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Ecchi (or Etchi, from the Japanese エッチ ecchi) is derived from a Japanese word meaning "lewd", "sexy", or "lascivious" when used as an adjective, or sexual intercourse when used as a noun.

Contents

Japanese usage

The origin of the term ecchi is uncertain. Ecchi in Japanese is attached to the Japanese pronunciation of the Roman letter "H" which is the first letter in the Japanese word "Hentai", which may be backronym.

The word sekkusu is also used in Japan for sex, and Japanese native words for sex (such as 性交 seikō) are often replaced by words of foreign origin such as sekkusu or neologisms such as ecchi. The nuance of ecchi varies with context, but in general the word itself is comparable to the English words "naughty" or "dirty" (when used as an adjective). The prefix "H-" is sometimes used to refer to pornographic genres: H-anime, H-manga, etc. It is the English-equivalent to "X" for "X-rated" or "XXX".

English usage

Drawing fitting some typical features

In English, the word is often used in the context of manga and anime. The term ecchi is applied to anime or manga that has vague sexual content (such as skimpy clothing, partial or full nudity), but does not show sexual intercourse, making it the manga equivalent of a PG-13 rated movie. Ecchi has historically often been used as a synonym of hentai, presumably due to confusion of the two; thus it can carry different connotations than allowed for by the original Japanese. In recent years, however, its use by English-speakers has largely realigned with the Japanese meaning — although H has become a completely separate term, inclusive of all of the above.

The ecchi art style is loosely comparable to pin-up girl artwork, as well as to provocative fantasy and comic book art in the United States and other countries. Typical features include:

  • Clothing that outlines the shape of the breasts, nipples, and labia, suggesting tightness of clothing and arousal.
  • Uniforms, costumes, or outfits (all tightly worn) that may be provocative, but are worn as everyday clothing by the character.
  • Bouncing of over-sized breasts, always pointing outwards as if an "invisible bra" was present.
  • The "head in breasts gag," which is commonly used when a male meets a busty female and falls into her cleavage. This can also be known as "Marshmallow Hell".
  • Female characters who look attractive to men, but are unaware of their sexuality, appear innocent and cheerful, or sly and mischievous.
  • The groping of the breasts (whether intentional or not), which ends in either moaning of the girl or a slap on the groper.
  • Clothing that is falling off or being pulled off, notably swimsuits and "sailor"-style schoolgirl uniforms.
  • Upskirt panty shots and cleavage. This is typically known as fan service.
  • Suggestive or explicitly phallic imagery.
  • Exaggerated sexual attributes, often on normal or petite figures to give a sense of contrast. Especially used in dōjinshi and fanart.
  • The occasional bare breast(s) or bottom, but the genital area (such as the cleft of venus) is rarely explicitly shown.
  • Skimpy bathing suits with crotch lines showing and sides of breasts showing.
  • Shining skin indicating sweat or blurry and teary eyes.
  • E.N.F. (Embarrassed nude female): A female character fully/almost nude in public showing signs of embarrassment, humiliation or acting completely normally.
  • The sudden expansion or enlargement of a women's breasts, sometimes with the woman completely unaware.

See also

References


Simple English

Ecchi (or Etchi, from the Japanese エッチ etchi)comes from the Japanese word meaning "lewd", "sexy", "pervert", or "naughty" when used as an adjective, or it can mean to have sexual intercourse when it is used as a verb or noun. The English use of this word is usually used in manga and anime and it is used when the anime or manga has sexual content, such as skimpy clothing or partial or full nudity, but does not show sexual intercourse.

Ecchi anime usually contains a lot of fan service or nudity, sometimes both. Ecchi anime is also sometimes filled with innuendo and sexual humor. Ecchi anime doesn’t show sex, at least not in a graphical way. Ecchi anime is more similar to an R rated movie with a lot of sexual overtones, such as American Pie.

It would seem that ecchi is similar to hentai, though it doesn’t go as far. There is a possibility that the term itself comes from the word hentai, but the origins are unclear. A literal translation of ecchi means “h”.

A character in anime is often called ecchi, or even hentai, when he is perceived as being a pervert. In an anime like Love Hina it’s usually because of a comedic mistake or blunder.

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