Like many boys, back in my childhood, I was more drawn to robots and other boy things. I even started drawing robots, taking inspiration from the robots of the week in UFO Grendizer. I also had the luck to watch Space Sherif Gavan and Bioman back then, but that’s another thing.
However, when UFO Grendizer had been airing, I had to sit through episodes of Candy Candy, that I never quite liked, Versailles no Bara, that I found cool because of the rapier duels, and Minky Momo, that I liked a bit. I said a bit. Already in that day, the naked transformation scenes in Minky Momo started molding the pervert sleeping in me (a dose of Father hiding porn in Disney VHS leading to some accident did not help). One can argue that Minky Momo laid the ground for my future self as a moé enthusiasm.
Flash forward to a few years later, Little Princess, also known as Princess Sarah in France, aired alongside other magical girls shows like Magical Emi and Creamy Mami. Robotech and Saint Seiya was the rage and I happily followed those shows. Princess Sarah had grown a sentiment in me. This was not lust, and less perversion, because, you know, Sarah was in no way sexualized. Sarah cultivated in me a sentiment akin to a urge to protect the character from whatever bad things happened.
And a little after that, Kimagure Orange Road came. Madoka Ayukawa was the one reason I watched the show. Do note that in the 2000s, Motoko Aoyama, Sakaki, Matsuri Shihou, Mai Kawasumi and Mio Akiyama were among my favorite characters of this past decade. Notice a pattern in those characters?
What was the point of those paragraphs? Oh, that’s very simple. I enjoyed “boys” shows as much as the kids and teenagers belonging to the male gender in my age range did. I recognize that I drifted further away from the mecha genre since Evangelion, as I got exposed to cyberpunk and embraced heroic fantasy since I started reading books by Michael Moorcock as my definitive favorite genre (this is a story for later). However, the seeds of my enthusiasm for the moé subculture have already been planted way back in the Pinky Momo days. I had been a shounen fan primarily but I could not really say no to a few eye candy. This enthusiasm needed the right water for the seeds to grow and complete my conversion.
This happened in the early 2000s. I had few enthusiasm for the current offering of early 2000s. FMP by Gonzo was not so bad, but ought to be better. Hellsing made me rage when I got my hands over the scans of the original manga. And my first encounters with Gundam, Wing and a few UC here and there, left me with little enthusiasm toward the franchise (as much polarizing Eva was, I had a more enjoyable experience and UFO Grendizer AND Macross, as I learned more about Robotech, were definitely my favorite mechas). A show with a cult following had been lent to me by my friend, who was my only contact with anime on the intrabutt. It looked like Nikita meet conspiracy thriller. This was called Noir. Good idea, I loved the fact that it took place in France and awesome score by Kajiura. Moreover, I was utterly fascinated by the main duo, Mireille Bouquet and Kirika Yuumura.
I was drawn to that air of nobility that Mireille oozed, and also that slight vulnerability going on for Kirika. As you can see, Noir was flawed, but the duo made me willing to let them not bother me.
The fact that I could not access to Guilty Gear X2 made me search for alternatives. Zepy introduced me to doujin fighters. And I loved what I played. Glove on Fight, Queen of Hearts 2001 and Eternal Fighter Zero. Those games made me curious about the moé subculture, as I WANTED to know more about the characters who starred in those games. This was in that time that I started d/ling moé anime to see what they were about. I’ll be honest, this being the early 2000s (2002-2003 tbh), I was left disappointed with what I saw.
Then came a doujin game, with sprites that were not SDs, and having Ciel that I have known through Glove on Fight. You guessed it. This was Melty Blood. And that was a blast. Melty Blood was the turning point for me. A jaded, oldefag, got converted to moé subculture. That’s it. Type-Moon and Nasuverse are the things that turned me into a moéfag. And Touhou definitely helped sustaining the momentum. But this was not out of nowhere as you could see. Those was just the springs that nurtured the ground in which the seeds were planted.
Where do I stand now? I have explored a few classics I enjoyed back in the day, this time with proper dubbing (japanese with subs), so I could give shows like Hokuto no Ken the due respect, and sorrow over how the french executives mistreated them and disrespected the fans that were older than me when those shows aired, and all those fans could do is to lament the bad dubs or the gag dub.
So, I am a moé enthusisast, giving my classics their due respect. I cannot bring myself to completely hate those watching the Big Three, because I had been there and knew that they will eventually change. I now find myself unable look down on the moé subculture. This didn’t mean that I didn’t feel embarassed over that one guy marrying his body pillow. As a moé enthusiast, I think that people should be able to draw the line and realize when they are making monkeys of themselves. I sometimes go “mai waifu!!” like over Sakuya Izayoi or Byakuren Hijiri, but in the end I know it’s all tongue-in-cheek.
This seems to be a problem with oldefags, they looks down on moéfags, and are… just… SERIOUS. ALL THE TIME. And forgetting that anime is firstly, and mostly, just entertainment. This is my sentiment when I look at the seemingly joyless folk of a certain blog. They seems to think that there is a war, a righteous, against the moéfags, while forgetting that it is quite possible to enjoy every specter of the medium, but just that people likes one side more than the other. But this is another story, perhaps developped in another day.
tl;dr: I was not always a moéfag. In fact, I used to be one of those jaded oldfags. However, the seeds of moé love had been planted in me by Minky Momo, Little Princess, Orange Road and various magical girl shows. It only needed the right trigger to grow and convert me. This trigger is nothing less than Melty Blood.Tags: Anime, Manga, moé, nostalgia, talk