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I've seen quite a lot of conflicting opinions about moege on this forum, but what do you think about moe in general? Do you like it or hate it? Do you think moe can be included in a serious story, or should it only be limited to more light-hearted works of fiction? Also, what do you think about making characters in more serious VNs/anime/etc moe just for the sake of them being moe, when it doesn't serve any serious purpose to the story (for example, showing contrast between their childishness and the cruel world around them, like in Planetarian)?

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I think people like moe for the same reason they like cute human babies or the omnipresent kitten videos on youtube. It just feels relaxing to look at cute things, for some reason. I believe I've once read that it was because of a protection instinct toward our offsprings, and by extension, to anything that kinda has the same attributes.

Personally I don't mind moe, though I don't like moege. I do believe that moe can be incorporated in a serious story without ruining it, for multiple purposes, one of them being contrast like you mentioned. Heck, I don't think Higurashi would be nearly as creepy as it was if not for all the moe style :michiru:

Moreover, though I definitely like cute things, oddly enough moe is not what I usually consider the cutest. That is, it's usually not moe what makes me scream "aaaaaaawwwww" like a crazed fangirl :sacchan:

Edited by Thyndd

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Moe has sort of been controversial among the western anime community for the last decade now. There are some who love moe, while others hate it to the point that they claim it's killing the industry. It also has something to do with cultural values as well.

As for me, I love moe as an art aesthetic, and if done correctly, can actually blend really well with great storytelling (example: Gosick). However, I tend to dislike moe for the sake of being moe if it's the entire point of the work, since I feel it robs the original meaning of moe to begin with. Most slice-of-life school girl anime unfortunately fall into this category, and I find them either mediocre at best or just boring at worst. Hence why I don't watch most slice-of-life anime anymore.

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Personal take on the definition on Moege and it's brother genre, Charage

Moege : Focus on 'moe'-ing (feeling attracted to. Note imo this is not necessarily the same as feeling affection for) your feelings towards it in the form of cute girls acting, story, and storyline which often takes the form a romantic one

Charage : While there are quite a lot of moe-ing elements in a typical Charage VN (for example, most anything from Yuzusoft), the focus is a lot more on the characters interactions, background story, and building relationships

Going by my definition, I don't think a Moege should ever include a serious story as it's contradictory by nature. 

For me, I like moege a lot as I like soppy, romantic stuff (as well as cute girls), and I think the moege genre lends itself best to that to that (See Fureraba). I read most generes, though, and I don't prefer moege more than others.

Including Moe elements in something like a story-focused VN like Planetarian is just asking for trouble as, again, it's contradictory by nature unless you can somehow work them into the story (very difficult imo). There are a lot of ways to bring out the childishness of a character in a VN besides moe-ing then up

Edited by phantomJS

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I don't really like it, as in my opinion it generally leads to a story having cute girls for the sake of having cute girls, and I couldn't care less about there being cute 2D girls in my anime slideshow. If anything, I think we need more not-so-attractive characters.

At the same time, I recognise that the majority of visual novel readers value cute girls above all else, leaving me in a sombre state of acceptance.

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I don't really care that much about it to be honest. It's one of those terms that I hear a lot about but put no stock in. There are probably many things that I like that could be considered Moe but what of it? I don't seek things out just because they are labeled as Moe. I don't lead that Moe lifestyle, you dig?

I still firmly believe that the only Moe that people should care about is this one.

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Moe is good for one thing - mindless relaxation - and it's a thing I'm very often looking for in anime and VNs. Moege and moe anime are horribly trope-ridden and can be boring in a long run even for people that are very much into the formula, but when combined with really good art and writing (latest example - Fureraba, for anime I would point towards New Game!) it's one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I fully understand those hating it though, I'm a well-known admirer of generic crap that other people can't stand for very legitimate reasons.

Edited by Plk_Lesiak

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I detest it.

I simply don't feel like any moege presents a plausible cast of characters or plausible interactions.

