Japan Doesn’t Worry About Hentai, Because It Can’t Be Helped

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Japan Doesn’t Worry About Hentai, Because It Can’t Be Helped
Japan Doesn’t Worry About Hentai, Because It Can’t Be Helped

Japan has become somewhat famous around the world for its unique hentai culture in manga, anime and games, and for nearly two decades, a huge number of popular mainstream anime series actually originated from ecchigame titles such as Kanon, Air, Kiminozo, DRAMAtical Murder, the Fruit of Grisaia, Utawarerumono, Yosuga no Sora, and ef – a tale of memories. The last title is arguably responsible for the stellar career of Your Name director Shinkai Makoto, since the opening movie he created for the game was so amazing, it got him lots of attention. By almost any measure you can come up with, the most successful anime/game series in history is Fate/stay night, which has turned into a huge juggernaut in the industry in figures, games and doujins, and it was based on, you guessed it, an 18+ hentai game published by the doujin circle-turned-pro TYPE-MOON. (The above graphic is a meme from Anime Maru. It’s fake, but the reactions fans have when they see it are always fun to observe.)

One reason Japan has a laissez-faire attitude towards ero content is their famous phrase sho ga nai (also appearing as shikata ga nai), which just means “it can’t be helped” or “things are what they are” or “there’s nothing we can do about that, so don’t worry about it.” Of course people like computer games with anime boobs, because we’re all human. As the president of Nitroplus Takaki “Digitarou” Kosaka once told me, “Our stance is, what’s wrong with ecchi games? We’re going to make the most interesting ecchi games you’ve ever seen.”

Here’s a short list of mainstream creators who dabble or have dabbled in ero content without any negative influence on their careers:

  • The creator of Shokugeki no Soma has done epic hentai manga under the name Tosh.
  • The artist for the Shuffle eroge also works with Disney Japan on various projects
  • Sgt. Frog creator Mine Yoshizaki has made quite a bit of hentai in the past
  • Tony Taka, one of the most prolific artists in Japan today, creates art and figures for Sega’s Shining game series by day and naughty doujinshi at night
  • Black Lagoon creator Rei Hiroe creates hentai under the pen names of TEX-MEX and Red Bear
  • ERASED creator Sanbe Kei has a backlog of steamy works, as has Spice and Wolf illustrator Keito Koume
  • According to legend, Love Hina creator Ken Akamatsu got his start drawing naughty Cardcaptor Sakuradoujinshi.
  • Shirow Masamune has been one of the most influential creators from Japan through his Ghost in the Shell creation, which influenced the Matrix. These days his works will make your eyes get really big.

Japan doesn’t worry about hentai, because “it can’t be helped.”

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