Never leave it half full nor half empty.

The Direction of Anime: “Sex sells” or is it what WE want?


Right type of moe, in the right place.

Okay, so I presume you all saw the “sex sells” portion of the title and going like “WTF?!”. Before you jump to conclusions, let me make my argument.

In Hollywood movies, we commonly like to talk about movies with lots of bikinis or sexual content as “sex sells” to the male viewers. True, we get physical reactions to those scenes, but how does this apply to anime? Well, there are those so-called “obligatory beach episodes”, but that’s too general, I’m talking about something more specific, but before I indulge on that, let me ask you what is the sexual interest of an average otaku?

Yes, I can tell you I’m turned on by oppai, long legs, and sanjigen bishoujos. However, that’s not what I’m assuming the stereotypical otaku likes. As you know, most otakus are known to be lolicons or rather, men who prefer women of smaller stature and act more “child-like”, or if you must, more moe.

Because "sex sells".

Now, since we’ve established what turns on most “general” otaku, we can now go back to what counts as “sex sells”. Instead of your typical Caucasian bombshell that can make my most non-anime-viewing men drool, the version of “sex sells” to otakus is pretty much moe anime.

No, I don’t have disdain for moe; however, I do feel as if there’s been a line that’s been crossed. As more avid otakus would say: “There’s no such thing as TOO much moe“. Well, if you truly feel so, then please, tell me how you think you are any different from most sanjigen lusting men, aside from the different love interests. While moe  in general is an amusing part of anime, the recent influx in the amount of anime that focus on moe and solely moe  is overwhelming.

A perfect example of how moe is NOT fit for all situations.

Before you get any wrong ideas, I don’t think moe is overwhelming because I can’t stop fapping to it, but rather, when you see it in EVERY OTHER ANIME series, you get pretty fed up with it. As a male with sanjigen and nijigen interests, I like to keep a reasonable dosage of both types in my head at once. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate moe. When you have a show which is not primarily a moe show, but rather, something with a decent plot, and when it features a moe scene, I get as excited as any crazed fanboy.

That being said, when you have full-on moe shows like Ro-Kyu-Bu!, I get fairly annoyed, and to be honest, I have no incentive to watch it. While I’ll admit this assumption[kawaii moe shoujos on the c0ver] has made me miss out on some great anime series (ie Madoka, until recently, because I thought it would be a moe mahou shoujo show), but I still like to think that things should be available in limited dosages. Same principle as fanservice; everyone loves to see the occasional oppai bounce, but when you have full-on sex shows like Seikon no Qwaser, you can’t help, but feel somewhat disgusted.

I know I'm going to get railed for this, but I do not approve of her "moe".

So, to the “what we want” portion of this article. Well, what do I want? Maybe less moe, and by less, I mean in moderated amounts? I understand the production companies have to make money, but if they only make kawaii-loli-moe anime all day long, then I’m afraid I’ll have to quit anime. What happened to all those hard-earned moe characters from a long time ago?

1000% approval.

Anyways, I decided to question my friends on Twitter and here are some results:

“Do we need more moe in our anime?”

@Bishoujoneesan: …no, not really.

@anaaga94: Yes, but not ecchi moe.

@samufugu: There’s already a lot if. Either or, 50/50.

@foxyladyayame: Well, I’m not a fan of moe, although a certain type I do like, especially in manga, so my answer isn’t no or yes either…it depends, but if you want to reach the masses, I guess moe anime are a must.

@sutoraikuanime: More moe would be mind blowing.

@Im_Mio_Akiyama: Anime. Not fanservice. Anime


@seinime: In moderation, not full of it, like K-ON!.

@Dez691: I like moe, but I think it’s fine as it. No point in forcing moe where it doesn’t belong.

@Amoirsp: No, we need more basis/plot/story. Something reasonable. Moe is integrated, not hashed out. If the trend keeps up, I’m not skipping two seasons in 2012, I’m skipping the rest for eternity.

@sarckz: I think it’s more than enough.

@roberttene: No. We don’t [need more moe]. I think they’re adding enough moe. There’s barely any anime without moe in it! And sometimes it gets annoying.

This moe kind of reminds me of Usagi Drop, which is a perfect example of the rare plot x moe anime.

So as you can see from the general consensus, people do believe that there is a surplus of moe in our anime. Albeit inticing to some viewers, it detracts from the true value of the anime. However, because of the whole “sex sells” logic, production companies can not shy away from pumping anime full of moe like a ‘roid rhino would with their ‘roids. While I wouldn’t say all anime out there are moe-laden, it is quite blatantly obvious that some shows per season exists for the sole purpose of siphoning money out of its lusting viewers.

