Moe (slang)

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Moe (萌え) is a Japanese slang word, and loanword that refers to feelings of strong affection mainly towards characters in anime, manga, and video games. Moe however, has also gained usage to refer to feelings of affection towards any subject. Moe can lead to sexual feelings and desires; however, thinking too heavily about it is considered outside the scope.


  • First of all, “moe” must meet the following conditions
1. It does NOT include sexual action: “moe” is being calmed/soothed by watching from afar. It is not an object of sexual action. There are other classifications such as “2D-con” for those who include sexual conduct. Looking at a bishoujo and thinking “I want to do her” is a normal sexual desire for a man; looking at a biyoujo and thinking “I want to be calmed/soothed” is “moe”.
2. The person feeling it must be stronger: the object of “moe” is weak and dependent on the person, or is in a situation where she cannot oppose. Also, the person is raising her. Accordingly, being fond of the girl as if loving a pet cat, the person is willing to put themselves in harm’s way if danger approaches.
In the above-mentioned (1), I think you realize that, rather than a male’s emotions, it is a feeling similar to that of a mother looking at her daughter, or of other females looking at someone else’s child and feeling soothed/calmed…
To compare it, it resembles a parent’s strength.
…but, in fact, it is not the denial of the process of “The object of moe growing, loving, and moving on from the present condition”, it is similar to a positive sense of denial, such as “I don’t want my daughter to get married.”
“Moe” is a “maternal affection” which a part of males have been left with that has undergone a change and shown itself and, originally, is an irregular feeling a male should not have, however, it is a pure love which does not include any sexual action and is an exceedingly peaceful desire.
If we suppose that “moe” occurs from a maternal affection that should be lost, could we then assert that moe otaku are basically peaceful, and do not wish for physical conflict?
If we think of “Love towards a pet” as an compensatory action for “Love towards a child”, then it is, after all, a variation of motherly love. In other words, could the “moe” of putting nekomimi on be motherly love?
I think that the “moe” that has recently been occurring among females is an imitation of male “moe”, and is false.
The aggressive males who go so far as to rape to satisfy their sexual desires have been reported on, but on the other hand, there are a large number of males who possess this peaceful essence. Moe.
  • In recent years, in the world of anime and manga too, the hollowing out of mainstream culture and the putative rise of subculture severely diluted and eroded the standing of the Tale. Audiences have come to need only a work only as an escape from reality, as a comfortable dream, judging everything on the criterion of moe, while creators’ intellectual paucity and the jumble of trivial touches have encouraged that structure. At the same time, TV-type mass consumption, which prizes instant gratification and simplistic results, laid the improverished grounds of contemporary Japanese entertainment, giving rise to masses that can only respond with praise for superficial details and technical proficiency; with tears, laughter, fear, or some outpouring of simple emotions ; or with identifying and particularism. And here we are, in this stagnant state of affairs. I am stuck here myself. It’s embarrassing and frustrating, and I also regret that I contributed to it. I want it fixed. The sooner, the better.
  • In moe, we’re seeing the characters becoming younger and younger, but the attraction is not sexual, it’s sort of like the feeling you get when you see a puppy – that ‘oh my god it’s so cute’ appeal – but for guys. These characters evoke care and cuteness; it’s as though sex itself has become too threatening.
    • Casey Brienza, quoted in Keith Stuart, "Dead or Alive and otaku culture: why sensitivity is not the same as censorship," The Guardian, December 2, 2015