely airbrushed accents which I hadn't really seen used as effectively before in a broadcast series before (since, yes, sure, but I'm talking when it came out, and as one of the earliest widescreen series, too). I can understand though if character design is off-putting, I get the same reaction to some other series, though I can also take thoroughly eye-gouging character designs (cough, Kaiji, cough) if I find the rest of the show compelling enough.

But I'm also talking about the animation, the backgrounds, and most of all the story itself, (spoilers ahoy) with its misleading dead-end "harem-ish" intro which in turn deconstructs into a tale that goes back to a story from the Heian era, and followed a strangely almost Kafkaesque metamorphosis of the male lead into a bird in the concluding arc. Not everything is at all what it seems on the surface of most Key stories.

SteveH Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> See? the crux of the issue. Story doesn't matter.
> It's only a bare framework for the visuals. Story
> can actually be a drag because it interferes with
> the fantasy relationship the viewer has with the
> visual image.

As I said, though, what about shows of the "old variety" which contain moe as a secondary aspect? There's a number of shows that are superficially moe' but tell a good story. Yet these often wind up lumped in or defined as the same as the rest.

For that matter, didn't your own Mazinger example boast a formulatic story that was only made interesting by its colorful cast and their character?

I'll argue that many moe' shows do have a decent enough story, even by the "golden era" standard. Not all of them, oh hell, no. A rare few might actually be better, but that's all pretty subjective. I could go into some stand outs if you like, but I don't think that is your point. We aren't talking about the content, but rather the type of fan and their tastes--that is, what matters to them.

A few years ago Japanese netizen otaku came up with a relevant form of classification of otaku "types" which I think reflects what we're talking about here though it also shows some observation bias.

The general gist of it is that there are supposedly only two kinds of otaku (quoting from an article a couple years ago, not my own opinion):

>>Type A:

A person who simply enjoys “anime.”
Is proud of Japan’s anime.
Evaluates anime based on direction, voice acting, art, etc.
Hates shallow anime with no real content.
Story emphasis >>>>> Moe anime.

A recent example would Higashi no Eden. Fans of anime like Lain or Ghost in the Shell would probably be this kind.

Type B:

A person who simply enjoys “characters.”
Will watch an anime if it includes cute or beautiful characters.
Doesn’t care if story is awful, as long as the characters are of interest.
Evaluates anime based on which seiyuu are in it and what the characters look like.
Loves moe elements. Doesn’t like complex anime.
The otaku the media picks up on are usually this kind.
Doesn’t know that much about anime and so is often criticised as by Type A otaku.
However, they make much better customers than the more discerning Type A otaku.
Recently there has been a huge increase in anime targeted at Type B otaku.

People who like K-ON!, Queen’s Blade, Strike Witches and so on would be in this class.<< (end article quote)

Now this kind of view is nothing new. Heck, in my college days I was pretty down on anime that wasn't strictly of the Type A variety, pretty much in the "if it's not Studio Ghibli or of similar caliber, it's crap" camp (I was an overly-frequent contributor to the Miyazaki mailing list back then in its early pre-webpage days).

The problem with this view is that if one is judging anime strictly on the artistic merits of Type A, there are numerous examples of great classic shows that are character-driven or newer works that are in the moe style yet have a good story. Dismissing all shows that on the surface appear to be either too "moe" or too "complex" (depending which "type" you are) is potentially throwing out the baby with the bathwater. And in fact the comments in reply to the article seemed to indicate that a large number of followers (both in Japan and abroad) felt the types too restrictive and that there should be also an "AB" type or even a separate "C" type.

Certainly, Toshio Okada's view of the ghettoization of otaku--where there are less generalist fan connoisseurs of anime and more individual camps that specialize in sticking to one particular taste, be it moe bishoujo fans or fujoushi female fans or what have you--seems to be echoed by the sentiment.

In a world where you can simply check wikipedia when you need to for any info outside your focus, the need for a more generalist knowledge is diminishing. There was even a recent dark parody of Genshiken that dealt with this topic, comparing a thoroughly apathetic fan base of today with the ironically more socially-networked fans of yesteryear.

Anyway, I can see I'm starting to digress again here.

> But what this does is slowly kill the viewership.
> There's no potential for growth because the ONLY
> thing that matters is the private world of the
> viewer and his relationship with his fetish image.
>
>
> Think back to Otaku no Video, the 'interview' with
> the computer gamer. All he could say was "isn't
> Hiroko cute?", he couldn't really describe why the
> game he was playing was good. he couldn't even
> TALK about the game.

