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Old 2012-03-30, 07:17   Link #21
Jan-Poo
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Vexx is right when he says that "moe" is a feeling that is strictly related to the viewer, you cannot understand what "moe" is if you think it in terms of objective attributes. However I don't think this really helps in differentiating it from the concept of "cute", because in the end the same could be said about the latter or about "beauty". Isn't beauty in the eye of the beholder?

I think the difference is not that one is subjective and the other is objective, but it rather lies on the different subjective response that a certain character or trait gives.

The way I understand it, "moe" is generally associated with burning passion. In fact I was surprised when I learned you write it with the kanji of "budding" rather than "burning" but then again the japanese internet slang is full of misplaced kanji, so maybe the origin really comes from "burning" and then was replaced with the omophone kanji because that's how it rolls in the internet slang.

At any rate I think that in a few words you can say that the "moe" feeling is something that triggers a burning passion, whereas the "cute" feeling is more soothing. The objective attributes of what is seen "cute" or "moe" tend to be similar, but not quite. You'd hardly see someone defining a little puppy as "moe".


Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
In my understanding...

"Moe" is more of character (traits, etc) of a person while "Kawai" is more based on a character's appearance (physical).
That's really not true, both in english (cute) and in japanese (kawaii) the term can be used for behaviors and attitudes. For example "you are not being cute" or "kawaikunai" have the same meaning. This double entendre was often used in Ranma 1/2 where Ranma often says that to Akane because she acts rude and is a tomboy, only causing her to rage even more because she keeps thinking he's downsizing her physical appearance.
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Old 2012-03-30, 10:44   Link #22
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Kawaii is everywhere

"Moe is serious business"
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Old 2012-03-30, 11:47   Link #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenjiChan View Post
"Moe" is more of character (traits, etc) of a person while "Kawai" is more based on a character's appearance (physical).
You can describe character traits as "cute", "hot", or "bitchy". The more y'think about English, the more y'realize: English sucks when it comes to defining things. Although, the language tends to try as best as possible.
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Old 2012-03-30, 14:48   Link #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
You can describe character traits as "cute", "hot", or "bitchy". The more y'think about English, the more y'realize: English sucks when it comes to defining things. Although, the language tends to try as best as possible.
I am pretty sure there are more than that, because english has a lot of words. But they are lost on us foreigners with our school (/internet) english.
So called english high literature still makes me pull out that dictionary a lot.

As for the two words, I would put them as this:
Moe needs some kind of background info, either about the moe object, or in form of subcultural knowledge to 'get it'.

Kawai(iiiiiiiiiiiii) is more of a physical reaction, that activates your "protect all cute things, they might be your baby" instincts. Mostly visual.

Doesn't mean they can't overlap though.
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Old 2012-03-31, 04:01   Link #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
I've always considered "kawaii" one of the ultimate anime cliche words. The first word out of the mouth of the budding Japanophile eager to show his enthusiasm for his new hobby. But I might just be behind the times.

I do that, for that exact reason. Words that are part of anime nomenclature, such as moe and tsundere, I have no problem using when describing a character, but replacing the word "cute" with "kawaii" just seems completely pointless to me.
I have to agree, I dislike inserting random Japanese words for no reason, but I am fine with so called "anime nomenclature" words. (Although I do like to use Onee-chan or similar towards some people I know for fun )


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
In general, male characters wouldn't fall into this character, unless you happen to swing that way.
Hideyoshi disagrees .

Also I agree with Kawaii/cute is more appearance based(still depends on the person though), while Moe is a feeling.
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Old 2012-03-31, 10:21   Link #26
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Hard to explain, but easy to distinguish, at least for me.

For example, you slap on the 'childhood friend' to any female and it's instant moe reaction from me, but that doesn't necessarily mean that childhood friend is cute. Some childhood friend characters which I don't consider cute include older Haruka from Rahxephon (although young Haruka is both <3), Nice from Baccano, and Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi/Infinite Ryvius.
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Old 2012-04-02, 01:33   Link #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragoonKain3 View Post
Hard to explain, but easy to distinguish, at least for me.

For example, you slap on the 'childhood friend' to any female and it's instant moe reaction from me, but that doesn't necessarily mean that childhood friend is cute. Some childhood friend characters which I don't consider cute include older Haruka from Rahxephon (although young Haruka is both <3), Nice from Baccano, and Aoi from Ai Yori Aoshi/Infinite Ryvius.
Really? Osananajimi is moe?

Seems too cliche and overplayed.
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Old 2012-04-02, 02:49   Link #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morisato View Post
Really? Osananajimi is moe?

Seems too cliche and overplayed.
This is sort of the point, though. Moe is a personal feeling, not a global/general trait. This is why I can understand why that famous translation went with "turn ons" back in the day, even though it's arguably inaccurate. Everyone's "turned on" by different things, even if there are some things that the stereotypical anime fan generally have in common in that regard.

