12 Days of Moe – Day 1: What is Moe?
Now, what exactly is “moe”? In it’s most simplest definition, the term can be used to replace other Japanese slangs such as “kawaii”. Although it definitely has deeper subtleties than that, “cute” is definitely one defining factor behind moe.
Delving deeper, moe is a Japanese slang used by people who develop a feeling of affection and devotion towards a character in anime or video games. And putting that theory in it’s entirety, that’s why every moe anime is always filled with likeable characters, there may be some you like a little more than the others, but none that you would hate outright with all your guts. Cute, likable characters is the most common feature in moe anime and they have fun, adorable dynamics with each other. As a result, this creates a light-hearted atmosphere which is especially amplified through minimal drama, but I will get to this soon in a little bit more detail.
“In a light novel by Nagaru Tanigawa, one of the characters mentions that the distinction between moe and pure eroticism can be made based on whether one can still maintain feelings of affection even after one has indulged in masturbation.”
Now, one main difference, and this is important-moe anime mostly strays itself away from pure eroticism. There may be slight amount of the latter, but definitely not to the point of extremity (just think very normal beach/hot spring scenes). I guess in short, you can say moe anime are definitely fanservicey-but fanservices in cuteness and not eroticism.
To encapsulate this introductory post, moe is a Japanese slang to describe the fondness and affection a person has for a character, which is not sexual in nature.