The Crazy History Behind Tentacles In Anime

Kiddos… This article isn’t for you.

Ever wonder why tentacles show up in Japanese movies so often?

Sure, they make for interesting weapons for villains in PG anime and manga, but when you *accidentally* turn on that hentai movie, those tentacles start acting dirty. Really dirty.

Don’t pretend you’ve never heard of hentai. Even Samuel L. Jackson owns up to it.

Naughty hentai monsters/aliens/demons love using their tentacles to – ahem – violate the privacy of female character’s erogenous zones…

Some call it tentacle rape, some call it shokushu goukan. Many people find it erotic while others are disgusted by it (rightfully so).

I just wonder where the hell it came from. How’d shokushu goukan become mainstream? After a few Google searches (using a friend’s laptop) I tracked down the roots of this strange fetish. Here’s what I came up with.

  1. Back in 1814 an artist named Hokusai Katsushika wrote a novel called Kinoe no komatsu (The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife) which includes a scene where a woman gets freaky with a couple octopi. The act was “consensual and mutually pleasurable”, so it’s not considered rape, but it seems set the stage. 
  2. The 1986 anime Guyver: Out of Control depicts a scene where the female protagonist inherits a suit of bio-armor by being filled with tentacles, because it’s Japan and that’s how bio-armor works there.
  3. Now it’s 1989 and Japanese censorship prohibits sexual scenes depicting a P in a V. Manga artist Toshio Maeda comes up with a clever way around the censors – he replaces all willys with non-willys. Because fictional monsters with tentacles are certainly not dudes with willys.

Maeda’s sneaky charade worked and the Japanese censors led him publish Demon Beast Invasion. Tentacle rape was born.

Nearly 30 years later, tentacle porn is a thing. Some say it’s popular because the Japanese repress their emotions and look to anime and manga for sexual expression. And that expression can be hard to understand across cultural borders.

Maybe so, and maybe you think shokushu goukan is grotesque, but people around the world still indulge in this bizarre fetish on the regular.

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