What is Adult Anime? Every R Rated Genre Explained

by Chris Von Wilpert, BBusMan • Last updated November 30, 2023

Expert Verified by Leandro Langeani, BBA

What is adult anime?

Adult anime are Japanese animations in manga style that contain adult rated content. That can be, for instance, erotic, hardcore sex, violence, illegal substances, and offensive language, to name a few.

Adult anime fast facts

  • Anime is not only for children and teenagers, as it could also cover adult themes.

  • There are two main anime genres for adult audiences: Seinen which is traditionally made for men, and Josei, traditionally made for women.

  • Softcore and hardcore explicit content are popular adult anime themes. 

  • Anime porn is not always weird, but since it is a fantasy medium, it often features fetishes that are not possible with human pornography. 

  • Anime is not always R-rated because of sex. Some series portray violence and substance abuse, which are not suitable for an underage audience.

Anime for adults often depicts violence and explicit content. Photograph: FUTASentaiSquad

What is the meaning of RX in anime?

R stands for Restricted and the X for an age. Since there is no international age rating system for movies, an anime can be R rated in, for example, the US. In Japan, where anime originates from, the same anime can be suitable for a younger audience. 

Eirin is the Japanese Film Classification and Rating Organization. It uses four categories to rate movies:

  • G: Suitable for all ages
  • PG12: Parental Guidance and advice for children under 12 years old.
  • R15+: Viewers must be at least 15 years old.
  • R18+: Prohibited for anyone under 18 years old.

The US has slightly different rating categories:

  • Rated G: For all ages.
  • Rated PG: Parental guidance advised.
  • Rated PG-13: Parents strongly cautioned for children under 13.
  • Rated R: Restricted. Viewers under 17 need to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
  • Rated NC-17: Only suitable for those who are at least 18 years old.

What is the term for adult anime?

Considering the age and gender of the audiences, anime could be divided into five types. Two of them are for adults only: seinen and josei. The three anime categories that are suitable for minors are called kodomomuke, shounen and shoujo. 

Seinen anime is meant for a male adult audience between 18 and 40. Typical themes of this adult anime category are sports, politics, violence, gore, nudity and hardcore. 

Josei anime is created for female adults from 18 to 40. Popular themes of this genre are drama, history, relationships, and LGBTQIAP+ content. Also, some dark stories that have elements of horror, crime, violence and sex may fall into this category.

Which anime genres show explicit content?

Like regular explicit content, anime distinguishes softcore and hardcore content. These genres have a name that derives from Japanese.

Ecchi anime contains playful, naughty, and sexy content. It doesn’t show private parts and sexual intercourse. Typical elements of ecchi are transparent clothes, flirting, up-skirt shots of girls with panties on, lingerie and nosebleeds, which symbolize sexual arousal in Japan. 

Hentai is the pornographic version of anime. It contains hardcore, explicit scenes with all kinds of fetishes. These correspond to regular porn categories, like oral, lesbians, or double penetration, for example. Besides that, hentai porn has specific fetishes, like monster anime porn, alien anime porn, furries, and so on.

Anime female characters in erotic and explicit action are popular amongst a global adult audience. Photograph: OnlyWaifus

What is anime with homosexual characters called?

Like regular porn and erotica, anime has movies and series with both homosexual male and female characters. What sets it apart from pornographic cartoons outside Japan is that these characters may also appear in regular series, for teenagers. 

  • Shōjo-ai: Romances between teenage girls.
  • Yuri: This is all about girl’s love, but it can contain explicit content. In general, it is created by heterosexual women for heterosexual women, but the characters are lesbians. 
  • Shōnen-ai: Romantic relationships between teenage boys. 
  • Yaoi: This is about male homosexuals. This anime is generally created by women for women. 
  • Bara aka geikomi: This is an anime genre with gay and bisexual main characters and it is created for gay and bisexual men. The male characters are usually muscled.

What are some popular sub genres of explicit adult anime?

Besides gender related sub genres of anime, there are also subcategories for specific fetishes. 

  • Bakunyū: Characters with enormous breasts 
  • Harem anime: One main male character and several female characters. He has physical and/or romantic relationships with them. A reverse harem is where the main character is a female with a male harem.
  • Lolicon: This genre is the most controversial because it displays young girls in an erotic way. In some countries, it is considered child pornography, and therefore illegal.
  • Shotacon: Similar to lolicon but with young boys.

