Konnichiwa, Mikuites! Females in anime come in literally all shapes and sizes, but perhaps those who have garnered the most controversy are the ones with the least physical presence.
How do we define a loli? Is it by age? Height? Breast size? Each person seems to have their own subjective opinion. For some, age is the only defining factor. Others take a more liberal approach and go by appearance alone. If she looks like a loli, she is a loli, no matter if she’s 14 or 40 (I’m looking at you, Tsukuyomi Komoe). As I said once, even if you’re not a loli, you can still dress like one.
I believe the question that comes up most often when trying to define a loli is “Does size matter?” Not to discriminate against women with washboard chests, but if a fully grown women has a chest with the steepness of the Grand Canyon, is she still considered a loli? Adversely, is a youthful loli who is “well-endowed” still loli, despite being abreast with her postpubescent seniors?
The thing I find most fasinating about the “laws of loli” is that it seems to fluctuate from one anime to the next. While Azunyan may be considered the loliest (is that a word?) amongst lolis in K-ON!, she would look quite normal in an anime like…say, Hanamaru Youchien or Kodomo no Jikan.
Obviously, there’s a distinct difference between loli and moe, but I find both of them cute, so either one is good in my book. I don’t tend to grade women by the size of their cup (although, I will say that my grading scale is quite similar to that used in a typical school classroom).
What makes lolis so unique (as compared to older anime women) is that they have a youthful innocence that adult females tend to lack. Imagine if the 501st of Strike Witches consisted of no more than a gang of 20 – 30 year old women. It would lose the slice of life appeal and coming-of-age factor, as the women would probably be too busy training and focusing on their mission to spend time getting to know and playfully tease each other.
Some people will claim that lolis are the downfall of anime, while others on the opposite spectrum wholeheartedly embrace anime for this trope. I don’t find lolis, or even loli anime for that matter, to be intrusive at all––I just see it as another genre of anime such as mecha or shonen. Loli fits right where it belongs, and every otaku has their individual tastes.
In fact, lolis have become so integrated into anime that you can typically find at least one in almost every anime you watch, even if its not loli related. Do I really need to give any examples? Think of the last few anime you watched, and no matter the genre, I bet there was at least one loli in it.
And for those feminists saying that loli characters are demeaning to women, most lolis (Index, Shana, Mikoto, you name it…) are usually the strong––tsundere, if you will––type that are able to defend themselves against much greater opponents––which just goes to show you, you shouldn’t underestimate a person short in stature.
Without lolis we wouldn’t have classics like Nanoha or Madoka Magica. So next time you see a loli in the grocery store, reaching for a cereal box high up in the aisle, make sure to help her out and thank her for making anime 20% cooler.