This World is…Corrupt? “Fujoshi Moe”

Actual, unedited photograph of a real fujoshiWhile cruising WordPress for material I stumbled across the first and only non-professional articles I’ve found that apply the same level of scrutiny to anime that we here at Moe Sucks do. Am I losing my edge? Or hallucinating? Or is it just possible that someone else out there offers quality amateur anime analysis?

Ogiue Maniax is something of a mixed bag, but I did enjoy their piece on realism in fujoshi character design. It’s fairly short so I’ll just summarize his main points (you should really just read it though). Briefly: a number of chracters in recent popular anime and manga who are portrayed as fujoshi share similar physical characteristics; chief among these are plain, dark hair and corrective lenses, which stand out in the funky, rainbow-hued world of anime hair and 20/20 vision (bespectacled characters actually represent their own archetype; characterization for females is hilariously shallow in anime). The Ogiue Maniax author suggests that these traits are intended to make the character more true-to-life, which in turn makes them appealing to viewers because they’re more accessible.How does she make her hair stand up like that?On all those points I agree, where I think the writer falls short is in not more closely examining the implications of the way this kind of ‘moe’ is created. While they do acknowledge that the division between “2D and 3D” is at issue, I think they understate the way trends in popular media affect and are affected by the real desires of the audience. The rise of cosplay and the continuing popularity of things like schoolgirl uniforms and swimsuits which are anime standbys suggests to me that otaku are not above conflating fiction with reality. With this in mind, the nature of “fujoshi moe” has disturbing implications for both the ‘moe’d and the ‘moe’rs.This is the original image, the version where she's thin and attractive is an editOn one hand, although it’s now a widely-used term, fujoshi is a pretty strong perjorative that literally means ‘rotten girls’. The popular image is not of a sheltered, nerdy maiden, but of a woman whose expressions of sexuality make her unsociable or “problematic”. It’s part a double standard by no means unique to Japanese culture wherein it’s perfectly alright for men to enjoy gay pornography of women, but for a woman to enjoy gay male pornography is totally unthinkable and marks her for exclusion. Fujoshi are often portrayed as less attractive than other girls, either because their natural unattractiveness leads them to seek 2D titillation or because their “unhealthy” interests cause them to not give enough care to their personal appearance.  I think it’s fair to say that in most circles a fujoshi would be thought less of than a ‘normal’ girl, and that this prejudice is reflected in anime’s portrayal of fujoshi characters. In a fictional world where every other female has been elevated to inhuman beauty (your milage may vary), fujoshi are the ones who remain the most unchanged. You can interpert this as them being given a more “realistic” aesthetic, or you can see the implication as being that fujoshi simply had less attractiveness to start with.I kind of wish I could read this image, but then again I kind of don'tOn the other hand, with this negative image of fujoshi in mind, what does it say about otaku that this kind of ‘moe’ is being pushed on them? Anime has become more mainstream in some ways, but ‘otaku’ still isn’t the nicest thing to call someone, and is often associated, like ‘fujoshi’, with perversion and withdrawal. I think what’s being suggested is “this is the kind of girl who would be interested in you”, i.e. that the “inferior” fujoshi would be appropriate mates for the otaku audience. In this way, I think the recent increase in fujoshi characters’ appeal is a double-edged attack on both the stereotyped group and the target audience and preys on their self-hating tendencies as targets of derision from the mainstream.

(It may sound like I’m taking the author to task here, let me reiterate that actually I loved his post and agree with all the salient points, I just don’t think he went far enough in drawing conclusions from his observations.)A girl with pornography, eww, how indecentOgiue Manaix was also kind enough to translate and rehost a piece from a Japanese blog that I thought was even more on-target.

The Foundation of “Moe” is Violent

To see someone actually say, “This is so moe,” and actually mean it is quite mystifying. That’s because declaring something to be “moe” is an extremely violent act in the first place.

In cases where someone is moe for a two-dimensional tsundere character, it’s really just a matter of holding a commanding view of the character, or, perhaps, it’s a matter of cherry-picking what’s convenient. There are no alternatives. If that girl character suddenly strays from the supposedly correct path and gets closer to another guy, it’s often the case that some people will just abandon her. It’s not impossible at all. Because when it comes to “moe,” all you’re looking at is just one aspect of a girl. It’s not impossible, that is, because it isn’t “love.”

However, when it comes to two-dimensional characters, I think this is fine. Those who are capable of loving a character to the very end are wonderful and all, but there are those characters who can only be loved so much. That too is nature’s providence.

They are containers to hold and store the desires of aggressive humans.

But what happens when you take that idea and apply it to reality?

