Moe and the Knowing Glimpse: Fanservice and Personal Seeing in Anime and Manga

By Keith Russell.

Published by The International Journal of Arts Theory and History

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 3, 2014 $US5.00

By theorising new ways of seeing (the glimpse) and feeling (moe) available as fanservice in anime and manga, we are able to establish new understandings of personal and aesthetic identity. The novelty and significance of the glimpse can be seen by comparison with existing concepts such as the look, the gaze, the glance, and the pictorial turn. Moe, as a new literary affect, can be located as part of existing understandings of kenosis, the affect of lyric identity. Fanservice, the seemingly random and gratuitous display of anticipated gestures (often libidinous) in anime and manga, is usually treated as a trivial aspect of these art forms. Through a theory of the glimpse and an account of moe as an identity affect, we are able to disclose the therapeutic aspects of fanservice.

Keywords: Aesthetics, Cultural Theory, Affects, Kenosis, Fanservice

The International Journal of Arts Theory and History, Volume 8, Issue 2, July 2014, pp.23-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 3, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 327.885KB)).

Dr. Keith Russell

Senior Lecturer, School of Design, Communication, and Information Technology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia