So, I’ve been known to talk about moe pretty often, and some would say I’m somewhat of an expert on the subject. However, one thing that has some people confused is how I define ‘moe.’ I’ve been too lazy to hive a proper explanation, so I am going to try and give you an idea of what moe is by, for better or worse, listing the top 5 most moe anime I’ve ever seen. Five to One for the sake of suspense~~
5. Zero no Tsukaima – The biggest thing people complain about with moe is the perpetuation of moe cliche. As much as I hate to admit it, there are a lot of stupid, shitty shows that are based around having moe characters and don’t think far beyond that. Zero no Tsukaima is notable because it pushes the cliches to the extreme, and not in any kind of good way. Louise is the goddess of tsundere who beats her love interest with a horsewhip and is constantly mashing on the emotional reset button. The show has a super kind girl, a big-titties sexy girl, a meganekko who doesn’t talk much, and more. The perfect combination of overloaded cliche, total shittiness, and a continuing stream of sequels make this show the ultimate combination of all things wrong with moe.
(as a note: i confirm that Shana is more moe than Louise, but Shana as a show has less cliche moe running around)
4. A Little Snow Fairy Sugar – A lot of moe anime are meant to appeal less to sexual desire and more to the sense of softness and cuteness. These anime tend to be very shoujo-esque, aimed at the kind of guys who watch magical girl anime. Snow Fairy Sugar is about moe girls who have tiny moe girls following them around. It’s cute beyond all rationality.
3. Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu – One of the main concepts of moe is feeling the need to protect. Moe girls are usually broken and depend on the love of the hero to save them, which is why people are always so pissed at pussy protagonists who can’t handle the responsibility. Iriya is broken as hell and only gets broken harder as the show goes along. However she is also cute and does moe things. She’s got the uniquely moe combination of being an intelligent dumbass. Being depressing is just the icing on the cake.
2. Kanon – Speaking of depressing things happening to intelligent dumbasses, we have Kanon! Kanon is so moe it’s actually embarassing to think about. Every character is loaded with moe traits from loli, childhood friend, speech patters, and embarrassment to the inability to cook, sword fighting, brooding silence, over-caring, et-fucking-cetera. They are also all positively dripping with pathos and angst. And lets not forget that each of them has a uniquely ridiculous supernatural backstory. Oh, and they are all about to die. So, insanely cute girls, all fundamentally lovable, all just barely smart enough to hold a decent conversation, and all who are absolutely dependent on the pure power of love from exactly one person to sustain existence. Truly, this is the epitome of moe. So how can anything possibly best it for the number one spot?
1. Elfen Lied – Elfen Lied is moe gone way too far. If Kanon’s girls are broken, Elfen Lied’s girls are FUBAR. If you named all of the negative shit that can happen to a girl as well as all the mental fractures that said shit would cause, and then for some reason decided to combine it witth everything that could make a girl extremely cute, you would get Elfen Lied. I have no doubt that this series was made with the intent of making the most moe characters ever created. These girls don’t just need someone to survive, they need someone to keep them from giong berserk and murdering everyone who comes in their path. And that, my friends, is as moe as it gets.
I expect mixed reactions.
I think I’m supposed to hate you now or something, but ironically you actually are following what is more or less the definition of moe, except subverting the context in a way that makes it seem somewhat different than usual. (i.e. it almost seems like moe here is linearly proportional to brokenness … which I can’t say is faulty)
Well, I never saw Elfen Lied, just … heard things, so that’s what I say just going off what I know.
Elfen Lied is awesome, go watch it. It’s not as good as some people who fanboy say, but I liked it.
Lulz, I haven’t seen any of these shows. Good thing there are moe characters in the robot shows I do watch, so I’m not completely in the dark about this trope.
Here’s an idea for you:
What are the shows that are not specifically moe in nature, that have the most moe characters? (Macross Frontier, Code Geass and even Nadesico come to mind, but what I watch is limited.)
Well, Iriya is a show about military conspiracies and Iriya herself is a warfighter pilot. And Elfen Lied is one of the bloodiest action shows around. So I was kind of already doing that, haha.
I haven’t watched any of those shows either, but that’s OK because I myself am moe enough.
A Little Snow Fairy Sugar looks to be a little to much for me, but Elfen Lied is something I’ve been planning to watch for a long time know so hopefully I can get to it sooner or later.
>> “it almost seems like moe here is linearly proportional to brokenness”
Sure looks like it. Elfen Lied is deceptively moe, but I have no qualms with ultra-violence, so I’ll have to agree here. (Not the puppy!!)
Does Higurashi count as moe in your book?
Higurashi is definitely moe. Especially since it’s based on a visual novel, which is where moe comes from in the first place.
Potemayo has the cutest moeball of all time.
I was NOT expecting Elfen Lied at the end of your list. But after contemplating it, it makes quite a bit of sense. Props for mentioning Iriya as well.