Outside of Japan, hentai ( 変態 or へんたい(
The word is short for hentai seiyoku (変態性欲), a perverse sexual desire. The word hentai in Japanese means "transformation" or "metamorphosis"; the implication of perversion or paraphilia was derived from there, and both meanings can be easily distinguished in context.
Hentai is a kanji compound of 変 (hen; "change", "weird", or "strange") and 態 (tai; "appearance" or "condition"). It also means "perversion" or "abnormality", especially when used as an adjective. :99 It is the shortened form of the phrase hentai seiyoku (変態性欲) which means "sexual perversion". The character hen is catch-all for queerness as a peculiarity—it does not carry an explicit sexual reference. :99 While the term has expanded in use to cover a range of publications including homosexual publications, :107 it remains primarily a heterosexual term, as terms indicating homosexuality entered Japan as foreign words. :100 Japanese pornographic works are often simply tagged as 18-kin (18禁, "18-prohibited"), meaning "prohibited to those not yet 18 years old", and seijin manga (成人漫画, "adult manga"). Less official terms also in use include ero anime (エロアニメ), ero manga (エロ漫画), and the English initialism AV (for "adult video"). Usage of the term hentai does not define a genre in Japan.
Hentai is defined differently in English. The Oxford Dictionary Online defines it as "a subgenre of the Japanese genres of manga and anime, characterized by overtly sexualized characters and sexually explicit images and plots." " ecchi " (エッチ, etchi ) as the initial sound of hentai (i.e., the name of the letter H, as pronounced in Japanese); it included that ecchi was "milder than hentai". A year later it was defined as a genre in Good Vibrations Guide to Sex. At the beginning of 2000, "hentai" was listed as the 41st most-popular search term of the internet, while "anime" ranked 99th. The attribution has been applied retroactively to works such as Urotsukidōji , La Blue Girl , and Cool Devices . Urotsukidōji had previously been described with terms such as "Japornimation", and "erotic grotesque", prior to being identified as hentai.The origin of the word in English is unknown, but AnimeNation's John Oppliger points to the early 1990s, when a Dirty Pair erotic doujinshi (self-published work) titled H-Bomb was released, and when many websites sold access to images culled from Japanese erotic visual novels and games. The earliest English use of the term traces back to the rec.arts.anime boards; with a 1990 post concerning Happosai of Ranma ½ and the first discussion of the meaning in 1991. A 1995 glossary on the rec.arts.anime boards contained reference to the Japanese usage and the evolving definition of hentai as "pervert" or "perverted sex". The Anime Movie Guide, published in 1997, defines
The history of the word hentai has its origins in science and psychology.By the middle of the Meiji era, the term appeared in publications to describe unusual or abnormal traits, including paranormal abilities and psychological disorders. A translation of German sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing's text Psychopathia Sexualis originated the concept of hentai seiyoku, as a "perverse or abnormal sexual desire". Though it was popularized outside psychology, as in the case of Mori Ōgai's 1909 novel Vita Sexualis . Continued interest in hentai seiyoku resulted in numerous journals and publications on sexual advice which circulated in the public, served to establish the sexual connotation of hentai as perverse. Any perverse or abnormal act could be hentai, such as committing shinjū (love suicide). It was Nakamura Kokyo's journal Abnormal Psychology which started the popular sexology boom in Japan which would see the rise of other popular journals like Sexuality and Human Nature, Sex Research and Sex. Originally, Tanaka Kogai wrote articles for Abnormal Psychology, but it would be Tanaka's own journal Modern Sexuality which would become one of the most popular sources of information about erotic and neurotic expression. Modern Sexuality was created to promote fetishism, S&M, and necrophilia as a facet of modern life. The ero-guro movement and depiction of perverse, abnormal and often erotic undertones were a response to interest in hentai seiyoku.
