Token Loli

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Every member of this brigade is dateable in the game. Including the little girl with the plushie.
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During the development phase, it was said that "Caster turns into a loli with hyper power", but we only need one loli!

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The Token Loli is a pre-pubescent girl designed to appeal to one of two predominant fandoms, many of whose members war between their views. The first are those with a Big Brother Instinct, who find the Token Loli endearing and feel an emotional response of wanting to protect them. The second are the Lolicons, who take an erotic or romantic interest in them. These groups can overlap, but just as often result in a Broken Base.

The Token Loli is an extremely youthful-looking (though perhaps not in truth) female character in a cast that is otherwise made up of adults, or at least teenagers. Her presence is often hand-waved in some manner to explain why someone that looks so young is tagging along with a group of people old enough to be her parents: a younger sibling, Phlebotinum genetics, inherited a Plot Coupon like everybody else, a Child Prodigy who got her position early on the basis thereof, etc. Maybe she just has lots of free time. Again, note that the Token Loli doesn't have to actually be underage. She may be Really Seven Hundred Years Old, or a Robot Girl, or some other variant of the Magical Girlfriend, as long as she's still loli in appearance.

Compare Tagalong Kid and Kid Appeal Character, who are kids designed to act as Audience Surrogates for younger viewers.

The term comes from anime fandom (where its gender-flipped version is "token shota"). Because of how language evolves, the words "loli" and "shota" are relatively neutral terms in anime, originally meaning "uncomfortably sexualized little girl/boy" but now relating to any child aged 12 and under. The words still have Unfortunate Implications elsewhere.

The Other Tropes Wiki calls this "Token Mini-Moe", presumably because their advertisers don't like the word "loli".

Examples of Token Loli include:

