originally posted at https://canmom.tumblr.com/post/726841...

So. Storytime.

Two years ago, we had a joke. “We should totally show some hentai on Animation Night 69.” we said. Having said that, we were honour-bound to totally commit to the bit. Teaming up with @mogsk, I wrote a massive post on sexuality in animation and the history of ‘hentai’, from the hentai seiyoku discussed in 20th-century sexology journals to the modern subcultural kaleidoscope.

It is, genuinely, one of my favourite posts I ever wrote in this project. It’s definitely not perfect - the sections on BL and the lolicon boom are especially weak, but still! There’s no way I’m beating that.

Gif source: @kazetokinouta-a

Mogs, meanwhile assembled a perfectly pitched playlist of animation dealing with the theme of sexuality, from classic oldschool BL like Kaze to Ki no Uta to charming little comedies like Oruchuban Ebichu, and a scattering of actual h-anime like Weather Report Girl. For my part, I led with the genuinely classic film Kanashimi no Belladonna (Belladonna of Sadness).

So somehow - somehow! - we managed to make the idea of getting together with your online friends to watch a bunch of anime about sex just… plain fun and uplifting, to the point that @footsteps-on-the-dance-floor will tell me years later how much she enjoyed it. Not to mention, we got a pretty good cross-section of the different dimensions of sexuality in animation as well!

I didn’t even get banned on Twitch.

This week, the counter has drawn the sex number. So can we do it again? Well, my friends, we’re gonna try~ Tonight, @mogsk and canmom present: the long-awaited sequel to sex. Sex, 2.

This time we’re narrowing our focus a bit. One of the distinctive elements of eromanga, by the analysis of Kimi Rito in The History of Hentai Manga, is how particular images get encoded as signs that can be reused by other mangaka, and these signs can become the seed for particular subgenres. So, our selection tonight is in part designed to give a brief cross-section of some of these visual tropes.

So let me introduce you to our program. CWs: sex, obviously; also a couple of these films (Cleopatra, Parade Parade) cw for rape. Here’s the programme, read on for brief descriptions of each item and a lil cultural context~!

[n.b. a lot of these are TV series - we will only really be getting a 1-2 episode sample of each one, for runtime’s sake.]

Cleopatra (クレオパトラ), 1970

Gif source: @motoko-memories

Last time we led with certified classic, genuinely moving and good as hell film Belladonna of Sadness. This was part of a last gambit by the struggling Mushi Productions, the studio of Osamu Tezuka, credited with inventing TV anime back in the day with Astro Boy. Long before there would be such a thing as an h-anime subculture, Tezuka experimented with creating erotic animated films based on history and mythology.

Belladonna is the best remembered of the three, and with good reason. Tezuka was largely not involved by this point. The others, though… are some plain fucking weird movies, I’ll tell you that much. So tonight we’ll be watching Cleopatra (1970). I may have shown you the trailer before - this is the Caesar trampoline movie. That is only the beginning.

Gif source: @motoko-memories

I recently finished reading Osamu Tezuka’s manga Ayako, written in 1972-1973 - not long after this movie, actually, during Tezuka’s gekiga phase. I’m sure it’s common knowledge by now, but Tezuka was one horny old guy! Ayako has all manner of skulduggery: incest, murder, gangster stuff, more murder, etc., but the core story is about a girl who is imprisoned in an underground cell for 20-some years by the machinations of her family. As she grows up, she ends up in an incestuous relationship with her protective brother - and once she finally escapes, she is highly agoraphobic but also throws herself at nearly every man she meets.

It’s very much a story of the sins of the past echoing down into the future, shot though with post-war history and gangster movies, but its central fixation is the figure of Ayako herself: the soft cloistered object of obsession and attraction. Whether they want to protect Ayako, seek absolution from her, fuck her, or exploit her.

But it’s also in places a really wacky manga, with a lot of very comical contrivances or hyper-cartoonish panels with extreme squash and stretch. It’s a completely different way of displaying action.

