Nomio Gyunyu, a mangaka known for writing and drawing series such as Joshi Shougakusei Hajimemashita, Hokaka Works and Princess, Is That Holy Water? recently took to to vent about the difficulties that arise when trying to publish loli manga.
"It could be regulations, but when I was drinking with Uran [manga artist behind works including Paradise of Innocence and Ore wa Lolicon Ja Nai!] before, we got to talking about how loli can't be published in mainstream magazines anymore. After all, no matter how well they sell, they'll never get an anime, and if they can't get an anime, then publishing companies don't want to serialize them either. Going forward, it might be impossible to publish loli. Loli is losing its market share to the overseas [market], and the Japanese industry is naturally learning from that as well. It feels like we've already been completely enclosed."
He went on to comment on Amazon's recent removal of several light novels from their US storefront, since he had a similar experience with one of his own series:
"Four years ago, my Joshi Shougakusei Hajime Mashita P! manga was removed [from Amazon Japan], and it wouldn't get serialized on any manga apps. I think that we will see a steady increase of cases where a platform, regardless of country, decides to impose restrictions based on their subjective ideas."
Now I'm definitely not a fan of loli myself. I've read Lolita but at no point was I ever aroused by the thought of a guy coming onto a prepubescent girl, and the vast amounts of anime, manga and hentai I've encountered since have done nothing to change that. Still, as a budding writer I find it interesting to get a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry, especially when it concerns a topic many view as taboo. The fact that publishers only seem to want to serialize manga that can get an anime is pretty big news, though. In my eyes it explains why a lot of emerging series these days have pretty similar shonen and/or isekai vibes, since that's what's popular now. If you look at mainstream manga series from the last few decades, you'll see that there was a lot more variety on offer than what we have today.
Gyunyu's series Joshi Shougakusei Hajime Mashita (I Became an Elementary Schoolgirl) began in 2012. It follows a 30-year-old salaryman who, as the name implies, becomes an elementary schoolgirl. A modified version called Joshi Shougakusei Hajime Mashita P! was published in Young Animal Magazine (the very same one that publishes Berserk every once in a blue moon) from 2014-19, and you can find the original on if you're so inclined.
So what do you guys think of this? Are lolicon works less popular these days because publishers are reluctant to carry them? Or is there just a lack of demand for loli stuff? Drop your thoughts below!