Loli and Lolita in anime (non-Hentai – Misused, Misunderstood, Misrepresented


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Please bare in mind that this post is far from definitive and I have barely even begun to explore the varied and complex issues surrounding Lolita in Japanese society, especially with regards to anime and more broadly speaking ‘otaku culture’. 

The Lolita or ‘Loli’ character has become ubiquitous in anime over the years, with numerous series employing younger characters or those dressed in Lolita fashion to varying affects. In a more general sense, Lolitas of ‘Lolis’ are young women and men who dress as anachronistic visual representations of Victorian-era dolls, covered from head to toe in lace, ruffles, and bows. This term in the west is most often associated with the title character of Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 novel, depicting an adolescent girl who has a sexual relationship with her middle-aged stepfather; in Japan however ‘Lolita Complex (lolicon)’ also refers more generally to older men who are attracted to young girls. Part of the problem with these terms however is the way they are used an interpreted in conjunction with anime and the numerous ways with which the Lolita is represented in the anime medium. One of the interesting elements of Lolita in Japan is that they are usually young women (not girls), who dress in cure, childlike, and modest fashions without the overly sexualised appearance typically associated with Nabokov’s Lolita. This representation of the Lolita is further complicated by the broad nature of anime fandom’s description and understanding of the Lolita complex, with numerous fans referring to any young character as a ‘Loli’, whether they are dressed in Victorian-era clothes or not. This particular description makes the whole notion of the Loli far more complicated, as there is an implicit understanding amongst western fandom that Loli is linked with Nabokov’s character. Read more of this post

War and politics in Dog Days’


Dog Days was a series that followed the classic fantasy formula of a lone hero who is summoned to a far off land to save it from impending peril. The dynamics of the series followed our hero Cinque as he attempted to save the kingdom of Biscotti from what we first assume to be annihilation at the hands of the Galette army. What differentiated Dog Days from numerous other series was its sense of humor and fun, it was a series that took this formula and instead of being overly serious decided that it should simply enjoy itself. We have two kingdoms with different attitudes and approaches towards life, with the kingdom of Biscotti as the fun-loving, calm, and caring kingdom, whereas Galette is one of warfare and strength, a kingdom that prides itself on its warriors and its record while at war. Read more of this post