Moe is slang often associated with super kawaii (cute) characters and people. Moe doesn’t have a set definition, nor is it a genre. It is considered a love for certain characters from manga and anime.
The word moe is a pun that means “budding” such as a flower. It is also similar to the word for “burning.” Both are apt considering moe is often associated with very young female characters and an obsession for them.
There are many different types of moe. Meganekko-moe is an attraction to characters with glasses. There are also maid/butler moe, sister moe, cat girl moe, and many others.
Moe is mistakenly thought to be an anime genre because many studios are catering to moe interests. Many characters are designed to try to hook people with moe interests: large eyes, small nose, hair in the eyes, cat ears, tails, and various outfits. Moe is often confused with kawaii since most moe-catering characters are super cute.
Because these types of characters are designed to fan the flames of moe, they are considered moe-characters. Moe isn’t just a way to pull out creepers and fetish followers; moe also seeks to encourage paternal and maternal reactions. Moe is used to market many products, after all. It isn’t limited to video games, manga, and anime. You can find washing machines and even food that uses moe attraction to sell their products.
is a pepper turned girl and is associated with Bokun Habanero, a Japanese snack food brand. Pokemon can’t escape cute girl moe. Lolitas are also the target of moe.Even laws become moe girls. Article 9 of the Japanese constitution prevents Japan from declaring war is depicted by a peace and love girl.
Generally moe applies to men more than women. It can range from sexual attraction to simple father-like feelings toward the character. The word is morphing into a genre that encourages these feelings of attraction and even obsession. K-on and other anime are often referred to as moe. Because the feelings of loyalty and fandom is so strong, many advertisers are taking notice. They are creating moe-characters and even short animated campaigns to build up customer-loyalty, such as PES:Peace Eco Smile.
We will see how this relatively new direction of fandom will go. I suspect moe will become a synonym for kawaii in relation to female characters and even become a genre that features a mostly super cute female casts.