Following World War II, Japan took a new interest in sexualization and public sexuality. 's Hentai-san ga iku series.Mark McLelland puts forth the observation that the term hentai found itself shortened to "H" and that the English pronunciation was "etchi", referring to lewdness and which did not carry the stronger connotation of abnormality or perversion. By the 1950s, the "hentai seiyoku" publications became their own genre and included fetish and homosexual topics. By the 1960s, the homosexual content was dropped in favor of subjects like sadomasochism and stories of lesbianism targeted to male readers. The late 1960s brought a sexual revolution which expanded and solidified the normalizing the terms identity in Japan that continues to exist today through publications such as Bessatsu Takarajima
With the usage of hentai as any erotic depiction, the history of these depictions is split into their media. Japanese artwork and comics serve as the first example of hentai material, coming to represent the iconic style after the publication of Azuma Hideo's Cybelein 1979. Japanese animation (anime) had its first hentai, in both definitions, with the 1984 release of Wonderkid's Lolita Anime , overlooking the erotic and sexual depictions in 1969's One Thousand and One Arabian Nights and the bare-breasted Cleopatra in 1970's Cleopatra film. Erotic games, another area of contention, has its first case of the art style depicting sexual acts in 1985's Tenshitachi no Gogo . In each of these mediums, the broad definition and usage of the term complicates its historic examination.
Depictions of sex and abnormal sex can be traced back through the ages, predating the term "hentai". Shunga , a Japanese term for erotic art, is thought to have existed in some form since the Heian period. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, shunga works were suppressed by shōguns .A well-known example is The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife , which depicts a woman being stimulated by two octopuses. Shunga production fell with the introduction of pornographic photographs in the late 19th century.
To define erotic manga, a definition for manga is needed. While the Hokusai Manga uses the term "manga" in its title, it does not depict the story-telling aspect common to modern manga, as the images are unrelated. Due to the influence of pornographic photographs in the 19th and 20th centuries, the manga artwork was depicted by realistic characters. Osamu Tezuka helped define the modern look and form of manga, and was later proclaimed as the "God of Manga".His debut work New Treasure Island was released in 1947 as a comic book through Ikuei Publishing and sold over 400,000 copies, though it was the popularity of Tezuka's Astro Boy , Metropolis , and Jungle Emperor manga that would come to define the media. This story-driven manga style is distinctly unique from comic strips like Sazae-san , and story-driven works came to dominate shōjo and shōnen magazines.
Adult themes in manga have existed since the 1940s, but some of these depictions were more realistic than the cartoon-cute characters popularized by Tezuka. 135 The distinct shift in the style of Japanese pornographic comics from realistic to cartoon-cute characters is accredited to Hideo Azuma, "The Father of Lolicon". In 1979, he penned Cybele, which offered the first depictions of sexual acts between cute, unrealistic Tezuka-style characters. This would start a pornographic manga movement. The lolicon boom of the 1980s saw the rise of magazines such as the anthologies Lemon People and Petit Apple Pie .Early well-known " ero-gekiga " releases were Ero Mangatropa (1973), Erogenica (1975), and Alice (1977). :
The publication of erotic materials in the United States can be traced back to at least 1990, when IANVS Publications printed its first Anime Shower Special.In March 1994, Antarctic Press released Bondage Fairies , an English translation of Insect Hunter.
Because there are fewer animation productions, most erotic works are retroactively tagged as hentai since the coining of the term in English.[ clarification needed ][ citation needed ]Hentai is typically defined as consisting of excessive nudity, and graphic sexual intercourse whether or not it is perverse. The term "ecchi" is typically related to fanservice, with no sexual intercourse being depicted.
Two early works escape being defined as hentai, but contain erotic themes. This is likely due to the obscurity and unfamiliarity of the works, arriving in the United States and fading from public focus a full 20 years before importation and surging interests coined the Americanized term hentai. The first is the 1969 film One Thousand and One Arabian Nights , which faithfully includes erotic elements of the original story. 27 In 1970, Cleopatra: Queen of Sex , was the first animated film to carry an X rating, but it was mislabeled as erotica in the United States. :104:
The Lolita Anime series is typically identified as the first erotic anime and original video animation (OVA); it was released in 1984 by Wonder Kids. Containing eight episodes, the series focused on underage sex and rape, and included one episode containing BDSM bondage. 376 Several sub-series were released in response, including a second Lolita Anime series released by Nikkatsu. :376 It has not been officially licensed or distributed outside of its original release.:
The Cream Lemon franchise of works ran from 1984 to 2005, with a number of them entering the American market in various forms.The Brothers Grime series released by Excalibur Films contained Cream Lemon works as early as 1986. However, they were not billed as anime and were introduced during the same time that the first underground distribution of erotic works began.
