When faced with the task of finding celebrities in my chosen area of study I had to chuckle. Does the hentai world mirror that of the real porn industry, where people rise to super porn stardom and have the chance to win an AVN Award? I had recently watched Boogie Nights. Where was the Dirk Diggler of anime? No, I don’t believe he exists. Instead, what I found was that celebrity takes on a different form – that of appropriation.
What do Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar and The Fifth Element have in common? Or Shakira, Angelina Jolie and Spiderman? It would appear that these movie characters and celebrities have all been transformed, in varying degrees of realism, into the stars of anime porn. This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, I just wonder if these celebs have seen their animated counterparts and wonder what they think of it. Is there a case to sue the artist on the basis of.. well, defamation? Again I’m left trying to trace the boundaries of this sub-culture. If someone is depicted using an overtly cartoonish style, does that have less potential to offend than an image with a higher degree of realism (think Spongebob of Spongebob Square Pants vs Andy from Toy Story 3)?
Western celebrities aside, I trawled some forums in an attempt to discover whether there were some renowned hentai producers and films and stood out against the rest, or if, as it seemed to me, the market was flooded with content from many different sources, hosted on websites that might be the hentai equivalent of redtube. I came across an IMDB list with the “most popular hentai adult titles”, but the features shared nothing in common, nothing that would indicate that the hentai consumers had formed a fandom around a particular character or director.
Perhaps because of the nature of the films directors/producers are reluctant to develop their career to the point of recognition making hentai. Or maybe the fans are fickle, only seeking instant gratification from the thousands of videos readily available, and nothing else. Or, and this is highly likely, I just don’t understand the workings of this oft ignored community
very realistic vs not so… sorry if it’s creepy.