Nemesis Posted November 12, 2022 Share Posted November 12, 2022 (edited) One of the things I've noticed while being here for a while is how the English community uses the term moege wrongly. So I've opened up this topic to discuss what is moege. Moege or 萌えゲー is a term that originates from moe/萌え and ge/ゲー (game). What is moe? Let's start with a definition of moe first. A quick google search would lead you to wikipedia which gives you this: Wikipedia) - Moe (萌え, Japanese pronunciation: [mo.e] (listen)), sometimes romanized as moé, is a Japanese word that refers to feelings of strong affection mainly towards characters in anime, manga, video games, and other media directed at the otaku market. Moe, however, has also gained usage to refer to feelings of affection towards any subject. Searching in Japanese gives you similar results, so it's a common enough definition that we can agree with. JA wiki - 萌え（もえ）とは、日本のサブカルチャーにおけるスラングで、主にアニメ・ゲーム・アイドルなどにおける、キャラクター・人物などへの強い愛着心・情熱・欲望などの気持ちをいう俗語。意味についての確かな定義はなく、対象に対して抱くさまざまな好意の感情を表す。キャラクター・人物の特徴に使われることも多く（「眼鏡―」・「メイド―」）、それらは、「萌え属性」「萌え要素」と呼称される。なお、「萌える」の本来の意味は「発芽」「芽吹く」と同義である。 The Moe Manifesto So let us delve deeper into this, let us take a look into "The Moe Manifesto" written by Patrick W. Galbraith who interviewed various people involved in the otaku industry regarding moe and how it has evolved over time. "Moe is a response to fictional characters, and when we talk about moe we are necessarily talking about how people interact with fictional characters" (pg 7) Then the book goes into interviews with various people. For the most part they do say the same thing about moe with various clarity on the definition, while the older people in the industry seem to view it as a weird phenomena. First let's talk about what Maeda Jun says: PG: What is your approach to writing scenarios for bishoujo games? MJ: Writers are divided into two types: there are those that begin with the characters and build a story around them, and there are those that begin with the story and then build the characters. I fall into the latter category. This is an industry based on moe characters and creating them is the premise of a lot of works, but I am the type of person who puts a lot of emphasis on story. If the characters are good but there are no story, then the player won't be moved. It's a real waste. So, I start with the story, and that will determine the setting and situations that the characters move through until they reach a climax that moves the player. (pgs. 101-102) PG: What does the word moe mean to you? MJ: It's a reason to live. If it were to be taken away, many people would no longer be able to survive. PG: Why do you think that moe is so important to many people today? MJ: Many people feel insecure. You go to school, but you might not be able to get a job, and even if you do it might not be a full-time position. Without a stable income, it's hard to start a family. There is a general move toward isolation. People don't have a direction or a purpose. That is why I said moe is a reason to live. Once people find something meaningful to them, they pursue it. Manga, anime, games, or whatever it may be provides a reason to live and a passion that can be shared with others. Otaku gather on video-sharing sites such as Nico Nico Douga and massive bulletin boards such as 2channel. This is an age where people struggle to live together. This is why fans are passionate and outspoken, and that energy fuels the moe boom. With so many people taking manga, anime, and games seriously, it has become impossible to deny the importance of moe. (pgs. 106-107) Next, let's take a look at interview with Honda Toru, author of Denpa Otoko. PG: What does the word moe mean to you? HT: It's a feeling like love, but a sort of bittersweet love. It's like falling in love for the first time. The other part of moe is a feeling of calm (iyashi). You look at a cute character and your heart is at ease. Moe is the warmth and solace that cannot be found in human society...(pg. 119) PG: Would you say that moe is about physical attraction to characters? HT: I don't think moe is just about physical attraction. People who pursue moe are looking for something deeper...There were the crying games (nakige) released by Key. As the name suggests, crying games are all about emotion, not physical attraction. Despite what some people might think, these games are something like romance novels. It's the relationships that are moe.(pg. 124) Things are now getting close to what I'm trying to say. Nakiges and lots of other things are considered moeges. One last interview with Higashimaru Hikaru, a founding member of the Moe Studies Research Circle. I think he gives the most precise definition. PG: What does moe mean to you? HH: Moe is a special affection for a character, or, to be precise, the emotional reaction of a human being toward a fictional character. (pg. 138) What is a moege? So now that we know what is moe, we can now go on to define what is a moege. A quick google search gives me this: https://detail.chiebukuro.yahoo.co.jp/qa/question_detail/q1363733378 The question asks what is the difference between eroge, galge, bishoujoge, and moege. ギャルゲーの定義としては魅力的な女性が登場するゲームで特に恋愛アドベンチャーゲーム以外でもRPGやアクションゲームなどにオタクが好きそうな絵柄の美少女が登場すればギャルゲーとなります。 萌ゲーも上記の定義に当てはまるもので、これもオタクが喜びそうな絵柄で客層を釣ったゲームのことですね。 Galge's definition is a game where cute girls appear. Especially romance adventure games(VN), RPG, and action games with girls that have character designs that appeal to otaku. The above definition also applies to moege, games that hook players by having character designs that appeal to otaku. Another definition, I found is this, which I think is better: https://imidas.jp/genre/detail/L-128-0025.html 「萌え」は一般的に、架空世界の登場人物（美少女キャラクター等）に対する恋愛に似た男性的感情の芽生え、などと定義される。「燃える」と書かずに「萌える」と当て字を書くのは、パソコン通信の草の根ネットやインターネット掲示板などの、固有の文化から生まれたからとされている。ゲームソフトのなかには、プレイヤーにこの「萌え」の感情を起こすことを狙ったものがあり、それらを総称して萌えゲーと呼ぶ。ただしこれらは露骨な性表現がされたアダルトソフトとは一線を画し、個人のフェティシズムにゆだねられた独自のジャンルを確立している。 For video games, the games which aim to instill feelings of moe towards the player are what are called moeges. So, essentially any game which try to make you attach to a character either emotionally or visually are moege's. So by definition, all charage, galge, bishoujoge and nakige are all moege. Which if we simplify further goes back to the first result in google search which just says that any game with cute character designs are moege. I hope this has served to deepen your understanding of moe. So yes, Subahibi, and the majority of VN's are actually moege's. In fact, Subahibi even managed to win the moege award in 2010. This is way different than how this term is used in the English community to refer to feel good SoL games with no story. But if we take its original Japanese definition, then yes moeges are kamiges as majority of VN's are moeges, so it is just really repeating a tautology. I hope that people have a better understanding of moe and moege going forward. Any thoughts, comments and feedback? Edited November 12, 2022 by Nemesis Typo Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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