Loli Baba; let’s just let that term roll around in your mouth for a few moments. It’s a term you may or may not be so familiar with in regards to anime and manga, and if you don’t know it, don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place. We are going to break it down and discover the meaning behind loli baba and then give you some examples from anime that you might already know!
The phrase loli baba is made of two words you might already know if you know a little Japanese—“loli” is a term used for a little or cute girl (think “lolita”) and “baba” is a word for an old woman or grandmother. So how are these words that mean totally the opposite thing working together to create an all-new phrase? Keep reading to find out!
A Paradoxical Phrase
So what exactly is a loli baba? Basically, it’s a character in anime that looks like a cute, young girl but is actually much older than she appears. The girl does not have to be an OLD woman per say, but her childish appearance must be deceiving. Loli baba often have a childlike personality as well, or at least present one on the surface to match their appearance. On the other hand, loli baba may behave very maturely, another surprise for those who fall for the trap of their girly appearance. Both types of personality fall under the term “loli baba” as long as the character looks younger than she actually is!
Loli baba are always adults, not children, which is exactly why they have become a popular trope in anime. Why? you may ask. Well, loli baba are legal. That means if your “type” is a cute, extremely young-looking girl, you can have your cake and eat it too. The anime girl you have a crush on for her cute looks and demeanour is an adult woman, making it okay for you to daydream away about her. It also makes it more acceptable for the loli baba character to be in romantic, or even sexual, situations in the anime or manga. It’s easy to see why that can make loli baba a popular trope in many genres of anime!
Show Us the Girls!
Now that we have captured your interest in loli baba, we are here to give you some great examples of the trope from anime. The first example is from the Bakemonogatari series, Shinobu Oshino. This cute girl looks like she is around eight years old, but she’s more than just of legal age - she is old. We’re talking 598 years old! Though you’d never guess from looking at her of course. Her loli baba background is because she is a vampire; she was a normal human child when she was first turned and has retained that form forever.
Another popular loli baba is Beatrice from Re:Zero. Though technically a spirit, Beatrice is also a loli baba! She’s actually over 400 years old, but, you guessed it, she looks like a young girl. She even wears a Lolita-style dress paired with long pigtails, both of which highlight the childish side of her appearance. But don’t forget her actual age - Beatrice is extremely powerful behind that cute exterior! No matter how old she gets, Beatrice will never physically age. Similarly, all the pink-haired Ryuzu clones created by Echidna are 400 years old, yet look like 11-12-year-old girls.
These are just three loli baba examples from popular anime you’re likely to know, but there are plenty more out there. If you want to know a few recent loli baba in anime, check out our article about our favorite ones from Winter 2021 below!
Whether you were just curious about the term loli baba, wanted to know if you had already seen some of these cuties, or hoped to find some examples, we hope you’re satisfied! This has just been scraping the surface of the loli baba phenomenon so now you are equipped with the knowledge to go forth into the wonderful world of anime and find even more. Enjoy your new knowledge of this popular, fun to say anime term!
Oh and if you were wondering - the reserved term for a male character who is older than they appear is shota jiji!
Did you know the phrase loli baba before you read this article? Who is your favourite loli baba character? Are you going to be on the lookout for them now? What do you love or hate loli baba in anime? Let’s talk in the comments!