“This person is different from what I expected!”

“This person’s changed compared to what I thought they were!”

The only outcome then, is denial of the other.

These are individuals we’re dealing with here. You’re free to say, “I fell for you,” or, “I love you,” but don’t ever say to someone, “I’m moe for you.” It’s a violent act in which you try to deny them their individuality.

Not only is this dead-on in my opinion, it’s also more eloquently put, even in translation, than anything I’ve seen before on the subject. The title is just one subheading in a longer article but I feel like it should be written in 10 foot letters on every storefront in Akihabara: “THE FOUNDATION OF “MOE” IS VIOLENT”. There’s not much to add to that.

I will say that, as in the first article, the author highly overestimates otakus’ ability to distinguish fantasy and reality. Even if consciously viewers realize that anime isn’t real they still internalize parts of what they see. And more to the point, a lot of care goes into making sure that a series will appeal to its audience, with the producers trying to make sure that it properly reflects the values of the demographic they’re targeting. Trends in popular entertainment can be a window into the psyche of the culture that created it, more often than not I don’t like what I see through that window when it comes to anime.

And just because the world really is corrupt it’s worth noting that although the translated post I quoted did spark some meaningful conversation, Ogiue Maniax later article on fujoshi character design got exactly one comment.

Fujoshi hair is black to match the color of their souls, hearts, and blood.

Very insightful.

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45 Replies to “This World is…Corrupt? “Fujoshi Moe””

      1. dunno how that makes her a “weeb” That’s probably her personality…and fwi her comment is from 2010 and you just commented two months ago, in 2014. So yeah…

  1. The problem is that this phenomena is in no way related to moe. Even if you’ve never touched otaku material, people already still do this and there isn’t anything wrong with it. If you meet someone you think would be a good friend because of shared interests, but later see that they are irritable or annoying, should you be forced to keep up your friendship because it would shallow to do otherwise?

    Abandoning a moe character because they start displaying traits you don’t like is no different from abandoning cool characters because of badass or villain decay, or abandoning calm, composed characters because they start angsting. It happens across all things in anime, and it happens even more in real life. “The Foundation of Moe is Violent” pushes love and friendship as being how much you are willing tolerate from someone else, as opposed to genuinely enjoying another person’s company.

  2. People who popularise the image of fujoshi as ‘problematic’ are themselves the problem. It’s a double-standard perpetrated by men and women who do not feel comfortable expressing their sexuality and they blame this on those who are more open about their sexuality. It’s a disgusting act of repression and I say shame on anyone who degrades people like this! It’s one thing to call a fujoshi bookish, but another thing entirely to suggest she is problematic! This kind of selective-hate is misogyny and totally unacceptable!

    1. Fujoshi is now a sexuality? Bitch please.
      and how is this shit double standar at all? Do you see us hating on normal female otakus who read shoujo smut and like bishounens normally? No, fujoshi’s are fking ruining the god damn otaku culture, and they’re excuse is “OH WE JUST LIEK THE BISHOUNENZ” and once again, how does this have anything to do with sexuality? it’s just that a sick midned lonely desperate virgin girl who’ll never get laid likes to make homosexual pairings and ruin everything about an anime, that’s all.

      1. Anon tard, if you hate yaoi and fujoshi so much THEN DON’T FUCKING LOOK AT YAOI OR TALK TO FUJOSHI. Don’t read yaoi doujins or manga, don’t talk to people (fujoshi) that like it, etc. Just simply ignore it and go back to reading your loli manga or whatever the fuck you ike.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means a big fan of yaoi, but people who hate it and its fans for no reason piss me off. No one calls people who make yuri doujins of an anime like K-ON! “desperate virgins”, yet people who make yaoi doujins of their favorite series are? Bullshit. Yuri and yaoi are the same damn thing, so if you’re going to call fujoshi “sick-minded” you need to call yuri fans that too.

        1. But people actually DO steriotype male otakus who like SoLs and MOE as “fatty virgins”. Of course not all of them are, but still is easily considered a negative “preference” dependendig of the circle and way your tastes are exposed. I don´t understand all the fuss on this artice to try and say fujoshis are sooo more injusticied than other types of fandoms. Ok, maybe a little bit more since our society still is more to the machist side, but still sounds like exagerated feminism to my taste. Let´s not over generalize, or even worse, over-relativisate without looking at the bigger picture

          And i like to add: Every prejudice has some basis on reality.

          Sorry for my english, not my first language.

