Lolicon (Lolita Complex) is a term used to describe either the sexual attraction to the pubescent or prepubescent female form (13 years old or younger) in fiction and/or an individual (male or female) possessing such a sexual attraction and/or desire. The term is also the name of a genre of manga/anime that caters to such interests by showcasing female characters that possess pubescent or prepubescent forms and mannerisms. The term is derived from Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita, which details a man's obsession with a twelve-year-old girl.
The prominent rise of "Lolicon" material in Japanese media (and by direct association; lolicon individuals) began during the mid-1970's when young female characters with innocent personalities began receiving more notice amongst fanbases when compared with the more violent and brash "pro-feminist" personalities of the elder female characters of the time.
Borrowing design cues from the Shoujo genre, where character designs feature an inclination for "cuteness" to appeal to their readership/viewership, the lolicon genre exponentially grew with the introduction of the "Magical Girl" genre; where young female characters take central roles in shonen-esque storylines.
While a prevalent genre and character stereotype in manga and anime today, lolicon (as well as other erotic fetish genres in the industry) have come under scrutiny numerous times in relation to sexual crimes and resulting media censorship in Japan.
- Characters like Lilith, Papi (and Harpies in general), Suu and Kii (normal forms), Doppel, Cott and Ton, and Ils Nineta are considered "Lolicon Characters" as they possess traits that would be deemed attractive for readers with Lolicon desires (eg. short stature, flat chest, cutesy behaviours, young appearance, etc).
- The Police Chief is revealed to be a lolicon and it is due to this attraction that he fell in love with his wife and fathered a daughter.
- Lilith believes that deep down all men are lolicons. According to studies (1), this belief has merit in the fact that, psychologically, sexual preference/attraction amongst humans (male and female) does not change as an individual get older, but simply expands to include new attractions. In other words, if an adolescent (male or female) finds themselves attracted to another adolescent, they will remain capable of being attracted to other adolescents even as they grow older and their sexual attraction expands to include an attraction to older individuals. Additionally, on a biological scale, males and females are most attracted to individuals who are around the sixteen years of age mark due to the process of natural selection making this age the ideal age, biologically, for reproduction.
- While a Lolicon is dominantly portrayed as a male trait, women can also be considered lolicons if they demonstrate the same interests.
- The term "Lolita complex" may have first been introduced to Japan when Russell Trainer's book The Lolita Complex (1966) was translated.
- Mangaka Wada Shinji was the first to actually use and explain the term "Lolita Complex" in his 1974 manga Stumbling Upon a Cabbage Field.
- Mangaka Azuma Hideo created the doujinshi White Cybele in 1979; the first recorded Lolicon-themed manga in Japan.
- The male-counterpart of Lolicon is the term Shotacon (Shotaro Complex); which refers to the sexual attraction to the pubescent and prepubescent male form (13 years old or younger) in fiction and/or an individual (male or female) who possesses such a sexual attraction and/or desire. Like Lolicon, the term Shotacon is also the name of a genre of manga/anime that caters to such interests by showcasing male characters that possess pubescent or prepubescent forms and mannerisms. The term derives from the character Shotaro Kaneda of the series Tetsujin 28-go (1956).