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Adorable "Moe" Girls in Book Attract Military Fans

12, 14. 2009
Combination of moe girl with military elements attracts readers' attention.
Combination of moe girl with military elements attracts readers' attention.

   Ikaros Publications of Tokyo specializes in military books and magazines, as well as aviation, railroad and nautical publications. Recently, the company has been trying to introduce cute anime characters into its military books.

   Ikaros published a book titled Moeyo! Tank School in July 2005. Moe (pronounced "mo-e") is a Japanese term that literally means "budding," but usually indicates a feeling of attraction to adorable girl characters in anime or video games. While the book explains tank mechanisms and battle strategies in straightforward technical terms, cute female characters appear on some pages. It seems that Ikaros is counting on the recent fad of the moe phenomenon, but the book was a top seller at Amazon.co.jp, and the first printing sold out in the first 3 days.

   "Many young would-be military fans are also fond of anime and games. We thought they would pay attention to the book if we used illustrations of adorable anime characters," said Daisuke Asai of Ikaros, explaining how the tank book was planned and published. In fact, the book is read as a primer by those who are interested in the military.

   A sequel to the book features many more moe anime characters, some of whom are portrayed in a sexy manner at the request of readers. Although it may be a little different from a book describing the military, Ikaros has also released a book featuring miniskirted moe girls to explain the weapons, tactics and battle history of the Imperial Japanese Army. In addition, a quarterly military magazine titled MC Akushizu was launched in 2006.

   Asai said publication sales jump 3 to 5 times if moe elements, such as anime girl illustrations, are added.

(Original text by Kensuke Hori)

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