mt-i’s anti-“anti-moe” post

This is awesome.

[…]a particularly exclusive group is the bloggers you could call intellectual aestheticians, who unironically judge anime based on its adherence to (their understanding of) the conventional canons of high culture.

[…]but one singularly effective way of establishing your IA street cred is to discuss moe and its calamitous influence on all aspects of anime-as-an-art-form—the works themselves, the creators, the fandom, you name it. Because moe, you know, is the main reason for anime’s artistic downfall since the aforementioned and still unspecified golden age.

We found that you ought to make the following points, preferably in order:

  1. Affirm the sorry state of anime in relationship with moe;
  2. Point out some deeper consequence of the moe trend;
  3. Put that consequence in a larger social context;
  4. Propose a theoretical (sociological, philosophical, etc.) explanation for the underlying social change;
  5. Deduce the historical inevitability of the moe decadence;
  6. Remain a beacon of enlightenment in this inescapable turmoil.

The usual trick is to assert that the moe trend threatens not only anime quality itself, but the very fabric of anime production and consumption. […] nobody expects you to substantiate those claims: vague and general assertions (“demise of elaborate story-telling”), problematic scare words (“exploitation”, “sexualization”) are quite welcome and will go unchallenged

[…] give an impressive-sounding description of the scope of the imaginary problem that you have brought up, and interpret it as a mere symptom within anime of large-scale historical, ideological or social movements. And be sure to make that a downward movement. […] “the downfall of political and religious grand narratives in the secularized North after the Cold War”, “the consumerist corruption of wabi-sabi in post-Imperial Tokyo shopping malls”, you see what I mean.

As a proud IA, you need to uphold your intellectual pretensions by giving your post a scholarly twist. […] For example, don’t just write about “the downfall of political and religious grand narratives after the Cold War”; make it “the Lyotardian theory of incredulity towards metanarratives”. If you mention “the end of history”, put it in a “Fukuyaman perspective”.

And you don’t need to let reality (e.g. the fact that words like tsundere originated in fan discourse itself, rather than by fiat of the industry; or the existence of TV Tropes) get in the way of your discourse.

And those are just some of the good parts.

Oh god, that was probably the best meta post about the animeblogosphere I’ve read since good ‘ol tj_han. It’s amazing how mt-i manages to parody their tone and language, yet still never does descend in to wall-of-text “tl;dr” style too much. I found that probably the best part of the post lol. Not forgetting how he ended the post itself!

Seriously, give it a read. It’s worth the 15 mins.


  1. sage Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 12:56 am

    >15 mins

    How about no.

  2. dareka-san Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 1:17 am

    Bravo is all I want to say!!!

  3. Anise_Punter Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 4:25 am

    I’m not really seeing what was so epic about that post. Maybe it would have been worth a clap two or three years ago, but now it just seems meaningless, as the longer we go, the more nebulous a concept “moe” becomes. What kind of anti-moe is he even talking about? Is it about moeblobs? Is it about the totally-stretched definition of moe that somehow includes Fate Testarossa and Hinagiku Katsura? (Good, even great characters, but moe?) Is it only trying to parody the “this generation’s anime is so much worse than the last one’s” narrative that every generation has? Hell, it’s just not that post that’s out of date, the entire concept of meta-blogging is old hat by this point.

    They need to find more interesting things to post on than parodying anti-moe posts. I’ve never been one for blogs making super long and heart-felt posts and “meaningful” posts about anime anyway. People need to be getting their priorities straight.

    I scored two points on their lolicon quiz anyway so maybe it’s just not the site for me.

  4. alex Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 5:42 am

    if it takes 15 min it shouldn’t be wrote in such boring way

  5. CaptainBright Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    Meh, although it does highlight what methods most people have been attempting to hate on moe, it doesn’t really bring anything to the front.

    Like some people said, if this was written 2 years ago, I might agree. But now, it seems……blah.

    Also, Colony Drop supporter. Lessen the moe, bring back more of the badass…

  6. Rokkie Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    I will like to submit two general observations based on the above comments.

    1) The internet kills our attention span for anything that takes longer than five minutes to read, watch, or hear.

    2) The application of wittiness in the mold of Jonathan Swift means nothing to the average aniblog reader.

