Wednesday, January 31, 2018


NSFW : this article may contain words or images you'd rather not have your boss see.

In anime, a loli ロリ is a little girl or underage female character. The male variant of loli is shota ショタ. It's also romanized rori.

Warning: this term is often associated with pedophilia.

Miyauchi Renge 宮内れんげ, i>Koshigaya Komari 越谷小鞠, Koshigaya Natsumi 越谷夏海, example of characters that may be considered lolis.
Left: Miyauchi Renge 宮内れんげ
Middle: Koshigaya Komari 越谷小鞠
Right: Koshigaya Natsumi 越谷夏海
Anime: Non Non Biyori のんのんびより (Episode 1)


There are two different definitions of loli:

  1. A little girl.
  2. An underage girl.

Little Girl

Typically, a loli isn't just any underage character, but specifically characters that are little girls.

Most anime is set in high school, so if loli meant underage girl, then most anime girls would be lolis.

  • shoujo 少女 is a term that means any underage female person.
  • youjo 幼女 is a term for a little girl.
    • osanai
      Young, in the sense of a time period when a child needs parents, adults. For humans, that's around 8 years old.(幼い)

It's unlikely for an anime to feature a character of elementary school age, so characters that appear under 12 years old are more likely to be labelled lolis, and those of middle school age may or may not be a loli depending on whom you ask.

Saikawa Riko 才川リコ, Kamui Kanna カンナカムイ, example of characters in a elementary school student outfit.
Left: Saikawa Riko 才川リコ
Right: Kamui Kanna カンナカムイ
Anime: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon, 小林さんちのメイドラゴン (Episode 4)
  • Context: two loli characters wearing items typical of an elementary school student.
  • randoseru
    A sort of school backpack. From the Dutch word "ransel."
  • tsuugakubou
    A yellow "hat," boushi 帽子, worn by students "commuting to school," tsuugaku 通学. Its purpose is to prevent traffic accidents.

There's no exact age range for loli characters, so it's impossible to determine if a character is a loli or not from numerical age alone.

There are practical and philosophical reasons for this.

  1. She may not have an age disclosed canonically.
  2. Deriving her age from her school year assumes she has never repeated a year.
  3. Her disclosed age, physical age, and/or mental age may not seem to match.

Since you can't tell if a character is a loli or not by age alone, there must be some other way to figure this out, which is by appearance and possession of child-like features.

Problematically, this makes the whole thing a lot more subjective. One person may say a character is a loli for one reason, and another may end up disagreeing with that for another reason.

Some common features of loli characters would be:

  • kodomoppoi
  • dougan
    Baby faced. Having a child-like face.
  • tei-shinchou
    Short stature.
  • hin'nyuu
  • rori-goe
    Loli voice. High pitch, lisping. Also called "anime voice," anime-goe アニメ声.
  • Says oniichan お兄ちゃん a lot. This word means "older brother," so it's used by "younger sister," imouto characters, but it can also refer to an "young man" in general, making it typically used by young children in anime to refer to an older male protagonist.

A character that isn't prepubescent but has a stature much shorter than average for her age and a neotenous head to body ratio sometimes gets called a "loli" by fans, the same thing can occur with a character that is flat-chested.

This can be considered offensive by some. In real life, there are adult women who are short in stature or flat chested, so by labeling these characters lolis, one is also seen labeling those women children.

しかしブスじゃないなら何故モテない!! チビで貧乳だからか!? いや でもロリ好きにはむしろポイント高いだろ!?
Manga: 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! (Chapter 1, ちょっとイメチェンするわ)
  • Context: Kuroki Tomoko 黒木智子 wonder how she's unpopular.
  • shikashi busu janai nara naze motenai!!
    But if [I]'m not ugly then why [I] am not popular!!?
  • chibi de hin'nyuu dakara ka!?
    Because [I]'m a shorty and flat-chested!?
  • iya, demo rori-zuki niwa mushiro pointo φ takai daro!?
    いや でもロリ好きにはむしろポイント高いだろ!?
    No, but to [guys] that like lolis [something like that] would [be great], wouldn't it!?
    (double subject construction.)
    • pointo takai
      Having high points. High score. Scored high.
    • She's saying she'd be a 10/10 to guys that like little girls for being shorty and flat-chested, i.e. she should be popular to a certain sort of people, at least.

