Yes. Not why, but how.
From what I understand. In 460 words
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.
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^)
This school semester (sans-finals) is finally over and this time round, I took my first honors-level class on Japanese popular culture. After much contemplation, for my research paper, I decided to write on the inherent importance of moe-elements when it comes to character merchandise. It was a long and arduous process to see this paper to completion, but it was well worth it and exceedingly fun and educational.
Doujinshi, written as ‘dōjinshi’ throughout the following essay, is something that is close to the hearts of many Otaku, especially myself (take that however you may). And because of this, I decided to write a research paper on the subject for this past semester. Yes. You heard me. A paper on doujinshi for a university class. I love my major.
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. (^.^)
There is one thing that bothers me regarding Madoka, or more accurately, some of Madoka’s fans. Since the first episode of Madoka aired, on many forums and blogs and sites, I have noticed many comments along these lines: “I usually don’t touch Magical Girl Anime, but I am glad that I picked up Madoka” and comments on how Madoka has ‘redefined’ the genre.