If you want anime and have a sick sense of humor, hentai is right for you. I particularly recommend La Blue Girl (which I recently picked up in Hong Kong on VCD). It's funny (but then again, I like Doug Winger's satirical take on furries). Hentai usually involves some girl wandering through a forest and then getting raped by some mythical beast or plant or something, and then getting infected and turning into some beast-human hybrid with multiple flailing penises which are used to suck the life out of its subjects (probably by over-stimulating them or something).

The word hentai in Japanese literally means "change" or "transformation," just as the English word "perversion" does. In Japanese, hentai means just that: perversion, perverted sexual desire, or a person who is perverted. Rape, sexual obsession, scat, and pederasty are hentai -- attractiveness, nudity, and "normal" consensual sex are not.

In Western anime-fan slang usage, hentai usually means "sexually explicit", or "sexually explicit anime". Hence the countless porn sites advertising "hentai pictures" or "hentai mangas" -- meaning nude or sexual scenes from Japanese comics, animation, or games. Most of these are not hentai in the Japanese sense, and Japanese-speakers are evidently baffled that Western otaku would ever refer to anything as both "hentai" and "kawaii"!

Etchi or ecchi, based on the Japanese pronunciation of the letter "H" and originally short for hentai, has a very different connotation in Japanese. It means, more or less, "lustful" or "sexual". A person who's etchi is sexually interested; a manga which is etchi is sexually arousing or explicit. To "do H" with someone (etchi suru) is to have sex.

For more information on what is hentai and what is etchi, please see: http://home.attbi.com/~kagamix2/H_does_not_mean_hentai/

Hentai is good stuff. Physical porn (as in, real filmed porn) has limits, but pornographic anime can go beyond reality into the imagination of the artists. Ignoring dumb generalizations like anime ain't anime without tentacle rape, hentai caters to people such as myself, who gets bored with regular porn, dislikes fetishes such as hardcore bondage, and needs something that is new and exciting. By the way, there is some bondage in hentai, but there is plenty of "clean" hentai as well.

No, it isn't all about demons, schoolgirls and an particular preference for rape, which disgusts me. Plenty of hentai is artistic, beautifully drawn animations, great sound effects and impressionism (something real porn cannot really achieve). Sure, animated porn is less "real" than the plastically enhanced bimbos of SoCal, but they look more real, and they look good, since nothing restricts the pen of an artist. Good hentai, as a result, beats the vast majority of porn. And there is nothing wrong with schoolgirls.

Hentai does delve heavily into fetish areas such as tentacles, mythology, bondage, rape, gangs, worship, and other strange stuff that some Japanese people find attractive. I choose to ignore that kind of stuff. It doesn't appeal. Unfortunately, the most shocking stuff always ends up overseas in the United States, and casts a bad impression on hentai as a whole. For some real hentai, go to Japan, Hong Kong or Seoul.

For those people who dislike animated pornography, there is Japanese porn. I wrote up a summary there.

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