What is Ecchi Anime and Manga?

Ecchiエッチ slang term in the Japanese language for playfully sexual actions. It is used with the meaning of “sexy”, “dirty” or “naughty”; describe someone that is seen as lecherous. Softer than the Japanese word for hentai and does not imply perversion in the way hentai does.

Emma Hanashiro says Ecchi is “Edgy and erotic, ecchi is a distinct thematic element in anime that toes the delicate line between the obscenity and propriety, dipping slightly in smut, while also maintaining a demure veil of restraint. For the decriers of anime, ecchi is possibly one of their main points of contention, associating its titillating content with hentai. Due to its perceived connection to the pornographic, understanding what ecchi is and does can be confusing.”

The word ecchi derives from the “H” in hentai, “ecchi” being the Japanese pronunciation of the English letter. Before it was used as a term when referring to anime and manga, young Japanese people in the 1950s began using ecchi as a slang term for hentai. As the post world war period continued, it developed its own meaning indicating naughtiness that is not necessarily sexual explicit.

Ecchi is largely viewed as oriented for male audience and is a common element in shounen and seinen manga due to the sexualized ways in which ecchi anime and manga depicts women’s bodies.

It is easy to view ecchi as exploitative of women’s sexuality. Yet, this is a rather simplistic view of ecchi because it can also be used in anime to explore and test our own views of sexuality mainly and not just a simple general all around objectifying of women’s bodies.

•Common elements of ecchi include

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-Conversations with sexual references or misunderstandings (innuendos or general sexual humor)

-Misunderstandings or display in visual depictions (suggestive posing)

-Revealing,exposing or sexualized clothing (underwear or cosplay)

-Basic Nudity (ripped apart clothing, wet clothing, clothing malfunctions, pantie shots)

-Portrayal of certain sexual actions (groping).

This kind of sexuality is often used for comical effect .The concept of ecchi is mostly associated to fan service. While fan service describes every aspect to please the fans, ecchi relates to sexual themes.

Ecchi can be viewed as a special kind of fan service, that is usually sexual bound or justified by the narrative or the end, any excuse is valid to show a character partially or completely nude. XD

•Censorship and ecchi

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Unlike hentai,with artificial light rays are one commonly way used to censor ecchi content elements in anime television series. The degree of censorship can vary across television stations, even among different stations broadcasting the same series at the some time.

•Levels of Nudity
Levels of nudity vary among works depending on the intended audience,studio, adaptation and the preferences of the authors, but most BD (banned) episodes come out as purely all sexual content based but, remember ecchi shows no actual sexual intercourse.