The (Semi-NSFW) History of Hentai | Anime Explained

The (Semi-NSFW) History of Hentai | Anime Explained


Warning! This content contains explicit
material not suitable for children. Whether it’s the gratuitous crotch shots
or the jiggly boopers that defy physics anime’s fascination with all things
sexual is… It’s pretty obvious. Even the cleanest shows are rife
with so much fanservice that it’s rare to find a show without
it. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that some of your favorite
mangakas started their careers making hentai. Like Shirow Masamune the mangaka
behind Ghost in the Shell started his career drawing some steamy scenes and
then went back to hentai even after the success of the Ghost in the Shell
series. Shouji Sato, the creator of High School of the Dead is another manga that
was later adapted into an anime where we get this legendary scene from He also had a start in the industry as a hentai artist working under the pen name of
Inazuma. Even Boichi, the illustrator of Dr. STONE, a manga for people with
galaxy brains, has put in some time drawing for some H materials. There’s a
symbiotic relationship between mainstream manga and hentai with
creators flexing their muscles across both genres. Some generous mangakas even
make their fans’ wildest dreams come true by creating doujinshi featuring their
favorite characters. Also as context: doujinshi is a Japanese term for
anything that’s self-published and doesn’t always necessarily mean
hentai. So I want to spend some time today to explore the path from hentai to
mainstream manga and even the other way around. But before I get ahead of myself,
let’s take a quick look at the origins of hentai. You guys ready? Yeah!! All right! Let’s do it. First off, in the West the word hentai is used to describe
animated pornography from Japan but in Japan, hentai can just mean “strange” or
“pervert” depending on the context. You also see labels like “ero,” “18-kin,” “japornimation,” and “ecchi” applied to sexy stuff. I could do a whole video on the
evolution of all those terms and their difference in meaning but the
most important term for this video are hentai and ecchi a derivative of
hentai. Ecchi is a slang word that probably came from the H sound in hentai
and is used to refer to more softcore stuff. Suggestive scenes that
don’t necessarily go full-bore into the realm of hentai. Now, sufficed to say
that the word hentai as I’m using it today is a Western invention used to
describe 2D animated pornography. Fun fact! The earliest known use of the word
hentai in English was in a post on an anime forum in 1990 about Ranma 1/2 and
you know what? That just… that just feels right. It’s pretty fitting that
there are tons of different ways to describe Japan’s smutty stories. The
history of animated pornography goes back waaaaay before manga was even created
and it’s taken different forms over the years. The Illustrated erotic scroll, or
shunga, The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, holds the esteemed title as the first
known example of tentacle porn. Shunga were popular in Japan in the Edo Period,
when collecting erotic drawings was a common pastime. Collectors would proudly
display their shunga and the fact that they were erotic
wasn’t really very taboo. People of all walks of life enjoyed shunga because
people of all walks of life enjoyed sex. No big surprise there but it’s pretty
neat that’s something as niche and weird as tentacle porn goes back to the 19th
century. Yes, humans have always been… Horny on main If you want to know more about
tentacle porn, well… Godspeed, my friend the internet is full of riches for you…
Just Google it I guess. Now I’ll be getting to the anime origins of tentacle
porn in a minute but for now we’re still in the dawn of hentai in Meiji era Japan.
With the opening of Japan during the Meiji period, Westerners brought
different cultural values namely being big ol’ prudes. Japanese cultural staples
like public bathing were under new scrutiny from Westerners and Japanese
society adopted some of the West’s more restrictive attitudes about sex. These
ideals were cemented in the form of strict obscenity laws. All of a sudden,
sex was taboo and no one wanted to see your
octopus orgy anymore. I’m looking at you. Yeah. Censorship was
one major reason shunga fell out of popularity but the invention of
photography dealt the fatal blow. But where there’s a catgirl, there’s a way
and somehow I really doubt humanity will ever stop drawing people having sex. It’s
deeply ingrained in our nature. Just ask any middle schooler how many dicks
they’ve drawn in their notebooks. And also there are straight-up
cave paintings of people doing the big sex. So I’m pretty sure porn will outlive us
all. Ain’t that right, ripped out Boa Hancock? Despite shifting cultural values
sexy drawings persisted. In the 1930s, Ero-Guro was the new obsession. The artistic
and literary movement focused on grotesque sexual imagery. Images of
hedonism blended with gore and violence to create an artistic style whose
influence can be seen all over contemporary manga, erotica, and art. And… is that Bobby?
From King of the Hill? Goddamn, Bobby! The movement’s inciting
incident was known as the Sada Abe incident. A geisha turned prostitute
murdered and mutilated her lover during sex and carried around his genitals in
her kimono after the act Oof. It inspired artists like writer Edogawa Ranpo whose
stories featured queer relationships and was then considered deviant sex. Ero-guro
can still be felt today. It inspired artists like Shintaro Kago, Suehiro Marou, and Takato Yamamoto. Finally in 1969, we get Japan’s first animated
feature with erotic elements: A Thousand and One Nights. It was written and
produced by none other than Osamu Tezuka, because you know the God of manga had to
have a hand in hentai too – and he did! In the form of furry porn. It wasn’t
discovered until after his death when his daughter found the sexy drawings in
his desk. Damn. Imagine that. Getting snitched by
your own daughter. Also just look at these drawings. The man drew snakes..
with boobers… snakes… with tittays. Just look at it. The man
was a genius. Anyway these sketches have not been published to the US yet.
Tezuka took another crack at adult animation in 1970s. Cleopatra: the Queen
of Sex. It was the first Japanese erotic animation to make it to the US but it
didn’t see a whole lot of success. You can actually see us talk more about this
on our other video essay, History of Isekai. Check it out. Anyhow, Western
consumers weren’t very interested in an erotic animation.
They just weren’t used to cartoony porn but that was about to change.
Ninja Scroll 1993 and with its graphic depiction of sexual violence, it
definitely showed animation sex and you know… inspired The Matrix, but that too
isn’t considered the first hentai film to hit in the US market. That honor goes
to 1994’s Urotsukidoji which is credited for creating the tentacle porn
genre for anime. Anyway, with props to The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife, of course.
The anime features lots of monsters, lots of violence, and lots of sex.
But all those tentacles had another function: they could dodge the censors.
The censorship laws I mentioned earlier? Yeah..
they remained in place with minimal changes for over a hundred years. Even
