Generally, most people aren’t fans of anime as a whole, in the same way that most people aren’t fans of movies as a whole. Most people are fans of certain types of anime, in the same way that most people are fans of certain types of movies. These fans of certain genres tend to mingle with other fans of the same genre, and typically these fans will also be interested in a wide range of other genres. However, some interests just rarely overlap–like an interest in current day moé-styled anime and old-school anime.

The separation of these two fanbases isn’t benign or even indifferent–there is tension, and lots of it. In my experience, it’s mostly on the side of the old-school fans (they are the “oppressed” ones, you see), but when their words reach the ears of the current-day fanbase, things do sometimes get a touch ugly.

My problem is, I like both old anime and new anime.

As such, interaction with both of these flavours of fans becomes a bit strange. For instance, I’ll often tell people that one of my most favourite artists is Yoshikazu Yasuhiko. When I drop this name around new-school fans, they just throw a resounding “who?” at me. Similar things happen when I speak with old-school fans, but interactions on that side of things just end with them calling me a pedophile or something.

It’s not really a huge issue, but it is a very strange place to be. Having two fandoms badmouthing something the other likes–which is in turn something I like–is just a little bit annoying.

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19 Responses to Awkwarddddddd

  1. VZMK2 says:

    That’s EXACTLY what I go through. I love both oldschool anime (1982-1995) and the stuff from 2002 onward. Yet, I see how both the old fans and new fans hate each other and can’t get seem to along even though WE’RE ALL NERDS!!

  2. Konstantin says:

    Never really understood the point of the split myself. I like my UC Gundam and I like my moe moe lolis about equally well. You’d think the crossover between the two parts of the fandom would be pretty significant, since shows like Nanoha openly cater to both and are pretty successful at it.

    I think a key aspect of the ongoing flamewars is blatant disregard for Sturgeon’s Law on both sides. Most of the moe shows coming out nowadays _are_ unwatchable tripe, but so were most of the shows coming out back in the 80’s. When each side is putting its good 10% on a pedestal and trash talking the other’s crap 90%, there isn’t much room left for rational discussion.

  3. omo says:

    Kon’s got it.

    But Wah, you ARE a lolipedo, what are you talking about? I don’t think the divide is so severe. What in reality happens is that on the surface one camp might feverently chew out the other, those of us who crosses the divide just do so in our own privacy without anyone knowing. I mean I don’t shout to the world that I’m (very, very) slowly working through the UC Gundam that I have missed (oops I guess I just did) but I’d talk up the new shows and whatever, because “new” anime is newsworthy where as there’s nothing to write about in terms of stuff that has been talked to death (especially true of Gundam).

    Who cares, really. Just watch and enjoy whatever.

  4. digitalboy says:

    lulz I’ve made this exact post before…..

  5. VZMK2 says:

    Basically from what I gather, the old fandom (some who have kids by now) sees lolicon and moe as “harmful”. Of course they’re being moral panic alarmists for one thing. Also they think new anime has too much fanservicewhile old anime didn’t (this was a lie, anime of the 80’s had lots of T&A just for the sake of it. TV broadcast anime was actually much looser than what they can show today. Any fanservice shows are usually left as late night broadacst and/or satellite. I’m VERY obsessive about character design and I just happen to love the 80’s defatco look and also the modern “puni plush” moe look.

  6. Sorrior says:

    Me i’ll watch any anime read any manga. I definitely fit into the new crowd started with pokemon and since then have amassed over $6000 of anime add manga and we’ll add another 2-400 dollars. so i can relate i mean nowadays so many people say they dig anime but it’s just niche parts and they won’t even try other kinds. Take naruto fan for instance nothing but naruto exists (quite often not always) and yettheiurs so many other shiws boith old and new. Now i have my opinions about tings like evea crap imo as is akira seen em don’t like em yet i like UC gundam and also 00 and wing. But you mention you like wing on a UC fan site and heads ill rol and vice versa. Why can’t we all just get along. Oh and Lolicon forever.

  7. lolicon says:

    Is it bad if I recognise where that image come from?

