[[quoteright:273:[[Webcomic/AngelMoxie http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/kawaiiko1.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:273:Wait until you hear her [[CuteButCacophonic talk...]]]]

->'''Apollo:''' Isn't she a little old for cute? \\
'''Trucy:''' Apollo! Shame on you! Cute is eternal! Cute is timeless!
-->-- ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' [[note]] "She" is [[TookALevelInJerkass anything but kawaiiko]][[/note]]
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%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional entries on the quotes tab. %%

In Japanese, ''kawaii'' means "cute", but [[{{Kawaisa}} the concept has far more overtones than it does in English]] -- and far more power. For many Japanese schoolgirls (and some women), being ''kawaii'' is kind of like being sexy for Western women: it means that they are desirable, attractive and wanted. It becomes a primary goal in their social lives, and success, as measured in the reactions of their peers, is practically an affirmation of their worth as a female.

As always, whenever there is a goal like this, there is always someone who overdoes it. The ''kawaiiko'' (literally "cute child"), or ''burikko'' ("fake child" or "pretend(ing) child"), is the case in point. She takes being ''kawaii'' to an almost unhealthy extreme by making it the sole focus of her life. In clothing and fashion, this manifests in frilly, flouncy outfits, often with ribbons and lace. In behavior it appears as a tendency to act childishly "young", particularly in speech -- she may speak entirely in baby talk, giggle mindlessly, habitually [[ThirdPersonPerson refer to herself in the third person]], and/or use nicknames as well as the ''-chan'' [[{{Honorifics}} Honorific]] for virtually everyone she encounters. In short, the difference between ''kawaii'' and ''kawaiiko'' is the difference between "cute" and "cutesy". (The difference between ''kawaiiko'' and ''burikko'', however, is the difference between "cutesy" and "[[TastesLikeDiabetes somebody please kill her]].")

In some cases, the decision to go ''kawaiiko'' is a not a desperate plea for social acceptance but a calculated step intended to further a career goal as an IdolSinger -- for which [[NotAllowedToGrowUp lacy, frilly cutesiness appears to be required]] by the Japanese music industry.

It would be reasonable to assume that there is some kind of connection between ''kawaiiko'' and {{Lolicon}}, but the nature of the relationship -- if one does exist -- is not clear.

Compare DeliberatelyCuteChild and TheFakeCutie. The horrific offspring of TastesLikeDiabetes and {{Moe}}.

