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And we're back.
Some controversial questions this week. Don't forget to swing by and say hello next weekend at Otakon!
What's the deal with all this "lolicon" stuff? it creeps me out hardcore and some of these guys who talk about lolicon stuff are just way over the top, they don't seem to care that anyone normal would look at them and think they're pedophiles. so why is this stuff so popular right now with anime fans? will it ever go away?
Well, this is a doozy, isn't it?
In my sincere, honest opinion, there's really not a big difference between a so-called "lolicon"guys and straight-up pedophiles. In defense of the lolicon guys, yeah, there's no ACTUAL children being exploited but I find it hard to believe they're sincerely only attracted to drawings and would never lust after a real 8-year old. It's such a short step from getting off to a drawing of a child being raped versus a photo of a child being raped. Either way it completely sickens and disgusts me, but these guys prefer to split hairs.
What's worse in my opinion - and why I think anime fans should be a little worried about the recent upswing in lolicon fans - is the massive, extremely scary image problem that lolicon could potentially bring about. More and more I see in message forums people talking about how much they just love lolicon shows and lolicon pornography, and how they're out and proud about being "pedos" (a term they openly use themselves) and go on and on about how there isn't anything wrong with lusting after children. For instance, here's a description of the latest lolicon anime from the fansub group that's translating it:
This is about a bunch of fifth graders and their, well, not so fifth-grade-like lives. I mean, the sexual tensions are unbearable. Ryota is such a lucky stud. I wonder why my fifth grade wasn't like that. There's a character whose hair color was completely not what I had expected, but oh well. Anyway, there are five episodes in all, and if the producers follow the manga like they did quite nicely, it'll be a good show. Just don't watch this in public, though, or else you'll be looked at strangely. Even worse, the cops would probably give you a citation. I'm serious. This is borderline child smut. But oh, it is fabulous.
Now, to people like you and me, this description makes my skin crawl and I want to go take a shower. And I think that's a pretty rational and reasonable response to have. But the guys who are in to this are more than happy to shout it from the rooftops, and that's where I think the big problem is.
Let me put it this way: we just now are getting over the public perception that all anime is violent pornography. Remember that? When you'd tell someone you liked anime and they'd scoff or look at you funny because they thought all anime was a cross between Ninja Scroll and Urotsukidoji?
How would you like it if big media got a hold of this trend and decided to do a story on how anime fandom is a haven for pedophiles? Because I assure you it's probably only a matter of time before someone in the media catches a glimpse of some of these message board posts and decides to run a sensational story about pedophile anime fans. And then we all get tarred with that brush, and the next time you tell someone you're an anime fan, you get a much worse response than just a strange look. I make my living working with anime and the last thing I want is to tell someone what I do for a living and get a gasp followed by "Oh god, are you one of those pedophiles?". Just the thought of that happening scares the living crap out of me.
Personally, while I'd like to see lolicon stuff disappear completely - not banned, but simply not published, endorsed or purchased - that isn't likely to happen so for the time being I'd much rather it stay as far underground as possible. This recent trend of some fans - and I believe they are simply a very loud, very scary but very small minority - being so open about it on very public and visible forums sincerely worries me. It just isn't good for the art form, especially in America.
This is obviously a big topic and there's a lot more to say on it but I'd imagine I'm going to get a lot of mail about this one so I'll leave the rest for future discussion.