Hentai girl. Rebecca Duce.

Hentai girl. Rebecca Duce.

The following are anonymous responses in reply to the article “Hentai isn’t sexy” by Dran Ngo in Issue 9 of The Sputnik. They have not been edited from their original.

#1:

While I respect the right that the author has to his opinion, I disagree with the main argument in this article. I personally do not watch hentai. However, I respect that some people might enjoy it.

Human sexuality is incredibly diverse and we all have different preferences, likes and dislikes. For instance, some people might enjoy adult videos featuring same-sex couples. This is not everyone’s thing, and it falls outside of the “norm” for sexuality — but does this mean that it should be ripped off the shelves for being ‘disgusting’? Similarly, hentai is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is not harming anyone as long as it is only being viewed by willing adults. If you don’t like it, then don’t watch it; nobody is forcing you to. We should not penalize people for their sexuality just because we do not understand it or because it does not fit with some constructed notion of “normal”.

#2:

Porn is porn no matter what format it is presented to the audience. People watch porn because nekkid peoples doing the nasty is arousing to behold. What I find interesting is your distaste in “hentai” as a pornographic medium for very shallow reasons. What makes hentai wrong from regular porn? Google search gay and lesbian porn with safe search off and you will see that japan is not the only country to supply arousing material for that demand. Certainly not lesbian anyway.
“Hentai” is a Japanese term for weird/absurd/abnormal. They prefer to call their erotic material (as I understand it), “Erotic.” One day an American saw it and said “this is weird, what’s the word for that?” and thus we call it Hentai.
The animated pornography that Japan sells follows strict rules set by their government, such as heavily pixelating any and all genitalia, and you can certainly bet that it’s “selling off the shelves,” just, in Japan though. Canada has to buy the rights in order to sell that material here, if it follows our code of conducts of course, and then maybe the pixels covering the genetalia will be removed.
Of course all codes of conduct and strict rules go out the window when we address the real issue: the internet. What you misunderstand for ‘evil’ being sold is commonly known as the practice of Rule 34.
Taken from Google Define: “Rule 34—”If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions”—is a prevalent meme that Internet pornography exists for every conceivable topic.” ALL of that porn is fan-created material, be it anime related, video-game related, movie related, tv-show related, even battleship related (rule 34, it exists), and it’s all FREE. Twilight fans are unhappy about Bella and Edward shacking up? Draw or write Jacob in there instead. Did Tuxedo Mask kiss Sailor Moon this episode? No? Draw up them kissing, heck draw them going all the way, heck draw the rest of the sailor scouts in there too, heck throw DragonBall Z characters in there as well for flavour (Rule 34, it exists). Limited to just hentai? Of course not! Take a celebrity’s head and plaster it on a naked body. It’s all weird/absurd/abnormal/hentai, it doesn’t have to be cartoon.
So long as the INTERNET exists, anyone’s fantasy/fetish can be presented through imaginative means for arousal or “release,” but you have to LOOK for it.
If you don’t want your childhood ruined by a fanfiction/art of a beloved character (Harry Potter will never be the same after “My Immortal”) then don’t go looking for it, simple enough.

#3:

What a curious taste hentai is, it certainly isn’t for everyone. Hentai is separated into two categories Doujinshi and Original works. Doujinshi’s take characters from an already known anime/manga and the author creates a fan made situation. Original works are stories that revolve around the situation of sex. I can see why the author dislikes hentai, but I find it slightly outrageous. In many stories I find characters that I wish would get together, I wonder deeply as to what the outcome would be like if they did. Doujinshi hentais provide this sort of closure for the reader who wants to know what would have happened. Many people on a regular basis write fan fictions of characters in books or movies getting together, sex is just the sealing deal.

