On Moe-Moe

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Deji
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Re: On Moe-Moe

#31 Post by Deji » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:30 pm

WARNING: Long nonsense/thoughts ahead! Paragraphs might be a pain to read due basic english and the lack of relations between paragraphs! BTW I was lazy toi read the first post... I personally found it corny after a couple of lines, sorry ^^;

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I was reading the other day about Heian Era (japanese) literature, and I can see where did the current japanese woman ideal came from (at least from there, I don't know about earlier ideals)
In Heian era, women were meant to be pretty, cute and objects of desire for the men, and the more shy and young, the better Theyw ere supposed to put up a fight ad cry and complain and suffer (or at least prentend to) whenever they had a sexual encounter (usually being raped by somebody having a crush on her or just a horny passer-by). Any girl not being like this wasn't appealing, and a the same time, a guy could be total emo-crybaby, but he was expected to be dominant and like raping girls he liked.

Westerners have a different view of the ideal woman, but with the introduction on japanese anime with this idealized woman stereotype, it's understandable guys and even girls change their own ideals towards what they are exposed to.
When I was 15 (10 years ago), guys who watched anime would like ute and shy girls the most and girls who watched anime would like tall and cute looking guys the most, while guys watching porn liked big-breasted whore-looking women the most and girls watching movies and reading teen magazines would like muscle-y masculine-but-kind-of-cute guys the most.
As they grew up, most if not all became normal people who would barelly watch any anime and again started liking what they were supposed to like, living in the culture they live.
I used to like bishounen guys the most when I was a teenager, but as I grew up I discovered love beyond appearance... there's where the "kyaaa! so cute >o<!" started separating from the "I love you". This ws the point where I also started being bisexual (just in theory, I've never been with a girl myself), since I believe in love beyond external embodiment.

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I think it's sad guys are afraid of girls this much to focus all their love into being that are far from being real. I think it's fine when you're a teenager: it's natural to have a crush on a tv actor/actress, a schoolmate or, why not, a cartoon/anime character, but I find disturbing and pathetic those guys and girls older than 20+ who still go "kyaaaa!" about fictional characters and refuse to look for a relationsip with another human being because it's not anime-like enough (or because they're "scary").

I think there's and "age" to be cute, wear lace and frills and bows normally. Anybody wearing that past their 16-17 is scary for me.
I have a 27 years-old kind-of-bi-but more-lesbian friend who dresses in pink and frilly skirts and she's frankly scary; not because se looks bad, but because she refuses to grow up and wants to be cute and careless forever and gos "kyaaa!" with everything cute.

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I personally don't like moé more than it's visual aesthetics of cuteness, and I see it as unrealistic as those superhero comics with ridiculous anatomical body porportions where all the guys have a 1 meter back and small heads and all the girls have that amazonic-warrior-sex-goddess/whore look.

A funny fact is that most people idealizing strong stereotypes like that are hard to fit in any of them. Why does make you think a girl from a "cute and innocent and chiild-looking world" would be even interested in somebody not fitting that same description? Same applies to an amazonic-sex-goddess-warrior.

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True Love is not meant to be perfect and unconditional. That's exactly what it makes it worthy.
Love is supposed to be the udnerstandig of eachother, making a team that works through good and bad times, supporting the other one even if you don't quite like what they're doing, being honest and have no secret or fears. You love the person with all their good things and their bad things, and so do them. True Love means to want the other person to be happy, puting yourself in second place. It means to let go and not being afraid to fall, becasue your partner's love will catch you...
All that requires time and has little to do with external appearance and unconditionality.
So saying nobody has ever found True Love is ridiculous, imho.

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In the end, stereotypes are appealing, fun, pleasing to the eye and are good to disconect yourself from the real world you don't like sometimes, but getting involved in a deeper level with that and focusing your ideals in those stereotipes and rejecting your own reality is unhealthy. If you fall into the latter, you seriously need to go out and face reality... it's not as bad as you think.

(BTW, Feminin-clumsy-girls-who-like-to-cook and caring-guys-who-don't-think-with-their-dicks are not extinct in modern times, you just need to look past their appearances and be willng to open yourself a little.)
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Re: On Moe-Moe

#32 Post by F.I.A » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:33 pm

Samu-kun wrote:The real thing doesn't exist. (THE CAKE IS A LIE!) Moe love and real life love resemble each other but they are still two very different things.
I don't believe it. After this and that, you are not convinced? :lol:

That said, my thoughts on the existence of moe in real life:
- Most(Not applied to all though) girls I know of have phobias for roaches and rats. It can be some rather cute, albeit mean, humor when they try their best to stay away from those critters.
- Tsundere, the usual archetype of hard-outside/soft-inside is actually portrayed in most girls around me. They hardly try to display their feminine in any way.
- Also, a crush happens when you like a person for some of his/her traits. Those traits might be moe in your opinion.

