Hayao Miyazaki: The Genius Behind Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki: The Genius Behind Studio Ghibli

Hayao Miyazaki is one of the greatest animated film directors ever. His imaginative story building, fascinating characters, and amazing animation in his movies have earned him international recognition from both critics and general audiences around the globe. Even the Walt Disney Company recognized his talent and offered him to work with them so that they could introduce his films to the rest of the world.

He was born in Tokyo in 1941 and began his career in 1963 as an amateur animator at the studio Toei Douga. Even from his early beginnings, people who worked with him admired his incredible drawing ability and an infinite stream of ideas and innovation.

Early Life

This grandmaster was born in Tokyo in 1941 on January 5. He graduated from Gakushuin University in 1963. He was one of the four sons of Katsuji Miyazaki, who was the owner of the family business Miyazaki Airplanes, which made parts for airplanes during World War II. Later in his life, Hayao said he felt guilty that his family profited during the World War because they aided Japan’s war efforts.

He and his family would move to Utsunomiya City. That’s where they stayed from 1944 to 1946. The time he spent living in the forest would inspire him to make a magnificent piece, My Neighbor Totoro. Sometime later, his mother fell sick from spinal tuberculosis and stayed in the hospital for three years. This event would later foreshadow the family situation portrayed in My Neighbor Totoro.

His Start in Animation

Miyazaki became intrigued by animation in 1958 after watching Japan’s first full-length color anime that was produced by Toei Animation. At first, he wasn’t really interested in making animations but rather in making comic books, also known as mangaka. In 1963, he graduated from Gakushuin University. He majored in economics and political science, but as we all know, he was much more interested in the arts.

Later on, in 1963, he joined Toei Animation as an animator. There, he learned the very basics of animation and began his artistic journey. He started as a laborer, filling in the cell by cell movements of characters and objects. He found this work enjoyable, and this was a place where he learned to draw characters accurately. He impressed his coworkers with his talent and soon became the leader of the animations union. In 1968, the first movie to which he contributed greatly was released, Prince of the Sun.

Breakthrough Films 

The first animated film that Miyazaki directed was The Castle of Cagliostro, a Lupin III film. After that, a manga that helped Miyazaki get critically acclaimed was Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. After its success, the founder of Tokuma Shoten, Yasuyoshi Tokuma, persuaded Miyazaki to work on the animation of his work. While Miyazaki firstly refused to do it, Yasuyoshi managed to convince him to animate it under the condition that Miyazaki gets to direct the film.

Miyazaki got his idea for the story’s world from the events that happened at Minamata Bay. The mercury poisoning and how nature always manages to fight back and flourish afterward inspired Miyazaki to make the film’s highly polluted world. Miyazaki and his close friend and ex-colleague Takahata decided to go with the small studio Topcraft to animate their film. They felt that the studio’s artistic talent would best translate the elegant and intricate atmosphere of the manga into a film.

His film was released on March 11, 1984, and it earned more than 1.40 billion yen at the box office, which is around 10 million USD. People often see this movie to be Miyazaki’s most crucial work as it sealed his future as an animator. The movie was highly praised for its positive outlook on feminist and anti-war themes.

Studio Ghibli and Critical Acclaim

Studio Ghibli was founded by Miyazaki, Tokuma, Takahata, and Suzuki in June 1985, and Takuma Shoten funded it. The first film they worked on was Laputa: Castle in the Sky, which was done by the crew who also worked on Nausicaä. The movie was released in August 1986. It comes as no surprise that it was the highest-grossing animated film of that year in Japan. 

The next two films, My Neighbor Totoro and Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies, were released together to make sure that the studio has a good financial status. The parallel production was quite hard on the artists as they had to switch between the projects constantly. My Neighbor Totoro wasn’t quite as successful at the box office as they hoped it would be, but it did have some success through merchandising. It also received critical acclaim.

RELATED: ALL THE FILMS OF STUDIO GHIBLI RANKED

Kiki’s Delivery Service and Onward

Another film that Miyazaki ended up directing was Kiki’s Delivery Service. While in the beginning, he wasn’t in charge of the production because of his work on My Neighbor Totoro, later on, he assumed the role of director. The film premiered in 1989, and it was yet another of his films that became the highest-grossing film of the year in Japan. 

In 1994, Miyazaki began his work on Princess Mononoke. At the time, this film was the most expensive ever made by Studio Ghibli with a budget of 2.35 billion yen. This film was the first of his works to use computer animation. When it premiered in 1997, it was critically acclaimed and became the first animated film to win the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year.

In 2000, he began the production of Spirited Away. In this film, he also experimented with computer animation just a little so that it “doesn’t steal the show,” rather just to enhance the story. When the film was released in 2001, it received critical acclaim, and it also won the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year. Later in 2002, it won the Golden Bear, and later, in 2003, the film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Where He Is Now

Miyazaki has tried to retire a couple of times, but in the end, he has just kept coming back. His love for animation is too strong to keep him away from working on a new project for long. In 2013, he announced that he would retire due to his old age but that he wished to go on working on the Studio Ghibli Museum displays.

In later years, it was rumored that he was working on a new feature film that was based on CGI, called Boro the Caterpillar. In 2017, Miyazaki announced that he was indeed working on this movie, and for a special reason — he said he wanted to leave a dedicated feature to his grandson. It was his way of saying, “Grandpa will move on to the next world, but he’s leaving you this film.” This has to be the most adorable and innocent reason to come out of retirement. 

Studio Ghibli has later confirmed that Miyazaki was working on another film, How Do You Live?, which will come out sometime in 2021.

The Birth and History of Hentai

The Birth and History of Hentai

It’s not common to meet someone who’s familiar with Japanese anime porn. And although it seems weird to know about such stuff, it is one of the most popular genres of videos on tube-like adult sites. Hence, if you’re one of those people who don’t know what hentai is, we’re willing to explain everything in no time. Read the rest of our article and get to know your porn.

What Hentai Really Is

Although many people mistake it for anime, this pornographic genre is much more than cartoon porn. And you can’t blame them for this since it’s not easy to make a clear distinction of what hentai is. Namely, in the Japanese language, it means “an abnormal activity.” That said, you can also use it as a euphemism for sex that’s creepy or perverse.

However, in Japan, they don’t use it to describe your run-of-the-mill porn. Such content is more likely to be labeled as 18-prohibited or AV (adult video). The reason is, hentai is much more graphic and sexually extreme than anything else. It delves into rape, fantasy, and squid-like creatures having intercourse with schoolgirls.

But outside of Japan, ordinary people use the word hentai to describe anything that’s of anime or manga style. They don’t mind if the content they’re watching isn’t bizarre and extreme. The notion is that any Japanese-related pornography is either hentai manga or anime, depending on its format. But, hey, that’s why we’re here to make things a bit more clear.

This porn genre can come in many forms. From animation to comic-like books and drawings, hentai is omnipresent. And ever since the ’90s and the rise of video games, you can find titles full of pervy stuff like naive schoolgirls, aliens with tentacles, and other various hentai tropes. But let’s go back in time and see its evolution through different decades and eras, shall we?