The American release of licensed erotic anime was first attempted in 1991 by Central Park Media, with I Give My All, but it never occurred.In December 1992, Devil Hunter Yohko was the first risque ( ecchi ) title that was released by A.D. Vision. While it contains no sexual intercourse, it pushes the limits of the ecchi category with sexual dialogue, nudity and one scene in which the heroine is about to be raped.
It was Central Park Media's 1993 release of Urotsukidoji which brought the first hentai film to American viewers.Often cited for inventing the tentacle rape subgenre, it contains extreme depictions of violence and monster sex. As such, it is acknowledged for being the first to depict tentacle sex on screen. When the film premiered in the United States, it was described as being "drenched in graphic scenes of perverse sex and ultra-violence".
Following this release, a wealth of pornographic content began to arrive in the United States, with companies such as A.D. Vision, Central Park Media and Media Blasters releasing licensed titles under various labels.A.D. Vision's label SoftCel Pictures released 19 titles in 1995 alone. Another label, Critical Mass, was created in 1996 to release an unedited edition of Violence Jack . When A.D. Vision's hentai label SoftCel Pictures shut down in 2005, most of its titles were acquired by Critical Mass. Following the bankruptcy of Central Park Media in 2009, the licenses for all Anime 18-related products and movies were transferred to Critical Mass.
The term eroge (erotic game) literally defines any erotic game, but has become synonymous with video games depicting the artistic styles of anime and manga. The origins of eroge began in the early 1980s, while the computer industry in Japan was struggling to define a computer standard with makers like NEC, Sharp, and Fujitsu competing against one another.The PC98 series, despite lacking in processing power, CD drives and limited graphics, came to dominate the market, with the popularity of eroge games contributing to its success.
Because of vague definitions of what constitutes an "erotic game", there are several possible candidates for the first eroge. If the definition applies to adult themes, the first game was Softporn Adventure . Released in America in 1981 for the Apple II, this was a text-based comedic game from On-Line Systems. If eroge is defined as the first graphical depictions or Japanese adult themes, it would be Koei's 1982 release of Night Life .Sexual intercourse is depicted through simple graphic outlines. Notably, Night Life was not intended to be erotic so much as an instructional guide "to support married life". A series of "undressing" games appeared as early as 1983, such as "Strip Mahjong". The first anime-styled erotic game was Tenshitachi no Gogo , released in 1985 by JAST. In 1988, ASCII released the first erotic role-playing game, Chaos Angel. In 1989, AliceSoft released the turn-based role-playing game Rance and ELF released Dragon Knight .
In the late 1980s, eroge began to stagnate under high prices and the majority of games containing uninteresting plots and mindless sex.ELF's 1992 release of Dōkyūsei came as customer frustration with eroge was mounting and spawned a new genre of games called dating sims. Dōkyūsei was unique because it had no defined plot and required the player to build a relationship with different girls in order to advance the story. Each girl had her own story, but the prospect of consummating a relationship required the girl growing to love the player; there was no easy sex.
The term "visual novel" is vague, with Japanese and English definitions classifying the genre as a type of interactive fiction game driven by narration and limited player interaction. While the term is often retroactively applied to many games, it was Leaf that coined the term with their "Leaf Visual Novel Series" (LVNS) with the 1996 release of Shizuku and Kizuato .The success of these two dark eroge games would be followed by the third and final installment of the LVNS, the 1997 romantic eroge To Heart . Eroge visual novels took a new emotional turn with Tactics' 1998 release One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e . Key's 1999 release of Kanon proved to be a major success and would go on to have numerous console ports, two manga series and two anime series.