That said, hopefully the thread does not derail too much off the topic.
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Re: On Moe-Moe

#33 Post by DaFool » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:57 pm

I think there's and "age" to be cute, wear lace and frills and bows normally. Anybody wearing that past their 16-17 is scary for me.
I have a 27 years-old kind-of-bi-but more-lesbian friend who dresses in pink and frilly skirts and she's frankly scary; not because se looks bad, but because she refuses to grow up and wants to be cute and careless forever and gos "kyaaa!" with everything cute.
Deji, not everyone has had strong and healthy childhoods. Some of these are symptoms of arrested development. The healthier people are like your favorite anime blogger... successful, and yet wanting to walk around in a stormtrooper outfit -- a harmless and often fun eccentricity.

The ones who are less healthy... well, I don't know how to put it mildly, but some of them may have pedophilic tendencies. Since they lost the ability to connect with adults from a young age.
As they grew up, most if not all became normal people who would barelly watch any anime and again started liking what they were supposed to like, living in the culture they live.
Or it could be turned the other way around and say the culture they live in has successfully created the peer pressure for them to adapt and change their preferences.

And who is to say what is normal and healthy? For one thing, minors and non-consenting parties are out of the picture. But beyond that?

In some circles, being gay is not normal and healthy. But of course the mainstream won't say that because it's not politically correct.

Becoming obsessive is not normal and healthy? But where would someone source the energy for a total unconditional love without being just a bit obsessive?

The line that defines what is 'normal and healthy' is to me, quite arbitrary (barring of course the extremes which inflict harm on other people or on minors).

For example, I like big breasts. A psychiatrist might say "Grow up! Your obsession with boobs is unhealthy. Granted that you still have some mother-hunger in you, since you were raised and put through school single-handedly by your hardworking mother who was often absent... but it's time to move on, buddy!"

Moe is often on the wrong side of that 'normal and healthy' line. I wish it weren't so, but the evidence just damns it too often. Sky Girls was okay... but Strike Witches and how they just had to focus the camera on prepubescent buttocks every 5 seconds --- that was just WTF and already crossed my boundary.

I don't know.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#34 Post by Wintermoon » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:33 pm

DaFool wrote:The line that defines what is 'normal and healthy' is to me, quite arbitrary (barring of course the extremes which inflict harm on other people or on minors).
I think this whole "healthy and normal" thing is bullshit. People are different and have different preferences. Some people, insecure in their own preferences, feel the need to denigrate other people's preferences by labeling them as "immature" or "deviant". The conformist, having been broken by society, hates and fears the non-conformist because the non-conformist's resistance against society reminds the conformist of his own defeat at the hands of society. Therefore the conformist tries to break the non-conformist to bring them down to his level.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#35 Post by lordcloudx » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:20 pm

DaFool wrote:Moe is often on the wrong side of that 'normal and healthy' line. I wish it weren't so, but the evidence just damns it too often. Sky Girls was okay... but Strike Witches and how they just had to focus the camera on prepubescent buttocks every 5 seconds --- that was just WTF and already crossed my boundary.
I'd have to disagree with this. Clearly, the showing of prepubescent buttocks every 5 seconds is not moe. The term is generally understood to mean a passionate interest for something in a non-sexual way. Even if the girls in that show you mentioned have obviously moe character designs.
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Re: On Moe-Moe

#36 Post by rocket » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:08 pm

DaFool wrote:My argument is solid.
Papilion wrote: ... I hope you're making a joke.
While I think DaFool paints with an overly broad brush, there is a valuable observation in there that I'd like to defend.
Now, otakus are among the most feminine creatures on earth. With this generation of young women being raised to be like Angelina Jolie... guess who these guys will be more attracted too, since there are less feminine women now? 2D girls, that's right! Because... they actually wear skirts! And have ribbons in their hair! Oh my god! Such an outward display of femininity!
I don't think femininity and masculinity are opposite ends of the same spectrum. I agree most Otaku are among the least masculine creatures on earth. However simply negating the masculine attributes of assertiveness, dexterity, over developed musculature, and cigar chomping habits (for some strange reason I'm having visions of a certain FOXHOUND operative in this example), does not result in anything remotely feminine. Rather (and here I'm thinking of DigiCharat) it results in wishy-washyness, oafishness and poor hygiene, obesity, and obsessive collecting of bishojou figurines. To create femininity we must add 'positive' attributes. Meekness and humility instead of assertiveness and aggression. Grace, poise, elegance, and tact instead of raw athletic prowess. Perfect skin, shiny hair, ribbons, skirts, etc.

