Loli & Lolicon
▍What is Loli?
Loli (ロリ) is a girl specific character archetype which focuses on the childish, prepubescent innocence. But like everything, there are exceptions where characters have a child-like appearance but act more adult-like. The term originates from the Russian novel, Lolita revolves around a middle age professors obsession with a 12-year old girl and eventually has a sexual relationship with said girl. Shortly after the novel was introduced in Japan in the 70’s, the Lolita was abbreviated to Loli.
Lolita is also a fashion trend/style where people wear victorian child wear inspired clothing. Just imagine people dressed like the dolls in Rozen Maiden.
Lolicon (ロリコン), abbreviated from Lolita Complex, is the term used to refer to people who are into Loli. Lolicon is also used as a genre for series targeting lolicons.
Though sometimes in the west, Lolicon and Loli are interpreted as being the same thing. Just remember, Loli is the character type and Lolicon is genre and the individual who is into Loli characters.
▍So if I find a child-like character moe, does that make me a lolicon?
The answer really depends on how far your feelings for said character goes. If it is simply “that character is so cute, she melts my heart” then you might not necessarily be a Lolicon. If you feel so much for the character that you want to “do stuff” with her then… yeah, you’re a lolicon.
▍Legal or Illegal?
One of the most controversial aspects of lolicon is whether or not it should be legal. The line between freedom of expression and negative influences and encouragement towards sex crimes has always been heavily debated upon in Japan with parties from both sides making legitimate arguments to support their views. Ultimately, Lolicon as a genre is still legal in Japan whilst of course, real-life child pornography is a no-no. In most places in the world, it’s illegal, you know, just in case you were wondering.
What are your thoughts on the controversies surrounding Loli and Lolicon? Let us know in the comments! Since we talked about Loli and Lolicon, next up is Shota and Shotacon I guess…