Hentai Etymology

One of the most interesting parts of this story is how the meaning evolved since its inception in the early 20th century. It’s a true transformation, no doubt about it. That is to say, by the beginning of the 1900s, Japanese doctors and psychologists would use it to describe various disorders like hysteria. They would also have a place for hentai when describing abnormal abilities like psychic communication and second sight.

Nevertheless, its sexual meaning came from something else completely. The thing is, Japanese doctors would translate various German psychology books that would deal with sexual perversions. And to bring the subject closer to the Japanese language, translators would use the term hentai for abnormal sexual desires. Furthermore, uncensored hentai would find its place in various Japanese erotic art publications like magazines.

Erotic Manga as the First Form of Hentai

During the 1920s, this kind of content had its first big boom. Since literacy levels were going up, there was a void for all sorts of cheap entertainment, and one of them was hentai with its perverse content and girls with big tits. Before that, in the 17th-century Edo period, the Japanese people would find pleasure in woodblock prints we know as shunga.

Interestingly enough, the rising popularity of hentai made sexual perversion somewhat normal for its time. It wasn’t necessarily something bad or taboo like today, and ordinary people would discuss it since they were the target audience. Unfortunately, by the late 1930s, the country was getting ready for WWII, and such material lost its mainstream popularity. Of course, this didn’t last long.

The main form of hentai in the post-war decades was manga — Japanese comic books. But as animation grew in popularity, kinky sexual activities would find their way in cartoons. However, it was pretty underground, a somewhat subculture thing. And just like in the West, the sexual revolution of the ’60s would bring its ideas into hentai — male and female homosexuality.

Most Viewed by Men Around the World

Since every year one of the most popular porn sites in the world, Pornhub, reveals all sorts of interesting statistics, we were wondering what demographic enjoys watching hentai videos the most. And we weren’t surprised. Men are the main audience for such content. But why is that?

Well, we can think of a couple of reasons. Firstly, lots of men in the West love watching Japanese anime films. From the artistic style to sexy characters, it’s all set up perfectly for them to look for pornographic content that resembles their favorite titles.

On the other hand, anime hentai videos are pretty male-centric. How come? Well, most of the time, girls are submissive. They don’t serve any other purpose than to be objects for males to masturbate to. Either while gang-raped by thugs or while having non-consensual sex with a squid-like monster — they’re young, naive, and helpless.

What You Don’t Know About Hentai

Like classic porn, hentai can come in various genres. From homosexual to straight, you can see all sorts of acts and fantasies. They mostly revolve around fetishes and paraphilias but can also depict vanilla sex. Nevertheless, let’s point out some of the most interesting ones, shall we?

  • Lolicon is a subgenre of hentai that revolves around pedophilia. It shows underage girls having sex with older people. The Lolita term derives from Vladimir Nabokov’s eponymous novel from 1955.
  • On the other hand, we’ve got shotacon. It’s opposite to Lolicon, and it shows older people with young boys. The term comes from the Japanese slang for liking prepubescent males.
  • Bakunyu is a genre that revolves around girls with enormous breasts. The name itself means breast exploitation. The name itself means “breast exploitation.” It’s one of the most popular types of hentai, and it’s easy to understand why.
  • Tentacles hentai is pretty well-known because of its extreme content. It revolves around girls being raped by squid-like creatures in the most obscure ways possible. Pretty weird, isn’t it?
  • Futanari is a bit of a tricky one to describe. Why? Well, it’s a form of hentai that shows women with penile-like genitalia. They don’t have actual penises or vaginas, but somewhat of large clitorises.

Of course, this isn’t all. Hentai games and videos depict all sorts of niche fetishes. From bukkake to incest, you can see it all. Still, we think the former subgenres are the most interesting. At least for now. And if you’re looking for something to shock you, Japanese sex culture is pretty rich in history and detail. Do check it out.

Expert Tips for Traveling With Your Pocket Pussy

Expert Tips for Traveling With Your Pocket Pussy

If you were planning on taking a trip, you might have wondered whether you should carry your pocket pussy with you. That can be a good idea, regardless if you are traveling alone or with your partner. Pocket pussies can be an exciting addition to your sex life. As long as you use them properly and with all the necessary precautions, that is

Why Pocket Pussies Are the Best When Travelling

The first and most obvious reason why traveling with a pocket pussy is a great idea is the toy size. As the name suggests, pocket pussies are quite compact, and you can easily carry them wherever you go. 

If you are just planning to get one of these sex toys, you should try to find one that’s travel-friendly. As you can probably expect, pocket pussies come in various sizes. Models like Tenga create toys that look like an egg and have a similar size. That means that you can put them in your pocket during your travels. 

Even if you get some of the bigger models, like a Fleshlight, you can still carry them discreetly. Besides, having a toy like this can spice up your sex life. There are no reasons you shouldn’t experiment with pocket pussies even when you are with your partner. While most people use them as a masturbating aid, solo sessions are not the only way to incorporate these toys in your sex life. 

But even if you are traveling alone, you can still have fun when you go to your room, just like ladies do with bullet or rabbit vibrators.

How to Pack Your Pocket Pussy

Assuming that you didn’t buy one of the enormous toys, packing won’t be a problem. There are, however, several things that you’ll still need to remember. 

Regardless of the size, type, or design of the toy, finding a discreet packaging might be a good idea. That way, you’ll be able to avoid drawing curiosity or having to answer questions. Furthermore, keeping the toy safe, clean, and secure should always be your number one priority. While some toys come in a generic package, others might need some DIY work. That might be especially important if you are traveling abroad since security officials might want to know more about your traveling habits. 

Moreover, you should avoid placing the toy in your carry-on baggage. If one of the officials notices what you’re carrying, they might assume that you plan on using it on the plane, and it is not something you need. The best idea would be to keep it in the checked baggage. 

Another important thing to remember is to pack some lube as well. Some toys, like Tenga eggs, come with lube, but for others, you will need to get it separately. The type of lubricant you’ll get depends on the material of the toy. A silicone-based lubricant is great unless your toy is also made of silicone. In that case, you should opt for water-based lubricants instead. 

Do not sacrifice quality for portability. Traveling is a great way to relax but that does not mean you have to deprive yourself some great alone time with some premium pocket pussy. Now is a good time to score rare finds at lovegasm website that are perfect for all your travels.

Safety Precautions and Reminders About Sharing a Pocket Pussy With Others

Regardless of the toy you have, the most important thing is hygiene. Ideally, you will clean your toy before and after each use. That way, you will ensure that there are no risks to your health. Some toys, like Tenga eggs, are designed for single-use, and that’s their main quality. You won’t need to worry about cleaning them, and all you have to do is throw them away when you come. 

But other toys are meant for multiple uses, and you will need to clean them properly. Moreover, sharing is something you should always avoid. While it might sound selfish, sharing sex toys can be dangerous and significantly increase the chances of infections or STDs. There is not a single reason to lend someone your pocket pussy or any other sex toy. 

However, assuming that this is the only option, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure that both you and your friend remain safe. Firstly, only borrow the toy to someone you trust and who is healthy. Secondly, be sure to clean the toy thoroughly after you get it back. Ideally, you should sterilize it somehow, if that’s an option. Many people forget to clean it properly or enough, so be sure to inform yourself how to do it.  