          1. It’s a fair point that male otaku are also demeaned, in part for their screwed-up sexual desires. But I think mostly the male otaku stereotype is about living at home with your mom and being a NEET. The point I was making about the fujoshi stereotype (three years ago) was that like a lot of female stereotypes it’s mostly a form of “slutshaming”: making people (especially women) feel bad for wanting to have sex. That’s the real difference. People make fun of male otaku for being virgins. They make fun of fujoshi for their libido. It’s probably not the most dangerous stereotype out there, but it’s relevant to the topics of the blog, so that’s what I wrote about.

        2. @sephirotic oh shut the F up about your “feminism” whining…you men bitch about that NO MATTER WHAT! If a girl is eating a bagel in front of a guy and gets a crumb on his shoe suddenly she’s a feminist…shut up about it already….

      2. “t’s just that a sick midned lonely desperate virgin girl who’ll never get laid likes to make homosexual pairings and ruin everything about an anime, that’s all”

        I don’t know how old you are but you should a bit look around the world… this whole thing is stereotype. You shouldn’t judge all fans from cons or whatever made you think this… do you know that there are even married women, and not full otaku girls among yaoi fans? Open your eyes you narrow-minded….

      3. Funny…girls get a double-standard, then suddenly are attacked for tackling it. When guys get a double standard, it’s a girl’s fault somewhere in the world. And yes, fujoshi is sexuality. Now, I know your comment is old, but go finish masturbating to your lesbian hentai(I know what it’s called; I said it like that for a reason) and continue believing that it’s okay for you to do it but not a female…you sexist and misogynistic fuck.

    1. Eh no, they don’t call themselves fujoshi, the media and otaku culture calls them fujoshi, and yes it’s an insult for obvious reasons, they’re rotten women for OBVIOUS reasons.

      1. Obvious reasons? Hahaha. And then of course men who like yuri are not a problem… right. They are not rotten at all…

      2. Lovely…you must be a rotten man then. It’s okay for your gender to go around raping and molesting all the time, but God forbid a girl looks at two guys kissing!!!

        (and before anyone says it, YES guys are raped too but your gender is the MAIN ones doing it!!! And yes, you’re probably gonna put THAT label on me, you know the one…go ahead and attack)

    2. I call myself a Fujoshi as a JOKE to myself. I don’t feel insulted by it, I feel complimented!! Or take it as a joke!

      I’m just a simple gamer girl in high school who actually HATES most anime and Yaoi. But when I do find an anime or BL comic that I like, I’ll like it. Is that SO wrong!?

  3. “that the “inferior” fujoshi would be appropriate mates for the otaku audience”
    Eh, normal otakus hate fujoshi’s guts, there’s no way they’d get toghether. probably in anime, yes, but in reality? keep dreaming.
    also what’s this about gay pornography? since when was yaoi pornography? It’s not.
    Yaoi is just romantic relationship between men and it can be explicit, but not to the point to actually call it “pornography”, though there are porn-ish yaoi, they’re very few and not worth calling yaoi porn.

    1. What is this about “…normal otakus hate fujoshi’s guts…”? I myself am a fujoshi (wears pants, has a job, attractive to most people’s standards… etc.) and I get along fine with other otakus. They don’t mind me a single bit. Singling out people because of their interests and stereotyping them is nothing short of prejudice.

      And, let me shower you with “rotten woman” knowledge – yaoi is porn. Shounen-ai is the term for the romance and whatnot. Yaoi is the explicit side of it.
      The more you know…

      Shut yo’ insensitive, biased, whore mouth. *snap*

    2. “also what’s this about gay pornography? since when was yaoi pornography? It’s not.
      Yaoi is just romantic relationship between men and it can be explicit, but not to the point to actually call it “pornography” ”

      Yaoi shouldn’t be called pornography? Then what? I think you are talking about shounen ai… Shounen ai is about the relationship and emotions. Yaoi is usually explicit…

  4. Lol if you ask me ihate fujoshi I dont mind they go moe moe over bl games shipping but they tend to overboard even in bxg dating sim and if you said to them to hide their imagination but they tend to publicize it  And say idoooooooooontcareeeeeeLeeetmeeeloveeeetehmmmm And hey in japan fujoshi is More hated than キモオタ

    1. What’s wrong with publicizing it?
      Why is it okay for guys to say “she’s hot” about a porn but not okay the other way around. It’s a double-standard. Fix that.

  5. Fujoshi, being only a term, should not ’cause harm (Emotionally, and definitely not physically). It’s like one of these common stereotypes we see in the media (‘Blondes are less intelligent’, ‘All Asians are good in Math’, but in this case, ‘All ‘fujoshis’ look very unkempt and unhealthy’) Honestly, speaking from a person who is a so called, ‘Fujoshi’ herself- I see it as nothing more than a Japanese equivalent of a stereotype because, I know for a fact that although there may be some ‘Fujoshis’ who do match that description provided by OP above, but there are those who definitely do not.

