What is Loli? [Definition, Meaning]

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Intro

Japan is well known for having a wide variety of sub cultures that make up only a small chunk of the entire Japanese infrastructure. From the everyday fashion trends that blossom in Harajuku, to the very popular anime advertisements in Akihabara, Japan is full of exciting activities for anyone to immerse themselves in. There are some aspects however that seem to overshadow some of the more well-known sub cultures, and this is where we will jump into the lifestyle of a loli.

Loli refers to the Japanese discourse or media pertaining to the attraction of young looking cute girls that blend slightly erotic characteristics to form this intriguing sub culture. Loli culture can be seen in various forms from advertisements, manga, to the now popular anime genre. Most loli characteristics involve very big baby-like eyes with a small well rounded face and small frame. While the term loli refers to a girl who is very young and come from an elementary school background, the other term lolicon refers to a fixation or strong attraction to young underaged girls. This can be very confusing to many as one is refering to a defined term, while lolicon is a morpheme that derives from combining two words to form one and is based on a physical and psychological platform. Loli focus most of their life on the more youthful aspects of life, but do so in a very adorable and innocent manner much like a child would. Lolicon focuses more on the actual psychological impulses that an individual has in seeking someone who displays such behaviors to become involved in a relationship, etc.

In the western world the loli lifestyle is slowly growing with popular memes such as the infamous 'loli haet pizza' and 'loli luv pancake', both of which originated on 4chan several years ago with the popular Strawberry Marshmallow anime. Now that you have an idea of what loli means, let us go into more detail by providing some great anime recommendations to educate you even further.

Incredibly Adorable

As aforementioned, the term loli refers to a character that displays very childlike characteristics, and that is the selling factor with regards to the genre. There are hundreds if not thousands of anime and manga that cater to the loli lifestyle, and the trend continues to grow as time passes. The characters don't necessarily have to be young in age, but their appearance is what gives off an innocent and vibrant feel that grabs the attention of the viewer. While most anime focus on trying to throw in various combinations to add some spark, Strawberry Marshmallow really tries to keep things all simple much like you'd expect for a slice of life anime. With all of that being said, let us jump right into the mix and give you more details on this slice of life comedy.


Strawberry Marshmallow [Ichigo Mashimaro]

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 15, 2005 – October 14, 2005

One of the very popular anime that truly define the culture is Strawberry Marshmallow. Named Ichigo Mashimaro in Japan, the show revolves around cute girls doing cute things in cute ways, which makes up the fabric of the entire show. The slice of life adventure revolves around character Chika along with her sister Nobue and all of their friends, who spend their time together to help each other become better individuals. All four of them are elementary school students which promote the very cute and loli direction, while adding in some very subtle comedic relief to bring forth a nice vibe to the series.

All of them have their own separate adventures such as the girls going on vacation with each other, to Nobue on her search for the perfect job. Ana is American while the other girls are from Japan, so there is a slight mixture of the two cultures that you can see throughout the show. A lot of popular memes have stemmed from this show such as the loli haet pizza which has a picture of the adorable Matsuri crying in front of a steaming hot pizza. The meme was supposed to reference a user on 4chan who wanted to express their strong dislike for pizza, but instead created a typo that sparked a huge online meme loli trend. We can only give thanks to this wonderful series for the meme, but also for its wonderful story which represents the many aspects of real life from the loli persona.


Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? [Is the order a rabbit?]

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 10, 2014 -June 26, 2014

The story of Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? revolves around Kokoa Hoto, who just moved into a new town in hopes to start fresh life in school. On her adventure to seek housing she unexpectedly comes across a cafe called Rabbit House, which to her imagination was filled with very cute rabbits that she could cuddle and play with. Unfortunately, she realizes that it is just an ordinary cafe that only has one rabbit named Tippy who doesn't really behave like a rabbit, and a quiet girl named Chino.

After some research Kokoa comes to realize that the boarding house she had been searching for was the very same one she was standing in, and that her job was to be a waitress. This slice of life comedy follows her life of being a waitress, while learning to balance her school and work lifestyle through making new friends. What makes this a very loli style anime is in the very cute and innocent demeanor that Kokoa and her friends display throughout the show, especially when Sharo makes her way into the scene.