Finally, be sure to read the instruction manual. Most toys come with an instruction guide, and there is a reason for it. 

Summary

Carrying a pocket pussy during your vacation can be fun, and it is something you should definitely do. These toys are designed to help you masturbate, and they can be a great toy for couples as well. Of course, it would be best if you found a smaller toy since it would be easier to carry with you. 

The first thing you should remember besides packaging is to keep it in your checked baggage. Avoid putting it in your carry-on bag, since it might look suspicious, and airport personnel won’t like the idea. 

Moreover, be sure to pack lubricants. Many users forget about it, and using an appropriate lube can significantly increase the pleasure. Finally, be sure to clean the toy before and after each use properly. The type of product you will use mostly depends on the material, and you can usually find out which one is suitable for your toy if you read the instructions. 

Things You Need to Know Before You Move to Japan

Things You Need to Know Before You Move to Japan

It’s no secret that Japan is home to some of the most beautiful nature and cities in the world. Many foreigners view it as the ideal country to move to. One of the reasons could be its rich culture that is often seen as unusual from a Westerner’s perspective.

However, moving to Japan is not so as simple as hopping on the next plane to Tokyo. You’ll need to read up on some of the good and bad things to know before moving to Japan. That includes unwritten rules, protocols, and even legal matters. So here’s our rundown of the essential things you need to know before you move to Japan!

The Right Kind of Visa

Like everywhere else, you won’t be able to find work in Japan if you don’t acquire the correct visa. Businesses are incredibly strict. In fact, there’s no chance that they’ll let someone slip by and work without a visa.

If you want to get employed in Japan as a foreigner, first consider if your work will be full-time or temporary. Then, you should get the correct type of visa. If you try to work a temporary job with a permanent visa and vice versa, you won’t be able to get employed.

As you know, Japan is incredibly formal. Everything has to be done according to protocol and the law. Even if you want to find informal work such as waitressing, you’ll need the right documents. If you fail to get them, you could actually face many risks. That includes heavy fines and detention. It’s also possible to get arrested if you work illegally.

Thus, the best thing to do would be to consult with the Japanese embassy in your area. Then, get your paperwork in order and file for a visa application. Plus, note that it’s necessary to get a residence card and bring it with you at all times. So take care of the legal issues first. However, don’t forget to figure out your health insurance and bank accounts too.

Housing May Be a Problem for Foreigners

One of the most important things you need to know before moving to Japan is that housing is quite different. Not everyone will be comfortable with it, especially foreigners who are used to living in large apartments.

It is also advisable to contact real estate agents before you start living in Japan. Then, you can arrange the accommodations in advance. However, you won’t be able to find multiple listings and a lot of choices online. Most people find housing through agents in Japan. Still, if you’re lucky, you could locate some Western-style apartments that are more suited for foreigners. 

However, if you get a Japanese-style apartment, expect to have less space for sleeping, living, and storage. Even a furnished apartment will have few utensils, a tiny refrigerator and cooking stove, and a small futon bed.

In fact, housing is so much smaller in Japan compared to the U.S. that the typical apartment has a surface area of 100 to 150 square feet. Also, many apartments do not offer central heating. Most will have some kind of air conditioner or an electric heater. Another tip is to avoid older apartments and buildings. They could have bathrooms with squatters and offer even less space. Most importantly, expect to encounter problems with the internet. The country has poor connectivity, and most homes will only provide it through Ethernet connections.

Be Ready for Natural Disasters

While Japan is among the safest countries on the planet regarding crime, it faces other dangers. The biggest threat comes from natural disasters and especially earthquakes with landslides and floods.

See some other countries listed as safest to visit to in this Forbes article.

Every year, the country suffers over 5,000 earthquakes across its entire archipelago. Most of them are minor, with magnitudes ranging from 3.0 to 3.9. Those quakes chiefly go unnoticed, but others are much more powerful. It’s even possible to feel them on a daily basis. The county sees more than 150 earthquakes that have a 5 or larger magnitude each year. The reason for this is Japan’s geographical placement on the infamous Ring of Fire in the Pacific. 

Actually, nearly 90% of all earthquakes on the planet occur in this area. Additionally, some reports show that approximately 70 cities could face tsunami risks in the next three decades.

As mentioned, most of Japan’s earthquakes are not incredibly dangerous. However, because there are so many, the country has become experienced in dealing with them.

For example, most new buildings can withstand earthquakes. Additionally, Japan has developed warning systems and evacuation procedures. In some towns, you could hear warnings over loudspeakers. However, if you use a Japanese phone number, you will always receive official earthquake notifications in case of an emergency.

Adapting to Their Customs

Perhaps the biggest challenge for foreigners will be to adapt to the Japanese language, culture, and customs. This could be a big issue for those who come from cultures that are quite open and direct in terms of communication and authority. Japanese customs are incredibly complex. They feature unwritten rules, and most of them are entirely different from those in Western cultures.

RELATED: How Hard Is It To Really Learn Japanese Language?

For instance, you’ll need to learn the proper walking, eating, and conversational etiquette. Those customs are unwritten, and it will take a while to master them, especially if you don’t have any Japanese friends to help you. Luckily, the locals will not be too strict regarding those rules if they notice that you are a foreigner. 

However, you’ll also need to follow strict written rules that you’ll see in public places. They’ll include pictures and warnings for what you are not allowed to do in public baths, convenience stores, trains, etc. To add to the confusion, many rules will not be clearly written for foreigners. This is only the beginning. After that, you’ll have to understand social behaviors, hierarchy, authority, the proper ways of being polite, and so much more.

Thus, you should expect your first experience in Japan to be quite overwhelming. The best tip is to start early on and learn some customs online. For example, research the practice of bowing and understand the difference between sitting and standing bows. Then, get familiar with gestures that Japanese people use to excuse themselves, say thanks, and catch someone’s attention. It’s also useful to brush up on eating etiquette, riding trains, and the proper way to talk to someone via phone.

Summary

If you were planning to move to Japan and you read our article, your adventure has already begun. It will take some time until you get used to the customs, rules, and Japanese culture. In the end, you’ll get some incredibly unique experiences that will completely change your life. So have fun preparing for your move and good luck!

Why Is Japanese Culture So Unique and Interesting?

Why Is Japanese Culture So Unique and Interesting?

Have you ever wondered why Japan’s so popular with foreigners? It could be their incredible food, or maybe their well-mannered folk. What about their top-notch technology? We’ll cover it all!

All of those things contribute to this country’s popularity and exciting culture. There’s so much more to Japan than what we know today, though. Most of us have only heard of anime. However, that’s a fantastic way to get to know Japanese culture too.

The best thing you can do is give Japan a chance in any way you want. Try their food, learn their history, watch anime, etc. You’ll find out that there’s so much more than meets the eye.

The Culture Is Rich

Japanese culture is probably one of the richest cultures out there. Of course, everyone considers their culture exciting and appealing, but we’re not only talking about Japanese popular culture.

