The sexual expression in Amime & Manga

The heroines in slinky costumes appear in many Managa and Anime: Lum (also referred to in some Western versions as Lamu) the female protagonist of Urusei Yatsura (うる星やつら); Characters in sailor-style school uniforms of Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン, Bishōjo Senshi Sērā Mūn, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon); Mine Fujiko (峰 不二子) in Lupin III (ルパン三世, Rupan Sansei); Kisaragi Hanī in Cutie Honey (キューティーハニー, Kyūtī Hanī, Cutey Honey); The chief villain, Doronjo (ドロンジョ) of Yatterman (ヤッターマン, Yattāman); a cyborg major Kusanagi Motoko (草薙 素子) in the Ghost in the Shell; Swan Jun in Battle of the planets (科学忍者隊ガッチャマン, Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman) carry somewhat asexual connotations, but not explicit.

  • Lamu
  • Kusanagi Motoko
  • Swan Jun

You can also see myriad Manga and Anime having “moe” and “kawaii” expression in character’s appearance or personality as mentioned in the preceding article describing Japanese aesthetics that exert influence on Manga and Anime. Kelts believes, “In certain contexts, Japanese culture can combine the auras of sexual energy and violence without creating an atmosphere of seedy perversity or provocation.”

Harenchi Gakuen (ハレンチ学園, Shameless School) by Nagai Gō in 1968 on Manga and 1970 on Anime is considered as the first modern erotic manga, sometimes considered the first Hentai manga, though Nagai never used explicit sexual situations, but a scandalous manga in its time, it is a very innocent series by today's standards. Until Harenchi Gakuen, Japanese manga had been relatively tame affairs, but things soon changed; this work has influenced Japanese society radically, completely changing the common perceptions of manga. But at the time of his original publication, it met with severe criticism by many parents, women's associations, and PTAs because it introduced overt eroticism to children. Although he had a clear sense of what things he could or could not do with the manga, he was branded a "nuisance" and even an "enemy of society". The PTA even managed to prevent the distribution of the magazine in some parts of Japan.

Nagai changed the theme in Harenchi Gakuen into a more mature and serious matter. From nonsense gags with sexy touches, to a full scale war where murder was depicted in the bloody way for which many know him. This led to the famous ending of Harenchi Gakuen, symbol of freedom and of rejection of the hypocrisy, where all students & teachers, while defending their freedom of expression, are killed by the PTA and other parental forces. This was the ironic answer that Nagai gave to the PTA.

According to the official Tezuka web site, sex education for children was a taboo in Japan in the late 1960s, but this changed suddenly in the early 1970s. His Apollo's Song was created during a period where manga was increasingly portraying sexual stories and imagery, and was Tezuka's exploration of love and sex in manga form.

—ODAKANE Fuji

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