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In your opinion, what differentiates between a moege, charage, nakige, and nukige?

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If you don't know what each tends to mean:

  • moege - A general cutesty/light-hearted feel character oriented VN
  • charage - Character oriented VN that is (much) less light hearted but while still generally avoiding darker themes
  • nakige - A visual novel with the intention of making you cry 
  • nukige - A visual novel made for the sex. Usually lots of H-scenes and/or lots of little things made around the H-scenes

So while with most VNs it seems to be generally agreed upon what kind of VN it is... I've noticed there are some oddballs that can have mixes of the above 4 types of genres while moege and charage in particular can be so similar that it can be hard to choose if it's one or the other.

For example:  

 

  • Something like Wanko to Kurasou is probably a particularly weird case. It has a LOT of H-scenes but there are some very notable scenes that can make it nakige-ish but then there is a lot of light hearted character oriented moments that can make it seem like a moege.
  • MajiKoi S is another kinda weird case since it also has a lot of H scenes to the point of some people claiming it is basically a nukige. But there's no denying stuff like the common routes are long enough to be moeges and the longer routes can be charage-ish. I would say even the original MajiKoi could be a moege or charage depending on what level of seriousness a VN needs to be considered a charage.
  • Some ones that I feel like could also be considered a moege or charage depending on how serious/character development oriented a VN needs to be considered a charage: Edelweiss, Kira Kira, Deardrops, If My Heart Had Wings, Hoshimemo, apparently Koichoco or even Princess Evangile
  • Hell even with stuff like KEY, especially the later titles, while they're generally considered nakige, they do have some really long light hearted content. And then of course there's the whole subjectivity of what KEY stuff doesn't make you cry but something else does?

So in your guys' mind what criteria does it take to really differentiate between these 4 types of VNs (besides just going off what other people say)?

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'Moege' doesn't seem to mean much of anything. It basically defines an art-style, and one that is prevalent in most VNs, making it so everything seems to be a moege. As you say, the distinction between 'moege' and 'charage' seems to be up to how good the person thinks a given game is.

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5 minutes ago, Mr Poltroon said:

'Moege' doesn't seem to mean much of anything. It basically defines an art-style, and one that is prevalent in most VNs, making it so everything seems to be a moege. As you say, the distinction between 'moege' and 'charage' seems to be up to how good the person thinks a given game is.

Eeeeh, I would still say that Moege/Plotge/Nukige, or even nakige can still be useful categories (I was always the least convinces about charage meaning something). With moege being lighthearted, SoL-oriented romance VNs with multiple routes, plotge being more story-driven games where romance is not the main focus or follows a less usual formula, while nukige are porn games with little to no story and abundance of hentai scenes. They'll never be clear in their meaning, but they can be useful - after all, most genre distinctions have this problem, containing many titles that fit the popular definitions perfectly and possibly just as many strange and contradictory ones that you can't easily classify. You can have some fun and try following discussions on what kind of movie "Alien" is. Horror? Thriller? Sci-fi? All three? Which part is the most important one?

That is, you might not be able to tell exactly what a moege is, but if someone tells you a VN is a "typical moege" or a "borderline nukige", I think you'll have a good idea what they are about.

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Well I agree with the opinion that all of those categories were more or less is a moege, because moe term is pretty much quite a subjective one. And if we think that, perhaps even something like euphoria or Maggot Bait could be a moege for a people who like to think that disturbing sex scenes is very cute ie twisted lol.

For more serious answer, well moege is pretty much a subjective term so it might be hard to find the line. But still I guess I can give some answer based on what I'd read in the past.

Moege - Pretty much all of those were just to please the eyes (ie moe/cute), and it was quite wide because it could be anything that the reader find it's moe/cute. That said, looks like the general definition is that moege just have cute characters without develop them, and it's pretty much very lighthearted. So if that's the case, then both of Nekopara and Karakara could qualify, and arguably the first part of Muv Luv (Muv Luv Extra).

Charage - While we still have cute characters, at least they'll gonna have some development in this so compared to moege we'll going to have the stories in each of characters routes. The good example of this was Grisaia no Kajitsu, Koichoco, and HatsuKoi. Forget to say that most of the well received VNs could easily enter this category, because the developer like to develop the love interests.

Nakige - Perhaps the easy definition would be charage with some tearjerker moment, and to explain the latter part would be quite hard because it's depend on the taste. That said, the nakige usually did have some lighthearted moment though, so that the reader didn't need to be depressed or otherwise it could be an utsuge VN. As for the example, well KEY was pretty much already well known for this, and from what I'd read Saga Planet are experienced with this as well.

Nukige - Easy to explain that this VN was have a lot of sex scenes, although to judge whether it's nukige or not it would be hard to do so because it's also depend on the length and the number of sex scenes. Although if you want to differentiate it, you can easily treat a certain VN as nukige if the VN in question did have play tile less than 10 hours and did have 10 or more sex scenes.

I think that's all that I can write for now, and keep in mind that some VNs could be have more than one element storytelling (ie nakige with charage).

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As I understand the terms:

-Moege: cute girls doing cute things. The situations presented are mostly of the slice of life style, and heavy themes are avoided. As a consequence, you won't usually find tremendously complex characters either, since there is a limit as to how much development they can undergo if the topics and situations are very limited.

