Hentai (変態 or へんたい) is a Japanese word that, in the West, is used when referring to sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, particularly those of Japanese origin such as anime, manga, and computer games. The word hentai is a kanji compound of 変 (hen; "change", "weird", or "strange") and 態 (tai; "attitude" or "appearance"). The term is used as a shortened form of the phrase 変態性欲 (hentai seiyoku) meaning "sexual perversion". In Japanese slang, hentai is used as an insult meaning roughly "pervert" or "weirdo".
The English use of hentai is more similar to the way the Japanese use the slang term エッチ (H or ecchi), which refers to any sexually explicit content or behaviour. The Japanese seldom use the term hentai to refer to pornography in Japan. Instead, terms such as 18-kin (18禁, literally "18-prohibited"), meaning "prohibited to those not yet 18 years old", and seijin manga (成人漫画, "adult manga") are used. Less official terms also in use include ero anime (エロアニメ), ero manga (エロ漫画), and the English acronym AV (for "adult video").
As with other forms of Japanese pop-culture media, publishers of erotic media target material to specific demographic groups. For manga, the most typical divisions are:
Types which are pornographic by definition
- ero-manga or seijin (成人, literally "adult"), aimed at (presumptively heterosexual) men
- ladies' comics (redīsu komikku or redicomi), originally meaning any manga for adult women (see josei) but now often applied specifically to pornographic manga for women.
Types which often (but not necessarily) contain pornographic content
- gei comi or mens' love (ML), often called bara in the West, for gay men
- Boys' Love (BL), depicts male homosexuality and is predominately aimed at the shōjo and josei markets (also see below)
- teen's love (TL), a more explicit type of romances, likewise aimed predominantly at the shōjo and josei markets
- Yuri, depicts lesbianism and while originally aimed at the shōjo demographic, it has evolved to also target the shōnen and seinen markets (also see below)