Anime and Manga

  • Seth Nightroad of Trinity Blood. Though she enjoys running around town doing odd jobs, she is eventually revealed to be both a Krusnik who is Really Seven Hundred Years Old, and Empress Augusta Vradica of the Methuselah Empire. The latter is not common knowledge because all of her public appearances are delegated to a more-mature -looking proxy.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Last Order could be classified as this; despite being a clone of Mikoto Misaka, she has a pre-teen's body and mannerisms instead of the young-teen body and emotionless facade of her sister-clones.
    • And Tsukuyomi Komoe, despite the fact that she's a teacher (although her child-like mentality can more or less pass her as a loli).
  • Sasami, from Tenchi Muyo!. Naturally enough, she tends to behave more maturely than her elders...
    • In Magical Project S, the villain team (known variously as the Lovely Madams, Team Sexy Mrs, or Hitozuma-tai [Married Woman Squad]) has one member, Chisato or Mrs. Roku (literally "Mrs. Sixth", as the sixth member recruited), who is somewhere between kindergarten and junior high - in any case, definitely in Loli territory. She is the only unmarried member of the villain team, although she has an arranged marriage. One of the soldiers confronting the villains was heard to exclaim "She's supposed to be a wife?!"
  • Divergence Eve has Kotoko-01, a support android that looks like a little girl for no appreciable reason.
  • Please Teacher has Ichigo Morino, although the fact she actually looks like one and is probably a draw to someone is only pointed out in the second season.
  • Love Hina had two: Shinobu and Kaolla. Interestingly, Sara is usually not considered one because of her personality, despite being younger than both.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima actually has about ten (Older Than They Look apparent) lolis, but most aren't really important enough to qualify as main cast, and only one of them (Anya) is young enough to actually count. In the past, Asuna played this role for Ala Rubra. Also complicated by the fact that the male lead happens to be the same age.
    • Eva would also count as the primary Token Loli of class 3-A if she wasn't actually Really Seven Hundred Years Old. Fuka and Fumika Narutaki are closer in behavior, even though they're just as old as the rest of the class.
    • Eva still counts. It's appearance that matters for this trope, not actual age.
    • Weaponized by Jack Rakan when he was hired to attack Ala Rubra. Intel said Eishun was weak to "The Ladies". So Rakan packed a few summons for buxom naked babes... and one loli with a tag attached to her leg labeled "Insurance". Said loli knocked Konoe out cold. Man was Crazy Prepared.
  • Merrill in Rune Soldier Louie is not actually appreciably younger than the other females in the cast, but she is shorter, less developed, and acts younger, making her the Token Loli. She also qualifies as a Shorttank.
  • Mikan in Rental Magica is the only member of Astral who is still in grade school.
  • Pia in Dragon Half. It should be noted she's completely androgynous, at least until the epilogue.
  • Yachiru and Ururu from Bleach.
    • Also Nel. At least initially...
    • Nanao Ise used to be the Token Loli of the 8th Squad, having been there since she was a child.
    • Amongst the Zanpakutou Spirits in the recent[when?] filler arc: Momo Hinamori's Zanpakutou Tobiume is the closest to being a loli among the normal sized ones. Suzumebachi comes a bit closer, but she's a fairy.
    • Karin and Yuzu Kurosaki, main character Ichigo Kurosaki's younger fraternal twin sisters, arguably also count.
  • Amy from Burst Angel.
  • Jiang Linhua/Empress Tianzi in Code Geass. Also Kaguya, despite being older.
    • Really, lolis are so common in Code Geass that "token loli" is probably an inaccurate term for Tianzi, Kaguya, Nunnally or Anya—that's four who are major characters, although they could be considered the Token Lolis of the Chinese Federation, Black Knights, Britannian Royal Family and Knights of the Round, respectively. Funnily enough, they're all over twelve.
  • Lyrical Nanoha :
  • Anita in Read or Dream and R.O.D the TV.
  • Sendou Yukari in Rosario + Vampire, of the kid genius type.
    • Also Kokoa Shuzen, Moka's half-sister.
  • Rimone in Simoun, who is also not exempt from performing the kissing ritual to start the titular aircraft - although she does it in a subdued way that fits her age.
  • Vandread‍'‍s team nurse Paiway Underberg. Why an eleven-year-old works as a ship's nurse is Hand Waved by a statement in the first episode that they were understaffed and had to take on a bunch of rookies in various positions. When Duero takes over as Doctor, there are surprisingly few complaints (other than him being male).
  • Chika from Ai Yori Aoshi. She's had more exposure (If You Know What I Mean) to the male lead than any other character, who is thankfully disinterested and thus this is played for comedy. She's still nonetheless very popular despite having the fewest appearances.
  • Kusano from Sekirei
  • Tiki from Geneshaft
  • It seems like the mangaka of Chrono Crusade was trying to appeal to pretty much any demographic he could, so of course the show has a Token Loli in Azmaria. A joke in one of the Omakes actually shows what Chrono would have been like if he'd been one of these, as well.
  • Athena from Cosplay Complex, who seems to function mostly as a device to let Lolicon Jenny have massive nosebleeds over her.
  • Sora from Doujin Work.
  • Chiyo-chan from Azumanga Daioh is a Preteen Genius who starts 10th grade at 10 years old while all her classmates are 15 or 16. This is really more of a parodic deconstruction; the series is all too quick to point out the problems with such a small girl in a much older group, and then plays it up for laughs.
  • Klan Klang from Macross Frontier. She's actually a Meltrandi, and in her normal form is anything but little—but a quirk in her micronization process means that, when she shrinks down to human size, she looks like a little girl.
  • Hinako Ninomiya from Ranma ½ should at least be in her twenties given that she's a teacher, but a severe illness when she was four (and an unorthodox "treatment" from Happosai) has slowed her aging to the point where she has the body of a ten year-old girl. She can only regain her (extremely buxom) adult form by absorbing the Battle Aura of people and animals, but it goes away after a while.