  8. TheBigN says:

    It’s one of those “fringe elements yelling at each other = definition of group” things, I guess. Though I usually hear people who like older stuff tend to badmouth fans of the newer anime than the other way around. I think VZMK2 has it sorta with the potential symbolism and stigma that the new stuff might have in terms of defining the anime fan of today, and it’s sort of a “I don’t want to be defined by that/like them” sort of thing for people who like anime, but not those types of anime.

    I look at it like a “but you still like anime, right?” perspective, since the common thing is a liking of the medium in general. And I think omo’s right in that arguing over which group is better or trying to dissociate yourself from another group in this sense doesn’t really have a point.

  9. Anonymouse says:

    >I don’t think the divide is so severe.
    Sometimes I believe that this is true and it’s just some few vocal apples from both sides, ignore them and do as you please. But most of the time I want to kill people over standard TCP/IP protocol so there is a significant divide and both sides have developed a love to troll each other.

  10. Ryoko says:

    Heh heh heh, I recognize that image.But yeah, I’m a lot like you. I like both old and new anime. Though nothing will ever be as good as Cowboy Bebop in my eyes. Though I make an effort not to hold new anime to that kind of standard, as it’s kind of unfair.

  11. lsass says:

    I love both all old and new anime if I think they were good and worth to watched although it’s impossible to get them in my country. in my oppinion, sometimes old animes have great stories than the new one. Moreover lot new anime had below my expectation. But I will never passed anime with lolies of course. It’s really delicious.

  12. tomoyo says:

    Yeah, it’s been bugging me too, I’ve been a fan since the late 70’s and from what I can tell these folks either never liked the “proto-moe” stuff back in the 80’s, have cognitive dissonance (like failing to recognize the self-conciously moe aspects of Macross and Urusei Yatsura and other shows before the term was coined), or as Konstantin (yay, Tsunami Channel!) said, suffer from the bad effects of Sturgeon’s law.

    Most of my old friends from the old days of anime fandom have long since moved on, the few that are left either have adapted like me and keep up on the current seasons or they just filter it down to the rare shows that spark their occassional interest (not unlike these oldshool fans you speak of). Some have families now and don’t really see anime or fandom as a priority anymore.

    I just read the article on the “moe controversy” in Otaku USA that you contributed to…great work, thanks for putting up the good fight. The whole thing gave me a lot to mull over and I’m going to digress slightly here since I didn’t find a blog entry about the article itself (did I miss it?) and I think it’s still fairly relevant to your post.

    Daryl Surat provided the caricature of the opposite extreme quite…well. People like him won’t be happy until every trace of cuteness is eliminated from anime and it has been turned into something ugly and distanced from what makes it unique from western animation. He builds a strawman of a caricature of the ronery moe-enthusiast as the only people entertained by shows he doesn’t like and attacks it with vigor, disregarding that there are far more new fans on a monthly basis for this very same material than existed worldwide in the “good old days”, and only a relative tiny percentage ever become hopelessly NEET hikkikomori types.

    I forget the other writers’ names, I only remember Daryl due to the fact he’s the reason I stopped buying the magazine after 2 or 3 issues, as he always manages to squeeze an off-topic anti-moe screed into one of his ranting reviews, even ridiculing Masamune Shirow once for you know, creating his original work in his own erotic style rather than Oshii’s bland, sexless monotone. So forgive me for forgetting the others, as I am going by memory from reading the article at the bookstore (the words “Moe Controversy” on the cover caught my eye).

    I remember the woman who contributed next built a nice defense that everyone has their own “moe”, which I think is a good general assessment. Moe isn’t limited to just the stereotypical definition, and was perhaps the best moderate viewpoint in the set.

