What Hentai Says About Sexism in Anime

Topic started by mooned_knight on June 6, 2013. Last post by AgentFakku 11 months, 2 weeks ago.
Post by mooned_knight (33 posts) See mini bio Level 8
Staff

This is definitely the loooong awaited conclusion, but if you missed the first two parts, go on check out my editorials on the inception of my discomfort with sexism, and then a positive example of sexy ladies in anime. Also, don’t worry, this column will be PG. If you want the explicit stuff I suggest you do what everyone else does and use that Google-thingy.

One of the things that makes anime and manga unique is its ability to tackle a startling variety of subjects beyond just "action for boys and romance for girls." The art form can successfully venture into the tribulations of wine experts, how to run a small business, or even into the secrets of creating manga. And then, of course... it can explore subjects that are decidedly adult in nature.

Unfortunately, for some, this is kind-of what they think all anime is.

Above: What Most People Think Anime Is
Above: What Most People Think Anime Is

Now, the first urge would be to jump all over hentai for being the MOST sexist thing imaginable. It is all about objectification, fetishism, and the empowerment of the male libido, right?

Oftentimes, the women in these stories are impossibly proportioned sex fiends who seek solace in the arms of an inert, socially-awkward otaku who turns out to be a demon in the sack. That’s just ultimate wish fulfillment for the 18-34 male demo right there.

But hentai - - just like anime and manga on the whole - - can also feature stories that appeal as much to women and homosexuals. Sometimes, they can even be pretty funny and enjoyable! Thus, I decided to do some research and see if there is ANY hentai that qualifies as non-sexist towards the ladies...

Just GUESS the audience for "Banana Jam 5"
Just GUESS the audience for "Banana Jam 5"

Let me tell you, this was kind of hard to do...

Below is my short list for examples of an erotic anime and a manga that I feel are surprisingly non-sexist. If you have suggestions of your own or critique of my picks let me know! But, let’s keep the comments section clean if you will ... or Shogun Tom will clean your clock!

ANIME: BODY TRANSFER

Man, I feel like a woman...
Man, I feel like a woman...

Tell me if you've heard this one before: Japanese high schoolers in archeology club get magically transported into a pocket dimension where they're doomed to die ... unless they ALL HAVE SEX WITH EACH OTHER to break the spell. Classic.

The wonderful twist in this anime is the souls (for lack of a better term) of said horny students get transported into each other's bodies every time they * ahem * finish their erotic romps. This leads to comedic misdirections, as well as shocking confessions of love. One of the male students gets transported into the body of a lesbian, who then 'engages' with her lover, and he/she has to reconcile the difference between male and female arousal. Kinky!

While this anime still has oodles of male-centric wish fulfillment, there was also a straightforward boy-meets-girl story in there (as well as obsessive lovers). It wouldn't be out of place in a more graphic version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and most of the female characters' emotions are taken into account. And in addition to being very well-animated, the conclusion ends with our leads back in their own bodies to sweetly embrace each other in various positions at the end of the show. Awww.

HONORABLE MENTION: BEAT ANGEL ESCALAYER

While a sexy-empowered superheros is a good role model ... she also needs to get laid in order to use her super-special powers. Add in some SUPER scenes of domination, humiliation, and women sporting cyborg phalluses, and this one is a little less honorable.

MANGA: TAKE ON ME

A short, scrubby kid accidentally gets an upskirt of a very tall, beautiful student ... while she's secretly using a stimulating device. What starts as a rote tale of blackmail-for-sex is revealed to be a love story between our two leads. Their quixotic quest to try EVERY SEX ACT together eventually envelopes her loli-bait sister and his baseball starter best friend. Fun!

The thing I really liked about this manga was how in-charge our lady lead above is. If she wants sex, she demands it. If she wants him to abandon his inhibitions in the pouring rain in the middle of a park, well... that's just going to happen. While still totally male wish fulfillment, having the female flip the script on the male was delightful to watch. She's subservient sometimes because she wants to be, and other times, she's not. Her choice.

TOTALLY HOT.
TOTALLY HOT.