The Japanese have a long history and tradition, which came with the Yayoi people a very long time ago, somewhere between 1,000 BCE and 300 CE. Japan is also an archipelago of islands, which allows them a bit of privacy. Speaking of which, they had a period of complete isolation from the rest of the world. Nobody came in; nobody went out. That let them nurture their culture with great care.

Interestingly, the Japanese don’t follow a single religion. Most of them are a part of Shinto, a polytheistic religion based on the belief in spirits (kami) that reside in everything around us. Most of the people will say they’re not religious, but participating in traditions remains important.

Not only that, but Japan was never a colony. While other cultures might have had some influence on Japan, it was never enough to change anything. So, welcome to the wondrous world of glorious Japanese culture, food, and people. Let yourself get swallowed up by all that the Land of the Rising Sun has to offer.

The Food Is Like Art

If you’ve ever seen what food looks like in Japanese cartoons, we assure you that it looks the same in real life too. The Japanese put a lot of time and effort into their cuisine. That results is that all of their dishes end up looking like small pieces of art on your plate.

The first thing you think about when it comes to Japanese food is probably sushi and sashimi. However, there’s so much more than just that, and it comes as no surprise that Japan has a vibrant food culture as well.

Many people can’t get behind it because they think it’s all just raw fish. We’re here to tell you that you cannot be more wrong, and that’s a good thing! Give it a chance and try different things like miso soup. If you have a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with daifuku.

People Are Polite

Being polite and well-mannered is an essential part of who Japanese people are. They learn proper etiquette from a young age, ensuring they grow up to be kind and courteous.

These people pride themselves on excellent customer service as well. That means you don’t even have to thank them for it because they consider it their job. People are kind because everyone knows their place in society. There are rules and protocols set in place, which might sound a bit limiting, but it isn’t. The order allows for everything to run smoothly.

One of the very important things in Japan is a rule that says you should never bother others without a good reason. So, coming up to a stranger to start a conversation or ask to pet their dog at the park probably isn’t the best idea. That also means nobody will bother you either.

Their Technology Is Top-notch

When it comes to technology, we can always hear about Japan coming up with something new. In fact, Japan is considered to be the most technologically advanced nation in the world.

A lot of the things we use all the time now came from Japan. We don’t even pay attention to many of those things because they became an essential part of our lives. One of those is a phone camera. And even now, Japan is consistently working on new tech to make our lives so much easier than before.

We bet you didn’t know how many of the famous tech companies originate in Japan. They include Sony, Nintendo, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Toyota, or Honda. Those are just to name the few. Even though they were in shambles after WWII, Japan managed to come on top with their cutting edge technology, and we’re waiting to see what they come up with next.

Anime Is Unique

One of the significant parts of popular Japanese culture is anime. Anime is a style of Japanese animation that encompasses both movies and TV shows. Many people think of them as kids shows, that’s why adults who watch them are sometimes judged. However, anime is available to all who want to view it.

This type of animation style is very high-quality and unique. It comes with very detailed characters and worlds, as well as highly entertaining plots. We cannot place anime in the fantasy genre because that’s not always the case. Many of the narratives include stories about regular people and their daily lives, turning anime into the slice of life genre of TV shows. That might sound a bit dull, but trust us — it’s just as entertaining as the fantasy stuff.

The anime industry extends to adult movies as well, if you know what we mean. So there’s definitely something for everyone.

Conclusion

There are numerous reasons why Japanese culture is so diverse and exciting. They have a long history of both trade and isolated island life, which begs you to explore the country. So, why not get to know it better? And we mean more than just learning who the ruler at a particular time was. You can learn why the Japanese people are the way they are and where their customs come from.

If you want to get immersed in the culture as soon as possible, the incredible Japanese cuisine is always available nearby, so give it a try. You won’t regret it.

Why Are Japanese Cartoons So Popular Around the World?

Why Are Japanese Cartoons So Popular Around the World?

Japanese cartoons weren’t so famous once they first started showing up on streaming services. Thankfully, that’s not the case today. You can find these fun shows anywhere you look, and there are many valid reasons for that.

The industry they come out of is vast, and it deals with both regular cartoons and full-on porn. Sometimes they even cross each other’s boundaries and merge, only if you know where to look.

They offer high-quality animation of both the world and characters you can connect to on an emotional level. Don’t believe us? See for yourself and let the studios from the Land of the Rising Sun take you on an unforgettable adventure.

High-Quality Animation

First of all, there are different kinds of high-quality animation. So, it all depends on what it means to you. That can mean the level of detail in cartoons in general, or how everything flows together. In layman’s terms, it’s how pretty the TV series you’re watching is.

We’re not talking about the characters only — the world around them needs to look the part too. There are different kinds of cartoons out there, and some of them can be super flashy. When they are, everything has to move correctly and seamlessly. There’s little room for mistakes.

That said, anime can offer the highest quality of animation you’re able to see most of the time. Some shows look better than the video games we all know and love. That’s one of the main things that draw people to this kind of Japanese animation.

The Industry Is Huge

The popularity of Japanese cartoons warrants the fact that this industry is massive. It involves numerous different studios that dish out their own stories but also work together.

However, we’re not only talking about anime like “Dragon Ball,” “Naruto,” “Sailor Moon,” or “Boku No Hero Academia.” This industry produces all sorts of animation, and that includes anime porn as well. Most of them are censored and cannot be found on your regular TV. Still, they are a part of this industry too.

Not only that, but these two things intertwine quite often. How so? Well, you can often find your favorite characters in anime-inspired hentai parodies or spin-offs, for example. These types of porn are quite famous and on the rise whenever a new anime gains popularity.

However you look at it, the Japanese cartoon industry is quite big, and it should be because it provides us all with high-quality entertainment.

Interesting Plots

These kinds of cartoons have the most exciting plots we’ve ever seen. The Japanese culture itself heavily influences the majority of them. That comes as no surprise because the culture is rich and has a lot to offer.

When it comes to different types of plots, they aren’t only set in the fantasy world. Sure, many of them include things that cannot possibly happen in real life. However, many anime series can be quite realistic and revolve around sports, cooking, regular people’s lives, school days, etc.

If any of those sound boring to you, we urge you to give them a try. Not even the most boring-looking ones are dull, and they will leave you wanting more. That’s what draws people in, and they never look back. Trust us when we say that you’ll become one of those people too really fast if you give an episode or two a chance.

They Are Creative and Fun to Watch

If you’ve never seen an anime, we suggest you start by simply watching a trailer or two. It doesn’t matter what the particular cartoon is about, just take a look at what they look like. You will notice that, besides having high-quality animation, anime is incredibly fun to watch.

The creativity of their makers shines not only through the plot. Sure, it can be quite complicated or light-hearted, but take a look at what the world the authors have created looks like. The colors are vivid, and everything is beautiful and bright unless there’s a war going on.

The character designs are quite incredible too. They can be very detailed, and most of them are very expressive. We believe you can’t see so many different facial expressions anywhere else. That’s what makes anime stand out from the rest — showing all the emotions people experience.