That said, I do think there is some relationship between the Otaku's inadequate masculinity that drives them to seek extreme femininity. Further that the changing role of femininity in society - in general a trend towards less outward and inward displays of 'traditional feminity' (The Laura Croft effect) - serves as a kind of accelerator or multiplier which drives the Otaku to more and more extreme ideals, and makes those ideals seems more and more out landish.

In other words the Otaku yearn for a clear gender role. If they cannot be confident in their masculinity, they can be confident in their ideal's femininity. The more that their ideal diverges from the cultural norm, the more extreme the moé ideal seems.

This is similar to the effect observed by Pailion,
"...and to top that off, I’m a gay black man - notoriously the most swishy of the bunch."
Contemporary American Black culture, with it's relatively more 'traditional and extreme' gender roles, creates an environment where gays simultaneously stand in greater contrast to the cultural norms and use a more extreme standard of femininity when they choose to adopt those attributes.

Two years ago I found myself talking to an amazingly *cough* 'swishy' crossdresser (yes I was living in San Fransisco at the time...). To be frank he was more EGL than Mae West. At the time I was shocked to discover that in his masculine persona he was an avid firearms collector, and in general he held extremely 'traditional' notions of gender roles. Upon further reflection I think it's all part of the same phenomenon. Being raised in the deep south he had a very strong notion of extreme masculine and feminine, and when choosing to become more feminine he choose an extreme version of it (at least in it's outward embodiments) despite his general liberal and feminist outlook on life.

I suspect Moé as an extreme ideal can flourish because Anime culture is a fertile ground for extreme gender roles (melodrama anyone?) and also because Otaku's personal development/insecurities make them more inclined to to adopting and enshrining those extreme gender ideals.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#37 Post by rocket » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:16 pm

lordcloudx wrote:
DaFool wrote:Moe is often on the wrong side of that 'normal and healthy' line. I wish it weren't so, but the evidence just damns it too often. Sky Girls was okay... but Strike Witches and how they just had to focus the camera on prepubescent buttocks every 5 seconds --- that was just WTF and already crossed my boundary.
I'd have to disagree with this. Clearly, the showing of prepubescent buttocks every 5 seconds is not moe. The term is generally understood to mean a passionate interest for something in a non-sexual way.
Sexual attraction is undeniably an aspect of moé (despite the most vehement protests of moé apologists). While moé does not needfully imply sexual attraction (nor loli) in practice it is so overwhelmingly often both that defending a 'pure' definition seems willfully obtuse.

As for Sky Girls being okay... well I happen to agree, but I don't think it was on the 'right' side of healthy and normal by a long shot!o (^_-)

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#38 Post by lordcloudx » Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Ah, I see. You'll have to support what you said about sexual attraction being undeniably an aspect of moe. Otherwise, it comes off as nothing more than mere speculation. "In practice" is hardly acceptable as a valid supporting argument.

Anyway, since I'm neither a moe apologist who feels the need to defend a pure definition of moe, nor am I willfully obtuse. I'd just like to clarify that I based my objection to DaFool's original assertion based on the Wikipedia definition as unreliable as it is, it is a good enough citation to support my original statement. :P
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Re: On Moe-Moe

#39 Post by mikey » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:05 pm

Well, I probably won't make myself very popular, but...
DaFool wrote:but Strike Witches and how they just had to focus the camera on prepubescent buttocks every 5 seconds --- that was just WTF and already crossed my boundary.
This reminds me of an article about Japanese models 12 years of age, who are posing in not-really-sexually-suggestive poses, but nevertheless, being photographed in various outfits, even a swimsuit, smiling, innocent,... you probably get the picture by now. Technically it's not even sexually suggestive, but STILL, the question is why would you photograph a 12-year-old in high quality and then let people (those who have a credit card) pay for the pictures? There is something wrong with the IDEA as such. It just makes you uncomfortable to hear it.

And I saw the pictures of Strike Witches on Samu-kun's blog. Honestly (judging from the screenshots), I felt very much equally uncomfortable as with that article. I love AIKa, I really do, angles, pantyshots, anytime. But this, really the girls here are 8 years old and they are showing their underwear, buttock contours, and camel toes even... giving children such a sexual context, it doesn't matter how you name it - moe, loli, whatever - I'm out of theories as to why this level of sexualizing is acceptable.

What I mean to say is that there are limits - it's okay for the Japanese if that's acceptable in their culture, but to be honest it doesn't mean I have to try to adapt my moral values. It's one thing being open and not stereotyping, but sometimes things just pass a certain border (that camel toe shot definitely did) and as much as I like anime and all, this is too much for my tastes.