What are some examples of anime fetishes?

Weird fantasy characters being displayed in sexual actions are limited to hentai or adult anime only. Here is a list of some of the most famous anime fetishes:

  • Tentacle porn: Rape sex with monsters, aliens and robots that have tentacles. 
  • Futanari: Anime hermaphrodites. Think of girls with huge penises, hermaphroditic characters, and so on. 
  • Traps: These are men that look and behave like women. Reverse traps are women that look and behave like men. 
  • Juujin: Mainly human characters with animal features. Examples are cat people, fox people, dog people... 
  • Furry fandom: Animal characters with human features. 
  • Female teachers: Mature women with an authority position, like teachers, nurses or c-suite businesswomen, for example. 
  • Ryona: This is a very weird fetish where a female character is being abused physically or psychologically. When the victim is a male character, it’s called gyaku-ryona.

Can anyone create adult anime content?

Much like the real Champagne comes from a specific region in France, real anime can only be created in Japan. Any manga-style cartoon that is created elsewhere is, by default, not really “anime”.

Yet, with AI tools, anyone can easily create anime-style characters. You can create your own “waifus”, which are female soulmates, a popular aspect of anime culture. Some tools can generate explicit content with anime characters, hentai style.

In some regions, creating, watching or possessing hentai can be illegal. Especially when it comes to young characters in a sexual context. This is a very sensitive matter. In some legal districts, these are considered child pornography.

With AI tools, anyone can create adult anime girls with two or three clicks. Photograph: SoulGen

Is anime porn always weird?

While anime porn may, at times, depict fantasies that are not possible or legal in the real world, like tentacle rape, brutal abuse of girls and boys… that doesn’t mean that anime porn is ONLY about extreme characters and weird sex scenes. 

Anime sex scenes also contain categories that can be defined as regular porn categories. For example, masturbation, anal sex, fellatio, threesomes, BDSM, gay, bisexual, lesbian, cumshots, squirting… everything you’d find at a regular porn site. 

Thanks to advanced AI technology, today you can also find crossovers between typical anime porn elements and real actors. Some human hentai shows may be appealing even to an audience who’s never been attracted to anime.

What are some examples of violent R-rated anime?

Explicit content is not the only R-rated anime genre. There are also series and movies that contain extremely violent scenes that are not suitable for minors. Here are five examples of brutal anime: 

  1. “Higurashi When They Cry”:  Follow a group of friends in a rural village where mysterious murders occur each year, leading to a cycle of suspicion, paranoia, and supernatural occurrences. There are unsettling brutal scenes that make this unsuitable for minors.
  2. “Akame Ga Kill!”: Tatsumi is a young warrior who joins an assassin group to save his village from corruption. It contains elements of gore, strong language, and mature content throughout the entire series.
  3. “Tokyo Ghoul”: Dark themes, intense violence, and graphic imagery, including scenes of gore and psychological horror. The story is about Ken Kaneki, a college student turned half-ghoul after a chance encounter with a ghoul, creatures that feed on human flesh.
  4. “Hellsing”: Good ole’ vampires. It contains scenes of intense violence, bloodshed, and strong language.
  5.  “Chainsaw Man”: A young man called Denji becomes a devil hunter after merging with his pet devil, Pochita.

Hellsing is an adult anime series with violent scenes and in a world where vampires rule. Photograph: Crunchyroll

Are substances a theme in anime?

Substances are taboo in Japan and therefore they are not that common in anime. Here are five examples of anime where drugs play a part:

  • “Great Pretender": Characters engage in drug trafficking and dealing. It portrays drug use and addiction as part of criminal activities and their consequences.
  • "Black Lagoon": Characters smuggling drugs, and the impact that has on society and the criminal underworld.
  • "Baccano!": This anime depicts drug use as part of the storylines involving some characters, with the effects and consequences of substance use.
  • “Gangsta”: Drug addiction, distribution, and the impact of a fictional substance called "Celebre" on characters and the city of Ergastulum.
  • "Cowboy Bebop": There are a few instances where characters consume alcohol and use various substances, like mushrooms.

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