showing pubic hair was outlawed until the 1990s, so showing genitalia and
sexual acts was obviously off the table too. But
mangakas were more imaginative than the lawmakers. So tentacles and other
fantastical appendages were used to swerve the law. Censorship laws may not
have changed much but we’ve come a long way since shunga in the Edo Period and
we’re finally about to enter the golden age for anime in the West. The 1990s, Urotsukidoji was the beginning. Just as anime flooded the US in the 90s, hentai
came pouring in too. Several companies cropped up and started licensing hentai
in the West and the audience grew alongside the newly available material. ADVision,
Central Park Media, and Critical Mass imported tons of hentai every year. And
while it’s harder to trace just how much, there were more pirate
and anime coming to the US too, passed from fan to fan. The proliferation of
anime and hentai go hand-in-hand, so it makes a lot of sense that creators
interested in breaking into anime and manga would get started on hentai. Tezuka
isn’t the only anime OG to make naughty drawings So your special moment
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for? Go on and… love. Love that book… with LoveBook. Back to you, hentai. Go
Nagai, best known for his work on Mazinger Z and Devilman is widely credited
for defining the mecha genre. Oh and he’s also the creator behind Harenchi Gakuen or
Shameless School. Harenchi Gakuen is considered one of the first if not the
first ecchi manga. So this man gave us smutty mangas and giant robots. Thank you,
Based Nagai. A few years later, he created Cutie Honey and started a sacred tradition of making anime fans hide their screens whenever any human beings
are around. Cutie Honey had the titillating, sorta-naked transformation scenes
that became a hallmark of the magical girl genre.
So we really have Go Nagai to thank for for turning a lot of people
to anime. Thanks, Go. But it’s not like the hentai to manga
journey is a one-way street. Tons of famous mangakas have started
with mainstream stuff and then transitioned into making hentai or made
hentai alongside hugely popular mainstream works. At the end of the day,
is there really that big of a difference between drawing dynamic fight scenes and
dynamic boning scenes? Blade of the Immortal is genre-defining in its
badassery and if you look at Hiroaki Samura’s art you might see some of the
sensibilities he brought to his later erotic work, The Love of the Brute. Blade
and Brute features fluid movement, richly rendered textures, and a high level of
care with characters physicality. Samura’s doujinshi, The Night of the Succubus,
was another adult work released after The Blades of the Immortal found
widespread success. Mangaka Ito “Oh! Great” Ogure was right
on Samura’s heels. His series Tenjo Tenge was published by Shuiesha
in the late 90s and he came out with Air Gear in 2002. But while he was working
on these popular and honestly pretty raunchy series, he was also publishing
Silky Whip, whose title is about as descriptive as it needs to be. Silky Whip
anthologized a bunch of Oh! Great’s pornographic stories and while its art
isn’t quite as lush as what we get in Tenjo Tenge and Air Gear, it’s still
lovingly drawn and full of Ogure’s sardonic humor.
Now, I already mentioned Masamune Shirow of Ghost in the Shell, Appleseed,
or Galgrease. If you’re a discerning anime fan, Galgrease is about as H as it gets
and the grease part of the title? Yeah… That’s the reference to the character’s..
um you know.. sheen. Dr. Stone’s Boichi got noticed for his work on Lover in Winter, which, yeah, is very H. Lover in Winter collects a series of hentai
one-shots and showcases Boichi’s distinctive style. The creator of Helsing,
Kouta Hirano, also cut his teeth drawing hentai manga. It took a long time for
Hirano to find his place as a drawing assistant.
He also honed this skill working on lesser-known projects like Hi-and-Low,
a sexy World War II spy short originally published in the hentai mag
Young King Ours. Hi-and-Low’s protagonist, a pair of
female spies, bear a striking resemblance to Integra Helsing of Hellsing and Yumiko from Crossfire. Hirano is known for giving his characters
cameos in this other works. Heck, Helsing is based off an earlier hentai one-shot
that he made called The Legends of the Vampire Hunter. He also participates in
the douinshi collective GUY-YA so he’s still using his hentai chops. Random
fun fact, at the end of Helsing vol 5, Hirano states that he is a fan of One
Piece and said that he would like to feel up Nami. Sir… this is.. this is Wendy’s.
I never explained this, for context a doujin circle is a group of artists that
like to create doujins together, like one big happy, pervy family. Nozomu
Tamaki is another mangaka on this list and he’s very famous for his Dance in the
Vampire Bund series, but honestly this one is pretty easy to guess you know? When
you look at his base art… I’m just I’m just saying… and as I mentioned at
the start of the video Shouji Sato, the mangaka of Highschool of the Dead and
Triage X, wrote a bunch of hentai under the alias Inazuma, and is in the hentai
group called Digital Accel Works. Fun Fact: he was actually an assistant of
Koshi Rikudo, who was the mangaka of Excel Works AND just like his assistant Koshi Rikudo has also created hentai… Wow… it’s like a like a whole hentai legacy.
And that’s about it. Obviously, there’re way more mangakas that
are making hentai that I haven’t mentioned here. Well heck, let me go
through some more real quick. Okay so… Rei Hiroe, mangaka for Black Lagoon publishes hentai under the pen-name TEX MEX, which is a hilarious pen name. Akira Akatsuki,
mangaka known for Medaka Box has also drawn some hentai under the alias of Kuuya… Hiromitsu Takeda, mangaka of Maken-Ki has actually made wayyy more hentai than mangas and is quite famous in the
hentai scene, and lastly Kiyohiko Azuma a mangaka who is known for the 4koma comedy classic Azumanga Daioh and the family friendly Yotsubato! Even Azuma-sensei has created hentai before… Wow… So fanservice is just the tip of the
iceberg when it comes to erotic anime. I think it is sort of a gateway drug that drags
me deeper into the abyss and that abyss is hentai. But despite Japan and the US’s
attitude towards sex, it’s super normal y’all. Very natural. When mommy and daddy
love each other, they just get some tentacles, some beads,
sprinkle some NTR, and we’re good! Just kidding. Don’t.. don’t sprinkle
that around. But seriously though. I know I’ve been making my usual wisecracks and
jokes but we didn’t make this video to shame any of these artists. I just want
to make a fun video about the history of hentai and some of my favorite mangakas
who also happened to draw and have drawn hentai. So just like the
legendary actor Samuel L Jackson once said Does Samuel L Jackson like anime?
Yes, I do… hentai, too and thank you so much for watching this slightly racy video. Please
be sure to subscribe and be sure to check out some of our other videos on
this YouTube page and you know the usual good stuff. You know, 14-day code down
below, doobly-doo, and comment your favorite hentai and out yourself as
somebody who watches hentai. With all that said, thank you and good night.
See you later, my big titty anime girls.