Conclusion

Anime has more than one reason why it’s so popular around the world. It is often incredibly well-made, and it has intricate plots and characters you can connect to on a deeper level. Sadly, people who enjoy these cartoons are usually looked down upon.

Still, we don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t get into them. There are many different kinds of shows, featuring all sorts of different stories that you might like. That means you’re sure to find something that will interest you.

You can also peek at the hentai anime porn available and satisfy your needs too. Whatever you go for, we know you’ll love it.

Other Ways to Use Your Butt Plugs Aside From Anal Prep

Other Ways to Use Your Butt Plugs Aside From Anal Prep

Did you think butt plugs are only meant for anal intercourse? Think again. With a bit of creative thinking, you’ll find that butt plugs can be served with not just the main dish. So dive down and explore all the ways you can utilize this fantastic sex toy.

Are Butt Plugs Meant Only for Anal Prep? 

We’re here to disperse the rumors and myths that surround this very versatile sex toy. One of them being that you should only use them as a part of an anal training kit. Here’s why that’s entirely wrong.

Butt plugs can be used for various types of anal stimulation. Not only that, but you can also do a lot of other things with them. Things that have nothing to do with anal. Think about it: can you use a vibrator for something other than stimulating your vagina? The answer is yes! So the same rules apply here.  

You can learn more about anal stimulation from this article.

Plugs are awesome prostate stimulators for men and provide the experience of double penetration for women. That said, you don’t need a partner to use one. They make for amazing masturbation buddies too. 

What else can you do with them? The truth is — whatever you want. Take your time and explore your options.

The Design of Butt Plugs

We’re sure everyone knows what a butt plug looks like. You’re at least able to create a mental image of it. Regardless, let’s talk about its design.

Butt plugs look a certain way for easier insertion and removal. A good plug design calls for a tapered tip (not pointy!), a good neck-to-bulb ratio, and a flared base. 

A tapered tip is vital so your anus can receive and adjust to the plug gradually. Imagine having to shove a spherical object into your behind. It sounds painful (probably because it would be). The transition from the end of the bulb to the neck shouldn’t be blunt either. After all, you’re going to have to take the plug out at some point. You need that to happen gradually. 

Such design makes plugs extremely versatile, especially if they’re of the vibrating kind. You can stimulate your other erogenous zones or use them for body massage. Why not? They’re not for one thing only. It can be a useful sexy toy during foreplay to prepare you for the main event. 

It’s important to remember to clean your plug thoroughly and never switch between anal and vaginal penetration — no mixing and matching here! 

Butt Plugs as a Body Massage Tool

Do you know how wand vibrators came from actual body massagers? The same applies to butt plugs, except in reverse. 

The tapered design of plugs makes them perfect for massaging specific spots on your body. You can say goodbye to backache with one of these bad boys in hand. Choose the desired type depending on the kind of massage you need.

We suggest the smaller, bulkier kind for precision and better-applied pressure. It will be like massaging yourself with a rock. Just don’t think about it and go with the flow. You’ll soon find different things plugs are good for naturally.  

Tease Other Erogenous Zones

Come on now. This is quite an obvious one. 

Similar to any other sex toy, butt plugs too can be used to stimulate other erogenous zones. They can be slightly textured or vibrate, so those are the types that would be best. You can tease your clit, inner thighs, breasts. Whatever turns you on. 

Isn’t it awesome knowing that one toy can make your entire body feel amazing? Besides preparation for anal, a butt plug can prepare you for other things too. Getting turned on sometimes takes some time, but that time can be lessened by using a handy plug.

Temperature Play

People used to practice temperature play using wax and ice. With the emergence of sex toys that include different materials, now it’s way different. 

Butt plugs can also serve as a good toy for temperature play. Use them to stimulate yourself as you generally would. However, be mindful of choosing the material you’re planning to use. We suggest sticking to metal or stainless steel, as well as glass butt plugs that are available at loveplugs.co

Metal toys can lose their new temperature properties quite fast, but you can reheat/recool them pretty fast too. Glass, on the other hand, doesn’t transfer heat that well, but it’s great at retaining it. That means it will take you a little longer to heat up/cool down your toy, but you’ll have more time to play with it once you have done it.

In case you don’t have a metal or a glass toy, just make sure yours is suitable for warming/cooling. 

BDSM

Anal toys, in general, are trendy within the BDSM community. But how do butt plugs precisely fit in? 

They’re mainly used in dom/sub plays. The dominant one can insert and remove the plug but never let their submissive actually orgasm, for example. That way, they’re establishing their dominance. They can order the sub to wear the plug for a whole day but forbid them from climaxing too.

Plugs can be a part of punishment play as well, where the dom inserts them using little to no lube at all. The point of this type of play is to make the other person feel pain. Otherwise, lube is a must. 

The type of plug you’ll need depends on what you want to achieve. If you want to reward your sub, go for princess plugs. If you want to punish them, opt for a ribbed one, for example. 

Role Play Sex

Oh, there’s so much room for experimenting with butt plugs when it comes to role-playing. 

Firstly, it depends on what kind of role play you’re into. Whatever it may be, a butt plug can be a part of it as a dirty little secret. Or they don’t have to be a secret. Maybe your partner finds it during the play and decides to do something about it (wink-wink).

Another great thing if you’re into some kinky role-playing is tail butt plugs. They look exactly as you would imagine: they have furry tails attached to the base. Tails can be long, short, and represent any animal you can think of. Okay, there isn’t exactly a giraffe’s tail, but you get the point. 

We highly recommend tail plugs if you’re into that. If not, choose whatever feels good for you. Be that a fancy princess plug or the classic, simple model.

Summary

Now you know all the ways butt plugs can be used for besides anal prep. 

If you’re new to all this anal business, you need a butt plug for beginners. But even with the simplest of plugs, you can create a lot of magic. All it takes is some imagination.

Visual Novels: A Cultural Difference Between The East And West

Visual Novels: A Cultural Difference Between The East And West

Visual novels are a largely overlooked genre of games that we actively encourage more people to look into around these parts. While they certainly aren’t for everyone, those looking for an emphasis on character development and story progression often end up finding it in visual novels in a way that most other games don’t quite offer.

While they’ve been published on near every video game console from the N64 to the Xbox 360 in one form or another, visual novels typically tend to be most at home on the PC — an open platform, free of any kind of publishing restrictions. As a result, they’ve been able to explore subject matter like love and sexuality or career and ambition in a way that console games haven’t quite been able to match. Over the years, we’ve also seen several other genres of games incorporate visual novel elements into their own design, the most notable being the Ace Attorney and Persona series in how they emphasize character interaction, development and relationships.

You might be thinking, “But that sounds great! So, what’s the problem?”

Sadly, the problem is that, for all they have to offer, visual novels are largely ignored by the vast majority of the game market, especially in territories like the U.S. and Europe. This is for both cultural and genre-related reasons.

Due to the enormous amount of content out there, it isn’t always easy to separate the good from the bad if you’re looking for a more “pure” visual novel experience on the PC side of things. Erotica is a barrier for many whose knee-jerk reaction is to classify visual novels with sexual content as “porn games,” and one could easily argue that even certain publishers often don’t do a good enough job of promoting why their visual novels are worth playing.