I also want to mention the amazing art in these stories. There's great motion, angles on everything (*snicker*) and uncommon, very human looking poses. This is one of those rare hentai where you actually care about the people who are writhing around with each other, and plot wise, there aren't a lot of cop-outs. So it's satisfying on two ends! (Don't think about that statement for too long...)

Also, this manga is one of the few that have been OFFICIALLY localized into English. So, as with everything on this site, support the official release...

HONORABLE MENTION: RING X MAMA

Here comes my wrestling bias ... the story of a crew of attractive female pro wrestlers trying to rise to the top in Japan is one of the most endearing mangas I've ever read, period. Yes, their coach is a pro-wrestling nut who sexes them to keep their motivation up (no, I can't relate to that) but if you ever wanted a hentai manga to attempt to pass the Bechdel Test, this might be your best chance. ...Maybe.

CLIMAX... ER... CONCLUSION

Enough hentai for today, Sam.
Enough hentai for today, Sam.

Any time you become obsessed over something - - whether that’s women or anime or soda, whatever - - you tend to have blinders on. Your vision of the subject becomes narrower. Your opinions become smaller. And if you continue to reinforce those small opinions in the echo chamber of similarly-minded people on message boards, circles of friends, etc. What seemed taboo to others isn’t to you anymore!

And that's been the motivation for this whole editorial series. I thought that was what happened to me. Or, at least, I was afraid it did.

My only hope is that while we continue to watch whatever we want, we stay mindful of what is and isn't acceptable behavior, for women, men, anybody. And while it may seem silly to reach that conclusion from watching lots of anime, it isn't uncommon for entertainment - - nay, art, I'd say - - to shed light on the way we think as people.

It's okay to watch hentai or whatever you want. Love people, respect people, and don't lose sight of our mutual humanity. And that includes catgirls.

Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow @cravesam

Post by Destinyheroknight (10,158 posts) See mini bio Level 21

I agree, even though Hentai isn't my thing

Post by CRACKERMAN92 (1 posts) See mini bio Level 4

Great read

Post by takashichea (10,630 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

Hentai caters to all of fetishes. The most screwed up ones are rape and Netorare. Some guys and ladies relish in taking someone's loved ones or degrading people for self-gratification. Like sickVisionz said, different strokes for different folks.

There are good ones, but mostly the hentai manga stories are more enjoyable. I'm not a hentai fan, but there are some I enjoy. Since Sam is recommending the non-sexist manga where genders are equal or about equal, I play the game, too.

Velvet Kiss isn't much of a Vanilla themed series. Love on the Job (Koi o Suru no Ga Shigoto Desu) is a Vanilla themed series. Just to let people know. Some folks hate cheating bastards. Nitta isn't a faithful guy like Ryou.

All of these are from Project H Books and Digital Manga Publishing.

1. Velvet Kiss

Nitta Shin, an average businessman, has won the lottery, but he signed a contract under the influence. He gets into debt of 80 million Yen. His creditor tells him to keep a certain woman, Kanoko Kikuchiya, company in order for his debt to disappear.

2. Koi o Suru no ga Shigoto Desu

It's about a couple who work at their own separate favorite toy company. However, their romance is forbidden due to the rivalry between these two companies. Will Hatsuhi Ryou and Sawamura Minori's love for each other stay strong or will they lose their jobs and possibly their love?

I also wrote up the Quick Picks: Erotica Version 2012 for all the legal and official merchandising. Because the Quick Picks didn't allow adult content, I felt bad that we had to put away the hentai stuff, so I came up with this list to make everyone happy.

Post by takashichea (10,630 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

Oh yeah, this is a great article, Sam. You have more courage than me to talk about Hentai. I keep my wiki work on Hentai low profile since I do the Quick Picks with Pikahyper, Foxx, Sonata, and the rest of crew. It's a dirty job that really makes me see how crazy this genre can be when I look at the covers.

Oh, I need to call up . He would love this article.

Edit:

The manga market has more yaoi content than the hentai anime market. It's an interesting thing to note.