Going back to the thread in general, based on the reaction you see some fans have, I think I could argue pretty successfully that some fans have "Gundam moe" or "mecha moe", even though that's about as far removed from the stereotypical "moe image" as you can get. It's the passion and the protective feelings the subject engenders that are signs of that moe feeling. The only reason we have terms like "moe anime" are because it was a sort-of-poor attempt to define shows that had no other easy definition, and related a feeling common to a number of the fans of said shows (since the shows tend to revolve around the characters, and the fandom was driven primarily by their feelings towards said characters).

I think that there would be a lot more agreement and common ground about what people find "kawaii" than what people find "moe", since the latter is much more about personal passion and the former is more about observable traits. And I guess that's really what I would say the big difference is in general.
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Old 2012-04-02, 07:20   Link #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
This is sort of the point, though. Moe is a personal feeling, not a global/general trait.
Oh? I'm not aware of any characters who would appear to be borderline "moe" vs "not moe".
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Old 2012-04-02, 07:34   Link #30
DragoonKain3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morisato View Post
Really? Osananajimi is moe?

Seems too cliche and overplayed.
Not sure if its still the case, but over at the moe contest threads, there is one general rule that people go by when I used to frequent it a lot. And that is...

"Your moe might not necessarily be my moe"
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Old 2012-04-02, 07:37   Link #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Oh? I'm not aware of any characters who would appear to be borderline "moe" vs "not moe".
People who don't like the dojikko trait won't find them moe, while people who do will. I'm not a big fan of tsundere characters, so they won't elicit the same feelings from me as they would from other people who like them. It's things like this which makes it a personal feeling, and why osananajimi is moe for DragoonKain3 and not for Morisato.

Edit: As for the people trying to make comparisons between moe and kawaii in hopes of creating distinct definitions for them, I don't think it's really a worthwhile effort. The terms weren't created to be separate, and there is probably plenty of overlap between kawaii and moe.
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Old 2012-04-02, 07:52   Link #32
Kyuu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
People who don't like the dojikko trait won't find them moe, while people who do will. I'm not a big fan of tsundere characters, so they won't elicit the same feelings from me as they would from other people who like them. It's things like this which makes it a personal feeling, and why osananajimi is moe for DragoonKain3 and not for Morisato.
Well, yea. While I do not expect every person to like every character by which some (or many) would consider "moe", but they're still moe.

For example, with regards to "Saimoe". Of the characters who make it in there -- there are some who I'd like to see them lose and be forgotten. In other words, I do not like them personally. And there's nothing anyone could do to convince me otherwise. Nevertheless, I recognize them as "moe" and acknowledge their presence there.

As for Tsundere -- they're so freakin' moe... they need a word specialized to describe them. In fact, if there is such thing as a "moe-ness scale" of 1-10... Tsundere belongs in the 20's. (LOL, I jest)

Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame
I think that there would be a lot more agreement and common ground about what people find "kawaii" than what people find "moe", since the latter is much more about personal passion and the former is more about observable traits. And I guess that's really what I would say the big difference is in general.
Thus, here we are in the English speaking world - once again - struggling to figure out the basic concept to a Japanese language "slang" term.

By which, I'll extend this question to think outside the box. From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, is April O'Neil moe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
Edit: As for the people trying to make comparisons between moe and kawaii in hopes of creating distinct definitions for them, I don't think it's really a worthwhile effort. The terms weren't created to be separate, and there is probably plenty of overlap between kawaii and moe.
I agree. That's a complete waste of time.
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Old 2012-04-02, 07:59   Link #33
OceanBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
Well, yea. While I do not expect every person to like every character by which some (or many) would consider "moe", but they're still moe.

For example, with regards to "Saimoe". Of the characters who make it in there -- there are some who I'd like to see them lose and be forgotten. In other words, I do not like them personally. And there's nothing anyone could do to convince me otherwise. Nevertheless, I recognize them as "moe" and acknowledge their presence there.
I understand what you mean when you say you acknowledge that other people find them moe. I personally think, though, that the term suggests a sense of personal ownership of the feeling. You can acknowledge that other people find characters moe, or have reason to like certain characters, but that doesn't change how you personally feel about it.

Think of it this way: Would you call food you didn't like delicious because other people liked it? To me, moe follows the same train of thought.

That being said, I'm no Japanese expert, nor do I speak Japanese, so I wouldn't be surprised if I were wrong. It's just how I've understood the term.
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Old 2012-04-02, 13:43   Link #34
warita
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erneiz_hyde View Post
Literally, "moeru" is closer to "turn on" than "moe", because "moeru" literally means "on fire",
Actually moeru means: to burn /burning. It is a verb.

