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All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles

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This trope as lampooned by a T-shirt.

"I think I love you more
Than the Japanese love tentacle porn
And we should dance, dance, dance, d-d-d-d-dance
To these stereotypes!"
Your Favorite Martian, "The Stereotype Song"

A specific exception to the Animation Age Ghetto, and a form of Public Medium Ignorance: the belief that all anime (or in some cases, every work of fiction from Japan) features/consists of sexually explicit material, grotesque sexual fetishes, and illegal pornographic material such as child pornography and bestiality. Since the recess of the Ghetto, this continues to be a relatively common belief these days, along with the idea that all Western adult animation is Animated Shock Comedy.

This trope began in the early '90s, on account of the western release of anime such as AKIRA, Legend of the Overfiend, and various works by Yoshiaki Kawajiri and Sho Aikawa. Since most purveyors of imported media back then were either undersexed, nerdy collectors specifically seeking out "mature" fare, or huckster distributors looking to make a fast buck on said collectors, the more "shocking" examples of the medium tended to be the ones that got priority for localization. Glorified rape stories are easily the most visible, and due to Values Dissonance, lesbian porn is actually quite rare and generally featured alongside straight sex... or rape.


By the end of the 90's, however, this trope had largely died down, as the massive success of shows like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, and Pokémon in the west largely cleaned up anime's image there, with the wave of Battle Shounen and Magical Girl shows that followed finally breaking this assumption and helping bring anime fully into the mainstream. However, it never truly became a Forgotten Trope, as it is still quite common for one to assume that a good chunk of modern anime is still dirty tentacle porn, or at least heavily sexualized. More recent variants on the trope are "All Anime is Lolicon and Shotacon" or "All Modern Anime is Moe''.

Outside of works in the yaoi or bara genre, most hentai is actually ordinary heterosexual porn. Naughty Tentacles were mostly a fad around the end of The '80s and early in The '90s, and currently they're at best a throwaway joke on some Fanservice shows. Even hentai that plays the Naughty Tentacles straight usually takes place in a fantasy setting, so the cliche "he was a squid, she was a schoolgirl, can I make it any more obvious?" setup is actually extremely rare. Somewhat related, even among anime fans, there's a misconception that all Doujinshi are pornographic, even though a good chunk of doujinshi made are all ages works, and some are even in mediums that can't even possibly be pornographic, such as instrumental music. Visual Novels have a similar reputation of all being eroge, or at least always being dating sims.


See also Hentai. Contrast Phonýmon and Sailor Senshi Send-Up — if a Western anime parody isn't based on hentai, it's usually going to be based on Pokemon, Sailor Moon or other Merchandise-Driven children's series instead.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • A Discussed Trope in Osamu Tezuka's introduction to the Astro Boy story Count Bat in the collected edition of the classic manga. Tezuka describes his difficulties with censors both in Japan and overseas and how Japan and the Western world's differing attitudes toward cartoon violence has shaped these cultures' opinions of each other.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix: Uderzo firmly believed this to be the case, and expressed his dislike for anime by making the villains of Asterix and the Falling Sky a race of animesque (and racist) Yellow Peril aliens. It is one of the main reasons the album is considered the worst entry in the series, and fans would rather pretend it doesn't exist.
  • The MAD feature "If Truth in Advertising Laws Applied to Comic Books" described a Japanese imported series as "something to do with a boy who fights a giant squid." The illustration showed a boy with an enormous grin standing in front of a bunch of girls, all with panties exposed due to being grasped by tentacles.
  • One of the stories from Wonder Woman #600 has the Amazonian princess, Power Girl, and Batgirl against a tentacle-mustached Chang Tsu (AKA Egg Fu). The battle is won, and Power Girl compares Fu’s look to disgusting “manga monster appendages”. Diana is confused and asks Power Girl what a manga monster is.

    Fan Works 

  • White Sheep (RWBY): Mistral (the Asia equivalent) is infamous for tentacle hentai, and most of the characters act like it's the only thing the country produces at all. It doesn't help that there's a Grimm creature running around with Combat Tentacles, which everyone mistakes for Naughty Tentacles, and no one will tell Jaune or Ruby what tentacle hentai is.

  • Unbreakable: Or rather, All Manga Is Hentai. In the comic book store scene where a despondent Elijah causes a ruckus with his wheelchair, one of the clerk's first lines when he notices that Elijah has been hiding in the back for a while is "You better not be jacking off to the Japanese comics, I swear to God".
  • Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life: If you look closely, there's at least one piece of anime art in Justin's collection. Thankfully, this being a world where porn only constitutes to Fully-Clothed Nudity, we don't see anything too messed up.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart described the mission patch of the NROL-39 spy satellite (which depicts a giant octopus over the Earth) as "one terrified schoolgirl away from being a very popular comic in Tokyo."
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has made joking references to seedy gas stations having "Violent Animated Asian Porn" videos for rent a few times. The jokes really ramped up when they'd get their hands on a Japanese movie: "Oh no, so is this gonna be a super-violent porn cartoon?" "Heh, they're swinging in for some violent porn comics." The episode featuring Invasion of the Neptune Men has a joke where Crow suggests Japan stop being represented by "blonde, gun-toting, big-eyed pre-pubescent girls" with Mike calling Sailor Moon that. The Netflix era really stays away from this trope.
    • This has filtered into spiritual successor RiffTrax.
  • In Yes, Dear, when Greg's father becomes a comic book fan, the normally prudish Kim asked, "Normal comics like for kids? Or those Japanese porno comics like Overfiend, where young women are taken against their will by demonic monsters?" Later in the episode, it's stated he should hide his Japanese porn better.
  • Parodied in The Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men with the Show Within a Show Oshikuru: Demon Samurai, which is implied to be this despite its deceitfully cheery opening.
    • Keep in mind, Charlie wrote that opening song, without having ever read the source manga. When Jake, who is a fan of the series, berates him for the Soundtrack Dissonance, he actually checks it out and writes a more serious and appropriate replacement, but the network prefers his first submission and runs it anyway.

