Akamatsu talks Moe (36)

1 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-28 20:39 ID:Heaven


Public opinion seems to be searching for a definite definition of the word 萌え "moe", which has already come into use among the public, and when I searched, net experts and glossary sites had various definitions.

  • The state of having a deep feeling towards a certain person or thing
  • An extremely primitive sensation that happens even faster than one can judge with feeling, much like a spinal cord reflex, which happens when one sees generally bishoujo or little girls, or other pretty or innocent things. It is being fascinated then deeply moved.
  • "Moe" is word which indicates a budding feeling of love, as well as a fetishistic taste, generally towards fictional characters from anime, manga, and games, especially an attachment or obsession with those who have certain special characteristics (nekomimi, tsundere attitude [a character type in which the character, generally female, is alternatingly tsun-tsun, "pointed; mean", and dere-dere, "lovey dovey", hence tsundere. See Sara from Futakoi]); originally used as slang among otaku.
  • Indicates an "admiration" of a cute girl's human emotions from afar.

However, we still don't know the reason why people feel "moe".

Accordingly, I would like to present the following hypotheses of my own.

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 [美幼女, a girl younger than a bishoujo, synonymous with "loli". Maachi in Gokujou Seitokai, or Miku in Zettai Shounen, for example] 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 dependant (like a child) on the person, or is in a situation where she cannot oppose (like a maid). Also, the person is raising her (like a pet). 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. (*Tsundere only: There will be times where the stronger and weaker role is reversed)
3. Affirms the present situation: Moe is the action of enjoying "the present situation" and does not wish for changes afterward; one wishes to enjoy it forever.

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, or of looking at a pet and feeling affection for it.

In the above-mentioned (2), at first glance, there is a feeling of otaku-like convenience, but, in fact, you can catch a glimpse of the positive affection of "I want to love" more than "I want to be loved" in it, and the strength of not being weary of spending both time and money for that purpose is the foundation of it. To compare it, it resembles a parent's strength.

On the feeling of the moratorium of (3): if you take it negatively it gives the impression of a "hikikomori" [one who withdraws from society], 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."

...Well, you've probably realized I've used the word "parent (mother)" many times over.

I would submit the following hypothesis:

"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? (They do have verbal fights, though)
  • 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 (it's a syllogism, but...) be motherly love?
  • Is the brisk economic activity of the "moe" industry very close to that of stupid parents pouring money into child-rearing (education) expenses?

I think that the "moe" that has recently been occurring among females is an imitation of male "moe", and is false. Or, rather, should we call it the true thing since they of all people possess the original maternal love?

...What do you think?

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~.

I think it is not a cultural phenomenon that has surfaced recently, but most likely something which has existed from the beginning of time.

2 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-07-28 22:44 ID:YvMmO/Ti


I've been seeing people referring to this a lot lately. I sure hope people aren't going to start using it as some sort of definition of moe, because it seems horribly subjective to me. It doesn't really correspond to the general usage of the word. And finally, it reads far too defensive to stand up to any real scrutiny.

3 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-29 00:29 ID:Heaven

Can one really be objective when analyzing linguistic developments in a subculture from within that subculture? I agree with your aprehension though, a lot of people take the first definition they see of something and treat it as absolute even if it was completely wrong to begin with(see also hentai). I was curious as to what parts people here would agree/disagree with.

What is the actual general usage? I am under the impression that it refers to a strong feeling of mostly platonic affection for cute girls, or the type of girls that induce them.

4 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-29 04:22 ID:8jJIib+z

I think at it's base, it's platonic, but to say that it can't or never does branch off into a sexual idea is kind of silly, considering so much of the moe market is stuff like h-games (though not all h-games are straight-up porno)

5 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-07-29 11:58 ID:YvMmO/Ti

My biggest complaint is that moe is definitely sexualized, if not outright sexual. It's easy enough to gaze into the zeitgeist through a hazy lens: http://images.google.com/images?q=萌え&safe=off - that search doesn't really seem non-sexual.

I'm sure there are those who consider it non-sexual, but that's not the generally accepted definition of it, and it also sounds just a little bit like being in denial.

Well, now that Akamatsu's had his say, I suppose I will need to go back to working on ABe's treatsie on moe. I shall report back soon!

6 Name: Sling!XD/uSlingU 2005-07-29 14:36 ID:r/9t2Iln

Moe = "I like it!"

7 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-29 14:39 ID:Heaven

Meanwhile, in Springfield, USA, an aging barkeeper falls deeper and deeper into depression as Japanese tourists continue to make fun of his name.

8 Name: Mr VacBob!JqK7T7zan. 2005-07-29 22:16 ID:oU4Z4+hg


>Well, now that Akamatsu's had his say, I suppose I will need to go back to working on ABe's treatsie on moe. I shall report back soon!

Hey what, I totally didn't see this.


It's moh-eh (unless it's mö), not mow!

9 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-07-30 00:50 ID:YvMmO/Ti

Here we are, ABe on moe:


Everybody, spread the word about the true nature of moe!

10 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-30 06:41 ID:Heaven

> It's moh-eh (unless it's mö), not mow!

Romanization should learn about trema, then.


11 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-30 15:09 ID:Heaven


12 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-07-30 18:16 ID:YvMmO/Ti


Wouldn't that be "moe-eh"? "Moé", even if some people don't like it, seems a closer match for the pronounciation.