    However, we all have to keep in mind that, most of us here, are most probably residing in a country outside of Japan. We don’t know how far the ‘Fujoshis’ there, take their fandom to (I’m thinking- Perhaps there was an event which triggered so much hate from the public?). I’m currently living in a country where the LGBT community is mostly accepted and they have many rights, like same-sex marriage. It isn’t that much of a big deal that someone here enjoys watching animated gay porn in their privacy, let me repeat, PRIVACY. The sudden rise in violence/crimes this year and recession is what we’re exponentially more worried about.

  6. Oh, GROW UP people, this is why I dislike Otaku people.
    They have a hard time fitting in in socierty, and so they just become bitchy. And don´t deny it, Otaku guys are such bitches,and they even can´t even afford being that way, being unatractive and nerdy :/
    WELL, go ask any good psychologist. It is very normal for a woman to like gay couples, and gay related material, just like men like lesbic related stuff. Im not saying every woman likes it, or that every man likes lesbic porn, But almost half of the population likes it, whether they say it or not. Its just part of being human. so, please, grow up, and take care of more important things, this blog is pure nonsense.

    1. “Otaku guys are such bitches and they even can´t even afford being that way, being unattractive and nerdy :/”

      The unattractive (of both sexes) can more than afford to be bitches: in fact, it fits them like a glove. I mean come on, it’s not like being nicer is going to make them any less ugly or help them get/make them entitled to beautiful people.

  7. Wrong Hatsu. It is normal for many men to like les stuff for societal reasons, it removes the man completely so they don’t even have to entertain the thought of looking at another man subconsioucly or not. Women don’t have half the restrictions placed on them as men do and do not react that way thus many studies have shown women enjoying gay stuff is rare alone and far rarer than men enjoying les.

    1. “women don’t have half the restrictions placed on them as men do”
      Oh, look, we got ourselves an MRA. You think women don’t have societal restrictions on their sexuality? If we want sex, we’re sluts. If we don’t, we’re a prude. Look up the “Madonna Whore complex”. Women are supposed to be demure and submissive when it comes to our sexuality. Or to not even have a libido and only want to have sex for reproductive purposes. This is what second wave feminism was about. Think of the phrase “Lie back and think of England”. Women like gay stuff for the same reason men do: it takes your own gender out of the picture.

  8. Ok, I LOVE Yaoi. I really do. I find it to be just so goddamn SEXY!! And you can’t change my mind you tiny dick whiner.

    BUT!! I STILL get VERY creeped out by a VAST MAJORITY of Yaoi! Most Yaoi is despicable, it really is. In fact, I just finished a review on a Yaoi comic that nearly made me PUKE!! It ALMOST makes me wanna HATE gays! Bit I don’t. Why? Oh I don’t know, cause I’m a NICE PERSON!?!

    Are you one of those Anti Gay assholes? No, you can’t be. You like that Yuri bullshit don’t you (note: I don’t hate Yuri). Anime lesbian porn that is no way NEAR as popular as Yaoi?? Huh asshat?

    I know FOR SURE that you were already WELL aware of adjustable fan girls of Yaoi! Why did you even make this? What did making this stupid rant accomplish? Let’s see…various people call you a sexist jackass? And-OH! That’s it! Acheivement unlocked bastard!

    I’m not mad at this dick for saying he hates Yaoi, I’m mad because he thinks we’re just some lonely virgins!!
    So if you’ll excuse me, I will continue to watch two hot guys make out with each other and fan girl all the way!!! WHO’S WITH ME!?

    1. Who are you even responding to? Did you even read the post? It’s not even about yaoi. If anything, it even defends women’s desire to consume yaoi. Holy shit. This article is like a fucking logic graveyard where yaoi-lovers just scan through the words and think it’s somehow about them. And by god, I gotta get on my fucking soapbox to tell everyone about how much I’m being persecuted for liking cartoon sex between cartoon guys. Hint: nobody gives a shit.

  9. And this just shows how much people love to criticize and ridicule others for their own amusement. Acting like the heroine in an epic tragedy.

    I know those weren’t complete sentences. just want to say that foreigners are better at writing in English then most Americans. (I’m an American…). This comment makes me cringe.

  10. Fujoshi are people who have a fetish for gay people. In real life, they could be extremely homophobic and narrow-minded, and claim that liking “yuri” or girls’ love is abnormal because it’s gay. So yeah, they’re people who jerk off over fictional light-skinned guys fucking.

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