Saturday, November 11, 2017

moe moe kyun 萌え萌えキュン

In Japanese, moe moe kyun 萌え萌えキュン is a cutesy phrase from the anime K-On! It doesn't really mean anything. In article, I'll explain why, and how the sentence is constructed in Japanese.

moe moe kyun
Anime: K-On! (Episode 4)

Context

The band goes to a training camp on a beach to sharper their music skills. They discuss what they'll be doing for the school's festival. Ritsu says they'll run a maid café, and Mio will dress in maid clothes and say something like cute like moe moe kyuun.

As this was said, the imagination of Mio transforming into a maid and making a heart-shape with her hands was shown.
  • kuro no sutokkingu!
    黒のストッキング!
    Black stockings!
  • junpaku no epuron!
    純白のエプロン!
    Pure white apron!
  • soshite meido kachuusha!
    そしてメイドカチューシャ!
    And a maid hairband!
  • moe moe~~ kyun!♥
    萌え萌え~キュン!♥
    (what this article is about.)

Translation

The phrase moe moe kyun doesn't really mean anything in Japanese. It's just a cute phrase.

The term moe 萌え refers to a feeling toward the cuteness of 2D characters. It's specially used toward maid characters, for some reason.

In this case, it's said twice, as moe moe. This is called reduplication, and the Japanese language is full of it. Normally, onomatopoeia and other mimetic words are reduplicated in similar fashion:
  • dokidoki
    ドキドキ
    Thump thump.
  • wakuwaku
    わくわく
    Exciting.
  • pikapika
    ぴかぴか
    Sparkling.

Such words often have a continuous meaning attached to them, so if moe moe means something, it means a continuous moe feeling, or something that's constantly moe.

Lastly, kyun キュン is a mimetic word for a tightening chest or heart. It's used when a character falls in love with someone, or when they're endeared by the exuberant cuteness, or something like that.

As you may have noticed, Mio says kyun キュン at the exact moment she makes the heart shape with her hand. That's the moment where the heart goes kyun.

Fan Art

The phrase moe moe kyun plus making the shape of a heart with your hands is kind of a meme now. A number of anime parodied this, artists have drawn the most ridiculous illustrations of this, even real people have used it on TV.

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