Recently, we talked to John Pickett, head translator of PC visual novel publisher, MangaGamer, to go over just what some of the challenges these games face are, and how they can be overcome. We hope you find it an interesting — or even informative — read.

Lets begin with a quick introduction for people who play games but tend to keep their distance from visual novels. Who are you guys and what do you do?

John, MangaGamer: Well, we at MangaGamer are similar to other companies like Atlus and NISA in that what we primarily do is to localize games from Japan into English, so that those in the western world can experience them as well. What separates us from them is that our focus is on visual novels, a genre of game not as well spread as others here in the west yet. Another difference is that we focus on games developed for the PC and not consoles.

Since our founding in 2008, we’ve offered our games for digital download worldwide through our website, but recently we’ve started offering hard-copies of our games as well through Hendane! in North America, and as soon as we find another distributor, Europe as well.

However, for those who say they haven’t played a visual novel at all before, I have to ask: Are you sure you haven’t? Or do you just think you haven’t because you’re not familiar with the term? A lot of games currently on sale, popular, and so on draw many elements from visual novels, and ones you think might not be considered visual novels are much closer than you think they are. For example, if you took the FPS out of Mass Effect, what would remain? A 3D visual novel. If you’re trying to pursue a relationship in Dragon Age or Fable, then you’re already doing something very similar to what most visual novel players do.

Something we talk about a lot is the relatively limited market for visual novels outside of Japan. It’s a similar situation to what Japanese game developers face in general in the U.S. and Europe. For traditional games, this is an easier issue to deal with because there are so many different genres available to catch people’s attention with. What do you think visual novels need to attract attention?

Well, seeing as our goal is to try and expand and cultivate this western market for visual novels, this is a question we’ve been trying to find an answer to for a while.

I think one of the biggest hurdles visual novels face, and this is also true to some extent for Japanese developers in general, is that we ask, nay demand, that the player actually read. I know, if you’re reading this interview you’re probably thinking “Why is getting people to read considered a hurdle?” but I would instead ask you to think about how many people didn’t bother to read this article once they saw it was more than one paragraph, or how many people just skimmed over this paragraph you’re reading right now.

Visual novels and most Japanese games do not offer the quick, easy, and instant satisfaction of “BOOM! HEADSHOT!” that tends to capture a large portion of the western audience. The sad truth is that this is very much a cultural issue.

I’m sure many here who have taken the time to read this can list plenty of people they know who never bothered to read more than they were required to in school, or even people who can’t read very well. There’s not a whole lot of pressure in America to be able to do so, so it becomes okay to not read. If most people you know aren’t reading, there’s not a whole lot of incentive for one to do so.

In contrast, the opposite is true in Japan. Those who can’t read are under great pressure. Reading is encouraged nearly everywhere. If you get on a train to go to work and want to look at an ad, you don’t see a pretty picture barely related to the product, you see a wall of fancily designed text telling you all about it. In Japan, adults aren’t expected to watch the Daily Show; they’re expected to be current on the latest issue of Nikkei, Japan’s weekly business magazine.

To put this in a more game-related perspective, go back to my previous example of Mass Effect without the FPS. How many in the west do you think would still play Mass Effect if the ability to run around randomly shooting aliens was taken away? Probably very few. In Japan, they might have even gotten more purchases had it never been there. Or look at Catherine: would its sales be worse for a lack of that adventure/puzzle game? I don’t think it would in Japan, but in the west, greatly so.

So I think what the west probably needs most right now to start luring interest into visual novels are those with more of a gaming element to break up the reading. Games like 999, Ace Attorney and so forth are showing there is a demand for these games even if relatively small at present, and introducing people to the idea that you can still have a great game that requires a lot of reading.

As for our end, our upcoming release Koihime Musou has a gaming element, and we currently have two games we hope to bring in the future with one as well. We’d also like to look into more as well, but we don’t want to forget that a gaming element isn’t the part that makes a visual novel great either.

Let’s say there’s someone that’s into visual novel-like games on consoles. Games like Catherine or 999 or the Ace Attorney games. What do you think PC visual novels have to offer them?

Well, first I would have to point out that those playing 999 or Ace Attorney are already playing visual novels. Admittedly, Catherine appears to be adding a rather extensive action/puzzle element to the game, but the sections where the story develops — the conversations with the other characters, the choices you will have to make as Vincent, and the way they then affect the ultimate outcome and progression of the story — all of that is a tried and true visual novel. Likewise, anyone enjoying Disgaea Infinite is already enjoying visual novels, and anyone enjoying the Agarest War series is enjoying a visual novel with an added SRPG element.

What visual novels on the PC have to offer is more of what people who enjoy such games already find enjoyable. If you’ve ever spent hours trying to max out someone’s Social Link in Persona, then congratulations: you’re already entranced with the process of completing a heroine’s route in a visual novel.

For anyone who likes playing a game to experience the rich story, or character interaction, then visual novels are right for you. Visual novels, as the term suggests, are often primarily text with the added touch of on-screen visuals, voices, and other elements found in movies, anime, and games, but not typically of bound novels. If you’ve ever found yourself playing an RPG and wishing you could just get on with the story instead of grinding your way up a few more levels, visual novels are great for you. There are a lot of great stories told through visual novels, and quite frequently they’re even adapted into movies, anime, and more because of how great the experience can be.

However, while the story, character interactions, and text are certainly the most important elements of visual novels, they most certainly do not always stop there. Just as Agarest War adds in a SRPG element, there is a fair deal of visual novels for the PC which does so as well, and in fact, one of the games we’re looking to bring over in the future does something quite similar. Just as Ace Attorney adds a detective/investigative element, we have one game which also does so that we’re hoping to bring over.

There are a lot of people that tend to think of porn games the minute they hear of visual novels because a lot of them do tend to cover sexual subject matter. If you’re a consumer, how do you separate the unintelligible erotica from the richer, more story or character-driven experiences?

People often say “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but in this case you more often than not can. The “unintelligible erotica” as you call it is pretty obvious from the title. If you’re buying something called “My Sex Slave is a Classmate” or “Conquering the Queen” from a page with an “Are you over 18?” gateway, then you really ought to be able to guess what you’re getting.

Even if the title doesn’t make it obvious, we try and make it clear which is which on our website: if under the sample CG section you see a lot of uncensored intercourse, then you can pretty much guess what you’re signing up for when you click “Add to Cart.”

Titles that aren’t like that are going to be your more story or character-driven games with only maybe one or two adult scenes per heroine. Granted, there are some games which fall at varying points of the spectrum, so you might find a game about in the middle in terms of story and adult content, but if you’re ever unsure, there’s a healthy community of fans on our blog, forum, and elsewhere who can surely help answer your questions and lead you to whichever type of visual novel it is you’re looking for. I know I frequent those two places myself to help anyone who’s interested in the genre.

One of our editors recently decided to try Higurashi out on the iPhone. It was his first visual novel. He was kind of taken aback by the game at first, but he couldn’t put it down after that. What do you personally think is a good game for people to start out with?

