Have you ever wondered what it is lolita? Or what is a loli or one lolicon? These terms ended up becoming quite popular in the West because of anime and manga, but there is a long history and culture behind these words, not to mention that they are words with totally different meanings from each other.
To facilitate navigation I have prepared a summary below. I hope that by reading this article that I wrote with great affection and updated several times, you will finally fully understand the full meaning of the word lolita and the differences between lolita, loli and lolicon.
The difference between loli, lolita and lolicon
These 3 words are totally different from each other. Throughout the article I will quote the 3 words and address issues that are related to each other, but before I get confused, I want to briefly summarize the meaning of those 3 words.
- Loli - Refers to younger girls or who try to look younger;
- Lolita - Currently refers to a Japanese fashion;
- Lolicon - Refers to people who like girls who are underage or who appear to be minors;
Now that you know the short definition and the difference between each of these 3 words, be careful not to confuse or draw conclusions throughout the article's explanations, as I ended up writing everything together instead of dividing it into several articles.
I decided to put the 3 words together in a single article to exactly show their relationship, their differences and also because it drastically helps the IF THE. Generally those who appreciate lolita fashion, do not usually have any appreciation for anime lolis.
The meaning and origin of the word lolita
Lolita is a term that defines a Japanese style / fashion, where doll clothes are used, inspired by kawaii culture. Such clothing sometimes involves nostalgia for other times and historical periods (Victorian or Rococo) or simply childhood itself.
This fashion style is also divided into several different sub-styles and categories as well as gyaru which is another popular fashion style in Japan. Those who adhere to lolita fashion can also be called loli, but that word literally refers to underage girls who are sexy.
Lolita fashion originated quietly in the 70s, but it stood out only in the 90s. Lolitas are easily found on the streets of Japan, and are identified with their accessories, clothes and ways of acting. Nowadays this fashion has even caught on in the West. Unfortunately the word lolita ends up creating an erroneous idea about the girls who adhere to this fashion.
This strange idea came about because lolita is a character in Vladimir Nabokov's book. Although not the focus of the book, girls try to look younger than they are. Some claim that lolita is synonymous with nymphet, that is, a teen girl turned to sex or who awakens sexual desire.
Unfortunately most Japanese and Western girls who adhere to lolita fashion do this because they think it is cute. Many do not consider these clothes sensual, and are uncomfortable if anyone thinks so. In fact, the clothes that lolitas usually wear are much more decent than popular fashion.
What is a loli and a lolicon?
The word loli it refers especially to girls between 9 to 14 years old, with cute and childlike characteristics, and often sensual. Basically lolis are minors, or also adults with childish aspects and who act like girls under 14 years old.
There is no age to adhere to lolita fashion, just wear doll clothes or children's looks. Many tend to assimilate loli with lolita, but not all loli characters are wearing clothes that are lolita fashion.
Some claim that lolis are little girls who are forward and already have an active sex life, a very wrong idea. This is just a generalization created by lolicons and animes. Usually lolitas stick to clothes only and don't even act like children.
Girls who adhere to lolita fashion, even though they are of legal age, may end up using the word loli, which is simply an abbreviation for the word lolita. People who adopt this lifestyle also tend to maintain a childlike aspect in psychological terms.
The big problem is with lolicons. The term "Lolicon”Is the abbreviation for“Lolita complex”Term used in Japan for crimes involving pedophilia and efebophilia. That is, basically lolicons are the fanatics and passionate about loli.
This term is also used when a minor in an anime is portrayed in an erotic way or in sensual or even sexual situations. Lolicons outside Japan are people who have a desire for girls who appear to be children or cute schoolgirls.
Getting to know the lolita culture
Lolita is a style and fashion, but ends up going beyond clothes and involving a personality, that is, a culture. Of course, not all lolitas follow a childish personality, adhering only to fashion.
Although some people without knowledge find this style erotic or vulgar, loli follow a pattern of sizes and styles. Real lolitas are always maintaining the modesty and elegance of the clothes, also intending to look childish in some models, with round skirts, always in knee height, lace, bows and ruffles.
Loli often go to karaoke, have picnics, hold regular meetings for tea, or go to coffee shops and patisseries.
The different types of lolita
There are several types of loli styles and sub-styles, below we will see a short list summarizing each one of them:
Sweet Lolita - Sweet, from the English "sweet", is the so-called "cute" style, which uses colors such as pink, pastel and sometimes brown or black. Always with cute motifs, it is the style that most seeks inspiration in childhood, with its prints of sweets and animals.
Classical Lolita - The classic style, which refers to the original Victorian and Rococo fashions. The colors used are aged tones. Brown and rose-pink are common, and the most popular motifs are floral prints.
Country Lolita - It is a more “fresh” and modest style, generally used in hot times like summer, it brings straw hats and bags with lace and bows, prints and floral, fruit or delicate plaid motifs, such as gingham.
Hime Lolita - Style that most resembles the image of European princesses. Although very similar to Sweet Lolita, especially for the colors, it is differentiated by the dress models, accessories (crowns, tiaras, pearls) and even by the hairstyle.
Casual Lolita - A style that uses everyday and ordinary clothes. For example: bell-shaped skirts with lace, bows and ruffles and a baby look T-shirt with a cute print.