    The next writer made the ridiculous claim that “moe” otaku are destroying otaku subculture, because in the old days, otaku had to maintain encyclopedic knowledge of esoteric anime facts (say the airspeed velocity of an un-coconut-laden mobile armor–African, of course), and these days one only has to say “moe~” and they’re in the club. Which is of course total elitist BS that fails to reckon with either the internet as the great equalizer of knowledge nor the fact the topics of expertise have simply changed–the depth of knowledge demonstrated by a mecha SF fan (which of course still exist, too) is matched by that of, say, an expert on the various Type Moon series, or perhaps one who has puzzled out the mysteries of Ryukishi07’s sound novels (and the community his or her colleagues have built around the material). Otaku subcuture in any case is alive and thriving like it never has before. How else can you explain the attendance numbers of Comiket (which is at least 50% female, too!), for just one of many examples…

    The last fellow bothered me even more than Daryl in some ways, attacking the “contemporary” moe fan stereotype who claims 2D is better than 3D (disregarding that this is usually said with irony and only a few people who say this do not do so with sarcasm or at least bitter self-mockery), and makes it out as if this was something new, even going so far as mentioning Urusei Yatsura, for example, from his own time, but failing to notice that UY caricatured the moe fan even back then with the character Megane. The fourth UY movie was in particular meant by director Yamazaki Kazuo (he said so at the 1998 Anime Expo panel) to address fans too obsessed with UY and tell them to wake up and get out of their hikkikomori lifestyles.

    I can dig out regular anime magazines from that era not only plastered with pinups of anime heroines, obsessive or somewhat creepy naughty fanart, but even containing special “service” sections that had to be cut open with scissors (Gakken’s Animedia, for one, which now gives us Megami, bless their hearts). And which era did ero-anime originate from, such as Cream Lemon (worked on by no less than a certain Hideaki Anno in Pop Chaser)? Oh yeah, the mid-Eighties… hmmm.

    What I find really offensive about Daryl’s and this guy’s rants is that they basically are attacking a minority of ronery otaku guys and taking them to the task for not having “normal healthy interests” nor “liking real women”. Now let’s step back for a second…ignoring that there are plenty of folks of either gender who like some of this stuff and do not fit this model…what if someone made these same arguments about queer people? Is it that moe threatens masculinity with cuteness and shoujo-influenced character designs? Isn’t the angry anti-moe fan stance remarkably similar to homophobia…? This essentially gender-based stereotyping particularly bugs me–you just know these guys probably wouldn’t as loudly say this about a female fan with the same interests. It’s okay after all for girls to like girly cute stuff and collect figures and obsess about characters, and beat up on the geeks. I’ve seen similar double standards in some pretty surprising places over the years.

    As I see it, these oldschool “manly” otaku are just the cantankerous, vocal old conservatives of anime fandom. They are outnumbered and a dying breed, complaining loudly to any who would hear and cling to their mecha and burly marital artists or hard boiled assassins and artsy films as their pedestal they can find purchase on, myopically revising anime of the past into something it never really ever was with their tinted glasses. Few of us survived that time between the “good old shows” (which were much more sparse and nowhere near as plentiful as what we have now) and the newer waves, but those who can reach across the decades and see what there is to offer from each generation, be it mecha, moe, shoujo, art film, action, or what have you, are able to see the broader picture and will continue to be able to appreciate anime long after most of these guys have given up in disgust and thrown the baby out with the bathwater or have hopefully run short on people who will listen.

    I have to admit I was pretty amused to see Daryl listed Macross Frontier, at its very core a mecha show filled with and built upon moe tropes, just like its ancestor, as one of his top five picks for the current issue.

    Sorry for the rant, but this topic is close to home for me lately, too, and I’m frustrated with the “old camp” in other places, too, lately. To me there is really no “old anime” or “new anime”, there is simply “anime”–as long as I’ve been alive, always has been and hopefully always will be.

  13. tomoyo says:

    Jeez that TL;DR came out 10x as long as I thought it would… ^_^;

  14. VZMK2 says:

    Yeah, Daryl’s sort of pissing me off more and more. I’ll still listen to AWO. The news segments and reviews are always top notch. Unlike Daryl, at least Clarissa and Gerald reviewed moe shows in the past (Moon Phase, Potemayo Lucky Star and liked two of the three). I’ve been badgering Daryl to review at least ONE moe show. I can’t stand how he thinks moe is the doom of the anime industry. IT IS NOT. If anything, it’s what’s keeping it alive in Japan. I can like stuff like Cyber City Oedo, Dagger of Kamui and New Getter Robo (shows Daryl reviewed and I bought and enjoyed) too but that’s not what’s selling.

