Aniwords – A Moeblob is a Blob of Moe

You blog readers won’t know this, but this post actually caused a bit of a stir on Twitter among the Touken Ranbu fandom after it was published. My first real taste of controversy; curiously over a post I wrote in response to the dumb backlash certain groups have had over an anime populated completely by cute boys. So, needless to say, I was a bit surprised—although the reaction has certainly piqued my interest in the show. That all said, I think this is a pretty far assessment of the Touken Ranbu‘s opener in comparison to other moe shows. But we’ll see where things go from here.

Here’s the link~

Touken Ranbu

6 thoughts on “Aniwords – A Moeblob is a Blob of Moe

  1. I remember reading a blog post from many years ago now where the author was discussing an assertion someone else had made that if you take any anime and gender-flip it, if you wouldn’t watch the gender-flipped version then it’s not a good series. Setting aside whether one agrees or disagrees with such an argument – and he strongly disagreed with it – the blogger singled out K-On as an example of a moe series where that line of attack would fail regardless, because a male version of K-On would have been not only just as good, but also a dead ringer for him and his own friends in high school. I got where he was coming from because that’s another series that has always felt sexless to me too, like you described with this one, but it was also a rare moeblob SOL that at its peak of popularity resonated with audiences of both genders. You talk about the flexibility of moe and its evolution, but does seem like the vast majority is written specifically with just men or just women in mind, and little regard for the other gender. Given what a sales-driven business late-night anime is, why haven’t more SOL shows tried to take advantage of that genre flexibility you descibed in order to offer something that might be more universally appealing and therefore sell to a bigger potential audience? The fact is that in the last 6-7 years, despite a large number of moe/SOL shows still being made, the only ones that have been clear-cut hits in Japan (averaging 10,000+ units per disc in DVD/BD sales) are K-On itself, and Gochiusa. Most seem to end up languishing somewhere in the 1000-4000 range, no matter how good they are. I haven’t seen Gochiusa at all though, so I don’t know if that one actually has something in common with K-On that other moe shows lack, or if it’s just down to the unpredictable randomness of viewer taste.

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    • if you take any anime and gender-flip it, if you wouldn’t watch the gender-flipped version then it’s not a good series

      I was about to rebut that argument by arguing that magical girl anime as a genre doesn’t work with gender flips, except that googling for “magical boy” did come up with a number of results. Welp.

      It’s only a matter of time until someone comes up with a Madoka-influenced magical boy anime.

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    • Gocchiusa has… fanservice? So I dunno, maybe that’s it.

      But yeah, it’d be cool to see the industry add more variation to the things it makes in terms of audiences targeted. But niche targeting is more reliable in some ways, I suppose. So maybe the 1-4k range is all the creators really expect, and the outliers are just bonuses for them.

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  2. If you want to be pedantic: A blob of moe can’t exist because no one is really sure what moe is.

    T-o To me the kind of moe they are referring to is the one where you want to lock it away to preserve its cute purity (creepy). Would there gender make a difference? In theory no…..if your watching an out and out moe.

    Where do you draw the line between moe and lolicon/shotacon?

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