2D lolis and 3D children: A dimension apart?Julius_Firefocht | November 27, 2008
Some NKDS readers might already have known about the 2D vs 3D loli abuse issue from sources such as ANN or Sankaku Complex, but the premise around which this conference was based upon tickled my imagination to a certain extent…enough for me to spend some time thinking and writing about it. Thus, it is with great joy that I present the 3rd article to join our Discussions category; an essay that discusses the myriad differences between the 2D loli, and the 3D child.
First, a bit of background on the issue at hand. UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) has criticized Japan for lax laws regarding the depiction of lolis and the underaged in digital and published mediums, such as games, manga and anime. For more details, please visit the links posted in the above paragraph, they will provide more information than I would like to place within this article.
Perhaps you might be familiar with characters such as Kokonoe Rin from Kodomo no Jikan, Primula from Shuffle and Wreathlit from Yoake Mae yori Ruriiro na? If not, then you might know of Fate and Nanoha from the original Nanoha and Nanoha A’s series, since they are arguably two of the most famous lolies around. Well, apparently UNICEF is trying to get rid of them all. If the organization has its way, lolis will officially disappear from future Japanese animation and manga.
I do not know about you, but I am having trouble envisioning such a world. Imagine if you will…a world without lolis…no Fate, no Nanoha, no Rika, no Hanyuu, no Index, no Shana, no Louise…so painful….so deprived….wait, I am beginning to sound like a lolicon. I would like to take this opportunity to clarify that all members of NKDS are mentally healthy individuals; we certainly do not hanker after real life little girls, though some of us do appreciate the odd 2D loli or two. A bit of harmless guilty pleasure, one might say.
Which brings me to the point of this article. The UNICEF is built around the enshrinement of children’s rights, with the organization doing its best to ensure that children around the world enjoy a minimum standard of living, education and protection from violence, exploitation and abuse, among other goals. A most admirable motive, as I am sure most readers would agree. Someone has to protect and help the less fortunate children out there, and the UNICEF has been working since 1946 to fulfil its mission. They know what they need to do, and they are good at it.
So, where and how does the 2D loli enter this equation? Should they enter this equation? Indeed, do they even have the right to enter the equation? Should the UNICEF spend precious time and resources trying to stamp out what is ultimately a single genre within a hobby that the masses keep for their own entertainment, when there are plenty of real, living kids out there who truly need their attention?
After all, you do not feed a child who is drawn in a manga. Nor do you physically and mentally protect a kid who is depicted in an anime. You definitely do not ensure that a child appearing in a game acquires an appropriate level of education. Unless you are playing the Princess Maker series of games. In which case all three of the above applies, and I stand corrected.
We have established why 2D lolis do not need the same sort of attentions, rights and protection that a real life child requires, and suggested that the UNICEF might be better served to direct its efforts elsewhere. Why then, is the UNICEF so insistent upon the restriction of lolis within anime, games and manga? There are many reasons, but one definitely stands out as the most likely.
Perhaps the UNICEF is concerned that such material will influence the weak-minded to commit crimes against real children. While that is a thought that does merit attention, it must be also said that it is wrong to blame all of society’s ills upon the media, regardless of the form the media might assume. Just because Jane stole from a departmental store does not mean she has watched Nijuu Mensou no Musume. Nor will Joe necessarily credit Shakugan no Shana for inspiring him into putting in effort to win an inter-school kendo competition.
Psychological conditions are very often subjective and personal, and there will never be a be-all-end-all explanation for conditions such as pedophilia and addiction to child abuse. Just because the Japanese animation and manga culture has a lolita genre does not make it an automatic scapegoat for cases of pedophilia around the world. In a similar vein, should Hollywood movies be restricted and blamed for the spat of unfortunate gun incidents in American schools? Arguably not.
And so, we have made our case against UNICEF’s well-meant but pointless prosecution of the poor lolis in Japan. What do you think? Please feel free to share with us your views via your comments. We at NKDS look forward to constructive discussion, as always.
This is Julius Firefocht, signing off.