    And yeah, allot of the oldschool fans feel the need to put people like Hayao Miyazaki and Oshii on ridiculous pedestals and ignore people like Go Nagai (why cause his stuff is robots, violence and tits?) and Shinbo of SHAFT.

    How can anything cute be considered pedo? Even if it is, what you think somehow the person that’s into Lucky Star is somehow going to go out and molest children? Are we living in a Minority Report world where thought crimes are possible now? Seems like what Daryl wants if he was in charge.

    I think the other guy you were talking about in Otaku USA was Mike Toole. Another elitist
    prick who thinks that moe is garbage and yet feels the need to talk about lame Tezuka era anime just because it was the first or whatever at his panels.

  15. wah says:

    Let us not badmouth people–Daryl and Mike are both cool guys.

    Tomoyo, you’ve done a great job in addressing the hypocrisy and/or selective memory present on the other side, which is something I’d like to see addressed towards them and see how they react. I think part of the problem is a lot of those old school fans were US-based, so they only got a small taste of what was coming out of Japan, missing the whole picture.

    And no, I haven’t mentioned my bit in OUSA outside of a tweet on my twitter. I was going to mention it last rant, but I was too sick to write much.

  16. VZMK2 says:

    True. I just feel that Daryl and Mike overlook the moe thing.

    Anyways, I invite anyone reading to look at my blog as well to when you are free.

  17. tomoyo says:

    Thanks. True, though there are people just as myopic in Japan as well, who only apparently started noticing “moe” when it started to take over the streets of Akiba. To me, moe is more pervasive and inherent in anime’s roots than the casual or anti-moe observer realizes, it’s the very essence that Tezuka infused into his early characters and particularly was what made shoujo works gain their appeal and cross-influence into male-oriented works. The “anime” (perhaps more so than even manga, but I really mean both) aesthetic, if there can be a single one found underlying almost everything, is moe at its core, even if not every character design is of the big eyed, small mouthed variety. Character design is by nature meant to appeal to its audience. If pure raw character appeal isn’t somehow akin to the feeling of moe, I don’t know what is. This is why some people can even be moe for Golgo or Kenshirou…

    To the anti-moe people, I imagine this must seem more like a corrupting poison or virus that was once under moderation and control that has since exploded into an epidemic…

  18. wah says:

    Well, it used to be easier to turn a blind eye to it, that’s for sure.

    Oh, and Tomoyo, you should pick up Otaku USA again. It’s a great magazine for the most part.

  19. the_guy says:

    I think a lot of so called “old-school” fans in NA arn’t necessary old school but just people who think of themselves as one after watching a few “old-school” show they like and try to be an elitist. Moe is definitely something born out of the out-school anime era. This can be seen as easily as the fact that most of the animators today would have been old-school anime fans when they were younger. Arguably Laputa is one of the most archetypal moe show with all the stererotypes in place. I consider myself an “old-school” fan as I grew up with them. I don’t find moe a problem. BUT, I do think it’s a problem when it is becoming too prevalent that shows NEED to be moe at the expense of creative expression, or any meaningful expressions at all, just to be marketable (there are of course exceptions but I am addressing the norm here). I think that in the end it really is just stifling anime as a medium. So I guess in the end, it’s not that I think new-school is bad. It’s just that it got boring.

    It is different from the 80s when, sure it was over-saturated with mecha and many of them were junk, but it’s also the same time when various type of anime and anime related culture were created. It was a boom when new things happen often. While I can’t say anime now is stagnant, it’s certainly not growing as interestingly as before as a culture. It’s also kinda perversion when the otaku culture is viewed from outside and often inside, valid or not, synonymous with moe.

    Moe is also a problem to some when it is viewed as a symptom of a larger social issue as well. Many people, including animiators and academics had talked about that before, so no need to reiterate here