The Future of Hentai

copyright 2005 by Pat Powers

It's a commonly held misconception that predicting the future is a difficult task. Actually, sometimes predicting the future is an extremely easy. For example, once I saw Star Wars I knew that there were soon going to be a lot of crappy SF movies that had great special effects. I was right, but I didn't win any prizes or get any great public acclaim, because that prediction was a "gimme" for anyone who saw the film and knew Hollywood's knack for copying successes.

Predicting the future of hentai (Japanese animated films with strong sexual content) -- has become extremely easy, with the release of the movie "Final Fantasy." It, along with such animated series as "Roughnecks," "Shadow Raiders" and "Max Steel" are pointing the way for hentai, and to a lesser extent for anime (the generic term for Japanese animated films generally) as well.

To put it simply, the much more realistic animation made possible by CGI is going to crank up the heat on hentai by an order of magnitude, making them as sexually powerful as live action films while retaining the special advantages that animation offers filmmakers, chief among which is that fabulous backgrounds, scenery and special effects cost virtually nothing to produce.

While live-action porn producers find themselves confined to an endless series of shabby motel rooms whose only spectacular scenery is the bodies of the women inside them, hentai filmmakers can create scenes in exotic locations, with exotic costumery, with fabulous special effect, at no more cost than it takes to create scenes set in shabby motel rooms.

The tradeoff that has always existed for hentai makers is that their images are not at all lifelike, hence not nearly as sexually powerful as live-action films. Even so, live-action films are generally so badly done that I generally prefer hentai to most live bondage porn even if the kewpie-doll faced, porn-star bodied heroines leave a lot to be desired in the sexiness department.

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In part this is because of the censorship laws in the U.S. In U.S. live action films, you just don't see a bound, naked woman having sex, drooling and moaning into a ballgag. In hentai you can see exactly that. What's more, in hentai you ALSO get much better developed storylines and characters than are typical in U.S. porn. Finally, the unreality of anime images have a curious advantage over live films -- the slackjawed dimness that characterizes many porn actresses and actors isn't there, simply because the faces are too simple to project it. The lively animation and voice talent that characterizes anime make for lively characters. (Note: some hentai makers have idiotically chosen to use porn stars to "voice" their characters in American dubs, thus completely negating their advantage in terms of lively voice talent in almost all cases. This is really, really sad.) Taken all together, these advantages can make for some very tasty porn indeed.

But when hentai makers get their hands on the equivalent of the tools that made Final Fantasy possible, guess what? Most of the live action advantage will disappear, and all of the advantages of hentai will remain.

The reason this hasn't occurred yet is that the software, hardware and talent needed to make it hasn't reached the affordability levels of hentai makers yet. But it's the easiest thing in the world -- a "gimme" in fact -- to predict that this technology will become widespread and affordable for hentai makers in the next five to ten years. Because about the only thing that the computer industry has predictably done is follow Moore's Law.

Computers have done nothing but get bigger and faster and cheaper. The computers currently available for home desktops for less than $1,000 were considered supercomputers less than five years ago. It's no great stretch to assume that hardware and software will continue to become faster, cheaper and more widely available, and that hentai producers will soon be able to buy the equivalent of CGI render farms and use them to produce hentai that feature characters that look like the ones in Final Fantasy.

When the hardware and software arrive, be prepared to be knocked off your feet, because if there's one thing some of the hentai creators in Japan have in spades, it's talent.