Moe debates are my pet peeve. The main topic in these are usually centered around the idea that moe is a plague on anime in one way or another. The real issue with moe though is not really moe but the anime industry. Moe is just an easy target to lash out and hate on but the deeper issue is not such an obvious target, pandering.
Let’s be realistic there is no debate right now over moe if it is not popular. After all in the current market the anime industry is going to go with what can sell the best. But keep in mind that moe is not the only thing getting pandered today. This effects everything and at the same time just because something is moe does not mean it’s pandering either. I mean you’ve seen me complain about pandering often on this blog and it’s often not related to moe. It is sad but the industry has become far more about the bottom line earning potential and this has nothing to do with moe.
Moe is not something that was just created one day to make money. Its nothing more than an evolution on something highly valued in Japanese culture, cuteness. Cuteness is more or less about being endearing and non-threatening really the same elements as what makes up moe such as a desire to protect. Simply put in an industry where cute is valued so highly moe is nothing more than an idealized version of cute forged from years of refinement. So get use to moe being here it’s not going anywhere for now despite all the debates.
Keep in mind everything in the end is all about what you do with it not with what is or isn’t inherently flawed about it. This is often what is missed and quick to judged about moe characters. Ranka Lee is the best example I know of for this. She gets so much hate from Macross Frontier fans just for being moe despite the fact that her being moe does not hinder her character in the slightest. As I’ve gone over a little before the fact is what Macross Frontier suffered greatly from was pandering but any pandering they did with Ranka and moe was at best a fraction of the issue.
If you really do love anime and want it to be better identify the real cause that is plaguing the industry not an easy target to vent frustration at. The issue shouldn’t be about whether moe is good or bad as we know it’s all about what you can do with it. While I doubt the anime industry will ever go back to like it use to be if we can’t even identify the real issues in what we love it’s never going to improve either. But I would like to note as I end this I don’t think anime is all that bad today just pandering and not moe is a serious flaw that keeps it from being better.