Again to stress this, I haven't seen the whole show, but unless I'm horribly misinterpreting the screenshots, I don't think I really want to.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#40 Post by PyTom » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:24 pm

mikey wrote:And I saw the pictures of Strike Witches on Samu-kun's blog. ... But this, really the girls here are 8 years old
Um... none of the girls in strike witches is 8. They range in age from 12 to 19, with the average age being 15.5 years old. 4 years make a big difference, moving things into the ephebophile range.
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Re: On Moe-Moe

#41 Post by Samu-kun » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:41 pm

Woah, it looks like my blog actually has readership! ^_^ *squeee*

As for Strike Witches though, I found their overuse of pantsu shots to be rather amusing. I can only wonder what was going through the director's mind when he made the decision to make the Strike Witches not wear any pants of any kind. I think it's a laughable decision anyways and I hope the girls will start wearing dresses soon. I honestly think a squadron of lolita fashion wearing mecha girls would have been a lot cooler. :3 But pantsu aside, I thought overall it was pretty good show... Hopefully it'll be Sky Girls+.

But then I really doubt the full potential of moe will be utilized in Strike Witches. It seemed to be more of an action mecha anime to me. :3 Now animes like Love Hina, Kanon, and Clannad. It's those animes that utilize moe to its maximum effect. Moe is something to be utilized in a storyline, and it's up to the writer just how much of it he or she wants to use. Strike Witches doesn't really use much of it and instead opts for the pantsu/mecha/action route. (From what I can tell from the first episode anyways) :3
Um... none of the girls in strike witches is 8. They range in age from 12 to 19, with the average age being 15.5 years old. 4 years make a big difference, moving things into the ephebophile range.
Woah, a bigger character chart from what you showed me before, pytom. :3 In this one, they even compare bust sizes, huh? XD...
Last edited by Samu-kun on Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#42 Post by mikey » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:46 pm

PyTom >> Well, I meant graphically, because honestly it smells of yet another form of a "declaration of age" like we know from bishoujo games. Maybe it's so common now that we can say "this is how a 19-year old anime girl looks like", but... anyway, I don't know, I knew they would officially be of some two-digit age, but their features are those of children and numbers alone aren't enough to make it okay for me - meaning I'm really being simply honest, those images do make me feel uncomfortable, and the context that they have doesn't make the feeling go away. It's not something I'd now fight against and persuade others of my view, rather it's something I'd choose to simply avoid.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#43 Post by Samu-kun » Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:55 pm

I actually thought that everyone in Strike Witches looked about their age... It wasn't anything like Moetan or the last episode of Manabi Straight anyways. XD (They so do not look like they're in college... XD)

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#44 Post by rocket » Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:14 pm

With so much attention being diverted to Strike Witches I have to wonder if we're talking about the same OAV that was released a few months ago? I mean I'm all about moétic mecha masamune, but that show was well neigh unwatchable (even putting the ludicrous amounts of loli fan service aside...). (^_^);;

The Sky Girls OAV on the other hand was significantly higher in both production value and tightness of story telling even though it had just as much over-the-top fanservice (unfortunately when they toned that down in the TV series, they also watered down the story and animation quality). I guess Strike Witches has the appeal of a much larger moétic cast...
Samu-kun wrote:I actually thought that everyone in Strike Witches looked about their age...
Which is how you know you've been watching too much anime! (^_-)
It wasn't anything like Moetan or the last episode of Manabi Straight anyways. XD (They so do not look like they're in college... XD)
Frankly the Manabi cast never plausibly looked like they were highschool (or middle school for that matter).
PyTom >> Well, I meant graphically, because honestly it smells of yet another form of a "declaration of age" like we know from bishoujo games. Maybe it's so common now that we can say "this is how a 19-year old anime girl looks like", but... anyway, I don't know, I knew they would officially be of some two-digit age, but their features are those of children
Strike Witches (and Sky Girls) both fall into the style popularized by artists like Oyari Ashito and Haimura Kiyotaka. The style in of itself normalizes around a prepubescent appearance, where the waifish bodies and proportions make a minuscule change in a barely perceptible cup size the only difference between an 8 year old and 16 year old. Does that make its appeal driven only by sexualization of young teens? Certainly making everybody look younger increases their moétic appeal, but I think it should be obvious that this style in particular has significant loli-appeal.

But I digress...

Samu-kun, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my revised definition, including some of the more common moétic attributes?


p.s. Lordcloudx, sorry if I was overly harsh. If you're not familiar with the nature of the moé debate, you wouldn't know how common the apologist argument is.

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Re: On Moe-Moe

#45 Post by zanaikin » Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:48 pm

rocket wrote:With so much attention being diverted to Strike Witches I have to wonder if we're talking about the same OAV that was released a few months ago? I mean I'm all about moétic mecha masamune, but that show was well neigh unwatchable (even putting the ludicrous amounts of loli fan service aside...). (^_^);;
isn't it airing right now?
The OVA creeped me out a bit, frankly...
...and then digg listed Strike Witch figures as one of the top 20 most ridiculous toys Japan ever made.

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