Heh. I hear you. But at the same time I can point to all sorts of interesting threads on anime series of late, moe' or not. I think the type you describe is more the extreme sort of hikkikomori NEET kind of otaku that are most publicized (or most noticable) and give the rest a bad name. Not living in Japan, I can't say if the stereotype is fully valid and so widespread or not, though. Perhaps I'm just too optimistic.

If only "Type B" otaku are calling the shots, that may be so. But I still see enough non "type B" material that is popular or cross-over that I still maintain some hope. And to wit, there's a pretty decent number of shows this current season which are not what I think most people would call moe', even less if we also count out the ones where the moe' is present but secondary to story. Perhaps not the majority anymore, but a pretty fair percentage.
microbry Wrote:
>
> As I said, though, what about shows of the "old
> variety" which contain moe as a secondary aspect?
> There's a number of shows that are superficially
> moe' but tell a good story. Yet these often wind
> up lumped in or defined as the same as the rest.

It's a question of purpose and presentation, really. When a series is marketed as primarily a way to watch cute girls do cute things in cute outfits, it's not very inviting to the viewer whose tastes run to anything other than that. Even with the promise that the series pays due attention to the story, there's a bit of a "it's not for you" overtone when something is marketed with only its most superficial aspects.

And when someone who loves anything with cute girls in it comes up and argues that a few of these cute girl animes have genuinely good writing, they have to justify their opinion quite well to make it worth listening to - after all, they'll watch anything with cute girls. Granted, this is Type-A/ fan discrimination against Type-B fans, but that is necessary to distinguish whose recommendations of anime should be listened to. We can't take everyone's opinion at face value, or we'd devote too much of our attention to opinions that aren't very well thought out.

> For that matter, didn't your own Mazinger example
> boast a formulatic story that was only made
> interesting by its colorful cast and their
> character?

Ah, that brings us to another question. Likewise, aren't robot shows as visually and conceptually fetishistic as moe, focusing on fan appeal above all else, merely using action and heroism instead of cuteness and sexiness? Well, yes, many of them are. The difference, one could say, is the purpose of their escapism.

The fan appeal of action is escape from the dullness of everyday existence, the lack of significant, drastic upheavals in one's own life or the social order. These upheavals are not something one would actually want to experience in reality - the action story allows one to vicariously experience something which is not desirable in a romanticized manner, generally emphasizing bravery and victory over the inevitable injury and anguish which would accompany a similar situation in reality.

The fan appeal of moe, however, is escape from the difficulty of actual relationships. Many moe series offer the pleasing aspects of companionship with the opposite sex or of romantic relationships, without any of the emotional burden which would accompany those relationships in reality. The story allows the viewer to vicariously experience friendship or love without the personal effort and hardship that they would likely experience in forming relationships with other humans. The operating principle of many moe series is the same as romance novels, for instance.

The negative read on this aspect of moe comes from the belief held by many critics that moe series do not portray genuine, believable characters with the full range of human emotion. The less extreme view is that these works lack literary value because the characters are written only to fulfill an escapist function. The more extreme view is that using this type of escapism as a substitute for real interpersonal relationships is harmful to the viewer, as it reinforces a fantasy of personal emotional fulfillment without effort.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Interestingly, ANN has this new article on anime production directly relevant to the original topic: [www.animenewsnetwork.com]

I'll reply to Paul's interesting comments a bit later today, but wanted to pass this link on in the meantime.
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> It's a question of purpose and presentation,
> really. When a series is marketed as primarily a
> way to watch cute girls do cute things in cute
> outfits, it's not very inviting to the viewer
> whose tastes run to anything other than that. Even
> with the promise that the series pays due
> attention to the story, there's a bit of a "it's
> not for you" overtone when something is marketed
> with only its most superficial aspects.

True enough. Much like how anyone who's not a robot fan is not likely to get particularly excited about a new mecha series.

> And when someone who loves anything with cute
> girls in it comes up and argues that a few of
> these cute girl animes have genuinely good
> writing, they have to justify their opinion quite
> well to make it worth listening to - after all,
> they'll watch anything with cute girls. Granted,
> this is Type-A/ fan discrimination against Type-B
> fans, but that is necessary to distinguish whose
> recommendations of anime should be listened to. We
> can't take everyone's opinion at face value, or
> we'd devote too much of our attention to opinions
> that aren't very well thought out.

