The Little Things in Life - On Lolicon
In 2005 a 26-year old Canadian was arrested for “importing child porn”. He pleaded guilty and was therefore spared jail, but next to some minor punishments (community service, forced counseling and a fine) his name was put on the sex-offender registry.
Why I’ m telling you this, you ask? Because the “child porn” he imported was Manga. Lolicon Manga.
When a man is sentenced for looking at some drawings something is wrong in the world. Globalization and Internet allow us to get entertainment from all over the world, but unfortunately the cultural borders are still there.
Child abuse is as old as humanity and I’m fairly sure that soon after the invention of photography some bastards used it to exploit children for their twisted needs, but when the Internet-age began everything exploded. The Internet offered places for pedophiles to share their material fast and in masses.
During the last decade the whole topic was picked up by the public and politicians and the laws were tightened to stop the unhealthy development. This is not bad in itself, but as usual when people talk about things they don’t understand (as politicians do with a look on their approval ratings) things tend to get fucked up, which brings us straight to today’s issue.
Japan has a huge obsession with youth. All girls in Manga, Anime and VNs appear pretty young, even grown up women don’t have wrinkles and are always slim and attractive. I remember that Matsumi from “Family Project” has a trauma of feeling too old, despite being only 30 and she is no exception. From my European perspective it seems that female maturity is despised and older women are considered worthless and ugly in Japan. Whether this is correct or just a prejudice, the facts in Otaku-media can’t be denied.
When being young is a virtue it is only consequent that being a kid is even better…
Lolicon is the term for pictures and movies involving drawn females with child-like appearances. The actual age of the character is secondary, what matters is a small body (including breasts) and usually, but not always a matching personality (innocent, pure, childish). It is a popular archetype in Japanese media since the 80s and as long as it stayed there everything seemed to be fine…
East and West
Japan’s laws separate clearly between drawn materials and actual child porn. Western laws are mostly different, prohibiting EVERYTHING featuring child-like characters. This conflict gets more severe when you think about the masses of Lolicon material on the Internet, which could be considered as child porn in the western world.
When MangaGamer censored Matsuri in “Family Project” and the translator of “Hoshizora no Memoria” replaced Loli H-Scenes with pictures of dolphins (!) the community raged, but from a judicial point of view I can understand it. I wouldn’t want to be persecuted for distributing child porn either.
In the recent years things changed a little, but unfortunately for the worse.
In 2010 a bill was proposed in Tokyo, which would prohibit every “harmful manga” (referring to Loli).
This incident is known as the “Tokyo Loli Ban” and fortunately it was rejected later, but the whole affair shows that Japan seems to be negatively influenced by the Western politics, which rejects to even consider Lolicon as art.
Someone in some forum called it an “attempt to appease the American Overlords” and I agree. Out of fear that the “American friends” could be upset those politicians tried to deny their own culture and this is really sad, because Japanese culture is awesome!
How will this problem continue? I don’t know. Basically there are two possibilities: Either the laws become more rigid or the tension decreases and Lolis will be tolerated. Let’s hope for the best.
From a Certain Point of View
I wrote about laws and culture, but let me tell you about my personal feelings regarding this topic.
I first came in contact with Lolicon when I was in 8th grade. A friend gave me a DVD with stuff we called “Manga porn” back then. Basically it was Hentai material with some Lolis in it. I remember that I was more or less bored (I still find it very difficult to fap to Hentai).
Things changed when I played “Family Project”. One of the heroines is a 14-year old girl named Matsuri. She is your typical token Loli: she is innocent to an almost ridiculous degree (she faints when she sees the protagonist’s dick), she blushes a lot and is generally very clingy and yearning for affection.
I don’t know what you think of girls like her, but I fell in love instantly.
Matsuri showed me what makes Lolis appealing.
Who enjoys Lolicon the most? I could be wrong, but I would bet 100€ that it’s the group which is often called Freaks/Geeks/Weirdos/Loners/Otakus.
Their characteristics: limited social skills, affinity for PCs and being sexually inexperienced. I don’t mean this deprecatory in any way, I count myself to this group and virginity is nothing to be ashamed of compared to all the suffering caused by having sex too early and unprepared.
Back to topic, it may surprise you, but I strongly believe that the erotic aspect is not the most important one when it comes to Lolis, instead Lolicon is driven by an almost innocent, naïve sense of romance (yep, you read that right).
I often perceive the modern Western world as a corrupt, greedy place of decay: everything is fake; plastic only designed to rip money out of you. True feelings are gone, instead we got superficial relationships, fucks without love. Nobody cares anymore, aggressive gangs beat seniors and homeless to death, but we just shrug our shoulders while the anchorman in the TV switches from murder and war to sport, celebrity gossip and advertisements.
Standing inside this maelstrom of madness many have escaped to the realms of their fantasy.
This is where Lolicon comes into the picture.
It may sound crazy, but Lolis are our ideal, imaginary first girlfriends. Pure, innocent girls, free of filth and corruption, like little kitten stranded in the merciless wilds.
We reach out to protect them, to save them from the dangers of humanity (psychological concepts: Moe and White Knighting).
Whether they have childish personalities or belong to the common archetypes (Tsundere…) doesn’t matter, their child-like shortness is a strong symbol of purity, easily understandable all over the world.
In its core Lolicon is not about sexual attraction to little girls, but the search for pure, uncorrupted love and affirmation, something we only expect to find with young girls, which are equally unsure of themselves and inexperienced as many Otakus are.
Sure, like every form of escapism this is only a delusion, a temporary relief from reality, but as long as fiction gives us positive impacts and we don’t lose our sense for the real live I can’t find anything wrong with that.
This is highly subjective, but for me Lolicon has nothing to do with child porn. Instead it is the unrealistic, but understandable strive for pure love, something that seems to got lost on the way of humanity.
So whenever you, my fellow Loli fans, hear someone comparing us to pedophiles and child abusers feel free to ignore those ignorant bastards and enjoy your daily dose of Loli-Loli with Ero-Ero.
This was a very long post and surely some of you disagree with me. I thank you for reading it and would be very glad if you write me some comments of what you think of my text and this topic in general.
Best wishes, your
Ps: My favorite Loli of all times is Ilyasviel von Einzbern (Fate/Stay Night). She’s a homicidal maniac, but ultra-kawaii and moe at the same time! (Mikan from Wanko to Kurasou comes 2nd)
Ps 2: Last week I wrote about how I came to like Visual Novels. If you want to read it, here's the link:
Why I read Visual Novels