26 May 2021 12:46 PM +00:00 UTC

What is Moe in Anime Explained

Credit: Kyoto Animation

In the extensive list of terminologies we have within otaku culture, one of the popular ones would have to be moe. In anime, we have many characters who are considered moe, and more often than not we encounter the word ‘moe' in the shows that we watch. But what exactly is moe?

According to a paper on moe by Patrick Gailbraith, moe comes from the word "to bud or sprout" (like a flower) but it also has the same pronunciation as the verb "to burn". Moe isn't necessarily a style but refers to the feels that we get in response to specific characters (or situations).

click to enlarge
+ 3
Credit: Kyoto Animation

When you think moe—think of cute, youthful, femininity. It's wholesome stuff for the heart, and moe characters just make you feel that they're so precious to the point that you want to keep them in your pocket or something. They're endearing, and you want to protect them at all costs. (Insert "must protecc" meme here.) A visual of moe can also be maid outfits and cat ears.

Although at the same time, there's also the sexual understanding of moe, which is why there are generalizations about moe being for degenerates (for lack of a better term). The understanding of moe can either be pure or perverted, but we're going to focus on the pure side of moe for this one. Not to say that the problematic sexualization of girls here should be dismissed though.

Advertisement
click to enlarge
+ 3
Credit: Kyoto Animation

A good example in anime would have to be K-On, a show about five high school girls and their Light Music Club. In the show itself, they even mention moe. Some would say K-On is the face of moe, even. For the ones who have seen this show, if the interactions between the characters (or basically the characters themselves) make you feel cute and wholesome things, then that's moe. It's adorable, it's precious, it's moe.

Other than that, there's also the saying "moe moe kyun!", which you've maybe seen in memes. We've already talked about moe, but what's kyun? It's onomatopoeic; as if your heart was hit by a powerful arrow. Straight in the feels.

Advertisement
click to enlarge
+ 3
Credit: Kyoto Animation

Other shows that make you feel moe would be Lucky Star, Nichijou, Girls und Panzer, and Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon).

For the ones who just want to feel all tingly and wholesome and precious, then you should definitely explore the feeling of moe. It's good for the heart!

Related: 7 Best Josei Anime for Beginners