Quite so. For my part, I'm only stepping in to say, "hey, some of those shows do have their merits," or "not everything labeled "moe'" is necessarily entirely fanservicey junk." I'm coming in as an "A+B" fan though, so, take it for what it's worth. YMMV and all that.

> Ah, that brings us to another question. Likewise,
> aren't robot shows as visually and conceptually
> fetishistic as moe, focusing on fan appeal above
> all else, merely using action and heroism instead
> of cuteness and sexiness? Well, yes, many of them
> are. The difference, one could say, is the purpose
> of their escapism.

A good observation, I was considering the same.

> The fan appeal of action is escape from the
> dullness of everyday existence, the lack of
> significant, drastic upheavals in one's own life
> or the social order. These upheavals are not
> something one would actually want to experience in
> reality - the action story allows one to
> vicariously experience something which is not
> desirable in a romanticized manner, generally
> emphasizing bravery and victory over the
> inevitable injury and anguish which would
> accompany a similar situation in reality.
>
> The fan appeal of moe, however, is escape from the
> difficulty of actual relationships. Many moe
> series offer the pleasing aspects of companionship
> with the opposite sex or of romantic
> relationships, without any of the emotional burden
> which would accompany those relationships in
> reality. The story allows the viewer to
> vicariously experience friendship or love without
> the personal effort and hardship that they would
> likely experience in forming relationships with
> other humans. The operating principle of many moe
> series is the same as romance novels, for
> instance.

While I agree with the general contrast, I'm not sure I fully agree with this premise (though I will note that you did say "many"), though. Some moe (and some other seinen series as well as some fujoushi BL stuff) certainly is created toward that end. But there's plenty of light novel and seinen manga based series that are moe but are written originally for a broader readership than this. I think it's because of the surface you described earlier that the two are easily confused.

Also what you describe could be said really for any romantic drama or light comedy, not limited to genre, gender, audience, country of origin, etc. as you noted partly with your romance novel comparison. Of course one goal is to make the reader/audience vicariously experience an emotional bond with the cast. But like I said, it's not like there aren't obvious, more extreme examples which stand out clearly from the herd. But I also don't think there's anything so wrong with that in itself. Maybe some people need this kind of solace and comfort, whether they are in a relationship with another actual person or not.

> The negative read on this aspect of moe comes from
> the belief held by many critics that moe series do
> not portray genuine, believable characters with
> the full range of human emotion. The less extreme
> view is that these works lack literary value
> because the characters are written only to fulfill
> an escapist function. The more extreme view is
> that using this type of escapism as a substitute
> for real interpersonal relationships is harmful to
> the viewer, as it reinforces a fantasy of personal
> emotional fulfillment without effort.

This smacks of McCarthy-era Comics Code Authority and similar witch-hunts (such as the one led by Ishihara in Tokyo). Whether something possesses literary or artistic value is completely subjective and the suggestion of "harmful" materials is heading into some serious moral and ethical conflicts and is a slippery slope toward restrictions on overall freedom of artistic expression indeed.

It's the same kind of argument used against any assault on conservative values, be it comic books, music genres, D&D, Pokemon, video games, etc.

I don't think the prevalence of said works is the cause of the symptom, but a side-effect of a broader societal issue.
[www.animenewsnetwork.com]

And now you know why Anime is so expensive in Japan.

And knowing is half the battle.

G.I. MOE!

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

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
microbry Wrote:
>
> Also what you describe could be said really for
> any romantic drama or light comedy, not limited to
> genre, gender, audience, country of origin, etc.
> as you noted partly with your romance novel
> comparison.

That's true, and I'd argue the same about, for instance, many Hollywood romance films - that they reinforce commonly held unrealistic expectations of relationships, and present these as acceptable, without the emotional conflict that would be caused by the characters' behavior in reality. And I think that sucks.

Works that are primarily comedic, however, are less productive to criticize, because they make no pretense of reflecting genuine or admirable human behavior.

> Of course one goal is to make the
> reader/audience vicariously experience an
> emotional bond with the cast. But like I said,
> it's not like there aren't obvious, more extreme
> examples which stand out clearly from the herd.
> But I also don't think there's anything so wrong
> with that in itself. Maybe some people need this
> kind of solace and comfort, whether they are in a
> relationship with another actual person or not.