-Charage: a less limited moege. The main focus is still cute girls doing cute things for the most part, but sometimes it dabbles into heavier themes, allowing for extra characterization. 

-Nukige: porn. Normally any scene that is not pornographic is only there as a bridge to the next h-scene. If it happens to have some extra plot and character development, these parts are usually undistiguishable from a moege (aside from some more over the top innuendos and jokes).

-Nakige: technically any VN with the main goal of making you cry, a lot. Obviously any scene from any VN can resonate with you in a special fashion and accomplish the same, so it's more a matter of intentions rather than results. Since one would think that some heavier themes are required to trigger an emotional response in the average reader, nakige and moege/nukige seem to be incompatible.

 

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Moege- Moe-focused VN with no real content that doesn't support the focus.  Character development is shallow to nonexistent in 'pure' moege.  Edit: To clarify, moege as it is used outside of 'pure' moege is an umbrella term describing any game with moe elements.  Pure moege were mostly dominant just before and for the first five years after the turn of the century.  You will almost never see them now. 

Charage- An evolution of moege with a more intensive focus on character development and heroine stories.  Until the last year or so, roughly 80% of all non-nukige releases were charage (I've noted a significant decline in the last year or so).

Nakige- Games made to produce catharsis with happy/good endings.  By definition, a nakige can't have heroine endings that are purely bad.  Key pioneered one style, Saga Planets another.  However, nakige has proved to be a lastingly popular genre.

Nukige- Nukige is obvious... any VN where the h-content is the entire focus of the VN.  Nukige will never die unless they outlaw hentai.  Even in the slowest months, over two-thirds of all releases are nukige. 

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  • moege - no plot, airheaded characters, bad or nonexistent h-scenes, trash
  • charage - much like moege but it may have plot and interesting characters
  • nakige - clannad, planetarian and other games that concentrate on atmosphere and have sad scenes. not a fan.
  • nukige - usually it is either very good plot and has quality h-scenes OR it's complete trash.

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Karaage.

 

But seriously, aren't the terms pretty fluid? Most nakiges contain cute girls doing cute things (like in moege), charage usually has sad and cathartic moments, and so on.

Edited by alpacaman

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18 minutes ago, alpacaman said:

Karaage.

 

But seriously, aren't the terms pretty fluid? Most nakiges contain cute girls doing cute things (like in moege), charage usually has sad and cathartic moments, and so on.

I mean, it's more of a description than a classification, so you know what you can expect from it, and in that sense it's useful. Ofc only the trashiest of the trashy VNs can be described by only one tag (the tag being "industrial dogshit" :leecher:), so it's intended only as an initial overview approximation.

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Most of what I would say on this topic has already been mentioned. I will say that I feel there's a hierarchy of how clear each term is.

Nukige: the most obvious. It's porn.

Nakige: the second most obvious. Makes you cry, in a cathartic way. It's KEY. (well, mainly. I guess that could make it the most obvious, if you say KEY = nakige.)

Charage and moege: two terms that always blend. I suppose there's moege without mention of the term charage, but charage seeming to be a form of moege means there's always gonna be a level of debate as to whether something is a charage, or just a moege. Why not both.

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6 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

Are they though? I'm honestly curious as to what's the logic behind that statement?

It's just that those labels tend to, not only not give you a sound idea of what game you're getting into, but, some of them overlap in a lot of games.

For example, even though I've found people who disagree with me, I consider Key full-blown moe, you're made to care for the heroines presenting drama as a way of "bonding" with them. Oh, poor girl, let's see what happens to her. Strictly better than having no interest in a character, but along moe lines. The feeling you get from classic Key heroines is akin to moe (I bet most of you find them adorable, and the Facebook Key fangroup is scary at times).

I also consider Hoshimemo to be a nakige (and moege too), but fundamentally different from Key. In fact, along the years we've had lots of attempts at the nakige formula.

And charage vs. moege? Who can tell them apart? It's more that charage is a subdivision of moege, in my view.

Like someone said even chuuni is a brand of moege, because it's a field that appeals to otaku.

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There is truth in that. Key goes the moege style, but they also focus on character plots. Like clephas say, i think most Key works fit in the charage category though. Likely it's sometimes not as clear cut to say it's either this or that, and it's in fact a combination of two or more. But i wouldnt say they're completely useless. If someone told me "X" is moege, lolige, thisge, thatge, then i'd steer far away from it, so it has it's uses.

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3 minutes ago, Stormwolf said:

There is truth in that. Key goes the moege style, but they also focus on character plots. Like clephas say, i think most Key works fit in the charage category though. Likely it's sometimes not as clear cut to say it's either this or that, and it's in fact a combination of two or more. But i wouldnt say they're completely useless. If someone told me "X" is moege, lolige, thisge, thatge, then i'd steer far away from it, so it has it's uses.

Considering playing a game is a combination of factors. A lot of times the major factor is whether that game is similar to others you've played before and enjoyed. Synopses are still good for the discerning eye, more than these so-called genres.

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Moege: Generic cuteness, no plot

Charage: Generally has lots of cuteness, character interactions is the plot

Nakige: I've only really seen this term used for stuff like G-senjou's main route, or Key games where the ending is the only notable characteristic.

Nukige: Fap fap fap

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