Now I don’t like comparing porn to hentai, the two revolve around two different things. Porn on one hand deals with the physical exchange of sex, emotions are almost void except for a few words. What makes hentai so different are the emotions, sex is just a tool to show how deeply intertwine the two characters are. Hentai is a cartoon which makes it far easier to understand what the male or female protagonist is undergoing and thus having a better view of the whole exchange. This is the selling point or the interest of hentai, not the sex but the emotions.  Now even in the hentai community, lolicon/shotacon or pedophile works are frowned upon by many. To dive further into this there are the three age categories being “Infantophilia” (ages 5 and under), “Hebephilia” (prepubescent, generally 13 and under), and “Ephebophilia” (ages 14-16). Finding anything in the infantophilia section is very rare, the community for such is very limited. Hebephilia is a little more common, those who enjoy this form of hentai generally enjoy it because of the innocence that is displayed. Such young characters have nothing but pure ideals of love and sex, often times it is adorable. Lastly the most popular is Ephebophilia which is often times high school students. This is the borderline point between innocence and the real world, this transition to adulthood is displayed through sex, much like society. There are a lot of porn videos where people are dressed as students as well, so people can fantasize through clothing a younger age than that which the person is. Hentai only goes too far when there are extreme cases where people have fetishes for rape and cuckold, but in its defense there are still people who have these same fetishes and porn videos have been created to cater to these desires.

The topics of Yaoi and Yuri are nothing uncommon in the realm of sex, there is plenty of gay and lesbian porn out there. It all depends on what the viewer is looking for and no more than that. Especially in these areas the sex is just a physical display of the emotional connection that the two characters have for each other, this may or may not be the same for porn.

Finally the issue spoken on was the topic of those who do voice recordings for hentai animes. If you find that this is disturbing taken in consideration for video games, for every person you run over in Grand Theft Auto there is a person screaming behind a microphone. Just the same for a hentai, just a cartoon instead. When compared to porn where you have porn stars and even award ceremonies (AVN) I find that hentai is far safer than that of the porn industry.

In conclusion, hentai is no worse than the horrors of the porn industry. Defending it is difficult because of its subject, but in the burden of proof the porn industry is no better. Instead of over sexualizing humans and destroying a person’s expectations of sex, I think it would be best to keep fantasy with fantasy.

#4:

Dran,

As someone who once had a serious porn addiction, I can tell you that your view on hentai is the stereotypical view much of the world has. You’ll find that the hentai you describe is a very small percentage when it comes to the big picture. Most hentai is categorized as “vanilla” in which one man loves one woman and it is basically a love story. There may be a love triangle with another man or woman involved. When people hear the words hentai or manga, their minds instantly warp to the idea of little girls being raped by tentacles. It couldn’t be further than that (not denying that this genre exists).
When I watched hentai, I did not watch it for my favourite anime characters to be raped to death by furries or tentacles. That’s not interesting at all. My favourite cartoon characters were anything but attractive. Hentai on the other hand produces mostly new content (albeit similar storylines) and experiments based on what is popular in Japan today. If you really want to understand why hentai is the way it is, you must look at the sex industry of Japan itself. Have you ever watched actual Japanese pornography? Let me shed some light on it; there is a fetish where men and women will throw themselves into extremely thick mud and lie there with their more intimate parts sticking out. This turns on a lot of people in Japan. Another example; there are a few videos of Japanese women having sex with frogs. That’s right, frogs in vaginas. In fact, the more you can fit in there… well, I don’t think I need to discuss this further.
Why does hentai glorify sex with underagers? Why is yaoi and yuri and furry porn so popular (I never understood the last one, but there’s a huge furry community in the west)? The simplest answer to this question is because hentai helps people to fulfil their fantasies when they are unable to do so. And, much of the “underage” hentai you describe is actually a genre called “lolicon.” Lolicon is a genre in which it exploits women who look like little girls. Lolicon is a fantasy in which men favour women with small bodies, petite breasts and who generally have the figure of a teenage girl. But in fact, these girls are possibly 26 or older in the storylines. Lolicon has been tabooed in the west because the word sounds so much like Vladimir Nabokov’s book, Lolita; the story of a middle-aged man becoming sexually obsessed with a 12-year old girl. Any hentai depictions of lolicon being younger than the age of consent is a very small percentage of the actual number of hentai content produced every year and interestingly enough, the “sex with underagers hentai” tends to be fan-made rather than studio made.
You say that hentai will destroy the childhood of many children, but Dran, why are the children watching hentai in the first place? What you’re calling out for is the same thing Britain has just done. Ban all access to pornography and all our problems are solved! Our children are saved! Did you ever try to circumvent your high school computers because they blocked games and MySpace? All you had to do was go on Google and search for a proxy and there you are, back to playing RuneScape. If you’ve got kids, don’t let your kids watch porn. Be a responsible parent and know that your kids are going to get curious so get to them before inappropriate content gets to them.
Let me end this rebuttal with one last point. Japan and hentai isn’t the only big player in the market now. Erotic fan-fiction is becoming extremely popular in the west. The USA, France and Brasil are three of the largest producers of erotic content. You’ve got 60-page comics telling the story of a voluptuous and sex-crazed vampiress who target only Thor-type looking men. Comics of sodomy, rape and violent orgies are proliferating in the west. Unlike hentai which retains its cartoon feel with improbable perfection in their characters, western erotic fan-fiction is drawn to be dark and real. In fact, if you put the motion picture of Beowulf next to this erotica, the differences would be minute.

