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Over the years the term has become so generalized that it's used by fans to describe any character or character trait that they find endearing even when the usage makes little conventional sense. At the same time, it has spurred debate between those in support of Moe and those in opposition to it, which in turn mirrors the general split of opinion on Kawaisa in Japan.

Hayao Miyazaki is an example of someone who, while initially sympathetic to Moe, changed his stance later on. He once stated that Moe is the natural result of attempts to simply create a female character whom you can sympathize with and nothing more. He has stated that making them "lovely" is merely the same as making a hero brave or strong. He has also stated that while not inherently controversial, the nature of what Moe has become and it's subsequent handling in the growing years has, according to him, reached the stage where there are too many people who shamelessly depict Moe characters as pets or objects of fetishism/misogyny/power fantasy rather than as wholesome characters, and things are escalating more and more (especially due to Japan's gender conflicts and men retreating in secluded lives). To that end Hayao Miyazaki became a self-avowed feminist and is considered part of a new counter-Moe movement known as Superflat which openly mocks otaku sexism.