J-List has had the good fortune to have stayed in business for 25+ years, thanks to me having excellent timing at starting the first international anime shop located inside Japan and of course having the best customers in the world. One thing I’ve always been fascinated by is how certain unique fetishes will always become super popular for a few months, which are then replaced by something new. Here’s a blog post exploring the various old and new anime fetishes spanning the history of J-List!
For this post, I’ll try to focus on anime fetishes that are specific to Japan. Obviously, foot fetish or S&M or giantess love are a thing in every country, but unless they played a part in the specific history of J-List and the products we’ve sold over the years, I wouldn’t include it.
The Complete List of Anime Fetishes Across the History of J-List
The Late 90s JAV Boom
J-List started business in October of 1996, and back in those days the Internet was having a love affair with JAV idols, like Akira Fubuki and Madoka Ozawa. We were the first shop to sell legit products featuring these actresses. The first hit product we had were the JAV calendars, sold by the hundreds.
Although it’s a dead word today, one of the driving fetishes in 1990s Japan was buru-sera, which means “bloomers [Japanese P.E. uniforms] and sailor suits.” This was the heyday of girls selling their old uniforms for $200 in shops, which would be purchased by perverted men (we’re sure we don’t know anyone like that!).
The Anime Fetish of Tentacles
Although animated tentacles have come to define Japan in the eyes of the West, the Japanese are mostly unaware of this and would be surprised if you told them. The first explosion of tentacle doujinshi was probably around 1998.
What started out as a cute trend of anthropomorphizing computer OSes through fanart in the late 90s culminated in Microsoft creating official characters for Windows 7 and their Azure cloud platform. You can bet fans lewded their favorite OS-tan characters!
The Anna Miller Waitress Uniforms
There once was a chain of family restaurants called Anna Miller’s which was very popular in the 1990s, and the girls had the cutest waitress uniforms that augmented their oppai. People would go to the branch in Yebisu because they had the cutest waitresses working there, and if you went near closing time you go watch the girls bend over while they cleaned up. Sadly all the restaurants are gone, but you can bet the next time I’m in Hawaii I’m going to visit the last store there.
One of the Best Anime Fetishes: School Swimsuits
Another of the great fetishes is suku-mizu or school swimsuit fetish. The above is an example of the old-style “skirt type” swimsuits, which have been replaced by a less-fetishizable standard type.
Panchira and Chirarism
Women in Japan started wearing Western panties in the postwar period, and almost immediately men realized the simple joy of catching a glimpse of white as a cute girl passed by on a windy day. Appreciation for catching a quick shot of panchira became known as chirarism in the 1980s. The father of hentai, the great Go Nagai, made obsessing over pantsu a national pastime in his breakthrough manga and anime Harenchi Gakuen.
White Panties Give Way to Shimapan
While I love a quick shot of pure white underneath a skirt, the early 2000s saw the rise of shimapan, or striped panties. According to my past research, an anime called Stellvia of the Universe featured a character wearing blue-and-white tried panties, which started things off. Shimapan is popular because “they’re neither white nor blue,” and the lines highlight the curves of what’s underneath.
Zettai Ryouiki: The Absolute Territory Anime Fetish
Another one of our favorite anime fetishes is zettai ryouiki, which describes the “sweet three centimeters” (to borrow from the Lucky Star opening lyrics) between a girl’s skirt and the top of her over-knee socks. The word itself comes from Evangelion: the idea of the AT Fields (aka Absolute Terror Fields) morphed into something describing the best part of a girl, with the word “terror” getting dropped.
The First Otokonoko Wave
I love the way anime generally makes fans less uptight about non-standard sexual relationships. One example is the popularity of otokonoko, which describes boys who are so cute, that they can pass for girls. The first example was Bridget from Guilty Gear, which gave us the phrase, “We’re all gay for Bridget.”
Nyotaika: Male to Female Transformation
Another fun anime fetish is nyotaika, or male-to-female body transformation, which is the basis of the X-Change hentai visual novel series, pretty much the first big hit JAST USA had. Who wouldn’t want to see how the other half lives?
(Make sure to grab the HD remastered version of all three X-Change games here!)
The Futanari Explosion
A similar fetish is futanari, which literally means “the two, being one.” We’ve got many products for fans of this genre on the site!
The Rise of 2.5D Anime Fetish
I’ll never forget the day anime became real for me. It was when the newly-minted brand Tamatoys made their first anime-themed shimapan, which purported to be the actual panties of Louise from Zero no Tsukaima, sold as a “parody” product similar to doujinshi. I can even tell you the date: July 27, 2011, because the product is still in our database. Now, parody hentai products are a whole category of fun products from Japan!
The Yaoi and Yuri Explosions
I’ll never forget being at Otakon in 2008, when the economy began to tank during the great financial crisis. One of the dealers was shouting, “50% off all manga, except yaoi!” This is an indication of how popular yaoi manga and games had become. Yuri also had its fans, though sadly it never had the huge commercial explosion that yaoi and BL had. But we’re still trying!
The Rise of Sister Fetish in Japan
Although the anime fetish of brother/sister love can be traced to the groundbreaking Cream Lemon hentai anime from the 1980s (it’s episode 1 if you want to look it up, pervert!), it took the bursting of the DVD licensing bubble in 2006 for the imouto fetish to really take off. No longer able to make easy money by licensing shows for overseas, animation studios turned up the ecchi factor to bring domestic fans in.
The GAL Era
It’s amazing that GALs — the flamboyantly-dressed girls who wear tons of makeup and are so fashionable — have remained a thing for so long. Originally an offshoot of girls who emulated the style of JPOP icon Namie Amuro in the mid-90s, they never went away. Anime helped make them popular with fans all over the world.
Girls Showing Their Panties with Disgusted Looks On Their Faces
While we love the amazing hentai works of artist 40hara, who made the Iyapan genre what it is today, celebrating the odd enjoyment men get if a woman were to willingly lift her skirt and show her pantsu to us while wearing a disgusted face, we have to point out that the great Murakami Suigun really invented this genre. Happily, we’ve got art books by both artists in stock!
NTR / Netorare
Cuckoldry — the fascination with stealing someone’s wife sexually, or even having your own wife stolen by others — has been around for more than centuries, first appearing in English in 1250. The translation in Japan is netorare (literally “being sleep-stolen”), which and was coined for Japanese translations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Othello.
According to Wikipedia, NTR emerged around 2001 on a BBS for discussing fetishes like cuckoldry. The first term that came along was KYY, which was shorthand for “your girlfriend or crush is raped.” This term was distasteful even for for Japanese netizens, so they went with NTR instead.
While many fans in the West complain vociferously about the genre, there must be something about NTR for it to become such an important part of the industry. It literally keeps the lights on, at your favorite hentai manga publisher as well as J-List. So why not browse our latest offerings?
Thanks for reading this post exploring the various fetishes that have come and gone over the long history of J-List. Got any questions or topics you’d like me to write about? Tell us below, or reply to us on Twitter!
The fine folks at J18 Publishing can’t stop pushing out excellent hentai doujinshi and long-format tankoubon manga. They’ve got a great new offering today, the super sexy Pure Love Mellow, with 230 pages of amazing material which is 100% uncensored. This thick and satisfying manga is stock in San Diego, so grab a copy here!