Japanese laws have impacted depictions of works since the Meiji Restoration, but these predate the common definition of hentai material. Since becoming law in 1907, Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Japan forbids the publication of obscene materials. Specifically, depictions of male–female sexual intercourse and pubic hair are considered obscene, but bare genitalia is not. As censorship is required for published works, the most common representations are the blurring dots on pornographic videos and "bars" or "lights" on still images. In 1986, Toshio Maeda sought to get past censorship on depictions of sexual intercourse, by creating tentacle sex.This led to the large number of works containing sexual intercourse with monsters, demons, robots, and aliens, whose genitals look different from men's. While Western views attribute hentai to any explicit work, it was the products of this censorship which became not only the first titles legally imported to America and Europe, but the first successful ones. While uncut for American release, the United Kingdom's release of Urotsukidoji removed many scenes of the violence and tentacle rape scenes.
It was also because of this law that the artists began to depict the characters with a minimum of anatomical details and without pubic hair, by law, prior to 1991. Part of the ban was lifted when Nagisa Oshima prevailed over the obscenity charges at his trial for his film In the Realm of the Senses .Though not enforced, the lifting of this ban did not apply to anime and manga as they were not deemed artistic exceptions.
Alterations of material or censorship and banning of works are common. The US release of La Blue Girl altered the age of the heroine from 16 to 18, removed sex scenes with a dwarf ninja named Nin-nin, and removed the Japanese blurring dots.La Blue Girl was outright rejected by UK censors who refused to classify it and prohibited its distribution. In 2011, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan sought a ban on the subgenre lolicon .
Hentai attracts a diverse audience, including many women. For example, the signing events of the hentai manga creator Machida Hiraku attract an equal number of men and women.On the other hand, in 2017, a greater percentage of men searched for "hentai" on Pornhub than women. When it comes to mediums of hentai, eroge games in particular combine three favored media—cartoons, pornography and gaming—into an experience. The hentai genre engages a wide audience that expands yearly, and desires better quality and storylines, or works which push the creative envelope. Nobuhiro Komiya, a manga censor, states that the unusual and extreme depictions in hentai are not about perversion so much as they are an example of the profit-oriented industry. Anime depicting normal sexual situations enjoy less market success than those that break social norms, such as sex at schools or bondage.
According to clinical psychologist Megha Hazuria Gorem, "Because toons are a kind of final fantasy, you can make the person look the way you want him or her to look. Every fetish can be fulfilled."Sexologist Narayan Reddy noted of eroge, "Animators make new games because there is a demand for them, and because they depict things that the gamers do not have the courage to do in real life, or that might just be illegal, these games are an outlet for suppressed desire."
The hentai genre can be divided into numerous subgenres, the broadest of which encompasses heterosexual and homosexual acts. Hentai that features mainly heterosexual interactions occur in both male-targeted (ero or dansei-muke) and female-targeted ("ladies' comics") form. Those that feature mainly homosexual interactions are known as yaoi or Boys' Love (male–male) and yuri (female–female). Both yaoi and, to a lesser extent, yuri, are generally aimed at members of the opposite sex from the persons depicted. While yaoi and yuri are not always explicit, their pornographic history and association remain. 's pornographic usage has remained strong in textual form through fanfiction. The definition of yuri has begun to be replaced by the broader definitions of "lesbian-themed animation or comics".Yaoi
Hentai is perceived as "dwelling" on sexual fetishes.These include dozens of fetish and paraphilia related subgenres, which can be further classified with additional terms, such as heterosexual or homosexual types.
Many works are focused on depicting the mundane and the impossible across every conceivable act and situation, no matter how fantastical. One subgenre of hentai is futanari (hermaphroditism), which most often features a female with a penis or penis-like appendage in place of, or in addition to, a vulva.Futanari characters are primarily depicted as having sex with other women and will almost always be submissive with a male; exceptions include Yonekura Kengo's work, which features female empowerment and domination over males.
