Derived from the Japanese verb "moeru" ("to bud" as in plants or flowers), "moé" can mean several things. It can refer to the urge to care and nurture someone / something that is young, sweet and innocent, e.g. the first feelings of friendship or a crush.
"Moé" can also be used as an adjective to refer to a type of anime / manga character or an idol singer / actress who is adorable and loveable. These types of characters can be called "moekko" or "moé child"
"Moé" can also be used as a chant, or a declaration of support, such as at pop idol concerts.
Occasionally, "moé" can be used as a verb. For example, to be "moé" for something / someone refers to having a soft spot for it in your heart.
While "moé" is meant to imply pure, platonic feelings, "moé" can also refer to having a strong interest, (some would say fetish) for anime / manga characters, or actors / singers who inspire fans to feel protective, almost fraternal / maternal / paternal love, while also harboring somewhat forbidden lustful desires.
Examples of "moé" manga include:
- Love Hina by Ken Akamatsu (Kodansha Comics)
- Lucky Star by Kagami Yoshimizu (Bandai Entertainment)
Example of "moé" used in a sentence:
- "I'm so moé for cat-eared girls."
- "When I saw a totally moé Hatsumi figure, I knew I had to buy it."