Why Loli-ge Should Be Available in the West

Loli-ge—that is to say, eroge featuring a majority of or exclusively loli heroines—are a controversial subject, as a source of constant debate. However young they appear, all eroge characters are required, by law, to be eighteen or older. But even in materials where an age limit is not required, such as in manga or doujinshi, whether the characters are underage or adults, the characters do not exist, and therefore cannot be harmed.

I am an advocate of such games, and fully support their creation. However, there are times when I find myself asking the questions so often circulated by the ignorant: Could this potentially be harmful to its consumers, or to anyone? Could this have any correlation to reality? Is this morally acceptable?

And the answer I always ultimately come to is: all fiction is harmless, and whatever someone prefers in fiction has no relationship to what they prefer in reality. The argument that it could be harmful towards actual minors is ridiculous, when no minors have been involved in the production, the product is not available to minors, and all consumers are adults, who can rationally differentiate between reality and fiction. As such, believing that playing loli-ge could lead to moral corruption or immoral acts is entirely without reason.

Yet, the stigma associated with loli-ge persists. Localization companies, such as JAST USA, have had a strict stance on loli material in the past, as evidenced by the censorship of the English version of Kazoku Keikaku. Fortunately, the recent uncensored releases of Saya no Uta, and the upcoming Girlish Grimoire Littlewitch Romanesque, is a positive sign that the Western market is becoming more open towards what it can sell, with the confidence that it is not problematic for its audience to obtain.

I do wish for loli-ge to be licensed by JAST USA and Manga Gamer in the future, for the affirmation that all profitable customers should be catered to, as much as any other. That eroge featuring loli characters—or any other unusual fetish—should not be a source of shame for its audience. That, in the pursuit of harmless fictional entertainment, even with adult content, there should not be potential consequences for simply liking something different.

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