No, it’s not a major dilemma, but rather a disturbing truth that, our anime is lacking in plot, not because the stories have become rather bland, but because of how the “higher-ups” and corporate would like to turn the anime into a financial hit. And as we all know, excessive moe and a decent plot only appears in a show on a blue moon.

What are your thoughts?


Author: Sabishii Miruku

Venti cup of Tsundere and Imouto service. Free of charge~


  1. I like moe. I like it a lot.

    HOWEVER, there’s definitely a breakpoint in which something is too much, and with that said, my threshold is just higher than most people. Maybe because I just see moe as an extension of comedy. K-ON, for instance, I really saw the “moe factor” in that show as reinforcement for the comedy, rather than the cutesy-ness (is that even a real word?)

    Fanservice and moe are great in moderation, but sometimes people just don’t know how to limit themselves. (I’m looking at you, HOTD!!)

    • I know. I know you do.

      Hmm, I understand where you’re coming from. It’s just that you have a higher “tolerance” to moe, bluntly put. However, for K-ON!, Yui’s “moe” just drove me nuts. To be honest, I wanted to smack that dumb bitch so hard, I actually put K-ON! on hold for 4 months. Obviously, Mio was why I came back (hypocrite #1 right over here).

      Then again, I guess, instead of being too general with “moe”, I should specify as to what “moe” I’m referring to. Obviously, Yui’s, Azunyan’s, and Mio’s moe-ness are vastly different, but I suppose that I’m mainly talking about a constant-moe-button-on character such as Yui and Azunyan. With Mio, she’s not always moe, but when she is, it’s like the most “D’awww” moment of the episode. All in all, I guess I just like moe in controlled bursts.

      LOL HOTD…not sure what to say. Love/Hate. Love, because I like the whole plot and what not. Hate…well…boob matrix, ’nuff said. But then again, to me, it’s sooooooo over the top, that somehow I actually liked it. Odd.

  2. I get where you are coming from in any case. It’s just how the market works- what the audience demands that’s what they’ll deliver. And I’m not sure you can change the masses’ tastes. Of cource, there’s always the solution of becoming a hipster 😛
    This season though shouldn’t leave you complaining with Sakamichi no Apollon, Space Brothers and Fujiko Mine. Gorgeous non-moe anime in every aspect.

    • Damned market…the world is truly driven by money.

      Oh, I wasn’t really talking about this season, but I was just being really “general” because there has been more and more moe anime over the years per season.

      I refuse to be a hipster, because that’s just too mainstream these days.

      Hmm…I can’t wait to get my hands on SpaceBros, I just don’t have time to watch ;A;~!

  3. Errm I think peope are exaggerating far too much when they say they will stop watching anime if this keeps up. Really? C’mon. There isn’t THAT much moe. If anything, 50% of the shows that come out aren’t even moe. They really aren’t. Yes, they might feature cute girls but cute girls =/= moe. Its when the anime=cute/girls that it becomes moe, which whilst there has been an increase, its by no means been the dominant genre. Even when its there, it doesn’t mean it isn’t good, I mean look at Hyouka that just aired, I thought that was pretty moe but still pretty good show in the making.

    And seriously, even if you stopped watching up to date seasons, just watch older anime which you have yet to see. There is seriously so much anime that I just zone out when someone goes on a moe rant seeing as it really isn’t anywhere near as bad as some make out.

    And I’d disagree about the otaku preference (sexually) being moe. I’d say its still the same as normal. If you look at the average content of sexual material an otaku would read/watch, it wouldn’t be moe. And the kind of IRL girls they are attracted too aren’t moe either (if that even makes sense 😛 ) Moe is an pop fad not really a sexual preference, I’d argue.

    • Well, I’m not saying I’m quitting now, because I know for sure there’s still quite an abundance of “normal” anime. However, while the number of “actual” moe anime isn’t increasing at an alarming rate, the number of “normal” anime with more-than-enough moe scenes are getting out of hand. It’s like the new fanservice.

      Wait…did you just say cute girls =/= moe? LOLWUT is dis black magic. I’ve always been under the impression that moe would include even the most basic cute girls. By cute girls, I’m not just talking about the art, but the -chwan personality too, which would be obviously classified as moe.

      Just judging the book by its covers, Hyouka already feels like K-ON!, which in some cases, had some over-the-top moe scenes. However, as I did say before, just because a show is moe, does not mean it can’t be good. I’ll definitely give it a shot, of course.

      Yes. That is pretty much what I do these days. Backlog, backlog, and more backlog. I seriously don’t have the time to watch a lot of shows in a week, so they just end up being in my backlog dump anyways~

      Well, I’m not making a moe rant. I’m just bringing attention to the growth of moe in our anime over the years. It’s not like I’m bashing anime with moe, but rather, I’m saying, the quality of anime has decreased due to so much attention and effort being spent on making moe scenes.

