“You got Cute in my Characterization!”

“You got Characterization in my Cute!” They’d be great together, no?

Over at Mega Megane Moé, CCY writes about the concept of “moé” in the post, “Moé Rising: The line between cute and characterization“.

I don’t see where there’s any difficulty in making a cute character who’s strong or–better yet–becomes strong throughout a story. What I’m still working on trying to figure out is the concept of “moé”, as I wrote in a comment there:

I’m one of those people who still doesn’t fully grasp this concept of “moe”. I do admit the Cardcaptor Sakura posts over at Moe Check! with Damien’s “CHECK!Point” moments gives me a vague understanding, at the very least.

I’d read somewhere that by the time I finished watching the first DVD of Strawberry Marshmallow, I’d fully understand moe. Didn’t happen. Maybe it’s because I didn’t watch with that as a goal, or something? Ana is mature but young, Matsuri’s adorable, Miu is evil, and Chika has no distinguishing feature. Where’s the moe part? Is it the “Matsuri’s adorable”? Or does it jump from character to character, depending who the viewer is?

Can a character be “moe” without a person feeling the need to go out and protect that character? Can a character “act moe” while still being a strong person inside? I’m thinking of Miu in Super GALS! here. She’s such an adorable person, and acts cuter than cute at times, but she was once the leader of a street gang, and when her past catches up with her, she can lose her cool. Can a character be moe, but have moments of being unmoe? Or is it an unmoe character who acts moe?

When the despisable 17-year old Nanaka in Nanaka 6/17 falls down a flight of concrete stairs only to wake up in the hospital with no memories after age six, is the six-year old Nanaka “moe” by her characteristics and actions? Or is there a distinction between “this character is a child in need of protection” and “this character needs protection, thus she is moe.”

Is moe a characteristic of a person that will be grown out of? Or is it something able to remain even after situation and adversity cause a character to grow and mature? What’s the ratio of female to male “moe” characters? What’s the ratio of “everyone finds her moe” characters to “a few people find her moe, but not many” characters?

Obviously I have a lot to learn about this “moe” concept. At least I pronounce it correctly. I get points for that, right?

I do think I’m slowly better understanding this whole moé thing as I spend large amounts of time with Cardcaptor Sakura. By the way, I’ll have my first DVD review post in one week, covering the region one release, before getting to reviewing bootleg in following articles.

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