Some series' use of a moe 萌え art style may make all characters look like little girls regardless of age, which complicates even further figuring out which characters count as a loli and which ones do not.

貧乳はステータスだ 希少価値だ
Character: Izumi Konata 泉こなた
Anime: Lucky☆Star, らき☆すた (Episode 4)

vs. Lolicon

The terms loli and lolicon refer to different things.

A lolicon is a pedophile, i.e. someone who is into little girls (lolis).

A van driver offers free candy to a little girl.
Anime: Inu x Boku SS, 妖狐×僕SS (Episode 5)
  • Context: a lolicon attempts to lure a loli into a van using candy.

In English, the term lolicon is also used as a genre for drawn pornography (hentai 変態) featuring underage characters (lolis).

Due to this, some people may believe the term "loli" to be exclusively NSFW, in spite of memes saying things like "don't lewd lolis," which imply the term isn't intrinsically lewd.

Manga: "Welcome to the N.H.K.," NHK ni Youkoso! NHKにようこそ! (Chapter 2, ロリータにようこそ!)
  • Context: Satou Tatsuhiro 佐藤達広 clears up something for Yamazaki Kaoru 山崎薫.
  • rorikon wa ningen janai... kedamono da......
    Pedophiles aren't people... [they] are animals......
    • ningen - "human," "person."
    • kedamono - "beast." See also: kemono.

Underage Girl

Sometimes, loli means an underage girl, for logical reasons.

The English slang loli comes from the Japanese rori ロリ, which comes from rorikon ロリコン, "lolicon," which is an abbreviation and katakanization of "lolita complex," which is like the term Oedipus complex, except for lolis, except originally it wasn't, and comes from the critically acclaimed 1955 novel called Lolita, written by Vladimir Nabokov, about a pedophile infatuated with a 12 year old girl called Lolita.

This means that if someone is called a lolicon, they're into lolis, which means they're a pedophile, which means they're into underage girls, which means lolis are underage girls. For example:

痴漢ーーーー!!! この鳥のオッサンおしり触った!! えっ なに? サイテー!!ロリコン!! 違いますけど示談金目当てですか?
Manga: Africa no Salaryman, アフリカのサラリーマン (Chapter 2, アフリカの痴漢)
  • Context: a kemono lioness and a gorilla JK are in a train with a toucan salaryman.
  • chikan----!!!
  • kono tori no ossan oshiri sawatta!!
    This bird old-man touched [my] butt!!
  • e' nani?
    えっ なに?
    Eh, what?
  • saitee!! rorikon!!
    [You're] the worst!! [You] pedophile!!
  • chigaimasu kedo jidankin-meate desu ka?
    [You got it wrong], is [your] objective settlement money?
    • chigau means "[it] differs," it's used to say someone is wrong when they claim something different from the reality.
    • me-ate refers to what someone has set their eyes on, their aim, in this case the settlement money.

Above, two high school girls called the guy who (allegedly) touched them in the train a lolicon, which would make the high school girls lolis.

Sometimes, this term is used in the sense of "likes little girls" instead:

  • In Beastars, Legoshi レゴシ, who is a large wolf, gets called a lolicon by Rokume ロクメ, a.k.a. "Hexeye," for liking Haru ハル, who is a small rabbit, despite Haru being 18 years old and Legoshi being 17.


In English, "lolita" means "a precociously seductive girl." This term is based on the character from Nabokov's book.(

Since lolicon abbreviates lolita complex, loli abbreviates lolita, and some characters called lolis may be called so due to the definition above.


Sometimes, loli refers to fashion styles, like "gothic lolita," gosurori ゴスロリ. This has nothing to do with the rest of this article.

Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん being tortured by Hanazono Yurine 花園ゆりね, example of ishidaki 石抱き.
Left: Jashin-chan 邪神ちゃん
Right: Hanazono Yurine 花園ゆりね
Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick, 邪神ちゃんドロップキック (Episode 5)

Other types of lolita fashion are also abbreviated to loli ロリ. Examples include:(, see cited article for images)

  • goshikku roriita (gosurori)
    Gothic Lolita. Gothloli.
  • kurashikaru roriita (kurarori)
    Classical Lolita. Claloli.
  • hime roriita (himerori)
    Princess Lolita. Himeloli.
  • kajuaru roriita (kajurori)
    Casual Lolita. Casuloli.


For reference, some types of lolis.

Most of them are a subversion of the typical loli, making them examples of gap moe ギャップ萌え.

A "legal loli," gouhou rori 合法ロリ, is a loli character that's not underage.

Hiyajou Maho 比屋定真帆, example of character canonically called a gouhou rori 合法ロリ, "legal loli."
Left: Hiyajou Maho 比屋定真帆
Right: Okabe Rintarou 岡部倫太郎
Anime: Steins;Gate 0 (Episode 2)
  • Context: Maho, 21 years old, 140cm, gets mistaken for a child multiple times in-universe, and is canonically referred to as a gouhou-rori.

This doesn't make a lot of sense, but, in anime, age is just a number. Sometimes an author draws a girl and says it's a guy, other times the author drawn a little girl and says she's a 500 year old vampire, because apparently vampires stop aging when they get bitten or something like that.

  • In Touhou 東方, Remilia Scarlet レミリア・スカーレット is a loli vampire around 500 years old.
  • In the Monogatari Series 物語シリーズ, Oshino Shinobu 忍野忍 is a 598 year old loli vampire with the appearance of an 8 year old.

This trope, of course, isn't limited to anime.

  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Babette was a ten year girl when she was bitten by a vampire, becoming immortal by stopping aging. In the game, she still looks like a ten year old girl, despite having lived for hundreds of years, using her appearance to get her targets to lower their guard, as she works as an assassin member of the Dark Brotherhood.

The term for this is:

Any character that doesn't age, or ages slower than humans, can fall into this trope.

Besides vampires, angels, demons, and other monster girls are typical targets of the legal loli trope.

It's a trope that elves live far longer than humans. If they lived three times longer, for example, you could end up with a 30 year old elf that has the appearance of a 10 year old human.


A world in which all women look like little girls.
Anime: Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan 撲殺天使ドクロちゃん (Episode 1, Collage)
  • Context: in this series, the plot is about how angels travel back in time to kill the protagonist, who is a middle school student, for allegedly inventing immortality twenty years in the future, when, invested in his research to create a lolicon paradise on Earth, he stopped the external appearance of all women at 12 years old, accidentally making them immortal.

Illegal Loli

An "illegal loli," ihou-rori 違法ロリ, is a loli character that's underage.

In spite of these terms being about legality, they're made up by anime fans, not lawyers.

Some countries have laws against drawn pornography featuring underage characters. Since I'm not a lawyer, I have no idea if just saying a loli character is actually an adult would somehow evade such laws. I'd imagine not. In any case, these aren't legal terms, they're anime slangs.

The Japanese terms gouhou and ihou would be in reference to Japanese laws, in which someone is considered "underage," miseinen 未成年, if they're under 20 years old.

There's a factoid spread around the internet that Japan's legal age is 13 years old, which may mislead someone into thinking that 14 year old character is legal by Japan's standards.

The 13 year old mark refers to articles 176 and 177 of the Japanese penal code.[for reference: PENAL CODE (Act No.45 of 1907) -, accessed 2020-12-31]

A separate law, the child welfare act, forbids sexual activity with persons under 18 years old.

It's also possible to get charged with kidnapping a minor if you're dating someone 19 years old and take her somewhere without notifying her parents, since, technically, someone under 20 years old is a minor in Japanese law.

Oppai Loli

In English, an oppai loli is a loli character that has "breasts," oppai おっぱい.

