I like moe and I’m not going to pretend that every now and then I don’t become infatuated by a character or two (<3 Felli) but lately I’ve been noticing that 1. this is becoming less and less the case and 2. having moe characters in a show isn’t enough to get me to support it. I’ve kind of stopped caring about a character’s appearance beyond whether their design isn’t repulsive; they don’t need to have some sort of gimmick (i.e TWIN DRILLS or zettai ryouiki) to get me to like them any more (not that that doesn’t help.) The same could be said for typical moe character traits. There are a few reasons why moe is having less of an effect on me than before.
Moe Is Everywhere
Every season you can count on the fact that at least 25% shows are going to have some form of moe characters in them and that at least half of these characters are going to be in high school. Then there’s the fact that for the past 2 years I’ve been watching whatever I could get my hands on including these moe + highschool combos. Just like if you watch enough violent shows you’ll become desensitized to violence, if I watch enough moe shows it’s only natural that after some point the moe’s going to have less of an effect on me. It’s just the fact that I’ve already had my numerous doses of moe characters that I still <3 to this day; seeing NEW MODELS with ORIGINAL PARTS still doesn’t change the fact that I’ve seen most of what the “moe” theme in anime has to offer. Unless they simply present blobs of the pure essence of “moe” (oh wait, they already did that. PURE LOVE.), I want something with a bit more variety than clumsy girl falls over and I feel pity/THE URGE TO LAUGH PROTECT. Which brings me to my next point:
Moe’s A One Trick Pony
There’s only so much you can actaully do with moe before it gets stale (at the very least to some people) or irritating. After a certain point the dim-witted ditzy character stops being cute and starts being annoying. If they simply stay like that throughout the entire show, then will you still like them as a character? Not me. It’s kind of like commercial advetising: the basic message for moe is LIKE THIS CHARACTER like the basic message for advertising is BUY THIS PRODUCT, no matter how many bells and whistles you decorate it with. In my opinion, moe needs to be a way to make a character appealing at first glance so that after we’ve grown to like that character we can identify with them more when the emotional parts come along, or even just maybe having them do something that isn’t solely done for the sake of being moe. Clannad (eventually) did this well, as did Toradora. Hell, even Azumanga Daioh did it (being more quirky and amusing than moe). This kind of thing works and doesn’t seem as patronizing as the basic moe template where I’m expected to like a character based on the facial expressions they make.
It’s Not The Moe, It’s Me!
But this is all kind of subjective anyway. Through my development as an anime watcher I’ve come to look for different things in the shows I watch and though I still remain fairly open minded, moe’s one of the few themes that I just don’t find interesting anymore. I’m just looking for something a bit more substantial than moe these days. I’m sure that I do (and will) appreciate moe in controlled doses where it’s used to make a character endearing (again, <3 Felli) but otherwise as a stand-alone tool to get me interested in a series, it’s getting to the point where it’s not enough.
And yet I’m still watching K-On. Weird.