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Interview: Japanese video game developer talks about the rise of loli censorship in anime and video games | Pro Club Bd

Lately, outrage about loli and loli-style artwork and characters has increased drastically.

Source: Dead or Alive 6 (2019), Koei Tecmo

RELATED: Square Enix Censors Highly Sexualized Artwork From Various Series For English Release Of Manga UP! apartment

Critics of the art style and fandom have both falsely accused of promoting sexual violence against minors in the real world.

The vociferous campaigns of condemnation by opponents who believed they were doing something good for society resulted in a Japanese mangaka being harassed, Patreon blanket-cleaning any art that even remotely met the standard of the style, and a player being banned from a fighting game became tournament to like the numerous loli characters of the genre.

Source: New Character Demo – “Diona: Slayer of the Wine Industry”, Genshin Impact YouTube

Faced with this ongoing attempt to erase every trace of the loli style from anime and video games, and curious how this attitude has impacted the industry proper, Bounding Into Comics reached out to an insider for his insights.

Japanese video game developer, writer and 3D artist who kindly takes the time to speak to us after we contacted him Haru47 spoke to us about this rising trend and what it means for the future of Japanese media in the West.

Source: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S Episode 10 “Dragon Squad, On Stage! (They had a troop name, huh)” (2017), Kyoto Animation

RELATED: Patreon begins removing fan art from characters below a certain height and bust size

Nerdigans Inc.: Which Anime and Video Game Triggered the Rise of Loli Censorship?

Haru47: “I think that was the anime that started it all Kodomo no Jikan, the controversial anime about a loli who falls in love with her teacher. I’ve seen many anti-lolicons taking this anime as an example.”

Source: Kodomo no Jikan Episode 1 “A Friendly Step” (2007), Studio Barcelona

“As far as games go, that was it Nekopara Series or Ero Loli visual novels. I think that too Senran Kagura series, considering a lot of people were celebrating Sony’s censorship.”

Source: Senran Kagura: Estival Versus (2015), Marvelous Inc.

Nerdigans Inc.: When would you say this sudden shift in loli deletion starts?

Haru47: “Personally, I felt like it started in mid-2016. I know it’s probably a lengthy debacle, but in my personal experience, anime started to become more mainstream in mid-2016.”

“All these normies just watch the seasonal shows without bothering to examine the tropes of the media they consume.”

Source: The Saga of Tanya the Evil Episode 10 “Path to Victory” (2017), NUT

Nerdigans Inc.: Would you say it was in video games around the same time?

Haru47: “Actually yes – at least on the part of Sony, because in 2016 they started their censorship policy towards the #MeToo movement.”

Source: BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (2012), Arc System Works

RELATED: Study finds “video games with sexualized content” don’t cause misogynist attitudes or body image issues

“Kind of ironic that they’re now facing a gender discrimination lawsuit and one of their vice presidents got fired for trying to date a minor but according to Sony ‘loli bad’.”

(One of the games that Haru47 refers to is Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness. At the start of the MeToo era, Square Enix increased the size of Miki’s panties in the overseas release of the fifth installment in the series due to Western accusations that it over-sexualized its underage characters.)

Source: Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (2016), Square Enix

Nerdigans Inc.: Why is there such a prejudice against Lolis? Why can’t the loli critics seem to understand that the illustrations they are fighting to protect are not real children (and that some lolis are adults)?”

Haru47: “Projection. And I wish I made that up, but more often than not, most of these people are guilty of the same thing that they’re all guilty of.”

Source: Granblue Fantasy: Versus – Cagliostro DLC Character Trailer | PS4, PlayStation YouTube

“As for the drawing part, they insist it’s illegal, but the part they missed is that it’s actually pornographic drawings made by IRL kids, which are illegal, while loli isn’t, because it is based on fictional characters. This was the main reason Larry Sanger, the co-founder of Wikipedia, reported Lolicon content on the site to the FBI, only for the agency to label his reports as a waste of time.”

Source: Hello Goodbye (2019), NekoNyan Ltd.

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Nerdigans Inc.: I recently spoke to a professional translator about the state of the English localization industry, and he revealed that a certain group of English localizers’ stranglehold on the video game industry was worse than it was on anime and manga. Are they involved with the western coordinators in the escalated censorship of loli content?

Haru47: “Yes, I think so, considering localizers on social media were always complaining about tropes they hate and actually lied and said the word ‘lolicon’ means ‘pedophile’ in Japanese.” Actually, the Japanese use another word called ‘Shouniseai’ or ‘Jidouseai’.”

Source: Seton Academy: Join the Pack! Episode 12 “The Animal Students I Know” (2020), Studio Gokumi

Nerdigans Inc.: By now, video game publishers like Sony should have realized that lolicons are a wild community loyal to their loli-waifus. Why would publishers ignore that money in favor of an audience that most likely won’t be playing their games?

Haru47: “Well, that’s the fun part. People want to erase any scantily clad female character, but are fine with sexualizing male characters.”

Source: Disgaea: Hour of Darkness (2003), Nippon Ichi Software

“One of my favorite examples of this hypocrisy comes from YouTuber Noralites. She made a lengthy video complaining about loli characters using the term “underage coded” only for people to find out she made a video of Hanako-kun coveting a shota character, and their art page was full of explicit yaoi content from underage characters.”

Source: Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun Chapter 87 (2022), Square Enix. Color distribution by AidaIro.

RELATED: Climax Of Night Tournament Bans Players Who Shared Meme In Loli Fighting Game Character Appreciation

Nerdigans Inc.: What do you think of the Climax of Night Loli scandal?

Haru47: “I think it was a really stupid ban. Imagine getting banned for a meme saying you like lolis.”

Archive link source: @unilunar_ Twitter

“The event organizers began calling the developers of Melty Blood ‘Pedos’ while still using their product for their own financial gain. We’ve gotten to the point where you can’t express yourself if you like a certain character type because higher ranks will throw you under the bus to appeal to a minority of annoying people.

Source: DNF Duel (2022), Arc System Works

RELATED: House in Mirage Author Pushes Back After Western Localizer Boasts About “Rejecting” Female Character Designs With Inward Knees Because They’re “Unnatural”

Nerdigans Inc.: What actions can the video game community take to fight back against censorship?

Haru47: “As a developer, I say: don’t buy their censored products. Hit publishers where it hurts them. As a consumer, they offered you a product in a certain way, only for them to back down later and expect you to give them money.”

Source: Melty Blood: Actress Again: Current Code (2016), French Bread

Nerdigans Inc.: Recently, the manga community has raised its concerns about English localization with Japanese publishers. Should video game fans start taking a similar approach?

Haru47: “They basically take the same approach. The thing is whether publishers are willing to listen.”

Source: Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition (2015), French Bread

NEXT: Anime Matsuri partners with Vic Mignogna to open new voice studio, sparking outrage from voice actor critics

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