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Tentacle rape

Tentacle rape

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is found in some horror
Horror fiction
Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural...

 or hentai
is a Japanese word that, in the West, is used when referring to sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, particularly those of Japanese origin such as anime, manga, and computer games. The word hentai is a kanji compound of 変 and 態...

 titles, with tentacled creatures (usually fictional monsters) having sexual intercourse with female characters. The genre is popular enough in Japan that its occasionally even the subject of parody
A parody , in current usage, is an imitative work created to mock, comment on, or trivialise an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation...

. In recent years, Japanese and Asian films of this genre have become more common in the United States and Europe. This, along with the presence of many websites featuring it, has expanded the genre's audience globally, although it still remains a small, fetish-oriented part of the adult film industry. While most tentacle erotica is animated, there are also a smaller number of live-action movies featuring this theme.


Tentacled creatures appeared in Japanese erotica long before animated pornography. Among the most famous of the early instances is an illustration from the novel Kinoe no komatsu of 1814 by Katsushika Hokusai. It is an example of shunga
' is a Japanese term for erotic art. Most shunga are a type of ukiyo-e, usually executed in woodblock print format. While rare, there are extant erotic painted handscrolls which predate the Ukiyo-e movement...

 (Japanese erotic art) and has been reworked by a number of artists. Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n artist David Laity reworked the design into a painting of the same name, and Masami Teraoka
Masami Teraoka
Masami Teraoka is a Japanese-American contemporary artist. His work includes ukiyo-e-influced woodcuts and paintings.-Life:Teraoka was born in the town of Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture. He studied from 1954-59 at the Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe, Japan where he received his B.A. in...

 brought the image up to date with his 2001 work "Sarah and Octopus/Seventh Heaven", part of his Waves and Plagues collection.

A scholarly paper by Danielle Talerico showed that although western audiences have often interpreted Hokusai’s famous design as rape, Japanese audiences of the Edo period would have associated it with consensual sex. Edo audiences would recognize the print as depicting the legend of the female abalone
Abalone , from aulón, are small to very large-sized edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis...

 diver Tamatori. In the story, Tamatori steals a jewel from the Dragon King. However, during her egress, the Dragon King and his sea-life minions (including octopodes) pursue her. Furthermore, within the dialogue in the illustration itself, the diver and two octopi express mutual enjoyment.


In 1990, Toshio Maeda
Toshio Maeda
is a controversial erotic manga artist who was most prolific in the 1980s and 90s. Several of Maeda's works have been used as a basis for Original Video Animations including the well known La Blue Girl, Adventure Kid, Demon Beast Invasion, Demon Warrior Koji and his most famous work, Urotsukidōji...

's Manga Demon Beast Invasion
Demon Beast Invasion
is a manga series written and illustrated by Toshio Maeda, published by Wani Magazine. The series was adapted into a six-part original video animation of the same name in 1990, followed by in 1995.- Plot :...

created what might be called the modern Japanese paradigm of tentacle porn, in which the elements of sexual assault are emphasized. Maeda explained that he invented the practice to get around strict Japanese censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 regulations, which prohibit the depiction of the penis
The penis is a biological feature of male animals including both vertebrates and invertebrates...

 but apparently do not prohibit showing sexual penetration by a tentacle or similar (often robotic) appendage. Numerous animated tentacle erotica films followed throughout the 1990s, with more popular titles like Urotsukidoji
is a Japanese manga and an Original Video Animation releases.-History:Urotsukidōji was created by Toshio Maeda, in 1986, and was a huge departure from his earlier works in that it mixed erotica with humor, and the supernatural...

and La Blue Girl
La Blue Girl
is an erotic anime and manga series.Based on the manga by Toshio Maeda, the La Blue Girl anime, like his other hentai series , features a large amount of tentacle rape...

becoming common sights in large video store chains in the United States and elsewhere. The volume of films in this genre has slowed from the peak years in the 1990s but continue to be produced to the present day.

