If you are a fan of manga and anime, there’s a high chance that you have come across the term Hentai. The phrase is not much discussed in public but anime fans don’t hesitate to talk about it when they are gathered together. For the newbies and outsiders, the term may not carry much value. In the west, the term Hentai is similar to animated porn.
However, this meaning is quite limiting for the actual meaning of Hentai. The translation somehow snatches the essence of the term. That’s why we thought of discussing about the term along with its etymology and usage. This will give you a better idea of it and you can consider whether this genre of porn is ideal for you.
In Japanese, the term Hentai can be translated as abnormality or perversion in English. This is a loose translation and we can say that the term has a negative connotation abroad. In fact it is often used as an insult for some people’s sexual choice. This is a shortened term for Hentai Seiyoku. This phrase actually means abnormal sexual desire.
Much has been discussed about the normalcy of sexual preference. Since this is a personal issue, intellectuals often opine that nothing can be considered as an abnormality in sex. Well,, we say that’s up to your opinion. Before developing an opinion, it’s time to know more about the history of the terminology. Here we will mention that.
History of Hentai
Hentai has a huge history behind it. The term initially came to the forefront during the Meiji era. It was used as a manner of describing abnormal sexual fetishes or perversion. The word found most of its usage in the fields of science and scholarship, however it only got popularized after the end of World War II. The word Hentai then came to be used as a slang for people with abnormal sexual desire. It also got shorted to either ‘ecchi’ or ‘H’. However that slang carries a different meaning of its own these days. In Japan, the two phrases are often combined with the concept of lewdness and don’t necessarily point to explicit sexual desire.
When the slang got popularized, the word Hentai received more delicate explanation and definition. Though the term still had the reference of abnormal sexual desires abroad, the U.S.A started using the term as manga. Gradually it became more of a global medium. And due credit to all the loose translations, western manga fans started associating the term Hentai with porn.
Usage in Japan
In Japan, if you use the term hentai, people will give strange looks. This term is not widely popular in Japan as such porns are referred to as ecchi manga or ero-manga (ero refers to the word erotic or erotica). In Japan, if you use the phrase, people will consider that you are pointing to a very particular subset of the animated pornography.
Due to the clinical definition of hentai’s (with which we started the article), any manga or anime that depicts such features as an abnormal fetish or kink receives the name. For examples, titles having tentacle erotica or incest can also be classified as Hentai. So, ensure to adopt the term precisely so as to avoid strange looks.
How the Term Is Used In The West
As we have already pointed out, the West has a loose connotation of the term Hentai. Unlike Japanse, the fans in the US don’t consider Hentai to be very specific. For them, the term is used as interchangeably with pornography. The reason is perhaps that the term was originated in Japan. Therefore, they are specific about the genre. Also, Japanese porns, unlike the West, explore numerous fetishes. Each of these genres has a precise nature and name. Cultural gap, we say it.
Again, hentai is further divided into two sub genres in the US by the manga fans. If you go through these, you will find that the genre is into hardcore and softcore. And overall, the term denotes the entire horizon of pornography without any regards to the content or kink.
In an article on hentai featured on Cosmopolitan, Dr. Leon Seltzer – a renowned psychologist and an avid blogger talks about Hentai porn. He says to have found this trend is emerging. He believes that the popularity of the porn category is increasing due to its encouragement of unlimited sexual fantasies. Hentai somewhat normalizes what is considered as abnormal in the mainstream. He says and we quote “The erotic liaisons possible in Hentai are liberated from all types of normative constraints of reality. That’s why it can enhance the illusion that our libido can access the most idyllic or idiosyncratic place ever possible”.
Monsters, animals, demons, fairies, giant insects, cartoon characters, plants – everything becomes sexual objects here. This type of porn also features rape and BDSM with these characters. The age of the girls, though remains ambiguous in Hentai but is commonly known to have a tender and sexually innocent age. This also can provoke people to watch Hentai. Especially, those who are familiar with manga and anime, they love to see their favorite cartoon characters getting fucked brutally or romantically. They can cherish the scenes in any and every type of context.
The story lines in Hentai are yet another interesting element. The manga fans can find ample of similarities between the porn story and the real story. That way they can connect with the characters, unlike in the popular or mainstream western porn.
The animated porns also feature exaggerated breasts and penises which give visual pleasure to many. Some often opine that the porn characters are no real human so assaulting children in the porn is not a big deal. However, critics opine that this type of pornography is connected with mainstream porn given their nature is concerned and thereby promotes “abnormal” sex and even rape culture.
Whether Hentai is harmful or pleasure-some is a debatable question. What’s your take on this? Feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us.…