You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that the whole “moe” phenomenon – you know, that chibi, super cute anime girl style of animation and illustration that’s all over Tokyo’s infamous Akihabara district – is a Japan-only thing. But in reality, moe has spread throughout Asia and even beyond. It seems a lot of fans are captivated by the adorable schoolgirl outfits, exaggerated mannerisms and impossibly huge eyes of these distinct animated girls.
One such region in which moe has really taken hold is Taiwan, which is so obsessed with the animation style that it’s kind of doubled down on the moe-ness, pulling ahead of even Japan’s moe obsession by plastering its subways with moe characters.
Kaoshiung City’s subway system has unveiled a new series of moe mascot characters. Specifically, the city’s Orange Line has received a full-blown moe makeover in recent days, which will go on until early November of this year. The promotional campaign features four moe characters known as the “Takame Girls”:
There’s Xiao Chun, the cute one of the group
Emilia, the blonde and apparently foreign member of the Takame Girls
The young-looking but fully grown maintenance engineer, An
And, Vocaloid-powered announcer, Nana
The Takame Girls are apparently all over the Orange Line’s train cars, literally from floor to ceiling! And, interestingly, the moe mascots appear to have crowded out any kind of space normally reserved for advertisers, meaning the train line’s operator must be giving up a fairly significant source of revenue to introduce the Takame Girls to the public.
In addition, the Takame Girls adorn various “etiquette posters” – explaining commonly accepted manners in Taiwanese public transport – in part as an attempt to appeal to and educate international visitors.
One thing is for certain: the Takame Girls make Taiwan’s Kaoshiung City perhaps the most moe city in the world… at least until November!