That's perfectly fine for someone who recognizes the proper place of entertainment in their life. The problem comes from the apparent phenomenon of fans using their chosen medium and genre as a substitute for human interaction - they have chosen to be "forever alone" because real relationships are too difficult or painful to face. This is not an imagined phenomenon - you can find thousands of fans vocally proclaiming their devotion to this choice.

The question, then, is whether it is an unambiguous good to seek out and form relationships with other people. It's certainly not universally beneficial to the social individual - it's easy to form relationships which are corrosive to one's social well-being, or even physically dangerous. However, I would argue that turning away from social behavior because indulgence in entertainment is easier is unambiguously bad.

> This smacks of McCarthy-era Comics Code Authority
> and similar witch-hunts (such as the one led by
> Ishihara in Tokyo). Whether something possesses
> literary or artistic value is completely
> subjective and the suggestion of "harmful"
> materials is heading into some serious moral and
> ethical conflicts and is a slippery slope toward
> restrictions on overall freedom of artistic
> expression indeed.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you're equivocating my critical opinion of a genre of fiction with support of censoring that genre. That's bullshit, and I don't know where you're getting it.

Plenty of things that are harmful to the viewer are legally protected speech - for instance, dog fight videos. Would you say the same thing if I was arguing that people who watch dogfights for entertainment are desensitized to the pain of living things? The distinction between the arguments is only a matter of degree.
(here I disregard the fact that filmed violence against animals had an actual victim, which the Supreme Court has decided is not enough in itself to make said videos unprotected speech)

I'm arguing that consumption of certain media tends to shape the viewer's beliefs or behavior in a way which is not beneficial. You're free to argue against my point, but don't accuse me of advocating censorship based on some implicit intention you imagined. And don't tell me my critical opinion is invalid or "dangerous" because it's somehow an inevitable precursor of censorship.

> I don't think the prevalence of said works is the
> cause of the symptom, but a side-effect of a
> broader societal issue.

That's true, but if alienated, lonely young people seek out only creative works that make them feel better while reinforcing an unrealistic, idealized vision of interaction, it certainly won't foster a desire to socialize. The effect seems to be that, for people who feel socially rejected, indulging in escapism causes a sense that ordinary society is inferior and fiction is an acceptable substitute.

This certainly isn't exclusive to moe. You see a similar effect among fanpersons who lament that the real world is worthless and that they only want to live in a world where dragons are real. It's a sublimation of the ordinary discontent that almost everyone feels, into a rationalization that allows the person to retreat from aspects of life and replace them with fiction.

In these cases, surrounding themself with only media that supports this view, and participating only in communities which likewise support their choices, is inherently limiting. It works to prevent personal development which might in the future incite them to leave social isolation behind and explore beyond their niche interests.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> The question, then, is whether it is an
> unambiguous good to seek out and form
> relationships with other people. It's certainly
> not universally beneficial to the social
> individual - it's easy to form relationships which
> are corrosive to one's social well-being, or even
> physically dangerous. However, I would argue that
> turning away from social behavior because
> indulgence in entertainment is easier is
> unambiguously bad.

In this extreme, I can agree.

> Whoa, whoa, whoa, you're equivocating my critical
> opinion of a genre of fiction with support of
> censoring that genre. That's bullshit, and I don't
> know where you're getting it.

> Plenty of things that are harmful to the viewer
> are legally protected speech - for instance, dog
> fight videos. Would you say the same thing if I
> was arguing that people who watch dogfights for
> entertainment are desensitized to the pain of
> living things? The distinction between the
> arguments is only a matter of degree.
> (here I disregard the fact that filmed violence
> against animals had an actual victim, which the
> Supreme Court has decided is not enough in itself
> to make said videos unprotected speech)
>
> I'm arguing that consumption of certain media
> tends to shape the viewer's beliefs or behavior in
> a way which is not beneficial. You're free to
> argue against my point, but don't accuse me of
> advocating censorship based on some implicit
> intention you imagined. And don't tell me my
> critical opinion is invalid or "dangerous" because
> it's somehow an inevitable precursor of
> censorship.

Fair enough, please pardon me if I got carried away there. It just seems to be the frequent implication and most common reaction when these concerns are raised about this kind of content and its consumption, and is one of the current targets of the Japanese far right.