I think this gives me a sense of the sort of wavelength Tezuka was on when he draws a scene where Cleopatra is tied down by stakes and a bunch of guys line up to rape her while she shouts at them defiantly. It’s all very theatrical, a huge contrast to the much more internally oriented Belladonna. Just a plain strange movie, but it’s one I’ve been fascinated to watch for ages.

Whatever we make of Cleopatra, we’ll jump into the program that Mogs drew up! Once again she’s come through magnificently.

My Sexual Harassment (僕のセクシャルハラスメント), 1995-6


Our next act is some old school yaoi! One day I’ll get to do that big effortpost on the history of BL, but not this day. In any case, Boku no Sexual Harassment is an OVA from the mid 90s about a young man called Junya Mochizuki trying to fuck his way up the company ranks for the sake of himself and his partner Kazunori Honma. In particular, he has an affair with his boss, Mr. Honma, running across the whole OVA.

This is perhaps best known for an infamous scene involving corn. It’s here as a window into this period of BL - not quite as high-mindedly aesthetic as its 80s predecessors, and with its erotic focus being on like… 90s salarymen, which is quite a specific thing!

Interspecies Reviewers (異種族レビュアーズ), 2020

Gif source: @dekkenminus

Next, a series which has the dubious distinction of proving too steamy for Crunchyroll. Interspecies Reviewers enters the general milieu of modern videogame-inflected fantasy anime, a comedy dancing along the line of whether it’s too overtly porn to air on TV. The story tells of a group of fantasy characters who are the clients of monstergirl sex workers, hoping to encounter as many different species as possible. This is a frame device for a series of episodes focused around what it would be like to have sex with various kinds of monstergirl.

This is an example of a recent trend in TV anime, namely very overtly sexual cable TV anime such as High School DxD, which have in a way come to fill the gap left by OVAs. This is a niche that also includes the likes of Goblin Slayer and Redo of Healer. In contrast to those series’ “big grimdark plot with a side of rape” approach, Reviewers is light-hearted fantasy sex comedy mixed with (if you live in China) a certain amount of actual porn, which fansubbers have kindly spliced back in to the censored release for us.

Agent Aika (AIKa), 1997-9

Gif source: @alieangelic

The panty shot is one of the more popular visual tropes in eromanga, to the point that Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga dedicates a whole two page spread to the history of the trope. (Surprisingly, I can’t find any more substantial account in Kimi Rito’s History of Hentai Manga).

Even a monkey can draw panties

You’ll see it often enough in anime, overtly or subtly, and certainly in the early works of Katsuhiko Nishijima, who debuted in 1986 with Project A-ko, a classic Kanada-inflected OVA that still bears signs of its hentai roots. But there is nothing that takes the panty shot to the same extreme as Agent Aika (1997). The degree to which the camera in this action anime contrives to show panties at a machinegun rate… it crosses over into a level where it feels less like outright fetish material and more like experimental art.

This is a series that is only coherent through the erotic focus. And yet, it’s not generally categorised as porn. Nobody actually fucks. Lines are very arbitrary…

Comical Psychosomatic Medicine (アニメで分かる心療内科), 2015

Gif source: @kureijiotaku

This ONA adapts a gag manga series themed around the idea of an education series on fetishes, paraphilias, and so on - not so different in concept from Peepoodoo and the Super Fuck Friends, from the sound of it! The ONA is produced by Shin-Ei Animation, a venerable studio known for beloved characters like Doraemon; it’s a bunch of five minute bite-sized chunks which I plan to sprinkle in between the other stuff we watch as a palate cleanser.

Parade Parade (パレードパレード), 1996


Having warmed you up sufficiently, this is the point in the evening where we pull out the futa porn.

Parade Parade is an OVA by the studio Pink Pineapple, one of the giants of the 90s erotic OVA scene - I wrote about them a bit last time. It’s a relatively “tasteful” example of the futanari (二形) trope, literally 'two forms’, referring to basically a character with a mostly cis woman-typical body except for a penis (generally in addition to a vulva), which she will typically use in penetrative sex. This is typically represented as either the result of magic, an intersex condition, or just a fantasy world where it’s not unusual.