    Of course, being based on just a few comments, they are hardly of scientific quality, but it goes to show that few people truly understand the subtle and not-so-subtle points in the things they read nowadays.

  7. Kaisos Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 8:40 am

    @Anise_Punter, Captain Bright: It isn’t out-of-date in the least given that plenty of people, on both sides of the Pacific, are STILL blaming the so-called ‘fall of the industry’ on such a completely meaningless term as ‘moe’. Do either of you ever go on 4chan?

    Also, you’ve managed to completely miss the point. Good job proving his.

    @Rokkie: It strikes me as pretty ironic that people are unwilling to read on the Internet.

  8. ~xxx Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    …Good point…
    but, I find it hard to read in 15 minutes in small text under the monitor screen.

  9. CaptainBright Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 10:01 am


    Missing the point? Sir, what I meant was that bloggers who wanted to disagree about moe should have done so about 4-5 years ago, back when the moe boom was beginning. Right now, it’s just….normal.

    I get the point now that moe is a highly discussed subject amongst people right now, professional and otherwise. It’s just that I hate seeing such pretentious people of each opposite side of the scale of moe and anti-moe pummeling it to kingdom come.

    Reading Mistakes of Youth and Colony Drop makes it worse for me, somehow.

    Also, I understand what that article is all about. It is good. But late somehow.

  10. Kaisos Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    @CaptainBright: No, trust me, you’ve completely missed the point. ‘Moe’, at least in the current usage of the term, doesn’t exist. This article is satire and you somehow don’t seem to understand that.

  11. CaptainBright Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 11:23 am


    *facepalm* That.Was.The.Point. I knew from the start that it was meant to ridicule and stuff. I chuckled at it for a while, thinking that it was, and still is, funny as fuck. At the same time, this should have been appropriately released years ago.

    Or maybe I’ve been really ignorant as crap.

  12. Kaisos Said,

    March 1, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    @CaptainBright: My apologies. Regardless, since you don’t think this is still relevant, you probably avoid the sort of communities (like /a/) where moe continues to be blamed for the perceived ‘downfall of anime’ that has been happening from either 2006, 2002, 1995, 1990, or 1969, depending on who you ask.

  13. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 2:33 am

    Well, blaming moe for making the anime industry go to the crapper is a popular thing to do. Hell even I do it to certain degree *coughKONcough*.

    Frankly my bone against “moe” is not the phenomenon itself, but how it’s been so commercialized to the point of being formulaic. But still, I don’t go all high-brow and then diss EVERYTHING moe. I mean, I put both Youjouhan Shinwa Taikei and Motto To-LOVE-ru as the best shows of 2010.

    While most “moe” shows are pieces of crap nowadays, that doesn’t mean “moe” itself is dead. Neither should it be shouldering the full burden of “ruining the anime industry”, which is frankly crap because none of those people actually saying this on their blogs have enough qualification to do so. Neither do I.

    But now, what that post is, is a pretty good piece of writing that satirizes and pokes fun of a meta-trend in a community full of pretenders and jerkwards. And mt-i manages to do it in such a tasteful manner it’s almost an art form. That is why I made this post.

  14. Keiya Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 2:43 am

    *clap, clap, clap* Simply excellent. I think that it gives a good and clear deconstruction of the Fan Haters and how they try to address themselves with much pretentiousness and really little substance underneath.

    Compare the complaints about current anime to the #1 item on this Cracked list:

    You’ll get this kind of wording:

    “Two words: ‘K-On.’ Look around a classic anime channel and you can watch for hours without seeing one bad episode. Now turn on a channel with the latest subs and try not to gouge out your eyes and ears. Today’s anime is just a bland product mass-produced by corporations. Don’t take my word for it — ask any anime critic (preferably from Nihon Review). They’ll tell you the stuff that sells today is generic garbage. Not the anime back in the day, like Satoshi Kon, Miyazaki, Evangelion … “moe” anime like that would never top the charts in the day.”

    The 2 points why the above argument is BS is the same: we tend to forget about the sucky anime of yesteryear (see: Fire Emblem OVA, BT-X, any FF anime, Anpanman, pretty much anything that’s been forgotten since the 70’s) and see only the good (and for a good number of people, Evangelion is still the yardstick of “good”), and we assume that the best anime are the ones that were the most popular in their time (Mobile Suit Gundam certainly wasn’t).