  • Liechtenstein from Axis Powers Hetalia.
    • Seconded later by the Principality of Wy.
  • Murasaki in Kure-nai is a seven year old girl who is being bodyguarded by the title character.
  • Tsugumi in the first season of Hell Girl, and Kikuri thereafter. (Enma Ai is bigger than loli, but not by much.)
  • Minawa in Mahoromatic is borderline; we don't know her actual age, but she's shorter and more moe than any of the other girls save for Chizu.
  • Asami in Mezzo DSA. Being specialists in danger, the DSA don't actually encourage her to hang around, but they can't shake her.
  • Maru and Moro of ×××HOLiC.
  • Becky from Pani Poni Dash! is both the show's main character and Token Loli.
  • Yutaka in Lucky Star. She's 15, but her extreme case of Older Than They Look and her Cheerful Child demeanor would cause viewers to accept she's more or less like a loli.
  • Ar from Iono the Fanatics, who also happens to be one of Iono's bodyguards.
  • Grenadier has Mikan.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ had Elpeo Puru,[1] whose name was even a play on words based on the Lolicon magazine Lemon People.
  • Lola and Laila from Venus Versus Virus.
  • Ai from Aria, who very typically was introduced in the anime before the manga.
  • Yuki from Saki, despite being the same age as the main characters, around 15 or 16.
    • Not to be outdone, Koromo is a year older than Yuki and out-lolis her.
  • Kokoro from School Days is Katsura Kotonoha's younger sister that hangs out with Kotonoha and Makoto, and is the only person in the show under a certain age. In the Summer Days spinoff, she's a viable option. This was considered too far.
  • Misaki from Welcome to The NHK, despite being around high school age, is much younger than the other characters in the show, who are all in their early/mid twenties.
  • Despite the ill-suited Fan Nickname "Killer Lolis", there are only three lolis in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Rika Furude and Satoko Houjou, both of whom are approximately nine, and late addition Hanyuu. Everyone else is fifteen and up, and the show at least starts out as a deconstruction of harem anime. While the lolis aren't exactly harmless, they are three of the four main cast members who never go on a killing spree. The fourth, who is not a loli, is framed for two others, fooling even the audience until The Reveal -- but the lolis aren't even suspected.
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, we have nine-year-old Maria Ushiromiya. Thing is, the loli here is very creepy... (to hilarious extremes, sometimes.)
  • Shizuku from Omamori Himari is the only loli in the Harem. There are two others, but neither is actually a major character as of yet.[when?]
  • To LOVE-Ru has Rito's little sister Mikan. She is used for Fan Service as much as any of the other girls, and seems to subsist on nothing but popsicles.
    • Then Lala's younger twin sisters, Nana and Momo, appeared. One's a Tsundere and the other is a tease who constantly gets close to Rito and sneaks into his bed at night.
  • Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto has Runa, who for some unexplained reason likes to hang out in the salsa club owned by Yume's magic instructor.
  • Lirio from El Cazador de la Bruja, who is also a Cute Mute.
  • Tomoka in Girls Bravo.
  • Mei Sunohara in Clannad, who is actually Genre Savvy enough to use this to her advantage.
    • Fuuko as well, in a different sense. She's older than Mei and possibly even Tomoya but acts and looks like an eight-year-old. Then again, she's been in a Convenient Coma for a while...
  • Asami-chan from Mahoraba.
  • Lampshaded endlessly in Student Council's Discretion with Kurimu.
  • Kamen no Maid Guy has Liz.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico has one of anime's most beloved Deadpan Snarker characters as its Token Loli, Ruri Hoshino.
  • Though she's the story's main female, Nagi of Hayate the Combat Butler qualifies—even providing fanservice once in a while.
    • Her friends Sakuya and Isumi also count, although the latter is usually used more for adorableness than for fanservice.
    • And now Athena is quite blatantly being used for this purpose. She's supposed to be the male main character's contemporary, and he's 16, but she's been de-aged to her 6-year old self, and ranked 2nd in the popularity poll.
  • Viola from Kiddy Grade, who pilots her battle spaceship while hugging a plushie.
  • Wendy from Fairy Tail, and it's almost Lampshaded when she's included in Fan Service covers that only otherwise use Fairy Tail members. Then she joins them, and those covers turn into spoileriffic foreshadowing.
  • May Chang from Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Yellow from Pokémon Special. She may fit this role as both Blue and Green served mentor type roles for her. Also helps that she is Older Than She Looks.
  • Dia from Kiddy Girl-AND, with the added twist that she regularly kisses the main characters. Okay, it's mainly to turbo-charge their powers and it's treated more as something between sisters, but she seems to enjoy it very much.
  • Minamo from Sketchbook, who only appears in the anime version as Daichi's little sister.
  • Miyako from Melty Blood. At first glance, she doesn't appear to even be wearing pants (she is really wearing very short cut-off jeans). Len, who's Really Seven Hundred Years Old fits this trope too, and actually has plot relevance. Miyako, on the other hand, seems to have been added to fill out a quota.
  • Katja in Seikon no Qwaser is a complete subversion. She makes her appearance as a Monster of the Week opponent, but turns out to be an ally who simply instigated Let's You and Him Fight due to her Arrogant Kung Fu Guy attitude. She completely exploits the Big Brother Instinct in other characters without invoking it in the audience. The first Covert Pervert she detects she immediately targets and victimizes herself, to that pervert's increasing enjoyment.
  • Millie from The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye
  • Rossiu lampshades this about Nia in the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann manga, before the timeskip.
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"Does this mean..... that in this day and age, flat-chested lolitas tend to be more universally popular among the consumers?"