Depending on your subcultural corner, this might be further distinguished from other niche variants of dickgirl (e.g. a futa must have both sets of genitals).

In anime and manga, the futa trope apparently traces back to the introduction of American trans porn magazines to Japan, inspiring mangaka such as Kitamimaki Kei to start drawing futanari characters. Futanari manga first spread through dōjinshi in the 80s, and became popular in eromanga in the 90s, before circling back to the West. So actually yeah I guess this one is on us trans girls! I always assumed it was like, an independent invention. The more you know…

Here we have succesful idol Kaori, who’s secretly intersex - and only her girlfriend Yuko knows. She’s very careful to let nobody know, for the sake of her career, but a rival lesbian idol is about to find out…

Golden Boy (1995-6)

Now here is a true classic.

Golden Boy is a comedy series about a wanderer named Kintaro, who dropped out of uni to travel around Japan getting into sexual escapades. Each episode, he runs into someone and hopefully falls for them while coming across as an idiot pervert, but gradually reveals that he’s actually a decent and resourceful guy - and yet, having found love, there will always be a reason he must move on. A setup to hang all sorts of plots, carried by some honestly unreasonably impressive animation from the realist school, most notably Mitsuo Iso. It’s just… very very well done.

The above clip did the rounds on here a while ago (I think maybe the dubbed version), and we will indeed be watching episode 4 to put that in context.

Queen’s Blade (2009)

Gif source: @xxxtylerworld

So this is a studio ARMS OVA - the guys who did stuff like Mezzo Forte with Yasuomi Umetsu - a fantasy story about a warrior tournament. But for our purposes it’s standing in for the 巨乳 kyonyuu subgenre - meaning 'huge boobs’. So if you wanna do the meme in Japanese, that’s the word you need.

This has a rather specific history in eromanga, recounted by Kimi Rito in The History of Hentai Manga. Per Rito, the popularity of the term dates back specifically to 1989, where it was used to promote porn star Kimiko Matsuzaka, as well as Western gravure porn magazines. Gradually displacing other terms like ’D-cup’, the onomatopoeic ボイン (boin) and portmanteau デカパイ (dekapai), kyonyuu soon became cemented as the term for a type of character design. It grew in popularity in the space opened up by the bishōjo genre established by the lolicon boom.

So under the pen of mangaka like Kei Keitamimaki (him again!), designs with massively exaggerated boobs became very popular, defining a subgenre of their own. Artists would sometimes express anxiety over whether they would be 'allowed’ to draw such extreme designs, but it became widespread in seinen magazines. Gradually, these genre boundaries dissolved and boob size started to become a symbol of characterisation.

Queen’s Blade is a fairly longrunning series but as far as I understand, it’s broadly a silly ecchi anime about women with very large boobs fighting to become queen. It’s not the most comical example of this trope necessarily (nothing can really beat High School of the Dead’s supersonic bullet dodging tits) but it’s pretty up there.

Colorful, 1999

Gif source: @roseillith

Colorful is a comedy series of brief (~7 minute) skits about boys trying to see panties and suffering many consequences. As a late 90s anime it’s got some interesting stylstic Y2K stuff - look at that rotoscope clip! - as well as strong animation from people like Norio Matsumoto of Naruto fame.


Mogs’s encylopedic knowledge of weird obscure horny anime once again coming to the rescue: I’m fascinated to see where this night will take us. And whether I’ll still have a Twitch account tomorrow.

I realise this is a much later start than we’d like with such a big programme, but I hope you will come join me for some weirdly educational sexy animation! Dip in and out or stay for the whole programme, the choice is yours - see you at twitch.tv/canmom, going live now, programme starts in about 30 minutes at 22:30 UK time!

Animation Night 169 is gonna be a little postponed - we’ll be going at 7pm UK time on Tuesday (29 August) at twitch.tv/canmom! Hope to see you there! I will try to write a little more interesting info as we lead up to that~


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