      LOL…not sure about that…most otaku I’d see in Japan/Taiwan are pretty much moe fanatics…so…that is what’s being marketed to them. IDK, really, there’s too many things to be based on, like the most basic one, North American weeaboos or true Asian otakus.

      Anyways, thanks for dropping by~ I enjoyed your POV :3

  4. Anime without moe would be kind of grey. However, if they add excessive moe Then it becomes annoying. There has to be a perfect balance between the mor factor and seriousness.

    Take steins gate for example. It had a moderate amount of moe and an amazing plot, which made it so fun to watch.

    • Well, since moe is pretty much a common element in anime, then yes, anime would seem somewhat bland without it. However, as you’ve said, once you get an overload of it, it gets unbearable to watch.

      Perfect balance or not, moe should be something administered in moderated dosages, because it feels like the new “fanservice”.

  5. I completely agree with this article. For a while now I’ve had these same things, but no else around me seems to agree. If you look at last seasons’ line up for Winter 2012, almost half or more of the series were fanservice/moe/ecchi…what about the horrors, action, slice of life, fantasy? What used to be 2-3 ecchi/moe shows per season is now turning into 1-2 action shows and everything else is ecchi.

    I feel that the anime community is seeing anime lose it’s appeal not because they’ve grown out of the culture, but because the culture has pushed away a lot of what made it stand out from regular shows. People are thinking “I’m hungry for good plots and all they give me is a panty flash, so what is the point in continuing?” That’s the sad reality of our community.

    I think you’re right though with the fact that the companies go where the money is. That however doesn’t mean the show is the best, it simply means that otaku’s who have a stronger tolerance or fetish for moe and ecchi are more willing to spend the money to have all their uncensored goodies. That is unfortunate because if a good series is done right it can create just as big (if no bigger) franchise and following…if only time and effort is invested in it since it’s hard than just to show boobs. I also feel that a lot of good animes and mangas which have awesome plots loose their appeal once they are stuck with ecchi as well.

    Now I’m done ranting…I lack food…-claps- good article Chris :3

    • Spot on Lita, spot on~!

      Yes, if we look at how much otakus can overspend on buying 50X or even 100x the amount of merchandise a regular show-watcher would buy. Like, from my last article on “how to support your anime”, the general person would be expect to spend about $5-10 in their favorite show, but the more enthusiatic otakus you see on 2ch can spend upwards of $500. So, what makes more sense? Getting more followers to pay $5 or appeal to the otaku culture, where 1 viewer counts toward 100X what a normal person would pay?

      There you have it.

      Thanks for dropping by~ :3

  6. Ah, so this is where you were going with that.

    That’s definitely an interesting point. I had personally never looked at moe in a “sex appeal” kind of light before. Also, as I mentioned to you on Twitter, I don’t really watch a lot of “moe” shows, so putting those two things together, I feel like I have a slightly different take on things. I’ve never really been offended by moe, and no, I wouldn’t call it a “cancer that kills the industry” or anything like that (not saying you are, either). But, moe, just like anything else, can be a big detriment to a show if used in quantities too large. If a comedy show only uses three jokes, that’s a problem. If an action show only ever has two characters fighting, it gets tiresome after a while. If a slice-of-life has too much ecchi in it, any deeper message is ignored. And, if a show abuses moe too much, then it becomes an ugly financial tactic rearing its head. Of course, as I said, I don’t watch a lot of “moe” shows (like K-ON, Lucky Star, etc.), so I honestly don’t know whether it is indeed a problem in the industry. However, I know that it certainly could be, and I do dislike it when I can tell something is shoved in for financial reasons.

    Anyways, nice article, it was quite an enlightening read. Time to work on my own posts…

    • Well haha “cancer that kills the industry”.

      Actually, it’s the opposite :3. Rather than killing the industry, it’s what’s driving the industry, and more specifically, the industry in regards to finance.

      And yes, a good point would definitely be, it has to be in controlled amounts. What I’m talking about; however, it that it’s getting a bit rampant in more and more shows, which I think is detracting from the show’s true quality. This comparison can often be seen from a manga to anime adaptation.

      Actually, do try watching some of them. While I do bash them quite a bash sometimes, some are actually quite good.

      Thanks for dropping by! :3

  7. It’s all about ones tastes, or more so fans tastes as a whole. “Moe” is the current trend and it is what has been driving anime in the current generation. If it wasn’t wanted by fans it wouldn’t be there since it would eventually hit the pockets of the corporations.

    There used to be the “mecha” generation were most anime would be shoved full of mecha. Eventually that came to an end, but the same reasons for the mecha generation are the same reasons for the moe generation. It’s there because the majority, or I should say the majority who are purchasing merchandise, are watching it. It will eventually end as tastes change and generations evolve.