    Video Games 
  • There are two parody anime trailers on the radio in Grand Theft Auto IV; one is Humongous Mecha, the other, Princess Robot Bubblegum is this. However the full episode of the later, which is viewable in the Ballad of Gay Tony DLC, is more of a general parody of shōjo and seinen shows. It does have lots of innuendo, but this is typical of pretty much all TV shows in the Grand Theft Auto universe.
  • In Comic Jumper: The Adventures of Captain Smiley, the manga-themed world of "Cutie Cutie Kid Cupids" takes place at a high school called "Hent High", whose school team is called the Tentacles.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines after helping a Japanese demon hunter girl kill a Hengeyōkai, you have to option of quipping "I'll bet you're glad that thing didn't have tentacles, huh?"
  • One of the Bewitchments in Bayonetta is "Naughty Tentacles", and considering the game's sense of humor is almost certainly a reference to this trope.
  • Summertime Saga: When Iwanka hangs out with MC and his best friend Erik, she'll insist on seeing one of Erik's hentai films, about a fisherman's daughter who has sex with an octopus. Then she gets so turned on that she gives MC a blowjob.

  • Dork Tower once had Ken ranting to Igor and Carson about how most anime is absolutely terrible and he has no idea why it which point he was enlightened by the phrases "let's all take our clothes off now" and "where did all these tentacles come from?" emerging from the TV. It does have to be said that this was several years ago.

    Web Original 
  • Gaia Online has played this for laughs numerous times. One print ad for the website featured avatars dressed up like schoolgirls being chased by avatars dressed up as squids, with the squids being chased by avatars dressed up like chefs. The ill-fated short-lived adults-only sister site was also called Tentacl. Keep in mind that this is an Animesque site, and these ads were ran in anime magazines.
  • The Onion on the topic.
    • Another snide little comment from The Onion, this time in their Princess Mononoke review, contends that Miyazaki is the only Japanese animator who has avoided the "unsavory excesses of his anime counterparts." Notable in that, while the other examples listed here are typical of the publication's nothing-is-sacred, pull-no-punches brand of humor, this review comes from its AV Club site, which generally strives to be a bit more serious.
    • And yet another one (skip to the very end).
    • Even the TV Show got in on it (Skip to 2:02).

    Western Animation 
  • Robot Chicken:
    • Parodied. When Speed Racer joins NASCAR, he's sponsored by the creators of Japan's number one anime series, which is apparently a Naughty Tentacles anime (it's censored, so we're to assume it's very smutty) with a Lampshade Hanging for a translation of its name.
    • There is also a skit where a Tentacle Monster phones up a Japanese Schoolgirl he apparently had... uh... relations with. He messed up his chance for a 2nd date by jumping the gun a little bit.
  • One episode of Sealab 2021 has Sparks flipping through certain Japanese movie titles on his monitor, each one more and more vulgar while referencing tentacle porn. The last movie is called "Seriously Japan, What the Hell!?"
  • Archer lampshades this with Krieger's anime collection, which includes such titles as Fisherman’s Wife and Fisherman’s Wife II: The Retentacling. It is also worth noting that Krieger has a holographic girlfriend designed in anime style.
  • Family Guy episode "The Blind Side" (s10e11).
    Hey, you want to see a movie?
    No, we're Japanese, let's watch a schoolgirl bang an octopus.
  • Ling-Ling, from Drawn Together, manages to be a case of both this and Phonýmon. On the one hand, he's cute. On the other hand, he's the most depraved and excessively violent of the main characters (and considering he shares the show with Captain Hero, that's saying a lot). In other words, he embodies both of the ways anime is seen by Americans—as Merchandise-Driven kiddie fluff and as raunchy adult material filled with violence and sex.

  • Microsoft Word Processor's dictionary definition of anime: "a Japanese style of animated cartoon, often with violent or sexually explicit content." And their definition of manga: "a Japanese style of comic books or animated cartoons, often very violent or erotic."
  • Tentacle Grape is a novelty brand of grape soda often found at anime conventions. Take a wild guess as to what's on the label.
  • The American Heritage Dictionary is just a bit better about this, but only just - it defines "anime" as a Japanese style of animation "characterized by "colorful stylized art" and "futuristic settings"" (not every anime has giant robots or is set in the future, granted, but they at least acknowledged the genre). So far, so good, right? Guess which two characterizations come next. Yep, "violence" and "sex".
  • When was asked to the director of the Brazilian children's TV channel Gloob why the channel doesn't broadcast anime, he said "we don't broadcast violent animation". And later they used to broadcast various anime-influenced series like Miraculous Ladybug, but never an actual anime.
  • Author Kurt Eichenwald posted a screenshot where the URL to a Hentai manga was accidentally visible. When the expected roasting by the internet and media outlets started, Eichenwald stated he was showing his family how easy it was to find tentacle porn on the internet. Fox News, of all people, pointed out that the particular hentai in question did not contain tentacle porn and clarified that most hentai is not tentacle porn.
  • In Russia, fanservice-heavy anime is often jokingly referred to as "kitayskie pornomultiki" (Chinese porn cartoons).
  • Parental control software Net Nanny has a content filter for 14 categories, one of them being anime; alongside things like drugs, death/gore, gambling, suicide, and pornography.

Alternative Title(s): All Anime Is Hentai