Moe (萌え) literally means budding in Japanese but the new rising fandom for anime and manga had changed the term to be used as a particular interest in characters. It generally refers into the love, enthusiasm or non-sexual fetish by our fellow otakus.
“It’s definitely used to express that you like something..” – Izumi Konata (Lucky Star Ep 18 )
Moe doesn’t not always give the meaning of ‘cute’ but a much wider spectrum. For example, both tsundere and nekomimi are considered as a moe trait. It is also said that age is not a main concern for being moe. In addition, Moe-moe (萌え萌え) are defined as very moe.
The most common characteristics for moe are:
1. Huge eyes with big pupils and iris
2. Simple nose
3. Thin eyebrows
You can find this in almost all anime and manga or even video games.
Moe can be easily found in: To Heart, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, Rozen Maiden and etc.
Anime with least moe: City Hunter, Paradise Kiss, Slam Dunk, Initial D and etc.
Moe can be recognized in emotional traits or visual appearance too.
List of some general emotional traits and representative character(s):
Tsundere – Rin Tohsaka (Fate Stay Night) and Hiiragi Kagami (Lucky Star)
Naive – Milfeulle Sakuraba (Galaxy Angel) and Popuri (Harvest Moon: Back To Nature)
Clumsy – Takara Miyuki (Lucky Star)
Shy and Timid – Asahina Mikuru (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi)
Kind and Caring – Nunnally Lamperouge (Code Geass) and Elle (Harvest Moon: Back To Nature)
Given by different preference and thoughts from the audience, personalities like cold, sarcastic, mysterious, tomboy and more can be included for being moe. Nagato Yuki (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi), Izumi Konata (Lucky Star) and Enma Ai (Jigoku Shoujo) are all fallen into this group.
Moe visual appearance can be classified into 2 types:
Surprisingly, a character’s hairstyle can sometimes cause moe for specific audience.
Short hair – Hiiragi Tsukasa (Lucky Star)
Pony Tail – Sonozaki Mion (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)
Horns – Furude Hanyu (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) and Lucy (Elfen Leid)
Nekomimi – Hawatari Yuiko (Loveless)
Usagimimi – Suzumiya Haruhi and Asahina Mikuru (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi)
Special / Unique – Chi (Chobits)
As for costumes, we have lots and lots and LOTS of variety. It can be an accessory, a clothing or a profession uniform… (Start the brain storm).
More common ones would be:
Megane – Takara Miyuki (Lucky Star)
Uniform (Eg: student, police, nurse..) – Kobayakawa Miyuki (You’re Under Arrest) and Kosaka Tamaki (To Heart 2)
Maid – Asahina Miyuki (The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi)
Bunny – Kallen Stadtfeld (Code Geass R2)
Waitress – Sonozaku Shion (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)
Others such as Wizard/Witch, Teddy et cetera can also be taken account as moe.
With the mushrooming population of fujoshi (female otaku), moe are now applied on male as well.
Yes, moe applies to male and two of you are inside too, Honey-senpai and King-sama~! So did your fellow friends in the Host Club, they’re just so tasty!
The new culture – moe gijinka (萌え擬人化) known as Moe anthropomorphism had also arisen. A character (usually female) would be drawn to represent their products. You can recognize them by observing their clothes and accessories.
Most of their name would end with the word ‘-tan’ (たん). For instance, Opera-tan and Wikipe-tan while Mozilla have their name given as Moezilla.
Moe gijinka are also used in vehicles, planets, countries, food and Pokemon.
Instruction / guide books using moe characters for tutorial purposes are also available nowadays. They’re called Moe Book (萌え本). It is believed that the illustration in comic format brings the proses of learning into a much interesting level.
Anime Saimoe Tournament (アニメ最萌トーナメント) – Voting for the most popular moe character are also held annually online by the Japanese community since year 2002.
Previous winners list:
2002 – Kinomoto Sakura (Carcaptor Sakura)
2003 – Harada Riku (D.N.Angel)
2004 – Rosemary Applefield (Ashita no Nadja)
2005 – Takamachi Nanoha (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha)
2006 – Suiseiseki (Rozen Maiden)
2007 – Furude Rika (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni)
To make an ending, this is a moe picture of Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass. He is such a cutie, don’t you agree? ^.^
❤ ❤ ❤
Now please, go around and infect everyone with the All-So-Mighty-Moe virus. *Evil laughes*