The use of sexualized tentacles in live-action films, while much rarer, actually started in American B-movie
A B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not definitively an arthouse or pornographic film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified a film intended for distribution as the less-publicized, bottom half of a double feature....

 horror films and has since migrated back to Japan. B-movie legend Roger Corman first used the concept of tentacle rape in a brief scene in his 1970 film The Dunwich Horror
The Dunwich Horror
"The Dunwich Horror" is a short story by H. P. Lovecraft. Written in 1928, it was first published in the April 1929 issue of Weird Tales . It takes place in Dunwich, a fictional town in Massachusetts...

, a movie adaptation of the H. P. Lovecraft
H. P. Lovecraft
Howard Phillips Lovecraft --often credited as H.P. Lovecraft — was an American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction, especially the subgenre known as weird fiction....

 short story of the same name. A decade later, Corman would again use tentacle rape while producing Galaxy of Terror
Galaxy of Terror
Galaxy of Terror is a 1981 science fiction/horror film produced by Roger Corman and directed by Bruce D. Clark. It stars Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Robert Englund, Ray Walston, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie and Sid Haig...

, released in 1980. Arguably the most notorious example of tentacle rape to date, Corman inserted and directed a scene in which actress Taaffe O'Connell
Taaffe O'Connell
Taaffe O'Connell is an American actress, best known by horror film fans for her performance in Galaxy of Terror. Her acting career began in the late 1970s and continued uninterrupted through the 1980s...

, playing an astronaut on a future space mission, is captured, raped, and killed by a giant, tentacled worm. The film borrows the concept of the "id monster" from the 1950s film Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet
Forbidden Planet is a 1956 science fiction film directed by Fred M. Wilcox, with a screenplay by Cyril Hume. It stars Leslie Nielsen, Walter Pidgeon, and Anne Francis. The characters and its setting have been compared to those in William Shakespeare's The Tempest, and its plot contains certain...

, with the worm being a manifestation of the O'Connell character's fears. The scene was graphic enough that the film's director, B. D. Clark, refused to helm it, and O'Connell refused to do the full nudity required by Corman, so Corman directed the scene himself and used a body double for some of the more graphic shots. Initially given an X-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America, tiny cuts were made to the scene which changed the movie's rating to 'R', but the graphic detail in which O'Connell's character is stripped, raped, and killed while being simultaneously driven to orgasm by the creature's tentacles has made the film an enduring cult favorite.

An even more popular film from 1981, Sam Raimi
Sam Raimi
Samuel Marshall "Sam" Raimi is an American film director, producer, actor and writer. He is best known for directing cult horror films like the Evil Dead series, Darkman and Drag Me to Hell, as well as the blockbuster Spider-Man films and the producer of the successful TV series Hercules: The...

's The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead is a 1981 horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi, starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, and Betsy Baker. The film is a story of five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a wooded area...

, has actress Ellen Sandweiss
Ellen Sandweiss
Ellen Sandweiss is an American B-movie actress. She has also performed in musical theatre as a dancer and pop singer, and in a one-woman show of Jewish music....

' character being attacked by the possessed woods she is walking in. The evil spirit inhabiting the the woods using tree limbs and branches to ensnare, strip, and rape her, "entering" (i.e. possessing) her through the sexual act in a way very similar to that in which tentacles are normally depicted. The scene was repeated in a much shorter version in the sequel released in 1987.

The popularity of these films has led to the subsequent production of numerous live-action tentacle films in Japan from the 1990s to the present day. The theme has appeared more rarely in adult American cinema and art; one example is American artist Zak Smith
Zak Smith
Zak Smith, also known as Zak Sabbath, is an American artist and alternative porn star. He was born in Syracuse, New York in 1976, and grew up in Washington, D.C. After receiving a BFA from Cooper Union in 1998, he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and went on to receive an...

, who has painted works featuring octopuses and porn stars, in various stages of intercourse.

External links

  • Japan SAQ—“Seldom Asked Questions” about Japan.
  • Manga Artist Interview Series Part I, Sake-Drenched Postcards—interview with Toshio Maeda
    Toshio Maeda
    is a controversial erotic manga artist who was most prolific in the 1980s and 90s. Several of Maeda's works have been used as a basis for Original Video Animations including the well known La Blue Girl, Adventure Kid, Demon Beast Invasion, Demon Warrior Koji and his most famous work, Urotsukidōji...