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After watching/reading anime and manga, I recently started going into visual novels. One thing that struck me was the fact that erotic content (aka H-scenes) seems to be quite common in the world of visual novels. Examples: Fate/stay night, Muv-Luv Alternative, G-senjou no Maou. Can anyone explain this higher prevalence of erotic content in visual novels, as compared to anime and manga?

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    classifications imposed on television most likely. Anime is designed for a much wider audience and is normally aired on TV first while Hentai is designed for an adult audience (legally adult normally begins between 18 and 21) and normally strait to DVD. Visual Novels on the other hand are a different media and in a lot of cases their rating are totally separate from the established ratings of film/animation. also Hentai anime/Manga/visual novels are never out on display in shops (to my knowledge) so they don't get as much exposure to the public as what their non H counterparts would get – Memor-X Jan 20 '15 at 0:02
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    I strongly feel the tagging of this question is wrong. The question is about visual novel history, there is no anime or manga content at all being referred to. Keep in mind that visual novels and light novels are on topic for the site. meta.anime.stackexchange.com/a/19/2808 – Mindwin Jan 20 '15 at 18:28
  • @Mindwin: I couldn't find any fitting tags, and as a new user I wasn't allowed to create new tags. – python dude Jan 21 '15 at 13:06
  • I flagged it for moderator attention, and krazer already editted the tagging. no worries. – Mindwin Jan 21 '15 at 13:47
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Because visual novels are spinoff of eroge games. According to wikipedia:

The eroge game (or H-game, hentai game) are introduced into the market (no pun intended) in the 1980's as a means to attract users to the (game maker) company computer platform.

In 1992 the dating sim / love simulators were born, when a company designed the game so the player had to win the affection of the character before gaining access to the H-scenes.

The first use of the term visual novel is in 1996, and from there the erotic material became optional, with the introduction of the all ages versions of the visual novels.

But still adhering to tradition, the visual novels of today still have the H content, though not every one.


Refer to the wikipedia article to more in-depth historical facts, including game titles and company names.

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I upvoted @Mindwin's answer because the answer's content is, to my knowledge, absolutely correct.

But to clarify a little more: in the period 1980–1996 or so, the kinds of games that we'd call visual novels nowadays were a lot more like hentai anime. The stories were usually fairly simple and pretty much revolved around a character talking girls into sleeping with him.

But the different types of games mentioned in Mindwin's answer started to converge on each other. My impression, and the Wikipedia page implies the same thing, is that the first eroge which prioritized story over sex was Kanon. In Kanon, the sex scenes can be totally excised from the story without much loss; they're essentially what the authors of How Not to Write a Novel call "benevolent tumors". Pretty soon, other games, such as Type Moon's Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night, did the same thing and made a game with a deep and interesting story that only incidentally contained sex scenes.

Now we're at the point where some prominent visual novels, such as Clannad, have no erotic content at all. Others, such as Little Busters, are released without erotic content and later re-released with erotic content added in. The modern visual novel is sort of an evolutionary crossover between the original eroge, which always had eroticism, and the renai games like Tokimeki Memorial that usually didn't. Its lineage contains games with erotic content, so visual novels are more accepting of erotic content than more mainstream forms like anime and manga. (As Memor-X points out, this is also somewhat inherent to the nature of the media; anime are broadcast on TV and manga are sold in bookstores, so it's harder to sell anime and manga with sexual content unless they have no other purpose for existing.) But because the sexual content of visual novels is typically easy to remove, and because the stories are often unique and compelling, it's common to simply remove the sex scenes and adapt them to anime and manga.

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    Just with Fate/Stay Night you can also include that it was later re-released to be all ages in the form of Realta Nua with the H Scenes replaced with all ages scenes (Shirou sacrifices his Magic Circuits to Saber's Dragon, Rin uses Runes to from her contract with Shirou, Rin x Ayako dream with Rin/Rider drinking Shirou's blood) and this version has been the basis of the Fate/Stay Night re-re-releases on PC and Vita. with Tsukihime and Kagtesu Tohya, while i am unsure of the original Japanese installation, Mirror-Moon has an option to disable the H scenes – Memor-X Jan 20 '15 at 21:11

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