#5:

Congratulations on having a different opinion from many.  Some people like baseball. Some people like spicy food. Some people enjoy erotica of a wide variety of forms, and there is perhaps no beast as full of variety as sexuality.  This doesn’t make it wrong, unsexy, or revolting as you claim.  Some people would find what YOU fantasize about revolting, while you consider it completely normal.  You realize that outside of North America, most countries fear their children being introduced to violence while sex and alcohol are considered natural and acceptable?  Get out of your damn shell, kid.

A small article cannot even begin to scratch the surface of the subject you have delved into.  Your child hood is not ruined because you googled for pictures of Misty playing with Brock’s pokéballs.  Who cares if you feel creeped out at other’s enjoyment in gay/lesbian/tentacle animation.  The brain is by far the best organ to stimulate for pleasure, and there are countless genres and avenues of fantasy for people to pick for themselves — none of which are wrong.  Maybe one day you’ll grow up and learn for yourself that this is okay; shed your ignorance and disdain for those people and acts with which you do not participate.  Just because you don’t want to see Sailor Moon and Tuxedo hook up (why did you watch that anyway) does not mean other people who pondered the theoretical perspective of such a thing taking place are in some way sick and twisted.  Extrapolating in the abstract in such a way is a powerful life skill for the brain that you wish truncated, how toxic of you.
Many other things are going to ruin children more than animated erotica.  Grand Theft Auto, having an IPhone at the age of 5, having school reduced to such automatic-pass with teachers teaching to the lowest level in the class, alcoholic parents, drug use, jail time, entitlement, never knowing failure/loss until adulthood, modern lyrics in music, obscene gore movies, etc.  Hentai won’t be seen by everyone; it will be shunned/ignored and forgotten for those who don’t care about it while enjoyed by those who do. It ruins nothing. It is no more or less traumatic in it’s own right than any other form of erotica, vulgar brutality, or explicit music.  It sure as hell doesn’t ruin your life unless you choose to trouble yourself over it.  Trouble yourself over other matters if you want to make a difference. Politics, social empowerment, innovation, charity.  Strive for doing actual good as opposed to attempting to push others down for their beliefs.  You know what that is called in elementary school these days? Bullying.  Go home, bully.
I happen to think the censored woman from the article is attractive. We could all certainly do much worse. Does this disgust you? Too bad. It’s none of your business.

#6:

For a university newspaper publication, I have to say that I am very disappointed that this article was even published. It was sloppily written with no real facts making it ill researched. The entire article was based on propaganda and misconceptions of hentai, yaoi, yuri and the anime/manga industry. It is solely opinion based, and even as someone who does not actively engage in the hentai industry I felt quite offended at the rash and overzealous accusations made in this article.

