And yet, things still seem to have got a bit ecchi.
is found in many anime, in many forms. When it appears to be a major focus of the show, then it's safe to assume you're watching Ecchi
"Ecchi" (pronounced EH-chee)
is used by English-speaking anime fans to refer to soft-core pornographic or sexually suggestive anime and manga. This is entirely a western invention, as in Japanese, it is a catch-all term for all things sexual, not limited to porn and not really considered a "milder" term. The term "ecchi" in Japanese comes from the pronounciation of the letter "H" in English - "aitch" is rendered into Japanese syllabary as エッチ, which in turn is transliterated into the Roman alphabet as "ecchi". The letter "H" comes from the word "Hentai
", but the term as currently used is not synonymous with Hentai
The line between Ecchi and Hentai can be hard to draw at times. However, one good rule of thumb is, if it was aired on Japanese public TV at all
, it probably wasn't Hentai. Ecchi usually features Barbie Doll Anatomy
, or avoids nudity with lingering Panty Shots
, on the other hand, will usually show full frontal nudity in some explicit form, and full, intimate sex scenes. At its mildest, Ecchi is closer in spirit to shows like Three's Company
and Are You Being Served?,
full of Double Entendres
, big misunderstandings
, and sexual farce
. At its most explicit, it is still more in the realm of HBO Presents than Vivid Video. Another good way to distinguish the two are if there are any animated sex scenes. If so, you have left this genre entirely.
To borrow an old saying, when it comes to sexual content, Ecchi is the sizzle; Hentai is the steak.
Due to its dependency on fanservice and sex-orientated-humor: the focus is generally the females, which leaves the protagonist to be a stale, faceless camera
to capture all of the escapades and shenanigans
going around him.
Possibly because sex is inherently funny
, a large number of Ecchi series are comedies
. Many start out as softer versions
of actual hentai content (such as video games), while others may revert/graduate back to such if an OVA
Note that display of nipples alone is not sufficient to be considered Ecchi. Shows exist that aren't focused on sexuality, but will show the occasional bare breast. Like Europe, Japan is also a bit more relaxed about displaying breasts on regulated tv then in America, but typically does not show such content in most of its shows. In America, display of nipples means you are either watching something on unregulated tv such as HBO, or something completely off tv altogether.
- 12 Beast from the same author as Daily Life with Monster Girl and Deadline Summonner has this in spades, with the twist that they are (mostly) cute monster girls
- Amaenaide yo!!
- Asobi ni Iku yo!
- B Gata H Kei
- Battle Programmer Shirase
- Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
- Buttobi CPU could be considered a borderline case for either Ecchi or Hentai, though it is marketed primarily as the latter. It stands more or less in the same position as Ebichu — there's a lot of risque material, but it's too funny to be a straightforward Hentai.
- Chrono Crusade,
- Daily Life with Monster Girl (AKA Monster Musume) has this in spades with cute monster girls.
- Deadline Summonner from the same author as the above continues the trend.
- DearS (Magical Girlfriend? Not necessarily ecchi. Magical sex slave? Ecchi.)
- Dragons Rioting
- Elfen Lied — A subversion, the story as a whole is a drama/horror. Much of nudity is Fan Disservice and misleads the audience quite a lot.
- Freezing the anime tears clothing off every female in every episode, often leaving them with only a shaded/whiteout bar for modesty.
- Futari Ecchi — Although it does straddle the line between this and Hentai.
- Gacha Gacha features plenty of boobs, panties and other lighthearted fetish material, there's even some nudity, although only limited to nipples.
- Ghost in the Shell — Man-Machine Interface specifically.
- Go Dannar
- Golden Boy
- Hanaukyō Maid Tai
- Hand Maid May
- He Is My Master
- Highschool of the Dead features Gainaxing on girls being torn apart by zombies, a girl cracking open human skulls with a wooden sword while wearing nothing but an apron and a thong, and one particular gratuitous sequence of bouncing in Bullet Time.
- High School D×D - If you've gone more than one episode without seeing a nipple or one of the girls in an advanced state of undress (Or nothing at all) then something is amiss.
- Higurashi No Naku Koro Ki kira - these OVAs are much more fanservice centered than the original series.
- Idol Pretender
- Ikki Tousen
- Is - manga about a guy who would really like to date a certain girl.
- Jungle de Ikou!
- Kangoku Gakuen
- Kanokon. So much hypersexuality in one half hour.
- Koihime†Musou jumps between shameless pantyshotting and contriving to get the girls into as many compromising positions as possible, often lampshading it and complementing it with surprisingly classy dialogue and references.
- Kyo Kara Maoh
- Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon Its use of the World of Buxom trope is enough to land it in this genre. Even without having the biggest breasts many of the woman are still well endowed.
- Ladies Versus Butlers!
- Love Hina (Less risque than the manga it was based on. Manga features lots of naked female flesh, albeit with absence of nipples and barbie-doll crotches, anime has them wrapped in towels or shown from behind)
- Mahou Sensei Negima!, by the same author as Love Hina.
- Mai-Otome Zwei. The rest of the Mai Hi ME franchise is fairly heavy on the Fanservice but doesn't focus nearly as much on it.
- Mashiro-iro Symphony
- My Lovely Ghost Kana
- Nagasarete Airantou
- Nana to Kaoru
- Nanatsu No Taizai
- Need a Girl!
- Ninin Ga Shinobuden (Simultaneously parodies this and plays it straight.)
- Omamori Himari.
- Please Teacher!, Onegai Twins, although these shows have a bit more serious content than most, especially the latter.
- Ore No Imouto Ga Konnani Kawaii Wake Ga Nai
- Oruchuban Ebichu (While the show featured material that could be considered explicit, the simplistic art style and goofy premise kept it from being taken seriously as Hentai.)
- Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
- Princess Lover!
- Queen's Blade has no objection to showing nipples, and the proportions of the female characters cover every trope applicable to breasts.
- Ranma ½
- Rising X Rydeen
- Rosario + Vampire (the anime; died off in the manga)
- Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!
- SHUFFLE!, one of the best examples of Cerebus Syndrome in the genre (harem comedy turns dramatic halfway into the series. Let's not even get started on Kaede Fuyou snapping on Asa Shigure.
- Heaven's Lost Property
- Steel Angel Kurumi
- Strike Witches
- Sundome. Another borderline case.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann - Guren Gakuenhen (The high school AU manga).
- A case could certainly be made for the anime itself falling under this, especially Lagann-hen.
- Tenjho Tenge
- A Certain Magical Index
- They Are My Noble Masters.
- To Love-Ru (Try looking for even one manga chapter without gratuitous nudity and/or underwear shots. The anime adaptation even has nudity and fanservice in the OP, ED, and eye catches!)
- Chapter 48 is an exception, believe it or not. It's probably the only one, too.
- Darkness manages to be more Hotter and Sexier than the original.
- Ultimate Girls
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Wagaya no Oinari-sama
- The Witchblade anime surely delights in showing Masane's... ample assets with VERY LITTLE covering them. However, it's in many ways a subversion - as the actual appearance is quite sexy, what's she doing is absolutely not.
- The Animesque comic Empowered. Sex scenes galore, but Godiva Hair and Scenery Censor are flat-out abused.
- Sekirei is a pretty ecchi manga and anime series... including giant breasts, nearly naked scenes and lots of nosebleeds from the main male character.
- Maicchingu Machiko Sensei was one of the Ur Examples — being a kids show that revolves around new and creative ways for the titular Machiko to lose her clothing and/or be sexually molested by her elementary school students.