I have heard it means pedophile in japanese and all but in english fandom, the term mainly refers to liking little children/pre or pubescent people. In japan, I was wondering does the term apply to attraction to characters who look/act like adults but said to be younger but in HS like this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/890015304771829760/G-Kbb7WS_400x400.jpg like character is 15 but looks and acts like an adult, so would a person who is attracted to that be called a lolicon in japan?

  • I think that this question is probably more appropriate for the Anime & Manga SE, although I guess since it's asking about the interpretation in Japan it's maybe borderline?
    – ConMan
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 3:57

2 Answers 2


In the anime/manga fandom, a 15 year old girl is usually not called a ロリ character in the first place. There are so many heroines of this age in Japanese manga/anime that if we considered them ロリ, almost all Japanese otaku would have to be called ロリコン. This person (城戸沙織) is almost certainly not called a ロリ character, either. A typical ロリコン from the standpoint of Japanese otaku is someone who is attracted to girls around 3–12 years old. On the other hand, in the real society, an adult who shows sexual interest in girls of 15 years old, regardless of their appearances, would be accused of being ロリコン.

In manga/anime, ロリ is used mainly based on the character's appearance and childlike behavior. Thus, a person who is technically an adult but looks like a child is often regarded as a subtype of ロリ. See 合法ロリ and ロリババア.

  • So if someone liked characters who look like adult or like aged up, they would not be called a lolicon at all? Commented Jul 8, 2021 at 12:18

pedophile is arguably the wrong interpretation. pedophile = someone who is sexually attracted to children. ロリコン is short for "Lolita complex" and it just means attraction to young women

How young depends on the person. That image you posted I would not personally consider "lolicon". You can find better representative images by searching

The positive way to frame it is many people find kids and teens to be adorable, so they like to look at and read about characters that have those same adorable characteristics and some women like to be those characters. You can look at a young person and think "they're sooooo cute!!!" without it straying into a bad place. Japanese culture has a strong attraction to cute things (think Hello Kitty) and plenty of girls like to be considered cute and one way to do that is to appear young and child like.

Also, maybe a controversial example, but Suicide Squad's Harley Quinn with her pony tails is arguably an appeal to a similar idea. Pony tails are usually something associated with kids and young teens, not adults.

Of course, given the topic, it does often stray into questionable areas. The name ロリ is short for lolita which comes from a book by that name about an older man who has a relationship with a teenager. There are also cultural differences throughout the world on what age it's okay to be sexually active and what age differences are acceptable.

The point I'm trying to make is "pedophile" has a much more negative meaning than "lolicon". Search for "pedophile" and you'll pretty much only read about criminals. Search for "ロリコン" on Japanese google and you'll find dressing tips, makeup tips, women showing off their "lolicon" look, manga that you can by at every convenience store in Japan. You'll also probably find lots of things you'd prefer not to have seen so be warned.


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