    On a personal note, I would just wish people would watch what they watch and don’t rag on people for watching what they watch. I don’t mind people having different views and different tastes, but I do mind when people rip on others for either liking or disliking fanservice, for example.

    People think the community is losing and going away; yet it’s not. It’s only that the anime scene is changing and they are not changing with it. Instead of going with the current generation, i.e. moe, they are against it. That’s fine, and I’m sure the same thing happened during the mecha generation. Just don’t label the community as failing and or waning when tastes differ.

    One other thing is I see a lot of people talk about ecchi ruining good plots, yet the same people will watch a Hollywood movie with a sex scene and/or sexual content/references and not think twice about it. Instead of focusing on the plot, the focus is put on the ecchi when there may not even be that much, but just the appearance of “ecchi” ruins the anime.

    • Ah, I see what you mean. Of course, the whole discussion is that production companies are going towards more more anime, well, because that’s a huge financial income. However, one must realize, despite the “general masses’ being the ones labeled as moe-supporters, there are quite a number of viewers who weigh actual plot content over gratuitous fanservice.In addition, this is because, the otaku in North America are not the same as the ones in Japan. Obviously, since the production companies are based in Japan, their main focus is to please Japanese fans, whose interests in moe are beyond our scope of imagination.

      Yes, tastes will change and generations shall evolve. As you’ve pointed it out with the “mecha generation”, that makes sense. However, moe is the new “fanservice”, so to speak, opposed to an actual genre.

      I definitely don’t rail others for watching moe anime. Yes, I too, love moe anime, but it does get boring for me sometimes. I am in no position to judge people by what they watch, and I believe that’s what I’ve been trying to uphold, even in this article. Rather than tackling the viewers for driving the direction of anime, I’m just simply pointing out that anime is changing.

      Again, I would say yes, to the whole “generation change” aspect, but you must remember, that’s a “genre”. You can even call it the “Space Age” if you want, but as I have to remind you, moe is not a “genre”, it’s just a cutesy fanservice aspect.

      Ecchi ruining good plots, in my opinion, is hard. I like good plots, and when there’s ecchi, I like it even better. However, when I say “ecchi anime”, I’m referring to show more along the lines of To Love-Ru. The plot is not interesting, and everything is driven around sex. That’s what I mean by ecchi anime. If you want to bring up a good plot that has over the top ecchi, would be Freezing. Freezing, IMO, was not bad. The manga is excellent, but the excessive fanservice and gore turned everybody off and people ended up dropping it without even caring about the plot.

      Well…I definitely think more than twice when I see a Hollywood movie with a sex scene, hence the whole “sex sells” point of view I established at the start.

      I definitely do agree that some anime are rated straight away by how much ecchi is seen, which is completely inaccurate and pardon my language, bullshit. A show with “a bit of ecchi” on the cover may given first impressions of: “Oh this shit must suck. Must be all about moe bishoujos getting in some lame dude’s harem”. Well, in most cases, I would watch and see for myself. If it turns out to be the case of To Love-Ru…then…it sucks, because it has no plot. However, if it was just some gratuitous fanservice to lure in the more viewers in the first few episodes, I totally don’t mind.

      As you’ve said, people have their own tastes, and currently by popular demand, our “taste” is meant to be reflect by how much moe is in our anime. But then again, do remember that the production companies cater to what brings in more money, not what “general” viewers want.

      • What defines a genre? Is it because mecha is physical while moe is a characteristic? A genre is just a category, and I don’t get why moe wouldn’t be considered a separate category. Is it because moe can be applied to other genre’s? Most genre’s can be mixed and matched. You can have a mystery sci-fi for example. I guess it’s not important, more just wondering why it would not be classified a genre.

        While I will agree the To Love Ru anime did not do well in terms of plot, that in itself is rare. Most ecchi anime do have a plot that most people don’t get past. Seikon no Qwaser for example has a good plot and the use of chemical elements make it very unique and interesting in terms of battles. Some people however don’t see that because Seikon no Qwaser has the aspect where you get more power from drinking breast milk. While of course not everyone will enjoy an anime about breast milk, it’s the fact that it’s lumped into being an ecchi anime and having no plot that irks me.

        Highschool of the Dead, High School DxD, Omamori Himari, Freezing, etc., are all examples of anime with heavy ecchi content that feature a good plot. So I think you are right when you say most people are immediately turned off when they see ecchi on the “cover”. It’s a turn off and labeled as being bad, even when not given a proper chance.

        I agree that the market may not be what the general viewer wants, but is the general viewer making any purchases? If not, what right do they have complaining? This comment isn’t geared toward you, but a lot of people will complain about certain things, yet they don’t make any purchases. If these people were in the majority and made purchases, the market would swing in the opposite direction of ecchi. There are a lot of anime that are not ecchi that are great, so these anime should have higher purchases.

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  9. business usual, industry can’t live without it

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