なんですかこのキャラデザイン 中学生ですよね! なんでこんなに胸が大きいんですか!?
Manga: Bakuman. バクマン。 (Chapter 112, パンチと一人立ち)
  • Context: a normal reaction.
  • nandesu ka kono kyara-dezain!
    What's this character design!
    (emotive right-dislocation)
  • chuugakusei desu yo!
    [She] is a middle school student!
  • nande konna ni mune ga ookii-n-desu ka!?
    Why are [her] breasts so big?!


The term oppai loli in Japanese would be rori-kyonyuu ロリ巨乳, "loli large-breasts."

To elaborate: although the term "oppai loli" is made up out of two Japanese words, it's actually an English anime slang, so oppai rori おっぱいロリ doesn't mean anything in Japanese.

See also: eisei-wago 英製和語.

In Japanese, a character that is a loli and has large breasts is called rori-kyonyuu instead.

萩村 嬉しそうだな 昨日 測ったらちょっと大きくなってまして この調子で私はどんどん成長することでしょう しかしロリ巨乳はバランス悪いぞ? なんか話通じてなかった
Manga: Seitokai Yakuindomo 生徒会役員共 (Volume 3, Page 129, おっきいスズ)
  • Context: Amakusa Shino 天草シノ, who has a complex about her flat chest, talks to Hagimura Suzu 萩村スズ, who has a complex about her height.
  • Hagimura, ureshi-sou da na
    萩村 嬉しそうだ
    Hagimura, [you] seem happy, huh.
  • kinou, hakattara chotto ookiku nattemashite
    昨日 測ったらちょっと大きくなってまして
    Yesterday, [when] [I] measured [it], [I] had gotten a little bigger.
  • *gestures over her head*
  • kono choushi de watashi wa dondon seichou suru koto deshou
    At this pace I'll keep growing up, [won't I].
  • shikashi rori-kyonyuu wa {baransu φ warui} zo?
    But rori-kyonyuu {the balance is bad}. (literally.)
    (double subject construction.)
    • In the sense of the person's size and the breast size is unbalanced.
  • nanka hanashi tsuujitenakatta
    [It looks like you didn't get what I meant].
    • Hagimura was talking about growing up in height, but Shino understood it as growing up in breast size.
    • tsuujiru
      For the meaning of something that is said to be understood by someone else. In this case, the meaning of what Hagimura said wasn't understood by Shino.
    • tsuujitenakatta - contraction of tsuujite-inakatta.

The order of the morphemes is inverted: loli kyonyuu means the kyonyuu is loli, not that the loli is kyonyuu, i.e. someone put a loli on a pair of large breasts, rather than putting a pair of large breasts on a loli.

Fujinoki Nene 藤ノ木寧音, example of oppai loli.
Left: Yame Yukana 八女ゆかな
Middle: Fujinoki Nene 藤ノ木寧音
Right: Hashiba Junichi 羽柴ジュンイチ
Anime: Hajimete no Gyaru はじめてのギャル (Episode 5)
  • Context: no, she isn't kneeling.
  • Nene is canonically called rori kyonyuu in the anime, by what seems to be a group of desperate virgins.
  • She's 140cm tall, with a 98cm bust, and a high school student, so she should be around 16 years old.
  • See also: gyaru ギャル.

Problematically, how large is considered kyonyuu varies as much as what characteristics a character needs to be considered a loli, so it's uncertain which characters the term refers to exactly.

There are terms for breast sizes beyond kyonyuu, e.g. bakunyuu 爆乳, literally "explosive breasts." If the threshold for what counts as kyonyuu is lower, then a loli character with very large breasts like Nene would be rori-bakunyuu ロリ爆乳 instead.

