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What is Moe?

Moe (萌え?, pronounced [mo.e]) is a Japanese slang word. One expert claims it is derived from a Japanese word that literally means "budding", as with a plant that is about to flower, and thus it can also be used to mean "budding" as with a preadolescent girl. The word has come to be used to mean one particular kind of "adorable", one specific type of "cute", mainly as applied to fictional characters.
The word is occasionally spelled Moé, and was originally related to a strong interest in a particular type or style of character in video games, anime or manga. "Moe!" is also used within anime fandom as an interjection referring to a character the speaker considers to be a moekko (a blossoming or "budding" girl).


The term's origin and etymology are unknown. Anime columnist John Oppliger has outlined several popular theories describing how the term would have stemmed from the name of anime heroines (such as Hotaru Tomoe from Sailor Moon or Moe Sagisawa from the 1993 anime Kyoryu Wakusei).[1] Psychologist Tamaki Saitō identifies it as coming from the Japanese word for "budding".[2] Ken Kitabayashi of the Nomura Research Institute has defined moe as "being strongly attracted to one's ideals", and identifies a pun with "sprouting" and the words moyasu or moeru, which mean "burning" (in the sense of one's heart burning, or burning with passion).[3] Galbraith states that the term came from 2channel in the 1990s, discussing female characters who were "hybrids of the Lolicon (Lolita Complex) and bishoujo (beautiful girl) genres".[4]
Comiket organiser Ichikawa Koichi has described Lum Invader of Urusei Yatsura as being both the source of moe and the first tsundere.[5]
According to Hiroki Azuma, as Rei Ayanami became a more prominent character among fans, she "changed the rules" governing what people regarded as moe-inspiring. The industry has since created many characters which share her traits of pale skin, blue hair and a "quiet personality"

Words for common anime-based examples of moe character types and their fans
眼鏡っ娘萌え, Meganekko-moe, "glasses-girl moe", describes a person who is attracted to fictional characters with eyeglasses
Osananajimi: Childhood friend
Meido-moe / Shitsuji-moe, a stereotypical anime maid, butler, or other western-themed servant
Tsundere-moe, describes a person who is attracted to fictional characters with a character personality that is tough on the outside, but actually caring
Imouto-moe, "younger sister moe"", describes a person who most likely has a sister complex
The archetype moe character is used in some anime and manga, such as Konata Izumi of Lucky Star. The term moe is often also used to describe either a character who is, or a form of media containing, moekko, therefore Lucky Star is a moe-anime for example.

Kirino Kousaka from Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai is an Imouto-moe

source: Wikipedia

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