psycho-pass staff complain about moe, i respond

As I pointed out in a tweet, for an anime that complains about moe anime, it sure made an interesting choice for it’s protagonist.

The staff of PSYCHO-PASS seem to be heavy in an anti-moe camp, which isn’t a bad thing as anime can stand to be a bit more diverse. But I don’t think they mean what they say. They say “that they intended to counter the current anime trends” and “the staff has a very masculine mindset and their meetings were full of talk about weapons and movies.” So they basically make fun of the “moe” trend and hop on the manly man trend? How is this “countering anime trends”? Anime has always been full of moe (the eyes… DEM BIG EYES!) and action shows. Moe shows always do well with a certain core audience (maybe the older, body pillow purchasing demographic) while the action shows do well with the bros and little bros of anime.

So what’s the big deal? Okay, PSYCHO-PASS isn’t in one big genre, but it’s in another big genre. What would be refreshing is if it were in its own genre and tried to break out of anime tropes and norms. There’s no perfect examples, but Nodame tried to be more than just a josei series and teach a bit about classic music and culture. Samurai Champloo tried to be a period piece about starving artists. Space Bros is about friendship, family, and NASA propaganda. At least these shows are trying different genres. PSYCHO-PASS is just boring action. Okay, you ripped off elements of Minority Report (heavily), Blade Runner, Akira, and Judge Dredd. How does that make it any different than a moe show borrowing from Hidamari Sketch, Ichigo Mashimaro, and Potemayo?

Secondly, for a show that wants to buck the trends, it is sure following the trends this season. You know what is hot this season and wasn’t the past… oh… since I started writing my thin slicing posts? Rape. There’s been rape and attempted rape in anime, but not as concentrated in episode 1’s and 2’s as this season. I’d have to go back and think about Friendship Anime (towards the end) or Mirai Nikki in the last year or so… but this season? Five fucking shows with rape themes in the first two episodes.



Takeaway from PSYCHO-PASS: If you’ve been raped, you’re more likely to rape or kill others. Even Todd Akin is shaking his head. Okay, maybe not.



Hey, besides attempted rape, there’s hideous animal abuse in the first episode.

(PSYCHO-PASS and CODE:BREAKER have more things in common than just rape. Both of their titles are done in all caps and feature punctuation between two English words. Great, now I’m afraid to watch Robotics;Notes episode 2…)



Oh man, a show with the punctuation at the end. At least it features both rape and attempted rape by episode 2. Great. PSYCHO-PASS is already behind!


Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures

ROY ROY!!! Okay, maybe it’s not full-on tentacle rape, but it is a forced sexual advance, and if the manga wasn’t in a Weekly Shounen Jump, it probably would have been a rape.


To Love You Darkness

Zombies and tentacles. And, of course, whited out placeholders for the BD release… nothing tastes quite as good as tax cuts for the wealthy as good old zombie tentacle rape pr0n.


Tonari no Kaibutsu

There’s been discussion about this show and rape, and most of it is weird to me. Really? “Beating a dead horse: Another look at the Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun problem“? Really? You’re that sure that this problem is a dead horse? Than, oh, Tim Tebow, NBC’s primetime lineup, Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the Sony Nex 7’s corner vignetting issues with wide angle rangefinder lenses, Lindsay Lohan, and more Tim Tebow. These are dead horse issues. Rape in shoujo anime? Not so much. If you mean a few blog posts by random anime bloggers and an io9 article. Yep. DEAD HORSE! Kristen Schaal is a horse! Kristen Schaal is a horse! Kristen Schaal is a horse! Kristen Schaal is a horse! Kristen Schaal is a horse! Kristen Schaal is a horse! Kristen Schaal is a horse! KRISTEN SCHAAL IS A HORSE!!!

(I don’t really care about Tonari no Kaibutsu. It’s a mediocre show with low to medium production values. I just wanted to point out that there’s been enough rape this season to trigger discussions of appropriateness of rape jokes. Before we even hit episode 2 of most shows. More importantly, how PSYCHO-PASS is not on the moe train but is on the rape train. Let me stress that again. TL;DR: MORE RAPE SHOWS THAN MOE THIS SEASON.)

I guess my point is this: Moe isn’t what’s wrong with anime. It’s a genre like any other like Toriyama style, magical girl, harem, sports, cooking, shoujo, josei, etc. What makes an anime good or bad isn’t the genre or if it is following trends. It’s that the anime is just simply good or bad. Anime is kinda like HGTV. They can only do so much, feature so many shows about renovations or house hunting, but the difference between an Income Property or a Property Bros isn’t the genre of the show but rather the execution, the hosts, and the renovations. We’ve seen it all. With 100+ new shows a year, we’re not getting new for the sake of new anymore. Just because you’re not following one trend (moe), doesn’t mean you can avoid falling into other trends… like poor PSYCHO-PASS being one of the many shows this season to feature rape early on.

If Naoyoshi Shiotani and Gen Urobuchi really wanted to make an anime different than anything else out there, might I suggest this manga. It needs an epic anime adaptation, and it doesn’t fall into either the moe or rape or anything popular genres. Now that’s a challenge.

8 Responses to “psycho-pass staff complain about moe, i respond”

  1. Well said as always. Nothing is really all that original anymore, however. Challenge remains in how well you execute.

  2. I think the bigger concern than Tonari no Kaibutsu awkward rape joke is how prevalent rape is casually and fanservice-y featured in this season.

    Also, rape has always been unfortunately prevalent in shoujo manga. Does anyone remember Hana Yori Dango? The asshole male lead paid a group of dudes to GANG RAPE the female protagonist of the story. His plan failed and she easily forgot about the incident.

  3. There is also the Haganai OVA, which also contains rape. But it’s somehow supposed to be funny.

  4. There is already anime about alcohol – Bartender. Sadly, very few people seem to have seen it despite the awesome characters and fairly good storytelling.

  5. I mean, if they really wanted to do something original, why not turn Saint Young Men into a series? I mean, unless you count it as the moefication of Jesus and Buddha.

  6. I would totally enjoy watching a Drops of God anime. The question is, who would animate it?

    Shaft would certainly give it a bizarre artistic touch, but a studio like P.A.Works would probably be more consistent in style…

  7. Definately needs a return to Minami-ke. Worst you;ll get their is tickled as punishment for not providing candy to 10 year olds (And maybe Haruka in costume).

  8. Comparing Drops of God to Bartender is like saying Skyrim is like Dragon Warrior because they’re both RPGs featuring dragons.

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