Anime and Pornography: A Tragic Reality

As modern technology improved throughout the generations new access to pornography arose, this caused an increase in consumption throughout the globe. Japan’s porn consumption is ranked third highest in the world- it is still growing at a fast rate, coming close to beating out South Korea for their second place spot. Anime Porn, otherwise known as Hentai, is a popular form of pornography which originated in Japan. This pornography is common in Japan and all across the globe, the animation allows for creative and unique perceptions of sex, but with this comes a rocky road. The morality of Hentai is questioned my many and the art form is under scrutiny for the direction the pornography is headed.

Hentai has an array of subgenera’s these include many problematic genres which includes child pornography and scenes of rape/sexual assault. These genres have caused an outrage amongst various groups due to the serious real life implications these topics have in todays society.  On average there are at least 116,000 searches on the internet looking for child pornography every day (this is excluding the dark web and access to downloaded content.) The contents of these videos are graphic and depict the abuse of children as young as infants. This is illegal in numerous counties but when it comes to viewing the child sexual assault through form of animation less countries have out lawed this content. In 2012 this topic was brought up in the Canadian judicial system, in the video Anime & Manga Child Porn? Comic Book Legal Defense Say No.* The video discusses the legality behind watching Anime Child Pornography, while the morality of this isn’t what is in question the legality is deemed acceptable in many countries. In Japan there are laws banning this content though it is still attainable.

Rape and Sexual assault is another aspect of Hentai which faces an abundance of critique. This is a a genre seen in American pornography as well as it is in Japanese porn. The implications of this is greatly seen to mirror the attacks which happen in Japanese society, focusing primarily on the sexual assault present on Japans public transportation. Due to how over crowded the public transportation is in Japan, those who engage in sexual assault are rarely caught or face real punishment. The culture is slowly changing when it comes to this but prior to any protocol women were expected to stay quiet and take what came to them. This has resulted in buses specifically made for women in numerous cities in Japan, as well as a new way to handle situations like this. This act causes trauma for the survivors of sexual assault but the hentai industry profits from this. Producing content which is linked to this is common in Japan and through this sends a message that what is happening is okay.

All of this brings up the question of if this is acceptable since it is fake? In my opinion this is unacceptable due to the serious implications this has in our society currently. Many argue it is moral since no one is being hurt in the process, but by supporting content which glorifies the abuse of children and women you are hurting those who have faced this harsh reality. Just because an animation is engaging in this acts doesn’t eliminate the message behind the content.

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One thought on “Anime and Pornography: A Tragic Reality

  1. Haley,

    Very interesting–you make a strong case against hentai, especially in relation to how it perpetuates toxic images of the violent sexualization of women/children. However, I am curious about how you might counter some of the arguments for hentai. Some might argue that animated pornography serves a valuable social function–that it allows people with illegal sexual fantasies to sexually express themselves without engaging in otherwise illegal behavior. Others suggest that it is in the realm of fantasy, and as such it is distinct from reality. An example might be transgressive fantasy talk–people may “talk dirty,” but they don’t often want the imagined fantasy to be truly realized.


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