A lot of our fans frequently recommend Higurashi or Kira Kira. They’re both really great works, and it’s no surprise why they’re the most frequently recommended. Those who are coming from anime rather than video games tend to pick up Shuffle! or Higurashi from what I’ve seen, namely since those are two popular anime series in the first place.

Aside from those three, I honestly tend to ask what kind of story a person likes before recommending a visual novel to them. I’ve used this tag a few times on Twitter before, but it’s a very true statement: #theresanerogeforthat (note: “eroge” stands for “erotic game”). No matter what your tastes, or what it is you want to see, there’s almost certainly a visual novel out there that will provide what you want. Granted, it may not yet be available in English, but we’ve tried to offer a variety on our catalog too, and this variety will only continue to grow as time goes on.

If you’re just looking for an introduction to visual novels, and have an interest in Japan though, I think our upcoming exclusive will be a great one for people new to the genre to try. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of details to offer on this title right now, but it looks really good to me and I can’t wait to talk more about it once we can.

Experience the Comfort of Sex Chairs

Experience the Comfort of Sex Chairs

If you’re obsessed with all sorts of naughty activities or are having some difficulty in getting comfortable, you definitely deserve a royal sex throne! Today, we’ll describe the benefits of owning a chair crafted explicitly for sex. That includes anything from sensual lovemaking to hard and intense fucking! We’ll also show you some of the best types and reveal how they can help in various situations.

So sit back, and let us describe to you the comfort of a sex chair!

Sex Chair Description

Multifunctional sex furniture is incredibly popular with couples who love to experiment and intensify their sexual activities.

Generally, sex chairs have an ergonomic shape, although they come in an endless variety of types. What’s more, some are made specifically for a particular king, for instance, spanking. Of course, you can try new sexual positions and experiment while using regular chairs or other furniture. Heck, you can even be the master of Kama Sutra positions.
However, a real sex chair is surely a sight to behold! 

Historically, erotic chairs were first designed as a type of sexual aid for pregnant women. An early example goes back to the rule of Edward VII, who once ordered a special chair for group sex. Nowadays, you can find any type that suits you in stores or online. That includes erotic sofas, sex pillows, naughty queening chairs, or even custom-made pieces. 

Who Uses Sex Chairs? 

Nearly anyone can use this type of intimate sex furniture! They will boost your experience as well as provide more comfort, endurance, and flexibility. Moreover, sex chairs are often used by those who have a physical disability. That way, they offer support and assistance. 

So if you thought that love chairs are only for filthy fetishes and shocking BDSM kinks, think again! Couples of any sexual orientation can try them. They offer anything from comfort to wild, intense, and satisfying sexual experience.

When it comes to fetishes, chairs can be a discreet and compact solution. They can handle any kind of rough sex and domination, and you can use them for various forms of bondage, flagellation, spanking, and nearly any sort of fantasy you might crave. As you can see, sex chairs are incredibly versatile!

Sex Chair Purpose

Erotic chairs can provide comfort during masturbation, oral sex, vaginal or anal penetration, and much more. They offer many advantages that you may never get with a regular bed, sofa, or lounger. 

Primarily, their ergonomic shape will allow you to have longer sex. It can support your body and weight at an incredibly comfortable angle. That means receiving or giving pleasure will be much easier and much more sensual!

Furthermore, special chair angles can truly help in case of some issues, including premature ejaculation. It’s also beneficial for women who have difficulty in reaching climax. When it comes to physical endurance, love chairs will allow you to use less effort and energy. Combined with extra support and a comfortable angle, you can use them to transform your sex life. 

Depending on the type, erotic chairs can provide comfort during all sorts of sex positions. They are especially convenient for girl-on-top action. Specialized models can also provide support for just the right body parts and allow for deeper penetration.

If you’re having issues with pain or physical discomfort during sex, this kind of furniture will surely help! With reduced weight and pressure, your body will no longer distract you from focusing on an intense orgasm! And as stated earlier, pregnant women can also use them for comfort. Also, if you’ve got an injury and are recovering, a sex chair will not prevent you from having fun.  

On top of that, owning a sex chair can make you feel incredibly naughty, especially since no one will know about it. 

Types of Sex Chairs

So what about the size and cost? Some people believe that love chairs are simply too bulky or expensive. However, this is not the case at all. 

As mentioned earlier, love chairs are available in such a wide variety. You will find nearly any type or size that will suit your preferences and your space. 

Overall, the most common model is the standard tantra chairs. This kind resembles a stylish piece of furniture similar to a chaise lounge or sofa. It is very inconspicuous, and it will blend in with your living room. Many people simply refer to them as a sex sofa or even a yoga sex chair. It’s also possible to find inflatable variants for easy storage. 

Another great option is an oral sex chair or stool. These small stools are made with two metal frames and two straps that you can sit on. The straps are spaced out in a way that exposes your genitals from the bottom. That will allow your partner to reach you from below while lying down. This type of sex stool is simply fantastic for cunnilingus. Plus, they are great for solo masturbation. You can use a sex toy (e.g., suction cup dildo) and slide up or down as it penetrates you from below. If you love intense ass licking and queening, a stool is undoubtedly the best choice. 

And while the variety is too great to describe, other types include sex loungers and ergonomic sofas. You can also get a small fuck bench for BDSM, a shaped fiberglass chair (arm and foot support), as well as tons of custom-made options. Sex swings are another popular type of furniture, although they perform a slightly different function. 

Final Thoughts

To sum up, almost anyone can benefit from a sex chair. We’ve shown you some examples of their use and outlined some of the most popular types of erotic chairs. Which one was your favorite? Get one today, and it will change your sex life! 

The Bluffer’s Guide to Hentai Games

The Bluffer’s Guide to Hentai Games

What a brilliant sales pitch: “Feeling lonely and bored?” asked the email newsletter. Of course I am! I’m sitting at my computer, aren’t I? I’m reading a newsletter about import games, aren’t I? Well then, the email went on, why not check out some newly available English-translated Japanese Adult Dating Games? Why not indeed? Up until now, if you wanted to feed your Hentai videogame fix you’d have to brush up on your kanji and search out seedy game stores in the side streets of Akihabara. Not any more. In recent years, companies such as Peach Princess and JAST USA have been making English-language eroge (as it’s also known) available to American gamers. Now, Play-Asia is making them easily available to us European lot.

But should we actually care? Is there any more to this heady blend of anime, videogames and porn than antique game mechanics and mildly titillating drawings? Eurogamer decided to find out.

The first part of our research took us to Play-Asia’s selection of Hentai Games. A brief warning that the pages ahead contain ‘Nudity’, ‘Strong sexual content’ and ‘Explicit pictures’ confirm that we’re in the right place. Further confirmation is provided by the selection of games on offer – a selection that also provides some pretty startling insights into the genre. There are currently some 50-odd titles available in translation at the moment. And they are pretty odd. Picking titles at random demonstrates pretty clearly that even this limited selection of hentai games caters to the broadest extremes of sexual proclivity: there’s transexuality (Yin-Yang – X-Change Alternative); gothic horror (Animamundi – Dark Alchemist); historical romance (Enzai – Falsely Accused); human sacrifice (Bible Black: The Game); submission (Absolute Obedience – Zettai Fukuju Meirei); mild incest (Hitomi – My Stepsister) and much, much more. Certainly more than the odd cross-dresser in Guilty Gear, or Dead or Alive’s bikini babes.