Shiro Lolita - Considered by some as a subdivision of sweet lolita, where the clothes are composed only of white, since shiro means white.
Dark styles of loli
Gothic Lolita - The mixture of “gothic” with lolita fashion. The colors used are dark and elegant, where obviously black predominates. Vibrant colors can give an ordinary look contrasted with black, so pale and sober colors are recommended. Despite the inspiration of Gothic fashion, make up it should remain light and natural, without excess black eyeshadow and very dark lipsticks.
Kuro Loli- Considered as a subdivision of sweet lolita by some people, it is the opposite of Shiro Lolita, simply a loli dressed only in black.
Guro Lolita - A kind of grotesque style where loli wear bandages, fake blood and the like, which can give the look of a broken doll.
Punk Loli - The mix of punk and loli fashion. Overlays, checkers and stripes are widely used. The most common accessories include skulls and perhaps spikes.
Themed loli styles
Deco Lolita - A mixture of Decora style and Lolita. Many colorful and varied accessories are used, such as hairpins, huge bows on the head, wigs and colorful prints. The colors are usually in pastel colors, and citrus, fluorescent or very flashy colors are used with extreme moderation or avoided.
Ero Loli - Despite the name, it is not composed of lingerie or very short skirts and sensual cuts. This is because the rule of lolis involves modesty and elegance. So when they wear corsets, they always have a blouse underneath, and even though the necklines are bigger, they still don't reach the bust line. The skirt can be four or five fingers above the knee, but it is good to balance the amount of skin shown so it doesn't look ordinary.
Sailor Lolita - It is a style that is dressed in sailor clothes. This can include sailor necklaces and ties, sailor hats, and stripes. It should not be confused with the common Japanese "seifuku" or sailor-style school uniform.
Wa and Qi loli - The first sub-style is based on the combination of Japanese accessories and traditional clothing, where the sleeves of the dresses and the pierced collar resemble kimonos and contrast with the bulky skirt. Qi Lolita has the same concept, with the difference that the accessories and dresses are inspired by traditional Chinese clothing. Both are commonly used in events, not daily.
Anime about loli
The anime in question may present only the clothing style and not that the anime deals with fashion or loli as a focus. It may be that the anime doesn't even want to deal with lolita fashion, it just has loli characters that draw attention.
Rozen Maiden - Due to a deep trauma acquired at school, Jun Sakurada refuses to return to school, as well as to leave home. Living together with his sister, his hobby is to buy cursed items via the internet and return them before the return period ends.
One day he receives an unsolicited package, which contained a beautiful doll inside that seemed to be sleeping. Curious, Jun begins to find out. When, to her surprise, she demonstrates that she is alive, and soon after making him her servant. And now, both will have to face a homicidal opponent to win in Alice's deadly game.
Other anime focused on loli characters:
- Ryo-Kyu-Bu! - Lolis who play basketball;
- Astarotte at Omocha!
- Kodomo no Jikan
- Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan
- Strike Witches;
- Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni;
- Black Bullet;
Top characters loli
Finally, let's leave a list of famous loli characters. It is worth remembering that what defines the character being a loli, is not only his age or childish appearance but also the clothes they are wearing. Many end up meeting characters but have no idea that the outfit they are wearing is part of the lolita style.
- Suzu Hagimura (Seitokai Yakuindomo);
- Megumin (Konosuba);
- Taiga Aisaka (Toradora);
- Hasegawa Kobato (Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai);
- Aihara Enju (Black Bullet);
- Shiro (No Game No Life);
- Nunnally (Code Geass);
- Elizabeth Midford (Kuroshitsuji);
- Irisu Makina (Grisaia no Kajitsu);
- Takanashi Rikka (Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!);
- Celestia Ludenberg (Danganronpa);
- Yui (Sword Art Online);
- Chii (Chobits)
- Rinko Ogasawara (shirobako);
- Minene Uryuu (Mirai Nikki);
- Kaolla Su (Love Hina);
- Ruri Goko - Gothic loli (Oreimo);
- Sumiki Miniwa (Acchi Kocchi);
- Remilia Scarlet (Touhou Project);
- Kuroko Shirai (Railgun);
- Rin Kagamine (Vocaloid);
- Konata Izumi (Lucky Star);
- Yui (Sword Art Online);
We also recommend reading:
- Getting to know Decora style and fashion
- Harajuku Fashion - Fairy Kei, Cult Party Kei and Seifuku Kei
Gothic Lolita anime characters
It is common in anime, in addition to loli characters, to have some alternative Lolita fashions. The vast majority dress in Gothic Lolita fashion, which includes black or dark clothes, lace with ruffles, petticoats and delicate umbrellas. See a list:
- Kuroneko [Oreimo];
- Victorique [Gosick];
- Kurumi Tokisaki [Data a Live]
- Kobato Hasegawa [Kobato Hasegawa]
- Hildagarde [BEelzebub]
- Rory Mercury [Gate]
- Stocking [Panty Stocking]
- Celestia Ludenberg [Danganronpa]
- Perona [One Piece]
- Beatrice [Re: Zero]
- Anna Kushina [K]
- Sunako Kirishiki [Shiki]
- Shalltear Bloodfallen [Overlord]
- Anju Maaka [Karin]