In the Defense of Moe

With a definition so vague, yet a concept so familiar to perhaps every consumer and enthusiast of Japanese pop culture, anything deemed moe is a phenomenon which has received endless disdain, while simultaneously remaining endearing for a great many more.

What truly makes a character moe varies from person to person. However, the defining traits remain the same: high, sugary-sweet voices, large eyes, round faces, tiny noses, and oftentimes a childish build. These cute features give a sense of vulnerability, inciting feelings of care and concern, and fostering an emotional attachment between the audience and the character.

Protesters of the genre claim that moe series have bland characters with no development whatsoever, in combination with an underdeveloped plot, lacking the dramatic structure which is essential in order for a story to take place. It is argued that moe series are manipulative marketing, even referred to as mere masturbatory aid.

Supporters say that moe series are heartwarming, feature only pure love or pure friendship content, and while simplistic in plot, they are by no means without characters of depth and complexity. I personally consider the negativity towards moe to be ridiculous, only a sign of cynicism within the audience. There is no reason for moe lovers to defend their tastes; rather, it is the detractors that should be explaining themselves.

Since when has slice-of-life pacing and charming characters become a guilty pleasure, and for what possible reason? Is there really something wrong with moe bringing pure joy to the viewer? To hate something which gives so many people happiness is hatred for its own sake.

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