In British culture, this is seen as [[DeadHorseTrope a very outdated image of Japan]] and as such is rarely mentioned.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Azusa Shiratori from ''RanmaOneHalf''.
** Female Ranma sometimes [[WigDressAccent acts like this]] deliberately when [[PaperThinDisguise in disguise]] to fool Ryoga.
** Tsubasa ''tries'' for this, but tends more towards YouWereTryingTooHard. But, of course [[spoiler:he's a he]] and has slightly warped ideas of what's cute.
* Tamama from ''KeroroGunso'' ... just don't get him mad.
* Hikaru "Rabi~en~Rose" Usada from ''DiGiCharat'' is a subversion -- like other ''DiGiCharat'' characters, she's [[{{Yandere}} sweet on the outside, but petty and overbearing on the inside]] (not to discount her moments of genuine niceness, mind you).
* Ran from ''UruseiYatsura'' is another {{Yandere}} who acts like a Kawaiiko when she's trying to look good.
* An overbearing agent attempts to force tough-girl thrash rocker Priss Asagiri into going ''kawaiiko'' in an attempt to sell her as an idol singer in ''[[BubblegumCrisis Bubblegum Crash]]''. It doesn't work.
* Lillith from ''YamiToBoushiToHonNoTabibito''.
* Ropponmatsu II (the {{Catgirl}} robot, not the adult robot) in ''Manga/ExcelSaga''.
* Subverted in ''Anime/ParanoiaAgent'', where anything ''kawaii'' turns out to be life-threatening, and anything that is merely sweet turns out to be merely dangerous.
* Amane Misa from ''Manga/DeathNote'', who is also [[{{Yandere}} a psychotic killer]]. Who kills [[MadLove for love]].
** Although, being an idol and all, she has an excuse.
* The same goes for Munakata Shiho from ''Anime/{{Mai-HiME}}''. She's very cute and cheery, but [[ClingyJealousGirl when she gets angry]], she gets ''angry''.
* Akira Kogami in ''LuckyStar'''s [[ShowWithinAShow Lucky Channel]] is a cutesy, sugary GenkiGirl to the public, and when she gets tired of it, she reverts back to her true personality of [[HatesTheJobLovesTheLimelight a jaded, bitter entertainment industry veteran]].
* A challenge for fans of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'': Find one of Sakura's Tomoyo-designed costumes, even one, that doesn't push the Kawaiiko content to {{Glurge}}-worthy proportions. To be fair, though, Sakura doesn't seem any happier about wearing them.
* Similar to Nermal, Chi from ''ChisSweetHome''. She's more of a kawaiiko, though, because she's naive about it.
* Both Suzu Sakuma and Miki Koishikawa in ''MarmaladeBoy''.
* Quattro of ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', a {{Meganekko}} who looks all cutesy, speaks all cutesy, and acts all cutesy. Naturally, she's turns out to be [[SmugSnake the evil, nasty one]] of the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Numbers]].
* C-ko Kotobuki from ''[[ProjectAko Project A-ko]].''
* [[ChocottoSister Choco]] is downright adorable.
* Marilyn from ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', except that she's more obsessed with cute Pokémon.
%%* Para-Para from ''Franchise/SailorMoon''.
* Yugi Mutou in the English dub anime of ''Anime/YuGiOh'' has traits of this. He is fifteen year old, but acts like a seven-year old sometimes. In [[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries season 0]], his eyes are bigger and he's voiced by a girl...
** Also in season 0, Miho was this to ''burikko'' extents.
* Natsuru Senou from ''LightNovel/{{Kampfer}}'', when in female form.
* Eco from ''Manga/PlusSi'' is a [[GenderInvertedTrope male example]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Lampshaded in ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'', with a character called ''Bukkorin''. She may walk around in a fluffy dress and act all cutesy, but [[spoiler:she's the daughter of an alien mob boss, and tough enough to catch a blade with her bare hands]].
* Wakana Sonozaki from ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' in her DJ job.
** Himeka from the Nightmare Dopant arc.
* Kelly Kapoor from ''Series/TheOfficeUS'' seems to have a large dose of this in her character makeup.
* Saito Ayaka. Anything she does. Apparently, her voice is soft and high-pitched even for a female seiyuu. Her voice is like [[TastesLikeDiabetes nails on a chalkboard]] to Westerners.
* The dubbing of ''IronChef'' had a lot of the young actresses on the tasting panel sound like this, earning them the FanNickname "bimbos du jour".
* Traci Van Horn of ''HannahMontana'', at least in the episode [[CluelessAesop "No Sugar Sugar"]], in which she hosts a sweet sixteen birthday party ("emphasis on ''sweet''") despite being two years past the deadline. She seems to be pushing herself as some childish brand of trying really-too-hard to be sexy, as she proceeds to simper about in a saccharine, disturbingly coquettish manner, waving an oversized rainbow lollipop in Oliver's face while flirting with him. He's more interested in the lollipop, but who could blame the guy?
* Bernadette on TheBigBangTheory wears floral skirts, has an adorable squeaky voice, and could provide a page image for FunSize; it's easy to forget she's a freaking genius microbiologist with an interest physics, CuteButCacophonic, and a CovertPervert. While a lot of the cuteness is genuine, she's a RaisedCatholic CulturalRebel and thus a bit of a SeeminglyWholesomeFiftiesGirl.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Lina, the yellow archer from ''RivieraThePromisedLand'', is concentrated {{Kawaiiko}}.
* Alice from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'', who is also a sadist and even has an overly cutesy looking ''riding crop''.
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney: [[ColonCancer Justice For All]]'' has, in the third case "Turnabout Big Top" a 16 year old girl with big eyes and blonde hair.. Who is so cute she's gotten several marriage proposals (one by a '''36''' year old!), and has the titular Phoenix Wright and his plucky sidekick ''powerless'' to decline a request of finding her outfit (as shown in the ButThouMust page). ... Err, her other outfit.
* Nao in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''. She even asks you to call her Nao-Nao. ''For short''.
* Momo from VideoGame/RivalSchools. To the point of intentional parody.
* Desco from ''VideoGame/Disgaea4APromiseUnforgotten''. She always refers to herself in the third person, refers to another character exclusively as "Big Sis", and is such an adorable [[FinalBoss ultimate killing machine]] you can't help but love her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Candi Shugari in ''Webcomic/AngelMoxie'', pictured above.
