The Newbies Guide to Moē
aka "No, it is not a popularity contest."
by Ariolander, Hentai PhD.
The online community of anime fans has its own language of sorts with terms like Moé, GAR, Yandere, Trap, and Fap being thrown around with many not knowing what they are or where they come from. Some are imported from our Japanese counterparts, some are onomatopoeias popularized by webcomics, and in an effort to fight off the ignorance, ???-looks, and misuse of these terms I present to you part two of this series.
Moe pronounced "mo-eh" is probably one of the hardest terms to describe... partially the reason why I have been procrastinating this guide so much. It is also insanely complex because there is not one unified or agreed upon meaning but rather many and varying accounts to exactly "what is moe?" for the sake of simplicity I decided to boil moe down to its very basics and a common meaning shared between most factions of fandom.
For those interested check out the following post Supplimental Information on Moē for more information on things not covered in the main article in detail.
Warning: Wikipedia is wrong! Never Wikipedia this term.
It is horribly inadequate and terribly inaccurate.
The Orgins:Main Entry: moe
A specific character or its specific partial element that invokes a strong feeling of favor toward it. 'Moe' suggests the condition of being infatuated with one character or thing and implies an image of someone burning with desire.
"I am really into meganeko. I guess you could call it a 'glasses moe'."
There are 2 different schools of thought of the origins of the term. Both of them seem practical as they hail from Japan so we will examine each. The meaning might have changed over time and in translation into fandom but these are the two most plausible origins.
The first is to take it literally where Moe is the Japanese word for "budding".
While it sounds great on paper taking things literally and all in application "moe" has little to do with plants or the female reproductive system so I have taken the liberty of dismissing this and the entire Wikipedia entry on moe altogether. The Wikipedia "experts" have had a history of failing getting both Tsundere & GAR (covered in previous articles) wrong so I doubt they had a sudden burst of insight.
Yes, this is a stupid reason for dismissing this theory but if you really want to know why this is wrong read the Supplementary Information post below.
The second is that Moe derives from the Japanese word Moeru, which means “burning”.
Moeru or moe is to "burn with passion". It describes the burning desire that fills your soul when you see a cute girl. Moe describes something so infatuating and so consuming that often it invokes feeling that you must have it or protect it. So while some may give it sexual connotations in its purest form it is nothing of the sort.
As with the word "love" moe is a very abstract term that involves feelings and can be very subjective. Just as one person might love something another might have different feelings. Likewise "moe" is a very personal matter and is extremely hard to quantify.
You can say that moe is much like love but as love has many definitions (we will be using the ones from Meriam Webster) I will discount a few and point out the similarities on some and hopefully you will get an idea of what moe is like.
Types of Moe:
1 a: On all 3 counts love does not apply. Though your child may have moe aspects the feelings of moe do no extend to your children. Likewise it does not apply to lovers as that kind of love is simply too intimate and violates the "urge to protect" aspect if you wanna violate her. Finally if it is based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests I wouldn't really coll that process "burning with passion". b: for the same reason as before it doesn't apply because it is too intimate.
2: This might apply that instead of merely 'warm' it is 'burning'.
3 a: Very much so. Except it can apply to not only things but people and characters as well. b: Though you may find it darling again this implies something too intimate.
4 a: Very much so. Not only do you burn with passion but also a passion to protect the moe object. b: I never met God personally but you never know s/he could me moe.
5: Not unless you burn with so much passion you become the personification of it.
7: HELL NO!
Moe can refer to different characters or different aspects of characters. It can be used similarly with the word 'fetish' except without the dark sexual undertones commonly associated with the word.
Common types of moe can include:
- 'weak girl moe'
- 'maid girl moe'
- 'young lady moe'
- 'glasses moe' aka meganeko one of my own weaknesses
- 'cat ear moe' aka nekomimi my ultimate weakness
For example the meaning of 'glasses moe' refers to a taste that is taken with a character who wears glasses; furthermore, this taste fetishizes the feature itself of glasses-wearing. In this case, glasses are the 'moe' element and thus the glasses wearing character can be considered moe.
Continuing the started by early as to the orgins section of this article these listed below are DEFINATELY not moe and if you think they are then you are a fool and should go back to editing otaku culture pages on Wikipedia.
Cooking Moe - Best take this one straight from Impz of THAT Animeblog
Read the full article for more.No, I am not talking about anime girls who can cook. I am talking about those anime girls who are considered to be moe because they manage to waste a whole bunch of ingredients into carbon. If you ask any self-justified anime fan, you will find that many of them find this clumsy characteristic of the girl to be so moe-inducing that they just fall deeper in love with the character. Read that right: The inability to carry out something from a cookbook is supposed to be an act of cuteness.
What is wrong with you guys? Someone who waste ingredients on a perfectly simple meal deserves to be scolded and reprimanded for her incompetence. I mean, do you ever find a girl who cannot cook to save her life in real life cute. Do you find her so adorable that you pray for her to be unable to cook for her entire life? I don’t get it because I find the inability to cook to be a distinct liability regardless of gender. That is why I cannot understand this fetish at all since an act of stupidity is meant to be cute.
Retarded Moe - Again best take this one from Impz of THAT Animeblog
Read the full article for more.With the appearance [sic] Clannad, the level of retarded moe was broken. Fuuko is exactly as the definition of retarded-moe, stupid, incapable of thought processing and often does stupid things that make little sense to anyone with logic. I can understand why people want to protect a defenseless girl but Fuuko is not only defenseless but stupid to the extent of ridiculous proportions. In fact, her level of stupidity is so high that she grates on my nerves. I cannot understand why people think a girl who is generally doing very stupid acts is actually cute. In fact, I had people accusing me being a jerkbag because I insulted the pure Fuuko. I do not think that being pure means being retarded. Thank you very much.
Everything is Moe - No, not everything.
Taking a leaf out of Ratatouille not everyone can be moe, but moe can come from anyone.
To be moe for something is to burn with passion. Often what might inspire that passion can be a combination of love and cuteness. To be moe is neither to be lovable nor cute (though both certainly help) but something that is passion inspiring and heartfelt.
Often these feelings of moe inspire a secondary set of feelings growing an urge to protect the object of your moe and in many cases the moe object often suggests a subtle sense of purity or cuteness. While my moe may not be your moe as it is very subjective in general all moe share one thing.
They are passion inspiring...
Contrary to their title moeblob ≠ moe. Put simply moeblob = shit.
Do you burn in passion for shit? Then maybe.
Personally I got tired of it after KyoAni killed this horse.
What is Moe:
- Passion Inspiring
- Urge to Protect
- Cute or Pure
What is NOT Moe:
- A Popularity Contest
Note: Just because you like something does not mean its moe. Everything you like is not moe. It can be moe even if you don't like it... as long as it is not shit. Shit can never be moe. No matter how much you shine a turd it is still a turd.