November 30, 2008

What is Hentai?

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Hentai (変態 or へんたい) is a Japanese word that, in the West, is used when referring to sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, particularly Japanese anime, manga and computer games (see Japanese pornography). In Japan it can be used to mean "metamorphosis" or "abnormality". The word "hentai" has a negative connotation to the Japanese and is commonly used to mean "sexually perverted".

In Japanese the word hentai is a kanji compound of 変 (hen meaning "change" "weird" or "strange") and 態 (tai meaning "attitude" or "appearance"). The term is used as a shortened form of the phrase 変態性欲 (hentai seiyoku), or "sexual perversion". In slang, 変態 (hentai) is used as an insult meaning roughly "pervert" or "weirdo". The term is not often applied to pornography in Japan. Instead, terms such as 18-kin (18禁, literally "18-prohibited") meaning "prohibited to those not yet 18 years old", and seijin manga (成人漫画 "adult manga") are used when referring to pornography. The English letters AV are also used, standing for adult video.

H, or ecchi

The English use of "hentai" is more similar to the way the Japanese use the slang term エッチ (H, or ecchi), which refers to any sexually explicit content or behaviour. Ecchi is simply the spelling-out of the Japanese pronunciation of the letter H. The origins of this term are uncertain, but it may be a shortened form of hentai used as a polite codeword in the 1960s.

"H" in Japan is now broadly used to refer to all sexual content or activity[1]) So, "H manga" are manga with sexual content. Recently, the term "ero" (エロ), short for "erotic" but closer in meaning to "porn", is now used more often instead of "H".

Classification

There are two main categories of hentai: works that feature mainly heterosexual interactions (often abbreviated as "het"),[citation needed] and those that feature mainly homosexual interactions. This second group can be further split into yaoi and yuri subgroups. Yaoi refers to male homosexual pairings, and yuri to female homosexual pairings.

Yaoi commonly features males of ambiguous gender—in both physical appearance and mannerism—called bishōnen, literally "beautiful boy". Some feature biseinen ("beautiful man"), males of more masculine appearance than bishōnen. Less common are bara—larger, often heavily muscled and sometimes hairy males, the yaoi counterpart of the "bear" in gay pornography—as well as oyaji (meaning "daddy" or "uncle"), featuring middle-aged and elderly men. Yaoi also extends beyond the (sexually explicit) hentai genre, since it is an applies to any anime/manga material that includes male homosexuality. It is, however, distinct from shōnen-ai (literally, "boy-love"), in which two males merely express romantic feelings for each other without actually having sexual relations. Women interested in Yaoi are called "Fujoshi" (腐女子), which means "rotten girl" or "rotten woman". Compare fag hag.

Yuri is very similar to yaoi, except that the focus is on female homosexual interactions. The characters in yuri are known as "bishōjo", meaning "beautiful girl". Shōjo-ai ("girl love") is a western term for the female equivalent of shōnen-ai; in Japan these works are also called yuri.

The scope of hentai encompasses the entire range of sexual fetishes, including:

  • Bakunyū, the depiction of women with large breasts. Literally translated to "bursting breasts".
  • Futanari, depictions of hermaphrodites or transsexuals that have both phallic genitalia (penis with scrotum, only a penal shaft, or an enlarged clitoris) and vaginal genitalia or a feminine hourglass shape including breasts and a penis plus scrotum.
  • BDSM, A spectrum of consensual sexual activities considered to be "kinky" or non mainstream, including such topics as power exchange (domination and submission), bondage, sadomasochism, spanking, etc.
  • Bestiality
  • Breast-oriented torture and Breast bondage, BDSM practices focusing on breasts, many times coupled with a variety of torture
  • Erotic lactation
  • Lolicon, depicts prepubescent or preadolescent girls.
  • Maiesiophilia
  • Omorashi (オモラシ / おもらし / お漏らし) in which individuals struggle with a full bladder before finally wetting themselves(also known as watersports).
  • Urolagnia: Urinating.
  • Coprophilia: Feces.
  • Shotacon, the depiction of young boys having intercourse with other young boys or older men, depicting young boys with older women, known as "straight shota" in western jargon.
  • Tentacle rape, the depiction of tentacled creatures and sometimes monsters (fictional imaginative or otherwise, also includes alien-like creatures) engaging in sex or rape with girls and less often men.
  • Incest sexual activity with legal family members noticeably seen in The Sagara Family, a hentai computer game.

Hentai media

  • Adult anime, or hentai anime, is anime that relies primarily on sex.
  • Adult manga, or hentai manga, is manga designed for purely pornographic purposes. Plot is still used to develop character and setting, but most of the time, the ultimate goal is to show scenes of sexuality with few exceptions. Adult manga is often sold in convenience stores, book stores, and magazine stores in Japan, and also other public places such as airports, and is far more prolific and accessible than the U.S. adult comic book market. It is usually distributed in digest format, containing several stories by different artists (e.g. an anthology).
  • Adult CG artwork includes individual drawings by artists. Art can be available on websites, CD-ROMs, or in printed art books. CG artwork is used frequently in adult video games.
  • Adult video games, or eroge, are games with a pornographic element. They can include bishōjo games that involve character driven plots, and can exist as sex simulations.
  • Adult dōjinshi, or H dōjinshi, refers to a type of work that uses copyrighted characters presented in sexual situations. It usually refers to printed manga, but can also refer to any type of visual work depicting copyrighted characters, including video games, animation, and CG artwork. Familiarity with a particular character or setting can add a sense of relating to the character over a generic character used in mainstream hentai, making dōjinshi more appealing to fans of a particular work. Despite not representing characters and licensed properties as intended, companies often view these works as a free form of license recognition and advertising through dedicated fandom. Some mangaka create hentai dōjinshi with characters from their own manga, such as Kazushi Hagiwara, who himself created Bastard - Expansion, a pornographic dōjin with characters from Bastard!!
  • In Western fanfiction circles, hentai-based works are popularly referred to as "lemon", based on a more popular hentai anime anthology series called Cream Lemon. Fictions referred to as "lime" are ones in which the characters do everything short of having sexual intercourse with each other. In Japan, the works may be referred to as "lemon" or "pink" ("pink" having sexual connotations similar to the term "lime" in the west).

Source: Wikipedia

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