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   is a Japanese word that, in the West, is used when referring to sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, particularly those of Japanese origin such as 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.

Demographics

As with other forms of Japanese pop-culture media, publishers of erotic media target material to specific demographic groups. For manga, the most typical divisions are:

Types which are pornographic by definition



  • ero-manga or , aimed at (presumptively heterosexual) men
  • ladies' comics (redīsu komikku or redicomi), originally meaning any manga for adult women (see josei) but now often applied specifically to pornographic manga for women


Types which often (but not necessarily) contain pornographic content

  • gei comi or menslove (ML), often called bara in the West, for gay men
  • boys' love (boizu rabu or BL), predominately aimed at the shōjo and josei markets (also see below)
  • teen's love (TL), a more explicit type of shōjo romances, likewise aimed predominantly at the shōjo and josei markets
  • Yuri or girls' love (GL), which has long been a component of both men's ero-manga and shōjo gender-exploration but has more recently arisen as a genre in its own right, in both seijin and josei flavors (also see below)


Classification

There are two main categories of hentai: works that feature mainly heterosexual interactions (often abbreviated as "het"), 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. (Note that both yaoi and, to a lesser extent, yuri are predominantly aimed at members of the opposite sex from the persons depicted.)

Yaoi is predominantly aimed at a female audience and 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 adult or 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; these types are mainly found in material aimed at gay men, which may be called bara or 'men's love' (ML), and is considered to be distinct from yaoi. Yaoi also extends beyond the (sexually explicit) hentai genre, since it is an applies to any anime/manga material that includes male homosexuality (except for that actually aimed at a gay male audience). In Western usage, yaoi is distinguished from shōnen-ai (literally, "boy-love"), in which two males merely express romantic feelings for each other without actually having sexual relations; however in current Japanese usage this term most commonly refers to pornographic shotacon (stories featuring young boys) for men. Women interested in Yaoi are called "Fujoshi" (腐女子), a pun which translate loosely as "rotten girl" or "rotten woman". Compare fag hag and slash fandom.

Yuri is very similar to yaoi, except that the focus is on female homosexual interactions. The characters in yuri are typically "bishōjo", meaning "beautiful girl" (this term is not specific to yuri but is applied generally to depictions of attractive women for a male audience; for example, in the term "bishōjo game"). Shōjo-ai ("girl love") is a western term for the female equivalent of shōnen-ai; in Japan these works are also called yuri. Yuri may be aimed at (presumptively heterosexual) male, heterosexual female, or lesbian female audiences.

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 penile shaft, or an enlarged clitoris) and vaginal genitalia, or, alternately, a feminine hourglass shape including breasts combined with a penis and 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
  • 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, either with other young boys or older men, or depicting young boys with older women (known as "straight shota" in western jargon).
  • Tentacle erotica, 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



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