5 thoughts on “just wondering”

  1. From AnimeNewsNetwork\’s Lexicon (abridged)…

    Kawii = \”In terms understandable to Western sensibilities, it might be said that kawaii embodies that quality of saccharine adorableness found in kittens and plush toys.\”

    Moe = \”To be moe, a character can be eager or perky, not overly independent, and call forth a desire in the viewer to protect them and nurture them. The term is also used to describe any preciously cute item; there is an animal mascot character store in Tokyo called Moe.\”

    In Americanese, I guess you could say something Moe can be Kawaii, but something Kawaii is not necessarily Moe. Also, most definitions of Moe that I have seen seem to stress the \”defenselessness\” portion. (how\’s that for an great scrabble word, score it up… what\’s that, I hit a triple word score? Tally me up 107 points, please. Now what to do with all these frick\’en Q\’s on my rack.)

    And the emo joke… bad, just bad. I\’m afraid my 2000 point Space Marine division of Goth-Loli\’s are going to have to bring the pain and spill some emoe blood…

  2. I think moe is a bit more creepy than kawaii, and also is a bit more implicit of an older male audience-young female character dynamic.

  3. sorry about the slash marks above… I forgot to enter the anti-spam and didn’t see them until too late when I cut and paste the comment back. Blah!

  4. For “moe,” watch Mikuru on Haruhi — she was created to be the stereotype. Cute, helpless, waif-like, innocent with nary a bad thought towards others in her mind, an in need of defense. “Air” and “Kanon” seem to be other good examples.

    While I don’t think all “moe” is bad (I love Kamichu, which de-emphasizes the “helpless, defenseless” aspect), there does seem to be a fetish to it that seems a bit wrong when taken to the extreme.

    “Cute” can just be “Cute” without being waif-life – Totoro and Denno Coil come to mind.

  5. As I understand it, kawaii (可愛い) is anything inherently lovable on sight. Translatable as “cute” and covering a lot of the same territory, it implies smallness and cleanliness and immaturity.

    Moe (萌え) on the other hand is something that inspires infatuation or fascination. While classic moe certainly has elements of helplessness, it depends on taste and in theory at least a relatively tough girl or tsundere could also be moe. The term has a more adult association than “kawaii,” and has a larger element of intangibles such as personality and behavior factored in, instead of just appearances.

    By definition emo cannot be moe. The latter cannot (appear to) be self-conscious, while the former is incapable of comprehending a world existing outside of itself.

    Here’s to hoping tags work.

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