The “Moepocalypse” Subgenre

Just a quick look of what this genre entails. Haven’t written one of these since I talked about my love for the Girls Club subgenre in the first year of this blog.

Madoka Rebellion Poster

So, moepocalypse. Obviously I’m no the one who created the term but I’m sure the one who will use it more frequently. The term refers to anime featuring cute animals and or things going through unspeakable amounts of physical and (mostly) emotional trauma with a bit of psychological thrown in the mix.

Chirin's Bell

These anime either start off deceptively innocent but shows hints of becoming more sinister as it progresses or it starts off grim from the get-go.

Gen'ei wo Kakeru Taiyou Cover

The damage inflicted is usually emotional or psychological. Yes this involves physical damage but the goal is to traumatize cute girls or animals into emotional break downs.

Selector Infected WIXOSS

Why adolescent or teenage girls (sometimes boys) specifically? Mostly because it is easier to relate with younger people getting into emotional perils and trauma inducing events that even adults have a very hard time coping with. The torture has to be strong enough to get viewers who are emotionally invested to ask the question “Why are these cruel things happening to these cure girls/animals!?” Basically it’s easier to get “the feelz” when the torment is happening to young people rather than a 40 year old ripped war veteran for example.

Black Bullet

Now when the term”moepocalypse” is used that doesn’t always refer to shows that mainly center around young girls and take place after the apocalypse, the point is that the strongest dose of pain is inflicted on the whippersnappers.

Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru Cover

Sometimes the young ones are unprepared for the impending doom that will plague their lives for a long time while other times the yokels had been through so much pain already that they lost most, if not all their “feelz”.

Naru Taru

…and sometimes there’s Naru Taru.

The one bright side is this exercise of padawan suffering gives way to interesting storytelling, though whether it is praised or not is subjective. It is usually about the journey than the destination, also like the overall show the opinions of whether the heroes/heroines should survive all ordeals placed before them or not is subjective.


In the end humans are violent creatures who react quicker to negativity and are attracted to suffering no matter how much they try to deny it. That is why moepocalypse anime/manga/games continue being churned out in droves.

Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Can’t help but be intrigued by these shows. The mix of interesting plots and “NOOOOOOOO! NOT THE KID!” is what keeps the interested coming for more…that and people who feel a natural attraction to the morbid rather than mere curiosity. That’s the best reason I can think of that moepocalypse media keeps getting churned from the land of the rising sun…and possibly other countries I am not aware of. Of course the shows I used as examples here are far from the only moepocalypse media out there…

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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30 Responses to The “Moepocalypse” Subgenre

  1. Neko Haruka says:

    You forgot the worse to them, the one based on a true story, Grave of the Fireflies. Which didn’t intend to fall into this category, but since it is a about a pair of kids dealing with a war it kind of does and is by far is one of the most emotional. I was just thinking of this same thing the other day, but mostly due to Key the metal idol and Alien 9, two extreme examples of early psychological series that really torment the characters. A9 managed so much feels in just 4 episodes while Key managed to spread it out and completely confuses the hell out of people. I could go on listing one anime after another that falls in this catagory…

    I think this trend really started with Kanon, the idea of creating a simple world that looks on the surface like an ordinary school life drama only to turn out to be much more emotional and deep. Then again we can blame Key, the creator of Kanon, little busters, Angel beat and so on, for a lot of emotional anguish that they have caused with their stories. As you already know I can go on and on about this subject for hours on end but will leave my ramblings for my page…


    • Overlord-G says:

      It is one of your favorite subgenres after all so I know I can count on you to name old school ones besides Chirin’s Bell.


      • Neko Haruka says:

        I could throw out a long list if you really want it…. Ever heard of Milk Closet??? shudders I could give you some video games as well… Rule of Rose anyone??? nervous laughter


      • Overlord-G says:

        I played a bit of RoR before my PS2 went kaput. Oh yes, you reading lots of manga I wouldn’t be surprised you could name a mountain load of moepocalypse titles.


    • Kurokanako says:

      Hi 🙂
      May I ask you for suggestions on other anime/manga that fit into the moepocalypse genre? I really like this genre and have seen all the anime OG talked about in this post and am in dire need of a good recommendation :p


  2. trans homura says:

    These tend to be very YMMV like Madoka and Yuki yuna great Daybreak not so much


  3. Overlord-G says:

    Another one.


  4. EzekieL says:

    where is corpse party tortured souls ? this one is full of madness and moe moe at the same time


  5. makotachi says:

    I always read from other sources that the reason they use high schoolers is because most people in Japan went to highschool, but not college, so they relate better. There was also something about viewing highschool as the better parts of your life, or along those lines. Just what people speculate though, doesn’t mean it’s true! But your point could very well be a reason for it as well.

    I wouldn’t claim human beings are attracted to suffering though, especially since we’re hardwired to remember fear and pain the most and we’re programmed to do our best to avoid actual true fear and true harm. I think it’s more like their looking for an emotional connection, but it’s hard to really describe. It’s not that you want to see the character suffer, but you can empathize with them and this gets an emotional response from the viewer. I would say it’s more a strange fascination to feel a connection than a desire of violence innate within us. That’s just me though.

    Interesting read though!


  6. elkat4 says:

    Cute characters and dark tones, these can be both fun and horrifying depending the situation. While I enjoy plenty of happy go luck slice of life series, there’s just a morbid attraction to this genre. It may be the fact that when I write, I’m prone to giving my characters a rough time (it’s rare for me to write a character whose past didn’t have one life altering event in it). That being said, I feel these type of series are popular for the hurt/comfort fandom as well. We see these adorable characters suffer so much, it’s easy to wish you could just hug them and tell them it’s going to okay- at least that’s what I believe.


  7. Kai says:

    Kinda surprised you didn’t mention Madoka anywere.

    But yeah, interesting post. I think it’s just easier to sympathize with cute characters suffering, in contrast to a 40 year old war veteran like you said. There’s also the case that there’s a very high possibility that these very characters will mostly be in high school-probably the best setting to accentuate emotional connection with the characters. Since in high school, while some had happy experiences, other could had some bitter memories with it-these just make it very easy translatable to anime, especially if they need to connect emotionally to the viewers.


  8. iop says:

    I would recommend the anime Divergence Eve and its sequel Divergence Eve :Misaki Chronicles as A good moepocalype anime,it has student teacher yuri and takes elements from H.P Lovecrafts stories and has a and ending that is like Yuri Kuma Arashi.


  9. Marion Delgado says:



  10. yurimylove says:

    interesting discussion! actually I had not heard of the term “moepocalypse” before but now that you explained it here it makes perfect sense.


    • Overlord-G says:

      I thought the term was already commonplace before I brought it up considering the kinds of shows that have aired over the years with a similar theme.


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