    Finally, on this argument of “less moe, more badass”, exactly WHEN was there less badass in anime? What about Mami from Madoka, half of the Gundam 00 cast, and the entire cast of Gurren Lagann? Don’t they qualify to be just as badass as Kenshiro, Guts, and whoever IA’s worship?

  15. Keiya Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 3:44 am

    As an addendum, “moe”, as used by the IA’s, is only a word that is used to dole out the hate on series that don’t belong to their preconditioned biases, which somehow happen to be a good majority of current anime. If anime blogging was as rampant in the 80’s and 90’s, you’d probably get all sorts of shit told about super robot and magical girl series (i.e. Raijin-Oh and Kaitou St. Tail) and praising things like Candy Candy, Akko-chan, Gigantor, and Mazinger Z (which, ironically, ARE also super robots and magical girls).

    Remember, kids, it’s easier to hate popular things just because they are popular, and that seeing the negative is always easier than the positive.

  16. Kaisos Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 4:48 am

    @Keiya: No one is going to read your comments, unfortunately, as they take more than thirty seconds to read.

  17. Keiya Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 5:53 am

    @Kaisos: TL;DR version: people who try to tell you “moe” is bad and “older anime” is always better is full of it. How’s that? :D

  18. CaptainBright Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 8:49 am


    My “less moe, more badass” creed? It means seeing stuff like Mazinkaiser SKL, Full Metal Panic and some Production I.G. shows get a little bit more recognised mainstream, while the moe genre gets regulated, and gets back proper execution up its arse.

    Oh well, at least I’m not remembering Violence Jack, or god forbid, the Riki-Oh O.V.A.. Now those were pieces of shits that I want to toss into the fire…

  19. Keiya Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 9:58 am


    Gurren Lagann. Madoka Magica. Gundam 00. Macross Frontier. To a lesser extent, Star Driver and Beelzebub. All within the past 3 years. They’re not -really- FMP, but what makes them any less qualified to be “badass” as what you just mentioned? What you basically mean to say by your creed is “more of the series I like, and if I don’t like the series and it doesn’t fall into my predetermined notion of ‘badass’, it’s not worth a shit.”

    “A bit more recognized mainstream”? Pardon me, but here in the US, not only do those kinds of shows get more publicity than the “moe” items (with the exception of top-billed titles like Toradora and K-On), but they happen to also attract a broader fanbase (poke around a con, you’ll see what I mean).

    “Moe genre” regulated? If I pull up a list of the anime for this season, less than half of them are “moe” or have “moe” qualities, and they’re not long-runners, which are still the standard shounen fare. Not to mention they range from the pretty good (Madoka Magica) to the decent (Gosick) to the terrible (Ochinko). So again, it’s not really the fact that it’s “moe” that it’s bad, much like the fact that having giant robots will automatically make it good.

    Furthermore, you’re right that the real problem here is “proper execution”, not moe. But unless you haven’t heard of it, remember Sturgeon’s Law: 90% of everything will be crap. Rather than whine about the 90%, why not just enjoy the 10%? It’s what you do with FMP and Mazinkaiser, and you said you throw away stuff like Violence Jack. Why not just do the same with the current content instead of whining about it like it’s the end of the world?

  20. marvelous stan Said,

    March 2, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

    While something about Keiya’s post rubs me the wrong way I agree with his assertion; most of the ‘everything today is crap’ perception is just a result of selective memory.

    I do hate a lot of cute girls being cute and fanservice-centric shows, but I don’t kid myself thinking they’d be replaced with great shows if they weren’t in vogue. There would still be low budget shows with no creative vision and they’d find some other formula that sold with minimum effort to flock to.

  21. CaptainBright Said,

    March 3, 2011 @ 3:04 am


    I must really sound really retarded now, but it seems that your definition of badass for the past 3 years is not up to standard. Magica Madoka=/= Badass, and lots of other things. Problem is, I’m really tired now, and I just want to stop this conversation.

    Oh well, time to fight the good fight another day…..

  22. Ixidor_real Said,

    March 3, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    You know… it would have helped to understand faster if you gave also the link to Akira’s entry….
    but.. yeah mt-i is a genius….
    that’s really clever….
    i also started to smile once i understood the whole deal behind the entry xDuu
    *clap clap clap
    this is epic…

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