13 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-30 18:25 ID:Heaven

> Wouldn't that be "moe-eh"?

No, trema (or diaeresis/dieresis) is mostly used to indicate that the second of a pair of vowels is to be pronounced as a separate vowel rather than being treated as silent or as part of a diphthong, as in the word naïve or the names Chloë and Zoë.

14 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-07-30 18:29 ID:YvMmO/Ti

Yes, exactly. And neither "Chloë" nor "Zoë" match the pronounciation of "moe".

15 Name: Ichigo Pie!5ouPkmz/WI 2005-07-30 18:58 ID:gBtXd8FN

Wouldn't 'moè' be better then, considering the pronounciation of the 'e'?

16 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-30 19:04 ID:Heaven

> neither "Chloë" nor "Zoë" match the pronounciation of "moe".

It seems to match what >>8 said.

17 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-07-30 19:22 ID:zU6GtCbC

English sucks for approximating pronounciations.

18 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-08-01 03:07 ID:7jgou+GC

Well, it makes sense for Akamatsu to arrive at this conclusion. Look at something like Love Hina, with all the obvious sexual fantasy of THAT situation (not to mention the characters for every taste). But a lot of people will tell you there's totally nothing sexual about Love Hina, because our hero can't bring himself to go near any of these girls (in turn because they're all violent powderkegs). Repressed moe, right?

19 Name: Mr VacBob!JqK7T7zan. 2005-08-01 17:34 ID:Gc79XLsL

I found a post on this subject, from someone who is more qualified than everyone in this thread and less qualified than Akamatsu or ABe!

http://www.tcj.com/messboard/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000646-5.html fourth post

20 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-08-01 19:39 ID:YvMmO/Ti

I have no idea who that person is or why they're so qualified, but I do like the post. And Chobits is an interesting topic - it's hard to tell if it is, as was claimed, meant to be a satire of moe or not, but if you wanted you could easily read it that way. It does have some pretty weird undertones.

Another interesting topic from that thread is the tendency of some people to classify Chobits as shoujo, and the cross-over appeal it does seem to have for girls. But that's for another thread, I think. But I guess we don't need any more threads where I complain about misconceptions of meanings of Japanese words.

21 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-10-26 04:31 ID:Heaven

See "pokemon"

22 Name: Mr VacBob!JqK7T7zan. 2005-12-11 02:37 ID:XjhDARm9

23 Name: !WAHa.06x36 2005-12-11 12:56 ID:YvMmO/Ti

>>22 is an extremely well-written and researched article, and is definitely more representative than Akamatsu's analysis in >>1.

It assumes the form of self-important postmodern literature criticism, but not very seriously. And for once, the term "male gaze" actually feels appropriate. Plus, it contains gems like the moeverse has managed to stretch the definition of “humanity” to previously unknown breadth and Camera-based service occurs when, absent a male proxy, the camera takes “artistic liberties” in its placement vis a vis a heroine’s particular assets. Too much of this in an image or narrative and its virtue-based credibility is reduced, shading either toward denpa, erokawaii, or Agent Aika.

Overall, well worth reading. The only real problem I can think about in regards to it is that it is aimed at those who are already somewhat familiar with moe and Modern Visual Culture, making references left and right without further explanation, and thus doesn't work very well for defining the term to someone completely unfamiliar with it.

24 Post deleted by moderator.

25 Name: Edward Stubblefield 2005-12-30 00:30 ID:wYTdO/7O


that shit makes me sad

26 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2005-12-30 01:11 ID:6OEPBiWG


27 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2006-01-02 01:56 ID:Heaven

"react with excitement and diffuse energy".

28 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2006-01-18 05:26 ID:UuSm+H6O

Moe is Hermes-tan saying "Moe".

29 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2006-01-22 20:37 ID:eV8PRpK+

That's a pretty good definition.

30 Name: Random Anime Otaku 2006-01-26 05:43 ID:ND6JguYl

ken akamatsu fails at moe.

31 Post deleted by moderator.

32 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2007-08-16 21:56 ID:IfvC/DDY

♥♥♥ Moe is LOVE!! ♥♥♥

33 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2007-08-18 02:55 ID:xtBRBAHC

Wikipedia does pretty good at breaking down "moe", exploring all its various interpretations since many find it hard to define in one single line. But basically I consider it an attraction to someone vulnerable, innocent, or just plain cute. In most folks, it turns on protective instincts to a degree, but either way it's just generally an attraction, to a character with delicate properties that could easily be destroyed by disaster or evil. Properties which you can cherish because they are so delicate. Innocence the character may grow out of but you hope never will. It's just an appreciation of what's become a transient, rare thing: Innocence.

In what direction, and how far, people take that appreciation depends on the individual.

34 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2007-08-18 16:15 ID:XGtCqrab


Yeah, but don't you think badass Tsunderes can be moe too?
I don't think it's specific to moe-blob characters, even if they get the name attached to them.

35 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2007-08-20 00:20 ID:2VYcpca+

Actually, moe is more about being non-threatening. All of the attributes like innocence and vulnerability serve that purpose.

And tsundere is actually also about that: On the surface it may seem paradoxical, but the whole idea of tsundere is a girl who only acts like she doesn't like you, while deep down she does, thus undermining her scary hostility.

36 Name: Random Anime Otaku : 2007-08-21 11:33 ID:Heaven

What's this "akamatsu-sensei" bull about.

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