And kanji with manga
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

shotacon ショタコン

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

In English, shotacon refers to a genre of drawn pornography (hentai 変態) featuring underage male characters, i.e. shota ショタ characters. In Japanese, shotakon ショタコン means "pedophile" instead, although "pedophile" in English has heavier connotations than "shotacon" in Japanese.

Ran Luckmolde, ラン・ラックモルデ tries to put her hands on Pat Campbell, パット・キャンベル.
Left: Pat Campbell, パット・キャンベル
Right: Ran Luckmolde, ラン・ラックモルデ
Anime: Mugen no Ryvius, 無限のリヴァイアス (Episode 8)

It's also romanized syotakon.

The female counterparts are loli ロリ and lolicon ロリコン.

Definition

A shotacon is someone who likes shotas, which are underage boys, which means they're a pedophile, but there's a few complicate things about this term.

For starters, what "likes" and "shota" mean in this term.

Does "like" mean sexually attracted, or just thinks they're cute? Does "shota" mean all underage characters, only characters that look like little boys, or does it apply to boys in real life, too?

いいか? ショタコン女とは低年齢層や童顔男に説明し難いトキメキを覚えてしまう女の事だ 俺の分析によればそれは「ロリ系」「やんちゃ系」「虚弱系」などに分類され 例としてはハニー先輩がこの「ロリ系」に該当する!! ・・・たぶん!!
Manga: Ouran High School Host Club, Ouran Koukou Hosuto-Bu 桜蘭高校ホスト部 (Chapter 6)
  • Context: host Suou Tamaki 須王環 categorizes shotas.
  • ii ka?
    いいか?
    Is [it] okay? (literally.)
    • Expression used to call someone's attention before explaining something. "Listen here," "pay attention," "hear me," etc.
  • shotakon-onna towa {tei-nenrei-sou ya dougan otoko ni {setsumei shi-gatai} tokimeki wo oboete-shimau} onna no koto da
    ショタコンとは低年齢層童顔男に説明し難いトキメキ覚えてしまう女の
    A shotacon woman refers to a woman [that] {experiences a {hard to describe} joy toward baby-faced and low-age-range guys}.
    • tokimeki - noun form of tokimeku ときめく, for one's heart "to beat with joy," love, etc.
  • ore no bunseki ni yoreba sore wa "rori-kei" "yancha-kei" "kyojaku-kei" nado ni bunrui sare
    俺の分析よればそれ「ロリ」「やんちゃ系」「虚弱系」などに分類され
    According to my analysis, that's divided into "loli type," "rascal type," "feeble type," etc.
  • rei toshite wa Hanii-senpai ga kono "rori-kei" ni gaitou suru!!
    例としてはハニー先輩がこの「ロリ系」に該当する!!
    As example, Honey-senpai fits this "loli type."
    • In the sense of loli-like shota, because Honey-senpai carries around a pink bunny plush, likes eating cake, and has other cutesy features, like referring to all sorts of things with the diminutive ~chan ~ちゃん suffix.
  • ...tabun!!
    ・・・たぶん!!
    ...probably!!

Unlike lolicon, the term shotacon is more restricted to fiction. Lolicon originally described a paraphilia in real life, while shotacon originally described an attraction toward characters.

It could be that it doesn't make much sense to translate shotacon to "pedophile" if you don't consider being attracted to underage male characters pedophilia, specially considering that in English "pedophile" is used in the sense of "child predator," so it's not a term used lightly.

In anime, however, if a character gets called a shotacon in-universe, the only word that would make sense as translation would be "pedophile," since they would only get called that for appearing attracted to another character which, from their point of view, is a child.

何がいい子よ! このショタコン どん なっ びくんっ
Manga: Mahou Sensei Negima! 魔法先生ネギま! (Chapter 1)
  • Context: Yukihiro Ayaka 雪広あやか calls herself a "good [girl]," ii ko いい子.
  • nani ga ii ko yo!
    何がいい子よ!
    What is a good girl?!
  • kono shotakon
    このショタコン
    [You] shotacon. (nobody would understand this in English.)
    [You] pedophile. (now this makes sense, but sounds heavier than the original.)
  • don
    どん
    *bam*
  • na'
    なっ
    Wha-.
  • bikun'
    びくんっ
    *twitch*

Genre

In English, the term shotacon is sometimes used as a genre for pornographic fiction featuring underage characters.

The most well-known example of this is Boku no Pico ぼくのぴこ, which everyone only knows about because it's a meme, "that anime called boku."

  • On MyAnimeList, Boku no Pico ranks 1st place in number of members of all anime in the hentai category, with over 140 thousand users having added it to their lists, almost three times more than second place, which is its sequel.

In Japanese, there's no such thing as a "shotacon genre." On Wikipedia and on Amazon, Boku no Pico is labelled as a shota anime ショタアニメ instead. Because it's an anime with a shota in it.

