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Script error Futanari (二成, 二形; ふたなり, literally "dual form") is the Japanese word for androgyny or hermaphrodite. Until 1644, the appeal of sexually ambiguous, futanari characters portrayed by onnagata actors was a popular element in Japanese drama, and there is a flourishing futanari anime and manga genre in Japan today.
History of futanari in Japanese culture
In Japanese society, interest in futanari dates back many hundreds of years, and may have roots in the worship of Dosojin, who was portrayed as a phallus, despite being neither male nor female. Until 1644, when Japanese onnagata actors were required to adopt male hairstyles regardless of the gender they were portraying, actors playing characters such as female warriors capitalised on the interest in the futanari quality, which was common in both samurai and commoner society.
Futanari in anime and manga
There is a specific futanari genre within hentai (pornographic anime or manga), which depicts hermaphrodite characters. Other common terms used to describe futanari characters are "dickgirls" or "shemales", although these are often considered vulgar and incorrect. Futanari, along with "newhalf", are more polite terms having come into recent use, with futanari tending to refer specifically to actual hermaphrodites and "newhalf" tending to refer specifically to characters with female bodies but only male genitals. Originally futanari referred to any character that possessed masculine and feminine traits.
Futanari have been described as "hermaphroditic characters with enlarged male and female parts".
Futanari manga appeared in the 1990s and quickly became a pervasive part of the industry, cross-pollinating every genre. Toshiki Yui's Hot Tails has been described as the best known exponent of the genre in the West.
There are many hypotheses as to why and how the theme of futanari came into being. The most obvious is the close relationship that the futanari fetish shares with Western "shemale" pornography. However, due to the way it is executed, futanari probably shares more in common with the yuri genre. Futanari can be seen as an extension of the lesbian theme where it is used instead of a strap-on dildo or equivalent. Except in cases involving anything other than a futanari character and a cisgender woman.
Only a very small subset of futanari characters "become" futa due to male to female transformations; most are developed by other, more outlandish means, often from normal females. This allows story lines to take a more lesbian context which is more palatable to straight males.
Futanari may also be seen as a way in which male empathy can be inserted into a predominately lesbian scene. Obviously, one of the main difficulties that male observers have with lesbian scenes is that it is difficult for them to empathise or see themselves in the situation. In the futanari fetish, this becomes possible and this may appeal to a part of the futanari community.Script error
In normal anime, the gender bender or cross-dressing storylines have always been popular. Popular examples include anime such as Ranma ½ and Futaba-Kun Change! (in which the main character changes from male to female) and I My Me! Strawberry Eggs (which takes on a more cross-dressing theme).
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Leupp, Gary P.Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan, University of California Press 1997, p. 174, ISBN 9780520209008
- ↑ (German) Krauss, Friedrich Salomo et al. Japanisches Geschlechtsleben: Abhandlungen und Erhebungen über das Geschlechtsleben des japanischen Volkes ; folkloristische Studien, Schustek, 1965, pp. 79, 81
- ↑ Script error
- ↑ http://www.studlife.com/scene/2008/08/29/internet-of-hentai/
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Script error
- ↑ http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/ccies/jp.php#8d
- Jensen, Nate. (2009) Japanese-English Guide to Sex, Kink and Naughtiness. ISBN 978-1442108769.
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