12 Days of Moe – Day 12: Best Moe Anime

gochiusa_kinmosa_crossover

Moe anime gets a lot of criticisms on how it has no plot and drama so on, which if you’re with me until now, isn’t the point of moe anime-they focus on fun, relaxation, healing and just generally the feel-good atmosphere. And again, while I do agree most of them lack the impact to really be in a legit “Top Anime” list, here’s a list of “Top Moe Anime” list instead to finally give them the recognition they so deserved.

kinmosa

1. Kiniro Mosaic

Kiniro Mosaic has an interesting character dynamics especially with the addition of two “foreigners” archetypes. The clash of culture is not thoroughly explored, at the same time, it doesn’t need to as just a subtle way of handling the clash would be great, which is something Kiniro Mosaic done excellently. Even Shinobu’s fascination with blonde hairs, and Alice’s fascination with Japanese culture is an already nice, telling contrast which equates to a thousand words. It’s really just a moe show with “foreigner” characters.
 

gochiusa2

2. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?

Moe shows are cute, innocent, relaxing and focused on subtleties with minimal drama. Even among it’s peers though, this is something GochiUsa pulled off to near perfection. GochiUsa is superbly pleasant to watch for the most part, and also has an endearing cast of characters. While the setting and concept behind GochiUsa aren’t overly special or anything, the ideas behind them are still fairly interesting, more so than it’s peers in all honesty. Like a good cup of coffee, GochiUsa represents the ultimate “tea break” anime.
 

yuruyuri

3. Yuru Yuri

Yuru Yuri is one of those weird shows where I actually had a lot more fun shipping than anything else, which is obvious considering it’s large character cast-and it will be hard to not find a character you like. Yuru Yuri is a cute girls doing cute things show, with a lot of emphasis on the “doing” part. Because even as moe shows go, I personally feel Yuru Yuri is the most “active” one out of all of them. Furthermore, the colorful visuals of this series really accentuate the already energetic, bubbly atmosphere.
 

non non biyori

4. Non Non Biyori

The best part of Non Non Biyori is to see the characters interact with it’s mundane rural world-an escapist world, away from the busy metropolitan life; and the visuals and audio production are excellent in accentuating this. Calm tunes, realistic sound effects like the buzzing of insects and very photogenic backgrounds make the whole experience an especially immersive one. It’s a feel-good, healing anime at it’s very best. Nyanpassu, everyone. Nyanpassu.
 

k-on

5. K-ON!

I mentioned it before, but to me, K-ON is an introductory anime to me for the wonders of moe. It has the classic elements of what makes most moe anime good-cute, fluff, relaxation, subtle developments and so on. It’s just so good at what it does, and the fact that it’s a concluded series makes it even better, because a concluded slice of life is always a formula for something special.
 

[Mezashite] Sakura Trick - 01 [CE6A102E].mkv_snapshot_13.08_[2014.03.16_14.02.45]

6. Sakura Trick

While yuri remains subdued in moe anime, Sakura Trick tricks (heh) that notion by having their characters who are already canonically paired, constantly engaged in super sweet, and dare I say, lewd make outs; while still maintaining the light-hearted flair of moe anime. While I mentioned that yuri is not exactly exclusive to moe anime, and even if they are present, they are mostly in undertones; this anime however, really took this up a notch. Sakura Trick is honestly everything I want out of a yuri anime-simple, moe, cute and just a little lewd.
 

aria

7. Aria

Before Non Non Biyori even exists, there was one anime called Aria, which was arguably the queen of “feel good” anime. A lot of things I repeated on Non Non Biyori can be said over here too-in that Aria thrives on having an extremely relaxing, soothing escapist world. Aria is about discovering excitement within the mundane — calm and soothing soundtracks would reverberate throughout the world of Neo-Venezia as we accompany Akari on her daily adventures. Aria is truly an anime of tranquility and catharsis. However, that still doesn’t stop Aria from being character-driven when it needs to, offering some genuine, heartfelt character-driven storytelling too. The world, characters and the fact that it’s a concluded series really propels Aria to one of the best regardless of genres.
 

