A character that might appear in an anime or manga series that can elicit feelings of moe
Moe (萌え, pronounced [mo.e](listen)) is Japanese that refers to feelings of strong affection mainly towards characters (usually female) 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. Moe is related to neoteny and the feeling of "cuteness" a character can evoke. The word moe originated in the late 1980s and early 1990s in Japan and is of uncertain origin, although there are several theories on how it came into use. Moe characters have expanded through Japanese media, and have contributed positively to the Japanese economy. Contests, both online and in the real world, exist for moe-styled things including one run by one of the Japanese game rating boards. Various notable commentators such as Tamaki Saitō, Hiroki Azuma, and Kazuya Tsurumaki have also given their take on moe, and its meaning.
Moe used in slang refers to feelings of affection, adoration, devotion, and excitement felt towards characters that appear in manga, anime, video games, and other media. Characters that elicit feelings of moe are called "moe characters." The word has also evolved to be used regarding all kinds of topics. Included in the meaning of the word is the idea that "deep feelings felt towards a particular subject" is used in cases where a simple "like" is not enough to express the feeling. The common feature in all feelings of moe is that the subject of such feelings is something that one cannot possibly have a real relationship with, like a fictional character, a pop idol, or an inorganic substance. It can be considered a kind of "pseudo-romance," but it is not always seen to be the same as "romance."