[Quick Post] What I see as “Moe”


“Moe” [萌え], a Japanese slang term used to describe a character to which you the viewer would develop “a pure, protective feeling towards”. “Moe” literally means “budding/developing”, which refers to the growing/developing protective feeling for the character. The same “Moe” can be used for ‘attraction, fascination, interest, fetish, etc. etc…’, for example: tsundere-moe, attraction/interest for tsundere characters. [Which I have! ;) ]

But there is yet another form of “Moe” that is used more often…and that’s the one with the kanji “燃える” [to burn, to get fired up]. This one I think is a few level above the other “Moe”. Where “Moe” gives the feeling of attraction and interest, which is more innocent, “Moe” [燃え] carries the feeling of SEXUAL attraction.


You can see these two different of “Moe” in anime. When referring to the more ‘extreme’ “Moe”, the character, usually male, screaming “Moooeeee~!!!” has flames or some super seizure inducing background as he says it…that means he got h0rny…HE IS BURING UP!!! Whereas the more innocent “Moe” the dude is there saying “Moooeeee~” in his mind without any crazy background nor loud screaming. That means he developed this [protective] interest to the girl.

But I see “Moe” in a completely different way…as a synonym for ‘cute’. To me, “Moe” just means that, ‘cute’…and that is the way I use it and the only way I’ve ever used it…I don’t think I’ve ever used it for that protective feeling nor for the sexual attraction. If you’ve seen a post where I’ve written ‘moe~’ [I don’t use the word much…>_>] or something, you’ll see that the image above is ‘cute’ and there’s no “I WANNA PROTECT THIS GIRL!!!” nor “I WANNA RAEP THIS GIRL!!!!” connotation to it. I may be using the term “moe” completely wrong…but who cares?

I don’t even know why I wrote this… -_-


9 thoughts on “[Quick Post] What I see as “Moe”

  1. Looking on your poll, it seems you use the word correctly after all. I use ‘moé’ the same way. Sometimes I even think ‘moé!’ on real life girls who are cute/wear glasses/both! xD

  2. It’s amazing how well Sakura’s moeness has held up over the years. She’s the prototypical KyoAni-like moeblob that’s so popular nowadays.

  3. lol I feel so awkward when I come across moe topics like these. Maybe cuz I’m a girl so that second option will never apply to me ( XD; ) but anyways…

    Hmm, that’s pretty much how I use “moe”, too. At the most, any girl who can induce an apocalyptic squeal-fest out of me and make me want to bear-glomp the life out of them I would consider moe. Then again, moe is a largely different level of “cute” and I use the latter more than the former so it really depends on the character. I find that I’m more fond of girls when I perceive them as just “SOO CUTE~! <333" than "OMG, MOEEEE~!"…is what I'm trying to say? lol, sorry for the confusion. XD;

    Regarding the "protectiveness" deal, I can see where the definition for that comes in but more often than not, the girls I find the most (sensibly) moe are usually the ones I don't have any protective feelings for. Actually, I don't think I even have any at all. It just seems like a general consensus among the fans that "Ok, this girl is moe” and I’d usually agree with the majority (granted I know enough about the girl first).

    Fail comment. T3T;

  4. Well, in order to know what a word actually means you always need to look at how it’s used, not at its origins or, so to speak, its encyclopedic meaning. What is important is how the word is used in real contexts.

    In fact, I have very seldom seen “moe” used to describe someone you want to protect. Maybe never.

    Anyway, it would take too long to do, so it’s not me who’s gonna do it, but to find out how it’s really used I think it would be useful to take a large sample of the usage of moe, to see to which characters and in what situations it’s applied, etc., and see if there’s anything consistent there.

    Generally speaking, though, I agree it’s become almost synonymous with “kawaii”.

    It may also be used to refer to characters who you find cute but not in a sexual way. I say so because I think I remember someone saying about the onsen scene in k-on that they didn’t think the steam would be removed in the DVD version a la Gonzo, because it’s a MOE show.

    That could be a lead, I guess, so if anyone wants to do the research…

  5. @Gargron: One person voted for “Sexual Attraction”! ^_^’

    I don’t actually use any Japanese terms in real life…and I rarely use them on the net.

    @Roy Mustang: She’s the original moe! Possibly the only character I would use ALL THREE “MOE” on!!! ;)

    @Xiao Jie: So for you, “Moe” is a higher form of cute? For example:

    –You see a cute character, and you shake the Earth with your apocalyptic squeal.
    –But when you see a “Moe” character, you shake the Universe with your apocalyptic squeal.

    Cute shakes the Earth, and “Moe” shakes the Universe?

    @Sergio: It is indeed too long to do and I too would not do it.

    But as most people so far have said…it seems it’s just another word for “cute”.

  6. Hmm. I think it’s the other way around, actually. ^^; “Cute” has a bigger effect than “Moe” for me. I can agree on someone being moe but that doesn’t necessarily mean I think she’s cute. So I guess “moe” is more of an adjective while “cute” is more personal? Yea, I think that’s it. Probably makes no sense but that’s how I see it.

  7. For me, cute is just cute or ‘kawaii’ but not necessarily moe. I take moe as something that burns or charges me up but never get the sexual attraction from it (I’m a girl btw & I’m no lesbo).

    I see Sakura as cute but she wasn’t moe to me. OTOH, Nanoha is not only cute but she’s also moe. When I think about it, it probably has something to do with the girl’s action. Seeing Nanoha in battle really burns me up & energizes me. That never happens with Sakura for me.

    Another thing I see as moe has something to do with characteristic. I usually see a hyper, energetic or eccentric personality as moe. But it also depends on my taste for the character (not in a sexual way, mind you). Energetic character like Misha from Pita Ten is moe to me but Suzumiya Haruhi is not.

    This is just my opinion but I think that most people (guys especially) take moe as something that melts them down, while others take it as someone they have hot feelings for (usually in a sexual way, as stated before me)

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