>
> That's true, but if alienated, lonely young people
> seek out only creative works that make them feel
> better while reinforcing an unrealistic, idealized
> vision of interaction, it certainly won't foster a
> desire to socialize. The effect seems to be that,
> for people who feel socially rejected, indulging
> in escapism causes a sense that ordinary society
> is inferior and fiction is an acceptable
> substitute.

You mean it isn't? I'm kidding of course, although it is rather easy to see the idealism behind it. Though it does remind me some of some aspects of certain religions. Rather than go off to a monastery, become a NEET, "orz" (is that bending down in prayer now?).

> This certainly isn't exclusive to moe. You see a
> similar effect among fanpersons who lament that
> the real world is worthless and that they only
> want to live in a world where dragons are real.
> It's a sublimation of the ordinary discontent that
> almost everyone feels, into a rationalization that
> allows the person to retreat from aspects of life
> and replace them with fiction.

Yeah, no kidding. At least with MMORPGS and such these days, you can now retreat WITH friends (either offline or online ones).

It's interesting that MMORPGS aren't quite as big the same way in Japan.

> In these cases, surrounding themself with only
> media that supports this view, and participating
> only in communities which likewise support their
> choices, is inherently limiting. It works to
> prevent personal development which might in the
> future incite them to leave social isolation
> behind and explore beyond their niche interests.

Okay, I follow you now. But as I mentioned with my monastery example (and if I recall, Otaku no Video partly made this comparison with the token Gaijin interview), there's plenty of historical precendent for entire chunks of populations doing just this. Is it a good idea? I don't know, but probably not. But at the same time I remain somewhat sympathetic to those individuals who are "taking a hit for the rest of us" in population control. If they are happy with their lives and aren't causing trouble for others, it's one thing, but if not, then this way of life is not the answer.
[www.animenewsnetwork.com]

ok which one of you guys posted this

confess

it's time to count your crimes~
Go get 'em, Vinnie....defend your honor.

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
[www.animenewsnetwork.com]

this is totally someone from here

I mean look at that

that's Steve right
microbry Wrote:
>
> You mean it isn't? I'm kidding of course,
> although it is rather easy to see the idealism
> behind it. Though it does remind me some of some
> aspects of certain religions. Rather than go off
> to a monastery, become a NEET, "orz" (is that
> bending down in prayer now?).

> Okay, I follow you now. But as I mentioned with
> my monastery example (and if I recall, Otaku no
> Video partly made this comparison with the token
> Gaijin interview), there's plenty of historical
> precendent for entire chunks of populations doing
> just this. Is it a good idea? I don't know, but
> probably not. But at the same time I remain
> somewhat sympathetic to those individuals who are
> "taking a hit for the rest of us" in population
> control. If they are happy with their lives and
> aren't causing trouble for others, it's one thing,
> but if not, then this way of life is not the
> answer.

With regard to population control, I assume you're being facetious. Anyway...

I think the difference between a monk in a monastery and a fanboy cloistered in his bedroom is the justification for their self-seclusion. A monk believes that their personal moral/spiritual development will benefit from seclusion - they take concerted effort towards that improvement, and (at least in Christian disciplines) they fill their days with productive labor. Today, monasteries are more of a spiritual alternative/counterbalance to secular society, but once they were centers of art and scholarship.

A fanboy who removes himself from society, however, is in most cases seeing their seclusion as the only alternative because of a refusal to face the trials and responsibilities of society, not because of an outright conceptual rejection of society's values. They often couch their retreat in language that implies detached value judgments, decrying the superficiality and misplaced priorities of mainstream society, but there usually seems to be an undercurrent of anger that society has "rejected" them, or disappointment that they failed to fit in.

This is why I believe that most vocal self-secluded fanboys are not actually fulfilled or satisfied by this choice - they're merely pacifying their discontent. The rhetoric of "forever alone" generally says "society is not fair to me, other people are worthless to me, I don't want to deal with them". Those who are truly happy alone, pursuing their own endeavors, are generally silent about this choice - or if they speak out, they generally place their lifestyle in a positive light. I guess what I'm saying is, there's no hikikomori Emerson preaching emotional self-reliance as a path to happiness.

By the way, I'm quite pleased with how our discussion has diverged from the same old "is moe evil?" topic, into areas that are just as irresolvable but perhaps more interesting.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
I had to look up "animu".

---------------------------------
[pgaijin.blogspot.com]
hillsy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Go get 'em, Vinnie....defend your honor.

I don't post on ANN if that's what you mean.


anime is over

/thread
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