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  • Sakuno and Tomoka from The Prince of Tennis.
    • They're later joined by Miyuki Chitose and, in the anime, the Iijyuin twins.
  • Both Nill and the Hardcore Twins, Luki & Noki, from DOGS Bullets and Carnage, especially Nill. She's a fourteen-year-old girl who wears lolita dresses and even triggers a sort of protective instinct in Haine, despite his fear of women.
  • Road Kamelot from D.Gray-man is this to the Noah Family.
  • Patty Lowell from Devil May Cry: The Animated Series.
  • Chibi-usa, A.K.A. Small Lady A.K.A. Sailor Chibi-Moon, and Hotaru Tomoe, A.K.A. Sailor Saturn, in Sailor Moon. The former spends most of her first arc being chased by the bad guys only to be Mind Raped by the arc's Big Bad and turned into an evil adult version of herself; in the manga version she also qualifies for Older Than They Look. The latter spends most of her initial arc as a carrying case for the Big Bad's final lieutenant, who in the end Bodyjacks her to fight the heroes until Hotaru herself destroys the Eldritch Abomination from within, then winds up turned back into a baby as a result of using her most powerful move against aforementioned Big Bad in order to destroy him.
  • Although she rarely appears in the show itself, Kyon's Little Sister from Suzumiya Haruhi is treated like that in some of its advertising. More notably in that picture.
  • Rumy from Gall Force. It's a little disconcerting to see her wielding firearms.
  • Yuma is this for Oriko Magica, and, by extension, Madoka Magica. Maybe Kazumi Magica as well, though that one is more separate.
  • Dragon Ball GT gives us one in the form of Pan, a 10 year old who is likely stronger than Frieza.
    • Unfortunately for her, this still makes her weak in comparison to Trunks, and especially Goku.
  • Alice from Kamisama no Memochou.
  • Ouran High School Host Club: Honey is a little cutie who looks about six and plays up his childishness and cuteness to appeal to the patrons of the titular Host Club. In fact, he's 18 and a senior, older than most of the rest of the gang.
  • Nymph and Chaos from Sora no Otoshimono fits the role quite nicely, however the latter is a little special case.
  • Kid Appeal Character and/or Bratty Half-Pint Mint Labule/Annie LaBelle from Genesis Climber Mospeada is thirteen (making her the youngest member of the main cast to begin with) and looks half that.
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • Katyusha from looks and in a number of ways acts as if she's somewhere around 10 to 12, but she's attending high school and it's never said or even implied that she's anything but a very petite mid-to-late teenager.
    • Alice Shimada from Der Film is stated in the supplementary materials to actually be 12 years old. She's the commander of the All-Stars University Team.

Literature

Video Games

Dating Sims

Visual Novels

Web Comics

  • Jacquline from Samurai Princess is so much of a mini moe, the site named a the Jacquline themed skin off of this fact.

Western Animation

  • Yuki in Transformers Prime is a constant source of cuteness, she's like a little sister to her Autobot and the boys feuded over who could play games with her once.
  • Lisa Simpson (since Maggie is clearly androgynous) is literally a little sister and been in many confrontational situations as well as had romances explored.
  1. now officially translated as Elpeo Pull