Now, the same's true for many things I indulgently enjoy.

But moe is also very formulaic in a manner that's very grating to me.

Interactions in moege always feel rather shallow and insincere to me. 

Also, the sheer focus on romcom just depresses me because let's face it I can't envision myself being mature, caring and reliable enough to turn someone's life around.

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I like it in small doses. I enjoy 12 episodes long animes with only cute girls/boys doing cute things. But a 50 hours long VN is a bit too much for me, I end up bored after the 5 hours mark cause nothing is happening.

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As someone who's a big fan of healing slice of life (Iyashikei), I really don't like it. Ever since K-On, the focus on "cute girls doing cute things" often takes away from world building and character building and leaves a shallow shell of a show. So there's been this sudden explosion of healing slice of life, but most of it is moe crap.

The best piece of Iyashikei I've come across is Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and that was definitely not moe.

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Moe isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I love animal-ear girls to death, and I have nothing against cuteness in general.  However, when moe becomes the point of a piece of entertainment, it suddenly become immensely boring and melts the brains of the more susceptible. 

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I wouldn't say I'm obsessed with moe in general, but I do enjoy it quite a lot. I'm not sure what makes it tick for me, but there are pointlessly moe anime like K-on and Yuru Yuri that really hit home with me, but I couldn't stand Yuyushiki despite it being just as pointless and moe as the other two. I don't think I could dedicate more than 30 hours to a VN if it was dedicated entirely to girls being cute.

I don't think moe is a detriment to serious stories at all as the attachment I feel towards cute girls does enhance the emotions I feel for them when drama starts to escalate.

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Moe can easily be a good thing in a VN. However it should not be a replacement for a story/plot. If it is, it quickly becomes as boring as nukige.

 

If we look at Musumaker, a number of the heroines falls into the moe category. It could be argued that it starts out as a fluffy moege comedy slice of life. However as the story progresses, it gradually change genre and becomes more serious, somewhat darker, particularly in the routes. Now it's no longer a fluffy comedy and the stuff which happens doesn't just happen to some VN characters. No it happens to those moe characters you get to know and feel affection for in the fluffy comedy. This way moe is not the goal, but rather a fairly powerful tool when telling a story and it simply wouldn't work as well without any moe, or I would say some of the contents wouldn't work at all without moe.

 

11 hours ago, Dreamysyu said:

what do you think about moe in general? Do you like it or hate it? Do you think moe can be included in a serious story, or should it only be limited to more light-hearted works of fiction?

It really depends on how it's used. It's a great addition to good VNs if it fits the settings. However if the plot is bad, adding moe will not save it. No graphics, music, H scenes or anything like that can compensate for a poorly written plot/storyline. A good storyline can however work without moe.

Musumaker is most certainly not a light-hearted story, meaning moe can work in more serious titles. It might not be easy to get right, but it can be done.

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Key games are generally considered moege, even if they differ a lot from the usual formula. They portray that mix between humour that then gives way to drama, in a way it only builds up tension toward the drama. The drama in Key is not always top-notch, and it's subject to personal preference, but it's at least entertaining when not tear-inducing.

I don't think moe serves any specific purpose in Key. Nakige are an evolution from previous (ancient) moege. The focus is to give you likeable characters that you only end up feeling more toward to because of the drama. It's the perfection of a formula.

If Ubuntu is "Linux for human beings", then Key is definitely "moe for human beings" -my words :illya:

Edited by Okarin

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I do like the aesthetic. I'm a sucker for cute things in general.

In terms of anime and VNs, "cute girls doing cute things" is a pretty nice destresser because it's not really anything heavy or intellectual. You can just zone out and appreciate some cute girls. It is pretty hard to find stuff I actually like, though. :makina:

 

Moe can certainly be used in serious stories, if done well. It can work to subvert audience expectations, or serve as a kind of 'cushion' for heavier subjects.

Edited by Pomelo

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