Dengeki Moeoh. More than a magazine, Moeoh is a bimonthly artistic encyclopedia of moe that features original full color spreads from some of the highest profile artists in Japan’s 2D industry, coupled with articles, serial manga, and great extras that are themselves worth the price of admission. If it’s not perfectly clear from this introduction what follows is less of a review and more of a fanboyish evangelistic rant about what is truly one of the greatest products to originate from the modern Moe Industrial Complex – and the June 2008 issue (released yesterday, April 26th) is no exception. Spring is in the air, and that means short skirts and long stockings, and the perfect season for an exploration of that most ineffable of moetic qualities, the zettai ryouiki zone…

I should preface the continuation to this rant with a full disclosure: I’m not a moe zealot. I’m not even a regular worshiper at the moe shrine (which is, of course, staffed by miko priestesses). I’m more of the occasional visitor who stops by to drop an offering in the collection box when the odd commodity catches my eye, but the odd thing about Moeoh is that even for the casual moe fan such as myself there’s inevitably something in the magazine that makes me really happy I bought it.

This month’s issue follows the conventional format: 170 A4-size pages (roughly half in color), glue-bound with a square binding similar to most artbooks/doujinshi, with a double-sided fold out poster and the “Secret MOE Gallery” (formerly “envelope of the secret”), containing eight pages of the most ecchi (i.e. topless) content and protected from view by a fold at the outer edge.

This month’s fold out posters are from Tsubasu Izumi (pictured) and Kokonobi (九尾). The month’s cover artist and the one featured with a full gallery within the magazine’s pages is Ryouka (Ryohka / 涼香), whose work on pinup posters for Dengeki Daioh is featured.

The month’s MOE MOE COLISEUM theme (four artists commissioned to draw original works based on a given theme) is “animal girls (part 2)”, and there’s a short novel featuring illustrations from Suzuhira Hiro. There’s also a Tetsudou Musume feature with art from Mibu Natsuki.

The manga serials currently running in Moeoh are Redei Bato! (Ladies versus Butlers!), Koharu Biyori, Omakase! Sayana no Moero-bu, Maromayu, and this issue features the premiere of Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. More information on all of these is available at the magazine official site.

This month’s special feature, Otona no Moeoh 2008 Haru (Adult’s Moeoh Spring 2008), is particularly awesome. It’s a separate B5 size (doujin size) book, with 50 pages (36 in color) entirely devoted to “knee socks” (thigh-highs) and the delicious space between the sock and the hem of the skirt known colloquially as zettai ryouiki. The 36 color pages are an extensive gallery of original art from a wide variety of popular doujin artists and creators, each commissioned to illustrate a borderline-ero image featuring girls in thigh-high stockings, and many of the results are amazing. This is the sort of book that you’d pay 980 yen for as a standalone doujinshi, and coming free with the magazine it’s pretty freaking awesome.

And now, the pitch: extensive cajoling on the part of a certain employee has managed to convince J-List to carry Moeoh in both individual issue form and as a revolving subscription, so if you’re interested I very highly recommend checking them out as a purchasing option. They don’t have the June issue listed yet for individual purchase, but the April issue is up, and it’s pretty awesome in its own right:

Dengeki Moeoh April 2008

“adult Moeoh” 12-month calendar included

I’m going to try to be more disciplined in Moeoh reviews in the future such that they’ll come out in a useful and timely manner, and to that end I’d appreciate any input on this one. Any further information you’d like to see, in particular? Any more details about the magazines, or a specific presentation format you’d like to see? Let me know!