Danny Hutson

100 thoughts on “The (Semi-NSFW) History of Hentai | Anime Explained

  1. Damn, I remember coming across Urutsukidoji (and Sailor Moon & 7 Balls) at 90s Anime Expo. I didn't realize that it was THE first one.

  2. I appreciate that last message about not shaming the artists’. This video was very informative and funny.
    “The snake has…tittays.“???

  3. I won't lie. I super admire hentai.
    Draw my own sometimes. Have a couple hentai figures. Not ashamed of being a pervert in the slightest.

  4. Ah yes, Silky Whip. That was probably the first actual erotic manga I saw. Cool Devices was probably the first animated hentai I saw and it still holds a special place in My heart.

  5. to be realistic. who in japan never worked in porn? 😀
    voice actresses like ikue otani worked for pink pineapple or the "electric tale of pikachu" manga was drawn by a guy who's mainly does p0rn as well. the doujins from hiroyuki (aho girl) were sexual and great as well

  6. Urotsukidoji (oo-rou-sku-do-ji) That was the first time I've ever heard someone say it. I've always pronounced it u-rot-so-cud-do-ji, and alongside Ninja Scroll, it was my introduction to the steamy side of anime.

  7. Tosh, ShindoL, Zonda, Zucchini and Aiue Oka are my favorites.
    I mean I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed Shokugeki no Soma as much as I did if I didn’t know that Shun Saeki is Tosh !

  8. You ain’t seen shit until your homeboy jokingly tells you to watch Bible black or Nightshift Nurses and when you do you never watch another hentai again. It’s like a rite of passage it either makes you or breaks you.

  9. No te entendí nada pero creo que esta hablado del Anime y Hentai, como fue creado o como comenzó creo no estoy seguro :/

  10. Very interesting, I didn't know about Kiyohiko Azuma. Also Saeki Shun (Food Wars), Naruko Hanaharu (Kamichu) and obviously Kazushi Hagiwara (Bastard!!) had their way with hentai. I find it quite amazing that those artists don't bound themselves to a genre, but simply try a variety of stories and styles. Thanks for the video !

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