This is a refined and expanded version of an editorial I originally wrote for Japanator. The original can be found here.
It seems one of the biggest problems in the ongoing moe debate is the lack of any concrete definition for the term “moe.” This has lead to all sorts of argument among otaku; some believe the term can be applied to any female character the viewer considers cute, while others argue it should be strictly limited to its original Japanese definition. Personally, I think the truth lies in between these two extremes. After all, language is defined by its usage, not by the opinions of a few crazed fanboys or some dusty old dictionary. Therefore, based on my own observations and research, I have created the Four Laws of Moe. I believe these laws lay out, in clear and concise detail, the exact parameters of moe and what traits a character must exhibit in order to be considered as such. Of course, these laws are merely a reflection of my own opinion; feel free to improve upon them, argue against them or even construct your own alternative theory. Whatever the case, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Did you know that without Project A-ko, anime as we know it would not exist?
Okay, so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. Still, Project A-ko was hugely influential on the 80s-era American anime fandom. It was one of the first non-artsy anime to be successfully imported to the States without being ripped to shreds à la Robotech; therefore, it fulfilled the role of gateway drug for many aspiring young otaku, introducing them to anime and launching their lifelong obsession with Japan that would eventually mutate into the modern monstrosity known as otaku culture. So, next time you’re glomped by a middle-aged 300-pound man dressed as Sailor Moon at a con, you can shake your fist at the sky and angrily scream, “PROJECT A-KO!”
But what’s the history behind this oh-so-important anime? Keep reading past the break to find out!
Many of you are probably familiar with the -tan meme, which delights in portraying various inanimate products such as Windows operating systems as anime-inspired moe girls. These -tan girls have been created for a variety of technology-related items, from popular gaming consoles to mobile suits, and usually come in one of two body types: buxom beauty or luscious loli. Recently, blogger Jonathan Wong posed the question “What if starships were anime characters?”, and answered it with four pictures depicting various starship-tan girls based on famous ships from the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises. When I saw this, I thought, “Hmm… what a lovely excuse to test out our new lightbox plugin!” Ulterior motives aside, enjoy the images!
First up, we have Enterprise-tan, based on the USS Enterprise design from the new Star Trek film.