Sharo who is one of her work mates is very much a loli whenever she treats her customers to a drink of tea, as she mimics a very childlike animation in her maid outfit which is combined with her very adorable blushing face as you'll see in later episodes. All of the characters in the show are all very cute in their own fashion, their eyes gleaming with excitement and ambition. Rather than focusing this show on the typical over the top loli style with superhuman powers, it crafts a believable world that we all can relate to and become attached to. Rize is the one that stands out the most because she has this really outlandish attitude due to her military upbringing, but when paired with her overly cute demeanor your heart strings start to pull in awe. Whether you're into slice of life or not is up to you, but we strongly suggest giving Gochuuman Usagi Desu Ka a try because it will take you to a new place, and promote a nice loli appeal.

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka? - Trailer


Embracing youth and energy

Loli is all about embracing a lifestyle that many have taken to truly embrace a life that is full of youth and energy. Many anime also share this sentiment where the main characters live a life of thrills and carefree feelings that truly define the lifestyle. We all should take note of this since much of our world nowadays is all about hustle and bustle, and showing little appreciation for the once beautiful youthful lives we always enjoyed. Loli isn't promoting anything bad, but really promoting a world where everyone can come together and share experiences without feeling too terrible about it, all the while looking very cute. With that being said, we decided to throw in a nice anime that truly defines loli while incurporating sports into the mix.


Ro-Kyu-Bu!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 1, 2011 – September 23, 2011

Ro-Kyu-Bu is the final chapter in our loli adventures, but we thought that it stood out as one that really captures the real loli essence mixed with a genre you'd rarely see with loli's. The anime revolves around
Hasegawa Subaru, who is a 1st year high schooler who is a very talented basketball player. All of his dreams were cut short when a scandal broke out with the team captain leading the team to disband. After the air had cleared Subaru found himself in a position where he didn't feel all too comfortable to continue pursuing his basketball dreams, and so he felt it was right to build better connections with those around him. The girls team which consists of Hinata, Airi, Tomoka. Maho, and more, is in constant battle with the boys squad who are always trying to flirt their way into conversations with these adorable looking girls.

You are immediately greeted with loli style everywhere from the facial expressions to the very strong voice acting that you'd get with Kana Hanazawa as Tomoka, who finds herself drunk and quirky in episode 8. The entire cast is paired with your favorite loli voice actresses which really provide the anime with a wonderful setting despite how clumsy the basketball team seems. Hinata is the smallest of all the loli characters who often speaks in a polite manner but her behavior often becomes random which adds flavor to the series.

We do see a little bit more of ecchi in this show compared to our other two picks with Airi playing that role, but loli based anime tend to have some seductive characteristics behind everything, which is what makes Ro-Kyu-Bu! such a thrilling experience. The first few episodes of the series will surely entice you as we are greeted with a perverted coach who greets the girls as “imouto maids”, to the girls playing with each other in the shower in very ecchi like manners. While some may call it a fan service, we here at Honey's Anime felt that Subaru and his colleagues showcased a great example of the loli culture in Japan, and how it is represented not only through the typical format we're aware of, but also through sports and slice of life. We hope you enjoy this pick as it really was one that stood out for many of us.


The loli culture will forever be etched in the history books of Japanese anime, and will continue to shine on for years to come. With other fantastic loli anime to choose from there is really no shortage when it comes to this entertaining and cute genre. Rozen Maiden is a prime example of another great loli anime that takes on a different approach to the fashion, by introducing a more gothic lolita lifestyle. While this wasn't the approach we were looking for, the series is something to definitely check out as well as the new upcoming loli anime called Stella no Mahou. We hope that you found this article to be helpful in your journey in discovering the loli lifestyle. Should you have any more questions about what it's like to live in Japan along with the loli culture, be sure to leave everything down below and we'll be sure to let you know!

As always, for your sweet anime fill, keep it locked here at Honey's Anime.

Rob

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

100% Vegan. A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and join me on Discord! Take care!

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