Moe Invasion – Is it true or is it a fantasy?Posted: December 31, 2010
I remember making a comment a while back at one of Behind the Nihon Review posts about doing a numerical analysis on whether moe anime series has become more prevalent in recent years or whether it seems that way because of popular series such as K-ON!. Having collected the data from 2000 to 2009, I am using that data to do the analysis below. As soon as I get around to collecting the comprehensive data before 2000 and in 2010, I will update the analysis accordingly.
The standard chart will show that particular genre of anime series as a percentage of total anime series in that particular period. For example, if a comedy show in 2000 has value of 20%, it means 20% of the show shown in 2000 is comedy
0). SO WHAT IS MOE?
Quick background check for those not familiar, moe is a Japanese slang used to describe ‘something precious, usually (but not always) the ideal of youthful and innocent femininity’ (see Anime News Network explanation or Wikipedia). Anime series that contains to a significant degree these elements are by definition. I am using the list of anime with moe theme as provided by ANN as my basis for analysis. I admit this is not perfect but it si the best list I have at my disposal without having to go read every single blog and post and come up with my own distilled list!
1). TREND BY YEAR
- Based on the yearly chart for Moe, we can see quite clearly that moe series has definitely gone up in term of its share over the decade.
- The first 4 years (2000-3), the share of moe show averages at only 0.3% (one show out of the 300 during that period).
- The next three years (2004-6), the average goes up to 2.3%
- The average reaches 6.0% in the last three years (2007-9).
- 2007 is so far the peak year of the moe shows. Such shows that you can find in that year are Bamboo Blade, Clannad, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!, Hidamari Sketch, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Lucky Star, Moetan and Potemayo
- The lone moe show in the first four years of the decade is Azumanga Daioh in 2002. Got to give it to Chiyo-chan for blazing through the trail for the rest of the decade to follow!
2). TREND BY SEASON
We can also look at this on a seasonal basis:
- The correlation obviously does not look quite as smooth but the trend is still there to be seen
- Summer 2007 has the highest share at 13% (3 out of 24) with Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, Moetan and Potemayo
- Summer 2006 is the last season with no moe show. Since then, 13 seasons in a row up until Summer 2009, there is at least one moe show during each of the season
Note that when I divide the results on a season basis, I assume the following month-to-season conversion. This should be true for the majority of the series and save me from having to do it more manually.
Winter: December, January, February
Spring: March, April, May
Summer: June, July, August
Fall: September, October, November
3). SHARE BY SEASON
Just for fun, I now sum up anime by season and find out if any season tends to have higher share of moe shows
- Summer has nearly twice as high the number as any other seasons
- Due to the small number of titles, I don’t think this is that significant
4). OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MOE SHOWS
- During the last decade, there are 28 moe anime series released between 2000-9 according to my data
- Comedy is the most common genre with these 28 moe shows. 53% or 15 shows are designated as both genres. It makes sense that these twi seem to go hand in hand as most moe shows seem to play up the innocence and comedy aspects
- Slice-of life (9) and Drama (9) are the next two on the list
- Only one moe show is also action: ‘11eyes: Tsumi to Batsu to Aganai no Shoujo’
- Only one moe series is longer than 26 episodes: Hetalia: Axis of Powers
- Most series are 13-episode variety ( 18 out of 28 or 67%)
- A majority (14 or 50%) originates from manga. No surprise here as this is only slightly higher than the total average (all anime series) or 45%
Yes, moe shows seem to be on the rise, especially during the last three years. No, they are not going to completely replace everything with size of only around 6% of all the show being released (1-2 a season, 7 shows a year). I will be interested to see how 2010 adds to this analysis, whether the current pace and trend of the last decade is going to accelerate or flatline at this current rate.