To start with, it is mentioned several times in the article that it ‘ruins childhood.’ What they fail to realize is that it is not geared to children at all, and the only way to find these things is to actively search them out on 18+ websites specifically created for content of that sort. Unless a child is completely left to their own devices without any supervision, it would still be difficult for them to stumble upon because these sites usually require registration.
In the article the example of Sailor Moon and Pokemon were both used. The Japanese are actually not as skittish as we are in North America about sexuality. In the last book of Sailor Moon, she and Tuxedo Mask get married. That is when she reveals she’s pregnant with their child, because a night or so prior they had been in bed together. Contrary to popular belief, babies do not come from the cabbage patch, so it’s pretty obvious where that came from. Is it outright there? No, but its intended audience can probably put two and two together on that one.
Pokemon may not have that same aspect, but it is a little more grown up than one might expect. Given the age of the young Ash Ketchum, it comes as no surprise that his Japanese counterpart Satoshi is a bit of a womanizer. At one point he even had a crush on his rival Gary Oak’s older sister, and has had many love interests throughout the series. Although not directly related to sex, the Pokemon manga series is actually quite brutal with its battle sequences. Satoshi actually forfeits a match because his Charizard was so brutal against the Pokemon of his opponent, as seen by the bloody mess and violent attacks.
Back to the topic at hand, why is it that hentai is where the line is drawn? Is the artwork of adults intended for other adults somehow worse than big real life issues such as pedophilia and bestiality? These are the types of things that are found in the far, dark corners of the internet. A child is not going to pick up a book in a store and find Ash and Misty ‘doing the nasty.’ They would have a better chance of accidentally stumbling across a harlequin romance novel or 50 Shades of Grey then seeing their beloved childhood characters in compromising positions. Some bookstores inadvertently order yaoi and/or yuri manga into their stores, but by law they are required to remain in plastic wrap and only opened upon purchase. This is in place for children not to stumble upon them.

In the US alone, the pornography industry makes about $13 billion dollars a year. Want to put that into perspective? That’s more “than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined.” However, that’s pennies compared to the nearly $20 billion dollars spent in Japan on pornography in 2012. Often times pornography pushes the boundaries – for pornography, anyway. In those same dark corners of the internet there can easily be found some interesting pornography parodies such as Smurfs, Shrek, and a fairly recent American Dad parody involving the entire family including the underaged children. Why does this industry go exempt, yet the fire and pitchforks go against the hentai industry which is not including real people at all?The manga artist and author of the popular ‘boys love’ series Gravitation created herself what were called ‘mixes’: pornographic shorts of her own characters that could not be included in the manga as it was already rated OT for Older Teens 16+. In closing, this argument is the same argument used by those who oppose gay marriage. ‘It will ruin childhood!’ they say, ‘How will I explain this to my children?!’ they say. Chances are, if you’ve found a picture of cartoon characters in compromising positions, that is something the child has looked for themselves. It is not ruining childhood because they themselves sought it out. Who are we to say what we as adults can and cannot do? Often times while it may look like they have used the characters as is, they’ve actually been ‘aged up’ and specifically indicated that they are intended to be eighteen or over. This is make believe, and to be honest it’s downplaying a very serious and real issue of children actually being sexually abused.  We let children read books such as Charlotte’s Web where a beloved character dies, The Outsiders which portrays gang violence as well as underaged drinking and smoking, Animal Farm which is a political allegory they probably don’t understand, and Call of the Wild which plays on primitivism and Charles Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest.’ We expect them to understand these often controversial themes up into highschool where most Shakespearean  texts had sexual scenes, yet they aren’t allowed to encounter this with characters they know and relate to? Sounds a little contradictory to me. How about the original fairytales, in which Ariel commits suicide and Sleeping Beauty has been raped and impregnated? Shall we blame Disney for our pre-conceived notions of these tales as well? If these things so easily ruin your childhood, then you have given up far too easily on the characters and stories which deserve more respect and admiration than that.