If this was used as a genre, it would include ANY anime with shotas in it, regardless of whether it's pornographic. It wouldn't be the same thing as the English genre.

A related term whose usage is different across languages is shounen-ai 少年愛, "boy love," which would be synonymous with "pedophilia" in Japanese, but in English is used as a genre of gay romance fiction instead.

Origin

The term shotacon was coined in the Fanroad ふぁんろーど magazine in 1981, May edition, page 74, in a question-answer corner, by the then chief editor Hamamatsu Matsuki 克樹浜松 who tentatively came up with the term "shotacon" as a male counterpart for lolicon, but dismissed the word as it didn't sound good, saying you should just use lolicon as a general term for liking child characters instead.

The term shotacon spread despite the opinion of its creator about the word.

For reference, the relevant passage:

Q 男の人が小さな女の子を好きになのをロリコンといっている意味はわかるのですが、それじゃあ、女の人が小さな男の子を好きなのはなんというのでしょうか・・・・・・。 A 同じ言葉で総称してもいいはずです。そもそもロリコンは、ロリータという女の子を好きになったことからきた名称ですが、正太郎クンを好きになったショタコンとかいうのは、なんとなくゴロが悪いではありませんか。
  • Context: a question-answer corner in a magazine published in 1981, in which Hamamatsu Matsuki 克樹浜松 unintentionally coined the term shotacon.
  • Q: {{otoko no hito ga chiisana onnanoko wo suki na} no wo rorikon to itte-iru} imi wa wakaru no desu ga, sore jaa, {onna no hito ga chiisana otokonoko wo suki na} no wa nanto iu no deshou ka......
    Q 男の人が小さな女の子を好きになのをロリコンといっている意味はわかるのですが、それじゃあ、女の人が小さな男の子を好きなのはなんというのでしょうか・・・・・・。
    Question: [I] understand that {[you] call {a man liking little girls} lolicon}, but then, what do [you] call {a woman liking little boys}?
  • (in parentheses is the name of who asked the question.)
  • A: {onaji imi de soushou shitemo ii} hazu desu. somosomo rorikon wa, {{{roriita to iu} onnanoko wo suki ni natta} koto kara kita} meishou desu ga, {{Shoutarou-kun wo suki ni natta} shotakon toka iu} no wa, nantonaku goro ga warui dewa arimasenka.
    A 同じ言葉で総称してもいいはずです。そもそもロリコンは、ロリータという女の子を好きになったことからきた名称ですが、正太郎クンを好きになったショタコンとかいうのは、なんとなくゴロが悪いではありませんか。
    Answer: [It] should {be okay to use [it] as a general term (i.e. in both cases)}. To begin with, lolicon is a term [that] {came from {liking a girl {called lolita}}}, but {calling {liking Shoutarou-kun} shotacon or something like that} doesn't ring well, don't you think?
    • goro ga warui
      ゴロが悪い
      To not ring well. To sound bad, aesthetically speaking.
    • Although the answerer made up the term shotacon as an example of a term that wouldn't work because it sounds weird, the term started being used nevertheless.

Abbreviation

Given its origin, shotacon is an abbreviation of:

  • shoutarou konpurekkusu
    正太郎コンプレックス
    Shoutarou complex. Being in love with characters like Shoutarou 正太郎.
  • shotakon
    ショタコン
    (abbreviation.)
    • The syllable shou しょう has a long vowel that was abbreviated to a short one: sho しょ.

Lolicon is "lolita complex," named after a character called Lolita, while shotacon is "shoutarou complex,"named a character called Shoutarou.

The Shoutarou character we're referring to is Kaneda Shoutarou 金田正太郎, from the 1980 anime Taiyou no Shisha Tetsujin Ni-juu-hachi-gou 太陽の使者鉄人28号.

Since it wasn't explicitly said in the magazine, it wasn't certain which Shoutarou it was, or which design of Kaneda it was. For example, there was a 1960 adaptation that had a different design for the character.

However, in 2017-06-05, Matsuki confirmed on Twitter that the answer referred to the 1980 series.

Kaneda Shoutarou 金田正太郎, whom the term shotacon was named after.
Character: Kaneda Shoutarou 金田正太郎
Anime: Taiyou no Shisha Tetsujin Ni-juu-hachi-gou 太陽の使者鉄人28号

Part of the design of this character is still used as basis for shota characters.

For example, some characters that are created to fit the shota archetype may be intentionally named Shoutarou or Shouta.

  • In Kobayashi-san Chi no Maidragon 小林さんちのメイドラゴン, a character named Shouta 翔太 accidentally summons Quetzalcoatl, a big tiddy dragon oneesan, whom he mistakes for a succubus, and who ends up living with him.

Due to Shoutarou wearing "short pants," hanzubon 半ズボン, literally "half-trousers," the clothing item became associated with shota characters.

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