Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Why Do I Watch Moe Anime?

Anime that make me clutch my chest and say, "Dang...that's so cute!"

Anime is a broad medium with series that cover a wide range of subjects and themes. One day you can be watching an anime about a high school student who kills criminals using a notebook, and the next day you can watch an anime about child traveling the world on their talking motorbike.

No matter who you are, you can probably find at least one anime that appeals to your tastes. Unless you're someone who just doesn't like animation, then I guess you can just enjoy your live action TV shows and movies.

When I first started watching anime, series like Noragami, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Death Note, exposed me to a world of action and drama that I had never seen in any other medium. Those anime were gripping and felt sophisticated with something really important to say. I remember going through each series quickly like a man hungry for stories and animation.

Eventually, I started to slow down and I wouldn't watch every single anime that friends would recommend or that I'd catch a glimpse of on tumblr. I became more selective and I started to seek out series that fit specific genres or had a certain acclaim. While watching anime and talking about anime with friends, I came to the realization that I really like moe anime. I had fallen in love with anime about cute girls doing cute things.

If you've been in the anime community for a long time, you're probably already familiar with the word, "Moe", but if you're not, let me explain a little. Moe doesn't have an agreed upon definition, but it's kind of like something you have to feel in order to understand. Moe is when you see something and just feel a warmness in your soul and you can't help but go, "Aw...".

A puppy with big eyes can be considered moe. A cat calmly sitting on your lap can be considered moe. And a small anime girl with an innocent smile is definitely moe. If it's still not making sense, just check out this Wikipedia article on moe.

When I talk about moe anime, I'm referring to series that focus on a cast of cute girls just going through life, having fun, and making friends. K-On!Yuru Yuri,  Ichigo Mashimaro, and A Place Further than the Universe, are just a couple examples of moe anime. A lot of moe anime fit into the slice of life genre and include a lot of hilarious antics.

But even though moe anime tend to fit the same genre, and honestly have very similar character tropes, they do vary in subject matter. The girls in K-On! are brought together because of a music club even though they just eat a lot of cake and tea. Comic Girls is about a bunch of young manga artists living together in a dorm. Azumanga Daioh follows a group of girls through their high school career. And A Place Further than the Universe is an adventure about friends traveling to Antarctica.

There are even anime that use moe to deceive the audience. Anime like Higurashi and School-Live! may look like they're full of sweetness and joy, but then they suddenly take a turn that can be a bit of a scare. But as dark as they get, no one can deny that the girls are still cute.

So then why exactly do I watch moe anime? Moe anime is like eating a delicious cake or relaxing on a comfy sofa. The characters can make me smile no matter what mood I'm in and their antics can easily make me burst out with laughter (and what's not to like about cute anime girls). The stories also tend to have messages and themes that I love. 

Moe anime deal with a lot of stories about friendship and supporting those that they love. They demonstrate the value of having people who care and also the importance of being kind. This means being understanding of others no matter their background. Sure, they're not always deep and they can feel very familiar, but they're still stories that I like to hear.

If this sounds appealing to you or if you just need something to make you smile, then I suggest checking out some moe anime. Comic Girls, Azumanga Daioh, Nichijou, K-On!, and Yuru Yuri are some of my favorite series in the genre. If you're a fan of cute girls doing cute things and you have some favorites, go ahead and throw those titles my way. I'd love some new shows to check out.

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