As for the actual topic, I think the word kawaii is a more normal word, especially used by women and "moe" is more of an otaku word. Not sure how much the word is used in Japan in the day to day language. But it sure got a new dimension in the otaku culture. Kawaii doesnt seem to share that fate.
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Old 2012-04-02, 14:09   Link #35
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I remember from the 'Shoko-tan explains Otakudom' episode, she had to explain moe (and the host didn't get it).
So I guess it's not widely used (or wasn't 5 years ago).
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Old 2012-04-02, 15:46   Link #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warita View Post
Actually moeru means: to burn /burning. It is a verb.
Oh I see. But how about burning as in burning flame? That sure doesn't look like a verb, but it goes "moeru honoo". It seemed more like an adjective. Also, wouldn't the act of actually burning things (as in, verb) be "moyasu"?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocean_Blue
I understand what you mean when you say you acknowledge that other people find them moe. I personally think, though, that the term suggests a sense of personal ownership of the feeling. You can acknowledge that other people find characters moe, or have reason to like certain characters, but that doesn't change how you personally feel about it.

Think of it this way: Would you call food you didn't like delicious because other people liked it? To me, moe follows the same train of thought.
I think this is right. Moe isn't a general objective trait that something has. one might acknowledge that the characters in Saimoe is moe, but can he call a train, a model gun, or fighter jets moe as well? But there are people who call them so. Also, this is important: moe doesn't necessarily means sexual attraction (which might also what differentiate it from "fetish"). Calling a train moe doesn't mean that guy wants to have an intercourse with it

Though by that reasoning, kawaii is also subjective, isn't it? There are people who think cats cute, and some who don't...
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Old 2012-04-03, 01:36   Link #37
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Moe and Kawai mustn't fight. They work and in hand to bring out the best in any manga and anime.
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Old 2012-04-04, 11:04   Link #38
SPARTAN 119
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I've always heard moe by one anime reviewer on Youtube as a female (generally) character that triggers a sort of "protective feeling". I am echoing several other posters here that what one considers moe varies from person to person, and is definitely NOT connected to sexualization of character, in the case of what I view as moe, quite the opposite.

Personally, what I find moe is less the generic "moe" character and more a character that has gone through some hardships and feels like she needs someone to protect her, even if she has the ability to "take care of herself", she definitely needs some psychological support.

For instance, one character I view as "moe" is Asagami Fujino of Kara No Kyoukai (below) is a great example of this. In the movie, she is horribly sexually and physically assaulted by a gang of juvenile delinquents. Now Fujino can "take care of herself". In the process of the assault, her latent psychic powers awaken, which she uses to rip her attackers limb from limb, but she still definitely needs some psychological support. This is made especially clear in the image below, with Fujino sad and alone in the rain. To me, I just want to let her in out of the rain, give her a hug, and tell her "everything's going to be OK".



Other examples of my view of moe include characters such as Akemi Homura of PMMM. Again, goes through a lot of hardships, and needs help, again, like Fujino, more psychological support than anything.

And, of course, I always prefer it when the character overcomes her hardships, as but Homura and Fujino (at least to a degree) do.
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Old 2012-04-05, 01:29   Link #39
Morisato
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPARTAN 119 View Post
I've always heard moe by one anime reviewer on Youtube as a female (generally) character that triggers a sort of "protective feeling". I am echoing several other posters here that what one considers moe varies from person to person, and is definitely NOT connected to sexualization of character, in the case of what I view as moe, quite the opposite.

Personally, what I find moe is less the generic "moe" character and more a character that has gone through some hardships and feels like she needs someone to protect her, even if she has the ability to "take care of herself", she definitely needs some psychological support.

For instance, one character I view as "moe" is Asagami Fujino of Kara No Kyoukai (below) is a great example of this. In the movie, she is horribly sexually and physically assaulted by a gang of juvenile delinquents. Now Fujino can "take care of herself". In the process of the assault, her latent psychic powers awaken, which she uses to rip her attackers limb from limb, but she still definitely needs some psychological support. This is made especially clear in the image below, with Fujino sad and alone in the rain. To me, I just want to let her in out of the rain, give her a hug, and tell her "everything's going to be OK".



Other examples of my view of moe include characters such as Akemi Homura of PMMM. Again, goes through a lot of hardships, and needs help, again, like Fujino, more psychological support than anything.

And, of course, I always prefer it when the character overcomes her hardships, as but Homura and Fujino (at least to a degree) do.
She has a tragic past and I guess you could call it "moe" if you want...

But "moe" is certainly not the first thing to come to mind when thinking about Fujino. Actually "moe" is probably the last thing I'd consider Fujino.

Though that is probably due to my warped perception of "moe" as cute as defined by the 90% of western anime fans. It all started with K-ON! being called moe for everything. Moe Moe Kyun~ especially.
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Old 2012-04-05, 01:48   Link #40
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I agree that she's moe in the sense that Spartan_119 described her. That's the most basic meaning of moe I always thought of; invoking a desire to protect and keep safe. (Be that to keep her safe (or "pure") from some undefined evil/corruption of the world, or an actual physical threat.) There's a lot more to moe than just that, of course, often including either a physical attraction or a idolization of cuteness.

That's just my take on it. There are a lot of other things that could be considered moe (and I might agree with many of them) that have nothing to do with my impression.
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