|Common English terms||Common Japanese terms||Type||Description|
|Yaoi / shōnen-ai / Boy's Love||やおい||Gender||Male homosexuality|
|Yuri / shōjo-ai / Girl's Love||百合||Gender||Female homosexuality|
|Lolicon||ロリコン||Gender and age||Centered on prepubescent, pubescent, or post-pubescent underage girls, whether homosexual or heterosexual|
|Shotacon||ショタコン||Gender and age||Centered on prepubescent, pubescent, or post-pubescent underage boys, whether homosexual or heterosexual|
|Common English terms||Common Japanese terms||Type||Description|
|Bakunyū||爆乳||Fetish||A genre of pornographic media focusing on the depiction of women with large breasts. The word can be literally translated to "exploding breasts". Bakunyū is a subgenre within the genre of hentai anime.|
|Futanari||ふたなり||Fetish||Depictions of women that have both phallic genitalia (penis with scrotum, only a penile shaft, or an enlarged clitoris) with or without a vulva or vagina|
|Incest||近親相姦||Fetish||Sexual activity with legal family members|
|Netorare||寝取られ||Fetish||Cheating or being unfaithful to a significant other, lit. "taken away by sleeping with", abbreviated NTR|
|Omorashi||おもらし / お漏らし||Fetish||A form of urolagnia|
|Tentacle erotica||触手責め||Paraphilia||Depictions of tentacled creatures and sometimes monsters (fictional or otherwise) engaging in sex or rape with girls and, less often, men|
|Josō-seme / Daughter-attack||女装攻め||Fetish||Depictions of a Kathoey , male-crossdresser or tomgirl taking the lead (i.e. the " seme ") or exhibiting dominance over a sexual partner|
Yaoi, also known as boys' love or BL, is a genre of fictional media originating in Japan that features homoerotic relationships between male characters. Though it is typically created by women for women and is distinct from homoerotic media marketed to gay men, it attracts a male audience and can be produced by male creators. It spans a wide range of media, including manga, anime, drama CDs, novels, video games, television series, films, and fan works. "Boys' love" and its abbreviation "BL" are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and much of Asia; though the terms are used by some fans and commentators in the West, yaoi remains more generally prevalent in English.
Shotacon, abbreviated from Shōtarō complex, is a Japanese slang describing an attraction to young boys. It refers to a genre of manga and anime wherein prepubescent or pubescent male characters are depicted in a suggestive or erotic manner, whether in the obvious role of object of attraction, or the less apparent role of "subject". In some stories, the young male character is paired with a male, usually in a homoerotic manner. In others, he is paired with a female, which the general community would call "straight shota". A cutoff of "about 15" has been suggested as the dividing line between shotacon and shōnen-ai. It can also apply to post-pubescent characters with neotenic features that would make them appear to be younger than they are. The phrase is a reference to the young male character Shōtarō (正太郎) from Tetsujin 28-go. The equivalent term for attraction to young girls is lolicon.
Ecchi is an often used slang term in the Japanese language for playfully sexual actions. As an adjective, it is used with the meaning of "sexy", "dirty" or "naughty"; as a verb, ecchi suru means “to have sex” or, as a noun, to describe someone of lascivious behavior. It is perhaps softer than the Japanese word ero, and does not imply perversion in the way hentai does.
Urotsukidōji: Legend of the Overfiend is a Japanese erotic horror manga series written and illustrated by Toshio Maeda.
Pornography in Japan has unique characteristics that readily distinguish it from Western pornography. Reflecting Japan's views on sexuality and culture, Japanese pornography delves into a wide spectrum of heterosexual, homosexual, and transgender sexual acts in addition to unique fetishes and paraphilias.
Lolicon, also romanized as lolikon or rorikon, is Japanese discourse or media focusing on the attraction to young or prepubescent girls. The term lolicon is a portmanteau of the phrase "Lolita complex (ロリータ●コンプレックス)"; it describes an attraction to young or prepubescent girls, an individual with such an attraction, or lolicon manga or lolicon anime, a genre of manga and anime wherein childlike female characters are often depicted in an "erotic-cute" manner, in an art style reminiscent of the shōjo manga style.
An eroge is a Japanese genre of erotic video game. In 1982, Japan's Koei, founded by husband-and-wife team Yoichi and Keiko Erikawa, released the first erotic computer game with sexually explicit graphics, Night Life, an early graphic adventure game for the NEC PC-8801. That same year, Koei released another erotic title, Danchi Tsuma no Yuwaku, which was an early role-playing adventure game with colour graphics, owing to the eight-color palette of the NEC PC-8001 computer. It became a hit, helping Koei become a major software company.
Tentacle erotica or tentacle rape is a type of pornography most commonly found in Japan which integrates traditional pornography with elements of bestiality and a fantasy, horror, or science-fiction theme. It is found in some horror or hentai titles, with tentacled creatures having sexual intercourse, predominantly with females. Tentacle erotica can be consensual but frequently contains elements of rape.
