Karakuri Babble is a daily column by the editors of i360.com, usually on topics tangentially related to anime and cosplay.

In the past we have endorsed many things; in the future we shall support many others.

and of course i know it when i see it.

Yesterday's column reminded me that I've been meaning to post a working definition of moe. Ambitious, I know, but taxonomy is built on glorious failures.

Personally, I think the concept of amae is central to moe. I'll define it here as "adorable helplessness," with the caveat that it's an evocative translation, not an exhaustive definition. The linked Wikipedia article skirts the point a bit, and furthermore is fraught with cultural generalizations, but the fact remains that "deliberate invocation of amae" neatly ring-fences pretty much all the moe stuff I've ever seen.

I think Haruhi might be a good example -- it's got elements of moe characterization, but only in Disappearance is YUKI.N genuinely moe. It's her helplessness that transforms her. By the same token, the fan name "Moemura" exists for a reason.

So that's my definition. Moe is the quality of being likable by virtue of amae.

words from chris, 2014-06-05 22:32:42, mountain view

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