* Joan in ''NamirDeiter''.
* Rumy in ''{{Fans}}'' originally dressed in a Japanese anime-style schoolgirl uniform and wore bangs over her eyes--until she realized that people could see her underwear whenever she went into battle, or grab her hair in a fight. She has since cut her hair short and started wearing karate gi in the field. [[http://www.pennyandaggie.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=2365 T. Campbell wrote in response to fans who were upset at her new look]]:
-->On the day Rumy changed her hairstyle to something that wouldn't present such a tactical weakness, she was a little sad, feeling like something was lost. And she imagined her mother-- whom she hasn't spoken to for longer than ten minutes in years-- saying, "But dear, your hair looks so kawaii!" And then, the anger of a misspent childhood renewed in her heart, Rumy replied to her imagination, "Kawaii is for the lazy."
* Duchess Lettie in ''AMagicalRoommate''. The fans honestly can't decide whether she's kawaiiko or burikko. All we know is that she thinks she's living HappilyEverAfter, despite having a daughter [[RebelliousPrincess who hates her]] and another [[SpoiledBrat everybody hates.]]
* Take a [[http://www.errantstory.com/2006-02-20/477 look]] at the character "Kawaii" in ErrantStory, then decide for yourself whether she's a deconstruction, subversion, inversion, perversion, or simply so weird that you can't describe her. Yeah, that last one fits.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Nermal from ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' and the animated series ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends'' is a Western "burikko" example, in that he ([[ViewerGenderConfusion yes, Nermal is male]]) calls himself the "World's Cutest Kitten" and forever annoys Garfield with his antics, and is often shipped off to Abu Dhabi -- [[TheCatCameBack but somehow always finds his way back]].
** Nermal is also much OlderThanHeLooks and deliberately drinks ridiculous amounts of coffee to stunt his growth.
* [[WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}} Dot Warner]] might be a Western example of a kawaiiko, as she constantly brags about her cuteness to the point of having an ''entire song'' titled "I'm Cute", and being referred to in the theme song as the "cute" one.
** Really, all three Warners are pretty adorable.
* The Brain, of all characters, assumes a kawaiiko persona in the ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' episode "Whatever Happened to Baby Brain?" He accomplishes this by wearing contact lenses, fake dimples, and long curls. It's a PaperThinDisguise.
* Similarly, ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' has Kenny, already in endearingly poor princess drag, turn into an obnoxiously cute {{Animesque}} Japanese princess whose cuteness is his/her ''superpower''.
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' had the AlphaBitch Paulina declaring she wants to be as cute as the Kawaiiko ''[[HelloKitty Sayonara Pussycat]]''. She gets her wish... and is dolled up in the cutest, [[SuperDeformed chibiest]] look ''ever''.
* Deedee from ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory''.
* Cadpig from ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians: The Series''.
* The [[TheDitz ditzy]], [[GenkiGirl genki]], and constantly [[{{Squee}} squeeing]] Katie and Sadie from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Natalia Poklonskaya, the Prosecutor General of the Republic of Crimea. Soon after the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqHkGaEE7WA clip of her press conference when she assumed office]] was uploaded, it went viral. The clip quickly racked up more than 300,000 YouTube views within several days, despite featuring no translation. The video went viral in not only Japan, but also China, with coverage from national Chinese news outlets. She was noted to have been subject to widespread discussion on numerous online communities worldwide including Reddit, Weibo, and Vkontakte.
** The quick joke was: 'She puts the ''cute'' in prosecute'.
* Spoofed by Japanese actress/model Kikouden Misa, who frequently appears on TV as a Kawaiiko parody -- a [[TheDitz ditzy]], cosplay-loving, squeaky-voiced GenkiGirl ''burikko'' called Hakyuun, whose speech is absolutely full of [[VerbalTic Verbal Tics]].
* IdolSinger [[HelloProject Matsuura Aya]] used to affect a ''kawaiiko'' stage persona called "Ayaya" (which made her convincing portrayal of surly and violent near-delinquent Saki in the 2006 ''SukebanDeka'' film a major surprise for her fans). In the last couple of years, however, she seems to have gone from Ayaya to just Aya, releasing more mature songs and acting less cute.
** HelloProject "replaced" her with Mano Erina.
* This is the primary schtick of Taiwan's Regine Lee, host of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGwhtUiWaVU Diamond Club]], despite the fact that her voice is very far from squeaky.
** Also from Taiwan, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8UpfOe8s3A Guo Shuyao aka YaoYao,]] who's actually closer to the intended age. Maybe too close.
** Before these two made waves in Taiwan, the soft-spoken and equally leggy model Lin Chiling (of ''RedCliff'' fame) was often accused of this, but actually fits [[YamatoNadeshiko a completely different Japanese demographic.]]
* The perceived relationship between {{Lolicon}} and {{Kawaiiko}} is undermined by ElegantGothicLolita style. While it does appear to Western sensibilities to incorporate some measure of {{Lolicon}}, the style, along with most other Lolita styles (Sweet Lolita, Classic Lolita, Punk Lolita, Trash Lolita, etc.) intentionally de-emphasizes sexuality in opposition to the perceived over-emphasis on Lolicon trends in Japanese culture. Only one style, Erololi, consciously combines cuteness and sensuality; and that was a Western-originated style that was based on a misunderstanding of the original Lolita Fashion; and was later adopted back into Japan. While a related and [[NightmareFuel very deranged]] style, Gurololi, may seem to also be an Erololi offshoot, it was intended to be more disturbing and classic kawaii than erotic.
* This was over-hyped by British magazine ''Take A Break'', despite it being a DeadHorseTrope in the United Kingdom.
[[/folder]]

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