A bishōjo game or gal game, is "a type of Japanese video game centered on interactions with attractive girls". These games are a subgenre of dating sims targeted towards a heterosexual male audience.
Central Park Media was an American multimedia entertainment company based in New York City, New York, that was active in the distribution of East Asian cinema, television series, anime, manga and manhwa titles in North America prior to its bankruptcy in 2009. It was headquartered in the 250 West 57th Street building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.
Toshio Maeda is an erotic manga artist who was prolific in the 1980s and '90s. Several of Maeda's works have been used as a basis for Original video animations (OVA) including La Blue Girl, Adventure Kid, Demon Beast Invasion, Demon Warrior Koji and his most notorious work, Urotsukidōji. An interviewer commented that Urotsukidōji "firmly placed him in the history books—in Japan and abroad—as the pioneer of the genre known as hentai, or "perverted".
Cartoon pornography is the portrayal of illustrated or animated fictional cartoon characters in erotic or sexual situations. Animated cartoon pornography or erotic animation is a subset of the larger field of adult animation, not all of which is sexually explicit.
The following is a glossary of terms that are specific to anime and manga. Anime includes animated series, films and videos, while manga includes graphic novels, drawings and related artwork.
Child pornography laws in Japan outlaw child pornography. The production, sale, distribution, and commercialization of child pornography is illegal under Article 7 of the Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and the Protection of Children and is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a fine of ¥5,000,000. Possession of child pornography with any intent of distribution and sale is also illegal.
Bara is a colloquialism used to refer to a genre of Japanese comic art and media known within Japan as gay manga (ゲイ漫画) or gei komi. The genre focuses on male same-sex love, as created primarily by gay men for a gay male audience. Bara can vary in visual style and plot, but typically features masculine men with varying degrees of muscle, body fat, and body hair, akin to bear or bodybuilding culture. While bara is typically pornographic, the genre has also depicted romantic and autobiographical subject material, as it acknowledges the varied reactions to homosexuality in modern Japan.
Sexuality in Japan developed separately from that of mainland Asia, as Japan did not adopt the Confucian view of marriage, in which chastity is highly valued. Monogamy in marriage is often thought to be less important in Japan, and sometimes married men may seek pleasure from courtesans. Prostitution in Japan has a long history, and became especially popular during the Japanese economic miracle, as evening entertainments were tax-deductible. Decreased sex drive in the 21st century has been blamed for the low Japanese birth rate and declining growth of the Japanese population.
Fakku is the largest English-language hentai publisher in the world. Fakku has more than 500,000 registered users who have made over 3 million posts.
In anime and manga, the term "LGBT themes" includes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender material. Outside Japan, anime generally refers to a specific Japanese-style of animation, but the word anime is used by the Japanese themselves to broadly describe all forms of animated media there. According to Harry Benshoff and Sean Griffin, the fluid state of animation allows flexibility of animated characters to perform multiple roles at once. Manga genres that focus on same-sex intimacy and relationships resulted from fan work that depicted relationships between two same-sex characters. This includes characters who express their gender and sexuality outside of hetero-normative boundaries. There are also multiple sub genres that target specific consumers and themes: yaoi, yuri, shoujo-ai, shonen-ai, bara, etc. LGBT-related manga found its origins from fans who created an "alternative universe" in which they paired their favorite characters together. Many of the earliest works that contained LGBT themes were found in works by dōjinshi who has specifically written content outside the regular industry. The rise of yaoi and yuri was also slowed due to censorship laws in Japan that make it extremely hard for Japanese manga artists ("mangakas") and others to create work that is LGBT themed. Anime that contained adult-only content was changed to meet international standards. However, publishing companies continued to expand their repertoire to include yuri and yaoi, and conventions were created to form a community and culture for fans of this work.
Ahegao (アヘ顔) is a term in Japanese pornography for an exaggerated facial expression of characters during sex, typically with rolling or crossed eyes, protruding tongue, and slightly reddened face, to show enjoyment or ecstasy. The style is often used in erotic manga, anime, and video games.
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