nichijou

8. Nichijou

Aired around the same time as the first season of Yuru Yuri and hasn’t seen any future releases since, Nichijou is often overlooked when it comes to discussions of Best Moe Anime. Similar to Yuru Yuri, Nichijou is an anime which focuses more on energy rather than relaxation. And if I were to be frank, Nichijou is quite literally the funniest in this list. Utilizing well-animated physical comedy and top notch comedic timing, Nichijou is a moe anime which is both cute and hilarious.
 

hidamari sketch

9. Hidamari Sketch

Hidamari Sketch is an anime which has a more low-key atmosphere, focusing more on slice of life. In short, the characters conversing trivial topics as the television playing in the background is the main, quiet essence of Hidamari Sketch. Aside from the quiet, relaxing ambiance, Shaft also makes it work by incorporating their unique visual styles in it, bolstering a sense of creativity. After all, this IS an anime about characters in an art school. Furthermore, thematic plot points are very subtly developed along the course of the series — dreams, choices and parting, which really makes this series a lot more special than your typical moe shows.
 

hanayamata

10. Hanayamata

One of the common aspects of moe anime is that they have minimal drama, Hanayamata is one moe anime though which really stretched that “minimal” to the very limit. In fact, Hanayamata is a rather unique moe anime compared to all the other entries in this list, as it resembles an idol anime more, considering the fact that this is an anime about yosakoi-a traditional Japanese dance. Hanayamata is cute and light-hearted but also serious and passionate; it has a light atmosphere and design you would expect from a moe anime, but it also treats it’s characters and the main subject, yosakoi, very seriously — resulting in an anime which contains fun, cuteness and feels.

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This entry was posted by Kai.

12 thoughts on “12 Days of Moe – Day 12: Best Moe Anime

  1. I’ve watched every anime on your list and generally agree with your comments. I’d love to find a place for Manabi Straight somewhere in there, a very underrated show imo.

  2. Although it’s only been this year I’ve twigged that I’m a moe fan, I’m deep into it now and on the lookout for moe-specific titles, so thanks for this post. You named a couple of shows I was curious about anyway, without knowing they had a moe element, so Non Non Biyori and Nichijou are definites for me now.

    K-ON! is love. And Hanayamata was adorable, picked it up for review quite by accident and related to Naru so hard. Really appreciated the attention to character in that show.

    • Hanayamata is interesting because it delves into the characters much more seriously than it has any business being, and as a whole, it actually makes the show even better.

  3. One of the elements of Non Non Biyori that many seem to miss is there is a strong undercurrent of isolation for some of the characters, particularly for Hotaru and Renge. Hotaru, who transferred from Tokyo to a place where vegetable stands use an honor system and people ‘own’ mountains, often struggles to relate to her new friends. Renge, otherwise a normal 6 year old who loves to walk in the woods, often gets a sense that her world is very limited. For me, who lived in a place were there were more farm animals than people and the road in front of my house was gravel until I was 12ish, I’m able to connect to these characters in a way I rarely do with those in most other stories.

    ->Nichijou is often overlooked when it comes to discussions of Best Moe Anime.

    A picture of Nano Shinonome has been the background wallpaper on my cell phone since the summer of 2011 :D

    • Yeah you just reminded me there were indeed some episodes focusing on those (specially the earlier ones). I think those are often overlooked because Non Non Biyori is just such a positive show, even if characters are struggling with isolation, the show just spins everything in such a light-hearted, positive way that you kinda forgot about it. Being a moe show as well, whatever problems the characters are having are also usually solved by the end of the episode. All these is actually great for what it’s trying to do — iyashikei, but an iyashikei that makes us care about the characters.

      Also you have great taste sir :p Nano Best Robot

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