For reference, some problematic examples of kyonyuu characters whose loli status is dubious:

Uzaki Hana 宇崎花, example of possible oppai loli character.
Left: Sakurai Shinichi 桜井真一
Right: Uzaki Hana 宇崎花
Anime: Uzaki-chan wa Asobitai! 宇崎ちゃんは遊びたい! (Episode 1)
  • Context: Uzaki Hana, 19 years old, 150cm tall, 96cm bust.
  • She's an annoying, loud character to complement her senpai 先輩, who is quiet, and was given large, round eyes that contrast with his unfriendly small irises, consequently giving her a neotenous appearance of someone much younger.
  • Fans who don't consider her an oppai loli do so either because she's canonically not underage, or because she's just a short character with large breasts.
    • A short, curvy girl in English is sometimes called a "short stack."
    • toranjisuta guramaa
      Transistor (small) glamour (attractive).
      A Japanese term for a woman that's both small and curvy, e.g. Hestia ヘスティア, from DanMachi ダンまち.
  • ?sugoi dekai
    ?Incredible big. (literally.)
    • This sentence appears to feature improper grammar: sugoi must be inflected to the ren'youkei 連用形 to modify dekai.
    • sugoku dekai
      Incredibly big.
Yoko Littner, ヨーコ・リットナー, example of a possible oppai loli.
Character: Yoko Littner, ヨーコ・リットナー
Anime: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, 天元突破グレンラガン (Episode 1)
  • Context: in spite of being drawn with a more adult head ratio proportion than Uzaki Hana, Yoko Littner is canonically 14 years old.
  • In spite of her age, it's unlikely anybody considers her a loli, oppai loli or otherwise, given her design appearance-wise is very similar to Revy from Black Lagoon, whom nobody would consider a loli either.

Noja Loli

A noja loli のじゃロリ is a loli that has archaic speech mannerisms, such as ending her sentences with no ja のじゃ.

  • sou na no ja
    [It] is so.
    [That's right]. (used to confirm something.)
  • sou na-n-desu
    (same meaning, modern equivalent.)

This is an example of "role language," yakuwarigo 役割語. How the character speaks hints what sort of character they are.

In this case, if the character speaks archaically, that means they're extremely old, so they're probably an immortal character, or perhaps a time traveler, or they've lived in some secluded, anachronistic place that uses an archaic dialect, for some reason, etc.

Normally, a character that speaks with noja would be an old man, with a gray beard, perhaps a king handing a quest to the hero in a JRPG, or something like that that.


A loli babaa ロリババア, also romanized loli babā, lolibaba, is a loli character who is a "old woman," babaa ババア. What this means exactly varies.

If a character is a legal loli, an old woman drawn as a loli for some reason, then that's a loli babaa. It's likely such character also speaks like an old woman, being a noja loli on top of being a loli babaa.

  • In Masamune-kun no Revenge 政宗くんのリベンジ, Masamune calls his own mother a loli babaa.
  • In Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活, Subaru Natsuki ナツキ・スバル calls Ryuuzu リューズ a loli babaa.
  • In Tatoeba Last Dungeon Mae no Mura no Shounen ga Joban no Machi de Kurasu You na Monogatari たとえばラストダンジョン前の村の少年が序盤の街で暮らすような物語, Alka アルカ is called a loli babaa by several characters whom she has caused great trouble.
Makabe Masamune 真壁政宗, his mother, Hayase Kinue 早瀬絹江, and father, example of lolibaba, ロリババア.
Top-right: Masamune's father.
Left: Masamune's mother, Hayase Kinue 早瀬絹江
Bottom-right: Makabe Masamune 真壁政宗
Anime: Masamune-kun no Revenge, 政宗くんのリベンジ (Episode 9, Cropped)
  • Context: Kinue is in her 30's in this picture, considering she's 42 year old when her son is in high school.

Some characters are old women that transform into a loli temporarily.

  • In Hunter x Hunter, a certain important character does this.

There's also the question of what counts as an old woman. At most extreme, every character that isn't a loli is an old woman.

In some cases, a character who is a young girl somehow ages without growing up. This could happen if the development of the body stops, but the character still ages, or there's some magical power or the work of an enemy stand that makes everybody age quickly to death.

Masaru マサル, Kiyoko キヨコ, and Takashi タカシ, a trio of ESPers from Akira.
Left: Masaru マサル
Middle: Kiyoko キヨコ
Right: Takashi タカシ
Anime: AKIRA アキラ (Movie)
  • Context: the ESPers from Akira underwent laboratory experiments that stopped their physical growth. In spite of having the stature of a child, and being mistaken for a child sometimes, they're all of advanced age, having white hair and shriveled skin. They're voiced with children voices, however.