According to Wikipedia, Hentai is a Japanese word that can mean ‘change of shape’, ‘abnormality’ or ‘metamorphosis’. As well as all this.
There’s also a wide range of play mechanics, from simple dating games, where you’ve got to impress the girls enough to get them into compromising positions, to choose-your-own adventure style flowchart games, where you simply have to make choices at key moments to propel the sexual narrative along. And if, for some reason you’re stuck without a Windows-compatible PC, you can pick from a choice of interactive DVDs, which all play in a regular DVD player. And if for some reason you’re stuck without a pair of hands, you can chose those games that include a ‘hands-free’ mode (whatever that means).

And talking of hands, the next part of our research obviously demanded a more hands-on approach. Three titles were duly selected and ordered. And received, although only one of them in plain cover, presumably because only one of them – Casual Romance Club – was adorned with 12 pictures of naked girls on the box.

Saving that for last, the first game to be subjected to the sort of rigorous scrutiny that you’ve come to expect from Eurogamer was Critical Point. Originally released in 2002, the game is essentially a choose-your-own adventure with 24 different paths scripted by Mobile Suit Gundam scriptwriter, Kenichi Matsuzaki. It’s illustrated by partially-animated and still images, and accompanied by a sort of lounge bar jazz soundtrack. Rather helpfully it can be played in an easily alt-tabbed window, and for anyone who isn’t a fan of Matsuzaki-san’s work, the game’s creators have helpfully included a ‘quick’ mode, which speeds through the story so fast you don’t have to read it.

Hentai games are known by a variety of terms, including H game and Eroge.
More patient gamers will appreciate the science-fiction take on a police procedural that plays out pretty normally until the lead character, an amputee undercover investigator, takes a tour of Moon Base D-02 and this happens: “The crew woman called Tsuei turned away from her panel and stood up. She started walking towards me. Before I knew it, she opened her uniform and revealed her breasts.” The murder-mystery plot goes on to encompass sex with an older woman, female marines running round in fishnet tops; a scatterbrained assistant who accidentally falls over and flashes her panties etc. etc. There is one, frankly troubling scene, however, which incorporates sado-masochism and rape fantasies.

Which leads, of course, to the serious argument about whether games such as these are likely to dehumanise women, or encourage sinister patterns of real-life behaviour. While you might imagine such an argument to be a lively and complex one, the game’s readme file boils it down pretty succinctly (some might say too succinctly, given that the game’s amputee undercover investigator describes one of his amorous encounters thus: “I was consumed with anger and lust. I didn’t even really hear her screams of protest”). Yep, the creators of Critical Point are pretty clear about the beneficial effects of playing these sorts of games.

The readme file makes clear that it’s all just a fantasy: “We would like to state clearly that we oppose abuse or violence against any individual or living creature regardless of gender or other distinguishing personal traits… Furthermore, we assert that sex is an important aspect of adult relationships, and that sexual fantasies shared consensually between adults can enhance the emotional bond of a such relationships.” It continues, with what might be considered a bit of an understatement: “the completely fictional sexual relationships portrayed by this game’s artwork do not always exhibit ‘safe sex’ practices, nor do they necessarily demonstrate the full range of sensitivity, communication and intimacy necessary to sustain a real life interpersonal relationship.” Nevertheless, for anyone who would like to base their real life interpersonal relationships on a videogame depicting domination and rape fantasies, there are some real-life sex-tips: “Always protect yourself and others when engaged in sexual activity, and always follow the principles of ‘safe sex’. Always treat your sexual partner(s) with consideration. Never use force to get what you want, whether your partner is a man or a woman.”

Hentai games are then further broken down into sub-genres, such as Yaoi for boy on boy; Bishojo for pretty girls, and so on.
By comparison, the sexual activities on offer in the other two games chosen for research are more moderate, although the gameplay is probably more interesting. Transfer Student was originally released in the same year as Critical Point, and depicts the story of a young man drifting aimlessly through college, fantasising about women. It features a similarly branching narrative structure to Critical Point, but it’s enlivened by the occasional freeform section in which you can stare at women in a bid to become so aroused that you can retire to the men’s room to fantasise about them. It’s also enlivened by the occasional bout of sex with your step-mother, depicted, once again, with partially animated stills.

Casual Romance Club, however, is the premium pick of the pack. Released at the end of last year, it is, according to the blurb, “the first dating-sim game released in Japan to feature a full English translation.” It also features 12 pictures of naked girls on the box, and comes with a handsome hardback manual containing character biographies and plenty of advice, such as: “Relationships for only making love are wrong because some may want you to be responsible for it.” Indeed, in spite of the naked girls on the box, this is a world away from the amputee rape in Critical Point. It’s still, ultimately, about having sex with women but just like in real life you have to be willing to put in a bit more groundwork.

The narrative sees you participating in the Casual Romance Club, a school club formed “to offer a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere where love and romance can be discovered and explored without fear or failure or rejection.” Which means you’ve got four weeks to persuade your chosen girl (or girls) to get their kit off – and there’s a girl for every taste here, from the bookish bespectacled Sidney, to ko-gal Clare, or the worryingly youthful Amanda, or even the mature charms of Sophie.

Interestingly, we shied away from tentacles. Perhaps it’s not our thing?
It doesn’t save unlocked images to a permanent gallery, as Critical Point does, but it is, in every other way, a more sophisticated experience. The game is a fairly typical dating game in which you have to woo your chosen honey by saying the right things. It rather artfully resembles an internet chatroom, with various windows offering different types of information, and at the key moments, the more prurient parts of images are tastefully pixellated out. Indeed, considering the plain-cover packaging, Casual Romance Club is remarkably coy, with most girls taking a lot of persuading to get to bed, and most of the pixellated-out sexual activities falling well within the normal bounds of taste and decency. For porn, anyway. There’s even a parallel translation function for people who’d like to hone their language skills to graduate to playing these games in their original language.

Despite the differences in narrative, sexual mores and gameplay between even these three games, there are undeniable similarities: the bizarre internal logic; the conversational non-sequiturs that lead suddenly to sexual activity; but mostly the sense of mild disappointment. Judged by the standards of conventional porn, especially of the sort that’s now freely available to anyone with an internet connection, these games demand a monumental amount of patience. Sure, those sickos who get their kicks by googling for amputee rape images might find their thing in games like Critical Point (a google image search for research purposes only turns up a Final Fantasy XII pack shot and a picture of Jean-Luc Picard, for example). But for the rest of us, it’s difficult not to feel underwhelmed when the only reward for patiently plodding through acres of mundane text and/or stultifying game mechanics is one or two semi-animated cartoon pictures.

So in the end, this experiment doesn’t reveal any startling insights into Hentai. These games are pretty much as you’d imagine interactive anime porn to be: more amusing than arousing, and not very entertaining as videogames. But then if you can imagine interactive anime porn, why would you need any of this stuff?