Moe Anime Meaning: Here’s The Meaning & Usage (+10 Examples)

The great thing about the internet is that we can talk to people from all over the world. We can get to explore different cultures and learn about new people.

Those of you who talk to a lot of Asian people on anime forums, might sometimes hear the word “moe” to describe a character. Today, we’ll look at what “moe” means, look at some “moe” characters, and you’ll be able to tell whether or not a character is “moe” by the end of this.

Moe- anime meaning

A “moe” character in anime is the kind of character who you want to protect. Usually, these characters are clumsy, lovable, and slightly vulnerable.

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Common traits of moe in anime

Not all “moe” characters are made alike, but there are some common traits you might want to look out for if you want to find a good “moe” character.

  • Near-sighted (lacking foresight)
  • Short
  • Stupid
  • Tomboy
  • Shy
  • Tsundere (we’ll get onto what that means later)

As you can probably tell from that list, the “moe” is a million miles from being the typical “alpha” that many American stories like to focus on. Depending on the story, the “moe” can be the main character of an anime, or they could be the side character.

Examples of moe anime characters

Tsukasa Hiiragi from Lucky Star

This character is known for being clumsy and a little bit stupid. Although he is a good cook, he has a habit of falling asleep when he probably shouldn’t.

But you can’t stay mad when he has such a cute sleeping face.

Fuuko Ibuki from Clannad

This one is a bit of loner. He likes to keep himself to himself. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have any love. He lives to carve starfish for other people.

One of his flaws is that he’s a bit of a daydreamer, but I think that’s what makes him such a loved character.

Tooru Ichii from A-Channel

We all know the short kid who loves to fight. But Tooru makes you feel love for such people. He’s in high school but looks like a junior.

Plus, he loves sweets, so it’s impossible not to root for him. Even when you know he’s in the wrong.

Mirai Kuriyama from Kyoukai no Kanata

Our next character can best be described as quiet and clumsy. To make it clear she’s a moe, she’s always wearing oversized clothing.

Her love is for bonsai trees- and who can blame her? They look beautiful!

Unlike other moes, this one fights with evil spirits.

Tomoko Kuroki from Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui!

Many anime fans can relate to Tomoko, because he loves video games. Much like many of his readers.

As well as being a gamer, he is also socially awkward, so maybe not great at parties. The fact that he’s a bit miserable sometimes means that he struggles a lot with people.

Morgiana from magi: The Labyringth of Magic

Morgiana is a former slave. Because of her past, she has become closed off from the world, and often doesn’t know how to behave in front of others.

However, she loves fish.

The main reason people like her is because of how adorably clumsy she is.

Meiko Honma from Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. (The Flower We Saw That Day)

Meiko is the first character on this list who isn’t alive. Yes, there is such a thing as a moe ghost.

Despite being beyond the grave, all she wants is to make other people happy. Easier said than done when most of them can’t even see you- and are afraid of ghosts.

Popura Taneshima from working!!

Popura might work in a cafe, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t let the spotlight miss her!

What she lacks in height (and she lacks a lot there), she makes up for in her spirit, determinism, and lovability.

She’s the kinda girl that most of us can relate to.

Nunnally Lamperouge from Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion)

Who doesn’t love a British royal?

Although this one isn’t real, they would be too cool if they were. Nunnally is an exiled British royal, the only true friend of her is her brother.

Despite being the victim of a failed assassination attempt, she has a general love for life.

Kobato Hasegawa from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (I Don’t Have Many Friends)

Kobato is a typically shy and clingy girl. She’s sweet, lovable, and a great character to get to know.

She also suffers from social anxiety. But she loves Froother.

What makes her even more lovable is her short temper. When she gets angry, you’ll know about it.

Some moe characters are also Tsundere

Some “moe” characters are also “Tsundere”. This is not a word that people who don’t watch anime will be familiar with.

A “tsundere” character can switch quickly. One minute they’re tough and cold-hearted. But as soon as their love interest comes into the picture, they suddenly become sweet and lovable. There are some moe’s who are also tsundere. Just as there are also moes who are just sweet all the time.

Of course, it’s not just manga or anime characters who can be “tsundere”, but they are the only ones who anyone would describe as such.

How to tell if an anime character is moe

If you love a character and you’re wondering whether or not they’re moe, you need to think about how much like a child they are.

Almost all moe characters behave in some way like a child. For example, they might have the stupidity or curiosity of a child. They might be shy or a bit socially clueless.

You can also tell if someone is moe based on how they look. Characters with child-like physical attributes are likely moe. For example, shortness, big eyes, etc.

Not all moes are children. But almost all moes look like children.


And now you know what a moe character is. It’s a term that’s most commonly used in Asian media such as anime (cartoons) or manga (comicbooks).

This is not to say that “moe” characters don’t exist in American media, but generally, they aren’t given that name.

Next time you want to describe your favourite anime character, you now have one more word you can use. And if you’re on a forum with people talking about how “moe” a character is, at least now you’ll have a better idea of what they’re talking about.

There isn’t a perfect mould for the moe. Some know they’re cute, others try to be serious characters. But either way, they are some of the best characters in Japanese fiction, and all anime lovers will know at least one moe character.