Okay guys, first of all–the moe debate has been beaten silly. I would ask you all to stop arguing about it on Twitter, but since I don’t follow the full complement of muppets that enjoy having the same argument week after week, it’s not really bothering me. But it’s a fruitless effort on both sides, so just stop and do something else.

However, I’m not writing about the futility of the moe debate here. I’m instead addressing an unpleasant pattern prevalent across some (I hate to address them as “fellow”) moe fans. But before I expand upon this issue, I wish to make my point of reference clear: I am a fan of Japanese media. Specifically cartoons, comics and music produced in Japan. I am not just a fan of moe anime, but I enjoy moe anime, along with a host of other genres. I’m sure regular readers of this blog are already keenly aware of these fact, but since I want this entry to hit a larger audience, I figure it’d be prudent to make things clear.

But onto the main issue. What I wish to address here is the perceived creepy nature of the moe phenomenon by some. While some titles–let’s say Toradora!–may not be perceived as creepy by themselves, there is a large assortment official and unofficial goods that normal people may just find a touch strange. It’s fine to be a perfectly normal human being with a perfectly normal living space, a perfectly normal social life, and perfectly normal world view and enjoy moe titles such as Toradora. You can also be a hardcore fan of moe anime and enjoy Toradora!, and you’re the person I’m talking to.

So, when a guy on the internet labels a glamor shot of a crazy Taiga fan’s room–complete with the poster-covered walls, the bed sheets, the dakimakura and the army of Taiga figures–as “creepy”, how do you, Mr. Moefan react? Well, the reaction I’ve been witnessing amongst some is that of utter denial. Complete objection to the fact that this may be perceived as creepy.

What is or isn’t creepy is obviously a question of perception, but what you–Mr.Denial–have to keep in mind is that society has standards, and the majority decides what’s normal and what’s creepy. That’s just how it works. So when a dude on Twitter says that guy with the thousands of Idolm@ster figures is a creep, your reaction should not be one of pure shock. You should not be surprised that somewhere out there, someone finds this creepy. You personally may find this okay, but you have to keep the perceptions of others in mind.

I know where this comes from. It’s this complex. This desire for acceptance. This desire to defend your beloved genre and all the strings attached as its name is sullied by big bad Internet Bullies. I’ve probably felt like this once before, too. But listen–people think it’s creepy, and that’s a fact. Dakimakura are creepy. Bed sheets are creepy. Figure collecting is creepy. You are not going to convince the people who think these things otherwise, so stop pretending it’s normal, and that they’re the weird ones.

I live the moe otaku lifestyle. Heck, I’ve posted my room on this blog multiple times. I am fully aware that it is weird. Half the reason I post my room is to get reactions, actually. But listen. Just listen. Don’t talk back. If people calling the moe otaku lifestyle creepy really offends you, either ignore it or roll with the punches. But don’t outright deny the creepiness, especially right in the face of it. Because you know what? That’s even more creepy!

I’d like to think that all of these exchanges that occur over whether moe subculture is/isn’t creepy are mostly in jest, but after reading enough of these debates I’m getting the feeling that people are getting seriously angry on the Internet. Just stop. We can all get along! Just accept the fact that people find your kinks kinky, and laugh it off. Try to fire some stingers back at them, if you can. But just don’t take it seriously. There are far more important things to worry about.

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  1. digitalboy says:

    Ah, yes, I’m glad to see something like this being said. I think a lot of moe fans want to ‘have their cake and eat it too’ so to speak. It’s like a feeling of ‘I’m not creepy, so the things I like can’t be creepy!’ but it’s just not true. These characters are being designed for ‘maximum masturbatability’, there’s no way around that. The best you can do is say ‘it’s creepy, but it’s not bad’ instead of trying to defend yourself with lies.

    Also >>Just stop. We can all get along!

    Well, someone’s lightened up :p

  2. Link says:

    I have thousands of Chihaya Idolmaster figures and I love them so. <3

  3. Creepy is absolutely subjective thing. What’s creepy to you might not be creepy to others. Argument over.

  4. Link says:

    @thedigitalbug: Thanks for missing the point. Read his post again, since you seem to lack basic reading comprehension.