Post by FoxxFireArt (2,638 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator
I did some TAKE ON ME fan art
I did some TAKE ON ME fan art

There is a reason that TAKE ON ME is one of my favorite ero-manga series. It's not about him having a giant shlong or her huge rack. It's about their relationship. They're two characters who care about each other. I love the scene where Ohno talks about how she wants to do all these wild sexual acts becasue it's with him. The second volume gets a bit dark and goes places I'm not too fond of, but it has a great ending.

It's surprising that Sessyu Takemura hasn't done more series. Well, at least under this name.

I'm also a fan of RING X MAMA.

Post by Donwun (112 posts) See mini bio Level 12

Well i pretty much agree with most of what you said on here Sam and ironically our last podcast was actually on this topic A MATURE DISCUSSION ABOUT HENTAI (for some shameless self promotion :oP)

I would mention these titles that are not totally superficial but actually do have a half decent story in there justifying it's sexual content. Pure Mail, A Heat For All Seasons, KITE... just to name a few

Post by Elfenlied1012 (557 posts) See mini bio Level 15

I was no joke listening to Patches, of the M-cast, talk to me about "TAKE ON ME" in my local paneras not three days ago...

Post by Marshal Victory (1,852 posts) See mini bio Level 13

One thing Focus of attention does not put blinders on for other things. Obsesion of something does not always put blinders on a person to other things.Generaly speeking if one considers focus as a limited pool it can only be dvided by so much.Some have greater pools of focus than others ofcourse.Now obsesive compulsive is more the blinder wearers.

Then again years ago i was told by a psyc student that obsession can not be definded for your self but its something others define that you have.I could only agree to this as people use "Obsession" in a genral negative context.As in when some one has a hobby they dont agree they should have.

Thats said good article .As a beliver in freedom as long as your not hurting some one else a persons personal taste for entertainment is none of my buesness or consern.

Post by takashichea (10,630 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@FoxxFireArt:

I should try out Take on Me. It sounds enjoyable.

@Donwun:

Your recommendations are pretty dark when the article is recommending hentai that is enjoyable for everyone. I heard of infamous Kite. I'm not much a fan of blackmail and rape.

Post by Donwun (112 posts) See mini bio Level 12

Hentai that is enjoyable for everyone? :P this phrase is questionably un-ojective

I was not trying to shake things up by recommending those titles with admittedly more darker themes, my point was to recommend h-titles that have a story with substance and yes although the titles i mentioned may have darker elements to them, popular mainstream anime have those same elements, whether it be Attack on titan for violence, Code Geass for deception / blackmail. etc etc.

It's a REALLY fine line to find Hentai that is not totally mindless fancatering sex without mixing themes / ideas such as possibly blackmail, rape, violence etc to actually tell a somewhat interesting story itself...which is ultimately what i feel i have recommended without going into the totally bat crazy madness the medium is known for

Kite was such a popular Hentai in fact there is a sex-free version available (and sexless sequel OVA) which is also currently being produced into a Hollywood movie

but hey to each is own - if ya don't like it ya don't have to check em out

Post by takashichea (10,630 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator

@Donwun:

Oops, I see your point. Yeah, just got to warn the new fans who are wetting their feet in the hentai world when I saw your recommendations lack some warnings.

EDIT

Post by sotyfan16 (1,340 posts) See mini bio Level 20

Take on Me is great. I haven't checked in a while but I do hope the 2nd volume gets licensed as well. Ring X Mama just started being licensed so I'll be getting it. I do hope it is not as censored as the scans I read. Hatsu Inu is a fun read as well, along with Slut Girl.

I've read a number of manga where the story lasts at least a volume and the characters really develop into their own as you read on to find connections with them.

Post by AgentFakku (164 posts) See mini bio Level 10

@takashichea said:

@Donwun:

Oops, I see your point. Yeah, just got to warn the new fans who are wetting their feet in the hentai world when I saw your recommendations lack some warnings.

EDIT

You know you'll love it. I can't forget how you lost your mind in Helter Skelter and writing up the NTR page. You should try Kite, man. I know you man. You just can't stop yourself from watching these twisted shows.

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