Is this a spoiler? You all know about King Author right? This is kind of like that, but spelled better. But if you’re watching Fate/Zero this is then not a spoiler.
- Dusk maiden of Amnesia – Casper is now some hot 15-year-old grandma who likes to strip naked and hug you, but still maintains her ghastly side upon viewer’s choice. (Also, she is Takane.)
- Nyaruko-san: Another Crawling Chaos – Nyarlathotep is now a cute alien girl trying to get inside your pants.
- Upotte! – Assault rifles are now cute, military girls.
- Sankarea – Is this a zombie? I mean, the tragically beautiful girl you share a secret with is now your undead girlfriend.
- Is This a Zombie? – You became a zombie, but the necromancer who raised you from the dead is this quiet, timid and cute girl who now lives with you to take care of you. You also live with a magical girl who is more like your long-lost childhood friend, and this vampire ninja who looks like a pin-up model that part-times as a dominatrix helps you care for the home.
- Mouretsu Pirates – Well.
- Fate/Zero – Saber is King Arthur? “You’ve got to be kidding me” is what I would say, if it was year 2001. But to spell it out for you, man summons the kight of Britons, who is a cute if stoic girl who is bent on business and, well, in Fate/stay night, also gets in bed with the protagonist. Thankfully in Zero she just stands pretty for Archer, for the most part.
I think if I go back every season I’ll probably find a handful of anime that follows this sort of tact where you take a existing genre trope and spin it in some weird way to make a new story that eventually gets made into an anime. It is nothing new. It’s the sort of stuff Hiroki Azuma put in his book over 13 years ago. What I want to point out is also nothing new, but is there any reason to believe that there are some people out there who likes girls like these? It’s one thing to see someone like Rea or Yuuko as attractive human beings, but I see it as otaku pandering. I mean, when confronted with the plot elements of the undead, am I suppose to be more amused with this setup? And it doesn’t have to be undead. It’s like anything (a horrific elder god from Call of Cthulhu is as good of an example as any) can turn into your moe-moe girlfriend. And in the land that is culturally animistic, that means anything from doorknobs to the parking lot can have some kind of deistic representation and that mechanism enables the possibility of a matching moe mascot to go with, well, just about anything.
All that separates from scenes from a daily life and a moe harem is corporate funding and backing.
On the bright side, a lot of the times these shows do make a big effort tying in those strange database decisions (lack of a better word) to the core narrative so it is somewhat meaningful. This is why, for example, Nyaruko-san is a reference-heavy show. Because how can you possibly work in the fact that Nyaruko is Nyarlathotep? It’s immeasurably easier to see how you can like Rea before and after her passing; it’s even written into the plot, the secret of her resurrection. On the other hand, in Yuuko’s case, I think we’re kind of given it as taken, the idea serving as the part of the mystery driving the overall story forward. But will it actually explain why Yuuko is who she is?
Is this why we were asked “Is This a Zombie?” in “Is This a Zombie”? Because, well, that show gives it to you in the title and that is it?
It’s times like this that I appreciate books by Nasu or Kyogoku because they drive at this sort of thing. And are also the biggest offenders at this sort of thing. I mean, Nasu made King Arthur into a moe-moe character. I suppose that might be not so bad compared to what went on in Fate/Extra. What am I saying? It’s horrible.
There is clearly no escape. Or rather, what do you want to see next? How can you tie the act of moe-ification to the story?
PS. Certainly, doing this with little sisters seem awfully mundane these days.