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Nijikon (二次コン) or Nijigen konpurekkusu (二次元コンプレックス), from English "2D Complex", is a Japanese term that appeared in the early 1980s used to describe the affective perception certain people have that two-dimensional anime, manga, and light novel characters are more attractive visually, physically or emotionally than people from the real world. It can be expressed, to some degree, as a genuine sexual orientation in which the person loses interest in real-life people but develop feelings of love and sentimental attachment to two-dimensional characters.[1][2] Nijikons usually exist in large numbers in Japan and in the anime and manga community and are usually attracted to the unrealistic and greatly exaggerated physical or facial features that the anime/manga art style features, which are usually perceived to be the "ideal" human features to these Nijikons.

The 2D complex has also been described by scholars under the alternate term "otaku sexuality."[3][4] The psychiatrist Saitō Tamaki writes that for otaku, "fiction itself can be a sexual object," with attraction manifesting in an "affinity for fictional contexts."[5]

Additional research includes work on its most controversial sub-attraction, lolicon.[6][7]

See also[edit]

  • Moe (slang)
  • Ero guro
  • Lolicon
  • Shotacon


  1. Steven Poole (2007). Trigger Happy: Videogames and the Entertainment Revolution. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. ISBN 978-1611454550. Search this book on Logo.png
  2. Lucy Bennett, Paul Booth (2016). Seeing Fans: Representations of Fandom in Media and Popular Culture. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. ISBN 9781501318450. Search this book on Logo.png
  3. Novitskaya, Alexandra (2019). "Otaku Sexualities in Japan". In Chiang, Howard; Arondekar, Anjali R. Global encyclopedia of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) history. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale. pp. 1177–1181. ISBN 978-0-684-32554-5. OCLC 1080321952. Search this book on Logo.png
  4. Galbraith, Patrick W. (2014). "Otaku Sexuality in Japan". In McLelland, Mark J.; Mackie, Vera. Routledge handbook of sexuality studies in East Asia. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-63948-4. OCLC 854611275. Search this book on Logo.png
  5. Saitō, Tamaki (2007). "Otaku Sexuality". In Bolton, Christopher; Csicsery-Ronay, Istvan; Tatsumi, Takayuki. Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime. Translated by Bolton, Christopher. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. p. 227. ISBN 978-0-8166-4973-0. Search this book on Logo.png
  6. Galbraith, Patrick W. "Lolicon: The Reality of 'Virtual Child Pornography' in Japan". Image & Narrative.
  7. Alt, Matt. "Pharrell Williams's Lolicon Video | The New Yorker". Retrieved 2020-09-17.

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