Moe in the Real WorldJune 15, 2008 at 9:00 am | Posted in Articles | 10 Comments
So my recent post on Nagisa (and a future post I’m planning for another anime girl) has got me thinking…
What moe traits can you find in reality?
Obviously the first answer anyone would come up with would be, “there are none.” But as I found out a while ago that’s not entirely true. You can find them. You just can’t find the whole moe package. Girls can have some of the traits, but it’s really impossible to have too many. Moe girls are designed to fit a male fantasy after all.
Just thinking about it for a moment I can already come to a small conclusion. Personality traits are rare. You’re not likely to meet a girl so shy that she can’t speak in full sentences. Situations and appearances are more common. There are sick girls and twin-tailed girls (I know because I’ve been both). Of course even the situations can only be stretched so far. You can find a girl in a coma, but that girl won’t wandering around the town while in said coma.
So! I’m now on a mini-quest to find out what moe traits are fairly realistic and which ones are just…out there. None of them are going to be spot-on moe (because that just doesn’t happen), but let’s just see how far it goes.
I’ll give the moe trait I found in reality and then I’ll try to explain it away. Also, to just be general I’ll use all the traits found in dating sims and harem anime since maybe everything isn’t “moe” (I’m not a fanboy, I don’t keep up).
Starting with myself (ugh):
- I’ve been sick and out of school for a while – But I’m not in danger of dying and causing some major DRAMA.
- Apparently I look younger than I am – I’m 17 but I get mistaken for 14. I won’t be setting off any lolicon fantasies anytime soon.
- I’m really shy – But not in that cute, “U-um…I…well…” blushing sort of way. I’m usually just too shy to even respond to someone and therefore come across as mean (that shows up in shoujo manga but not really in bishojo games…so not moe, right?).
- I’m the “lonely girl without any friends” – I only seem that way to others at school and stuff. I have four very good friends, they just weren’t in my classes. We go to the mall and talk to each other a lot online. I’m very much surrounded by friends.
- I have been known to hit guys – Well…come on. All girls do that. Our male friends tick us off and we know they can’t hit us back. Who wouldn’t take advantage of that?
- I’m bad at sports – Don’t know how this became moe, but somehow it did. Anyway, it doesn’t count since I don’t really care. There’s no “ganbatte” factor.
So as far as I go…I have some moe traits, but all of them can be easily shot down by reality. Looks like I won’t have any of my own crazy fanboys anytime soon. Maybe a moe girl exists out there somewhere in this wide, wide world. But I’m not her.
Moving on now, I’m going to bring up some moe traits that I’ve found in girls I’ve met and/or know well:
- Ojou-sama – We all know girls who can fit this, but they aren’t moe. They’re just mean. They aren’t secretly nice or have some tortured past. They’re just mean. It was years ago that they finally found out that most “bullies” aren’t bullied. So let’s move on please.
- Bullied Girls – This definitely happens. Girls are vicious. However, guys don’t get to rescue them. More often than not what happens is we go around, spread meaner rumors and get even. Very un-moe if you ask me.
- Depressed Girls – This probably for guys who like to save girls, just like with the bullied girls. But sorry, if you just met a girl who is honestly depressed, you can’t help her.
- Dojikko – In real life…these girls are usually just annoying. And no one is that clumsy anyway.
- Nee-san – Somehow girls that might qualify as “nee-san”s (moe type, not literal) almost always strike me as completely unapproachable. So I can’t say for sure how they aren’t moe. But I’d guess from one encounter, they’re pretty much just ordinary girls.
Obviously there’s more than just these types of girls. There’s more shy girls, childish girls, smart girls, and tomboys, but those ones are all way too obvious to point out and refute (even for me).
Now that I’ve pointed out lots of moe traits I’ve found in the real world, even though all the ways they aren’t moe also got pointed out, I want to go ahead and say a few things that I have never found in real life and never, ever expect to. This is the sort of “over-the-top” moe stuff I was thinking about back when I called Nagisa “realistic.” Because all of Nagisa’s traits are moe, but she doesn’t have any of the over-the-top moe stuff.
- Yandere – This needed to be stated first. Someday I’ll likely rant all about yandere girls (I hate them all with few exceptions), but for now I’ll just leave it as…Sure there are crazy girls out there. But you do not want to date or sleep with them. Doesn’t matter how hot they are.
- Lolis – By this I mean girls who look like a child, but are actually of a nice legal age that keeps a guy from being a pedophile. No. There’s some very rare cases, but even then, if guys are honestly attracted to these girls…you’re a pedo. Sorry.
- Tsundere – Whichever definition you use, they don’t really exist. Girls don’t hate a guy and slowly fall in love with them. Girls past the age of fifteen don’t really insult the guy they like (not often anyway). Guys don’t really like girls who are mean to them. We’re not going to sabotage ourselves (besides, tsundere girls never win anyway).
- Genius Girls – They exist, but they aren’t moe (and you’ll never meet one). Usually they don’t have a single other moe trait except being a genius…which by itself isn’t moe at all.
At least these are the main types of girls I know I’ll never meet in my lifetime. And in the case of a yanderekko…really don’t want to meet that crazy-ass girl. Though, I will admit a real-life tsundere would make a fun friend (either definition).
Looking at all this I must come to the sad, sad conclusion that yes, *sigh* there are moe traits in the real world, but we are sadly lacking in a supply of moe girls. Or maybe the demand just exceeds the supply and some guys (and girls) are hogging all the moe girls to themselves.
As a girl this conclusion tears me in two. I want to meet a moe girl and have her as a friend, but if she existed, wouldn’t all the guys be after her? Actually, maybe not…I really think most moe traits only work in fiction.
A clumsy girl in real life is annoying. Yandere…would just never work. Tsundere girls would lose out in the real world even more than in anime. And sick girls…speaking from personal experience, people get tired of a sick girl fast because she can hardly ever go out and do anything. What good is a girlfriend you can’t date?
But maybe she is out there somewhere. The real-life Nagisa. Just no one meets her because she’s sick all the time and too shy to bring attention to herself.
I guess we’ll never really know. But for now I’ll go with reality. Cold, harsh, cruel reality. Not a dango, anteater, or kitten plushie in sight.
Oh well. To leave off, here’s an image that’s not from Shuffle!:
Tomoyo, Nagisa, and Kyou. The three girls I consider to be at the very top of their moe game (Sorry Kotomi, your violin playing is too annoying).
*sigh* Why don’t you girls exist in reality?
Oh yeah I just realized not everyone is familiar with some terms. Here are wiki pages on: Yandere, Tsundere. The Yandere page has those oh-so-typical, but unnecessary spoilers that you see on wikipedia pages, just as a warning. For any other terms, do what everyone else does…google.
–Originally I planned to do a post for father’s day, but since there aren’t really aren’t many fathers in anime that I enjoy (Konata’s dad in Lucky Star and Akio are the only two who come to mind) or really fathers in anime just generally (so many teenagers without fathers), it really became impossible (for me). Maybe dads who enjoy moe will like this scheduled post instead while I go watch Indiana Jones with my dad–
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