The terminology can get a little confusing sometimes, so I’m posting here how I personally see it. Feel free to correct me, if I’ve gotten something wrong.
Lolicon - It is short for “lolita complex” which is based on the famous book Lolita. The term was imported into Japan from the West and the meaning changed slightly accordingly.
It is largely used to focus on Japanese cartoons or manga (comics) which focus on young characters (ones who appear under 13). These usually have very cutesy characters. The term is also used to refer to people who consume such content.
Depending on the context, it can also be used to refer to pedophiles, ones attracted to girls, although I believe this is largely because they don’t have a separate word for this (needs confirmation?).
I don’t believe there is a term to refer to content containing characters above 13 but below 18?
Loli - It is short for lolita, it has a different meaning in other contexts, but in this case, it’s someone who appears to be very youthful, under 13.
A 700 year old vampire or a 2000 year old descended deity would also be considered a “loli”, if they fit the physical profile as it is based on appearance rather than actual age.
Shotacon - Shotaro complex. It’s the same thing as Lolicon, but it focuses on little boys instead.
Toddlercon - A rare type of lolicon / shotacon which focuses on toddlers.
Schediaphilia - A sexual paraphilia? It’s an attraction to cartoons. I’ve only seen this used a couple of times, so I don’t know commonplace this term is. It does not mean they’re attracted to real kids, but some likely are as-well.
I see loli as an exclusive reference for cartoon little girls. Even because the term would not be very useful if it were used to refer to real girls too. Like, if people want to refer to all little girls, real or not when talk about lolis. So why not just call them children? ^^"
The Japanese language already has the term for pedophilia: 小児性愛者.
They had it long before lolicon was a thing. Reinventing a wheel was unnecessary.
I don’t think that lolicon or rorikon is used in any academic or legal papers to describe pedophiles. It’s a neologism created by the community of anime and manga fans back in past, to describe phenomena of a group of people having been obsessed with overly cute anime stylized characters that originated during an era of the development of anime aesthetics.
Using the term lolicon to describe a pedophilie to my knowledge is only used in the context of fictional characters in anime talking to each other (as a reference to the fandom), or as a joke and in games.
Loli seems to refer to the style of how the character is portrayed, rather than the age, or personality. A lot of loli characters I’ve seen in anime are characterized as adults (example: Komoe Tsukuyomi), both in behaviour, a status that they have, way of speaking, how other characters see them, social roles they have, interactions with other characters etc. And they are still described as loli by the community. So I don’t think it’s correct to tie lolicon to anything age-related, and instead focus on visual character design practices, that make the character appear “cute”, which naturally will make the characters look also child-like since cuteness is tied to child-like characteristics.
Also, in addition to Schediaphilia, there is also term “Nijikon”, which has the same meaning.
All the more reason to challenge these absurd and unreasonable restrictions, then.
It’s everywhere on the internet and many US companies sell it directly to consumers across both state lines and international waters. It is on the same tier of legality as alternative adult pornography, even if the characters are minors.
I think we as a society have evolved past the need for legal moralism.