Redefining and Recontextualizing Moe: A New Dimension to Sexualized Cuteness

October 27, 2015

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After getting approval from my supervisor and head of department, I present to you my honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore.

I decided upon the topic of moe for my research as it has been a very hot-button issue in anime fandom for quite some time. I hope my paper will give you a clearer understanding of the concept, why moe might be far more useful and essential to the otaku than you might have realized and why moe isn’t insidious and does not spell the death of anime. Also discussed are gender issues and virtual child pornography.

ABSTRACT

By adopting a cultural studies approach, this paper seeks to redefine and recontexualize moe. This paper argues that moe is used as a coping mechanism by the otaku to reclaim agency and remain connected in a more individualized society as opposed to a tool that legitimizes the subjugation of women in society and homogenizes anime. This is done through the possession of fictional characters via the creation of dôjinshi, attending events and going on pilgrimages to the real-life settings of their favorite manga and anime. In addition, because moe is an element of the kawaii art style, it is separate and distinct from the other elements of an anime, allowing creators to retain creative freedom while simultaneously catering to the otaku and appealing to a wider demographic. Instead of being exploited by producers, the kawaii art style facilitates the production of character merchandise that the otaku purchase and use to aid them in reclaiming agency and connecting with fictional characters and other otaku.

Continue to the full text after the jump. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to link to this post! (^o^)

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Going to Japan… Again?!

August 2, 2013

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I can’t believe it. It’s like I’m still in a dream.

A couple of months back, at the recommendation of my teacher, I took part in the annual Japanese Speech Contest that’s organized, supported and sponsored by some of the most distinguished and renowned companies and organizations.

After two months of hard work and instruction by my dedicated teachers, I am glad to say that I have managed to come away from the Grand Finals with the top prize in the tertiary category this past weekend. One of the prizes is a trip to Japan and home stay in Shizuoka which I will be going for at the end of the year. In addition to that, I shall be extending my stay for about a week.

Once again, I really do have to thank the wonderful teachers from the National University of Singapore’s Center of Language Studies for all their guidance and support. I would definitely have not been able to achieve this without their help. Personally though, it’s not the prize that makes me happy, but the fact that I was able to do my teachers and parents proud gives me the greatest satisfaction.

…and with that, I wonder where I should go this time round. One thing’s for sure. Considering the fact that my speech was essentially a thank you letter to anime for playing an integral part in my life, Akihabara will be undoubtedly be a priority on my itinerary.


Actar in Japan …Part 2! – Day 2: Stand By Ready, Set Up! (For Wallet Pain)

August 20, 2012

With my opinions on the movie already covered in the previous post, it is time to chronicle my experiences at the movie premiere itself! Get ready to relive an epic tale of tragedy and triumph!

…well, not really.

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Actar in Japan… Part 2! – Day 1: Tired Touchdown

July 13, 2012

Yup, as of writing this, it’s 9:45pm and I have arrived in Japan. Well, more accurately, I arrived more than 12 hours ago. Gonna keep this post short and sweet because I’m dead tired.

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Updates Since… The Last One.

July 10, 2012

Alright. It’s time to stop making excuses, blow the dust off this blog and get thing’s back up and running!

WARNING: This post has not gone through any editing or proofreading.

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Japanese Popular Culture and Soft Power

July 10, 2012

Another semester, another academic paper on one of my all time favorite topics, Japanese popular culture. This time, it deals with the relationship between Japanese popular culture and Soft Power, the ability for one country to control another country’s wants and values through non-traditional means.

By now, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that my interest of Anime and Japanese popular culture extends beyond the boundaries of a mere hobby. Right now, it’s also a big, big part of my academic life. As the old adage goes: “Do what you love, love what you do, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life”.

Well, technically speaking, that’s complete bull because, believe me, writing this paper was not an easy task to accomplish. Hours of research, sleepless nights and sweat went into this paper and I’m ecstatic to say that all that effort was not in vain as I got quite a good grade for it.

As with all the other papers on my blog, the rest of this post will be sans pictures.

With that, I present to you the final draft of my work, untouched, for your reading pleasure. It can get rather technical at times, but I do hope you enjoy reading it. (^.^)

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Tessa Sends a Message to Victims of the Earthquake

March 21, 2011

Voice actress Nogami Yukina (Teletha Testarossa from Full Metal Panic!) has posted a video, sending a heartfelt message to the victims of the recent earthquake in character. I thought it was a exceedingly thoughtful gesture. The script was written by the writer of the FMP! Novels, Gato Shoji, and the picture drawn by the illustrator, Shikidouji.

See the video HERE.

I have translated what she has said to spread the message to non-Japanese speaking fans as well. (If I missed out anything or got anything wrong, don’t hesitate to point it out.)

Everyone, can you hear me?

This is the Captain of the Tuatha De Danaan, Teletha Testarossa.

To the victims of the recent disaster and to their families, as the representative of the ship, I offer my condolences.

The situation is tough, but I firmly believe that everyone can somehow overcome this crisis and recover the peaceful times once again.

That is because everyone… uwah!!!

I’m sorry! I dropped my mike and tripped when I tried to pick it up…

Er… I’m alright, I just hit my bottom…

At any rate, don’t give in to anxiety and don’t ever give up!

Everyone is rooting for you, of course, me included.

I’m praying for your good fortune.

That is all.

Transmission over.

I would love to subtitle the video and upload it to Youtube to spread the message, but I’m not sure if that would be appropriate.