Illegal Baba

An ihou-babaa 違法ババア, "illegal old woman," "illegal baba," is a character who looks like an adult woman, but is canonically underage.

Mitsukai Zakuro 三塚井ザクロ fighting Mitsukai Dokuro 三塚井ドクロ.
Left: Mitsukai Zakuro 三塚井ザクロ
Right: Mitsukai Dokuro 三塚井ドクロ
Anime: Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan 撲殺天使ドクロちゃん (Episode 4)
  • Context: Zakuro-chan, Dokuro-chan's younger sister, is 9 years old, but is drawn as an adult woman, making her look older than her older sister.

This would be the true (diagonal) opposite of legal loli.

Loli Baba
Legal Maho (irrelevant.)
Illegal Renge Zakuro

Loli Mom

The term rori-okan ロリおかん refers to a "loli mom," that is, a legal loli, or loli baba, that's also the mother of a character.

Yagami Yuuji 八神裕司, his mother Yagami Nomi 八神野美, and father Yagami Youji 八神陽司, example of loli mother, and character getting called a lolicon.
Middle: Yagami Yuuji 八神裕司
Bottom-left: Yagami Nomi 八神野美
Bottom-right: Yagami Youji 八神陽司
Anime: Yagami-kun no Katei no Jijou 八神くんの家庭の事情 (Episodes 1, 2, 1)
  • Context: a series about a boy who fell in love with his mother that looks around his age, prompting his classmates to call him a lolicon, and him to call himself a mothercon, and then plot to try to get his parents to divorce so he could marry his own mother, with the help of his teacher who also likes his mother, and one of his father's coworkers that likes him.
  • rorikon
    Pedophile. (attracted to lolis.)
  • ore wa mazakon
    I'm a mothercon. (attracted to one's own mother.)


The term rori-ka ロリ化 means "lolification," the process through which someone, or something, becomes a loli character somehow. This includes:

  • A character turns into a little girl for some magical or sci-fi reason.
    • e.g. Natsume Maya 棗真夜, from Tenjou Tenge 天上天下, is a 17 years old girl who usually transforms herself into a loli in order to conserve energy.
  • Fan art of a character features a loli version of them, similar to peachification, Piichi-hime-ka ピーチ姫化.
  • The gijinka 擬人化, "anthropomorphization," of something is done by drawing it as a loli character.
    • e.g. the female platelets in Hataraku Saibou はたらく細胞.
Aurora Suya Rhys Kaymin オーロラ・栖夜・リース・カイミーン, after drinking a potion that turned her into a child, with overly long sleeves (moe-sode 萌え袖).
Character: Aurora Suya Rhys Kaymin オーロラ・栖夜・リース・カイミーン
Anime: Maoujou de Oyasumi 魔王城でおやすみ (Episode 4)

If a character is gender bent to female in the process of turning into a loli, that's also called nyotaika 女体化, "female-body-fication."

  • In Youjo Senki 幼女戦記, the loli protagonist is a salaryman who dies and gets reincarnated in another world as a female baby.


The term kemorori ケモロリ, "kemololi," is a "furry loli," in the sense of a loli that is anthropomorphized animal. It's a portmanteau of loli with kemono ケモノ, "beast," term that refers to furry art and characters in Japanese.

Haru ハル, and Juno ジュノ, example of hijidon 肘ドン.
Left: Haru ハル
Right: Juno ジュノ
Anime: Beastars (Episode 12)
  • Context: Juno using a hijidon 肘ドン on Haru, who is 18 years old.
  • Since Legoshi was called a lolicon for liking Haru, and both are kemono characters, then technically Haru is a kemololi.


Pairings with loli characters are sometimes called by an abbreviation like:

  • one-rori
    A pairing of an oneesan お姉さん character with a loli, that is, an older girl with a loli character.

See oneshota おねショタ for details.


1 comment:

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

All comments are moderated and won't show up until approved. Spam, links to illegal websites, and inappropriate content won't be published.

  1. Only reason I'm searching is to prove to people I am not in fact a loli