, who was brave enough to request it. ^_~Okay, before I start--some terminology:
-成年 [seinen] - "adults-only"
-成年コミック [seinen comic] - adults-only manga, most commonly known among English-speaking fans as "hentai manga"
-エッチ or H [ecchi] - indecent, lewd
-変態 [hentai] - abnormal, perverted
Please note that the last two terms ARE NOT identical. "Ecchi" refers to things with vanilla sexual content, whereas "hentai" means kinky stuff.
Anyway, back on-topic. There are two basic competing ways of understanding the use of seinen manga:1.
That it works like all other porn aimed at heterosexual males. The turn-on lies in the objectification of the female on the page; the reader imagines acting upon the female and deriving pleasure through the *use* of her body. As such, the male presence is barely there, a hand or erect penis at best, leaving as much room as possible for the reader to fantasize himself into the action. Pretty straightforward. Reader as subject, girl on the page as object.2.
The second theory is a bit more complicated and hinges upon the popularity of certain hentai tropes such as tentacles. Though a practical conceit in Japan to foil the censors which otherwise look much like ecchi manga (a.k.a. lots of the girl looking...err...transported with pleasure and next to nothing of her partner), some critics note that it is rather difficult to project oneself into the position of "raping tentacle." After all, it's one thing to imagine that the erect penis might be yours, another altogether to imagine that the ten warty tentacles wrapped around the heroine are your appendages! Not to mention that it becomes exponentially more difficult imagining deriving sensual pleasure through them. So, some advance an alternative theory: That the male reader in this case becomes caught up in the pleasure of the female. Perhaps not empathy per se, but a voyeuristic pleasure, to say the least.
So, either the reader imagines interacting with the female himself (#1
) or takes passive, perhaps voyeuristic or empathetic, pleasure in the female's pleasure/degradation/whatever (#2
). Take your pick. ^^; (Interesting to note, however, that the second use of seinen manga is similar to the female use of BL
. No wonder, perhaps, that tentacles are popular in BL and yaoi, as well.)