Moteru – モテる
Moteru is a term that is used in anime to describe a popular person, specifically someone who is popular in a romantic sense.
The definition of Moteru is “to be popular”. The term is different from Ninki (人気) which also means popular in a sense that Moteru is specifically used for people who are popular with other people, whereas Ninki is used to describe someone or something that is popular with the general public, from movies and games to figures and toys etc. For instance, you would use ninki to describe the popularity of an idol, but you wouldn’t use Ninki to describe a girl who’s popular amongst the boys in her class, instead, you would use Moteru in the form of “Moterun”. Incidentally, the desire to be popular (Moteru) is Motetai.
The antonym or the opposite of Moteru is Motenai, a word which is so tragically explained in the anime series Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui (私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い!).
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