  5. omo says:

    creepy rant.

  6. @Link >implying that I was trying to address his point in the first place

  7. Jason says:

    Great post. I’ve been peripherally subjected to these arguments as well and you’ve pretty much hit the nail on the head as to the cause.

  8. Alex Leavitt says:

    Why did you choose a Gundam header? :P

  9. ElliotPage says:

    Maybe I should be a creep and read this out
    to people at the convention I’m attending at the end of the

  10. KGods says:

    Who says creepy is bad anyway? Millions are made every year off of movies that are basically excuses to graphically kill people for entertainment purposes. People actually pay money for this. ‘shrugs’

  11. Medicine says:

    Blog post of the millennium, right here.

  12. Shay Guy says:

    Indeed it is, at least by mainstream society’s standards and to some extent my own. The thing that troubles me is that “creepy” alone isn’t sufficient grounds for condemnation. (The canonical example is homosexuality.) So I think condemnation of otaku behaviors needs more justification, going into more detail about the what and why of it.

  13. TheBigN says:

    thedigitalbug: Obviously what you need to do is just change society. :P

    wah: d(“d)

  14. The silly thing about the whole debate is that it is really about the desire for acceptance on all sides. Many of the people arguing most vocally against the whole “creepy moe sub-culture” are, in a way, trying to protect the little bit of positive public perception anime has had in the past. They don’t want anime to be perceived as “creepy” because *they* don’t want to be perceived as “creepy”, and so of course the best way is to point fingers and define what’s actually creepy here. Then it’s sort of “sure, I’m an anime fan, but at least I’m not like *those* people”.

    Sad thing is, it’s often been the “creepy fans” who have continued to spend money on anime and related merchandise over the years, and the industry always tends to follow the money. It’s a losing battle on both fronts: we see a rise in the amount of shows that can appeal to the “creepy” demographic, and so the focus shifts away from the sorts of shows the “other audience” would fine more appealing and would be seen as “more socially acceptable” (whether or not the actual amount of anime that appeals to that demographic has changed; from a pure numbers perspective, it arguably hasn’t). In that kind of situation, some may feel that it’s hard to put your real name out there and be known as anime fan, since there’s a shift in public perception. The “creepy sub-culture” tends to hide behind anonymity and internet handles, so there’s a bit less of a concern that anyone they “actually know” will make the connection.

    In other words, moe fans feel threatened by the close-mindedness of other anime fans, and so become all the more bold and flamboyant about advertising their eccentricity (in true 2ch/4chan fashion — “we’re all creepy in our own way, so we should just get over it”). That’s the last thing those who dislike the moe trend want to see; they may feel threatened by the “rising creepiness” being associated with their hobby, and so become all the more bold and impassioned about advertising their disapproval. What’s lost in all this is, of course, any sort of middle ground, or the sort of “live and let live” attitude that would actually put this issue to rest.

    Anyway, I guess all that is neither here nor there to the main point of just accepting that public perception is what it is, and people just need to learn to deal with it rather than live in denial. But keep in mind that’s basically tantamount to telling the Internet to “grow up”. If that were to actually happen, we wouldn’t have pointless debates like this one in the first place. (Not that that would be a bad thing…)

  15. anonymous says:

    You know what is creepier? Women who abort and kill their children. Watching 2D and loving 2D is not half as creepy as the murder of an unborn child!

  16. wah says:

    >>Alex Leavitt

    ‘Cause it owns.

    Also, whenever I do fandom rants, I’ve started using these somewhat realistic Gundam images just because.

  17. mt-i says:

    Also, Gundam is totally appropriate when refering to creepiness. I mean, what’s more creepy than a 30+ years old making gunpla in his basement.

  18. wah says:

    Also Char Aznable.

  19. VZ says:

    Whatever makes me and other happy as long as they’re not hurting anyone is fine.

  20. KGods says:

    Again, my two cents.

    “wah” covered this issue before quite a long time ago. Basically, any webisode that has Brad getting pissed off or annoyed with Rets carries the undertone of this from the perspective of the (relentlessflame) “sure, I’m an anime fan, but at least I’m not like *those* people”.

    Let’s face it, no one that already has a preconceived notion of fandom or whatever is going to change their minds because some “normies” defending it. Think my parents (is 26) understand my hobby? They don’t and they never will and here’s the catch… “that’s okay.”

  21. ojisan says:

    Wildarmsheero, you’ve annoyed me sorely in the past. All is forgiven because this is a great, great post.

  22. The Hordesman says:

    As per usual, some people are foolish enough to not see how the internet is serious business.

  23. uncreative says:

    The question to ask one of those “creepy” accusers is what they’ve done with the extra stuff that comes with their special edition Haruhi DVDs. Also, I like this post because it amuses me.

    anonymous: O U.

  24. Dokuro-chan says:

    Thank you so much for articulating this, wah. Having read this, I’d have to say you hit the nail on the head, but I could have never said it this way.
    The problem with anime fandom isn’t the “mainstream” fans or the more otaku-like, or even the conflict between them; it’s the wannabe-otaku who also want to be mainstream.
    I’ve always believed that the worst kind of anime fan is the one that you can identify from a mile away, and I’d say that this is sort of an extension of that. The issue here isn’t “OH NOES, they is talking about mah animu in public!” it’s exactly what you say it is: A psychologically induced false view of reality, that just ends up hurting everyone involved.

    You could identify traits in the moe fan that have developed, perhaps almost evolutionarily, to combat this problem, such as the classic rule “never reveal one’s own powerlevel.”
    …This is only a half formed thought; I’m not sure what I think is going on here, but I think you probably said enough for all of us, so I doubt anything I can’t remember to say is important enough to detract from your oh-so-accurate observation and your oh-so-called-for point.

  25. Yuriko says:

    Also as there are some “creepy” otaku who want to be accepted and feel mainstream and some mainstream anime fans that feel threatened by more hard core “creepy” otaku, There are also “creepy” otaku who feel threatened by mainstream norm fans. “like WTF those norms are steeling my sanctuary!” Because of this these people often push themselves further into subsections of fandom that are seen as more creepy in order to differentiate from norms. I got to say I get pissed off when I see a bunch of norms at a convention making convention going all normalized, Conventions are for socially inept nerds stop making life harder for us norms! Anyway… I tend to feel proud of my creepiness as well as profoundly depressed about it… but sometimes when one has quite a lot of trouble with normal social interaction one gets into a habit of highlighting one’s creepy and/or weirdness in order to attain some semblance of human interaction even if its just people being creeped out. It also provides the excuse that “I have no friends because I do things on purpose to creep them out. I pushed them away. I’m in control.” One no longer has to think why can I not have friends? Why does no one like me, because you know why and you did it on propose. Anyway my point is people who don’t socialize well sometimes hide in there creepiness.

  26. VZ says:

    I hope your next podcast is about this topic, wah. Maybe get Daryl Surat again to talk to you.

    It’s hard for me to articulate my moe fascination to regular nerds without coming off like a creep.

  27. KGods says:

    Perhaps coverage of the Handley case would also be good podcast fodder? It’s still something that tons of people are up in arms about. Hide your doujins wah, fictional people now have rights too! (groan)

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  29. McGee says:

    I’m creepy.

  30. Glo says:

    As someone who doesn’t really like moe (K-On) but may love shows with moe in them (Toradora is FUCKIGNSOANO AWESOME), I will say the following:

    Not creepy: A person buying any number of figures, posters, etc of their favorite anime characters (for the record, I own no anime stuff).

    Creepy: Sneaking around and stealing young women’s underwear. Or any underwear for that matter (for the record, I don’t steal underwear).

    Any correlation? Probably not, but there you go. Here’s another one:

    Not creepy: Drawing pictures of your favorite anime character all day long.

    Creepy: Pleasuring yourself to pictures of your favorite anime character ALL DAY LONG (in class).

    These are fun to make. I’ll stop now.

  31. Yuriko says:

    Creepy: Pleasuring yourself to pictures of your favorite wolves (in class). (I saw this happen… Oh the horrors)